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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – who is Captain Phasma?

As the shiniest of characters, the most reflective of all Star Wars characters, and a Game of Thrones actress to boot, Captain Phasma has our attention. We’ve been wondering what the backstory is on this character since we first heard the name – and now that we’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we’re still wondering. The film itself doesn’t reveal one whole heck of a lot, but we’ve got a bit more data than is revealed through the movie. It’s time to get chrome.

Captain Phasma’s armor would make Immortan Joe proud. It looks very similar to a standard First Order Stormtrooper set of plates, but, as it turns out, isn’t made of the same materials at all. Some of the communication devices and interior body suit may be similar, but the metal isn’t white – obviously – and it isn’t sourced from the same forge, so to speak.

SPOILER ALERT? You may want to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens before you read this article, but such an order of consumption is not entirely necessary. This article won’t ruin anything for you in the film.

According to the very tiny, brief description of Phasma on Star Wars dot com, her armor is made of “salvaged chromium.” It’s not just any “chromium,” according to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (which we’ll call TVD from here on out), this armor is “coated in salvaged chromium from a Naboo yacht once owned by Emperor Palpatine.”

ABOVE: J-type 327 Nubian royal starship (yacht class) also known as “Naboo Royal Starship”

Not only that, but “its polished finish helps reflect harmful radiation” and serves as “a symbol of past power.”

Believe it or not, it would appear that Phasma may be a sort of yang to General Leia’s ying. TVD suggests that Leia makes a point of remembering the name of every person that serves with her in the Resistance, while Phasma “takes it upon herself to memorize the serial numbers of all stormtroopers under her direct command.”

It’s also suggested by TVD that Phasma’s actual rank is much higher than the title “Captain” generally implies. It is said that Phasma “shuns any comfortable trappings of elevated rank” and instead “insists on seeing combat operations firsthand.”

Further, TVD says that Phasma’s position could “easily afford her a well-appointed war room far from the battlefield,” but that she refuses to participate in such a way.

Phasma as a leader requires a deep commitment to the First Order in all Stormtroopers – the lot of which are under her overarching command. Her methodology mixes with that of First Order leaders like General Hux, who believes that “automated training regimes that simulate battle situations” should be sufficient in training troops.

As FN-2187 proves, there is a serious disconnect between doing battle in a video game and seeing and feeling the realities of battle firsthand.

See our feature “Five Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cut Scenes Revealed” for more information on the above image (it wasn’t in the film as such.)

As with most characters we’ve seen appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s a lot more to Phasma than we’ve seen thus far. Gwendoline Christie herself has compared Phasma to Boba Fett.

Speaking with the LA Times earlier this year, Christie suggested that “She is a Boba Fett-style character, which means she makes a lot of impact but she’s not at the forefront of the action all the time.”

Again according to TVD, Phasma is a “qualified expert on all First Order small arms, and has also trained in vehicular and starfighter combat.” So she won’t just be keeping her feet on the ground.

While her final scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens suggests she’s in a bit of (relatively non-lethal at the time) trouble, one could infer that she’s been blown to bits in the ensuing events. According to casting for at least the next film (Star Wars VIII, set to be released 2023), Phasma is at least skilled enough at getting out of situations as rough as what we’ve seen thus far.

Plasma’s armor is so important that it directly influenced the name she was given. While we do not know of any retconned reasoning for the name, its origins in our reality stem from Michael Kaplan.

1. Michael Kaplan’s costume design team created the Phasma look – form after and before function. The stormtrooper redesign came first, then the application of the chrome and polish.

2. J.J. Abrams saw and approved the costume.

3. Abrams said, via EW, that “It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool.”

BELOW: Horror movie Phantasm’s shiny chrome ball next to two Phantasm (1979) posters.

Information in this article comes from several places. The film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is out in theaters now, the Star Wars homepage Databank, and a very neat book. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary” is written by Pablo Hidalgo and published by DK Publishing in association with Lucasfilm.

As such, all of the information provided above is sourced from Lucasfilm-certified official Star Wars canon bits of media.

