Tag Archives: lists

Fandom minute: Hooray for the prequels, space crafts, and beards

Obi-wan KenobiI heart prequels: What makes the prequels so great? International House of Geek picks their top ten great things from the Star Wars prequels, from the Jedi Order to the score to battle scenes to Ewan McGregor. Not quite sharing the love (though sharing a few favorites), one of Tor’s bloggers picks five great things from the prequels, and five classic trilogy fizzles. Over at Big Shiny Robot, Bryan makes the case that Episodes I-III are more liked than is generally thought.

The soft side of the Force: Check out these plush Star Wars characters and these crochet granny square TIE Fighters.

This Artoo unit has a sweet motivator: Two times the R2-D2! Check out this remote controlled LEGO Artoo and place an order for a custom knitted R2-D2 sweater.

The planet that it’s farthest from: A war photojournalist visits some of the Star Wars filming sites in Tunisia this summer, and comes across the Mos Espa set, Owens farm, Jawa rock and more.

Making the lists: General Grievous pops up in io9’s list of computer generated characters that actually look cool, Darth Vader is on Total Film’s list of horrible movie bosses (Hey, if your boss chokes you on the job and you die, there’s no workman’s comp claim!). And of course, Jabba the Hutt makes Andrew Liptak’s list of sci-fi gangsters not to mess with.

Who’s scruffy looking? Ewan McGregor’s facial hair in Revenge of the Sith (along with the beards of Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson and Ian McKellan) gets rated on The Men of Whisker Wars Rate Famous Screen Facial Hair.

Giants & Star WarsSpeaking of beards, Sunday is the Star Wars Day at the San Francisco Giants ballgame, where the cool giveaway is a three-sided statue of Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson in carbonite, a more traditional Han Solo in carbonite and a Giants / Star Wars logo.

EUbits: New Heir to the Empire goes topless

In the, err, cardboard. Del Rey’s Erich Schoeneweiss treats us to a look at a just-printed copy of the Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary edition under the jacket. I still wish they’d gone with brand-new art, but making the original black and white does make it slightly less horrible. Slightly.

Listage. The Star Wars Report has ten Expanded Universe characters who could be in The Clone Wars. Some of you may hate the very concept, but hey: That’s what you get for reading prequel EU in George’s driveway. And hey: It means greater possibility for action figures! Just ask Quinlan Vos.

Giveaway. Paul S. Kemp is giving away two unbound galleys of his October paperback, Riptide.

Preview. Another look at The Blueprints from Laurel Woods at MTV. She also has an interview with Bonnie Burton.

You take the good, you take the bad: Not-so-proud moments of the Expanded Universe

The other day i09 published a list of weirdest stories from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Several of us – who’ve actually read the books and comics, not just looked them up on Wookieepedia – found their choices to be a tad uninspired.

As it so happened, I did a few posts on the topic myself a few years back. Now yes, we do love the EU here, but let’s face it: There’s a lot of awfulness in them thar hills, and we here at Club Jade have always been fans of facing them head-on. With sarcasm!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Continue reading

EUbits: Fate of the Jedi tidbits, Zahn’s Insider short

Fate of the Jedi. in lieu of of a Heir to the Empire annotation yesterday, The Del Rey folks presented us with a mini-excerpt from Golden’s Ascension. It is indeed very mini. (Also, apparently we’ll be getting a look at the Apocalypse cover today.)

Short stories. Tim Zahn’s story ‘Buyer’s Market’ will appear in the next issue of the Insider. It’s about Lando “on the hunt for some rather exotic hardware” and is set between Return of the Jedi and Heir. The artwork is by Brian Rood. Also coming up in the Insider is a story by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff.

Interviews. Del Rey’s Erich Schoeneweiss appears on the latest Fictional Frontiers.

Previews. StarWars.com has five pages from The Old Republic: The Lost Suns.

Lists. There are several facepalm moments for me in Geeks of Doom’s ten Star Wars novels worth checking out (Splinter of the Minds’ Eye? The New Rebellion?? Vector Prime???) but to each their own, I suppose.

Other worlds: Dragonriders of Pern movie shows some life

Now on the failed adaption shortlist… Pern, yet again? This time sees Copperheart Entertainment hook up with with X-Men scriptwriter David Hayter. Is [mumble] times the charm for Anne McCaffrey’s dragonriders, or will this project vanish into between? But since Peter Jackson doesn’t seem in much rush to utilize the rights to Naomi Novak’s Temeraire, this might be fantasy fans best hope for an actual dragon movie franchise. Just, you know, don’t hold your breath.

