Out of Print Launches a New Star Wars Clothing Line with Retro Flair – Exclusive Reveal

StarWars.com

Inside the ancient tree on Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker protected a rare and powerful treasure – the ancient Jedi scriptures, relics of a forgotten time when wisdom was committed to printed paper.

In our own galaxy, even before Star Wars: A New Hope hit theaters, readers were discovering the adventures of Luke and the Rebel Alliance in a novelization based on the soon-to-be-released motion picture.

A new line from Out of Print Clothing showcases retro posters from the American Library Association.

Soon, a new line from the “all things bookish” brand Out of Print Clothing will resurrect these iconic first-edition covers in time for May the Fourth, with an exclusive line of T-shirts for adults and children created in homage to posters from the American Library Association available now.

StarWars.com recently caught up with Todd Lawton, who co-founded the company with his childhood friend, Jeff LeBlanc (who, we must note, once told his mother he wanted to be R2-D2 when he grew up,) to talk about how Star Wars films and books both made him a fan, and why he wants to inspire readers during National Library Week and all year long.

Growing up Star Wars

For Lawton, his earliest movie-going memory was crawling in the back of his parents’ Toyota station wagon to see the original Star Wars at a drive-in. “My parents thought that I would just go to sleep, but it was Star Wars.” The film so captured his imagination that Lawton kept peeking out until he was finally “invited up to the front seat for a better view.”

At home, Star Wars books kept the story going. Before he could read, Lawton remembers owning Star Wars pop-up books. “I was flipping through these books and R2-D2 and C-3PO would pop out. You’d pull a tab and a sand person would do something. I definitely experienced Star Wars through books that way.”

There were books with records complete with voices and sound effects and a larger picture book when Star Wars: Return of the Jedi came around that had pictures of scenes from the movies. “So Star Wars, for me, was definitely cinematic but also a very tactile experience and books delivered that. The toys delivered it. It was a pretty big part of my upbringing.”

A vintage Read poster featuring Yoda.

Poster perfect

If you were a kid around the era of the original trilogy, you may remember back in 1983, when a poster showing Yoda holding a red book in one arm was part of a library series intended to get children interested in literature with the help of pop culture characters and contemporary celebrities.

Star Wars is a vehicle to help support and excite young readers,” Lawton says. “That’s perfectly in line with our mission and we feel that the world’s a better place if people are reading more books. So when you see a character like Yoda or Darth Vader presented in a way that’s supporting this love of reading and the importance of reading, we want to show that and celebrate that as well.”

A new line from Out of Print Clothing showcases retro posters from the American Library Association.
A new line from Out of Print Clothing showcases retro posters from the American Library Association.
A new line from Out of Print Clothing showcases retro posters from the American Library Association.

For the new line, Lawton and his team resurrected the original artwork of Yoda and Darth Vader from actual posters that plastered library walls. They’ve also created an all-new image in the same style — featuring Princess Leia.

“We love how the library has been able to use these pop culture icons to get kids excited,” Lawton says, and he hopes taking the art off the wall and emblazoning it onto shirts will start a lot of conversations about Star Wars and books.

An Out of Print designer also reimagined the line for a new line of stylized socks, which will be released later this year. “Readers love socks,” Lawton says. “Something that if your pant leg is creeping up, it’s a great opportunity to shout how cool you are.”

First editions

Long before the original “Read” line, in the days leading up to the release of the first film, readers were able to get a sneak peek at the epic story on the pages of a then Ballantine (now Del Rey) book.

Kicking off a long and wonderful tradition of exploring and expanding the Star Wars galaxy through books, the novelizations of the original trilogy invited readers to imagine the galaxy for themselves before seeing it on screen.

A new line of Out of Print T-shirts will showcase these original, first-edition covers, down to authentic details like back-cover synopses and the callout “soon to be a major motion picture.”

The shirt for Return of the Jedi matches the paperback Lawton still owns from his youth. “I still have, at my parents’ house, the Return of the Jedi paperback that is the same cover that we’re featuring. I read that one when I got to the point where I could read an adult book. I think that was probably my first real Star Wars novel experience.”

In the years since that first series, “there are so many different novels that have been created that have taken the tremendous story in different directions.”

But readers, and Star Wars fans, never forget taking their first steps into the larger world. “It’s nice to see where Star Wars has grown and how many lives it’s affected, but then also get back to its origin and still discover things that are, for fans or readers, interesting to know.”

And Lawton promises more characters and more product categories to come. After all, when your business partner always had an affinity for heroic astromechs, it only makes sense to try to get them into the line. Plus, there are at least two more Star Wars “Read” posters in the archives, featuring C-3PO and Chewbacca, and an endless supply of other inspiring characters.

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.

Out of Print Launches a New Star Wars Clothing Line with Retro Flair – Exclusive Reveal

Darth Vader’s Fearful Path: A Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures Guide

StarWars.com

Fear is a path to the dark side, and no one in the Star Wars galaxy has traveled that treacherous road more than Darth Vader. The former Jedi succumbed to the fear of loss and the promise of power to be reborn as a terrifying symbol of the revenge of the Sith.

