SWCC 2019: 6 Surprises from Inside the Mos Eisley Cantina


Mos Eisley cantina expert/effects artist/Regal Robot founder Tom Spina returned to Star Wars Celebration for another installment of his in-depth cantina history panels. “The cool thing about Star Wars is that there’s always more to discover,” Spina explained. He joined stage host Amy Ratcliffe to unveil some rare trivia and even add a small (but important!) addition to the Star Wars lexicon. 

Left: an alien froma commercial. Right: The alien he would become, Greedo

1. Greedo’s alter ego. The most famous Rodian of them all began his life in a slightly different form. That’s Greedo on the left in his earliest form appearing in an advertisement for Birds Eye Peas in the United Kingdom. Makeup artist Stuart Freeborn and his team created this “pea-pod alien” for that commercial production, and recycled the character’s shell and eyes for their later work on Star Wars, adding skin (warts and all) and antennae. Sadly, this commercial has yet to be discovered.

Who will shoot first? Han and Greedo in the cantina.

2. Han shot through… Of course, poor Greedo’s fate is known well to us all. But perhaps we’ve been so preoccupied with the order of fire in that fateful confrontation that we’ve missed the fact that Han Solo actually shoots Greedo straight through the table. A stunt dummy was used for the close-up of the blaster explosion portraying Greedo’s untimely end.

Luke with the cantina barkeep.

3. “Not Usual Looking People.” Meet Ted Burnett. You might know him as Wuher, or simply the bartender of the cantina, with a particular distaste for droids. Burnett was recruited from the so-called “Ugly Agency” in the United Kingdom. The cantina’s unusual denizens weren’t limited to alien species. The actor himself later made his way into a 1985 music video by Godly and Creme.

As an aside, Spina also mentioned that the bartender himself sports an upside keyboard behind the bar! Perhaps for inputting recipes?

4. Not everyone wore a mask. Ted Burnett wasn’t the only unusual actor hired to populate the cantina. The late Salo Gardner was another human extra roaming the background. Spina uncovered Gardner’s talent file where Stuart Freeborn scribbled a note to remember his conspicuous ears. Gardner returned to the galaxy far, far away playing Trinto Duaba in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, another cantina patron that Garnder was sometimes confused for playing in the original film.

The Mos Eisley cantina, with a crocodile head visible on the wall.

The Mos Eisley cantina, with a crocodile head visible on the wall.

5. Is that a crocodile? No you’re not seeing things. Apparently, the cantina proprietors collected trophies from our own planet. That’s a gharial, or fish-eating crocodile, which inhabit India. And there it is in Star Wars. But it doesn’t end there. The cantina’s walls also sported a sort of large cat skull along with a mysterious decoration whose own identity has eluded Spina. He seems to think it’s a fish, or “space fish,” if you will.

6. A new addition to the Star Wars galaxy. The Gotal species — sometimes known simply as “goats” — are well known to many fans even beyond the cantina sequence. In a rare production photograph, Spina uncovered a Gotal character that had never been separately identified. It was decided that this alien would be named in tribute to a lucky fan in attendance at the panel.

Leland Chee — Lucasfilm’s Keeper of the Holocron — made a special appearance to craft an original name inspired by the fan’s name. That winner turned out to be Kenneth Haynie, a name which Chee quickly morphed into the one and only “Hennet Kayn,” now officially recognized as a denizen of the Mos Eisley cantina. Welcome to the galaxy far, far away, Hennet Kayn!

Visit StarWars.com’s Star Wars Celebration Chicago hub for all the latest Celebration news.

Lucas O. Seastrom is a publicity writer at Lucasfilm. He grew up on a farm in California’s Central Valley and is a lifelong Star Wars and Indiana Jones fan.

Site tags: #SWCCPanel, #StarWarsCelebrationChicago2019

SWCC 2019: 6 Surprises from Inside the Mos Eisley Cantina

Author E.K. Johnston’s 6 Favorite Padmé Moments


Whether forging an alliance with the Gungans, spying for the Jedi Council, or standing up to the entire Galactic Senate, Padmé Amidala, devoted to her civic duty from the young age of 14 when she was elected as Queen of Naboo, often proves she’s a courageous leader who isn’t afraid to take part in even more aggressive negotiations.

In writing her latest book, Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow, author E.K. Johnston had the chance to explore a previously unexamined period in the character’s life. The story is set in the time between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, with a special focus on Padmé and her handmaidens as she transitioned from noble teenage queen to formidable senator from Naboo. When Johnston recently paid a visit to the Lucasfilm headquarters, we asked her to name her personal fan-favorite moments that spotlight Padmé, her forbidden relationship with Anakin Skywalker, and her ingenuity in handling almost any situation that comes her way.

Full disclosure: “Most of Padmé is my favorite Padmé moment,” Johnston says. But here are her top six picks.

1. “We are brave, your highness.” An invasion by the Trade Federation put Padmé and her handmaidens in a dilemma in The Phantom Menace: The queen could stay on Naboo and risk annihilation or flee to Coruscant and attempt to plead for her people before the senate. Either choice was dangerous. And to make matters worse, Sabé had to make the call, dressed as the queen’s decoy. “My favorite possible moment in film is ‘We are brave, your highness,’” Johnston says. “I just love that so much. She has to say, ‘We need to leave this planet’ without actually saying the words. Qui-Gon has probably figured it out by that point, but they’re all agreeing to pretend that he hasn’t so they kind of just have this wonderful moment of synergy. All of them, these girls who are teenagers and running a planet. I just love everything about that.”

Padme takes the Theed palace by force.

2. The long way around. “Just from a pure character moment, during the battle of Naboo when the door opens and Darth Maul is there and she’s just like, ‘We’ll go around,’” Johnston says, laughing. “They just go around and leave the Jedi behind. I love that.”

3. An awkward reunion. “Padmé has one of the best filmed ‘Oh no, he’s hot’ moments in the history of  film,” she says. “There’s this moment in Attack of the Clones where she visibly looks into his face and then says the worst possible thing imaginable in front of  both of their bosses — not just his boss, both of their bosses! Which is essentially ‘Oh little Ani, you’ve grown up.’ And he’s like, I’m gonna die now, this is the worst possible outcome that could happen.” That authenticity is what makes the exchange one of Johnston’s favorites. “I think it’s fantastic because you have this girl who’s really good at talking to people, but not in a personal way. And then you have Anakin, who doesn’t talk to anybody except for Obi-Wan, who is a terrible role model for that sort of thing. I just love that moment where she totally takes the wind out of his sails and you can just imagine he’s been waiting to see her for 10 years. He’s so excited and she says the worst possible thing and then they have to spend time together, which is hilarious.”

