Mandos on Rebels!

Saxon is back and we might finally get another good Sabine story! This teaser trailer throws a lot at us. Sabine and Ezra appear to be on a solo mission. Saxon, the one in the red armor, used to be loyal to Maul when he ruled Mandalore with his Shadow Collective. Who are the other guys whose armor looks like a hybrid between Imperial ground troops and Boba Fett concept art? Will it become canon that true, independent Mandalorians are more creative because their armor is cooler? Are we getting canon references to the siege of Mandalore outside of that cool Ahsoka panel at celebration and her new book? Hopefully this weekend answers some of my questions! Watch Star Wars Rebels this weekend and find out! Looks like I reread Son of Dathomir just in time for some callbacks too!

Custom Lego Kir Kanos

“There can be no mercy for the enemies of the Emperor!” Whether you would tend to agree or just like Lego figures, check out this purist custom Royal Guard!

The Emperor’s Royal Guardsmen, while never amounting to much in the movies, kicked butt across the expanded universe. After the death of the Emperor, their reputation stood. They were still known as ruthless, loyal, and hard to match in combat. Eventually they were all wiped out, save for one who remained loyal to his Emperor; Kir Kanos, star of the comic series Crimson Empire.

20161023_163140

My purist Kir Kanos figure uses pieces from the Old Republic battle pack featuring Sith and Republic troopers. His body and legs are that of the elite blood-colored Sith trooper, with his arms switched from gray to the same shade of red with grey ‘gloves.’ The helmet and cape, which is two shades of red depending on what side you’re looking at, come from the Death Star troopers battle pack. The hair piece belongs to a Clone Wars Anakin figure, and the face came from one of the Navarro rifleman from the short-lived Lone Rangers themed battle pack.20161023_164351

In this shot you can see his armor details slightly better. While it isn’t 100% accurate to the comics in color, I feel it captures his look quite well. Kir Kanos is something of an antihero, loyal to a deceased villain and seeking to destroy traitors to the Empire. In his comic series, he wasn’t known to make friends. A massive bounty was placed on his head by the Imperial Remnant, and he faced treachery at every turn while on the hunt for his former friend and aspiring Sith Lord Carnor Jax.

20161023_164231

This figure isn’t a very good representation of Carnor Jax, however he is similar. As a Sovereign Protector, the most elite of the Royal Guards, Jax went on to pursue the throne of the Empire years after the deaths of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. In his earlier days, he became friends with Kir Kanos, and the pair trained together to become royal guardsmen. His personal guards are the black-armored stormtroopers seen here. I won’t spoil too much of the story, but the Crimson Empire collection is one of my favorite comic series. It mixes politics and action with a good antihero-type lead character who stops at nothing and never betrays his personal ideals. What he does, he does for himself, and while that may sound selfish, there’s more at play with his sense of self as a person. There’s many classic Star Wars themes at play in Crimson Empire, just played from different angle.

20161023_164855

Kir Kanos fights an Empire’s worth of adversaries throughout his books, from stormtroopers to Jax’s elite, black-armored stormtroopers, and bounty hunters sent on behalf of Grappa the Hutt. For cover, Kanos sometimes worked under the guise of a bounty hunter himself named Kenix Kil.

20161023_165025
“Kir Kanos? Haven’t seen him, sir.”

20161023_164701

***SKIP the next two paragraphs to avoid spoilers for the Crimson Empire storyline and the novels Star Wars Aftermath and Aftermath: Life Debt***

Some small elements of the Crimson Empire saga have seemingly been incorporated into the new canon under Disney. While Kir Kanos is absent, one of his adversaries is present in the form of the Imperial Future Council. In Star Wars Aftermath, a group organized under the leadership of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane to reach a settlement on the future of the Empire. Their meeting on the planet Akiva does not go to plan, and the council members are killed, save for Admiral Sloane. It is later revealed that a mysterious fleet admiral named Gallius Rax organized the summit himself, and orchestrated its downfall to eliminate weak leadership in the Empire. He would go on to feed other Imperial targets to the New Republic, shedding further weak links and poor, misguided leadership. Eventually, that’s how the First Order comes into being.

Similarly, Crimson Empire’s Imperial Ruling Council tried to reorganize the Empire after the Emperor was killed. Originally in place even before his death, the council was in a constant state of flux as aspiring Moffs, advisors, politicians, and military minds vied for the Emperor’s favor, later even his title after he had been killed. The span of time that the Ruling Council held sway is a large one, and probably too much to get into with just a simple figure presentation. But let it be known that the intricacies of Imperial politics aren’t entirely lost in the new canon. There’s still plenty of scheming, plotting, and backstabbing not only in the Empire, but also in the fallout after Endor.