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Rovio Releases Angry Birds Star Wars App To The Masses

The highly-anticipated (and much-teased) Angry Birds Star Wars is now available in both the App Store and Mac App Store.

Developer Rovio has long been working with the recently Disney-acquired LucasArts to bulk its popular app lineup with a Star Wars-themed iteration of Angry Birds that brings new creative and play experiences to the franchise.

The latest Rovio title ditches the traditional exploding/flinging Angry Birds for a slew of new bird characters each wielding a unique weapon. The Han Solo bird, for instance, halts enemies with a three-shot space gun. The game also features iconic Star Wars locations, 80 immersive levels, “hours and hours” of gameplay, fresh mechanics, and new level-up capabilities for birds.

Check it out:

Angry Birds Star Wars also landed on the Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Windows 8 platforms today.

The full press release is below.

Related articles:

November 8, 2012 – Espoo, Finland – Angry Birds Star Wars®, the new blockbuster game from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm, is now available on iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. The entertainment franchise collaboration also debuted in a new cinematic trailer released yesterday, and in merchandise already available in select retailers worldwide.

“It’s a banner day for us,” said Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio Entertainment. “This is our best Angry Birds game yet, and we’re excited for our fans to finally meet Luke, Leia, and the rest of the gang! But it’s more than just a game launch: we think fans are going to just love the new animated trailer and the Angry Birds Star Wars products, sure to be a big hit this holiday season.”

The game follows a plucky group of Rebel birds in their fight against the evil Imperial Pigs. Fans will use the Force, wield a Lightsaber, and blast away Pigtroopers on an intergalactic journey from the deserts of Tatooine to the depths of the Pig Star — where they’ll face off against the terrifying Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Pigs!

“We can’t wait for fans around the world to experience the fun of launching the Angry Birds characters into the Star Wars universe,” said Colum Slevin, Vice President, Head of Studio Operations for Lucasfilm Ltd. “This is the kind of creative partnership that has helped Star Wars remain vibrant and beloved for over 35 years.”

With more than 80 levels in iconic locations like Tatooine and the Pig Star, the game features hours and hours of engaging gameplay, all new gameplay mechanics, the ability to level up birds, free updates, plus lots of secrets and hidden goodies. Fans can also train in the “Path of the Jedi” in-app purchase to become a Jedi Master.

Concurrently with the game launch, Rovio and Lucasfilm have also introduced tie-in merchandise and a new cinematic trailer, which retells the classic Star Wars cantina scene with Angry Birds Star Wars characters in the starring roles. Angry Birds Star Wars merchandise, ranging from Hasbro toys to apparel to plush toys, is available now from select retailers.

Rovio and Lucas celebrated with their fans in a Google+ Hangout on Wednesday evening, counting down to the launch at midnight Pacific Time.



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The Biggest Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker Trailer Detail Wasn’T A Lightsaber

The biggest Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker trailer detail wasn’t a lightsaber

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker had a new trailer release this week, and while most Tweets are flipping over a pair of blades, another detail seemed to elude the masses. This isn’t the first time we’ve been around this track, so we’re well aware of the fact that Lucasfilm is more than willing to mislead with its trailers – but a bright red ribbon? How could it be anything less than a tip toward a detail of great importance?

The red ribbon appears around Rey’s hand in the new Rise of Skywalker trailer could be part of a moment in the story that has little to do with what we’ve found today. It could, however, be part of Disney’s grand plan to ease the masses into the idea that they’ll need to visit Disneyland in order to get their full fill of Star Wars story. Our clue comes from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

NOTE: The new trailer of which we speak, here, is at the end of this article. Scroll down and take a look if you’ve not seen the entirety of this video already. Your eyes may fixate on the extra-lengthy red lightsaber – but don’t be fooled! We’re looking at the tie around Rey’s left hand as she catches the lightsaber that’s blue!

Part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge experience at Disneyland takes place on a planet called Batuu. Rey is one of several “walkaround” characters at the park, one who’ll act completely in-character and respond as such when approached at the park.

