The Blockade Runner

Star Wars Is Forever

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Blockade Runner Pickups: August 21st – August 27


The Jedi Master’s Quizbook

After the incredibly entertaining episode of Blast Points, I HAD to get a copy of Rusty Miller’s Star Wars trivia book.

Entertainment Weekly Magazine

I don’t typically buy multiple covers of magazines, but I couldn’t resist with these; they just make such a great pair.

Light week for Star Wars pickups; the calm before the Force Friday II storm… 


X-Wing MicroKite

My pickups are pretty light this week as I’m mostly waiting in anticipation for Force Friday II, but I did find a couple of little deals at my local Meijer when I went to look for street date-breaking Last Jedi merch (I didn’t find any…). The asking price on this X-Wing MicroKite was slashed all the way down to a buck, so I thought “why not?” Not sure if I’ll ever use it, but if not, it’ll be a fun thing to pull out of a Star Wars bin full of Star Wars-themed magazines, party favors, and school supplies in 10 years or something.

Force Awakens Folders

IMG_0094At least I think these are from The Force Awakens. They’re certainly not Last Jedi product, so I’m guessing they were designed for this season’s Back to School sales window, and hastily so judging by the questionable font/text choices. I actually sorta hate these, but they features Star Wars images, so I was compelled to buy them, especially at sixty cents apiece.

Autographed Star Wars Stern Pinball Machine Flyer

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My brother Jason went to the Star Wars Pinball Party and Toy Store event at Logan Arcade in Chicago last Friday night and was nice enough to grab me this Stern Star Wars Limited Edition table info sheet signed by Stern’s Steve Ritchie! You can find more info on the table here, but it looks amazing and I can’t wait to make the trip into Logan Arcade to scope it out.

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The Blockade Runner Podcast Episode 5 – Rebels Trailer Reaction and TFA Editing Theories


Show Notes:

Download this episode (right click and save)

Ryan, Dan, John, and first time Blockade Runner Lindsey get together to discuss the new Rebels trailer, Rey’s heritage and how much was originally set to be revealed about her in TFA, and more. Check out the links below for links to articles discussed on the show.


Intro and outro music in The Blockade Runner is “Hedonism” by Ash.




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Did The Force Awakens Originally Reveal Rey’s Heritage?


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey (Daisy Ridley) Ph: Film Frame © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Right Reserved..

Daisy Ridley’s Rey is an incredibly effective and likable hero and one that has made a huge impact on audiences. She is universally loved by the friends and family with whom I’ve discussed the film but there’s been quite a bit of debate surrounding where she comes from and to whom she’s related. This is clearly by design, but was it part of the original plan for The Force Awakens?

I avoided spoilers as much as possible in the lead up to TFA while still seeking out and devouring every possible article, interview, photo, and trailer I could in the months leading up to its release. One particularly memorable piece from that period is a November Hollywood Reporter interview with Ridley in which she discusses her audition process, training regiment, and the secrecy surrounding her character. After reading the interview, I was fully expecting to learn the truth regarding Rey’s heritage in Episode VII because of the following exchange:

In this age of social media everyone knows so much about movies before they see them.

And it takes away. I don’t want to dissect something before I see it. And things change. I don’t even know what it’s going to be like after editing.

Everyone wants to know who Rey’s parents are. Do you know?


Will the viewer know after the first episode or not necessarily?

Questions will be answered, absolutely. The main question will be answered.

Ridley’s answer clearly indicates that she believes the “main question” will be answered in The Force Awakens, but unless I missed something, that didn’t bear out. What’s more, she even references the editing process and the possibility of aspects of the film changing as it moves from the set to the editing bay to the theater.

I’ve now seen The Force Awakens seven times, and knowing the movie fairly well at this point it seems possible to me that perhaps Abrams, Kasdan, and Lucasfilm originally intended to provide more concrete details surrounding Rey’s heritage. There are conversations and interactions in the film that sometimes feel as if they end prematurely (such as Kylo Ren’s aggressively-delivered “WHAT GIRL?” as he force chokes Lieutenant Mitaka, or Han’s missing reply to Maz’s probing “who’s the girl?”) that may have originally played out in a different way. It also seems to me that if Rey is a Skywalker (and most of us are in agreement that she is), she spends an awful lot of time around Han, Leia, and Chewie with none of them acknowledging their connection to her. Episodes VIII and IX could obviously supply justifications for that lack of acknowledgment, but again, it seems possible this film was originally meant to do that until a decision was made later in the creative process to hold back the revelation of Rey’s heritage for a future film.

