A Narwhal-Beluga Hybrid, Hong Kong Protests, and Jean-Luc Picard: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

io9

Another week, another crisis—The U.S. is reportedly launching cyberattacks on assets tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, including a group of hackers believed to spy on ships passing through the Gulf of Oman and on computer-controlled rocket and missile launchers, in retaliation for a series of allegedly…

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https://gizmodo.com/a-narwhal-beluga-hybrid-hong-kong-protests-and-jean-l-1835791963

A Generation Looks Back at 20 Years of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

io9

Ask a Star Wars fan what they think about The Phantom Menace and you’re going to get a very specific answer. At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago last month, io9 spoke with fans about their memories and feelings on the eve of the film’s 20th anniversary, and the sentiment was way more positive than expected for all…

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https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-generation-looks-back-at-20-years-of-star-wars-episod-1834653722

Fans Were Out in Full Force at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

StarWars.com

Fans came to Star Wars Celebration Chicago from all over the world. Some live just a couple of hours away in a town in Illinois, some made the trek from the east and west coasts of the United States, and some even settled in for hours on a plane from places as far away as England, Spain, and Japan. The one thing that surrounds them and binds them all together? Their love of the galaxy far, far away.

Steve Jackson didn’t have to go far to reach the bustling halls of the convention center from Chicago, being from the Windy City area himself. But it was his first ever Star Wars Celebration, he said. To mark the occasion, Jackson dressed as the striking Count Dooku, and the resemblance was uncanny.

Count Dooku cosplay at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Jackson represents the 501st Legion’s Midwest Garrison and his take on the mysterious Count rightfully turned heads and camera lenses on the show floor. He told StarWars.com about what caught his eye on the show floor. “I’m enjoying the large props,” he said. “I’m enjoying the photo opportunities, and I’m a member of the 501st so I’m enjoying that particular area, as well. I’m meeting a lot of people.”

Also local to the area, the Kowalski family from Oswego, Illinois, weren’t there for their first Celebration — it was their sixth! With mom Diana, dad Chris, five-year-old Ben, and nine-year-old “super fan” Jude, each dressed in creative costumes as Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, John Williams, George Lucas, and J.J. Abrams, respectively, it’s plain to see that every member of the family is a Star Wars fan.

Family of cosplayers dressed as Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, and John Williams.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Chris said on just the first day of Celebration. As parents unable to wait in long overnight lines, Diana said, she was thrilled with the new lottery system in place for Celebration’s biggest panels. “We’re very excited we got in for The Mandalorian panel,” she said. “We never would have been able to actually wait in line, so we’re thrilled about that.”

Illinois residents Maricruz Rojas and Rose Tintera also didn’t have to go far for Celebration, but that doesn’t mean they were any less excited. Delightfully decked out in fuzzy Wookiee Mickey ears, Rey-inspired ensembles, and glittery Star Wars accessories and buttons galore, it’s no surprise that the two were smitten with the costumed attendees at the show.

Rey cosplayers at Star Wars Celebration.

“Everyone dressed up in cosplay is just so amazing, and everyone is so creative. There’s swag, props, everything!” said Rojas.

“[It’s] our first time here. We didn’t expect all of this, but it’s amazing,” agreed Tintera.

Padmé Amidala cosplay at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

The queen of dressing up at Star Wars Celebration just might have been Queen Amidala herself, cosplayer Kelly Coffman, who donned an intricate, beaded gray gown. Coffman, also known as Eveille Cosplay, painstakingly sewed and assembled one of Padmé’s most regal and iconic looks from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The Pennsylvania-based cosplayer drew an adoring crowd befitting royalty everywhere she went on the show floor.

Padmé Amidala cosplay (back of head) at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

“I made the whole costume myself,” Coffman told StarWars.com. “I started in the summer of last year, worked on it a few months, then took a small break and finished it up for C2E2… It took me about 500-600 hours to build everything, and everything is from scratch, the beading, just all of it. I tried to make it as screen accurate as I could, so I did a lot of research on the materials.”

The debut of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer was her favorite moment of Celebration, she said, and the moment was very emotional. “It was amazing!” she recalled. “I was in [the arena] so I got to see everyone on the stage, see the trailer, get chills, and cry. Everything.”

For George Kostal in particular this Star Wars Celebration was unforgettable. The Connecticut-based fan, who was attending his second Celebration, runs a Twitter account dedicated to General Veers of The Empire Strikes Back called Veers Watch.