4. Basically everything about the lake house retreat. Although the awkward flirting surrounding Anakin’s feelings about sand is Johnston’s favorite moment from this part of Padmé and Anakin’s time together, she’s an unabashed fan of the entire sequence. “Basically everything that happens at the lake house. It’s so pretty and it’s the most relaxed she ever gets to be even though she’s still super awkward around boys. Padmé and Anakin have the most amazing have-never-tried-to-flirt-with-anyone dialogue ever!”

For example, Anakin’s musings on sand. “It’s awkward flirting by a teenage boy who’s trying very hard to say the right thing but has never had the opportunity to say the right thing so he’s very bad at it,” Johnston says. “He has no idea what he’s doing. I like the idea that they really do like each other a lot and they have several really good connections but they  haven’t spent enough time with each other to sort of unpack the differences in the way they grew up, which even throughout the Clone Wars is a pretty big stumbling block. I really like that aspect of their relationship and it’s all in that one conversation. Sand is terrible and it’s this wonderful example of the class difference between them because for her sand is the beach and a holiday. For him, sand is a reminder that he grew up owned.”

Padme and Panaka in the decoy maneuver.

5. The dream team of Padmé and Panaka. There’s a moment towards the end of The Phantom Menace, “when they’re having their standoff in the throne room and Sabé comes in and all the Neimoidians turn around,” Johnston says. “And without talking about it, Padmé and Panaka both go for the guns in the throne. I love that moment. The whole reason the decoy maneuver exists is distilled into that moment and it’s perfect.”

The cover for Star Wars: Queen's Shadow.

6. Johnston’s own decoy scene in Queen’s Shadow. “There is a scene in the book where they have to switch places and it’s at a party and it has to be Padmé on the way in because she has to pass the facial scanner. Then they have to switch to Sabé at the party so that Padmé can go and see something that she has to see with her own eyes. She has to read body language,” Johnston says. “And while she is up in a tree spying on some people, she realizes she has to get back downstairs and back into the queen’s outfit immediately. The whole scene from there until the end when she trips over Bail Organa is my favorite part of the book.”

In fact, Johnston spent a lot of time considering the logistics of Padmé’s sprawling wardrobe as she was writing. “I basically built the whole book around her wardrobe and the developments that Dormé makes to it when she takes over. Not only did they have to change it aesthetically to make her look more like a senator and less like a queen, but it has to be a little bit less formal. With her queen stuff, there’s a physical difference; you can’t get close to her because her skirt goes out too far. And so her senator outfits have to be more accessible. She has to make friends and so I did think a lot about he actual mechanics of her wardrobe and what stuff is made of and how things function. A lot of it is at the very least fireproof and sort of reinforced for blaster fire,” Johnston says, including dresses with trap doors for ease of escape, fancy-looking shoes that are ready to run in, and multifunctional jewelry. “She has hair pins that are lock picks in Attack of the Clones, so I basically just took that and wrote a book about it. Anything that anyone has ever made fun of a girl for doing is exploited by the handmaidens because they are small and they disappear. They’re really good with fabric and blasters and all that. So it was fun to take all those things that are super girly and make them 1) super important to the plot and 2) very, very useful without taking away any of their prettiness, which was also deeply important to me.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Author E.K. Johnston’s 6 Favorite Padmé Moments

Designing Star Wars: Star Wars Resistance


The look of Star Wars is unlike anything else in popular culture. Step back in time to explore the history and philosophy behind the concepts that define the galaxy far, far away in Designing Star Wars.

In Star Wars, nothing’s ever really gone. More than 40 years after the first film, creators routinely go back to those earliest drawing boards for inspiration. And oftentimes, among the stacks of unused concept art and sketches, they find models and muses for the next generation of Star Wars storytelling.

In creating the new anime-inspired look of Star Wars Resistance, Art Director Amy Beth Christenson turned a forgotten Ewok ancestor into a bird-like business partner, resurrected an impossible droid, and kitbashed pieces of some of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy into something new and unique. “We have a tradition of going back and looking at what didn’t make it,” Christenson says, scouring through the old Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and Nilo Rodis-Jamero concepts.

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Concept art by Amy Beth Christenson


BB-8 was already a big-screen star when Christenson and her team were designing the look of Resistance. But to translate Poe Dameron’s beloved droid into animation, she consulted early concept art for the roly-poly astromech’s debut in The Force Awakens.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Christian Alzmann

The idea was to reimagine BB-8 in the anime-inspired style, a slightly rounder, “stylized and squat version of himself.” The redesign was also a conscious effort to differentiate the animated version from his live-action counterpart but retain the spirit of the feisty little droid.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Christian Alzmann

“There’s a level of simplifying that went with it, as well,” Christenson says. The animated BB-8  has just one antenna and “you don’t see the red light in the lens.” But she was meticulous about maintaining the details on the individual plates around the roundy’s body.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Jake Lunt Davies, above, created for The Force Awakens, is shown alongside the final concept of BB-8, below, by Amy Beth Christenson for Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance
Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

“I think the biggest thing was the eye size. The second I started going through the images of the concept art, that was pretty consistent,” Christenson adds. “BB-8 has a pretty small head in proportion to his body but he needs to be up there [on Resistance] acting with all these other animated characters.”

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Lighting concept by Molly Denmark


Although he’s claimed he’s part Gungan, Flix actually shares some lineage with the Ewoks of the forest moon of Endor. Well, sort of.

Before the showrunners met to settle on plot points, Christenson and her team had drafted pages and pages of character designs for background vendors, mechanics, and racing fans. “Flix and Orka just happened to be on a page together, next to each other on a lineup,” Christenson says. “When (Dave) Filoni saw them together he was like, ‘Those are our acquisitions guys. Don’t change anything about it. That’s them.’ Just the contrast between body types of Flix and Orka, worked really well together.”

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Nilo Rodis-Jamero

In designing Flix, Christenson used two pieces of original Ewok concept art to inspire Orka’s long-legged partner. One was little more than a fuzzy scrawl, a rough idea of a lithe alien in goggles next to what would later become the design for the Yuzzum species.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie

A second discarded Ewok design helped focus the idea, with a beaky nose and beady eyes poking out from fuzzy, feathery tufts of fur. “What if I ended up making this a space chicken?” Christenson thought.

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Concept art by J.P. Balmet

“So that’s what I did. There wasn’t really any big ‘A-ha!’ moment. I started drawing it and it sort of came together, the idea of this super simple egg shape with big eyes, a little beak, little antennae, and long legs. Super goofy.”

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Hype’s droid

To create ace pilot Hype Fazon’s astromech R4-G77, a technological marvel unlike any other droid seen before it, Christenson took a page from original trilogy designer Joe Johnston’s sketch book.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.
Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.
Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

One of those first concepts even appeared to float.. That design would have added new challenges for the special effects team working on the film, but proved to be just what the Aces required. “It’s pretty different from anything,” Christenson says. “It did sort of take a visual jump. You don’t really see that much in the other astromechs.”

