2017 End Of Year Book Survey

2017 End Of Year Book Survey

Helllo 2018! The last few months have sucked, emotions running low and motivation non-existant but I’m back and the new year has brought with it my long-lost motivation! After a difficult January I’ll be posting about my word of the year, plans and a review of last year, however, first of all it’s time to start out with something bookish.

I was surprised to find that this was my first time doing one of Perpetual Pageturner’s End of Year book surveys. I thought I’d done it at least once before, but that was actually her A-Z book survey! You can find out more about the End of Book survey over at her blog! I’ve linked my answers to their respective goodreads pages so you can go add them to your TBR if they tickle your fancy 🙂

 

2017 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 371 – Most of these were comics as I started reading DC in a big way this year.
Number of Re-Reads: 0 – I don’t have time to re-read, too much new stuff to devour!
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.

 

 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2017? Non-fiction has to be Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World. This book really did have a massive impact on my life and how I think. Fiction, wow that is a tough one. I guess it will have to be the Gilded Cage by Vic James.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Probably The Green Arrow DC 52 series. I have been such a fan of Green Arrow in Smallville and Arrow, but the comics were just so bad. I had to give up.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Most of the DC comics I read. I started with the New 52 series and was surprised at how good they were, especially the Green Lantern series. I ended up reading the Red and Yellow Lantern series as well.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? I’m not sure I pushed many, but I did recommend the Mindfulness book a lot. I doubt anyone actually listened though.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017? Best series goes to the DC comics, namely the new 52 run of Batman and Batman and Robin. To be honest, all the Bat family storylines were fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable! Best sequel goes to Patricia Briggs’ Fire Touched, book 9 of the Mercy Thompson series. I read a couple of good enders last year as I made a point of catching up and finishing series as much as possible. I think Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare is the winner though. The previous book in the series was such a let down that I left it years before picking up Heavenly Fire, which I devoured, then devoured the Infernal Devices and the next series and finally two seasons of Shadowhunters!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017? I didn’t read many new authors  last year, but it was a pleasure to be able to finally read some of the work of my friend Leah Chiasson. I absolutely loved her novella Bound by Blood, and can’t wait to get my hands on more of her work!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Again, DC comics. I’ve been around the fandom and enjoyed the film and tv verses, however, getting into the comics properly was quite scary and intimidating at times.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?  I’ve named several of them already so to throw a new name into the hat; Rick Riordan. I caught up with Magnus Chase, started the Apollo series and finished off the Kane Chronicles. I literally have to pick up several of his books from the library at a time so I can read them back to back!

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I’m not a big re-reader, as I said, so it will probably just be Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World  because it has so content that is always going to be relevant to what I’m going through.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017? I’m a major sucker for pretty covers, and have picked up quite a few amazing books just by cover, so this is a really hard question! I think it has to be the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The cover is as mysterious as the book, however, once you’ve read the book the cover takes on a whole different meaning. It’s like a puzzle all on it’s own.

11. Most memorable character of 2017? Oh wow, another difficult one! I always become very emotionally involved in books and their characters. I fully immerse myself in anything I read, and if I can’t then it’s a sure sign that the book isn’t enjoyable for me. I would answer every character because every one has left an imprint on my mind and heart. Two came to mind immediately; Apollo from the Trials of Apollo series and Jem from the Infernal Devices series. Apollo, to put it bluntly, is a complete ass. He’s a god that has been dumped on earth and has trouble adjusting. But then you begin to see things from (some of) his side of things, including what it must be like to have Zeus as a father. His character gave me a lot to think. Jem was memorable for a complicated life that transcended time, and his story was particularly poignant to me.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017? The Night Circus – This book came highly recommended and I can see why; it is a work of art, as intricately created and connected as each part of the circus within. I found it very reminiscent of Victorian Horror stories, a genre that I really enjoy and admire. However, that being said it is a genre and writing style that I appreciate more from an academic standpoint rather than as a reader. The story is enjoyable, but it is the construct of the novel that makes it truly remarkable and while it intrigued me, it just didn’t hit all the spots for me.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017? Again, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? So so many!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017? It would take me hours to find one, so I’m going to pick one from the Mindfulness book that had such an effect on me;

“Mindfulness meditation teaches you to recognise memories and damaging thoughts as they arise. It reminds you that they are memories. They are like propaganda, they are not real. They are not you. You can learn to observe negative thoughts as they arise, let them stay a while and then simply watch them evaporate before your eyes. And when this occurs, an extraordinary thing can happen: a profound sense of happiness and peace fills the void.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017? Shortest (not including comics) – Bound by Blood and Longest – City of Heavenly Fire.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Lord of Shadows, I did not see that ending coming and ohmygoodness I need the next book like NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR: Jem/Theresa/Will from the Infernal Devices.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Apollo and Meg from Trials of Apollo, their relationship is so serious and so hilarious at the same time.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Betrayals, book 4 in the Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong. I have loved every single one of these books and will be pretty bummed when the series ends.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Wonder Woman comics.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017? I wasn’t sure, and then I remembered; Diana aka Wonder Woman. With the new movie coming I decided to start with her various comic arcs and fell in love with her. Until then I’d never seen the appeal, I wasn’t really interested in her compared to other female superheroes. Tying with her is Dick Drake aka Robin/Nightwing. I love his character, but have to be honest; the art work in his 52 series is seriously swoonworthy!