Kostal decided to take a chance on meeting Andi Gutierrez, co-host of The Star Wars Show, after she interviewed actor Julian Glover on the live stage. “I had actually been hoping to meet her for most of the convention because she was an early follower of Veers Watch,” he said. After returning to the stage when the show was winding down, Kostal luckily flagged down Lucasfilm producer Scott Bromley, who insisted on introducing him to Andi.

“It was really just the coolest thing,” said Kostal. “She was so nice and great to talk to, and then while we were talking [Star Wars Resistance’s] Christopher Sean — another Veers Watch follower! — actually came by after filming his interview to say hi to her, so I got to meet him as well.”

Star Wars fan at Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

Of course, Celebration wouldn’t have been complete without meeting his hero. “Beyond just meeting everyone, [another favorite moment has] got to be going back to see my good man [General Veers actor] Julian Glover, getting his autograph on a few more things,” Kostal said. “I found a Veers storyboard at the Prop Store of London, and I picked that up for myself. Very happy! It’s been great.”

From dazzling costumes, to memorable panels, to meaningful moments, to meeting Star Wars heroes, there really is something for everyone at Star Wars Celebration. Who knows what your favorite moment might be at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in 2020?

Visit StarWars.com’s Star Wars Celebration Chicago hub for panel recaps, interviews, and more.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.

Fans Were Out in Full Force at Star Wars Celebration Chicago

Star Wars Fans Share Their Favorite Celebration Experiences

StarWars.com

If you’ve been to any Star Wars Celebration, you know one thing for certain: you’re going to make some memories. Whether it’s seeing a 1:1 scale AT-AT, or getting a photo with someone like Mark Hamill, or making and wearing the perfect Padmé Amidala ensemble, you have so many opportunities to fill scrapbooks and albums — even if they only exist in your mind — with extraordinary moments. With Celebration Chicago rapidly approaching, we talked with three fans about Celebration experiences they hold close to their hearts.

Meeting Ray Park

Reuben Moretz’s Celebration saga began with 2005’s Celebration III in Indianapolis. He’s been to four other Celebrations since then and calls the fan gathering a magical holiday experience. It makes him feel like a kid again, and the contagious energy at Celebration only fuels his love for Star Wars. An already wonderful event is made better by the fact that Moretz attends with his friends Anthony Stark and Brandon Miller.

At Celebration Anaheim in 2015, they had an encounter with a Sith Lord and it stands out as Moretz’s most precious experience from the event. People were hanging around the hotel pool and spa after a day at the convention, and two children were running around talking to nearby families about Star Wars. Moretz says, “We asked the kids who their favorite Star Wars characters were, and the girl said Zam Wesell. When we were leaving, we waved goodbye to the kids, and they walked right up to sit next to their mom and dad—Ray and Lisa Park.”

Moretz and his buddies didn’t want to disturb them but thought it would be pretty funny to tell Ray Park that his daughter’s favorite character was not the one he played. “We approached Mr. Park and told him the story about his kids hanging out and his daughter’s favorite character not being Darth Maul,” Moretz says. “He introduced us to his family, and we chatted for over 30 minutes about Star Wars and martial arts. “

He says Park and his family welcomed them as if they were all friends. This chance meeting is the sort of thing that can happen at any Celebration. “The experience was so organic — it isn’t something that can be replicated. You can’t stand in line for it, or get a special ticket for it. It’s a moment in time that just happens, and we were there, for that moment. That’s Celebration,” Moretz explains.

Joe Queen shares his favorite Star Wars Celebration memory.

Family Bonding

Going to Celebrations can become a habit. Just ask Joe Queen, who has been to seven of them so far, starting with Celebration II in Indianapolis. Simply put, he loves being around his Star Wars friends and fellow fans at a convention completely focused on the galaxy far, far away. Queen’s even taken his zeal for Celebration to the next level and worked at the gathering, both at the Official Pix autograph booth and as a stage hand for the Behind-the-Scenes Stage. He’s had the opportunity to meet celebrities and make new friends, but when he looks back, his favorite moments have been spending time with his son, Lucas.

