SWCC 2019: Get Your First Look at Star Wars: Episode IX Product Packaging

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Collectors can finish what they started and pick up toys and other merchandise for Star Wars: Episode IX on Triple Force Friday this fall.

But today, fans got their first peek at the packaging for the line, with a piece of box art revealed at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Check it out below!

Packaging for merchandise from Episode IX.

Visitors to the exhibition hall floor can get their photo taken in a life-size replica of the packaging all weekend.

And on Triple Force Friday, coming October 4, you’ll have your first chance to scoop up merchandise linked to Episode IX, The Mandalorian and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

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

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Site tags: #StarWarsCelebrationChicago2019, #SWCCNews

SWCC 2019: Get Your First Look at Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker Product Packaging

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

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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

Her Universe Honors “Sisters of the Force” in New Collection at Star Wars Celebration Chicago – Exclusive

StarWars.com

Nearly a decade ago, when Her Universe was just getting ready to launch its unique Star Wars apparel for female fans, founder Ashley Eckstein was trying on different names that exemplified the brand and the community she was hoping to build.

She landed on “Sisters of the Force,” a phrase that was ultimately left on the cutting room floor. But for Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and later Star Wars Rebels, it helped to set the tone for things to come. “Sisters of the Force never took off, but it was always kind of my name for the female Star Wars community,” she says. And next week, Her Universe will launch a special “Sisters of the Force” capsule collection at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, with dresses, shirts, hoodies, and even capes that pay homage to some of the bravest women in the galaxy.

“Sisters of the Force, to me, represents women in Star Wars,” Eckstein recently told StarWars.com. “Whether it’s the characters, whether it’s the fans, whether it’s the women who work on Star Wars, there are all of these strong women who bring Star Wars to life. And while my dream with Her Universe, from day one, has been to spread the message that Star Wars is for everyone, I wanted to shine the spotlight on the women of Star Wars with this collection.”

As the company prepares to celebrate its ninth anniversary, Eckstein shares the stories behind the designs in the new line.

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Padmé nouveau

If this nouveau design looks familiar, that’s because the piece was pulled from the Her Universe vault to be reissued by request. “It was our most popular shirt when we first launched,” Eckstein says. “That shirt hasn’t been available for over 5 years. But people still request it because their first shirt is worn out or they’re a newer Her Universe fan.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Rey tee

Star Wars fandom is like a family, and there’s no place that’s more apparent than at Star Wars Celebration. With the launch of Our Universe last year, Eckstein’s team opened up even more possibilities with unisex offerings. “So many guys not only have supported us from day one but on a regular basis they tell me we’re one of the only brands that offer Ahsoka Tano T-shirts for men,” Eckstein says. When it came time to design a piece for Rey, the team chose a unisex cut and a quote that was indicative of inclusion. “That quote felt like it was right for Rey, right for the saga where we are now going into Episode IX, and just right as an inspiring quote in everyday life.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.
An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Logo tee

This subtle yet striking black-on-black tee has a secret – on the back is printed an adage from an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “The Wrong Jedi.”

The quote — “Never give up hope, no matter how dark things seem.” — is one of Eckstein’s personal favorites and a reminder to have faith even in darkness. “To me, Star Wars means hope. That is what it has meant to me personally for years as a Star Wars fan. And Ahsoka is a survivor. Ahsoka lives and Ashoka means hope to me.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Padmé’s lake retreat 

“I’ve been wanting to do Padmé’s lake house dress for years,” says Eckstein. “It’s a very difficult dress to make, and to make a ready-to-wear version that anyone can wear.”

But the flowy chiffon number, with a bustle and delicate finger loops, still felt too fancy for some fans, who asked for an everyday version. That’s when the team designed a hoodie in matching pastel hues. Ultimately, rather than choosing between the two, Eckstein decided to produce both. “Padmé doesn’t get enough love.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Tano sweatshirt

Lucasfilm’s Daniel Kennedy designed this number, a unisex pullover that incorporates Ahsoka’s lekku markings and other identifying features in the design.

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Ahsoka windbreaker 

Also designed with lekku in mind, the hood on this windbreaker includes two points. “Not only is it a nod to Ahsoka but also kind of a nod to cosplayers,” Eckstein says.

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Leia’s cape coat

Even though Her Universe doesn’t create screen-accurate replicas, a lot of research went into creating this textured jacquard cape coat with the formidable Leia Organa in mind. “We tried to pick something that closely emulated General Organa’s cape coat,” Eckstein says, then took some liberties adding a rebel symbol to the back and a metal nameplate on the front.

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Rose Tico army jacket

This rugged jacket takes a lot of cues from Rose’s jumpsuit, and even sports details like a cozy fleece hood and an embroidered patch to match her necklace.

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Holdo’s dress

“We wanted to do that dress so bad from the second we saw it,” Eckstein says of Admiral Holdo’s draped lavender frock. “But honestly, when we designed our The Last Jedi collection, there was a lot we didn’t know. After the film, when we realized she’s awesome and the dress is awesome, we knew we had to make it!”

A looser fit and shorter cut make this dress more versatile for everyday wear. Plus, it has pockets! “Pockets are the rule, not the exception,” Eckstein says. “We have a general life rule that you should put pockets in as many things as possible. There are some designs where pockets, for the fit, it’s not possible. So that’s the exception. But the rule is if it’s possible to put pockets in a design, there will be.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Sabine pleather moto jacket

Inspired by Sabine’s first-season armor because “for most fans that’s the most recognizable,” Eckstein says, this jacket includes nods to the Mandalorian artist’s handiwork as well as a back panel “inspired by the front of her helmet.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Hera pullover

For this design, Eckstein asked Vanessa Marshall, the voice of Hera, to weigh in, picking her personal favorite quote from the character, “We have hope.”

“If you’re not a fan, I think it just looks like a cool design,” Eckstein says. But if you are, you’ll know you’re wearing a piece that came “straight from the voice of Hera.”

An item from the "Sisters of the Force" Her Universe collection.

Constellation

Even with all these pieces, there were still too many female Star Wars characters to represent them all in the capsule collection. “I called up my friend [and artist] Ashley Taylor and I gave her a list.”

This final design was inspired by a star map and has 27 characters, all celebrated as constellations in a vast expanse of galaxy, and emblazoned on a tee and a pullover.

You can purchase items from the Sisters of the Force collection at Star Wars Celebration Chicago and on HerUniverse.com beginning April 11.

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.

Her Universe Honors “Sisters of the Force” in New Collection at Star Wars Celebration Chicago – Exclusive