This iteration of Rey exists between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. She’s at a point where she’s just left the Battle of Crait at the tail end of The Last Jedi, before she reaches the point at which we first see her in the final film.

“Rey, a hero of the Resistance, may be seen near the ancient ruins outside Black Spire Outpost,” said a description of the park in May of 2023. “She is recruiting Batuuan locals and visitors alike to the Resistance cause.” Rey is also set to appear near the waiting line for the “Rise of the Resistance” ride/experience just outside what’s called “Black Spire” village. This ride will open in December of 2023 – just before the movie The Rise of Skywalker.

Attendees like Hastin Xaranthyr have gone so far as to create their own in-character personas to attend the park. Sort of like cosplay for a comic convention or full-garb renaissance regalia for a renaissance fair. That character also appears as @Hastin and it’s often difficult to tell the truth from fantasy.

The gallery above shows the story of another, similar traveler who rolls through the park and makes it their business to share their experience with the world. The Black Spier, here, shares a story that might just be too on-point to ignore. Keep in mind this was apparently an off-the-cuff conversation had with the actor playing Rey at Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Disney park) in July of 2023.

The red bit of material might be so innocuous as C-3PO’s red arm in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The story behind the red arm is not important to the main movie-based plot – so why not just give him his standard gold arm?

Because Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans for Star Wars expand well beyond the movies. They’re making movies that are perfectly aware of the fact that there are fans watching who’ll go the extra mile to investigate any little detail that they see onscreen. The movies do not absolutely require the vast trove of details delivered in experiences offscreen.

There’s a one-shot comic about C-3PO’s arm released by Marvel Comics in April of 2024 – several months after the release of the movie in which the droid debuts said arm. The arm is back to normal (gold) by the time The Last Jedi is released in theaters.

The meaning of the red material on Rey’s hand might not be analogous to that of the ribbons on the wishing tree on Batuu. But the expanding universe Disney and Lucasfilm have borne is very much a reality. The idea that a bright red ribbon could mean nothing is far less likely now that the possibility that said ribbon is a real link to the universe outside the film series.

That’s a universe that’ll continue to expand as long as fans are happy to join in and engage. Given Star Wars’ past – that expansion might never end.

The film Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters on December 20, 2023. That’ll also be called Star Wars Episode 9, the last of the so-called Skywalker Saga. Stay tuned as we continue to run down the details and suss out plot points before they’re public!

How To Get Oneplus 5T Star Wars Edition Look On Any Android Device

OnePlus recently launched the OnePlus 5T, the successor to the OnePlus 5. While the device in itself is great, the company is celebrating its 4th anniversary in India and the release of “The Last Jedi” by launching the OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition. The device brings an all-new look along with other new features to the standard OnePlus 5T. Having used the device personally, I’ve been wanting to get the same look on my personal devices. Well, I finally figured a way out, and I wanted to share it with you guys as well. So, without wasting any more time, let us get right into it:

OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition Wallpapers

One of the most unique things about the OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition is the collection of wallpapers. If you saw our unboxing video of the device, you must have noticed that it comes with beautiful Star Wars themed wallpapers. Well, luckily for you, there is a way you can get all those amazing wallpapers on your Android device as well. You can download all the Star Wars: The Last Jedi wallpapers here.

OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition Ringtone

The OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition uses OnePlus’ own custom ringtone as well. Alternatively, I’ve created my own Star Wars Ringtone based on the, you guessed it, Star Wars theme song. So, if you’d like to add either of those ringtones to your device, follow the steps below:

Download the OnePlus 5T Ringtone from here or the Star Wars Theme Song ringtone from here to your device.

Download and install Solid Explorer (free trial) or any other file manager of your choice.

Here, select “Solid Explorer” or any your file manager and navigate to the ringtone file that you just downloaded to select that.

That’s it. Your new Star Wars ringtone should now be applied.

OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition Theme

Let’s admit it, the Star Wars Red/Black theme on the OnePlus 5T looks absolutely stellar. While there is no official Star Wars Theme for Android, we have the next best thing.

