If you’re the type of fan who likes to decorate your holiday tree with Star Wars, cover your desk with Star Wars, and/or cook while wearing Star Wars, then you should be very excited about what Hallmark has coming next year.
In 2019, Hallmark will be releasing beautiful new Keepsakes Storytellers ornaments, itty bittys (including amazingly cute versions of Darth Maul and Padmé Amidala in her regal gown), and much more in a delightful, stylistically diverse, and just-plain-fun range. StarWars.com has a first look below and caught up with Christine Taylor, Hallmark’s licensing creative manager, to talk Chewbacca aprons, bringing the voice of Gold Leader to your tree, and, maybe, one more surprise announce. For those attending San Diego Comic-Con, be sure to stop by Hallmark’s booth (#2913-K) in the Lucasfilm Star Wars Pavilion, where this collection of 2019 product will be on display.
StarWars.com: It looks like Hallmark has a really wide array of products lined up for 2019, but I have to admit that the Chewbacca apron immediately caught my eye. It’s actually fuzzy! How did this come about?
Christine Taylor: Yes! It’s actually fuzzy! We had to find a burn-resistant fur in order to make it work, but we did! It came about from the success of our Boba Fett bust apron with the phrase “Does this make me look Fett?” on it, and our printed Chewbacca Wookiee Cookiee holiday apron. We were looking to see, “How can we do a Chewie apron for every day?” And instead of trying to add a quick editorial quip this round, we said, “Make it furry!”
StarWars.com: The Storytellers line of ornaments has been really fun, and it looks like we’re getting a Y-wing. Anything you can divulge about its features?
Christine Taylor: Yes, like the others, it will feature light, sound effects, and dialogue — some you’ll get when it is by itself, and additional content will be unlocked as you combine it with the other Storyteller ships in the line. You can expect some dialogue from Gold Leader.
StarWars.com: The medal ornament looks beautiful and is also clever — based on the A New Hope medal ceremony, it’s almost a deep cut for fans. Where did the idea come from and how did you develop it?
Christine Taylor: We have been doing these special early releases in honor of Star Wars Day on May the 4th, under our PopMinded fan brand of products — like our convention exclusives. The previous releases were blind boxes of Stormtrooper helmet and BB-8 with three different color ways, but we wanted to change it up a bit this time. The Medal of Yavin is an idea we’ve been talking about for some time. It just feels like something special and different from the typical lineup we have, we just hadn’t found the right time for it. With this being the last year of Storytellers, and much of the scenes in Storytellers harkening back to the closing battle scene, we thought it would be a great time to introduce it and a nice finishing touch on the tree for those with the Storytellers line or without. We also didn’t want the back of the medal to repeat or feel plain. We are all fans of the original Hildebrandt poster art, so we incorporated an emboss of it so you have two different ways to display on your tree.
StarWars.com: We’re getting new itty bittys, including Padmé Amidala, who translates surprisingly well to this cute style.
Christine Taylor: We have a pretty extensive line of itty bittys from the classic trilogy and have been doing a lot of the new trilogy with the movie launches, but we have not delved much into prequels. We were talking about how The Phantom Menace has a 20-year anniversary coming up in 2019. Twenty years! We had also talked about Darth Maul for awhile because he is a fan favorite from the prequels and we thought he would make a super-cool itty bitty, which I think he does. We had a spot for another character from The Phantom Menace, so we thought Padmé would provide another opportunity to represent the awesome female power in Star Wars. We chose her in her Queen Amidala outfit because it is so iconic and incredible, we knew it would make a super-cute itty bitty. Those actually launch end of this year and carry into next year, and are just a few of the continued Star Wars line of itty bittys.
StarWars.com: Finally, anything you want to say — or tease — about what Hallmark has planned next year?
Christine Taylor: We have a lot of products to share for 2019 and this is just a representation of a few of them. If you are at San Diego Comic-Con this week, New York Comic Con in October, and Star Wars Celebration in April, you can see these sneak peeks of up coming products in person! And several of the creators are there to talk about them, so feel free to ask us! But I will tease ONE MORE BIG REVEAL. The the second Storyteller launching in 2019, and last of the seven-ship set will be…the Imperial Star Destroyer! You heard it here first!
Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.