23. Best 2017 debut you read? I only read one this year, and it was Gilded Cage by Vic James. Fantastic series set in a contemporary British setting – pick it up!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Night Circus  for the same reasons listed in #12.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Any of Rick Riordan’s books, with a special shout out to Magnus Chase because his take on Norse mythology is hilarious.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017? Every Cassandra Clare book I read this year? Yep seems about right!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. It’s a set of short stories and they are amazing. Usually I find additional short stories are ok, great sources of additional information but Clare really out did herself with these.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; the whole plot is just urgh! It’s so heartbreaking to watch the characters go through everything.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017? Gilded Cage by Vic James.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare; I just wanted to scream at everything happening, at all the mess and heartache.

 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017? I don’t read many book blogs, but I’ve really enjoyed Epicfied’s blog in 2017!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017? Nada.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? It was actually my last entry about my struggles with my ME diagnosis and why I’ve been so quiet. The comments really helped me realise I had nothing to be ashamed with and I’m planning to talk a lot more about it this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? I only went to one, so it was the Sci Fi Weekender which we’re heading back to this year!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017? No idea.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Realising that I need to change how I do things, and having to cut back on some of my blog series because I don’t have the energy for the upkeep. Likewise, accepting this was not an easy thing to do.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? N/A.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? My birthstone series.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I don’t think there were many this year.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? I completed my goodreads goal twice and upped it, but failed the third one.

 

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018? The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. I’ve been trying to get around to reading this and finishing the series all year, and now that there’s a TV series due I really want this finished.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)? Tempests and Slaughter the first book in the Numair Chronicles by Tamora Pierce. It has been a very long time coming and so long since we had a new Tortall book!

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? My book list is so huge that I am way behind on new releases, and very rarely get hold of debut authors the year they actually debut.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018? It’s a toss up between the Queen of Air and Darkness, the next book in Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series (December! 🙁 ) and the next book (Burn Bright) in Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018? I want to get back into the ease of reading. Due to a difficult January that’s not happened, and I’ve read a handful of comics this year and that’s it – which really isn’t like me at all.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable): None I’m afraid!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this survey, as late as it is, and get some great book recommendations from it!

My favourite Fantasy books

Sharing Saturday: my favourite fantasy books

It was World Book Day on Thursday so it seems fitting for this weeks Sharing Saturday to be about books! A while ago Lianne asked for suggestions for fantasy novels and that got me thinking about my favourite ones. So here you go!

 

alannaSong of the Lioness Quartet – Tamora Pierce

This is the first book set in the land of Tortall and is followed by two other quartets, a duology, a prequel trilogy and a short stories anthology. I absolutely love these books even though they are written for a younger audience and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve re-read them. The first book begins with two twins; Alanna and Thom who are being sent away to learn magic and to become a knight. The problem is only boys can become knights, and Thom absolutely hates fighting while Alanna hates magic. So they swap places and Alanna pretends to be a boy. There’s the obvious problems, such as avoiding swimming to keep her secret, as well as the usual issues of puberty such as crushes and bullying. Add in a whole bunch of secrets and conspiracies and you have a very awesome series. The other series involve characters from the books prior to them, save for the prequel ones, so you get to see how the characters grow and evolve.

 

Kushiel's_DartKushiel Legacy by Jacqueline Carey

Like the book above, Kushiel’s Dart is book one in a set of three trilogies set in the land of Terre D’Ange. The universe of the novels is based on an alternate Europe (and later further afield) and while you can recognise similarities between the lands and races, it’s unique enough that it isn’t cliche or irritating. The first trilogy focuses on the life of Phedre, a young girl sold by her parents to become a courtesan. In this world the courtesans of The Court of Night-Blooming flowers are legendary, beautiful and trained in their arts. Love is sacred, relationships nothing to be ashamed of and rape is one of the vilest crimes that can be committed. There are 13 houses of the The Court of Night-Blooming flowers, with each one specifically catering to certain needs and desires. For example, Balm, are experts in relaxation and soothing ills, Bryony focuses on wealth and wagers, and Gentian are interpreters of dreams.