“When he was six years old, I was able to take him to Celebration IV in Los Angeles for two days,” Queen says. “Lucas had drawn pictures of many of his favorite characters and he was able to meet and present his drawings to some of the celebrities, including the Fetts, Jeremy Bulloch and Temuera Morrison. More recently, Lucas and I have also been able to spend time together at the last two U.S. Celebrations [Anaheim and Orlando]. As costume and prop builders, Lucas and I have enjoyed checking out many of the costumes, droids, and props on display, which provide inspiration for our future builds.”

Lucas, named after George Lucas, was born a year after the release of The Phantom Menace. He was just the right age to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars on television. “Lucas has shared my love for Star Wars since he was little. Getting to experience Star Wars Celebration with my son is simply the best,” Queen says.

501st Legion Inspiration

When Todd Hoffman went to Celebration II in 2002, he realized just how much of a global impact Star Wars has. It was his first time at such an event, and he was floored. “There were fans from all over the world,” he recalls. “It was thrilling sharing that excitement with others and enjoying seeing everyone’s passion for Star Wars.”

He went to Celebration III a few years later and will be headed to Chicago in April, but his most treasured experience is from 2002. He was waiting to get into the convention center, and something he’d never witnessed before commanded his attention. He saw dozens of stormtroopers standing in rows for a photograph, specifically the 501st Legion’s traditional Celebration group photo. “It blew my mind that these people had amazing costumes just like the ones in the movies that we all love. I told myself that day I needed to do that. I continued to see these stormtroopers throughout my time at Celebration and loved how they were all so friendly with taking pictures with my son and others. It was truly a celebration of these wonderful movies and experiences.”

Fast forward 14 years later to 2016. That’s when Hoffman fulfilled the dream he set that day at Celebration III and joined the 501st Legion’s Midwest Garrison as a stormtrooper. He’ll be trooping with his Star Wars family at Celebration Chicago and can’t wait to spread the same joy and kindness that he appreciated at his first Celebration.

Amy Ratcliffe is obsessed with Star Wars, Disneyland food, and coffee. She’s the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy and a co-host of the podcast “Lattes with Leia.” Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.

Star Wars Fans Share Their Favorite Celebration Experiences

Even More Captain Marvel Goodness and a Brand New Stormtrooper Make Up the Coolest Toys of the Week

io9

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular roundup of the merchandise threatening to drain our bank accounts in the near future. This week: Carol Danvers keeps going higher, further, and merch-ier; the perfect Kirby desktop companion; and the First Order recruits an intriguing new soldier (in toy form, at least). Check…

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https://io9.gizmodo.com/even-more-captain-marvel-goodness-and-a-brand-new-storm-1832870561

Meet the Winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018!

StarWars.com

StarWars.com and The Star Wars Show are pleased to announce the winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018! We received thousands of entries across four genres — Long Video, Short Video, Visual Art, and Photo — and were continually amazed at the incredible talent on display. Thank you and Wookiee hugs to all who participated!

Check out the most impressive winners below, including recipients of the Filmmaker Select chosen by Dave Filoni, and Audience Choice awards voted by fans on StarWars.com! And learn more about how these passion projects were made in exclusive interviews with many of this year’s esteemed award winners.

 

Genre: Long Video

WINNER: FILMMAKER SELECT & BEST COMEDY

More Machine Than Man by Mark G.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Star Wars for the first time when it was originally in theaters in 1977.  I was 11 years old. I’ve been all-in ever since. I remember seeing Return of the Jedi at the Thursday midnight special premiere screening where the ticket cost an outlandish $4.50. Star Wars was probably my primary inspiration for becoming a filmmaker myself. I learned everything I could about George Lucas, and even went to film school at USC on his example. I still maintain that original Star Wars is one of the greatest films of all time, in the same realm as Citizen Kane or Casablanca

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I’ve had the idea for More Machine Than Man for years. Ever since we saw Obi-Wan Kenobi cut up Anakin and leave his roasting body for dead on that lava planet in Revenge of the Sith, we’ve known the REAL story behind all the things he told Luke about his father. Back in 1983, when Obi-Wan said Vader was “more machine now than man, twisted and evil” we never thought much about it. But seeing him dismembered, we now knew he had, among other things, robot arms and legs. He was LITERALLY more machine than man. And I though it was kind of cool that when making the original films, George Lucas must have had all that detail thought out that the casual viewer wouldn’t even think about.

Anyway, I thought about what Obi-Wan would have had to admit if Luke had pressed him for just a little more information. The actual story is so much more gruesome than the sugar-coated version we’ve had for years that it just struck me as funny. I mean, seriously! All he said was “He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader.”  He left out the key detail, “I cut off his arms and legs, let him catch fire, and left him for dead.”

