Category Archives: opinion

Big Moon Rising: Why I don’t mind if the Star Wars sequels mean the end of the Expanded Universe

The Death of ChewbaccaI’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.

I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.

I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.

But I’m also okay with letting it go.

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Why the Wookieepedia article on breasts is a big deal

wookTo be honest, I hadn’t planned to write more about Wookieepedia’s page on breasts. I’m already on record as disapproving, twice. Outrage fatigue happens even to the outraged, and quite honestly I don’t have the temperament or patience to continue to explain Feminism 101 to this fandom.

But the page and one of the responses ended up on Tumblr – one of those areas of fandom where you do actually see female majorities in many circles – and I remembered why it’s important that we keep speaking out.

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Wookieepedia makes a statement about their breast page, still misses the point

Not long ago, Wookieepedia released an official statement regarding the breast article I wrote about earlier today.

Although Brian at Tosche Station has already written a great response to the statement, and I agree with him wholeheartedly, I still feel I should address it personally.

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Hasbro will make figures for Rebels’ Hera and Sabine, but then what?

Rebels: Sabine

We saw Sabine’s official reveal this morning, and although we’re still waiting for Hera’s, Hasbro confirmed with Newsarama’s Lucas Siegel that action figures of both Rebels ladies are coming, and will be unveiled at SDCC.

There’s been some blowback to the concerns over the lack of women showed in the first wave of Hasbro Rebels toys. But together with the ‘for boys’ nature of Disney XD and the apparent ‘ladies last’ spacing of the character reveals, it’s really felt like the female characters – and thus female fans – are there as an afterthought. (Is it really still not a given that women and girls like action?)

Yes, we know ‘this is how it is.’ Yes, we know that ‘it’s all here to sell toys.’ Yes, we know that’s ‘what advertisers want.’ And that’s exactly why we’re fighting so hard over this. This is our first major rollout since Disney took the wheel, and this is an uphill battle.

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Sorting out Marvel, Dark Horse and Star Wars

DarkHorse-MarvelIt’s been a week since the news went out that the Star Wars comics license will go to Marvel Comics for 2015, leaving Dark Horse Comics after a twenty-two year run. With the news on Tuesday that Dark Horse will be releasing a new series, adapting the unproduced The Clone Wars scripts for the finale of the Darth Maul storyline, we know that 2014 will still be a big Star Wars year for Dark Horse. Over the course of the past week, questions about the switch have started to get some answers, at least from Dark Horse:

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What does Marvel’s Star Wars deal mean for Del Rey?

Del Rey (logo)While it was pretty easy to see today’s Marvel announcement coming, things are much less clear-cut when we’re talking about another high-profile Star Wars publishing licensee: Del Rey.

(I’m putting all issues of canon, continuity and the sequels aside for this post. Those are big decisions made at Lucasfilm, not by their licensees: We can discuss it another time. This post is solely about the franchise’s publishing rights.)

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Boba Fett is popular. You don’t say?

Apparently ‘the fans’ want more Boba Fett, according to some IGN poll I never even heard of until now.

Whatever, fanboys. I’m not going to deny that the character is insanely crowd-pleasing, if perhaps not in our circle. You can bet even money that Lucasfilm will make him the subject of one of the standalone films. But please keep him, Darth Maul, and all the other cool-looking but otherwise b-list dead dudes (at least in the movies) out of Episode VII. There’s plenty of other places for shameless pandering.

Also: Remember how he got his ass whooped in This Is Madness by Darth Vader? There may be hope for fandom after all.

Marvel is not Star Wars – and vice versa

Vader vs. Captain AmericaSo the spate of summer cons where Lucasfilm might announce news related to Episode VII has come and gone, and we’ve gotten some announcements, but nothing mind-blowing. As Dunc said earlier this week, let’s not lose our heads over it. Is it frustrating that Celebration Europe’s big reveal was John Williams, and nothing much came from D23 Expo? Perhaps. Especially when compared to the glut of Marvel movie news that came out at Comic-Con and appearances made at D23. But as film franchises go, Marvel is not Star Wars. And Star Wars is not Marvel.

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Let’s not lose our heads over the lack of Episode VII news this summer

Don't lose your head!

For all intents and purposes, convention season is now over for Star Wars fans. At least, con season in the sense of expecting big announcements.

In all honesty, it’s a bit of a relief. There are no more obvious ‘deadlines.’ News could break at any time, and it probably will. But I fully expect that John Williams returning will remain the biggest officially sanctioned news of the summer… And let’s not forget the rumors will only get bigger from here – just look at the Ian McDiarmid one we got last night.

Is it frustrating that we didn’t get any further announcements at Celebration Europe and D23? Yes, of course. But as Bleeding Cool points out, they don’t owe us anything at this point. They’ll tell us something when they’re ready to tell us something, and not a moment before. As Pablo Hidalgo said in our comments yesterday:

There are no casting ‘secrets’. If someone hasn’t been signed, they haven’t been cast. That’s what triggers an announcement. That’s why everyone who has been announced has been announced when they were.

That’s why these things emerge as ‘rumors’ first – because Lucasfilm can’t say anything until the ink is dry. So the rumors aren’t going away, and yes, some of them will be complete bullshit because that’s the way the game is played. That’s our lot, if we’re going to be following the films this closely.

I know this is a fandom of mighty whiners, but can we please, please, please just learn already to be patient for official news and confirmations? We have years of this roller coaster ahead of us, and the hand-wringing act is already getting old. I pretty much guarantee you that the folks in charge know far more about making a film than any of us do; We don’t need to ‘worry’ about them under the guise of wanting things revealed.

It’s not wrong to want things; we all want official casting confirmations. We’ve all got carried away at one point or another. Everyone in geek media is starved for more: Actors simply saying that they’d like to be in Episode VII regularly make headlines; last night’s Ian McDiarmid rumor is making the rounds today. But we have to stop demanding. Lucasfilm and Disney owe us a movie sometime in 2015 and that’s about it. I assure you they want this thing made just as much as we want to see it, and when the time comes to promote it, they will do so. But it’s not quite that time yet, so: Patience.

It’s still early, after all, and I’m sure we’ll get yet another rumor – crazy or not – before the end of the month in any case.

3 things to think about with Star Wars Rebels

Vader on the hunt

Earlier this week we saw the announcement of a new animated series, Star Wars Rebels. With Dave Filoni on board, joined by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Young Justice) and spin-off screenwriter Simon Kinberg and a new look based on the art of Ralph McQuarrie? Exciting times.

Here are my thoughts on why it’s a good thing:

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