Before she can become a part of one of the houses, Phedre catches the attention of a spymaster and is trained in the arts of seduction as well as spycraft. What she doesn’t know though is that she’s involved in a game far darker and deeper than anyone could realise. These novels are filled with love, desire, heartache and treachery that will leave you weeping.

summonerChronicles of the Necromancer – Gail Z Martin

I admit it was the pretty cover that first drew this to my attention and I am so glad. It is one of my favourite fantasy series and I’m so sad that there’s no more stories to be told of Tris and his friends. Tris ends up on the run after his older brother murders his father and frames him. His friends stick with him and along the way others end up joining them. If you’ve read Tamora Pierce’s novels then consider this similar to her Tortall novels but aimed at adults. They’re much longer, more in-depth but with the same fantastic and humorous ragtag band of friends. I also love the magic in these novels, and it’s interesting to have someone take on necromancy as something positive rather than dark and evil.

 

blackmagiciansBlack Magician Trilogy – Trudi Canavan

I only found out recently that these novels are young adult not adult, and I’m not sure I agree with that age group. There is a sequel series and a prequel as well. The prequel explains and explores ‘history’ in this book and fills in a lot of blanks, so I would definitely not read it before the initial trilogy. I’m currently working my way through the sequel series. The novels follow a girl, Sonea, who is born in the slums of the city until she is noticed by some Mages in the Magicians Guild. Sonea has magic, abilities that only the upper class should have (or so was believed until Sonea came about). She’s taking under the wing of her mentor and like the Tortall and Harry Potter novels the series follow her adventures and troubles as she learns about her abilities.

Unlike those novels, black and white isn’t as easily distinguished. These novels deal in grey and Sonea ends up in the middle of it. There’s more secrecy in this series compared to the ones above, surrounded by historical events that no one really knows anything about. At times it got a bit slow, especially at the start of the first book, but then the author drops some tiny tidbits and before you know it you’ve devoured the entire book 😀 I was very lucky that my fiancé bought me all three for Christmas so I was able to go straight to the next one without a wait.

 

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Holiday Wish List

Holiday Wishes

I’ve taken part in this awesome community a few times now. It’s called Holiday Wishes and it’s a place to post a wish list of various things and random people take the time to make you smile. The rules are below, followed by my own wish list. If you have one please leave a comment with it so I can see if I can make your wishes come true!

 

STEP ONE

  • Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered… whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related (“I’d love a Snape/Hermione icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV”). The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.
  • If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) can get in touch with you. Your home address is not required!
  • Make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread.

STEP TWO

  • Surf around your friends list (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here’s the important part…
  • If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use – or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free – do it.
  • You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf – to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not – it’s your call. There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just… wish, and it might come true. Give and you might receive. You’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

The List

2015 has been full of ups and downs and has now left me with glandular fever as a fun end of year present. So yes, I am feeling sorry for myself 😀 This wish list is a mixture of things and honestly, anything would be appreciated. I’m just looking for things to make me smile while I grit my teeth and work through the lovely fun pain and fatigue.

1. Make me something! 🙂 Graphics wise I’d love new icons or wallpapers (Star Wars, World of Warcraft, Doctor Who, Supernatural and animals would be top of the list), or if you’re so inclined new buttons or layouts for my poor neglected websites. Or if you’re a writer I’d love someone to make a story surrounding my main World of Warcraft character. And artists, again I’d love some art of my main World of Warcraft character Kaelea (I love pixel art, I’m not a huge fan of anime but I do like chibi’s). Anything made will be credited and plugged the hell out of, I appreciate creative genius a lot.

2. Send me something – Cards, letters, postcards or items such as keyrings, nail varnishes and magnets which I collect. Anything would be great.

3. Books – Ebooks, second hand books, any that are listed on my to read list here. Suggestions for free ebooks or sites that track them are also appreciated. While I normally love book suggestions I am going to ask not to recieve them – as you can see my to read list is massive and I really don’t need help making it even longer 😛

4. Anything from my amazon wish list – the list can be found here.

5. Library stuff –  I’m a library and information studies student and I’d love to hear about anything library related from your area. This helps me learn more and expand my knowledge of librarymanship.

6. Followers! I like meeting new people and in the new year I hope to be more active blogging (follow me on bloglovin?) and on social networks/sites such as deviant art. Sadly due to health and uni work I can’t always promise to update my LJ or comment regularly, but you’re welcome to add me here too.I also launched my professional/public twitter and would love to meet new people, especially anyone working/with an interest in library studies or fellow spoonies/invisible illness sufferers. Or just geeks in general 😀

7. Show me your pets! I love animals and photos of animals, especially ridiculously cute ones always put a smile on my face.

