A Very Clever Lego Pop-Up Book, and More of the Most Wonderful Toys of the Week

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's weekly round up of all the cool toys and merch we’ve spotted on this here internet lately. This week: War Machine suits up for Figuarts’ Infinity War line, an incredibly squishy Super Mario cushion, and perhaps the most inconvenient yet still delightful way to play Ms. Pac-Man ever…

Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Game of Thrones Collide in the Best Toys of the Week

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's round up of the best toys we’ve seen all week. This time round, a very cool take on the comic book Iron Spider suit, Obi-Wan Kenobi reaches out into the Star Wars figuarts line, Darth Vader’s sinister castle gets a slightly less sinister Lego set, and more. Check it out!

The New Era of Star Wars Has Revitalized Darth Vader in the Best, Most Frightful Way

Within the context of most Star Wars movies, Darth Vader has been a figure that is both tragic and fearsome in equal measure. But in the decades since his first appearance, Vader’s reputation as a terrifying villain has been diminished by the other side of Star Wars: its equally petrifying ability to turn everything…

Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin's Relationship Is Fascinatingly Messed Up

One of the most striking visuals in Star Wars: A New Hope is that of a man like Grand Moff Tarkin—curt, elderly, and in officer’s gear—flanked by the fearsome, gigantic black armor of Darth Vader. It’s a strange duo made all the more fascinating by the former’s surprising dominance over the latter. It’s a relationship…

Witness the First Time Thrawn Encounters a Familiar Star Wars Hero in This New Novel Excerpt

Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn—one of the best new novels to come out of Disney’s rebooted Star Wars canon—gave us some wonderful insight as to how the mysterious Chiss tactician encountered the Empire, rising through Imperial ranks to become the Grand Admiral we saw in Rebels. Now, the follow up is showing us an even earlier…

You Can Build This Cardboard Darth Vader Costume in Less Time Than It Takes to Watch Star Wars

When October 30th rolls around, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a memorable, last-minute Halloween costume that will just end up hanging in the back of your closet the rest of the year. A Japanese stationery brand has created a cheap, build-it-yourself cardboard alternative that still looks like you…

Solo's Breakout New Characters Get Action Figures, and More of the Coolest Toys of the Week

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular round up of the coolest toys and merchandise we’ve seen floating around the internet lately. This week, the Solo deluge continues, SDCC’s 2018 exclusives begin tempting our wallets, and Lego just can’t stop revealing cutesy little BrickHeadz. Check it out!

The New Star Wars Annual Tells a Tale of Two Very Intriguing Lightsabers

One of the best things about Marvel’s Star Wars comics is how they bring some of the mysticism and mystery of the Jedi and Sith we’ve seen in other periods of Star Wars history right into the time period of the original trilogy. The latest Star Wars Annual is no exception, pulling Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader into a…

Darth Vader's Comic Is a Fantastic Showcase of What Became of the Jedi After Revenge of the Sith

The second iteration of Marvel’s Darth Vader comic is almost as much about the Star Wars galaxy in the years after Revenge of the Sith as it is about the titular dark lord himself. This means, as much as it is a tale of the Sith, it’s also a tale of the Jedi—and what the survivors of the Jedi Order become when the…

I'm Going to Make Myself Like Tea So I Can Justify This Gorgeous Darth Vader-Inspired Kettle

I never developed a taste for tea, or hot leaf water, as it should be more accurately called. But how else am I going to justify spending $71 on a novelty stovetop kettle shaped like Darth Vader’s helmet? It’s even got a tiny replica of Vader’s lightsaber for its handle. How am I supposed to resist that? I’m only…

The Story of How Darth Vader Got His Lightsaber Is Actually Pretty Normal, and That's Great

The lightsaber of Darth Vader holds great potency, whether it’s as iconic imagery in the Star Wars franchise, or as an actual artifact of great power and importance in the Star Wars galaxy itself. This has been true for both the new and old canons, but now the former has chronicled how Vader gained his red lightsaber,…