In my experience, no topic has been more hotly debated than Rey’s background. I’ve personally been involved in many, many conversations about that very subject and fans on every side of the argument point to specific lines and details in the film to support whichever theory they endorse. While I have to assume this was the filmmakers’ desired outcome, I’m now wondering if J.J. and crew made cuts late in the post-production process to delay revealing the answer to one of the TFA’s most important questions. With the Blu-ray release and its accompanying behind-the-scenes content likely arriving in April, we’ll undoubtedly learn more about the process of putting the movie together and perhaps we’ll find out more about how Rey’s character developed throughout the film’s production.

UPDATE: Collider released an article today featuring discussion of a deleted scene that seems like it would’ve revealed a cool aspect of Maz Kanata’s character before being left out in post-production. Perhaps another indication of an ongoing debate within Lucasfilm about how much to reveal in The Force Awakens?


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The Blockade Runner Podcast Episode 4.5 – More on The Force Awakens and the Future of Star Wars Films


Show Notes:

Download this episode (right click and save)

In this episode of The Blockade Runner, Dan, Kevin, Chris, and John share more thoughts on The Force Awakens. We begin by checking in with Chris and his initial reactions to TFA since he wasn’t available for our last show. We also talk about our conflicted feelings regarding Star Wars movies without George Lucas’s involvement, our thoughts (and fears) about the anthology films, and just more general TFA discussion. We’ll be back soon with an episode about our TFA theories soon!

Intro and outro music in The Blockade Runner is “Hedonism” by Ash.




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Japanese Force Awakens Merchandise


My good friend Kevin lives in Japan and was kind enough to take some pictures of Force Awakens promotional materials and merchandise he had come across!

First off, a clothing store called NewYorker released a catalog showcasing their new Star Wars-themed line of Fancy Adult Wear.





It’s a pretty dang cool line; you can see more on their online store!

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The Blockade Runner Podcast Episode 4 – First Impressions of The Force Awakens


Show Notes:

Download this episode (right click and save)

In this episode of The Blockade Runner, Ryan, Dan, Kevin, and John discuss our thoughts on The Force Awakens. We’ve all seen the movie and we go into spoiler-heavy detail, so please be sure to see the film before listening. We chat about our reactions, criticism, theories, and favorite moments for over two hours, but there’s much more to discuss going forward so be sure to stay tuned for more podcasts, blog posts, and videos from The Blockade Runner!

Intro and outro music in The Blockade Runner is “Hedonism” by Ash.




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Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Alamo Drafthouse


The Alamo Drafthouse (Denver/Littleton) is my favorite movie theater ever. It has great food and drinks, amazing pre-film clip shows,  a draconian no-talking/cell phone policy, and they show an eclectic mix of films new and old (I recently saw my favorite horror movie of all time, the infamous 1977 Japanese film “Hausu” there). So naturally, that’s where I wanted to see The Force Awakens on opening night.

Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Due to some server mishaps on the night the tickets went on sale, I went to bed with Thursday night tickets at another theater. Thankfully, when I woke up the next morning, I was able to get tickets for the 18th, including two of the special Mondo pint glasses and the Star Wars-themed issue of their Birth. Movies. Death. magazine.

Before even reaching the theater, my wife and I knew this was going to be a special experience, as a Biker Scout hung out at the door. Inside, there were even more impeccable costumes- troopers, Darth Maul, and even Kylo Ren. It was high-quality stuff, but unfortunately we were running late, so I didn’t have a chance to take any good pictures or chat with the cosplayers.

Luckily, we made it in time to catch some of the pre-film clipshow. These are always great, but this Star Wars-themed one was maybe the best yet. It had everything from classic Kenner action figure commercials to modern YouTube videos from the likes of Danny Choo. Even the pre-show announcements, about how to order food and how to SHUT UP DURING THE MOVIE were Star Wars-themed.

Then the movie started. Turns out, it was even better the second time (we’ll all be giving our impressions in detail on the next episode of the Blockade Runner podcast… please look forward to it).

On our way out we picked up our pint glasses and magazine. Needless to say, they rule.


I can’t wait to dig into the magazine. It’s chock-full of interesting takes on the Star Wars phenomenon, from personal anecdotes to rad interviews.

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Also, within the pages are some killer prints from legendary artists that I’ll never be able to afford… but at least now I can hold and admire physical versions!


While it was a bummer that I wasn’t able to have my first Force Awakens experience at Alamo, tonight was still absolutely incredible, leaving me with both great memories and some unique tangible keepsakes. I can’t wait to continue this new chapter of Star Wars history at the Alamo in the years to come.