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Concept art by Colas Gauthier

In-world, Hype’s prestigious racing record has netted him fame and fortune through numerous sponsors, represented in patches decorating his jumpsuit. It stands to reason that the cocky Rodian would also enjoy other trappings of wealth — including a unique, customized droid. “He’d want to stand out. He’d want to be different,” says Christenson. “So looking at that, it sort of just fit.”

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Torra’s racer

To create the fleet of custom racers, Christenson took part in a hallowed Star Wars tradition — ship-building through kitbashing.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.
Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

While the original ship builders and model makers took model rockets and motorcycle kits off the shelves and reimagined the parts as the starfighters and speeders we know today, Christenson looked to those final designs and earlier concept sketches to salvage her own array of parts and pieces for a never-before-seen look.

“Torra’s born with a lot of money and you can kind of tell,” Christenson says. “For her, everything would have been custom built.”

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Lighting concept by Molly Denmark

Concept Art from Star Wars Resistance

Concept art by Amy Beth Christenson

The A-wing informed the design. but the smooth curves and general shape also took into account the character. The precocious young racer would need a custom ride built for speed, so it had to be aerodynamic. It also had to match her individual style. “It sounds kind of silly but her bubbly personality, literally, we tried to get that into everything. Even her droid is a lot more rounded.”

“We always try to design the ship to the personality for the racers,” Christenson adds. For Hype’s green Ace, Christenson started the design with an X-wing cockpit, “although by the time we got to the final Hype cockpit we would have remodeled it.”

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance
Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

For Griff, the character’s background as a former Imperial TIE fighter pilot informed the design. “Maybe back in the day if he’d been some sort of tester for new TIEs, they were always kind of redesigning the TIE,” Christenson surmised. Maybe this was the new next generation of that TIE,” at least at the base level.

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

Lighting concept by Molly Denmark

Rucklin’s speederbike

When it came to a new speederbike design, Christenson used a similar thought process.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Concept art by Nilo Rodis-Jamero

She revived an old design by Nilo Rodis-Jamero from the archives.  The short answer behind what drew her to the sketch: “Awesome design, wanted to use it somewhere,” she says with a smile.

Concept art from Star Wars Resistance
Concept art from Star Wars Resistance

It was also a logical offshoot of the speederbikes the Empire used in Return of the Jedi. “They’re pretty lightweight looking. They’re pretty thin. They break apart easily,” Christenson says. This more substantial design felt like it could withstand the momentum and sudden drops the episode called for. “You haven’t seen anything that beefy before. It felt like you had something that had a lot of engine to it to be able to handle that drop.”

Lighting concept by Molly Denmark

For Torra’s beloved pet, Buggles, Christenson consulted The Wildlife of Star Wars.

Concept art used to inspire Star Wars Resistance.

Sketch by Terryl Whitlatch

The book of galactic flora and fauna includes this sketch by Terryl Whitlatch of a tiny Voorpak family. “The biggest that Terryl drew it was actually dwarf-rabbit sized,” Christenson says, or “teacup-poodle sized.”

In Resistance, the Ace pilot’s pet needed to be more dog-like, so Christenson scaled it up, but the basic premise was largely perfect. “That design was fantastic because it was like half dog, half cat, half rabbit, half spider,” Christenson says.

She also reduced its spindly legs from eight to just six, “kind of just to help save the animators’ sanity, honestly,” she says. “It was twofold: animator sanity and it was too busy to look at. Having those eight legs, especially with Buggles being bigger, you didn’t know what leg was supposed to be what.”

Featured concept art by Christian Alzmann.

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you love most about Star Wars!

Designing Star Wars: Star Wars Resistance

Mission Briefing: Star Wars Resistance Intel to Prepare You for the Season Finale


Fire up those racers! The two-part season finale of Star Wars Resistance kicks off this weekend with “No Escape: Part 1,” the culmination of a mounting storyline set before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you’ve never seen Star Wars Resistance — a series involving spies, pirates, and the occasional giant underwater creature — it’s not too late to jump on board. See below for some key intel that will get you up to speed for what is sure to be a thrilling finale!

The Colossus in Star Wars Resistance.

Castilon and the Colossus

The ocean planet, Castilon, is the setting for Star Wars Resistance, and home to the Colossus refueling station. The Colossus is a rough-and-tumble place, with some of the best racers in the galaxy (dubbed “the Aces”) residing there to protect the remote platform — and to fulfill their need for speed in the process. But the First Order has the Colossus in its sights as part of a larger strategy, and manipulates its way into control of the station.

Kaz and BB-8 are shown in a scene from Star Wars Resistance.

Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono

Kaz is a gifted pilot from Hosnian Prime, recruited by Poe Dameron to spy on the growing threat of the First Order aboard the Colossus. On the Colossus, however, Kaz is like a walking wrecking ball, inadvertently causing mishaps at every turn. Whether he is botching work on the Fireball (which has a tendency to burst into flames), or unintentionally creating trouble for the populace of the Colossus, accidents seem to follow him at every turn. An unlikely spy, Kaz nevertheless uses his accidental tendencies to his advantage, and deduces how the First Order has slowly usurped its way into the station.

After boldly risking his life by sinking the Colossus so that he can notify the Resistance about the First Order occupation, Kaz sets out to rescue his friends and get the First Order off the platform. His evolution from Resistance spy to leader continues to impress.

Team Fireball works on their ship in Star Wars Resistance.

Team Fireball

Through Poe’s contact, Jarek Yeager, Kaz becomes part of Team Fireball, consisting of Yeager (a former rebel), Neeku Vozo, Tam Ryvora, and Yeager’s astromech, Bucket (R1-J5). They function very much like a family unit, with Kaz providing much consternation for the majority of the members. His knack for mechanical mishaps often frustrates Tam, who seems to take things much more seriously than Kaz. Initially, only BB-8 and Yeager are aware of Kaz’s real reason for coming to the Colossus.

Yeager is captures by stormtroopers in Star Wars Resistance.

Jarek Yeager

The transition from grumpy repair shop owner to Resistance hero is one Yeager resisted for quite a while. However, his time in the Rebellion manifests itself as he aids Kaz to get a message out to General Leia Organa. His brave act of turning himself over to the First Order so Kaz can escape shows the heart of a true hero.

Tierny and Tam in Star Wars Resistance.

Tam Ryvora 

A tough and hardworking mechanic on the Colossus platform, Tam has dreams of becoming a pilot and racer. Unlike Kaz, however, she does not hate the First Order or their presence on the station, leaving her conflicted when her friends are accused of being Resistance spies.

Kaz and Neeku at Aunt Z's in Star Wars Resistance.

Neeku Vozo

Neeku is a trustworthy and kind-hearted member of the Colossus community, and an excellent mechanic. He speaks directly and without irony, and has proven to be loyal to his friends.

Commander Pyre speaks with Captain Phasma in Star Wars Resistance.