Download and install Swift Black Substratum Theme ($1.99) on your Android device.

Now, open up the Substratum app and tap on the Swift Black theme that you just installed.

On the screen that appears next, tap on the drop-down menu to select your Android version.

Under the Android System section, set the value of the first drop-down menu to “Red”, and the other two to “System accent” as shown in the image below:

Now, check the toggle next to “Android System”, “Settings”, and “System UI”.

After that, just tap on the overlay icon in the bottom-right corner and tap on “Build & Enable”.

And that’s it. Your Star Wars based Red/Black theme should now be active.

Bonus: OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition Navigation Bar

While this is not available on the OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition, this is nice little addition that would look good on your navigation bar. To get the Star Wars navigation bar on your device, follow the steps below:

Download and install Navigate Theme (free) on your Android device

Now, open up the Substratum app and tap on the Navigate theme that you just installed.

Scroll down to the “System UI Status Bar Icons” section. Tap on the drop-down menu “Choose the Navbar…” and select from starwars, starwars2, or starwars3

Now, check the checkbox next to “System UI Status Bar Icons”.

After that, just tap on the overlay icon in the bottom-right corner and tap on “Build & Enable”.

And that’s it. Your Star Wars navigation bar theme should now be active. See below for how the three different Star Wars themes look like:

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 5T Review: Exactly What The OnePlus 5 Should’ve Been

Flaunt The OnePlus 5T: Star Wars Edition Look on Your Android Device

The Chaparral Drone Could Help The Air Force Carry Supplies, With Less Risk

On May 9, under partly cloudy skies at Travis Air Force Base in California, the military invited an autonomous driving and flying robot to roll into a hangar and deliver a package. The machine, half of Elroy Air’s Chaparral delivery drone, was all exposed wires and metal brackets on four tall stands, and is a testbed for their autonomous driving program. With the demonstration, the Air Force got one step closer to adapting a useful cargo drone for military resupply missions, all without further strain on human pilots.

“One of the things that we showed at the event was our robotic ground tester, what we call ground bot. That demonstrated our autonomous taxing capability as well as our cargo pod pickup and drop off, and our cargo handling capabilities that we would use on the Chaparral,” says Amisah Prakash, director of customer programs at Elroy Air.

Autonomy for delivery on the ground is an important part of the overall vision for the drone, as it keeps the burden on human operators low while ensuring that the goods carried can get where they need to be. A runway is a complex environment, with planes and people and other vehicles moving around, to say nothing of the possibility of animals interloping on some of the more remote environments the drone is expected to operate. Getting the goods from point A to point B without incident is especially important when a runway collision might involve cargo that explodes.

“One of the use cases that we’ve been talking a lot with the Air Force on is logistics resupply types of missions, like, bringing cargo back and forth from different locations, whether that is fuel or munitions, anything that is needed for the ground troops to be able to do what they need to do,” says Prakash.

If the comparison point for ground transport is a delivery truck, for remote delivery to small military bases a good point of comparison is a helicopter. During the US war in Afghanistan, both crewed and autonomous helicopters would deliver supplies to forward operating bases, austere outposts located where the fighting was and far from regular access to supplies. 

Imagine, says Clint Cope, chief product officer and co-founder for Elroy Air, that a mission commander is trying to send supplies somewhere, and triaging what is the most important use for an aircraft. “That decision-making gets a lot simpler when you can send a cheaper, in some ways expendable air asset, when you’re using an uncrewed system,” he says.

Cope offers as a comparison point a single helicopter making one supply run with 5,000 pounds of cargo. If that helicopter is shot down, it’s all lost in one go, and in order to make the mission, that full 5,000 pounds of load has to be assembled before any of it can go out for delivery. “You can go and load up a Chaparral [drone] and send a much smaller, almost right-sized amount of supplies where they’re needed and be able to have that much more rapid turnaround,” says Cope. 

In that way, using the drones changes resupply from fewer, higher-stakes missions, to more of managing a logistics flow through drones.

