Star Wars Bits: Hyper Toy Drive 2020, Star Wars Squadrons, Guardians Of The Whills, Dark Troopers, And More!

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In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Hyper Toy Drive 2020
  • Star Wars: Squadrons Updates
  • Star Wars Podcast & YouTube Round-Up
  • Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills – The Manga
  • John Boyega's "Transparent, Honest" Conversation with Kathleen Kennedy
  • And more!
  • Hyper Toy Drive 2020

    Toys for Tots, the charitable organization known for bringing gifts to children in need has been hit especially hard by COVID, and the people they help need them more than ever this year. This is why twelve Star Wars podcasts – including Around the Galaxy and Beyond the Blast Doors Live – are forming an alliance to collect toys this holiday season.

    Donating a toy is easy! Select toys from the Amazon Hyper Toy Drive link, place your order, and select the BTBD Toy Drive address to ship to, and it will be delivered to the Beyond the Blast Doors collection point in New Jersey. Once the collection has ended, all the gifts you've donated will be delivered to the Toys For Tots team in central New Jersey in time to be given to children in need.

    The Amazon list can be found here, and orders must be completed by midnight EST, December 4, 2020. Share the magic of Star Wars with the next generation. This is the way.

    Star Wars The Last Jedi Documentary TrailerStar Wars Podcast Round-UpBlast Points Podcast is celebrating Saga Year with an in-depth look at Rian Johnson's audio commentary for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. 

    Saga Year continues and its finally time for this little movie that nobody ever talks about, THE LAST JEDI. Join us as we take a look at writer / director / king / wizard Rain Johnson's insightful and fascinating commentary for the film and all the secrets that it holds. From force connections, the hero's journey, Luke's role to Young Ones references, this is the commentary that is spark that'll light the fire of your TLJ love! Listen here.

    Blast Points also has a fantastic episode about the recent book release, From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back and, for Patreon subscribers, unparalleled episode reviews of The Mandalorian.

    Talking Bay 94 has an interview with Industrial Light & Magic digital artist and compositing supervisor Todd Vaziri, who has worked on every Star Wars movie since 2002, beginning with Attack of the Clones.

    Whether for the prequels (including the final duel on Mustafar), the sequels (figuring out the feel of a modern Star Wars movie), the spin-offs (helping to bring Tarkin and the Kessel Run to life), theme park rides (including Star Tours and Rise of the Resistance), or Stephen Colbert's Green Screen Challenge, Mr. Vaziri's passion for movie-making is evident in his every shot, and in his every answer on this episode. Listen here.

    Skytalkers has an excellent episode about the 2004 documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy, which is currently streaming on Disney+.

    Brandon Wainerdi (Talking Bay 94) joins Caitlin and Charlotte to deep dive into the 2004 documentary "Empire of Dreams." They discuss their impressions of it, how it has shaped their fandom, favorite moments, and more. Plus, some discussion about other behind-the-scenes Star Wars moments *and* Brandon answers the Star Wars dinner question.  Listen here.

    The Resistance Broadcast is the official Star Wars podcast of Their recent episodes include a discussion on Katee Sackhoff breaking new ground as the first Star Wars voice actor to jump from animation to live-action playing the same character.

    We also give our takes on the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, and take a look at Daisy Ridley's recent comments about the sequel trilogy, the future of Rey, and her thoughts on Baby Yoda's eating habits. We close things out by discussing your submitted questions in #AskTheResistance. The Resistance base is open to all, so spread the word about our Star Wars podcast and join us! Listen here.

    The Imperial Senate Podcast discusses the latest Star Wars news, including discussion about fandom, Star Wars Squadrons, Minecraft, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, and more.

    The Imperial Senate Podcast is a place where Star Wars fans can earnestly have fun while talking about this silly space opera. Whether that's talking about the latest Star Wars movie, talking with guests about Count Dooku's beard, or just laughing over the latest meme — the Imperial Senate is here for you. Listen here.
    On Rogue Podron, the crew continues their deep-dive on Alexander Freed's Shadow Fall: An Alphabet Squadron Novel.

    We continue our journey through the second Alphabet Squadron book, discussing chapters 10-12 of Shadow Fall by Alexander Freed. Listen here.

    The Rogue Podron crew also has a spinoff show, Podralorian, where they discuss the latest episode of the live-action streaming series.

    On Bespin's Other Bits (BOB The Podcast)Star Wars scooper Bespin Bulletin discusses whatever he feels like with co-host Isaac Pevy. Topics include Star Wars, video games, and pop culture in general.

    In this episode: Star Wars (The Mandalorian, Ochi of Bestoon's appearnace in the Darth Vader comic series, and The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special) as well as bits on Thor: Love and Thunder, The Avengers video game, and an epic rant about Zack Snyder and his precious little Justice League cut. Listen here.

    Star Wars YouTube Round-Up

    You can always count on Alex & Mollie Damon at Star Wars Explained to keep you up to date on all the latest news from that galaxy far, far away. Check out their recent videos on Bo-Katan and Dark Troopers and what their appearance means for the future of The Mandalorian.