Commander Pyre

A leader in the First Order, the gold-armored stormtrooper is relentless in his attempt to persuade Captain Doza to turn over the Colossus to the new big bad in the galaxy. Commander Pyre eventually manipulates Doza into doing so, and the station comes under First Order control; unwilling to tolerate any dissent, he is determined to find the Resistance spy, Kaz.

Captain Doza with daughter Torra in Star Wars Resistance.

Captain Doza

Stern and not easily intimidated, Captain Doza runs the Colossus, hoping to keep his daughter Torra and the platform’s citizens safe. After a (staged) pirate kidnapping of his daughter, he acquiesces to the First Order, who save Torra — but then assume control of the station, putting him in a difficult position.

Synara and the pirates in Star Wars Resistance.

Synara San

The pirates have a spy of their own in the form of Synara San. Synara was the lone survivor of a pirate raid, then rescued by Kaz and Poe during a reconnaissance mission, who took her back to the Colossus. While she acted as a spy on the platform, a friendship grew between Synara, Team Fireball, and Kaz, causing conflict within her. The last we saw of Synara, she was present when her pirate crew intercepted Kaz’s distress message.

Torra Doza in her room in Star Wars Resistance.

Torra Doza

Daughter of Captain Doza, Torra has spent much of her young life as an expert racer. She has a taste for adventure, and has shown bravery in helping Kaz in sticky situations.

Kaz and Poe on Station Theta-Black in Star Wars Resistance.

Poe Dameron

Poe’s recruitment of Kaz has turned out to be very beneficial. When the two fly through the Dassal system and discover something has obliterated the sun and cored out entire planets, Poe realizes the stakes are even higher than initially believed. After he informs Leia of this startling turn of events, he and BB-8 head to Jakku for an important mission.

Agent Tierny speaks with Commander Pyre in Star Wars Resistance.

Agent Tierny

An intimidating member of the First Order Security Bureau, Agent Tierny has a knack for getting information from her targets by lulling them into a false sense of security. This belies a laser-like focus of ensuring the First Order will supplant any and all forms of opposition.

What’s next for Team Fireball, the Colossus, and the galaxy? Be sure to watch the first installment of the two-part Star Wars Resistance season finale, “No Escape: Part 1,” this Sunday, March 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel, to find out!

For more on Star Wars Resistance, check out StarWars.com’s episode guides!

Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and is the host and co-creator of Coffee With Kenobi, a podcast that examines Star Wars’ mythology from a place of intelligence and humor.

Mission Briefing: Star Wars Resistance Intel to Prepare You for the Season Finale

Cosplay Command Center, Part 2: Remembering Rebels at Star Wars Celebration Chicago


Cosplay Command Center is a special three-part series connecting cosplayers attending Star Wars Celebration Chicago to resources and expert insights to complete their costumes from Star Wars animation.

It’s been almost a year since we said goodbye to Ezra, Hera, and the rest of the Star Wars Rebels gang with the series finale of the beloved show. But in a few weeks, when fans gather to celebrate the Star Wars saga, we can expect that there will be a few Kanans, Sabines, and other cosplayers roaming Chicago as the Ghost crew.

The show itself was an homage of sorts to the striking works of Ralph McQuarrie, which shaped the look of the original Star Wars film, and classic anime, says Kilian Plunkett, who served as art director for both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.  “The color palette came from Ralph’s work and the clean, simplified shapes came from our admiration for the work of Studio Ghibli. To match what appeared on screen in Rebels, the outfits would be simple and they would generally be more form-fitting than those of the characters in live-action movies.” Think large swathes of flat color. “To take what was on screen and bring it into a real-world feel, compare the stormtrooper armor of Rebels to that of their real-life counterparts,” Plunkett advises. “Outfits will have more details and pouches, buckles, etc. will break silhouette more. Garments like Hera’s flightsuit or Ezra’s tunic would be looser and have more wrinkles and folds.”

Last week, Amy Beth Christenson helped fans achieve their dreams of joining the Aces in Star Wars Resistance, with insights and images to guide cosplayers in their crafty creations ahead of Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Today, Plunkett offers up his own Jedi-like guidance to recreate some of your favorite looks from the final season of Star Wars Rebels.

Hera in A-wing pilot gear

Hera Syndulla

“Hera is an ace pilot, adept at flying everything from a bulky cruiser like the Ghost to a nimble fighter like an A-wing or X-wing,” Plunkett says. For Season 3, animators designed this look for Hera, but it didn’t show up onscreen until she hopped into an X-wing in Season 4. As Christenson noted, there are two ways to approach bringing animated characters to life: “match what appeared in the show as closely as you can or use the show as inspiration to adapt the costumes into real-life interpretations,” Plunkett says. “Which way to go is up to you.”

In this case, Hera’s flightsuit would be fashioned from the same heavy canvas suits that were worn by the rebels in the original trilogy. “The chestplate and ‘cheeks’ of the helmet would be the same material as that found on other live-action rebel flight gear,” Plunkett says. The vest should be a close match to a typical X-wing pilot.

For Hera’s boots, Plunkett suggests a leather base “with metal guards on the tops of the feet.”

To capture Hera’s everyday look, as seen throughout the series and with some special modifications and updates in the epilogue, Plunkett advises cosplayers follow the basic flightsuit pattern of an X-wing pilot for a costume that’s both loose and functional. “Even the flight harness, with its extra straps, would work really well as a realistic interpretation of this outfit,” he says. “The high-collared shirt could be made from two different cotton or linen shirts stitched together.”

Hera’s standard harness and vest should be crafted from a brown leather or leather-like material, made to match her gloves, goggles, and earphones. To complete her head covering, add in some cotton or canvas stitched to hug your faux lekku. And for aging her gear to match her final look in the series, “looking at the various outfits in Rogue One should give you a good idea of the amount of weathering all of Hera’s gear would display after all her time on the front lines of the Rebellion,” Plunkett notes.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Jacen Syndulla


The newest member of the Ghost crew, Spectre 7 takes after both his parents. “Jacen has a short amount of screen time so we had to have his costume convey a strong sense of who he was for quick read,” Plunkett says. “His pale grey/green flightsuit is utilitarian, like his mother’s. It’s made from a similar canvas-like cloth. His short jacket is a lightly-padded fabric and could be realized using a standard Rebel Alliance jacket without sleeves or else a shinier finish more like a traditional sleeveless puffy jacket.”

Although his wolf patch would be ironed on or embroidered in place, “the painted decal on his shoulder is courtesy of Sabine and can have a hand-painted look,” Plunkett says.

And since Jacen is still a child, the tech on his outfit should look appropriately oversized. “The Droid Caller on his belt, for example, is the same size as the one on Ezra’s belt but look bigger because Jacen is small.”

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Ezra’s helmet and cadet uniform


Ezra Bridger was a collector of Imperial buckets, including this special helmet with retractable visor, perfect for sneaking around and avoiding detection.

