Tech round-up for September 1: Force Friday means lots of fun tech stuff for Star Wars fans, Destiny 2 will thrill and amaze

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, geeking out over Star Wars. Plus, geeking out over Destiny 2. Sense a pattern?

Force Friday begins the run-up to The Last Jedi

Happy Force Friday. This is actually the second Force Friday. The first took place two years ago as the world prepared for the first film in the next Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens.

Today is, in all honesty, just a creation of Disney and Lucasfilm to mark the beginning of the promotional and marketing push for the next Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.

The movie won’t be in theatres until December, but as of today, you can get all kinds of neat things to satisfy that Star Wars urge.

Augmented reality game for mobile devices

If you’re going to be out and about this weekend, maybe celebrating the last few days before school’s back in session, you can play a new treasure hunting game, Find the Force.

You need the Star Wars app to play, and when you’ve got it up and running, you can use it to find up to 15 Star Wars characters who will appear on the screen of your smartphone through augmented reality.

The characters can be unlocked by scanning special Find the Force graphics that will be posted at some 20,000 retailers around the world, including The Bay, Best Buy, Toys ‘R Us, and Walmart in Canada.

You can also find the graphics at various places online.

Collect 5 or more of the characters, and you’ll unlock digital rewards.

There are also augmented reality surprises for people at a handful of landmarks around the world, including New York’s Central Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The two Canadian locations are the CN Tower in Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Apple Retail Stores celebrate Force Friday II all weekend

Apple stores around the world are spending the weekend hosting exclusive Star Wars sessions of the popular Today at Apple learning events, teaching kids how to code and how to make their own Star Wars trailer using iMovie.

Sign up for a session.

New Lego products feature ships and characters from Episode 8

I love Lego because it teaches kids how to read diagrams and interpret schematics, all while conveying engineering and building principles. Plus, it’s just fun to invent and imagine with.

Today, a bunch of building kits based on The Last Jedi hit store shelves, including Kylo Ren’s TIE fIghter, a Resistance bomber, and a First Order assault walker. There’s also a new posable action figure of Rey.

Kits range in price from $25 to $180.

Star Wars drones to fly over your house

It was only a matter of time before some company was going to come out with drones modelled after the iconic ships from our favourite science fiction stories.

In stores today are three drones from Propel:

  • An x-wing (T-65X-Wing, to be exact)
  • A TIE fighter (TIE Advancedx1)
  • 74-Speeder Bike

These things are cool. They have blades on the bottom of the models that are used for propulsion and steering and you can actually engage in battles against other Propel drones. Kind of like high-tech kite fights.

The drones are rechargeable and can get flying times of six to eight minutes after a 30- to 40-minute charging cycle.

Propel’s Star Wars drones are $249 and can be found at the Bay, Best Buy, London Drugs, Indigo, Staples, and Walmart.

Next week it’s back to school, except for all those kids skipping so they can play Destiny 2

Destiny 2, the sequel to the popular first-person shooter developed by Bungie and published by Activision, comes out on Wednesday next week.

Few people complained about the first game’s mechanics and core experience, but there was a case to be made that Destiny lacked a compelling narrative and character development.

The sequel appears to have remedied that. You still get to play as a hero, you still get to save the world, and as you’ll see in the live action trailer that debuted yesterday, you may get to save some puppies while you’re at it.

I’m so glad there’s nobody who can tell me I need to go to bed so I can function in class.


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