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The Sci-Fi Cast was a podcast that featured, at various times, Dave Caolo, Ged Meheux, Jen Segrest and Krystyn Heide. After four independent seasons, the show moved to the 70 Decibels Network, which published another 18 episodes. Alas, the podcast is no longer in production. You can browse the archives here and here. Today, the blog is maintained by original member Dave Caolo. Thanks for reading, listening and getting in touch. Onward!

Today’s Feature: Is Ahsoka Tano doomed? >>

Star Wars meets School House Rock

Hey! Cool! Wow!

Boba Fett mixer

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He’s no good to me creamed.

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Doomed from the start

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I’ve spent the last few weeks introducing my kids to Star Wars. Doing so has reinforced my own fandom, and prompted me to finally watch the Clone Wars movie. I feel odd about it, and that’s because almost everyone is doomed.

Most of the good guys are destined to become bad guys. Anakin becomes Darth Vader. Vader kills Obi-Wan. The clone troopers become the Stormtroopers. Padme Amidala dies during childbirth. Yoda dies. Meanwhile the bad guys stay bad guys. The bad droids stay bad, as does Dooku, Sidious, General Grievous, the bounty hunters and so on.

A pall of fatalism hangs over the series, as we know heroes like Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin are doomed. Especially Ahsoka Tano. Poor Ahsoka. Anakin’s padawan is a dead woman walking. She doesn’t appear in any other movie, nor is she even mentioned. From the moment I saw her, I knew something bad would happen to her. She’ll either die, turn to the Dark Side or go into exile, never to be heard from again.

The question becomes, does Disney have the nerve to pull it off? I’ve heard that the show isn’t listed on Cartoon Network’s roster for next season. Perhaps Disney will add it to Disney XD. Either way, the show is wrapping up and its writers have to deal with Ahsoka.

I’ll keep watching the series as I’ve heard it gets better in the later seasons. But it’s hard to get into a story when you’ve already read the last chapter.

Inside Kenner’s original Star Wars toy factory

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Star Wars fan and Flickr user Darth Ray has posted some amazing photos of vintage Kenner Star Wars toys and well as images from inside the Kenner factory that built them. I especially like the photo above, which shows workers how to assemble the Millennium Falcon. Click here to see the rest, including promo images of some seriously happy kids.

[Via Nothing Major]

TARDIS Fez

TardisFez

Tell me you don’t want to see Martha Jones in this awesome TARDIS fez. Of course you do.

Star Wars baby mobile is greatest thing ever

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The Force is strong with Sheep Creek Needlecraft, the Etsy store behind this gorgeous, Star Wars-themed baby’s mobile. I almost want to have another child, just so I can buy this. Well, almost.

Doctor Who Dalek designer Ray Cusick dies

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Ray Cusick, the BBC designer who created the Daleks, has died following a short illness. He was 84. BBC News has the sad story.

“The Daleks became the iconic villains in cult science fiction series Doctor Who, which is due to mark its 50th anniversary with events this year. Mr Cusick, from Horsham, West Sussex, leaves two daughters and seven grandchildren, his family said.”

The Daleks have frightened generations of fans for fifty years, and remain one of the most recognizable sci-fi villains. Thank you, Mr. Cusick. May your creation entertain fans for many years to come.

A Star Wars park at Disney

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Just before Christmas 2012, Mickey Mouse bought an exciting gift for his parent, The Walt Disney Company. And it only cost $4.06 billion. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm Ltd. lock, stock and two smoking blaster barrels, I believe it’s time for the company to open a full-on Star Wars park at one of its resorts.

Star Wars has had a presence at Disney parks for years, and Disney recently opened two major additions to Walt Disney World and Disney Land, in the form of Fantasy Land and Cars Land, respectively. Plus, the company has at least five new Star Wars movies in active development – three sequels and two spin-offs – to be released over the next few years. The time is right.

Finally, the grand success of Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter provides a model of what a full-scale Star Wars park could be.

Existing Star Wars Attractions

Disney has a smattering of Star Wars-themed attractions and events in place. They’re all well done, and demonstrate the company’s desire to appeal to Star Wars fans. Now that it owns the properties outright – and has several big-budget movies pending – it’s time to make the jump to light speed. Here’s what’s in place so far.

Walt Disney World’s Star Tours attraction opened on April 12, 1992, shut down on August 14, 2010 and re-opened with a new experience for visitors on May 20, 2011 (The Disneyland attraction was also revamped). Disney states that the ride features 50 possible story combinations, which are chosen randomly for visitors to enjoy.

younglings

Walt Disney World’s Jedi Training Academy lets young padawans experience a 20-minute adventure in learning the ways of the Force. A lucky participant may even have a chance to confront Lord Vader himself (or kneel in reverent submission, if that’s her choice. All too easy.)

Star Wars Weekends is an annual event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park that’s a lot of fun. There are special activities, meet-and-greets, character appearances and a lot more. Star Wars Weekends attract huge numbers of visitors.

You’re A Jedi, Harry!

Meanwhile, the Force is strong with young Potter. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure resort. I’ve been twice, and I can tell you it’s extremely well done. Much like Walt Disney World, Islands of Adventure features several parks, each with its own theme. There’s Dr. Seuess, Jurassic Park, Marvel Super Heroes, Toon Lagoon and of course, Harry Potter.

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It isn’t very big, but packs in a lot for Potter fans. The main thoroughfare resembles Hogsmeade, and features familiar stops like Honeyduke’s candy store, the Owl Post, The Three Broomsticks, The Boar’s Head and more. The effect of walking among the shingled buildings with their pointed, snow-capped roofs as John Williams’ themes are piped into the air is, well…bewitching.

Standout attractions include Mr. Olivander’s shop, in which a costumed actor re-enacts a scene from the first movie with a lucky patron; Flight of the Hippogryph, a mid-level roller coaster that even young witches and wizards will enjoy; and Dragon Challenge, a pair of edge-of-your seat coasters that test your mettle.

But the big daddy is deep within the Hogwarts castle. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is hands-down the best amusement park ride I’ve ever experienced. The castle itself is an elaborate, interactive queue (something Disney is getting better and better at) that features character interaction and events/props from the film to find and experience. Once inside, the ride is a heart-pounding adventure through many of the saga’s most exciting moments.

An Immersive Star Wars Experience

mickeyandvader

I mention the Potter park this because it suggests exactly what a Star Wars-themed Disney park could be. There’s so much story to choose from. Imagine strolling through Mos Eisley and coming across Watto’s shop. Eat at the Cantina or find the perfect lightsaber. I imagine main attractions like an X-Wing or TIE Fighter coaster, or maybe a podrace. There could be character interaction, of course. Young visitors could climb around the Ewok village, while others test their skill at the Landspeeder testing grounds.

Disney’s success with Pixar spawned the fantastic Cars Land. Universal hit the quaffle out of the pitch with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now it’s time for imagineers to turn their attention to the new acquisition and work some magic. A new Star Wars park would be awesome. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

Full of Sith

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I’ve discovered a new Star Wars-themed podcast that I love: Full of Sith. It’s hosted by Tha Mike Pilot, Bryan Young, and Consetta Parker. The gang shares Star Wars news but also engages in thoughtful, insightful discussion about being a fan, the philosophies of Star Wars and everything a dedicated fan appreciates. On a recent road trip I listened to three episodes in a row, as I was enjoying it so much.

It’s great fun to listen in on a conversation between fans who love the story of Star Wars as much as I do. Check it out.

I wonder if they need a guest some week…

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