“Just like the live-action helmets, each of Ezra’s helmets would be made of vacuform plastic,” Plunkett says, with “pieces of leather padding and metal greeblies seen in the designs to help finish them off. Like the original trilogy helmets, any decals can be stenciled on or even be made from strips of adhesive tape, depending on the shape of the design.”

Deep cover inside the Imperial Academy calls for a full cadet uniform. “This is an Imperial uniform, very much along the lines of Yularen or Krennic,” Plunkett says, “so the fabrics and construction would closely match those seen in A New Hope and Rogue One.” A sturdy pair of black leather boots, matching gloves, and a jacket fashioned from wool or canvas make up the bulk of the ensemble, with accents including metal buckles and the appropriate rank insignia.

But Plunkett notes that Ezra’s longer locks are decidedly not up to the Empire’s standards. “I doubt that Ezra’s shaggy haircut would have lasted too long if he’d stayed in the academy,” he says.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Blind Kanan


Viciously attacked by Maul at the end of the second season, Kanan spent the rest of the series blinded and often wearing a special mask with painted accents. To upgrade a Kanan cosplay to match this look from later in the series, Plunkett suggests forming a faceplate with a material similar to Jango Fett’s helmet — metal lined with leather padding — instead of the more plastic-like looking material of a stormtrooper or Royal Guard helmet.

Staying screen-accurate may be tricky since Kanan’s mask is held in place without any obvious ties or straps. “It’s one of the few times that we used the fact that, as a CG show, Rebels isn’t beholden to physics,” Plunkett admits. “Kanan’s faceplate stays on his head as if by magic!”

For cosplayers who need the extra support, “a real-life solution would be to use a brown leather strap to attach the faceplate to the head,” Plunkett says.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Thrawn’s armor


Thrawn’s cold and calculating personality comes through on the battlefield as he channels another efficient Imperial officer who once marched his AT-AT across the snowy plains of Hoth — General Veers.

“Thrawn’s armored look is intentionally modeled on that of General Veers’ field outfit on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back,” Plunkett says. “It’s made of almost the same pieces and materials as Veers, just in a different palette.”

The accents share similarities with the Chiss commander’s standard tunic, down to pale gold clasps on the shoulders and accents on the helmet that should match his usual gold epaulettes.

To make a costume that’s more of a live-action interpretation, Plunkett would add back in some details that were stripped away for animation. “The chin-strap, the small microphone/earpiece and the ‘lip’ that runs on the edge of all the armor sections would all translate really well into a realistic interpretation of this character, I think,” he says.

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Kallus in rebel gear


Who could forget #HotKallus? The dashing agent from the Imperial Security Bureau defected from the Empire to serve the rebellion by the end of the series, and his buttoned-up look got a little more relaxed along with his all-new wardrobe.

To bring his rebel look to life, look to the costumes of Rogue One for guidance. “When we started Season 1 of Rebels, Rogue One was still just an idea in John Knoll’s head,” Plunkett says. “By the time Kallus joined the Rebellion in Season 4, though, we had a wealth of great reference for Jyn, Cassian and their crew.”

Kallus looks right at home striding around the base on Yavin 4. “His rebel look aims to fit right into this aesthetic with its earth tones and simple materials. His boots, belt, gloves, and holster are all brown leather. His T-shirt is a straightforward cotton shirt.”

Like some of the quilting seen more recently in Star Wars Resistance, details of his jacket hark back to the bundled-up rebels serving on Hoth. “The jacket is intended to evoke the Echo Base look with its padded collar and quilting,” Plunkett says.

He also suggests taking a page from the closets of two very different rebel heroes. “The darker stripe down the shoulders and arms could be piped just like Cassian Andor’s jacket. And the small, greeblie badge on the chest can have higher-fidelity detail, more like the greeblies on Admiral Ackbar’s tunic.”

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Sabine’s last look


Throughout the series, Sabine expressed herself through a rainbow of hair colors and ever-changing art emblazoned on her armor (and sometimes on the very walls of the ship she called home.)

When we last saw the fearless Mandalorian warrior, she had a new deep purple pixie cut and shoulder armor that depicted the majestic purrgil blasting into hyperspace. Sabine’s armor calls for standard Mandalorian construction, similar to any Fett outfit or earlier Sabine look you might already have in your cosplay closet. “The challenge with Sabine is probably going to be the elaborate paint scheme,” says Plunkett. But of all of Sabine’s various armor decos, her last look may be the easiest to emulate. “This one has the most geometric shapes across the armor, so making stencils for the kneepads and other parts should be a little simpler than her other iterations,” Plunkett says.

Her jetpack mirrors one worn by Commander Cody onscreen in Revenge of the Sith, Plunkett says, “although we scaled it down quite a bit to fit Sabine’s frame better.”

And although Plunkett understands why some might guess that Sabine’s bodysuit would be fashioned from some kind of spandex material, “in reality, it’s meant to be cloth, more like the tight, tailored costume worn by Zam Wessel than the bodystocking worn by Aurra Sing.”

Kaz in New Republic gear

Click here for the full cosplay reference guide as a downloadable/printable PDF.

Check back for more Cosplay Command Center as we explore detailed images of characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars ahead of Star Wars Celebration Chicago!

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Cosplay Command Center, Part 2: Remembering Rebels at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

A Guide to the Royal Handmaidens of Naboo


It’s likely you don’t know the names and faces of more than one or two of Padmé Amidala’s handmaidens…and that’s how they prefer it. Completely loyal to the young queen and future senator, many of her handmaidens even took new names once they entered Padmé’s service as a way to honor her. Their outfits were always chosen to complement Amidala’s, often with hoods to obscure their faces.

The Naboo handmaidens hold a unique place in Star Wars lore as bodyguards, wardrobe attendants, and political aides. Their bravery is even more impressive once their youth is taken into account; the youngest handmaiden was all of twelve years old at the start.

For their loyalty to and love for Amidala alone, they deserve some time in the spotlight.

Spoiler warning: This story contains minor details and plot points from the book Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow.

Sabé acts as the queen's decoy.


While never mentioned by name in the films, Sabé is one of the handmaidens most well-known to fans given her prominent status as the decoy queen in The Phantom Menace. Padmé and Sabé worked together to develop a voice for Amidala to help add another layer to the deception begun by their resemblance and the elaborate dresses and traditional make-up. All six women also created a code (verbal and non-verbal) so they could communicate unnoticed. Sabé had a particularly close friendship with Padmé and was the only handmaiden to remain in Amidala’s service after she left the throne.

Out of Universe: Sabé was played by Keira Knightley and was such a close physical match for Natalie Portman that even the actresses’ mothers couldn’t tell them apart when dressed as Queen Amidala.