One of the most enduring lessons Star Wars teaches us is that understanding our fears is of great importance. Without understanding our fears, and why we have them, we can never hope to overcome them. It’s a lesson that adults often struggle with, which can make having a conversation about it with the children in our own lives difficult.

Darth Vader, interestingly enough, offers us a unique opportunity to start this conversation in a way that isn’t too daunting or scary. The escapism of Star Wars often allows children to talk about the concept of fear through the Sith Lord, a character so ingrained in pop culture that his mystique often overshadows his intimidating presence.

Darth Vader Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures guide.

Click to open as a downloadable/printable PDF.

This guide to Darth Vader gives you some prompts for discussing fear with your youngling. Inspired by “Power of the Dark Side,” it uses Darth Vader’s frightening actions and appearance to help you explore what fear means to them, and how they can overcome it.

You can also learn about the Sith Lord’s tragic past with Galaxy of Adventures Fun Facts. Then, only then, can your Padawan pass their trivia trials: three questions about the history of Darth Vader.

For more on Galaxy of Adventures, visit Star Wars Kids on YouTube and StarWarsKids.com.

Have fun! And may the Force be with you.

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Darth Vader’s Fearful Path: A Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures Guide

Darth Vader, Luke, and Leia Come to Disney Emoji Blitz

StarWars.com

Some of Star Wars‘ greatest icons have arrived in Disney Emoji Blitz, the popular match-3 mobile game: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia emojis make their debut, available via the Diamond Box, and the Darth Vader emoji is now unlockable thanks to a new Villain Event, running from November 29 to December 3. StarWars.com caught up with Ariana Crane, associate producer of Disney Emoji Blitz, to talk about adapting Vader into the game’s cute art style, how Leia’s ability reflects her character, and reflections on one year of Star Wars in Disney Emoji Blitz. 

StarWars.com: Thanks to the Darth Vader Villain Event, players will have the chance to win and use Darth Vader. From a gameplay perspective, why would you say he’s an emoji you’ll want in your collection?

Ariana Crane: Darth Vader will be an awesome emoji to have in your collection because he uses the Force to grab emojis and throw them off the board. Plus, he always gives you a rainbow star, which is the best power up in the game.

Darth Vader in Disney Emoji Blitz.

StarWars.com: What can you tell us about designing Darth Vader for Disney Emoji Blitz? I’m always impressed how the game adapts these iconic characters into its art style, and Vader is no exception — he’s so expressive!

Ariana Crane: We are so glad you like it! With such an iconic character as Darth Vader, the team worked really hard to get all of the details just right. We spent a lot of time making sure the highlights were in the right places, and that there was enough contrast so that you can actually see his expressions. We wanted the Darth Vader emoji to embody the look and feel of the original character, even as an emoji.

StarWars.com: Luke and Leia are also making their Disney Emoji Blitz debuts. How did you go about coming up with their abilities?

Ariana Crane: We wanted Leia’s power to demonstrate an aspirational part of her persona, and being a strong commander was top of mind for our team. A tap-to-clear ability where she orders X-wings to destroy TIE fighters was the perfect abstraction of commanding in our game.

Since Leia’s power focuses on the rebel fleet, and Darth Vader’s power focuses on using the Force to hold and throw emojis, it felt like the right mix of overlap and variety to have Luke’s power focus on using the Force, like his father, but with a lightsaber concept. The training remote scene where Luke first learns to use his lightsaber was the perfect fit, and we thought it would be super cool if the player got to feel like they were using the Force by tapping in advance of where the training remote would fire. This was also an opportunity to show Luke’s character arc over time as he deflects stormtrooper blaster shots in later levels.

Leia in Disney Emoji Blitz.

StarWars.com: Star Wars has now been part of Disney Emoji Blitz for just over a year. As game creators, what have you enjoyed most about being able to incorporate the galaxy far, far away into Disney Emoji Blitz?

Ariana Crane: The Star Wars universe offers us so much to work with, it’s hard to pick just one. From epic character moments to the iconic music, it’s been so much fun to give these elements an emoji twist. We love bringing in characters that are nostalgic for some of our existing players and brand new to others. An exciting challenge that we have is abstracting the rich back stories from the characters, into super-fast power up abilities that resonate with Star Wars fans. Seeing our Blitzers’ positive reactions to Star Wars emojis in the game is the best! They were so excited when we first introduced Rey, Finn, BB-8, and Kylo Ren, and the team can’t wait to see how everyone reacts to Luke, Leia and Darth Vader. We’ve really enjoyed making the Darth Vader Villain Event come to life and are so excited for our fans to play with these beloved classic characters.

Disney Emoji Blitz is available now.

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Darth Vader, Luke, and Leia Come to Disney Emoji Blitz