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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Force Friday Countdown: Kenner STAR WARS Darth Vader - 65 Days to Go...

It was roughly 4 minutes and 33 seconds into 1977's STAR WARS (before we knew it as "A NEW HOPE" or "EPISODE IV") that audiences first witnessed the cinematic debut of Darth Vader... Dark Lord of the Sith. He didn't even need to say a word, and audiences knew he was the biggest badass in the galaxy. By the next time we see him again just over a minute later, he's choking some guy, and then he just tosses him aside. Evil? Sure, but within a year or so, millions of kids (myself included) were running around dressed as Darth, and his original Kenner action figure from 1978 quickly became a sought-after item for backyard battles. In celebration of actor David Prowse's birthday, Darth Vader is today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar!

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STAR WARS REBELS Officially Announced for Blu-ray and DVD...

On Friday, it was sheer coincidence that I happened to have received an announcement regarding Disney XD's STAR WARS REBELS... while standing in a hallway at Disney XD. While I was there to check out a screening of Disney's DESCENDANTS (more on that later), I was excited to learn that STAR WARS REBELS: COMPLETE SEASON ONE had officially been announced for a home video release on Blu-ray and DVD for September 1st. No doubt our favorite show to enjoy as a family right now, SEASON ONE packs all 15 episodes ("Spark of Rebellion" is counted as a two-parter) alongside bonus material and interviews with the cast and crew.

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Here's the Complete Line-up of SDCC Exclusives Being Offered by Toys "R" Us...

It feels like it really crept up on us this year, but the annual Comic-Con International is set to take place in San Diego from July 9-12, and the crew over at Toys "R" Us has unveiled their full lineup of exclusive items, which they've once again partnered with the folks from Entertainment Earth to make available on-site. It's a Hasbro-heavy collection, but Mattel, Bandai, Mezco and Schleich are also in the mix this year, with toys also being made available online on July 9th as part of Toys "R" Us' all-new #CollectorVector - a store-within-a-store that will focus on the "mature collector." This announcement was made a few days back, but since I've been traveling, I'm a little late with the news, but I do have some thoughts on these. The Batgirl, G.I. Joe and STAR WARS sets are items I'd love to have here at Rock Father HQ, while I should probably avoid showing the girls the MLP offerings...

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Force Friday Countdown: Bib Fortuna - 66 Days to Go...

Every proper gangster has a solid right-hand man, and for Jabba the Hutt, it was Bib Fortuna that answered the call. This cloaked Twi'lek served as a gatekeeper for those seeking an audience with Jabba, speaking mostly in Huttese, and falling victim to a Jedi mind trick performed by Luke Skywalker himself in RETURN OF THE JEDI. While Fortuna's allegiance to Jabba is said to have lasted decades, it came to an explosive end on a sail barge high above the Pit of Carkoon. Bib Fortuna is today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar!

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The Rock Father's July Movie Preview and $100 Fandango Gift Card Giveaway!

Fandango FamilyWith the 2015 Summer Movie Season really heating up in July, I've taken some time as a member of the Fandango Family Digital Network (paid gig, disclosure and all) to take a look at what's coming up in the weeks ahead. From 4,000+ screen blockbusters to indies playing in limited release, there's roughly eighty (yes, 80!) new titles hitting cinema screens over the next month. I'm highlighting eleven of those movies here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, calling out a few "Rock Father Picks," Wildcards, and perhaps even... a flop. But that's not all, friends! Fandango and I are giving YOU a chance to score a $100 Fandango Gift Card so that your family can enjoy some movies this summer (at participating theaters). Let's rock...

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Force Friday Countdown: STAR WARS REBELS Agent Kallus - 67 Days to Go...

One of the most beautiful things throughout the STAR WARS Saga is the dynamic between villains... and the different levels within their ranks. For every smooth gangster like Darth Vader, there's a governmental jerk nearby, like Grand Moff Tarkin, for example. And in Tarkin's shadow in the era of STAR WARS REBELS is Agent Kallus, a member of the Imperial Security Bureau, which creator Dave Filoni refers to as being "sorta like the F.B.I." Kallus also has some of the finest facial hair in the galaxy, and his helmet is designed specifically to protect said beardness. Agent Kallus was one of the first figures to be released from the STAR WARS REBELS collection, and is today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar!

