It’s getting to be that time again… StarWars.com posted their own mammoth Best of 2009 this morning. Below is my personal list. Since it is personal, it’s clearly missing some things. (As always, I don’t speak for all of Club Jade. I just post a lot.) So let’s get to it:
10. Rumor mill
With Revenge of the Sith long behind us and the live-action show still in embryonic form, the rumors were flying this year. From George Lucas’ supposed jealously of Avatar spawning a 3-D sequel trilogy (Sansweet denied) to the Rose Byrne live-action casting brouhaha to poor Thomas Dolby, it was quite a year.
9. Star Wars in Concert
It takes something pretty awesome to make me drive out to The Palace, Detroit’s high temple of basketball. Can’t say I regret it. (Paula reviewed the Atlanta show.)
It took years to get to theaters. Was it worth it? The movie might not have appealed to everyone, but we liked it. And isn’t that what matters?
7. Tauntaun sleeping bag
From its humble origins as a Thinkgeek April Fools joke, it’s hard to beat the sheer awesomeness of the Tauntaun sleeping bag.
5. Karen Traviss quits
There are certain to be fireworks over anything notable that one of the decade’s most polarizing Star Wars authors does, and her quitting the franchise (Twice! Via blog entry! Over The Clone Wars! Something something Mando’ade!) was one of the most talked-about EU events of the year. She certainly has her fair share of fans, but to someone unimpressed with her anvil-heavy writing and disenchanted by her interaction with fandom, it was a relief.
4. Waiting for the Celebration V announcement
We expected it at San Diego Comic-Con – that fizzled. Then we held out hope that it might surface a few weeks later in Chicago – in vain. We were angry, annoyed, disappointed with the persistent rumors of Orlando in August… And then it finally came. Orlando. In August. Whatever the reasons for the delay (I have my suspicions) we now know. Finally. And while the timing may not be ideal, it’ll take more than a little humidity to keep me away.
3. The year’s best fanfic
I’m not the kind of person who generally feels comfortable saying that even the best fanfic deserves to be on the same level as the professional, licensed novels – among other things, fanfic is addressed to a far more specific and concentrated audience than the profic can ever be. (And yes, most of it is really, truly awful.) But every once and a while, there’s a fic that’s really, really good: So good, in fact, that I had trouble concentrating on the actual profic this year.
Blank101’s Son of Suns trilogy – Into the Storm, In Shadows and Darkness, and At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness is one of the best Star Wars stories I have ever read. Period. They’re not perfect (Blank is currently posting some more polished versions over at TFN’s fanfic boards – Storm is finished, and Shadows will be complete in a week or two) but they are good. The premise is a standard alternative universe trope – Vader captures Luke at Bespin and turns him over the the Emperor – but Blank crafts the story from there with care. It’s very dark (Palpatine is every bit as nasty as you might expect, and then some) but the progression feels completely natural (given the circumstances) for everyone – including some amazing original characters, quite a feat in and of itself.
I’m not very good at writing positively about this sort of thing – thus the reason I stopped reviewing fanfic more than a decade ago – but trust me. Try it.
2. Drunk Ewoks on The Today Show
This might have been embarrassing for Lucasfilm and The Today Show – I doubt those Ewoks will get a return invitation – but it was easily the one of the most hilarious moments of the year, elevating a lame morning show craft bit into viral gold. And also, this:
1. Twitter and fandom
Whether it’s the unending flow of people realizing that Lucasfilm owes the trademark on the term ‘droid’ thanks to Motorola’s ad campaign or the observations and commentary that come with every Spike airing of the movies, Twitter was the place to be this year. With live reporting from conventions, press events, and anything else that happened to be going on, Twitter is the new place to see, be seen, and most importantly, keep up with the latest. Grab a free account (no, you don’t need a smartphone) and start by friending @starwars, @clubjade, or anyone else that strikes your fancy.
What’s your top ten? Go at it in the comments.