***END Spoilers***

EU/Legends characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn and indirect characters like Fenn Rau (who references the concept of the Cuy’val Dar, a group of Mandalorians who helped train the Republic clone troopers) mean anything can happen in the new canon. While I had mixed feelings about the wiping of the Legends canon at first, so far it is going well and I’m enjoying it. That being said, I don’t think Kir Kanos is going to pop up any time soon. However, I don’t think it will be long before we get a new version of his character, a dark, fiercely-loyal agent of the Emperor who stops at nothing to achieve his master’s goals. We’ve seen Royal Guards in books such as Lords of the Sith, and while they aren’t game changers in the canon, they were enjoyable characters throughout the book.

What’s your take on Kir Kanos and the rest of the Royal Guard? Let me know what you think of him and the build in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!

-David

Definite Article: Lego Star Wars Rumors Mega-Post – Summer 2017

Questionably canon, definitely an article. The leaks strike back and early! Check out possible summer 2017 Lego Star Wars set names!

Hoth Bricks has posted a rumor list for Summer 2017, and although a bit vague, it’s very interesting. Special thanks to them for digging this up! I’ve posted a translation below and converted the approximate prices from Euros to USD based on what is usually seen at retail stores. Of course if you dislike toy spoilers and would rather be surprised when the news is released officially, I’d understand if you clicked away now.

The list so far:

  • 75166 Battle Pack (Episodes IV-VII) – € 15 (Battle Packs go from $10-$15, depending on store and sales)
  • 75167 Battle Pack (Episodes IV-VII) – € 15
  • 75178 Quadjumper (Star Wars The Force Awakens) – € 60 ($65-$70)
  • 75179 Rebel Hangar (Price Unknown)
  • 75180 The [Guavian] Death Gang (Star Wars The Force Awakens) – € 80 ($85 – $90)
  • 75182 Imperial Hovertank (?) – 30 € (Around $29.99)
  • 75183 Darth Vader Transformation (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) – 30 € (Around $29.99)
  • 75184 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2017 to 30 € (?) ($29.99 to $39.99)
  • 75185 Freemaker The Adventures – € 70 ($70 – $80)
  • 75186 Freemaker The Adventures – € 90 ($90 – $100)

So with what we now know (or can start to assume – this is still a rumor after all) it’s time to speculate!

The battle packs are specifically noted a Episode IV – VII. This variable is, in a word, huge. That gap of time can mean almost anything, barring prequels of course. But does it bar Rebels and Rogue one? Both are still prequels but they are direct prequels in the Original Trilogy timeline or concurrent with the original films. If they go for the earlier parts of that timeline, that could easily mean rereleases of battle packs that haven’t been done in a while, most likely the classic Rebel troopers from Episode IV or maybe Snowtroopers from Episode V. Personaly, I’d like to see the Mandalorians turn up in a battle pack again. Perhaps the new ones from Rebels who are loyal to the Empire? More Mandos would make a welcome addition to the Death Watch and Shadow Collective minifigures Lego has already released.

But who knows? Battle packs sometimes have oddballs like the Senate Commandos pack (Clone Wars) and even pull from the Expanded Universe with the Shadow Troopers pack, one of my personal favorites. You can’t count out the odd chance of getting something like a Tusken Raider battle pack (because we know a new Landspeeder set is coming) or maybe a bunch of Ewoks from Episode VI. And I didn’t even touch on Episode VII yet! But more on that in a bit.

Next on the list is the Quadjumper from Episode VII. I think this is a great choice for a set. If you don’t recognize the name, it’s probably because the name is never spoken in the film. This is the ship that Rey insists is better than the Millenium Falcon (aka garbage), and seconds later it is promptly destroyed by TIE fighters in pursuit.The gigantic engines and unique cockpit would make this a fun build. I would suspect four to five minifigures to be included: Rey, Finn, and BB-8 of course, probably followed by a stormtrooper or two, maybe one of Unkar Plutt’s thugs in place of one trooper. This might be a stretch, but what about Constable Zuvio, who was cut from the final film?  I’d love to see the set include some scenery too, like the iconic archway of Nima Outpost or the pool of water that thirsty Finn shares with the Happabore. Can we have a Happabore and the arch? I actually much like the sound of both!

quadrijet_transfer
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Perhaps one of the most interesting set names is the Rebel hangar. ok, the name isn’t interesting but I’d wager the contents are pretty cool  I see this going one of two ways. 

