After this weekend, most of the Star Wars fandom is experiencing something akin to a post-sugar-rush coma. Between the premiere of The Clone Wars Season Four and The Complete Saga release on Blu-ray, it was better than Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for StarWarsaholics!
On top of that, I’m experiencing a secondary post-excitement lull of my own – I’ve just returned from safari in the fantastic country of Tanzania. It was the trip of a lifetime, and I actually found a way to incorporate my passion for Star Wars into the experience. But more about that in an upcoming blog.
Long before I began my trip I’d been planning and preparing for how to keep FANgirl Blog active and on-topic while I was traveling to far off lands where my access to the internet might be very limited. Luckily I had a few great bloggers step in and fill some slots so I didn’t have to write too many blogs in advance. My deepest gratitude to Racheal and Priya for offering to lend a helping hand, and also to Lex, who not only prepared a couple of blogs but also kept the Twitter and Facebook presence up-to-date.
Both Racheal and Priya are experienced bloggers in their own right with The Galactic Drift and And this is what comes next, respectively. If you haven’t checked out Racheal’s guest blog on gaming as a woman, I hope you will. I’m not a gamer, but I’ve noticed from time to time as an outsider that the gamer segment seems to suffer at times from the same inequities that show up in other portions of the fandom. Racheal offers insight into her own personal experiences and then gives some suggestions on how fangirls can approach the occasional reluctant male fans they encounter online. Priya’s blog is slated for posting later this week, and discusses her own take on powerful female characters in literature.
Speaking of powerful women in literature, today Suvudu.com posted an interview with Betsy Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief at Del Rey, who two decades ago signed Timothy Zahn to write Heir to the Empire and also served as the book’s editor.
Betsy Mitchell on the book:
I just came back from DragonCon in Atlanta, where oddly enough HEIR came up in conversation a number of times, and I was amazed at the number of people who said that it (a) was the best Star Wars novel ever
Heir to the Empire is one of the best Star Wars novels, but there’s sad irony there, too. It’s fair to ask, why in all these years it hasn’t gotten any better? Let’s hope the folks at Del Rey sit down and identify the elements that put HTTE heads above the rest of the Star Wars novels, then see if they can infuse those same magical ingredients into their upcoming books.
Betsy Mitchell on Mara Jade:
She’s appreciated, I think, because she’s a strong female character who is both smart and gets into the thick of the action, with both her physical strength and her [F]orce powers. And as Luke’s wife, she’s supportive of him but also his full equal.
Mitchell hits the nail on the head for what made Mara Jade so great in the eyes of fans. Fangirls and fanboys alike are crossing their fingers that Del Rey uses that knowledge and works those key ingredients into other female characters in the Expanded Universe. Fans are dying to see another great female character like Mara Jade; there’s plenty of potential in the existing line-up but none have been given quite the same respect that was paid to Mara over the years.
Betsy Mitchell on the possibility of more anniversary editions:
The Jedi Council tells me that if there’s a big enough demand for the anniversary edition of HEIR TO THE EMPIRE, we’d love to follow up with the others.
Del Rey is obviously in a wait-and-see mode for moving forward with any further anniversary editions. Based on sales rankings for the HTTE Special Edition so far, I’m doubtful we’ll see any more annotated editions announced in the near future. But I do hope we see more direct involvement from Mitchell in the Star Wars books. She obviously knew what she was doing when she picked Zahn, and it would be nice to see the books shine once more.
One last little Star Wars item for EU fans: fan favorite Aaron Allston popped up on Twitter today to announce his new blog, which he hopes will be a first step in many toward gearing up his direct interaction with his fans.
First item noted in the section titled “What I’m working on”:
Mercy Kill, first and foremost. This is the first new Star Wars Wraith Squadron novel since 1999, a project I’ve hoped for years to be able to do.
Many, many fans have been hoping for it, too. July 2012 won’t get here soon enough.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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