I am an admitted non-fan of the prequel trilogy; I’ve never claimed otherwise. I’m not going to now.
But folks: It’s time to get over the prequels.
The recent recap of last year’s biggest events reminded me of something that has been largely overlooked: George Lucas is retiring. Granted, he’s tried to retire before – a couple of times, if memory serves – with limited success. And the news was understandably overshadowed by the double-whammy of the Sequel Trilogy and the sale to Disney. But still. The Flannelled One is stepping down, off to work on experimental films or build a working X-wing or become a lumberjack or whatever retired billionaires do. Yes, there were the starwars.com videos, where he talked a bit about his future plans, but in general, this story has been ignored. Heck, I saw more chatter about Rick McCallum’s retirement. Rick McCallum is a wonderful guy, but there’s only one George Lucas. He deserves a little more attention.
So when Dark Horse first announced that Brian Wood would be starting a new ongoing series, simply titled Star Wars, back at Comic Con last July, and mentioned that Leia would be piloting an X-wing fighter, the two big fusses that popped up were about fitting continuity (isn’t it always?) and Leia in a role we hadn’t seen her in very often: fighter pilot. (Never mind that she’s been piloting starfighters since Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.)
Now that the first issue of the series is out for us all to enjoy, what’s all the hubbub?
I’m not going to be the first person to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last: Don’t expect the sequel trilogy to follow the existing Expanded Universe. We know that George Lucas has done story treatments for these films that he’s handing over to Kathleen Kennedy and Disney’s LFL, and Lucas’s take on the EU has been, for most of its existence, that they’re an alternate universe. He has been a distant and uncaring god, at least as far as post-Return of the Jedi is concerned. He has used things from the EU occasionally, but I wouldn’t expect straight adaptations of any of the existing books or comics – at least not as actual episodes.
Chris Alexander wrote a great piece on the Star Wars Blog about how he got through waiting to see Star Wars by reading the novelization. And it took me back to my own similar experience.
Sit back, kids, and listen to an Old Fart Star Wars fan talk about life in the good ol’ days of 1977 and 1978.
I was nine when Star Wars was first released. It’s hard to describe the phenomenon of how quickly it became a part of everything in that first year. This was before the internet. So the fact that it immediately integrated itself into our culture is a wild situation that I’m not sure will ever be repeated. By the middle of the summer of 1977, my friends and I were playing Star Wars without actually having seen the movie. (Without any toys. Can you imagine?)
So here we are, in the post-Legacy of the Force Expanded Universe. And, as we learned at Celebration, one of the first things out of the gate will be a trilogy focused on Jaina Solo. Fans of the only remaining Solo kid greeted the news with boundless enthusiasm – and just a hint of trepidation. My feelings are less clear. On the one hand, I think it’s long past due. On the other hand… No one has really managed to make me actually care about Jaina yet, and I think it’s probably long past time.
Every Star Wars character has an iconic outfit or two. (Or twenty. Hey, Padme.) Obi-Wan has his Jedi robes, Han Solo has his bloodstripe pants and vest, Boba Fett has his armor. Hell, even Chewbacca has his bandolier.
When it comes to Expanded Universe characters – at least those that derive from books, as opposed to more visual mediums like games or comics – things get a little trickier. Authors generally don’t go for detailed descriptions of clothing, so it’s usually pretty up in the air… At least until someone gets on a book cover, or makes an appearance in a comic book. Which is how Mara Jade got the black leather catsuit that has become – like it or not – her trademark.
This is not the post I set out to write when I asked the other day which Star Wars ladies should be headlining novels. After all, Nanci already quite eloquently laid out why we need more women in the Expanded Universe. But on Friday, EUC posted a rebuttal to her post, titled Let’s Stop Thinking About Gender and it seems there’s still more work to do on the ground level. I know, I was shocked, too. Though I probably shouldn’t be.
Clearly we’ve forgotten that Star Wars is aimed at boys! And that by asking for something as minor as a female characters whose functions include something other than being Big Bad Lady Cthulu or Confused Teenage Girlfriend makes us the sexist ones! For shame, ladies. For shame. Because we’ve never heard anything like this before.
The internet is for porn.
We all know the song (from the Broadway musical Avenue Q), and it’s funny because, in a way, it is true. And hose of us who have been around the internet for a while are familiar with the infamous Rule 34: if it exists, there’s porn of it. It’s nothing incredibly shocking but, if you listen to the media hubbub surrounding the bestselling novel 50 Shades of Grey, you would think otherwise.