The only handmaiden to have lines as herself in The Phantom Menace, Rabé accompanied her queen off of Naboo on the mission to Coruscant. She served as the queen’s wardrobe mistress and an artist with hairstyles, ensuring that every piece of the queen’s wardrobe could protect her in addition to being beautifully crafted. Nothing in the wardrobe was without function. Her talents at reading body language and lips were equally useful to the queen over the years. She went on to study music at a prestigious academy in Theed after Amidala’s term as queen came to an end.

Out of Universe: Rabé was played by Karol Cristina da Silva.

Eirtae and Queen Amidala.


With bright blond hair, Eirtaé was the easiest to distinguish from her fellow royal handmaidens especially during the rare occasion when they appeared without their hoods. She also accompanied Amidala to Coruscant, helping to maintain the decoy illusion even while the ship was on Tatooine. Eirtaé fought in the Battle of Naboo alongside Sabé, Rabé, and Padmé herself. After she left Amidala’s service, she pursued her love of art and science.

Out of Universe: Eirtaé was played by Friday “Liz” Wilson.


Although Saché was the youngest among the original handmaidens, her bravery was never once called into question. Left behind on Naboo, she helped protect the members of the Royal Security Forces at tremendous personal cost. It earned her their loyalty forever. After Amidala’s term ended, Saché followed in the queen’s footsteps and entered the political arena.

Out of Universe: Saché was played by Sofia Coppola. She’d asked George Lucas, a close family friend, if she could observe the set and he offered her the chance to observe while also playing one of the handmaidens.


Yané also remained behind on Naboo at the queen’s instructions during Amidala’s desperate mission to Coruscant. Alongside Saché, she helped the resistance there and did what they could to fight back against the droid invasion. She often volunteered her time to help Naboo’s orphans, devoting even more of her time after leaving Amidala’s service.

Out of Universe: Yané was played by Candice Orwell.



With Sabé assigned elsewhere, Padmé found herself in need of a new decoy even though senators traditionally did not have handmaidens. Of the three handmaidens brought into her service as a senator, Cordé was the closest physical match despite being slightly taller. She perfected Amidala’s voice to the point that even a voice identifier couldn’t tell the difference. Ultimately, Cordé gave her life when a bomb meant for Amidala blew up their starship in an attempt to stop the senator from voting on the Military Creation Act.

Out of Universe: Cordé was played by Veronica Segura.

Padmé and Dormé


Dormé had gone through security forces training with Gregar Typho and remained at the Academy to go through a modified version of handmaiden training. When Padmé accepted the Senate seat, he immediately recommended Dormé as a potential new handmaiden. She took over as wardrobe mistress and built upon Rabé’s past work to ensure Amidala’s wardrobe was both appropriate for her new role as senator and offered physical protection. Her duties also included applying Cordé’s make-up to make her an even closer physical match for the senator when she served as decoy. After multiple attempts on Padmé’s life forced her to return to Naboo accompanied by the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, Dormé remained behind on Coruscant with Typho in an effort to make her enemies think the Senator was still there.

Out of Universe: Dormé was played by Rose Byrne in one of her first roles.


Versé was the niece of Mariek Panaka who recommended her for the Senator’s new cohort of handmaidens. She was an extremely talented slicer who used her talents in Amidala’s service in more ways than one. Versé also lost her life to the same bomb that claimed Cordé right before the start of the Clone Wars.

Out of Universe: Versé was played by Avril Wynne.

Teckla Minnau

Teckla Minnau

The first of Amidala’s handmaidens to not take a name ending in é, Teckla Minnau was first properly introduced in The Clone Wars although she appeared as an attendant at the Lake House in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in Attack of the Clones. She provided both moral support and perspective to Padmé, helping strengthen her resolve to fight a military spending bill. Later, she accompanied Amidala on a mission to Scipio where she was killed by a bounty hunter who was trying to stop them from discovering an embezzlement scandal.

Out of Universe: Teckla was voiced by Ashley Moynihan.


The newest addition to the list of handmaidens, Duja was first mentioned in Thrawn: Alliances. She entered Amidala’s service sometime after she joined the Senate as she and Padmé mourned the death of Cordé together after the bombing but left it prior to the end of the Clone Wars. She died on Batuu while investigating a Separatist factory on Mokivj, prompting Padmé to travel out to the distant planet to figure out what happened to her.



Even less is known about Karté who has so far only appeared in the Forces of Destiny episode “The Imposter Inside” and its supporting materials… and for the most part it wasn’t even really her! A clawdite bounty hunter stole her identity to get to Padmé at some point during the Clone Wars.

Motee and Elle

Moteé and Ellé

Moteé and Ellé served Senator Amidala during the final days of both the Republic and her life. Moteé accompanied her to the Senate for Palpatine’s speech in which he declared himself Emperor. Ellé’s scenes were ultimately cut from Revenge of the Sith, but she still appears in the novelization.

Out of Universe: Moteé was played by Kristy Wright and Ellé was played by Chantel Freer.

Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.

A Guide to the Royal Handmaidens of Naboo

How the Next Generation is Discovering Star Wars


My daughter was 4 years old when she saw the Star Wars films for the first time. I jumped at the chance to take her to see A New Hope on the big screen, which is how it was meant to be seen. And watching an original 35mm print in a darkened theater surrounded by several hundred other fans was enough to make me feel 4 years old again, too.

Soon enough, she could narrate the entire original trilogy. She played with my vast collection of toys, and she discovered her own newer action figures. She listened to the NPR dramatization on an endless loop. She dueled with Darth Vader at Walt Disney World.

Jamie Greene's kids in Star Wars Costumes

When my son came along, his first contact was also with the original trilogy, but at home on a Blu-ray version. He was also immediately captivated.

Everyone has their own unique journey to discovering Star Wars. The galaxy and the franchise have become so massive that there are countless points of entry. But there is always an entryway — a point of first contact, if you will. For many people, it’s one of the films. For others, it might be one of the animated series, a book, or a comic.

Whatever it is, when you sit down to watch or read a story set in that galaxy far, far away, something in it resonates. Something clicks. Something grabs ahold of your imagination and won’t let go. Suddenly, you’re a Star Wars fan.

Fans of a certain age (i.e., those of us who are first-generation fans) discovered the original trilogy at the beginning. Our journey involved darkened theaters, shocking revelations of parenthood by Darth Vader, Kenner toys, and goofy picture books. Brilliant.

A second generation of fans came of age when the prequel trilogy took the country by storm. For many of them, The Phantom Menace was their first exposure and how they discovered Star Wars. Their entryway was populated by young Anakin, Padmé, Darth Sidious, and more Jedi than you could shake a stick at. Wonderful.

Today, another generation is discovering and growing up with Star Wars through the sequel trilogy and beyond. There have never been more points of entry. And many of the fans who made up those previous generations now have kids of our own — and we’re bringing them along with us for the ride.

Nevertheless, one thing remains true: Every fan has his or her own unique journey to discovering Star Wars, even with an established fan acting as a guide and teacher. Today, the characters and stories that we grew up with are not only still popular, but also very much alive and actively growing.

