The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983 Is the Coffee Table Book Every Fan Needs

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Think you already know everything there is to know about Star Wars? Think again. The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983 is a sweeping ode to George Lucas's original trilogy, and it contains plenty of new insights to delight—and surprise—the film series' biggest fans.

Film historian Paul Duncan's monstrous, 600-page, 13-pound hardcover book from TASCHEN features interviews with George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, plus plenty of facts about the original films: Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

Expect to see plenty of concept art, storyboards, script pages, posters, on-set photos, and anecdotes about how this sprawling space opera came to fruition. Duncan, a self-proclaimed Star Wars mega-fan, spent three days interviewing Lucas for the book. After doing a year’s worth of research, he knew plenty about the who, what, when, and where of the film franchise—but the one lingering question was why it was made.

“I wanted to know what George’s experience was in making the movies. I wanted to be like a little little bird on his shoulder, a little porg on his shoulder, watching him and listening to him as he’s making the movies,” Duncan told StarWars.com. “So that was my ideal, and once I’d realized that, it then became a matter of focusing the text and the images and how I present the book in order to show that story."

The contents page from The Star Wars Archives: 1977–1983
TASCHEN

The result is an oral history with never-before-seen media and insight into the Star Wars universe. Right off the bat, after the contents page, there’s a sketch of what would become the legendary opening crawl: “The Star Wars” in block letters are shown against a starry night sky. “Fade in—A vast sea of stars—roll titles, bottom to top,” a handwritten note beneath it reads.

At a cost of $200 (or $157 on Amazon), this book doesn’t come cheap. But for the ultimate Star Wars fan, it's undoubtedly a worthwhile investment.

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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How the Trapper Keeper Trapped the Hearts of '80s and '90s Kids

Courtesy of Cinzia Reale-Castello
Courtesy of Cinzia Reale-Castello

No matter when or where you grew up, back-to-school shopping typically revolved around two things: clothing and school supplies. And if you’re an adult of a certain age, you probably had a Trapper Keeper on that latter list of must-buy items.

Like the stickers, skins, and cases that adorn your smartphones and laptops today, Trapper Keepers were a way for kids to express their individual personalities. The three-ring binders dominated classrooms in the '80s and '90s, and featured a vast array of designs—from colorful Lisa Frank illustrations to photos of cool cars and popular celebrities—that allowed kids to customize their organizational tools. 

In this episode of "Throwback," we're ripping open the Velcro cover and digging into the history of the Trapper Keeper. You can watch the full episode below.

Be sure to head here and subscribe so you don't miss an episode of "Throwback," where we explore the fascinating stories behind some of the greatest toys and trends from your childhood.