From the Blogside

Imadra_blue ponders fan fiction and fandom thinking and the two great loves of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life. She also considers Anakin/Obi-Wan, canon, and believability, an issue Shoiryu has some thoughts on as well.

Pablo mocks the masses with 1977 Blog Titles. If you actually read, this is hilarious. On a more serious note, annotations to week 3 of the Rookies webstrip. Paul joins in on the webstrip action with a update on Evasive Action #3.

Another interesting VIP blog: Dan Wallace on the never-published Clone Wars Sourcebook.

Rabidfangurl rants on fanfic and fandom. To which I say, hell yeah. Fangirl beatdown posse meets on Tuesday.

The Dark Moose considers Star Wars… with lawyers. Been there, done that.

Rive Caedo on returning to the roots of Star Wars. On a similar note, 101 Reasons Firefly is better than Star Wars! Funny because it’s true. Or not. Your choice.

Lazypadawan has a ‘fair and balanced’ review of Outbound Flight. It looks like she subscribes to the theory that every second Zahn character is a Mary Sue, but I found most of her points pretty on target. (I myself have harbored Suerific thoughts re: Thrawn and VOTF Mara, so to each their own.) EU fans may also be interested in Suzanne’s overview of the Dark Nest trilogy.

Convention updates

AICN reports from WonderCon. Not much news, but confirmation that Celebration 4 is still in consideration for 2007.

Of more interest may be RebelScum’s coverage of Toy Fair – they have galleries of many of the new toys coming out, including Gentle Giant’s super cool Star Wars Animated line, which are original trilogy figures done in the style of the Clone Wars cartoon. The chioces are a little odd – Vader, Leia, Boba Fett, and… an Ithorian?

It also appears there’s a Mara Jade mini-bust coming out, the first Mara figure over an inch tall since the POTF2 figure back in ’98.

Duke and Tara wipe out the competition

In the latest issue of Bantha Tracks, Union is topping the comic Top Ten list, with Tales of the Jedi trailing behind. Not being Dark Horse’s biggest fan (Tales! Tales! Damn my non-voting self!) I blame our very own Paula, who got quoted. Or maybe not. ;)

Not that Union is the worst thing DH has ever done or anything, but… well. Maybe it’s just my knee-jerk reaction to the series’ awful, awful covers. You can pander to the females without making it look like a romance novel folks – it’s okay.

That and more smushy stuff in the latest edition of Bantha Tracks.

Oh joy, another Padme figure.

Remember the Sideshow Collectibles’s Choice poll for an EU figure? Guess who won?

Arctic Suit Padme from the Clone Wars cartoons. As for the actual EU characters, Mara Jade came in at #2 (losing by just 54 votes,) followed by Kir Kanos, Quinlan Vos, Asajj Ventress, and Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Oh Star Wars fandom, will you ever stop making me go WTF?

ETA: In this interview with RebelScum, Sideshow’s Licensing Coordinator Brock Otterbacher says:

“The way that Expanded Universe Poll stands, the winner is going to get made, that’s not say that we might not take another figure from that didn’t win and make that later on. It won’t be like ‘second place’ or ‘third place’, it would just be a figure that we all like as a group internally here further on down the line. If it proves successful, yeah we’d consider expanding it into its own line or maybe just peppering it into the whole line here and there.”

So there’s still hope for an actual EU character figure. I expect this leans on how many collectors are also EU fans, and how many EU fans are willing to spend $50 on a ‘collector’s item.’

You’ve seen what we’ve done to Obi-Wan, right?

Sideshow Collectibles is having a poll for fans to choose what EU character will be made into a 12-inch figure.

The choices are rather limited. I can see Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Asajj Ventress, and Quinlan Vos… But Kir Kanos and arctic suit Padmé from the Clone Wars cartoon? Kir Kanos? And don’t they have already enough costume changes in the movies for 50 Padmé dolls?

Oh well. Voting is open until November 4th.

Emperor’s Hand back in comics?

Mara Jade is coming back to comics in Empire. According to Randy Stradley of Dark Horse, she’s set to star in issue #28 of the ongoing series. Issue #28 would come out in January 2005, so the information is still quite tentative at this point. Previous comic storylines involving Mara are By The Emperor’s Hand, Union, and a handful of short appearances in the early issues of Star Wars Tales.

Also in comic news, the next issue of Star Wars Tales (#21) starts with an overhaul of the book with a new editor and format. Hopefully this doesn’t mean an end to the humor and offbeat stories, which is (IMO) the main reason to pick up Tales. Detail-oriented fanboys are NOT the only Star Wars fans, Dark Horse!

Where’s Mara!?!

I barely had Movable Type up when someone came around and searched for Mara. They got nothing – As you’ll note, none of our older content is in the system yet, and the links to your right are place holders, linking to the old site.

So… Why Mara? Who’s Mara? For those just coming in, Mara Jade is a character in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. She’s also the Club’s namesake. Her first appearance was in Heir to the Empire, a Lucasfilm-approved novel written by Timothy Zahn which kick-started the modern EU. She played a major role in the Thrawn Trilogy, as Heir and it’s two sequels came to be known. Mara became a fairly popular character with a growing fanbase. In 1996, several novels later, CJ was born from a mixed group of people from RASSM (recs.arts.sf.starwars.misc) soon joined by many from AOL’s Star Wars Fan Forum. The group was originally formed as a place to intelligently discuss the Star Wars novels and related issues, and so remained for several years. We were, arguably, one of the first Mara-centric sites on the net, and one of only a handful of the early fanfic archives. The group grew, the site grew, lots of fanfic was produced as many novels failed to meet the standards established by the first trilogy.

CJ expanded as the Star Wars franchise grew. We moved from being just a Mara/EU fan group to being just a SW fan group, and as interest waned due to mixed reaction to the prequels and New Jedi Order series, we became a general SF/F genre group with strong SW interests.

What does this have to do with Mara?

Well, that’s just it. CJ isn’t as focused on our namesake as we started out. Many of us have moved on. That’s not say that Mara fandom hasn’t changed and grown – it’s just, not all of us have gone with it. In short… we’re probably not the fans you’re looking for.

There are a lot of resources for the Mara fan – Jade Crusades is a great site that has a ton of information. Groups like TFN’s Mara Jade fan club provide fan camaraderie, mailing lists like Jade-Skywalker and Mara_and_Luke will provide you with all the brand-new fanfic you like. But CJ? We’re here. We’re keeping all the old stuff around, and we might even have a few new things coming up, but we’re not your one-stop Mara shop. That was never our purpose. Sorry.