Though much of the country is still frozen like the icy landscape of Hoth, things are heating up in a galaxy far, far away with targeting computers set for what’s fast approaching on the horizon. It’s a massive year for Star Wars, and things are just getting started, with a new movie, new television projects, new games, new toys, and new experiences set to begin rolling out now.
New Star Wars Toys
Toy Fair New York is behind us, and the Pop Insider was there for the debut of all of the new Star Wars toys on the way from master licensee Hasbro. Among the highlights were Lightsaber Academy, which teaches kids to properly wield the weapon of a Jedi Knight (or Sith Lord); the debut of the new Star Wars Hyperreal collection of premium articulated figures; and the Kenner-inspired Star Wars Retro Collection.
There was also a big emphasis on Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. For the former, it was all about adding enhancement to the first-ever HasLab release, Jabba’s Sail Barge. Announced at Toy Fair last year, the biggest Star Wars vehicle ever is now shipping to those who backed the Barge via the HasLab crowdfunding platform. To go along with it, there’s the first all-new Skiff since the ’80s, a Vintage Collection Jabba’s Skiff Guards three-pack, and the Jabba’s Palace Adventure Set.
For the 20th Anniversary of The Phantom Menace, Hasbro is releasing Black Series upgrades for Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi, giving the characters a 6-inch, super-detailed treatment on up-scaled reproduction cards inspired by their 1999 3 3/4-inch counterparts. They’ll be available at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April. The year 1999 also marked the debut of LEGO Star Wars, and there are plenty of anniversary-themed sets on the way for that anniversary as well.
Also be on the lookout for a third wave of Galaxy of Adventures action figures, the all-new Micro Force Wow! collection, and new additions to the ever-growing lineup of figures in The Black Series and The Vintage Collection. Want toys from J.J. Abrams forthcoming Star Wars: Episode IX or The Manadalorian? You’ll have to wait until Triple Force Friday on Oct. 4.
The Mandalorian, the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, wrapped principal photography this week. The series, from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog, among others. The story of a lone bounty hunter in gleaming Mandalorian armor will debut on the new Disney+ streaming service later this year.
Star Wars Resistance continues, and Team Fireball is in trouble! In “Descent,” premiering on Sunday, March 3 at 10 p.m. PST on Disney Channel, the First Order discovers that the Fireball was the ship that crossed into their territory, and Yeager’s crew must evade troopers hunting them down. After realizing that Kaz and Yeager have been lying to her, Tam decides to stay with the troopers, convinced her own innocence will save her from the wrath of the First Order. The new episode will be available on Sunday, March 3 at 12:01 a.m. PST on the DisneyNOW app and Disney Channel VOD.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
No doubt the big news this week comes from Disney Parks, with the long-awaited reveal of full details on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Opening soon at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Park in California, Galaxy’s Edge is the largest, single-world expansion in Disney history, and it’s the most immersive experience ever created for a Disney Park.
The world created for the Black Spire Outpost aims to drop fans into the Star Wars universe like never before. Everything has been carefully crafted to be a part of the environment, from cast and crew costumes to the food and even the items available for purchase in the gift shops — designed with an artisan look as if they were individually made by an alien shop owner.
Kids will be able to build their own lightsabers and droids while encountering familiar characters, such as Hondo Ohnaka (The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), who will come to life as one of the most-advanced animatronics ever created.
Families will be able to dress the part, getting outfitted in Jedi and Sith robes thanks to Black Spire Outfitters. And while the rides — Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run — will be the pinnacle of the experience, there will be Easter eggs around every corner, and the entire Galaxy’s Edge experience (set within the sequel trilogy) will be “somewhat future-proof,” with the ability to be refreshed as the years roll on.
The Pop Insider’s Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away is our regular column focusing on everything Force-related. For more adventures in the Outer Rim, click here!
Photos: David Roark/Disney Parks (top) | James Zahn