1.)  Rebel Hangar (On Yavin) – Similar to how Lego sold Super Heros sets with all the Suicide Squad characters without actually putting ‘Suicide Squad’ on the box, this kit could be a tie-in across between Rogue One and the Original Trilogy regardless of whether or not Rogue One appears on the box. A good Yavin base would have the temple hangar and high-rising scout towers/defensive turrets and some lush green scenery. I suspect Mon Mothma may make an appearance in this base. She isn’t in Episode IV, but she is in Rogue One and a high-ranking rebel leader, so including her still makes sense. Besides that, the base may include a relatively small ship like an A-Wing as well as maintenance crews with tools and small vehicles, probably some crates and the like as well. So for figures, I’d suspect Mon Mothma, some classic Episode IV Rebel troopers, a couple stormtroopers, and possibly Luke Skywalker in his orange pilot suit. I’m having trouble coming up with a main villain for this one, so I’d say an Imperial Officer isn’t unlikely either.

2. ) Rebel Hangar (Home One) – I missed out on this set as a kid and adult me still wants one. Home One is the Mon Calamari cruiser from the huge space battle at the end of Episode VI. The original set included Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar, and Lando Calrissian in his general’s getup. I see a strong possibility that if this set was rereleased, not much would change. The control room of the cruiser sits adjacent to a hangar with an A-Wing and includes a trans-orange globe representing the hologram of the attack plan on the second Death Star. General Crix Madine, a Mon Calamari Officer, and an A-Wing pilot were also included in the set. While maybe not the prettiest set (the control bridge is great, but the hangar is pretty bare in my opinion) I’d love to see an update for this one.

89b

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t remember who the Guavian Death Gang was in Episode VII, but I bet if I told you they were the red guys with “Tell that to Kanjklub guy” Bala Tik you’d remember the scene. This is an interesting, somewhat unexpected rumor for me. I do hope it’s true though. The first Episode VII Black Series figure I purchased was one of these guys, and I have a love for bounty hunters and all-around weird mercenary characters. These red-armored, heavily-armed mercs look great in the Lego Force Awakens game and would look great in any Star Wars MOC. Speculation is that the set is actually the Eravana, Han Solo’s freighter from Episode VII. Unless it is somehow magically to scale and can fit a Millenium Falcon inside it, I’m not terribly excited. Okay, so of course I’m kidding – it will probably include a smaller Falcon to recreate that shot. Most likely the set will also include a Rathtar to reenact the comical monster chase that happens after Han Solo tries to simultaneously negotiate with the Kanjiklub and Guavian Death Gang. It will most likely also include Rey, Finn, and/or BB-8 since that’s all the characters in that scene. Bala Tik may appear as well as Tasu Leech, though that is somewhat unlikely since he is so minor and already in the newest Falcon set. And back to battle packs for a moment – what if one of them is the gang members from both Kanjiklub and the Guavians? Space scum and villainy might make a good battle pack!

I’m going to skip ahead here to this article doesn’t end on something I know nothing about. I don’t watch the Freemaker Adventures (I just haven’t checked it out) so I’m not going to speculate on what those two sets are. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the shows, but have heard that there are plenty of enjoyable side characters that people would enjoy seeing in future sets.

Anyway, back to the hype train. Up next is the Imperial Hovertank. We’ve already received a set with this same name for Rogue One, so I’m wondering if the name is a stand in. I’m going to throw it out there that if this rumored name is genuine, it’s an Imperial version of this set, similar to how the V-Wing Starfighter had Republic and Imperial variations.7679_republic_fighter_tank

Three figures is about standard for a set at this price point (albeit the Republic Hovertank only had two.) Just venturing a guess, it would come with two to three stormtroopers, one of which possibly being a driver similar to the Rogue One hovertank driver (though I doubt this will be another Rogue One set.) I missed out on this one the first time around, but since my collection is largely Original Trilogy-centric, I’d love to have an Imperial version of this classic tank.

Darth Vader transformation is another surprise to me. I didn’t think it would appear again outside of the Epiode III wave from back in 2005. Another $30 set, this would be a wonderfully cheap way to obtain an updated Darth Vader with his two -piece helmet, new cape, and updated leg and torso printing. Most likely it would also come with the Emperor and a gravely-injured Anakin Skywalker. The Emperor will probably not get an updated appearance in such a small set (looking at you, post-UCS Boba Fett sets) but it will be great to get the medical droids and the Frankenstein-esque lab table. First impressions of this set have been comparing it to the scale of the Carbon Freezing Chamber, and I’d say that’s a fair comparison to make. It’s nice to see Lego throwing some scenery into these kits for a change, too.

