Entries in star wars (9)
Star Wars -- Shakespeare Mashup: A Review of Ian Doescher’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge’
In “The Empire Strikes Back,” Yoda admonishes his apprentice, Luke Skywalker, saying, “Wars not make one great.” Later, in “Return of the Jedi,” he quips, “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”
In case you didn’t catch on, Yoda inverts his syntax. In other words, Yoda practically speaks Shakespearean.
And in Ian Doescher’s best-selling “Star Wars” / Shakespeare mash-ups, so does every character in George Lucas’s science-fictional universe of Wookiees, droids and the Force.
I was on WGBH's Greater Boston to talk about The Force Awakens. Apparently this is what I look like when I'm talking about Star Wars. Watch the full video here.
In four decades and over six movies, “Star Wars” has infused our culture like a Force unto itself. Devotees view George Lucas’s universe of lightsaber duels, spaceship dogfights, and father-son conflicts as holy writ. Even casual fans are counting down to the release of the long-awaited Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” on Friday.
But what “Star Wars” means to its admirers, and the expectations they bring to the new installment, depends not just on personal taste but on how old they were when they initially encountered the epic science-fiction saga — and on where, for them, the story began.
Nerdy "Star Wars"-themed gowns --- emblazoned with images of Yoda, C-3PO, Death Star, Luke and Tatooine --- have hit the runaway over at New York's Fashion Week.
What's down that rabbit hole or in that wardrobe? ‘Epic’ follows tradition of children’s fictions bridging earthly, fantasy realms
Movies about worlds disconnected from our own are commonplace. Think of the many science fiction and fantasy narratives that lie along the “Star Wars” to “The Lord of the Rings” continuum. These separate realities are filled with orcs and wizards, siths and spaceships. Humans may live there, but we Earthlings can’t visit them. No magic door leads from Boston to Tatooine, no trip down a rabbit hole or along the Red Line arrives in Middle-earth. “Epic” belongs to a different but equally longstanding tradition of fiction that bridges our world to other realms. Via some gateway, a journey is made to a kind of Neverland or Narnia. The trope is as old and dark as the burrow in “Alice in Wonderland” and Dorothy’s twister in “The Wizard of Oz.” You can follow these tunnels from “Labyrinth” to “Pan’s Labyrinth,” through “Harry Potter” and “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” and beyond to every story that maps that liminal space between us and some parallel place.
Unable to shoot straight. Weak in the knees. Apt to fall for Jedi mind tricks, and fall over at the weakest of laser blasts.
In the Lucas universe, the typical stormtrooper is portrayed as a hapless soldier in service of the Empire.
Stormtroopers don’t tend to be very yummy, either … we assume.
But this footsoldier (pictured at left) was solidly-built, very tasty, and served not only Darth Vader. He also served several hundred hungry science fiction fans.
A crew from Boston-based Amanda Oakleaf Cakes worked like crazed jawas for two weeks to complete this 6-foot, 4-inch high, edible Imperial stormtrooper.
Constructed of white cake, Rice Krispies Treats and fondant (an icing made from sugar used to decorate and sculpt pastries), it weighed 300 pounds — and was devoured this weekend at the Arisia science fiction and fantasy convention by some 600 conventioneers in just two hours.
“Everyone assumes that because it’s such a crazy cake we must be ‘cheating’ in some way, but this isn’t the case,” said head baker Amanda Oakleaf. ”All sculpted and tiered cakes you see, be they ours or others, have some type of inner structure as cake simply collapses if staked over eight inches high.”
Creating the stormtrooper wasn’t easy as cake. Much like in sculpting with clay, making this massive dessert required an interior armature to support the cake. Oakleaf and her team made one from iron pipe, wrapped in plastic for food safety purposes. Every four inches (vertically), they inserted a cardboard divider to separate layers of cake, and every eight inches they attached a masonite board, secured to the iron pipe with pipe clamps.
“This does a number of things, including making the cake incredibly sturdy, but also making it easy to slice and serve,” said Oakleaf. The arms were made of solid sugar “because they were too narrow to use cake.” The lower legs below the knees and the bottom of the head were made of Rice Krispies Treats. She said the overall percentage of Krispie was 15 percent or less; the majority of the cake was, well, cake.
“The main reason that we used Krispie at all wasn’t because we couldn’t have used cake, but rather we just wanted to get a head start and Krispies stay fresher a lot longer than the cake does. Cake is a very time sensitive medium, and that is always our biggest challenge. Once it comes out of the oven the clock is running on freshness.”
Amanda Oakleaf started her cake business with her husband Tyler Oakleaf out of their bedroom apartment in 2008. Now they’ve expanded into a storefront in Winthrop, MA (just outside Boston) and currently employ ten cake artists.
Their previous best was a 5-foot tall Dora the Explorer cake for a Food Network Challenge a few years back. “Her head was massive (3 feet wide),” Oakleaf remembered. “It ended up crashing to the ground when we moved it to the judging table when the inner support slipped out of its socket.”
For now there are no plans for other geek-themed cakes. But, there’s always the possibility of a special request.
“We are a completely custom bakery so we take the orders as they come in,” Oakleaf said. “It’s always fun, and always a challenge.”
And may the fondant be with you, always.
(photos courtesy of Amanda Oakleaf)
I was drawing pictures with my nephew Jack.
“What shall we draw?” I asked.
“Let’s draw Star Wars,” Jack said, innocently enough.
We began to draw Star Wars. Jack drew a guy, then a box. Next he drew a face and feet in the box. Then he made a line so the guy next to the box had an arm that touched the guy in the box.
“What the heck is that?” I asked.
“That’s me,” Jack said, adding his name to the figure on the left.
“So what is that?”
“How do you spell ‘carbonite’?” Jack asked, a big smile beaming across his face. He started to giggle.
“C-A-R …” I began. He began to write. The kid was seven. “B-O-N … I-T-E.” Then he added another word: “E-T-H-A-N-[space]-I-N.”
The giggling commenced.
“Wait. Is that me?”
More giggling from Jack.
Uncontrollable giggling. “Uncle Ethan! You’re trapped in carbonite!”