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THE PEANUTS MOVIE Giveaway: A Chance to Win HAPPY DANCE SNOOPY Before You Can Even Buy One!

Peanuts Brand AmbassadorThis November, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox will release one of this Fall's most-anticipated films, when THE PEANUTS MOVIE arrives in theaters. With the movie just a few months off, that means that some cool tie-in merch will be headed for stores, and from the folks at Just Play Toys comes one of the coolest - HAPPY DANCE SNOOPY, which will begin hitting Target stores in August.  So how would you like to win one before you can even buy one? As a PEANUTS Brand Ambassador, I've got your shot. You know, it's hard to believe, but I first posted about THE PEANUTS MOVIE back in 2012, which just goes to show that time really does fly when you're having fun! Enter for your shot at a Happy Dance Snoopy below...

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Watch: SHAWN MENDES - "Believe" from Disney's DESCENDANTS

Last year, SHAWN MENDES was declared Radio Disney's "Next Big Thing," and in 2015, that's been coming true. His debut album, HANDWRITTEN entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #1 back in April, he's opening for TAYLOR SWIFT on select dates of her 1989 World Tour, and now he's got the first single and video for the forthcoming Disney Channel original movie, DESCENDANTS. "Believe" is a central theme in this new tale following the children of some iconic Disney villains, and you can get it now on iTunes with your pre-order of the film's Original Soundtrack (which also features Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth and more). Check out the video below...

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Force Friday Countdown: The Black Series Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) - 68 Days to Go...

Boba Fett is one of the biggest characters in the STAR WARS universe when it comes to fan opinion, despite him having a very small place in the actual films. The original test footage for Fett was shot back in 1978, and last year Hasbro unleashed a 6" Black Series figure based upon the all-white armor used in that screen test. While I don't personally have that figure, since it's featured as today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar, I thought it was a fine time to showcase two other figures based on early Boba Fett appearances - the Ralph McQuarrie concept edition, and the STAR WARS Holiday Special First Appearance. Check out a video feature on the early days of Boba Fett below...

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Force Friday Countdown: Kenner STAR WARS Millennium Falcon Spaceship - 69 Days to Go...

As a kid, one of my finest moments was the Christmas on which I received both the MILLENNIUM FALCON and the AT-AT walker. It was a glorious occasion, and when those vehicles were reproduced in the late 1990s, I received them for Xmas once more. Today, they're both here in my office, and I let my girls play with them whenever they'd like. Originally released as a toy back in 1978/79 as the Kenner STAR WARS Millennium Falcon Spaceship with Battle Alert Sound, this sought-after vehicle was also a solid playset, with a ton of action features. Now, the Falcon is back for J.J. Abrams' THE FORCE AWAKENS, and I can't wait to see what Hasbro is gonna do for the toy version this time around. The original Falcon is featured as today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar...

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Force Friday Countdown:The Vintage Collection Anakin Skywalker - 70 Days to Go...

June 26th is a significant day for the STAR WARS prequels, as filming for THE PHANTOM MENACE began on this day back in 1997, while ATTACK OF THE CLONES started lensing on the same date in 2000. Commemorating those anniversaries, today's entry into Hasbro's Force Friday Countdown Calendar features The Vintage Collection Anakin Skywalker (Jedi Padawan) from 2012, and the Anakin Skywalker (Peasant Disguise) from 2011. In thinking about the path of Anakin, check out this StarWars.com feature on "The Rise, Fall, and Redemption" of the man who became Vader...

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Force Friday Countdown:The Vintage Collection B-Wing Fighter - 71 Days to Go...

I've owned two B-Wing Fighters over the years. The first was the original, 1983 Kenner version based on its appearance in RETURN OF THE JEDI. The second, a late 90s POWER OF THE FORCE reproduction of that vehicle - one I would've never parted ways with had I known that I would eventually have a pair of STAR WARS-loving daughters. One version that I never saw in-person was a 2011 Hasbro edition from THE VINTAGE COLLECTION, which featured additional details, and the iconic, gyroscopic cockpit. In honor of its inclusion in the Hasbro Force Friday Countdown Calendar, lets take things back 32 years for the original Kenner commercial...

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