Last but not least, the advent calendar. We’ve seen exclusive holiday variations on Darth Maul, Yoda, Jango Fett, R2-D2 and C-3P0, Darth Vader, a clone trooper, and Chewbacca. (I went from memory there, let me know if I missed any) Who will be in the holiday special this year? We can count on the usual variation of troops that happen to feature snow gear, usually one Imperial snowtrooper and one rebel trooper, but I’m always more excited for the other oddballs that make it in, sometimes as exclusives from other sets or background characters with elaborate backstories. For the holiday figure, I would suspect Emperor Palpatine (because he’d go nicely with Vader), but it could be anything from Boba Fett to an Ewok to fat old Captain Rex in a Santa suit. Only time will tell, and as always, you have to pick these up in the summer when they come out to make sure you get yours. Is it just me, or do they always seem limited?

That’s it for my speculation on this list! All in all I think we have a lot to look forward to, judging by this and other leaks I’ve come across. On a side note, I will comply with Lego if they request this to be taken down. They’ve requested to have leaked info taken down before and they have every right to do that. I didn’t find this information myself so I’m just the messenger here.

That being said, I hope you enjoyed the article, and thank you for reading this far! If you liked the article, let me know in the comments, and join the speculation with me if you want!

-David

Watch “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer #2 (Official)” on YouTube

It’s here! Watch it over and over again because it’s even better than the first trailer. Jyn’s dad gets dialog. Saw Guerarra gets new dialog. And the whole thing has a great atmosphere about it. Less than seventy or so days to go. I’m ready!

Watch “New Rogue One Poster and Trailer Details, Marvel Comic News, and Sam Witwer | The Star Wars Show” on YouTube

New trailer date confirmed!! It’s coming tomorrow morning. I’m not a morning person but new Star Wars news always helps!

Kit-Bashed Kyle

“I’m no Jedi; I’m just a guy with a lightsaber and a few questions.”

My favorite part of building as far as Lego Star Wars goes is building characters that Lego doesn’t officially make, but working within the limits of pieces Lego actually produces. It’s like a puzzle, finding the piece in the right color or printing, finding the right hair, helmet, or weapon to make the perfect vision of your favorite characters. Whether you call it kit-bashing, making a purist custom, or simply part of your MOC (Lego-speak for ‘my own creation’) I can’t leave a toy store without ideas for new characters. So it seemed fitting to make my first posts about custom Lego figures based on one of the first characters I wanted to build; Kyle Katarn from the Star Wars Dark Forces, Jedi Knight, and Jedi Academy video games.

mediumstyle
Image credit: Lucasarts (found on Wookiepredia)

Kyl Katarn has worn many hats, so to speak. He defected from the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps (traitor!) and went solo, eventually becoming a mercenary and smuggler before eventually following the ways of the Jedi. I don’t want to spoil too many of his stories because there are so many and they’re all pretty good. I would highly recommend Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. Not only are they two of the best, most fun Star Wars games I’ve ever played, they’re two of the best video games I’ve played overall. The lightsaber combat system has never been topped by another game, and until virtual reality tech is perfected, it probably won’t be bested for a while still.

So rather than ramble on about one of my favorite Star Wars characters, I took some pictures of little Kyle in action and tried to inject some humor into his story (not that he needs me to do that; Kyle has a very dry, sometimes cynical sense of humor)