I made my own Obi-Wan Kenobi costume from dyed curtain lining material. We shot on a green screen, and then I built a miniature set, about 2 feet by 2 feet to shoot for the backgrounds. I lit the model, blew in canned smoke, and photographed it on my kitchen table. The R2-D2 is the voice activated 13” R2 that I’ve had for years. The X-wing I bought off of eBay, and then dry-brushed it to weather the parts that would be visible. All the elements were shot separately and sandwiched together for the final shots. The most challenging effect was the Jedi ghost effect, which I made in Apple Motion. It needed to make me transparent and blue, but also glowing and sparkling around the edges. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

What does winning mean to you?

It is a great honor to win the Best Comedy as well as the Filmmaker Select Award. Star Wars has been an important part of my life for over 40 years. It’s what made me want to be a filmmaker in the first place. And I’m delighted that people with an actual connection to the franchise are seeing and appreciating my work. Thank you so much.

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE

Like My Father Before Me: A Star Wars Story by Jack C.

 

WINNER: BEST ANIMATION

The Kessel Run by Brian W.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Star Wars as a child when it first released in theaters. The very moment the Star Destroyer appears in the opening shot of A New Hope, I was hooked. At that time, science fiction movies were very cheesy with everyone wearing aluminum foil costumes. Star Wars was the first genre movie that felt like it took place in a real universe.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I wanted to do something with Star Wars characters that had not been overdone already. This is very difficult because there are already so many excellent Star Wars fan films out there. I wondered what characters had not had their own film yet, and I realized the dejarik pieces from the Millennium Falcon’s holochess board had never been given their due. I also thought they would be very fun to animate. It was, but I did not think about the fact that in most shots I would have to animate eight characters at once. It was a tremendous amount of work and I almost gave up several times, but the end result was worth it.

What does winning mean to you?

I am thrilled to win. There are a large number of excellent Star Wars fan films out there, some made by Hollywood professionals with high-end equipment. To stand out among the crowd is a great feeling of validation both as an animator and a Star Wars fan.

 

WINNER: BEST CHOREOGRAPHY & BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Exile: A Star Wars Fan Film by Noel B.

 

WINNER: SPIRIT OF FANDOM & BEST STOP MOTION

Star Wars: The Toys Awaken by Raymond M.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I was born in 1974 and grew up with the original trilogy being a huge part of my formative years. Watching The Empire Strikes Back in the theater in 1980, and taking in Yoda’s wisdom and Vader’s galaxy-shattering revelation, made a lasting impression on me. I was hooked at that point and have been a lifelong fan since ever since. I didn’t realize it then, but my Star Wars fan creativity was in its beginning stages just after Return of the Jedi came out in theaters in 1983. I wrote two short stories complete with illustrations, naturally titled The Jedi Strike Back and Return of the Empire. I don’t think they were very good, but I was so proud to share them with my family.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

The inspiration for my film goes back to 2012 when Disney announced it would purchase Lucasfilm and start making new Star Wars movies. After living for years with the reality that there would be no more Star Wars movies after Revenge of the Sith, this news re-ignited the fan in me. Being anxious for any and all Star Wars news, I checked StarWars.com daily and read that Lucasfilm would resurrect the Star Wars Fan Film Awards and present awards at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in April 2015. I always had an interest in video production and had just switched careers from electrical engineering to running a freelance business in motion graphics and visual effects. I knew the Fan Film Awards would be the perfect opportunity to produce my first short film, share my fandom with the world, and actively participate in Star Wars Celebration (for which I already purchased a four-day pass). Because my excitement for Star Wars was at an all-time high, I wanted to produce a fan film about a fan whose toys come to life to help him out of a jam. I was fortunate enough to have my first fan film, Star Wars: A Toy Story, selected as a finalist and nominated for Best Visual Effects.

I was honored to be a finalist in 2015, but failing to win one of the coveted awards left me feeling incomplete. Falling short drove me to produce a film for the 2016 Star Wars Fan Film Awards. I wrote the script for Star Wars: The Toys Awaken in early 2016 and kicked off production in April. Ultimately the scope of the film was too wide, and I didn’t have enough time to complete the film before the deadline. I put it on hold and switched gears when I learned of Lucasfilm’s #GoRogue fan film contest leading up to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I managed to complete a 2-minute film for the contest, The Rogue One: A Star Wars Toy Story, but unfortunately I fell short of winning once again.

