Tonight, we say goodbye to 2012. Here’s a look back at a few of the happenings in fandom this year – I’m sure you can guess at a few
5. Geek girls, fake and otherwise.
Of course there was no lack of women in fandom before 2012, but this was the year that things went into overdrive. Her Universe got even bigger with Star Trek and Doctor Who merchandise and the ‘fake geek girl’ controversy embroiled general fandom (’cause, you know, girls don’t get superheroes) and we had our own little kerfuffle, but there were no lack of people willing to speak up.
After all, doesn’t it really boil down to another variation on the ‘true fan’ crap anyway? Still, women speaking up has become and remained a controversial issue in fandom, which means we’ll apparently be explaining Feminism 101 to some of the geek dudes for a while longer. But if it means that female visibility in fandom is rising, well, we’ll take it.
4. George Lucas retires
Our big news for the first half of the year? George Lucas announced his retirement, and by golly, he meant it. He spent the early part of the year pushing Red Tails with high-profile chats with the Hollywood Reporter and the New York Times. Then, in June, the first shoe dropped: Kathleen Kennedy was named as co-chair of Lucasfilm. The other shoe? Well, there’s that whole thing where he sold his company to Disney, but we’ll get to that.
3. Celebration VI
There was certainly no bigger event for Star Wars fandom than Celebration VI in August. There were big announcements for 2013 – Attack of the Clones 3D and Revenge of the Sith 3D coming in the fall and Celebration Europe II, plus our first look at Seth Green’s Detours. (And, yes, several book announcements, I’ll get to those.) There was no lack of controversy, as a mean-spirited photo gallery infuriated fandom.
But, overall, the con was a great experience for most of us – even Florida mostly co-operated, with the effects of Hurricane Isaac not making it to Orlando until the tail end of the convention.
And I have to say I was touched by the response to our convention tips. So many people at Celebration complimented them, and I’m glad to be able to share our hard-won knowledge with so many people. Big thanks go out to James for his excellent piece om photographing fans in costume and to Justin for sharing his wisdom on the autograph hall, plus all the Jaders and other fans who shared their tips.
2. Big books, big announcements
In releases, we saw several much-anticipated books this year. Fans were buzzing about Luceno’s Darth Plaguies and the long-awaited return of the X-wing series with Aaron Allston’s Mercy Kill. And in non-fiction, Pablo Hidalgo’s Essential Reader’s Companion made a big splash. Plus, we finally got the Fate of the Jedi series – and the mega-series era – wrapped up in March.
Which meant there was bound to be a lot of announcements during con season – and they did not disappoint. At San Diego Comic Con we learned of our first post-FOTJ novel, Troy Denning’s Crucible, which will focus on the big 3 – and just the big 3. We also learned that a Dawn of the Jedi novel by Tim Lebbon is in the pipeline, as well as a Matthew Reinhart’s Vader’s Little Princess, a Leia-centric sequel to his much-adored Darth Vader and Son.
The big news at Celebration was no less big – after 20+ years of existence, Jaina Solo finally gets to headline a series for adults with Sword of the Jedi. We also heard about a new series set during the Original Trilogy era featuring new-to-Star Wars authors Kevin Hearns and Martha Wells.
And there was still news for New York Comic Con – John Jackson Miller takes on Kenobi and Hugo nominee James S. A. Correy (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) will join Hearns and Wells as the third on Rebels.
And course, there’s Timothy Zahn’s Scoundrels, which is out tomorrow!
1. Disney buys Lucasfilm, announces sequel trilogy
There’s absolutely no question what the biggest Star Wars news of the year was, is there? Of course it was going to be the Disney sale and announcement of Episode VII… Has fandom even thought of anything else since the announcement on October 30?
What do we know about Episode VII as the year ends? Well, George Lucas wrote ‘story treatments’ for the new trilogy, LFL president Kathleen Kennedy will be executive producing, and Micheal Arndt is writing it, they will likely start pre-production in the spring. That’s really about it, so far.
Certainly this will be strange year for Expanded Universe fans, as we have no idea how the books will fit into the bigger picture. There was a lot of talk about adaptions from fandom and the media at first, but I wouldn’t count on that – even Timothy Zahn is skeptical. I wrote at length on this – twice so far – but I expect the conversation will get more and more heated as we learn details. If we learn anything about the plot in 2013.