Almost exactly three months from today, the release of X-Wing: Mercy Kill marks the triumphant return of a Wraith Squadron novel to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It’s hard to believe that the Wraiths – and their accompanying mayhem, shenanigans, and camaraderie – have been a big part of my fandom experience for nearly a decade now. How’s that, you might ask? I guess I’d better start at the beginning…
Ever since I got back into the EU, the Rogue and Wraith Squadron novels have been some of my favorites. Maybe it’s the time I spent hanging around real-life fighter jocks in my summer internships at the Pentagon, but the starfighter pilots and their stories always captured my imagination in Star Wars, too. When I joined the TFN message boards in 2002 and first started writing and posting my fanfics, one of the key elements of my epic story series was to give Jaina Solo a specialized, uniquely skilled set of pilots in the squadron under her command, very much inspired by the Wraiths. The community of fans that formed among the readers replying in the threads soon took on a similar spirit – jokes and pranks, races to post counts to trigger bonus scenes, renditions of 99 bottles of lomin ale on the wall, and symbolically appropriate callsigns to call each other (including mine, Wraith Commander). Ultimately, the Wraith mayhem became so much fun – and so many posts – I had to spin it off to my own fansite. The Lomin Ale Cantina has been operating for about six-and-a-half years now, and it’s still going strong.
To celebrate Mercy Kill and the revival of the X-Wing series and the profic Wraith Squadron, I’ve kicked off May Mayhem fan fun month at the Cantina. These are some of the activities we have lined up:
- The Fate of the Jedi Light Bright Fanfic Challenge: Although I’m far too focused on finishing Wynde to even think about entering, I’m looking forward to seeing what my pals will come up with. The contest runs through June 12, with voting (and prizes!) to follow. See the thread for the parameters.
- May SWEU Sock Hop: Go undercover as an EU character, and answer the questions posed by the Master Sock. The last person whose identity is exposed wins!
- X-Wing Xtra: Whose Line Is It, Anyway?: The Challenge Master posts a line of dialogue from an X-Wing novel, without any identifying beats. Whoever first correctly guesses the speaker and the book wins the round, and we move on to the next quote.
Let the fan fun commence and May the Fourth Be With You!
Thanks to Kay for the new banner featuring X-wing pilot Jaina Solo and to Scruffy Rebel for allowing FANgirl to use the image of her cosplay.
May the Fourth usually has a lot of Star Wars news mayhem in its own right. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Star Wars Day:
- StarWars.com has the first short teaser trailer for Season Five of The Clone Wars. It looks to be a big year for the bad guys.
- The official site also posted a full-chapter excerpt from Timothy Zahn’s Scoundrels and a preview of Dark Horse’s Darth Maul comic, and a link to the Barnes & Noble Nook blog’s post from the three authors of the Fate of the Jedi series.
- Eric Geller kicks off the Suvudu Star Wars Gateway Series with a discussion of X-Wing: Wraith Squadron. Be sure to check out the all-new art by Chris Scalf!
- Her Universe shirts are now available on HotTopic, including a couple of very cool new designs.
- Lots of big announcements about Celebration VI are expected today, too. My favorite, unsurprisingly, is that Carrier Fisher will be back.
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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