Lucasfilm did not hold the Star Wars Fan Film Awards in 2017, but I eventually came back to The Toys Awaken late in 2017. I had gotten so many great people involved in my initial production effort (about 40 people for the movie theater scene from local fan groups Star Wars Steampunk Universe, San Diego Star Wars Society, and Science Fiction Coalition), I felt a responsibility to complete the film even in the absence of a Lucsafilm contest. By early 2018 I had completed a significant portion of the stop-motion animation. I had to put it on hold once again due to work commitments. But then this past summer I learned that Lucasfilm would hold the 2018 Star Wars Fan Awards. That announcement provided me the impetus to make the final push to complete the film.

The story is set on the opening day of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and tells the story of a young Star Wars fan whose toys come to life. The young fan, Riley, is played by my daughters Maliya and Nora, who are two and a half years apart in age. For the shots we filmed in April 2016, Maliya played the role of Riley. By the time we got around to completing production two and a half years later, she was too old for the role, so I had Nora, who was the right age, step in and complete the shots. I shot Nora so that we never see her face directly, and I only shot extreme close-ups of Maliya’s eyes when we needed shots of her face. The timing worked out perfectly. I’m so happy that it took three years to complete the film so that both Maliya and Nora could play significant roles in it. I’m ecstatic that we won two awards, but I’m even happier that this film has provided us with a very personal family experience that we’ll never forget.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means everything to me. Having Lucasfilm officially recognize my work as a Star Wars fan is a tremendous honor. Having entered three Lucasfilm contests, I have seen how high the bar is, how talented the competition is, and how rare winning is. Being a finalist in 2015 and not winning, and having made three fan films to get to this point is extremely satisfying. It means even more to me that my daughters have been a part of this journey. I hope they see this as a life lesson that hard work and sticking with their passions can lead to positive outcomes even though the journey can be difficult.

 

Genre: Short Video

WINNER: FILMMAKER SELECT, BEST COMEDY, & BEST STOP MOTION 

Ice Cream To Go by Jordan G. and Cody G.

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE

Vader: Misquoted by Jared H.

 

WINNER: BEST ANIMATION & BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Grievous Versus Praetorians by Brian W.

 

WINNER: SPIRIT OF FANDOM

Simple Tricks and Nonsense by Jason Y.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Star Wars has always been around in my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories consist of my family and I sitting around the TV watching the original trilogy together on VHS. My brother and I enjoyed scrapping together costumes from random items around the house and reenacting scenes from the films. We would spend countless hours playing with Star Wars action figures, and even made a few of our own fan videos with them.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

As I was thinking about my entry for the Star Wars Fan Awards, I really wanted to capture the essence of my love and appreciation for Star Wars. Growing up, I loved collecting and playing with the toys available at the time. My love for collecting Star Wars toys continues today, which I get to share with my three children, who have become avid Star Wars fans in their own right.

For my entry I created a short video inspired by the original Kenner action figure TV commercials, but used modern action figures from the Black Series line that we collect together as a family. Needless to say, we had such a fun time creating the video together!

What does winning mean to you?

As a Star Wars fan, it is an incredible honor to be among this year’s winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards — I’m proud to represent the greatest fandom in the galaxy. Thank you for your votes and support, and as always, may the Force be with you!

 

WINNER: BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

A Close Call by Jared P.

 

Genre: Visual Art

WINNER: BEST IN SHOW & BEST POSTER ART

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo recreation of the Star Wars: A New Hope poster using Black Series action figures.

A (Tiny) New Hope by Trevor W.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Star Wars the day it opened at a drive-in on my birthday (May 25th!) and as soon as Darth Vader walked through the door of the Tantive IV…I was hooked! I collected everything I could get my hands on and afford or I begged my parents for it. Action figures were, of course, always a part of that collection.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I’m a toy photographer on a semi-professional and hobby basis and try to do a big, iconic Star Wars shot every year. This year, I got my hands on the Hasbro full-size Vader helmet and it looked perfectly scaled to use with 6″ and 3.75″ figures to recreate the iconic Star Wars poster. I had to “redesign” (cut up and add pieces to) Leia’s dress to match the one in the illustration. Lighting and getting the fog just right probably took 150+ shots! Having it work as well as it did was worth all the effort though.