The Chaparral runs on jet fuel, like much of the Air Force, and has a generator to power its electric motors. It still needs human refueling, but the drone’s design, especially the pivot on its wing, is made so it can be transported inside larger cargo aircraft, like a C-130 or C-5, and flown from almost anywhere. 

While autonomous driving is useful for getting between the runway and the hangar, the loading ramp of a cargo plane is not a place to risk automated driving.

“We demonstrated how you can manually remote control the vehicle as well,” says Matt Michini, director of robotics at Elroy Air. “So if somebody on the ground wants to taxi it into a hangar or they want to move it to move it outta the way so that a plane can drive by or something, we want it to demonstrate how that’s possible as well without too much rigamarole.”

Force Excel Slicers To Single Select

There’s no built-in way we can force Excel Slicers to single select, but we can use some crafty tricks to prompt users to only select one item, and even hide the data if they try to select multiple items!

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Force Excel Slicers to Single Select – Option 1 for Regular Charts

Step 1 – Add a dummy PivotTable containing the Slicer field in the row labels

In my example it’s the Category field. If only one item is selected, cell J8 will be empty. You can see in the image below that two items have been selected in the Slicer:

Step 2 – Test if cell J8 is blank

You can use an IF formula to test if the second row in the PivotTable is empty (shown below in cell L7). If it is, return the text you want displayed in the chart title. If it’s not blank, have it return a message for the user:

Note: you can use J8=”‘ in place of ISBLANK(J8) if you prefer.

Step 3 – Link Chart Title to IF Formula Result

Select the chart title, then in the formula bar reference cell L7, containing the IF formula result:

Step 4 – Multiply chart values by ISBLANK

You can use the same ISBLANK test to hide the values for the chart if cell J8 is not blank. Simply multiply the GETPIVOTDATA formula with ISBLANK, which returns a TRUE if it’s blank and FALSE if not. When you multiply Boolean TRUE/FALSE values, TRUE becomes 1 and FALSE becomes 0:

Step 5 – Use Slicer header for instructions

Force Excel Slicers to Single Select – Option 2 for Pivot Charts

With PivotTables we can’t hide the data in the chart, so we need to get more in your face with the chart title message:

The first two steps are almost the same. Note that this example is further down the worksheet, starting on row 25.

Step 1 – Add a dummy PivotTable containing the Slicer field in the row labels

In my example it’s the Category field. If only one item is selected, cell J27 will be empty. You can see in the image below that two items have been selected in the Slicer:

Step 2 – Test if cell J27 is blank

You can use an IF formula to test if the second row in the PivotTable is empty (shown below in cell L26). If it is, return the text you want displayed in the chart title. If it’s not blank, hide the label with blank as denoted by two double quotes:

Step 3 – Link Chart Title to IF Formula Result

Select the chart title, then in the formula bar reference cell L26, containing the IF formula result:

Step 4 – Remove chart fill

Step 5 – Insert IF formula behind chart

In an empty cell behind the chart, insert an IF formula that checks if the second row of the PivotTable is blank. If it is blank, the formula returns nothing, otherwise it returns a message for the user in font formatted red and bold:

When only one item is selected in the Slicer this message doesn’t display and the chart title is visible. When two or more items are selected, the chart title returns a blank and the message behind the chart is visible.

Step 6 – Use Slicer header for instructions

More on Slicers

Get started with Excel Slicers – Slicers, introduced in Excel 2010, are an interactive control that enables you to filter data in PivotTables, PivotCharts, Excel Tables and CUBE functions.

Excel Slicer Formatting – with these hidden settings you can make Slicers very small, allowing you to fit them into crowded dashboards.

Symbols in Excel Slicers – Did you know you can display symbols in Excel Slicers? That’s right, Slicers aren’t just limited to listing boring old items from your PivotTables or Tables.

Reference Slicer selection in formulas – Slicers are a great tool for incorporating interactivity into your reports but we don’t always want to analyse our data with PivotTables and PivotCharts. Nor is our data always in the perfect format for PivotTables.

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