May the Fourth Be With You! Star Wars Day has once again flown around and it’s the one time a year when we nerds can really express our passion for the Saga! Okay, some of us do that on a daily basis – but this one’s a bit more special due to the undeniably suitable date. So Gadget Helpline thought we should remind our fellow Force addicts (and teach you young Padawans) some of the exciting ways you can celebrate Star Wars on the big day!
Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray
Of course, the top way to celebrate the sci-fi adventure and action of a Galaxy Far, Far Away is to experience it yourself in full with a copy of the Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray. This definitive collected edition features all six movies: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – all in super sharp high density format with enhanced THX audio.
Younglings will likely watch in timeline order, while veteran fans are more likely to watch in release order (maybe even leaving out the “prequels” entirely!). And yes, with alterations galore including added “emotion” to Darth Vader, this is far from the classic Saga you’ll remember watching from your Nan’s sofa. George Lucas is infamous for tweaking his Star Wars series at any possible occasion and the series has benefitted (or suffered) from a number of re-edits and re-releases throughout the nineties up until today (the movies recently began a re-re-release in cinemas with Episode I being the first shown in 3D).
If you’re an apprehensive Star Wars purist we suggest leaving your fear behind (leads to hate, leads to the Dark Side etc. etc.) and give this one a go, and remember to check out the three additional discs loaded with extras including deleted, extended and alternate scenes, commentaries from the cast and crew as well as an amusing collection of the best Star Wars spoofs of all time!
You can grab the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-Ray boxset from Play.com, with an exclusive 35mm reproduction film cell included for £115.99 – a better deal than you’d get from a Tattooine trader! If you want a preview of some of the bountiful bonuses and own an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can download the free Star Wars Blu-Ray: Early Access app which lets you explore some of the features included in The Complete Saga!
“Darth Maul Me” App:
Undoubtedly one of the coolest characters we were introduced to in the lacklustre prequel Episode I: The Phantom Menace was Darth Maul. The red and black tattooed-faced Dark Lord of the Sith who rocked a double-bladed lightsaber but had his reign unfortunately cut short when he fell foul to the Jedi (unless you follow the Clone Wars animated series, in which Maul is resurrected to menace again!)
It may be too bold to suggest Darth Maul had a certain Boba Fett factor, but the sinister Sith was a one-shot whose appeal lived on in the hearts of many a Star Wars fan – fans who can now become their insidious idol through a new official app for Android and iPhone called “Darth Maul Me”.
The app works in the same manner as other photo transformation gimmicks on smartphones. If you’re familiar with Zombie Booth or FatBoot, you’ll know the score. Think of this as MaulBooth. Start the app and position your face in the oval, line up the eyes and take your snap, or you can use an already taken photo from your phone’s library.
The next step allows you resize your shot and tailor the area and shape of your face for the mask to be applied to, using anchor points manipulated with the touchscreen. Then chose how much Maul you want from the selection including full Maul-over, partial Sith or just the frightening yellow eyes. Once happy with your transformation to the Darkside you have the option to save your creation or share it with pals on social sites.
The Darth Maul Me app features a slick interface and is complimented by authentic sound effects from the movie, saber buzzes and slashes adding to the appeal of this amusing time-killer, which is free to download from Google Play and the Apple App Store. Go grab the app and have your revenge – now!
Yoda-fone? No Force Necessary:
The popularity of Star Wars of course makes it a lucrative brand, and the franchise has been attached to a number of companies and products familiar to Gadget Helpline readers. Recently Darth Vader and the droids C3PO and R2D2 have appeared in television adverts for PC World, but our favourite has to be the ones for Vodafone featuring diminutive Jedi Master Yoda.
In the first of a series of Vodafone promo clips for their new Red Box service, a gentleman at a sushi bar is seen tinkering with his new smartphone much to his lady companion’s displeasure. She asks if he’s going to start swapping his numbers over to the new gadget right there and then, but as the man starts to plead his case he’s interrupted by the familiar tone and disjointed vocab of Jedi-Master Yoda, who appears in CGI form, as seen in Star Wars: Episode II onwards.