What does winning mean to you?

My work has been recognized before, but this is a BIG DEAL! Being recognized officially by the people at StarWars.com and Lucasfilm/Disney is a fan artist’s dream come true!

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE & BEST DIGITAL ART

"Balance" Star Wars Fan Award winning painting of Rey and Kylo Ren.

Balance by Madison T.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Star Wars fan. My older brother was already really into it by the time I was old enough to become interested in the films, so I grew up watching both the original trilogy and the prequels. In fact, my first Star Wars memory is crying because I wasn’t allowed to go see Attack of the Clones on its opening night. (I was only six at the time.) But when Revenge of the Sith came out three years later, I finally got to have the magical experience of seeing a Star Wars movie in theaters for the first time!

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

For me, the Force has always been the most fascinating element of the Star Wars universe. Its portrayal in the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars is especially beautiful, complex, and thought-provoking. It raises just as many questions as it does answers about what balancing the Force means, and about what the Force actually is as an entity. I love how the Father, Son, and Daughter represent certain aspects of the Force, and I think that is also the case with certain characters in the saga films. That is why I chose Rey and Ben Solo/Kylo Ren as the two characters I wanted in this piece. Light and dark, if you will.

Creating the final design of the composition was a long and difficult process. I started with a lot of sketches, and after narrowing the options down to a single idea, I began the process of digitally painting it. That design then went through several major alterations and transformations along the way. The composition I ended up with is quite different than what I originally imagined, but I think that it is stronger because of its numerous iterations. This is definitely one of the more difficult pieces I’ve ever worked on, but it is also one of the most rewarding.

What does winning mean to you?

To have my work recognized by fellow fans and by Lucasfilm’s panel of judges is an incredible honor for me. As an artist who is passionate about both my work and about Star Wars, seeing that people have responded so positively to the piece has been really wonderful. The sheer volume of support far surpassed what I ever could have expected, and I’m extremely grateful for and humbled by it. The Star Wars community truly is like a family, and I’ve never felt that more than during this process.

 

WINNER: BEST CUSTOM COSTUME

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Enfys Nest costume.

Enfys Nest Costume by Michaela M.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I always kind of grew up watching Star Wars movies but I really got into it with The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. It’s become a family event; we all cosplay as different Star Wars characters together.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

As soon as I saw the costume design for Enfys Nest I fell in love with it. Once I actually saw Solo, I knew I had to try making it.

The entire costume was a nonstop, 10-week project. The helmet alone took five of those weeks. It was easily the most complicated project I’ve ever undertaken. I spent hours researching details of the costume, some of which could only be seen on action figures of the character. I tried to create a screen-accurate costume, right down to the scuff marks. I also wanted to incorporate the working technology of the costume as much as possible. The electroripper staff, belt, and chest box all light up. I also built the vambraces to open and close on my arms, as well as a working voice changer in the helmet.

What does winning mean to you?

It’s an honor to have all my hard work be recognized by fans of the franchise. I originally created this costume as a personal project and a challenge to myself. The positive response has been overwhelming.

 

WINNER: BEST CUSTOM DIORAMA

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Forgotten AT-AT diorama.

Forgotten AT-AT by Mirko M.

 

WINNER: BEST CUSTOM FIGURE

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning krayt dragon custom figure.

Krayt Dragon Action Figure by Brad H.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

It happened the moment my mom popped in the VHS of A New Hope. The gears of my young imagination were set in motion and there was no going back. Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

The skeleton of the krayt dragon in the desert of Tatooine in Episode IV always caught my eye. It was one of the many blink-and-you-miss-it moments that has me re-watching Star Wars to this day. Growing up, very much alive and ferocious krayt dragons showed up in several video games I played. In the MMO Star Wars Galaxies, krayt hunting was a community event. Groups of eight or more players banded together to take down the massive beasts and claim the loot on the other side of victory. Years after regularly playing Galaxies, I was learning digital sculpting and looking for a challenging project to give myself. I found a screenshot I took in-game during a krayt hunt, and the fond memories fueled this project to completion.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means a lot to me because I feel like I am contributing to the larger Star Wars community and getting to share my work on its biggest platform with people who will love the krayt dragon as much as I do.

 

WINNER: BEST PHYSICAL ART

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Kirie art with Rey and Kylo Ren.