The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins is profiled in The New York Times, and the actors playing Peeta and Gale have been announced.

A Song of Ice and Fire. Game of Thrones debuts this weekend! For those of you not poring over Winter is Coming, here’s a character cheat sheet. Meanwhile, Tor.com is running a series on the women of the series, and George R. R. Martin is interviewed by the NYT.

Recommended. What are the 80 greatest science fiction books for kids? Online Colleges and Universities has some suggestions, helpfully sorted by age group.

Cover art. A threefer: Terry Brooks The Measure of Magic, N.K. Jemisin’s The Kingdom of Gods and Lev Grossman’s The Magician King. As unimpressed as I was by The Magicians, I must admit that both books have gorgeous covers.

Other worlds: New attempt at Dune movie collapses

New Dune adaption dead. The latest attempt to film Frank Herbert’s Dune has officially thrown in the towel as Paramount’s rights lapsed. The novel has been filmed twice before – By David Lynch in 1984 and the Sci-Fi Channel in 2000. Neither version could quite capture the classic sci-fi novel… Is it simply not a book that translates well to screen, or has the right team just not attempted it yet? I’m sure we’ll see it adapted again either way.

That said, I must admit I am quite fond of Sci-Fi’s 2003 attempt at the second and third books in the series, Children of Dune. And it only has a little to do with James McAvoy spending half the thing running around with no shirt on.

The Hunger Games. They have their Katniss, but what about the rest of the cast? Television Without Pity, of all places, has a nice set of suggestions for casting everyone else. With the exception of Christopher Lee (he’s played that role a million times over) I wholeheartedly applaud their selections. Major props for a non-sexy Haymitch!

Chronicles of Narnia. Walden is skipping right over The Silver Chair to make prequel The Magician’s Nephew the next film in the series. Yay for having an actual reason to bring back their best character Tilda Swinton this time.

Inheritance Cycle. Knopf has released the cover for the final book in Christopher Paolini’s Star Wars meets Pern in Middle-earth series. It’s always nice to see John Jude Palencar getting work, I guess.

Lists. Topless Robot’s has 14 great but lesser-known sci-fi novels for lil’ nerds. I find it quite distressing that Paula Danzinger’s This Place Has No Atmosphere is considered a lesser known sci-fi novel. Danzinger is a YA goddess, people. RESPECT.

Other worlds: Tor.com readers name their top SF/F novels of the decade

Tor.com has wrapped up their reader’s poll, naming the top ten science fiction and fantasy novels of the decade:

  1. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

  2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  4. Blindsight by Peter Watts
  5. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  6. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  7. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  8. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  9. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  10. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

I’ve read half of them: I could see American Gods, Kushiel’s Dart, and A Storm of Swords among my own top reads, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by The Name of the Wind and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. (I’ve been putting off Old Man’s War – it’s in the pile!) What are your thoughts?

Our top 10 Star Wars books of 2010

Can’t end the year without a list, can we? Here are our staff’s picks for the ten best books of the year.

Be sure to check out more favorites at StarWars.com. They asked us to do the literature portion, but other contributers include Kyle Newman, Ashley Eckstein, TFN’s Eric Geller, Steve Sansweet, and Bonnie Burton!

10. Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle by Daniel Wallace, Pablo Hidalgo, Gus Lopez, and Ryder Windham
Rounding out the list is the one book that has it all. Expanded Universe history? Check. Oddball merchandise? Check. Museum exhibits? Early versions of Yoda? Mark Hamill on Broadway? Check, check, and you better believe it. Star Wars Year by Year compiles over four decades (yes, four) of highlights, lowlights, and trivia – think of it, perhaps, as The Essential Franchise Chronology. But its scope goes beyond Lucasfilm productions. The authors also spotlight various milestones in science, pop-culture, and politics, giving readers a sense of the events that helped shape Star Wars, as well as how Star Wars changed the world. – Stooge