Yoda offers to help the chap quickly fix his phone using his vast Jedi training, demonstrating his skills in the Force by levitating chopsticks and other objects. The fellow explains that no Jedi training is needed to access to Vodafone’s Red Box service which transfers contacts and information from a previous Vodafone handset over to a new one in no time. Out-mastered by the U.K network, Yoda admits “How strong with them, the force must be!”
Despite Yoda’s inability to help in this situation, he’ll no doubt help force a few more millions into the LucasFilms bank account and help Vodafone raise its marketing cred. You can check out all the amusing ads so far on the Vodafone YouTube Channel!
Star Wars: The Old Republic Game:
“SWTOR” is the latest MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) set in the famous Galaxy Far, Far Away and is a Windows PC-based title set around 300 years before the Knights of the Old Republic series of games and 3500 years before the events of the first Star Wars movie (Episode I). Players can choose their character from a number of races, some seen in the film Saga, others from the Extended Universe, and then make the all-important decision between joining the Galactic Republic on the light side with the Jedi, or allege with the sinister Sith on the Dark Side!
The Old Republic, developed by BioWare, can be played “free-roaming” although the game is intended to be played in a mission-based form with players’ enhancements based on achieving goals and completing storylines while interacting with other characters – some computer controlled, some controlled by other online players. Ships and settings from the Star Wars movies are seen and referenced and the game holds a lot for those who wish to expand their experience of the Saga.
PC gamers who want to immerse themselves in the history of the Jedi and Sith can buy Star Wars: The Old Republic from retailers such as Amazon.co.uk – which also stocks a special Collector’s Edition. This rancor-sized package is limited to 5,000 and includes CD copy of the game with additional digital content and “physical” items such as the Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic CD and an impressive statue of Darth Malgus – perfect for casting the Shadows of the Empire across your desk while enthralled in hours of online gaming!
Kinect Star Wars Game:
More for fans of the Star Wars movies and those who like their multiplayer gaming a little more casual, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Kinect combo provides the perfect post-Saga wind-down for you and your mates – Kinect Star Wars!
This game throws up a series of motion capture challenges using the wireless hands-free control system including Jedi Destiny, which is a Padawan training mode that teaches the required Jedi skills needed to battle the Sith. Rancor Rampage – where players mimic the beast and destroy obstacles. Podracing, as you would guess, puts the player in the cockpit of a fast-flying pod. Duel of Fates is a lightsaber training mode which pits the player against a number of foes leading up to Darth Vader himself. And by far the most entertaining, the Galactic Dance-off mode – where popular songs from Earth’s recent times are reimagined to include Star Wars themes and references, with the player dances to match the smooth moves of fan favourites such as Han Solo and C3PO!
The launch of Kinect Star Wars was celebrated with the release of an Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle decked out in droid colours, including an R2D2 inspired console and Kinect bar, accompanied by a control pad in shiny CP30 gold finish! Powering on and opening the Xbox’s disc tray result in R2-D2’s bleeps and boops. Both the game and bundle can be found on Amazon.co.uk.
Featuring the incomplete Death Star as its logo (a spoof of the recognisable spherical jigsaw logo used by the “real” Wikipedia) the imaginatively titled amalgamation of the popular online encyclopaedia of everything and Han Solo hairy sidekick hosts 92,578 pages relating to popular characters of the movies such as Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi and the more obscure faces from the Expanded Universe such as Dash Rendar and Prince Xizor. Ships from the Millenium Falcon and Slave II are listed and detailed along with weapons like the blaster and and even details of the thing which George Lucas dreads to hear of above all else – the Star Wars Holiday Special!
You’ll even be able to find out Jabba the Hutt’s full name with the help of this valuable resource – if only it could finally confirm for us who shot first!