切り絵:白と黒の共闘 (Kirie: Black and White Joined in Battle) by Yukiko K.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

Forty years ago, when I was a little child, I saw Star Wars for the first time. At that time, sci-fi animation was a fad in Japan, so I was interested in sci-fi. Space, robot, science, and future technology. I thought they were very cool! That’s why I was also interested in Star Wars. So I became a fan.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I saw the scene where Rey and Kylo Ren fight together against a common enemy in The Last Jedi. I came up with the idea of expressing their “shape” of the Force with white and black feathers.

What does winning mean to you?

My dream is for many people to know Japanese paper cutting art (called “Kirie”) and my Star Wars fan artwork.
I was chosen as a winner, so more people will see my Kirie artwork. That’s a very happy thing for me, and I was chosen as a finalist for the Audience Choice award. I’m so happy!

 

WINNER: BEST TRADITIONAL ART

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning illustration of Darth Maul.

Darth Maul Drawing by Justin M.

 

Genre: Photo

WINNER: BEST IN SHOW & BEST FAMILY PORTRAIT

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning family photo.

Rey, BB-8, & Chewbacca on Jakku by Brianna E.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I don’t remember the exact moment because I grew up on Star Wars. Even my first celebrity crush as a kid was Harrison Ford. Star Wars has always been a classic to me, a series of movies you can watch over and over again, in different orders, and never tire of.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

My children are my biggest inspiration, so combining the love for my children, my dog, photography, and Star Wars seemed like a no-brainer!

What does winning mean to you?

Winning means so much to me! I’ve never won anything for any of my photography. And for my first two awards to be for one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken, it really warms my heart.

 

WINNER: AUDIENCE CHOICE

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 Audience Choice award winner photo of a father (dressed as Rex) and his daughter (dressed as Rey).

Rex and Baby Rey Family Portrait by Isaiah T.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I have been a HUGE Star Wars fan for my entire life! For as long as I can remember. The original trilogy was basically playing all day long in my house. One of my favorite Star Wars memories was going to see the midnight showing of The Phantom Menace on opening night! I just remember sitting there, hearing the music and seeing the text crawl on the big screen for the first time! Gives me chills just thinking about it! Star Wars was a huge part of my childhood and remains a huge part of my life. It’s so awesome to be able to share my passion for it with my own children now!

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

My entry for the Star Wars Fan Awards happens to be a shot taken on Halloween with my daughter and me. I was dressed as one of my favorite characters, Captain Rex. She was her most favorite, Rey. We decided to have a little photo shoot in the backyard and my wife was able to snap this perfect shot! If you know our daughter, then you know it is no easy task getting her to stay still for a picture. This moment snapped in time will be one of my most cherished memories for the rest of my life.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning this award, especially the Audience Choice award, is so humbling and incredible! To have this picture chosen by other Star Wars fans amongst so many other amazing shots is such an honor! We just want to take the opportunity to again thank everyone who voted for us! We are so grateful and appreciative! Thank you also to Star Wars and Disney for the amazing opportunity! May the Force be with you always!

 

WINNER: FUNNIEST

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo of Ewok figures looking at a real chicken.

You Think This Is Weird…Wait Till You See the Egg by Aaron A.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

The way I became a Star Wars fan is the reason why I still love it today — it’s a chance to just relax and get drawn into a world where the stress of everyday life can’t get to me. With my two young children we can enjoy it together, and they have the opportunity to experience the fun and adventure that caught my attention all those years ago.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

To just try to be a part of the fantastic Star Wars universe. It’s been such a big part of my life since I was young and the opportunity to have my name attached to even a little piece of it was my main focus. Like nearly every Star Wars fan out there I have my own movie and creative ideas floating around my head and to have a way to express that with like-minded fans is incredible.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning a Star Wars Fan Award is such a great moment, it’s going to be an awesome way to show my children that you can achieve things if you just put yourself out there and try.

 

WINNER: BEST ORIGINAL CONCEPT & BEST STAR WARS FOOD PRESENTATION

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning Nien Nunb salad.

Nien Nunb Prosciutto Salad by Atsuko W.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I have been watching the movies since I was a little, but I think that I have gradually understood [it more] deeply since becoming an adult. Now my son is a Star Wars, fan so we enjoy it together.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

All the materials of the work are familiar. Work was done in the kitchen with chopsticks, kitchen scissors, and petty knife. I shot it using a smartphone on the dining table.

After shooting, I ate everything.

What does winning mean to you?