9. The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams
Setting the stage for the eventual release of The Old Republic MMO, Fatal Alliance builds up the worlds and character types, and then throws them all into the fray against a new threat. Sean Williams captures the look of this era, and brings together some new enjoyable characters. It’s a heist caper that unfolds into a tale of espionage and war. It takes a little while to set up the players, but the endgame is well worth it. - James

8. Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner’s Guide by Ryder Windham
The saga’s most iconic ship is revealed! Ryder Williams’ text is sparse but clever, the illustration work by Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff shines, and the layer-by-layer design is icing on the cake. Kids will love it and adults will delight in the technical specs and (in-character!) modification notes. It’s a just plain fun book – certain to entrance even the most jaded fan for at least a little while. – Dunc

7. Fate of the Jedi: Vortex by Troy Denning
With Luke and Ben and their new Sith allies having defeated a more sinister evil, you’d think that Troy Denning would take it easy on the Jedi Order, but Abeloth’s demise in Allies is just the beginning of a series of explosive events. Faster that you can say “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal”, the Sith bring it. Chief of State Daala brings it. The Mandalorians bring it. Tahiri’s prosecutor brings it. So it’s up to a couple of Jedi, and Han and Leia to strike back – and when they bring Lando and droids to help, you know it’s going to get heavy as the Jedi shake things up against their adversaries. - James

6. The Sounds of Star Wars by J. W. Rinzler and Ben Burtt
A book that needs a volume button? Not to worry, this is more than just a gimmick. To fully explore the audio awesomeness of Ben Burtt, The Sounds of Star Wars has a built-in soundboard which plays over 200 (unmixed!) effects from that galaxy far, far away. So you can read about the crazy ways he made these sounds, then listen to the fantastic end results! Plus, Mr. Burtt has enough behind-the-scenes stories to fill ten volumes – and for a quadruple Oscar-winner, he’s remarkably humble. - Stooge Continue reading

Star Wars, yes. Movies? Not necessarily.

I’ve never been big on the idea of Star Wars fiction having to be like movies: Novels are an entirely different format that requires different things. I don’t read Star Wars novels to experience the movies; I read them because they are different kind of stories. I’ve always been a reader above all else, and I don’t have any problem admitting that while it was the movies that turned me to fandom, it was the novels (and to some extent their illegitimate step-sisters, fanfic) that kept me here.

So if you really want to make me wince, you come out with a lazy, ill-thought-out list like Totalfilm’s 40 Star Wars stories that should be movies. Particularly when the list is inhabited by some of the worst stories the EU has to offer (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye) and things that are really only of interest to seriously hardcore fans (Luceno’s Millennium Falcon.) Hitting the random article button on Wookiepedia is no way to write a list.

Not all the stories on the list are from the EU, though that doesn’t mean they make any more sense as choices. Red 5 is a perfectly good web series, but I can see the concept getting old fast if you took it to two hours. Ryan vs. Dorkman doesn’t even have a plot.

I’m not completely against adapting the EU to other formats, mind. Splinter, Millennium Falcon or Rogue Squadron might might make good episodes of a Clone Wars-esque take on the OT period. (Let’s forget such a series would send the continuity-savants screaming into the night.) Knights of the Old Republic could function as an animated series or even a live-action mini-series. The concept of any Thrawn trilogy adaption makes me want to run screaming into the night (particularly if people start talking about live-action casting) but I could see it possibly working as serial animation as well. And I really hope that someone sent Seth Green some Star Wars Tales anthologies to mine for his upcoming humor series.

But as movies? A Star Wars movie should be epic, and the EU? Not so much. It’s there to continue the stories, let us know different characters and eras and cultures that we only get glimpses of (if that) in the films. It exists to build on the movies, not become them.

The fandom minute: Sith Fairies and milk stormtroopers

Darth Fairy strikes back. Booturtle created this striking Darth Fairy getup for her daughter to wear to Dragon*Con and for Halloween. It was, not surprisingly, a big hit! Be sure not to miss her Death Star cake, either. (Photo by ConventionFans)

Also in crafts… Make a stormtrooper helmet out of a milk jug. Just the thing for a Star Wars Halloween party. Not that you need the Halloween excuse to throw an awesome Star Wars party.

Original trilogy. Bryan Young has some interesting thoughts on releasing the OT in HD.

Listage. Chewbacca is the #1 sidekick for Hero Complex, while Anakin Skywalker is in suitably annoying company on io9’s list of the most obnoxious superpowered teenagers.