Tag Archives: lists

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.

The fandom minute: Star Wars economics, Her Universe fan interviews, adorable crafting, and Chad does D*C

Click to see the whole thing!The economics of Star Wars. This infographic that’s been circling around the interwebs breaks down just how much money the Star Wars cash cow brings in. To which we say: Damn.

Interviews. Ashley Eckstein turns the tables on the fans! She talks to our pal Mandy from TheForce.net, plus costumer Vera Campbell and EU fan Erin Kelahan.

Listage. Totalfilm includes four Star Wars movies in their 40 baffling movie plot holes, and Darth Vader as one of their 30 most influential movie characters.

Fanmade. These super-adorable Star Wars amigurumi almost inspire me to learn how to crochet. Almost.

Video. Chad Vader identifies costumes and meets George Lucas at Dragon*Con.

EUbits: Visions, crafts, blogs and more

Visions. The cat is officially out of the bag on the upcoming art book, and the previews keep on coming. I’m rather taken with the classical styles of the Daniel E. Greene and Will Wilson pieces.

First look. Bonnie Burton’s craft book!

The blogside:Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica draws a parallel between Grand Admiral Thrawn, Exar Kun, and the Sith of The Old Republic; Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff on making up planets.

Interviews: NJOE talks to Invasion’s Tom Taylor.

Lists. Topless Robot’s Adam Pawlus counts down his list of the ten best stories in the Expanded Universe. The vast majority of these are at best unnoteworthy to this EU fan, and I certainly can’t condone anyone who puts a Boba Fett comic above the Thrawn trology. (Zahn may not be perfect… But Boba Fett? How uncivilized.)

Namesake corner. Sideshow says Mara Jade will make “an appearance in one of our lines by 2011.”

The fandom minute: Comparing Lucas, sucking on Legos

Quotables. Alice in Wonderland producer Richard D. Zanuck calls George Lucas “the Thomas Edison of our time.”

Weequay Thranta Fambaa. A girl on German game show can ID Lego action figures with her mouth. That’s a skill that’ll take her far. (via)

Under the stars. Take a peek at this Star Wars nursery.

Well, it is kind of true. Yoda is one of Cracked’s 6 famous movie wisemen who were totally full of shit.

EUbits: Mocking the mockable, Vader delayed, Stackpole on ‘Sues,’ Ostrander on Legacy, comic previews

My, isn't this some fine Drew Struzan artwork? Embrace the pain. Inspired by the latest in transparent rumor-mongering, Cracked puts their well-worn Wookieepedia bookmark to use to come up with five reasons the Star Wars sequels would be worse than the prequels. As an EU fan, I say… Well, yeah. It’s easy to be hard on the prequels, but we can’t deny that the post-ROTJ EU is at least equally screwed up. (I for one have no problem admitting the EU is probably worse. One word, kids: Volume. Also, [insert your least favorite author/book here.])

Not that I would expect George to actually use the existing EU for much besides a few spare parts if he ever did decide to make a sequel trilogy. But various statements he’s made over the last few years show he really doesn’t see much in the sequel era – Han Solo and the Backyard Barbecue much?

Postponed. The Complete Vader will be getting a new release date due to printing issues. It was supposed to be out on Tuesday, but better a nice, carefully reconstructed book than a complete crispy mess completely encased in plastic, right?

The blogside. Mike Stackpole on assumption that authors are their characters.

From the horse’s mouth. A speculative TFN thread prompts John Ostrander to make a preemptive strike and announce that Legacy will not be following in the footsteps of Knights of the Old Republic and ending with issue #50.

Also in comics: Previews for Legacy #41, Invasion #5, The Clone Wars #10 and the one-shot Purge: Seconds to Die.

EUbits: Lightsaber scarf, Schreiber, Bohnoff and comics

Crafting corner. There are two Mara Jade items in this roundup, and here’s the first one. Rebecca aka Sorakirei, whose first lightsaber scarf we featured earlier in the month, has another made another one. The Mara Jade lightsaber scarf was a commission – could it be from one of our readers? It’s a big internet… She’s also done a ROTJ Luke saber since we last looked…

The Blogside: Joe Schreiber on haunted houses and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff on musical parody.

Action figures: A closer look at Jacen and Jaina.

Previews: Legacy #40, Knights of the Old Republic #46 and Invasion #4, which gives us our first look at (a fairly generic and perhaps Renaissance-Fair attending) Mara.

Lists: Topless Robot has a very Marvel-heavy list of the eleven least necessary Star Wars comics. Yes, its another one of those lists that was probably compiled by hitting the random button on the Wookieepedia, but I’m considering doing a novel version. (Since I’ve actually, like, read a lot of them. Imagine that. The New Rebellion, are your ears stinging yet?)