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Wednesday, January 14 2015 22:25

Teaching The Force THE ROCK FATHER™ Way: MARVEL STAR WARS Comics and The Girls' First STAR WARS Christmas

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"Just like Daddy, I have a feeling that she'll come to love the Star Wars universe through the original trilogy... and by the time the 2015 reissue of the 1977 original takes place, she'll be just the right age to experience it on the big screen for the very first time." - February, 2012

It was three years ago that I posted STAR WARS - Teaching The Force THE ROCK FATHERTM Way. Those three years already feel like a lifetime ago, as so much has drastically changed since that cold day when little Addie and I had our first big adventure with a Tauntaun and a Wampa outside. Written at a time when THE PHANTOM MENACE was being re-issued theatrically in 3-D as part of a now-discarded plan, I'd referenced a timeline that now no longer exists - a time when a 3-D reissue of the very first STAR WARS had been slated for this year. Instead, I won't be taking my daughter to see the film that Daddy and Mommy enjoyed as children, but taking my daughters (now plural) to see a brand-new adventure that we'll all witness for the first time as a family of four. When I posted that entry, few (if any) could've predicted that Lucasfilm and STAR WARS would be sold to Disney, and the adventures in a galaxy far, far away would continue in such a dramatic way.

Old school... Sears Cantina Adventure PlaysetBy the end of last year,  my girls had officially become genuine STAR WARS fans - rubbing elbows with the the 501st at events including the Chicago premiere of Disney XD's STAR WARS REBELS, and quoting lines from all parts of the Saga as they learn to Command The Force. Like their father before them (pictured left with the Sears Cantina Adventure Set in 1978), their first STAR WARS Christmas arrived with much fanfare, the placement of a special tree decorated only with SW-theme Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments marking the start to a magical time. By Christmas morning, the girls were surprised to find a small assortment of gifts from Mommy and Daddy that were carefully-wrapped in vintage-style SW paper. These little fans of STAR WARS REBELS were in for some surprises...

From Ashley Eckstein's Her Universe came a matching pair of "Join the Rebellion" shirts featuring the Mandalorian helmet of Sabine Wren. While my girls have several pieces of SW-themed clothing, these are the first that we've purchased for them that are specifically designed for girls - in addition to being some of the first items available to feature the female hero of the new Disney series. 

Just as I had the excitement of opening some Kenner STAR WARS action figures and vehicles on Christmas mornings back in the late 70s/early 80s, my girls will have theirs as well, and 2014 was just the beginning as Daddy had managed to hunt down the pretty-hard-to-find Hasbro figures and vehicles from the first wave of REBELS gear. The Inquisitor's Tie Advanced Prototype paired with Kanan Jarrus and The Phantom had arrived alongside Chopper, Agent Kallus and some Stormtroopers...

So here we are in 2015 and J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is just 11 months away. Today, MARVEL released STAR WARS #1, the first issue of the first series of new SW comic books to fall within the official (canon) continuity that is being overseen by the Lucasfilm Story Group - a team that will make sure that everything in the STAR WARS universe fits together to form one cohesive timeline. Having begun introducing my girls to the world of comic books over these past few years, today was the perfect opportunity to take the little ones to the local comic shop for new release day.

With over 60 variant covers available (about a dozen were on-display at the shop we visited), we opted to grab the standard edition, along with the Skottie Young variant, which when paired with his covers for the forthcoming DARTH VADER #1 and PRINCESS LEIA #1 will form one image of the most iconic SW characters as children. We also snagged a few other goodies as well... a little BATMAN '66, SCOOBY-DOO and TINY TITANS...

When I did that first "Teaching The Force" post, I mentioned there being STAR WARS for different generations. In 2015, I think it's all falling into place for all generations to converge as one. It's an exciting time... and STAR WARS #1 is impressive, most impressive. 

Stay tuned...

Want more? Visit http://www.therockfather.com/starwars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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