Our kids grow up on a steady diet of Star Wars books, toys, lunchboxes, and games. And in many cases they have all of these things, and an understanding of key characters, before they even see the movies.

My children have found their way through the galaxy together. The films played a huge role in that, sure, but they also forged their own path through Star Wars Rebels, LEGO Star Wars, the Origami Yoda books, Forces of Destiny, and on and on and on.

Their journey to becoming fans has been so different from my own. And I love that. I love that we all have different experiences and find different things to love. I love that Star Wars continues to tell stories for all types of fans of all ages.

Luke in Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures.

Being a parent is a constant balancing act. We want to share the things we love, but we also want our kids to come to the story in their own way, on their own terms, and seen through their own eyes. Hopefully, our kids will care enough about the story to make sure their own children discover it (in ways we can’t even imagine).

My kids love Star Wars because of their own experiences with it. They have their own favorite characters and scenes, and there are stories that speak directly to them. And that’s that’s how it should be.

There are so many ways to discover and experience the saga. It doesn’t really matter if you start with The Phantom Menace or A New Hope, The Force Awakens or Galaxy of AdventuresStar Wars Rebels or Star Wars Resistance.

And it doesn’t really matter where you go from there.

For more on Galaxy of Adventures, visit Star Wars Kids on YouTubeStarWarsKids.com, and StarWars.com.

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He’s also a contributor to GeekDad and runs The Roarbots, where he focuses on awesome geeky stuff that happens to be kid-friendly. On top of that, he cohosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates geek culture by talking to people who create it. With two little ones and a vast Star Wars collection at home, he’s done the unthinkable: allowed them full access to most of his treasure from the past 30 years, opening and playing with whatever they want (pre-1983 items excluded).

How the Next Generation is Discovering Star Wars

5 of the Most Romantic Scenes in Star Wars


There is a lot of, well, war, in Star Wars, what with all the fighting against the Empire, First Order, dark side, and the Sith. But to paraphrase a wise character, you don’t win a conflict by fighting what you hate, but by saving what you love. And there is also enough romance in the saga to keep you cozier than the inside of a tauntaun.

So, for Valentine’s Day, let’s take a look at five of the most romantic scenes in Star Wars. We love them all. But you know that.

Hera and Kanan's first kiss in Star Wars Rebels.

Kanan and Hera’s First Kiss (or “Kanera” Confirmed) (Star Wars Rebels, “Kindred”)

Much of Kanan and Hera’s history is left untold, and I prefer it that way. But when Hera lands a kiss on the Jedi — after his attempt earlier in the episode was interrupted thanks to Ryder — it was a moment worthy of an air-punch and a “Wahoo!” Sadly it happens as the two are separating, and Hera is off to Yavin 4 while Kanan stays behind on Lothal. Theirs has always been an interesting relationship between two complex individuals. So when they finally kiss (for the first time on screen), it simultaneously feels surprising, but entirely natural.

Sy Snootles and Ziro the Hutt kiss in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Sy Snootles and Ziro the Hutt’s Uncaged Passion (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Hunt for Ziro”)

While a Hutt gangster and Pa’lowick singer may make for an odd pairing, even villains fall in love, and the heart (or fluid sack) wants what it wants. The reunion on Nal Hutt between Ziro and former lover Sy Snootles initially appears pretty sweet since their time on Coruscant was the happiest of her life, and he…well, he claims the separation was all Jabba’s fault. Things end badly, mainly for Ziro, but only after a passionate kiss between bars of a prison cell. Sy truly seemed to love Ziro, but she was not one to be betrayed or toyed with.

Attack of the Clones - Anakin and Padme in the Geonosian Arena

Padmé and Anakin Face Their Fate Together (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)

Things don’t get off to a smooth start for Anakin and Padmé’s relationship, what with his vow as a Jedi, and her duty as a senator. When they first kiss, he reacts as coarse as the sand he doesn’t like, and the two decide not to talk about love, or to live a lie — until right around the time they’re about to die on Geonosis. Padmé’s confession that she “truly, deeply” loves him, followed by a passionate kiss is intense. She is owning her emotions at a time when their fate appears sealed, but they will face that fate together, in love.

Jar Jar Binks reunites with Queen Julia in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Jar Jar Binks Saves Queen Julia of Bardotta (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “The Disappeared, Part II”)

It is a challenge determining which scene between Jar Jar and his lost love Julia is more romantic. When he first reunites with her on Bardotta, to come to her aid and stop the Frangawl Cult, it is touching to see her place so much trust in the Gungan. They “meditate,” which also involves a passionate smooch. But I think the more romantic moment occurs when Jar Jar gallantly charges in (with a Force-assist by Mace Windu) to release Julia, and fight the cult leader. After saving her, she in turn saves her beloved, and they fall to the ground. She assures Jar Jar she always knew he’d be her hero.

Han and Leia kiss before Solo is frozen in carbonite in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Han and Leia’s “I Love You / I Know” (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)

The most romantic quote thus far in the saga, and one of the best in all of movie history, this exchange between Han and Leia is tragic, funny, and lovely all at once. After all the flirtatious banter, and fighting, when the chips are down and Han is about be frozen in carbonite, these two have their honest exchange. Of course the emotional bond existed between them, and if they miss the chance at this moment, there was no telling if they’d have another (and they did reverse it later on Endor). Plus, the scene is romantic because it’s so Han to reply the way he does. For me, the entire exchange is echoed when Han and Leia reunite in The Force Awakens. The two are older, more mature, and have a deeper appreciation for their love. But this moment stands as a beacon of what real love is and means.

Aaron Sagers is a tiki-loving, NYC-based journalist, TV host, author, comic-con mod, and professional nerd with endless curiosity. He loves geeking out with fellow fans about sci-fi, horror, and paranormal pop culture on Instagram and Twitter, and his karaoke song is “Yub Nub.”

5 of the Most Romantic Scenes in Star Wars

13 Star Wars Quotes to Help you Stay Motivated for the runDisney Rival Run


You’ve signed up for the big day and examined the finisher medals. Now it’s time to train for the runDisney Star Wars Rival Run Weekend. And for me, the hardest part is…well, getting started. I’ve been running off and on for years, but getting motivated to begin a new training plan is always tough. Fortunately, Star Wars is filled with inspirational quotes to get you feeling like you could take on the whole Empire yourself.

Before you lace up your running shoes and hit the road, consider these 13 quotes to keep you going!

1. “Breathe. Just breathe.” — Luke Skywalker

When you’re struggling in those early training runs, it can be easy to forget the basics. If you’re gasping for air, take a moment to concentrate on slowing your breath, and make sure you’re not pushing yourself to go too fast, too soon. It’s a (half) marathon, not a sprint! Pace yourself.

2. “She’s strong with the Force, untrained, but stronger than she knows.” — Kylo Ren

Running has more to do with repetition than inherent skill (although some people seem to be naturally built for speed.) You’ve just started on this journey and, like Rey, you are stronger than you know.

