16 for 16 Part Two: More of the Best and Brightest of 2016

Yesterday we started our two part look back on the great parts of 2016. Today we bring you the eight more great things brought to us by this tumultuous year, spoilers and all.

Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures

This addition to the Lego Star Wars pantheon is so great because it reminds us why we loved Star Wars so much to start out with: it is fun.


With all the turmoil of the past year, topped off with how in-depth fandom likes to dig, it can be easy to take the things we love far too seriously. Without doubt there is a place for looking at the lessons, themes, and ideas in our entertainment. In fact, I think that is essential. It has done so much for me personally with regards to helping me understand my life. Nonetheless, sometimes we just need to smile, laugh, and remember that entertainments first job is to entertain. The Freemakers do exactly that.

P.S. I want to be Roger when I grow up.



New Fans

First, new fans, let me welcome you. We are glad you’re here, regardless of what you like, dislike, don’t understand, and haven’t read, heard, or seen. Jump in the sandbox. All are welcome.

As Star Wars grows, more and more people will join the fandom. Every new movie released will be someone’s first Star Wars movie. Every book will be someone’s first Star Wars book. Every interaction with the fandom could, potentially, be that person’s first interaction in the Star Wars fan community. Let’s, as we did in 2016, do our best to make it a good one.

Diversity

As new fans join the fandom, more diversity will come with them. Therefore, it is important that there is diversity in the storytelling.

I’m not in the “I need someone who looks like me so I can relate” boat (Ahsoka looks nothing like me and she is my favorite; Rey is nothing like me she is someone I highly relate too; R2D2 looks nothing like me and he is one of my heroes). Still, each new and diverse character brings certain nuisances with them that will be important to someone.

We could talk for days about the success and failures of this year when it comes to diversity, but let’s look at the tentpole of this year, Rogue One, and consider that it is the first Star Wars, and one of a handful of blockbuster, films without a white male hero in the forefront. That is something to behold. 

Darth Vader



The end of Rogue One. The duel with Ahsoka. The deception and devil’s demon mentality seen in the comics. The badass is back. 

CGI



Putting aside any arguements about the morality of resurrecting Peter Cushing, what was achieved with Tarkin and Leia in Rogue One was an amazing feat and continues the legacy of Star Wars pushing the limits of technology when it comes to movie making.

Ahmed Best’s contribution to movie making is all to often taken for granted, but it paved the way for modern movie making.
 
It is oft forgotten in the hate towards the character, but Jar Jar Binks was groundbreaking in 1999 as the first entirely CGI character. That rang in modern movie-making with its huge displays of CGI achievement. One can only wonder what this latest innovation will lead to.

Also, let it not be forgotten that it gave us the last words of Princess Leia prior to the loss of Carrie Fisher: hope. 

The Bridge

As someone born in the “dark times,” who grew up watching the original trilogy on VHS, was in his early teens when the prequels came out, and was too young to read Thrawn, I never really knew if I was supposed to consider myself part of the original trilogy generation or the prequel generation. 2016 taught me not to care.

Ahsoka, Catalyst, Rebels, and even The Freemaker Adventures worked to remind us that this is one epic tale. May we enjoy it as such.

Rebels Season Three 

The character development of Sabine has been a major highlight of season three.


Thrawn. Bendu. Maul. Blind Kanan. The slow burn of Ezra’s temptation towards darkness. Sabine actually doing something other than blowing things up. Rebels continues to deliver on so many levels, and with links to Rogue One in the batter’s box it promises to continue to do so. 

Possibility 
George Lucas gave us all a sandbox to play in, be it in writing fan fiction, making fan films, or playing with our toys. Never before, though, has the sandbox been so grand. 

2015 was a nervous build-up to The Force Awakens. 2016 promised that the sandbox will continue to grow and left us on the edge of our seats, opening the Pandora’s box of possibility, be it in novels, comics, movies, or music.

Never again will children live through a Star Wars dark time. The possibilities for 2017 are not seemingly endless. They are literally endless. And for that we thank you 2016.

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