20161010_160223
Kyle and his good friend, fellow smuggler Jan Ors. Kyle has been an ongoing project, using the torso from an old Anakin Skywalker, brown pants and hands, and the head piece of a character from the Lake Town Chase set from The Hobbit. Here he is pictured with his blue lightsaber and faithful Bryar blaster pistol. I’m not 100% satisfied with how Jan turned out, but part of the fun is redoing these figures over time. Jan has Rey’s face, a Battlefront Rebel trooper body modified with white arms, and long black hair.
20161010_161750
He was known to get himself into situations where the odds were overwhelmingly against his favor. . .
20161010_160609
. . .but he was just as well-known for lugging around several blasters and other weapons at once. He’s armed and dangerous at all times, always trying to stay one step ahead of the Imperial Remnant (Post-Return of the Jedi in the Legends/Expanded Universe of Star Wars)
20161010_161248
Kyle was strong in the Force and skilled with a lightsaber. . .
20161010_160802
. . .and he battled his own dark side as often as he battled the dark side itself.
20161010_160257
Luke Skywalker, who might know a thing or two about the dark side, helped Kyle through his dark times and helped him become a great Jedi. Together, they trained new Jedi at Luke’s new academy.
20161010_161509
A survivor of trial after trial, Kyle Katarn was an influence on writers of new Star Wars canon material. Kanan Jarus in particular is similar, insomuch as having a troubled past and bouncing from place to place before returning to the Jedi ways. Both characters also have a tendency to block out important people in their lives at times, closing themselves off in attempts to stave new painful experiences. I would love to see Kyle become canon someday! It may not be likely, but with Thrawn becoming canon recently, you can’t rule out a character as well-known and loved as Kyle Katarn! (Note: I’m excited for Rogue One but I can’t help but be a little upset that it will be overwriting Kyle’s first story where he steals the Death Star plans)

Thank you for checking out my custom figures! Let me know if you like this format as I’d like to branch out into doing Lego Star Wars stories (almost like a webcomic) in the future. If you liked the post or have any ides you’d like to see in the future, leave me a comment or visit the contact page. I would love to hear your feedback!

-David

Black Thursday Strikes Back

The Force works in mysterious ways. It binds us, penetrates us, and makes us stress shop. During my technical difficulties yesterday, I stopped by Wal-Mart to see if anything was left in the Star Wars section after Rogue Friday. As luck would have it, I found two more Black Series figures from my wishlist! Check out this special addendum to my previous review with two more figures, Jango Fett and Kanan Jarrus.

Anyone who knows me knows I love Mandalorians almost as much as I love the Empire and finding the last toys on the pegs at the store. Both Jango and Kanan were the last figures I could find at the store, and I have a huge weakness for buying the last thing I can find of anything related to Star Wars. I know I’ll either never see it again (until the price is likely jacked up on Amazon) or I’ll see dozen of them in two months. But I never know which one it’ll be, so buying the last ones usually gets the best of me.

Jango Fett (Attack of the Clones)  is a wonderful figure. He’s heavy with all of his well-detailed armor. The removable helmet isn’t flimsy. The jetpack has three placement pegs to keep the jetpack in place and level. The pistols are also more durable than I expected, which is something I appreciate because sometimes the weapons with these figures can be bent or just downright flimsy and fragile. There’s plenty of detail to take in; dirt and grime in the armor, tarnish marks, the knee-mounted dart launchers, and a nice dent from when he hits his head on Slave One’s loading ramp door in Episode 2. The head mold also looks pretty good. He’s missing the actor’s stubble, but maybe this is just Jango looking a little more cleaned up than normal. The figure looks and feels so right in every other regard that this one detail gets a pass for me, especially since I probably won’t remove the helmet terribly often.

Onto Kanan from Star Wars: Rebels, this is another example of Hasbro stepping it up with the quality of these figures. Taking an animated character and making him look ‘real’ is no simple task, and it was pulled off very well with this figure. All the details are there, from his shoulder armor down to his lightsaber that actually dissasembles the way it does on the Rebels show. The blade is removable, and then the hilt of the lightsaber can be stashed away in two pieces on the frontand back of his belt. Kanan also includes his signature blaster pistol that fits into a hip holster. Out of the few heroes in my Black Series collection, this is definitely a new favorite!

All in all, I love these figures and love that I was able to find them even more! I’m old school when it comes to buying things. I like to hold it in my hands first before I take it to the register. That is especially true with these toys, as their can be flaws such as bad paint and flimsy or bent weapons to deal with. But the other reason I don’t buy many of these online is something I often compare to the philosophy of Batman. Batman never kills the Joker, even though it could save lives every time the Joker escapes imprisonment. He can’t kill the Joker because if he let’s that violent part of him see the light of day, he will never stop, and he would destroy every last one of his enemies and become just as bad as them. My fandom isn’t so dramatic, but it boils down to the fact that if I buy one thing on the internet, I will soon BUY ALL OF THE THINGS.

Go find your toys! Love and support the fandom!

-David

 

Thanks for reading this! If you enjoyed what you read (or even if you hated it, to each their own) let me know in the comments section! Leave a like if you are so inclined and subscribe to get notified every time I post something about my love for Star Wars. If you have an idea for something you’d like to see, let me know in the comments and I might make a post about it!