Carrie Fisher passed away on Tuesday at the age of 60 following a heart attack last week, and the outpouring of grief and mourning I saw online was one of the more universal and all-encompassing I’ve seen over the past year. Not that I was particularly surprised by that, of course. Because beyond her ever-present and perpetually-celebrated role as Leia Organa, Fisher had contributed tremendous comedic performances in numerous films and TV shows and been a much beloved writer and mental health advocate, and taken as a whole there was a facet to her for everyone. And while I’m not nearly familiar enough with Fisher’s other work (to my chagrin), how could I not eulogize my first favorite heroine?
Wikipedia defines a Mary Sue as “a fanmade character…a young or low-rank person who saves the day through extraordinary abilities. Often but not necessarily this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment.” It’s generally been considered a negative aspect of fan fiction, and Mary Sues are often referred to in a derogatory fashion by geeks. But now, that term is being used by some to describe Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which I consider to be an unfortunate and stupid criticism. Not because Rey isn’t a Mary Sue (she absolutely is) but because WHO CARES?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… life went on. The Rebellion defeated the Empire, Han and Leia got together, Luke became a Jedi, and the galaxy kept on spinning. And now, we finally know what really happened next. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we return to that mythological galaxy to discover that, much like our own world, things don’t end happily ever after and even the greatest victories are precursors to more struggle and heartache… but also more hope. And after watching The Force Awakens I couldn’t have more hope for the future of Star Wars, and it’s a wonderful feeling to have.
This week was supposed to be a fun, happy time for me. Not only are we only a week away from Christmas, but we’ve finally arrived at the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my most anticipated movie of the year and the first cinematic look at a post-Battle-of-Endor Star Wars galaxy. This week should be a wonderful, triumphant celebration… but it isn’t. Instead I am anxiously awaiting the results of a biopsy of a mass on my cat’s lymph nodes, and struggling to keep him fed and medicated in the meantime. I can’t be excited about anything, even Star Wars, the way I would have been a week ago. But as it turns out, it is Star Wars itself that may be my saving grace in the middle of all this uncertainty and dread.
Another year, another Comic-Con International come and gone. I have yet to attend it myself but it’s still a major intellectual attraction for anyone with interests like mine. It seems like this year’s Con was a really good one, with a lot of great material showcased and some truly awesome-sounding experiences to be had. But not having been there myself, I’m going to have to limit my reactions to what news and media was put out there for the non-attendee masses, which I’ll do after the jump.
Last year, I found myself very skeptical/uncertain about the prospects for Star Wars Episode VII, and wrote about it as such. While I dearly wanted and hoped for it to be good, I just felt like I didn’t know enough about it to form a definitive opinion. It’s amazing what 3 ½ minutes of new footage and minor story details can do for your state of mind, but I am as on board for this film as I’ve ever been and I fully expect it to be one of my favorites this year. But the rebirth of Star Wars in my soul hasn’t been limited just to my increasing hope for Force Awakens. Just in the last year the whole franchise has begun to redefine and refocus itself to wonderful results. While I loved the original Expanded Universe when I was younger, I’m very happy to see it start anew now, and even happier to see all of the ways that the Star Wars universe is being successfully explored
Today, comics writer Jim Zub started the Twitter hashtag #fourcomics, where he asked anyone and everyone to post four covers from comics they were influenced by or loved as they were growing up. Being a longtime comics reader myself, I couldn’t help but fall into this beautiful nostalgia trap, and the end result is the post below, which ended up being a nice cross-section of my core fandom when it was all said and done. Follow me after the jump and enjoy!