I was born into a world that had already started its Star Wars obsession. But it didn’t matter. Even though Return Of The Jedi was the first Star Wars movie I got to see in the actual theaters, George Lucas and friends had no problem adopting me as one of their own. And boy, did I buy into it. Well, my parents bought into it, I reaped the rewards. Back then, it was mostly action figures and little play sets. Sure, there were plenty of novelty items added to the mix (all the time)… a board game, a breakfast cereal, lunchbox, etc.

Image Jansen_G

 

But today, when I look at the Star Wars toys that my kids are playing with, I can’t help but feel intense jealousy. No really, it’s ridiculous. I’m jealous of my kids’ Star Wars toys. They’re amazing. I’m literally having to stop in my kitchen and make sure I don’t step on BB-8 who is flying by. I also have to remember to close my boy’s door or his R-2 unit might open it and roll out to wake us all up (although I like to think he’s trying to find old Ben Kenobi).

I’ve accepted the fact that Star Wars will never be the same for my kids as it was for me. I was there at the beginning. Well, mostly. They are just jumping on and seeing what Star Wars has become. That’s fine. I’m not going to be one of those dads who refuse to allow my kids to enjoy what’s new, simply because I don’t believe it’s as good as what it USED to be. Because truth is, it’s not! It’s way cooler now! SO not fair.

There is, however, a nice feeling dads have when they walk through the Star Wars aisle at the toy store: they still see the same characters they fell in love with as children along with the 5000 more available.

But now, these toys are reaching new levels that I never even imagined. And when wondering about what’s to come…that seems to be beyond anyone’s guess.

It’s no secret that Star Wars is, and always has been, well, secretive. Just like the new movie plots, anything new coming out is usually somewhat of a mystery…unless it’s announced at a Toy Show or within a rumor of a rumor. So, obviously, it’s hard to look ahead and see what kind of Star Wars toys are going to be offered in the near future.

Along with scouring the web for rumors, predictions, and inside information, the best thing I can do is look at the amazing options now and do my best to project what’s to come.

VR

If you’re Star Wars fan, and you haven’t seen what the world of VR has to offer right now, you need to check it out immediately. Remember when Luke put on that helmet and used his light saber as a training exercise with that floating ball in the original Star Wars movie? You could do that. Yeah. Now. You can actually put a VR device on your head, hold the light saber, and deflect laser sparks from a floating ball. Of course, the ball’s not really there and neither is the laser, but man, they’ve made it pretty realistic.

Image from Rob McLellan

And when it comes to the future of VR, based on what I could find, the technology is only going to get better. Whether it’s sitting at the helm of a star destroyer with your crew surrounding you, or speeding through trees on the forest moon of Endor, we are soon to be visually stunned by what a VR headset will do for us. I’ll make sure to grab my Dramamine!

Toys and Figures

There’s not much wiggle room when it comes to progressing with Star Wars toys and action- figures. The details are there, the colors and the sounds are at the palm of your hand. So, where can they actually go from here? Well, details can always get better. Cheap digital screens can allow different parts of figures and toys to seem to be alive. Eyes blinking, different expressions…maybe even fire coming out of a damaged tie fighter.
No matter what it ends up being, the toys will continue to be on the shelf with less and less imagination being left up to us.

Holograms and Beyond

It’s here. It exists. You can buy a devise that projects an image of Princess Leia in the middle of the room, telling you that you are her “only hope.” Yes, that’s real.

What could be next? Hologram technology could one day VR by taking the Headset out of picture. We are far from enjoying that detailed technology without the help of headsets and wires. But when it happens, imagine the possibilities!

Lucasfilm Ltd

When it comes to the future of Star Wars toys, I can’t help but get overly excited. I don’t see a time in my life ahead where these toys won’t bring a smile to my face. There never be a time where I won’t want to play with my kids or my kids’ kids…and fully enjoy what this brand has brought to my happiness.

That being said, I’ll sit here and wait for the day I can hug an Ewok hologram.

 

Featured Image Credit: Chris Murphy