Being a massive fan of Star Wars, it's been a real privilege to have deepened my personal connection to it over the years, something that has been an unexpected benefit of running this website. I've been able to work on some projects spun from various licenses; had my own home movies used in Target's promotional commercials leading up to the release of The Force Awakens; and I was able to take part in the Global Media Event for that very film - the first-ever Star Wars film to be released under Disney's ownership of Lucasfilm. That said, there is one big connection that I do not have, and one that I've been asked about more times than I can remember - and it's gone back to the early 1990s. No, I am not related to Star Wars author Timothy Zahn, creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn. In fact, we'd never actually met until he made an appearance at Count-I-Con in Lake County, Illinois last year. To make it completely official, he signed a copy of his Heir to the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition hardcover to our entire family with "no relation" tacked on the end. So why bring this up now? At Star Wars Celebration Orlando, there was a whole lot of Grand Admiral Thrawn action happening, and you're going to be seeing a lot more of the blue-faced Imperial in the months ahead.
Since the official announcement earlier this week, interest has been building in what I believe is a truly monumental event for Star Wars fandom - the launch of Star Wars Forces of Destiny. In fact, with so much information rolling out, I've added to my popular Star Wars Checklists, with the complete Star Wars Forces of Destiny Toy Checklist, which will be updated as new information arrives. This afternoon, fans at Star Wars Celebration Orlando were treated to a HEROINES OF STAR WARS + FORCES OF DESTINY Panel, moderated by Amy Ratcliffe (host of “Lattes with Leia” podcast). What followed was a conversation about strong female characters central to the Star Wars universe and how they have inspired generations of fans; panelists included: Dave Filioni (executive producer Star Wars Rebels), Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka Tano”), Tiya Sircar (“Sabine Wren”) and surprise guest Daisy Ridley (“Rey”). The three actresses were surprised on stage with the reveal of their new Adventure Figures by Hasbro from the just-announced Star Wars Forces of Destiny. As part of the reveal, fans were treated to a sneak peek at the first animated Forces of Destiny short, which will launch on Disney YouTube in July 2017. If you missed the panel, you can catch it on the archived live stream at the 53:35 mark, or in the player below.
Officially announced at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration Orlando, Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a new, multi-faceted movement featuring an original series of animated shorts (each 2-3 minutes in length) that will explore exciting, all-new adventures of key characters in the Star Wars Saga, including Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and others. The stories will also be supported by a line of toys from Hasbro, including new ‘Adventure Figures’ – a fusion between traditional dolls and action figures, creating a whole new way to play Star Wars. Additionally, there will be other extensions of the line including bedding, apparel, books and more. Having two daughters, our family is very excited for the Forces of Destiny, and early reaction shows that many of you are too! With that in mind, The Rock Father is pleased to present the Star Wars Forces of Destiny Checklist. Here you'll find a list of current, upcoming and rumored toys from Hasbro, plus information on series episodes and other products as I have it. Products from Star Wars Forces of Destiny will be available for sale beginning August 1, 2017. Additional characters will hit stores this Fall, with more scheduled for 2018.
There was some buzz awhile back that Star Wars: Episode VIII would be called "Forces of Destiny," after some astute internet sleuths dug up some fairly recent trademark registrations on that name. After the announcement came for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a few folks were left scratching their heads, but now it's all revealed! STAR WARS: FORCES OF DESTINY was just announced by Disney and Lucasfilm as "a new initiative celebrating the inspiring stories of iconic heroes from across the Star Wars universe." The movement features "an original series of animated shorts (each 2-3 minutes in length) that will explore exciting, all new adventures of key characters including Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and others, ahead of books and a TV special later in the year. The stories will also be supported by a line of toys from Hasbro, including new ‘Adventure Figures’ – a fusion between traditional dolls and action figures, creating a whole new way to play Star Wars." Check out an early preview and the full announcement below!
Spring is a great time for new toys, and as parents and kids are hitting the stores looking for the latest offerings from their favorite characters, right now you can find some fresh gear from Equestria. Perfect for Easter Baskets and imaginative play comes thew new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Rarity Fashion Runway Playset from Hasbro. With the seventh season of the hit series kicking-off on Discovery Family, plus My Little Pony: The Movie on the way, The Rock Father™ and Hasbro are going to spread some magic by getting two (2) lucky readers hooked-up with playsets of their own! It's a playset we have here at HQ, and my youngest daughter loves it!
It's always a weird thing with Star Wars - the tendency to read too much into things, but aside from decades of separation and the 40th Anniversary of the franchise, I have to wonder if there's a connection between the two big Hasbro reveals today. Just hours after unveiling details on their Star Wars The Black Series Rey and Speeder (see it here), now comes news of The Black Series X-34 Landspeeder and 6-Inch Luke Skywalker figure. On display at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, this new set will be at retail this fall, with a suggested retail price of $59.99. See more below...