3. “No! No different! Only different in your mind.” — Yoda

The first time I trained for a 5K, it felt like an insurmountable obstacle. Just over 3 miles? Without stopping? “That’s impossible!” I thought in a voice that sounded an awful lot like Luke Skywalker. But I set the goal at finishing, not beating out the other much-more seasoned runners and I did it. Since then, I’ve completed two half marathons, countless 10Ks and 5Ks, and one annual Turkey Trot that traverses a very hilly 9 mile course. And every time I shoot for a longer distance, I remember this bit of wisdom from Master Yoda. Because if you can run a 5K, you can probably run a 10K. And once you’ve run a 10K…you’re almost halfway to the half marathon! Each mile is the same. The distance is only different in your mind.

4. “Never tell me the odds!” — Han Solo

The odds are you aren’t going to be the first person across the finish line on race day, and that’s OK. For me, running is more about competing with myself, finding that balance of mind and body, than qualifying for major marathons or beating out the other runners on the course. I always try to be better than I was last year or on the last run or in the last race. Sometimes I manage a new personal best. Sometimes, well…I fail.

5. “The greatest teacher, failure is.” — Yoda

Sure, it’s disappointing to look back at my old race times and realize that a mixture of injury, age, and hibernating has drastically slowed my pace over the years. But knowing that there’s still room for improvement is, in itself, a great motivator! Sometimes you (quite literally) fall down. Pick yourself up, vow to do better, and then put the time in to make it happen.

6. “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it…”

“You’ll never make it through the night.” — Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and Poe Dameron, quoting General Leia Organa

Whether you’re getting back into shape after a holiday respite or training for the very first time, those early runs are bound to be a bit of a slog. Have faith that it will get easier, your time (and energy level) will improve, and if you keep going, you’ll see that finish line appear up ahead.

7. “Hurry up, goldenrod, or you’re going to be a permanent resident!” — Han Solo

When I started running, I favored a half-mile loop in a local park because I knew I was always no more than a quarter mile from the chance to call it a day. But the same short stretch can be as monotonous as working on a moisture farm on Tatooine, and as I added more miles to each run, I started seeking out quiet roads instead. The thing is, when you start to get tired and you’re halfway into a 9-mile training run, the fastest way to get to the finish is to run. Or as a certain X-wing pilot might say…

8. “Stay on target!” — Gold Five

Map out a training plan that fits your schedule and your experience level, then try to stick with it as best you can. I love early morning runs, but if you aren’t an early riser a post-work workout may be a better fit. Or use your lunch break to log some miles.

9. “I’m sure you’ll do it this time… Finish the race, of course!” — Kitster

If you’re doubting yourself, you need a friend as uplifting as good ol’ Kitster to keep your spirits high. And even if you’re as alone as a Jakku scavenger come race day, the course will be lined with cheering bystanders to help keep you going.

10. “Luminous beings are we…not this crude matter.” — Yoda

It comes down to this: Mind over (crude) matter. A long run is a great time to let your mind wander, consider the beauty in your surroundings, or chat with a running buddy. Whatever you do, don’t concentrate on how much you don’t feel like running and have patience with yourself.

11. “The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power.” — Sheev Palpatine

This is a rival run, isn’t it? There’s no greater rivalry in the Star Wars saga that the battle between Jedi and Sith. But no matter which side you favor, you and your fellow runners are all headed for the same finish line.

12. “I’m One With The Force. The Force Is With Me.” — Chirrut Îmwe

Getting tired? Busy your mind with a mantra. And finally…

13. “Run, Luke! Run!” — Obi-Wan Kenobi

Yes! Yes! To Obi-Wan you listen.

Star Wars Rival Run Weekend is coming to Walt Disney World Resort, April 4-7, 2019! Visit runDisney.com for more information.

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

13 Star Wars Quotes to Help you Stay Motivated for the runDisney Rival Run

5 Star Wars Hairstyles We Love


Whether it’s Leia Organa’s unforgettable hair buns or Padmé Amidala’s decorative headdress, Star Wars is chock-full of iconic looks. While these hairstyles are no doubt unique and head-turning, many of them are also steeped in symbolism or cultural meaning. From Anakin’s over-the-shoulder braid to Rey’s hair knobs, they’re often associated with tradition and history.

Here are five of our favorite hairstyles from the Star Wars films:

Leia at the medal ceremony.

1. The Alderaanian braid

In Claudia Gray’s book Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan, we learn that the residing Alderaanian monarch typically wears braids. While the book doesn’t dive into anything deeper than this, they seem to be associated with tradition, nobility, and family. And, despite the loss of Alderaan, Leia continues to honor her heritage (especially her adoptive mother) by wearing them.

2. The Padawan braid

The Padawan braid may not be my favorite look (hello there, rat tail), but it holds a deep meaning to the Jedi Order. Traditionally, a training Jedi wears a tight braid that stems from the neck and drapes over one shoulder. But it’s more than just a tangible representation of your rank; it’s a symbol of dedication and sacrifice. In addition to abstaining from romantic relationships, they’re forced to sever ties with their families, as well.

3. Rey’s three hair knobs

Rey’s signature three-knob hairstyle is very practical. Whether she’s scavenging for parts on Jakku, training on Ahch-To, or running away from stormtroopers, she needs to keep her hair out of her face.

While the film doesn’t specifically address the meaning behind her hairstyle, I want to believe it has something to do with her childhood. In The Force Awakens, we see her rocking the same hairstyle as a kid. Is this how she stays connected with her family?

4. Padmé Amidala’s headdresses

Not only is Padmé Amidala the Queen of Naboo, she’s also the queen of elaborate hairstyles and ensembles. Her ornate headdresses are so big, they look like they have their own gravitational pull. And don’t even get me started on the array of colorful dresses. Whether it’s a senate meeting or a fancy dinner, she must have one heck of a bedroom closet.

My favorite look is Padmé’s throne room ensemble. Between the lightbulb-like embellishments on her bell-shaped gown and the gold and red headpiece, this look stands out above the rest. It’s head-turning, for sure, but it also says a lot about her exalted status, as it’s a symbol of power and wealth. She may be a child queen, but this look leaves no doubt that she can command a room.

5. Chewbacca’s glorious mane

This list wouldn’t be complete without an entry dedicated to one character who’s covered in hair: Chewbacca. Long and silky, Chewie’s luxurious brown mane is really the stuff of legends. It’s not a hairstyle, per se, but it’s obvious he takes care of himself (and has even been known to borrow Lando’s hair products in a pinch). If he ever sells haircare routine secrets to the galaxy, he’ll be one rich Wookiee.

 Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo is an editor at Reviewed, a division of USA TODAY. She also occasionally writes for Geek & Sundry and StarWars.com.

5 Star Wars Hairstyles We Love