    Noah Outlaw, Corey Van Dyke, and friends discuss The Mandalorian Chapter 12: The Siege over at Kessel Run Transmissions.'s John Hoey, James Baney, and Lacey Gilleran discuss the state of Star Wars in 2020 on The Resistance Broadcast:

    Check out this awesome tribute to Ahsoka Tano by The Warleader Productions.

    Official Star Wars Art & Decor by Regal Robot

    Lucasfilm and Regal Robot have teamed up to offer official Star Wars furniture, art, decor, and life-sized characters and busts. You can purchase a replica Mythosaur Skull from The Mandalorian, a mini-sculpture based on the awesome metal-look skull seen over the Armorer's doorway in the Disney+ series. Also available, a sweet Bantha magnet, as well as some Kenner-inspired wall plaques.

    Into a Larger World: Star Wars Art & Zines

    "Into a Larger World" is a Star Wars fanzine made by Kara DJ (@sacredsomethingbykara), a collage artist from New Jersey. Each issue combines different mediums in a classic fanzine style, examining and celebrating a different part of the Star Wars universe and fandom.

    Into a Larger World: Star Wars Art & Zines

    Fanzines have been an integral and often female-driven part of the fan community for over 40 years, and Kara is dedicated to continuing the tradition, often including art and writings from other members of the fandom as well as her own colorful layouts. Seven issues were released in 2019, and the first full year of issues will roll out in January 2020. For more info, visit Kara's Instagram or subscribe to her zine here.

    Amy Richau's I Love You. I Know.: Lessons in Love and FriendshipAmy Richau, founder of 365 Star Wars – an awesome website that highlights the incredible efforts of women in Star Wars – has a new book coming out, Star Wars: I Love You. I Know.: Lessons in Love and Friendship. Here's the official synopsis:

    Relationships can be complex–your dad could have turned to the dark side, your partner could be a princess, or your best friend might speak in more than 7 million forms of communication and never stop talking! This book shares some wise advice for romances, friendships, and family relationships from fan-favorite Star Wars characters such as Han and Leia, Rey and Kylo Ren, and Finn and Poe.

    The book, which is available for pre-order at Amazon, is described as the perfect Valentine's Day or anniversary gift for your scruffy-looking nerf herder, Star Wars: I Love You. I Know is a lighthearted guide to relationships with quotes, classic moments, and characters from the Star Wars galaxy.

    Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills – The Manga

    The manga adaptation of the novel Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka revisits beloved fan-favorite characters Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe before joining the Rebel Alliance in Gareth EdwardsRogue One: A Star Wars Story. Here's the official synopsis:

    Residing over the Kyber Temple on Jedha, the Guardians of the Whills, Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe, had hoped to maintain a peaceful balance despite the growing presence of the Empire in their Holy City. Yet they struggle to stay true to the Force as stormtroopers threaten to take over. When a rebel named Saw Gerrera appears offering them a chance to help Jedha, Baze and Chirrut must decide if they're willing to compromise for peace, or if Saw's plan is too dangerous to risk?

    John Boyega Star Wars CriticismsJohn Boyega's "Transparent, Honest" Conversation with Kathleen Kennedy

    In an interview with the BBC, John Boyega opened up about a "really nice" conversation he had with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy that was "beneficial to both of us":

    "These types of conversations, you can go into the realm of sounding like you're just trying to save your own career, but what is great now is that it is now a conversation that anyone has access to," he said. "Now people can express themselves about this knowing that any character we love, especially in these big franchises, the Marvels or the Star Wars, we love them because of the moments they are given, we love them because of those moments, and they're heroic moments that these producers all decide for these characters. So we need to see that in our characters that may be Black and from other cultures."

    Boyega previously stated that while the white stars of the recent Star Wars movies, specifically Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver, were given characters with "nuance," other actors weren't as well served.

    "What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side," he said in back in September. "Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver. You knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know f*** all."

    Star Wars Squadrons Gameplay FootageStar Wars: Squadrons Updates

    Have you been playing Star Wars: Squadrons? If so, there's an incoming supply drop in the form of a free, two-part content update. A new multiplayer map, Fostar Haven, and four new ship components will be added this month, and two new starfighters (the B-wing and TIE Defender) and custom matches will be deployed in December.

    The B-wing fighter stands out from the fleet as New Republic pilots take the helm of the starfighter with a gyroscopic control system. The pilot stays upright in the cockpit as the wings swivel around them, creating a one-of-a-kind experience in Squadrons. "It will work the same whether you're in VR or in a traditional display," Mir says. "It's a fun and unique mechanic."

    Learn all about the upcoming updates in an interview with producer Thomas Mir at

    Joshua Izzo's Custom Star Wars Action FiguresJoshua Izzo is an illustrator, writer, entertainment licensing executive, and children's television producer who not only loves Star Wars toys but making them as well. Check out Josh's Instagram (@joshuaizzo) where he displays his incredible talents for action figure customization. I want. Every. Single. One. And I have a feeling you will too!

    And that's it for this edition of Star Wars Bits! If you have something cool from the Star Wars Universe that should be included in this column, just reach out on Twitter!