The Six Million Dollar Star Wars Man

In Matt’s excellent post Star Wars Pictures In and Out of the Parks, he had some photos from the “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit that he had seen at the California Science Center. That was the same exhibit that we had seen at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I didn’t realize that we had seen the same thing.

Anyway, that exhibit was the one I was talking about when I mentioned seeing the Six Million Dollar Man in the Landspeeder model. Matt had a photo of the full-size Landspeeder, but at the version of the exhibit that we saw, next to the full-size Landspeeder was this smaller model that they used in some of the effect shots:

And here is a cropped view of the passengers. Note how Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to be missing an eye.

And just for reference, here is a photo of the Six Million Dollar Man action figure, from RetroThing.com:

So there you have it – the special guest appearance of the Six Million Dollar Man in Star Wars: A New Hope. The truth revealed!

 

Star Wars Pictures In and Out of the Parks

With Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, there are plenty of exciting opportunities to bring the saga of the Jedis vs. the Siths to the parks.  Disney began this even before the Lucasfilm purchase when it worked with George Lucas to bring Star Tours to the Disneyland, and later, the Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios).  The addition of the Jedi Training Academy at both parks continues this presence.

Below are a few of my favorite Star Wars-related photos that I’ve taken both inside the Disney theme parks and beyond the berm (click to see larger-sized images):

While I got my first — and only — fix of Star Tours at Disneyland, the full-sized AT-AT and Snowspeeder at Disney-MGM Studios is a much cooler entry point to the attraction than the simple spaceport terminal of Disneyland.

If the Jedi Training Academy had existed when I was young enough to participate in it, I think I would have been there at every performance hoping to get picked.  Can’t think of many things much cooler than taking on a Sith Lord and the opportunity for kids to wield a lightsaber and do a mock battle with Darth Vader or Darth Maul, pictured above, is a nice Star Wars-themed addition to the theme parks.

Steve mentioned going to see a Star Wars-related exhibit where he saw a model of the Landspeeder with a Six Million Dollar Man action figure.  Not sure if it was the same exhibit that I went to, partially because I don’t remember any Six Million Dollar Men on display, but at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to go to the “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit where this full-sized model of Luke’s transport was available for viewing.

One of my first Star Wars action figures was Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing Pilot outfit.  I’d also receive a Battle-Damaged X-Wing Fighter some time later.  Rather than my Kenner toy, this is a picture of Luke and R2D2 in an X-Wing on display at the aforementioned “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” exhibit.

We’re used to seeing C3P0 in his golden skin — or blasted apart in pieces in The Empire Strikes Back — but it was cool to be able to see him without his outer layer at the science exhibit.

One of the coolest displays at the science museum was one that featured Darth Vader’s mask.  By looking through the back of the glass case, you could literally see through the eyes of the Sith Lord himself.  All those spindles and circuitry doesn’t look that comfortable though.

And, finally, the United States Post Office had a promotion with Star Wars, which resulted in several mailboxes decorated like R2D2.  We were lucky enough to have one installed here in Burbank and I had to pull over to take a picture when I saw it.

With all the possibilities of more Star Wars stuff coming to the Disney theme parks, I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to get even more pictures of two of my favorite brands.

-Matt

Star Wars Action Figures

In Episode 5 of Beyond the Berm we talked about most all things Star Wars and Lucasfilm after the announcement that Disney is acquiring Lucasfilm.

In passing as we talked about Star Wars stuff, we mentioned action figures. After seeing the original Star Wars at a young and impressionable age, I was excited to be able to have action figures so that I could create my own Star Wars adventures. Here are a few of them.

These three above were some of my favorites. R2-D2, at the left, was the first Star Wars action figure I ever got. And you can see by how is stickers are worn that he got lots of action. I always thought the Jawa in the center was cool, and then the later Jawas didn’t come with the same removable robe; I believe the later ones had a plastic robe/cape thing. And then Yoda, on the right, was hard to find after The Empire Strikes Back came out. I looked for a long time before I found him.

In the world of Star Wars, everyone was a star, no matter how big or small their parts were. Some of these pictured above only had very small parts. I can’t even remember the names of the two on the right. But hey, they were in the movies. At least in the background.

Here is the climactic lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, recreated in action figure form. The figures of those days didn’t have many movable joints, especially when compared with the modern figures, so there were only so many poses that they could have. But at least you didn’t have to worry about losing their lightsabers – they kept them up their sleeves.

This one is a little different than the others, because he is much more recent. And he isn’t actually from a Star Wars movie, either. This is RX-24, also known as Rex, from the original version of Star Tours at the Disney parks. I like how they made some action figures from the ride, because it brought back great memories of the action figures I had as a kid. And that I still have as an adult.

So far, Episode 5 has been our most popular episode. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.

Star Wars Holiday Special

In Episode 5, we were discussing all the aspects of Disney buying Lucasfilm and all its related businesses. And one item I mentioned near the end of our discussion was the Star Wars Holiday Special. Except I had some of the facts wrong.

First off, I called it the Star Wars Christmas Special instead of its actual name, the Star Wars Holiday Special. The show focused largely on Chewbacca’s family – his wife Malla, his son Lumpy, and his father Itchy. Chewbacca and Han Solo were trying to get to Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, which apparently is a major holiday there. So that was the holiday in question, not Christmas.

Also, I said that I thought the show was aired on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but it was actually shown on the Friday before Thanksgiving. November 17, 1978, to be exact. Looking back on my memories, that would make more sense, because it would have been odd for us to leave for a trip on Tuesday evening when we always had a half day of school the day before Thanksgiving. And we would never miss school, even if it were just a half day. Sorry about not having my facts straight!

To make it up to you, here is the opening of the Star Wars Holiday Special, for your viewing enjoyment:

If that entices you to want to see more, the other parts can be found at YouTube as well. And if that doesn’t entice you to want to see more, then maybe you know how George Lucas felt after seeing it, too. Because he evidently wasn’t involved in the making of the special.

And because Matt mentioned it, here is the video to White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic, which includes him buying a bootleg copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special:

Not that we are white and nerdy at all, of course.

Episode 5 – Lucasfilm, Star Wars, and Disney

Beyond the Berm Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back. Oh wait, that is a different Episode 5.

There hasn’t been much of significance happening in the world of Disney lately. Just some little news item about Disney buying Lucasfilm was all we could think to talk about. But we did the best that we could.

Come hear our opinions on the deal, the positives and negatives, the possible plans for the future, childhood Star Wars memories, and more. And don’t forget about Indiana Jones – he is a part of the deal, too!

Be sure to check it out! May the force be with you.

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