My dream is to have work on the Star Wars website, so I’m very happy.

 

WINNER: BEST PET PHOTO

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo of a dog dressed as a porg.

A Dog Hope by Kazuya O.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I saw Episode IV at a movie theater as a child. Since then, I’ve been a Star Wars fan.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

I love Episode VIII’s interaction between Chewbacca and the porg. So the idea was that I wanted my dog to interact with a porg.

What does winning mean to you?

Of course, this honor is a treasure of a lifetime. Thank you very much. It may be an exaggeration, but I feel like a part of Star Wars history.

 

WINNER: BEST SCENE-INSPIRED

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winning photo of a Rey action figure called "Scavenger."

Scavenger by Carlo V.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

I was introduced to Star Wars when I was around five years old by my dad and grandad, who are huge fans. I would sit and watch the original trilogy with them on the weekends and they would also encourage me to collect action figures. Star Wars turned into a sort of family tradition, and now I share it with my own family.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry, and how was the experience making it?

Rey was the main inspiration for my photo. My hobby is action figure photography and I build all of my sets from scratch using recycled materials, pretty much the same way Rey scavenges for parts. It just felt right for me to take that concept and recreate with an action figure.

What does winning mean to you? 

It validates my hard work and passion for the 3.75” line of toys that I have loved and cherished since I was a child. Having my art recognized publicly is surreal and makes me very grateful and encourages me to keep on sharing my work with this community of fans and creators who have inspired us since we were kids.

 

WINNER: BEST THROWBACK

Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 winner - vintage photo of a young Star Wars fan opening toys.

Vintage Joy: In Between Star Wars and Disney by Adam M.

How did you become a Star Wars fan?

The Empire Strikes Back is the first film I remember seeing in a theater, and it remains my favorite film of all time. I have a weird memory of staring into the mirror and attempting to fast forward time so I could know if Vader REALLY was Luke’s father or not. It didn’t work.

What was the inspiration for your Star Wars Fan Awards entry?

I have a glass case where I keep a few of my childhood Star Wars toys on display, and this photo of me at age five sits atop the case. While there are plenty other vintage photos of me with various Star Wars memorabilia, I’ve always felt this one was particularly special. You can see how filled with joy I am, and the connection of Star Wars and joy has never dissipated for me.

What does winning mean to you?

It seems preposterous, to be honest. I know there were many, many equally deserving entries. I just happened to be really happy in a photograph.

Watch The Star Wars Show‘s Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 special below!

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

Meet the Winners of the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018!

Vote Today in the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018!

StarWars.com

It’s the final day to cast your ballots in the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. PST tonight, which gives you just a few more hours to let your voice be heard in the judging of this year’s finest Star Wars fan-made creations.

Our panel of judges has narrowed it down to the best of the best, and we need your help to make the final call over at StarWarsFanAwards.com.

The entries with the most votes will win the coveted Audience Choice award in the genres of Long Video (up to 5 minutes long), Short Video (up to 15 seconds long), Photography, and Visual Art.

Remember to check back in December when the full list of winners, including those chosen by a panel of Lucasfilm judges, will be announced in a special episode of The Star Wars Show!

An expansion of the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, a longstanding Lucasfilm tradition, the Star Wars Fan Awards are here to celebrate the unique talents in the Star Wars fan galaxy.

StarWars.com All Star Wars all the time.

https://www.starwars.com/news/last-day-to-vote-star-wars-fan-awards-2018

See Audience Choice Finalists and Vote in the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018!

StarWars.com

It’s time for you to see some amazing fan-made creations in the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018 — and weigh in with your picks for the Audience Choice awards.

Our panel of judges has narrowed down thousands of inspiring, heartfelt, and truly impressive entries, but we need your help to decide the next phase in the Star Wars Fan Awards 2018! Now through November 13, head over to StarWarsFanAwards.com and cast your ballots.

Four winners will be chosen by the fans in the genres of video, both long form and short form, photo, and visual art, and take home the coveted Audience Choice award.

Come back once a day, every day, through November 13 to vote. Then get ready for the full list of category winners, chosen by a panel of Lucasfilm judges, to be announced in December with a special episode of The Star Wars Show!

An expansion of the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, a longstanding Lucasfilm tradition, the Star Wars Fan Awards are here to celebrate the unique talents in the Star Wars fan galaxy.

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

https://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-fan-awards-2018-voting-open