Megan takes a deep dive into her top Star Wars news stories of 2018
It definitely has been a year for Star Wars fans, hasn’t it? From the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story in May to news about Galaxy’s Edge to Celebration and more, it seems like there’s a non-stop stream of news from “A Galaxy Far, Far Away”. To review this year in the Star Wars universe, I have gathered my top five related news and content that have been released throughout the year and put them in reverse order.
5.) In order to up the hype for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opening next year in US Disney parks, the company has been dropping various hints, pictures and teaser trailers for the new land throughout the year. My favorite so far is a tie between learning that John Williams is doing the music for this land and that will have the ability to perform various functions on the Millenium Falcon. According to a report by WABC-7 (the New York affiliate for ABC), guests will be able to pilot this famous ship in a variety of ways ranging from the gunner, to pilot to flight engineer. Add to this the fact that infamous Clone Wars ( and Rebels) character Hondo Ohnaka is set to be somewhere in the land itself and you have the makings of an incredible area that I can’t wait to explore!
4.) Also coming in 2019 is Timothy Zahn’s newest book in his famous Thrawn series, titled Thrawn: Treason. Our report has revealed that this will be a test of ultimate loyalty for Grand Admiral Thrawn as he has to choose between his duty to the Chiss Ascendency and the Empire to which he has sworn his allegiance. Will Thrawn do the right thing in the end even if it means committing the ultimate act of treason? To this future reader, the answer is obvious, yes he will. In order to do the right thing by one side, he will have to commit treason in the eyes of the other. The only question is, to which side is he truly loyal? The amount at which my eye holes need this book is indescribable.
3.) Ever since Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t do as well at the box office as Lucasfilm had predicted, the company decided to scale back its productions. Rather than having one movie come out a year, they chose to take some time off. Don’t worry though, as of this posting, the yet untitled Episode IX is still set to come out in December of next year. In this way, Lucasfilm can focus more of its attention on their live-action series that are set to premiere late next year on the Disney+ streaming service. For someone like me who is getting Star Wars fatigue, something I didn’t think was possible, this is actually a relief. It means I can have time to catch up on other forms of Star Wars media such as their books and return of a long-awaited animated series.
2.) That long-awaited animated series is, of course, The Clone Wars, starring Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker, Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex and all other clones, and my favorite James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and possibly even Plo Koon. I still remember where I was when I heard the news. I had taken a week-long teaching gig where I did my best to teach English to Chinese students and had just given them the assignment to work on. With the students busy, and knowing that the Clone Wars tenth anniversary panel was taking place at the same time, I chose to quickly check my phone.
Normally I wouldn’t have done this, but after a walk around the room to ensure all the students understood what they needed to do, I thought why not? I honestly didn’t expect there to be any alerts that I needed to take care of right that minute. Imagine my surprise then when I saw that Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming back for a final season run?
My initial reaction was, of course, shock. There was no way, just no way that after all these years, this show was coming back for a reunion season. Especially not with the live-action series they already had in the works AND their other animated series (Resistance), that was set to debut in a relatively short amount of time. Wasting no time, I quickly jumped on to Twitter for confirmation of what I had seen. While waiting for a response, I carefully controlled my reaction so I could do another sweep of the room looking for more students who needed help. After helping those students, I again whipped out my phone to see that there was confirmation of the series’ return! More than that, there was a trailer! It honestly took all my willpower to not scream like a lunatic right then and there. Somehow I did manage to contain my immense enthusiasm.
With lunch drawing near, I contained myself enough to calmly go over the given assignment and ensure everyone had a relative understanding of the work I had given them. Naturally, not all students would comprehend the lesson the first time through. As soon as I dismissed the students for lunch with my aid, the first thing I did was whip out my phone and watch the trailer all the way through. Oh, my FORCE was it amazing. Even now months later, I’m still geeking out over it. Suffice it to say, there is a reason this falls into my number two slot.
1.) Finally, my number one piece of Star Wars related news/content is…drumroll, please…James Arnold Taylor’s podcast Talking to Myself. Sure, it’s not directly or entirely about Star Wars, but the host, producer, editor and more is also the voice of two characters in two different animated series in this fictional universe. More than, this is my list so I can put whatever I want on here. The reason this is in my number one spot is, well first, it just made sense with the order I put the list in. Secondly, I put this here because of how much it’s impacted my life.
Whenever I’m feeling down, and I have been feeling that way a lot recently, I just turn on JAT’s podcast for a bit of a pick me up. What I really enjoy about his show is how open and honest he is about things in his life. In the course of one episode, he can go from talking about God and his faith to serious events such as the Woolsey Fire to Star Wars. As long as he can do so in a family friendly way, there is very little this man that we honestly don’t deserve, won’t talk about. In today’s strict politically correct environment, this show is refreshing to listen to. My favorite time to listen to it is while working out so that I can work out not only my problems and struggles but also his as well. This works especially well when I’m hitting the punching bag. I imagine the bag as a wall with both of our problems and stresses on it, and just have fun going nuts on it.
From Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opening next year to Timothy Zahn’s new Thrawn novel releasing next summer to #CloneWarsSaved to James Arnold Taylor’s new podcast and all things in between, there is a reason I ranked this news stories and Star Wars related content as I did. Each simply spoke to me in a different way and gave me more insight into the characters and people involved in bringing this famous fictional universe to life. To all of them, I say a deep and sincere thank you for being part of this and bringing the magic of this universe to life.
May the Force be With You…Always.
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.