8. Speaking of pets…. I am an avid pet collector in World of Warcraft. On the off chance you play in the EU realms and have some pets spare that I need, I’d love to give them a new home 🙂

9. Do you have a website or a blog? Join my websites – I run two website cliques (Fighting Everyday and Bookworms) and several website listings – Star Wars sites, Any Sites, Video Game sites, Supernatural & Fantasy sites.

10. And finally; if you know someone who suffers from an illness or a disability, mental or physical, take the time to send them a message or ask how they are doing. Maybe they won’t want to talk, but just knowing that someone cares enough to think to ask/check can make a world of difference.

From Prague to Masters

From Prague to Masters

It has been a crazy September and even now it’s almost at an end so much is just beginning! I spent 10 days in Prague, Czech Republic for our World of Warcraft Guild meet 2015 and for a celebratory holiday for graduating/my 30th birthday in a few weeks. It was fantastic to see our friends again as we’ve not been on a guild meet for a few years, and Prague was a gorgeous city. We went to a few specific places but most of the time we just picked a direction and walked. It is literally one of those cities where you feel like you are walking through a living breathing art gallery. The people were so friendly as well, and the food was amazing. Massive portions of gorgeous dishes. It’s taken Chris over a week to stop saying ‘I miss Czech food :(‘. Munich was at the top of my list of places I’ve visited but I think Prague has either taken over or is resting in joint first place. We only saw a part of the city, staying in the Old Town, and there was so much more to see. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere to visit.

 

We came back from Prague and I jumped straight into my Masters degree at the University of Strathclyde; Information and Library Studies. The weirdest part of this is suddenly finding myself a computer science student. I have always been an Arts student. I’ve only had one week of classes, and half the classes were cancelled due to it being week 1, so next week is my first full week. I am in Tuesday and Wednesday all day, which is a long time but there are two bonuses to this; 1) I have no 3+ hour breaks in which to get bored or feel ill in, and 2) all my classes are in a nice neat block and not across the campus from one another. I’ve already found the places to eat, drink and rest in those buildings and in the next few weeks I’ll start exploring the rest of the campus bit by bit.

 

I’m hesitant to say the next bit, because I’m aware I’ve said it before in regards to teaching… but… I really feel settled already. I feel like this is the right thing for me. I enjoyed teaching, but as my placement went on there were parts of it that began to wear away on me; the politics, the two-facedness of some people, the endless critiques and the huge amount of work. A lot of the teachers were welcoming, but some were not. However, everyone I’ve met so far in relation to my course – teachers, students, library staff at the Mitchel Library (placement) – have all been really nice, friendly and enthusiastic. And more importantly, I don’t feel overly geeky. I am a self admitted geek, it is who I am, and I’ve noticed teachers come in all flavours, often not geeky, sometimes looking down on geeky. However, when you’re sitting in your first lecture and the lecturer says ‘I think we’re all geeks here’ in response to a student apologising for being geeky.. I think I’ll be ok 😉 I also like looking around the class and seeing marvel t-shirts, harry potter necklaces and so forth. I need to break out the Star Wars and World of Warcraft t-shirts 😛 I just don’t feel judged and everyone I met at the Mitchel Library, which is the base of our placements (1 day a week in both semesters) they all welcomed us with open arms. Like, this is the next generation of librarians and we want to help them become a part of this amazing tradition and profession.

 

One thing that has been really important to me is that among the jargon and technical stuff, the point of what a library is, what it should/can be and it’s impact on the whole community (whether it be local, academic and so forth). It is important. It can and will change lives. That was why I looked at teaching; I wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives, I wanted to help those who were ill or bullied and show them that they can do it. However, teaching only covers one subject and one aspect of people’s lives – being a part of a library means helping everyone and not being limited to one subject area. One of our assignments is to do research in 3 subjects, one arts, one sciences, and one engineering, to prepare us for working outside our comfort zone because we could be asked to research/find information of any topic at any time.

 

My placement really excites me because it feels like a continuation of my time in a school and a combination of all those thoughts. I’ll be working in the schools in Glasgow, and in simple terms, evaluating the current system the library is running in the schools. Basically the librarian is a part of Glasgow Libraries and then visits the school so many days a week. This means a lot of travelling around, and I’ll be splitting the huge list with my placement partner and doing it over both semesters. I’m going to be talking to the students, teachers and library staff to find out what they need and want. The most important part of this is it isn’t just an assignment, it is actual work. Everything I do in this placement matters and will be used by my supervisor to actually evaluate the system. So when I go in to a school and talk to the kids, I could be making a huge difference on their lives. But also I’ll be helping the teachers too. It is something that fits me and my desires/ideas/etc. for contributing perfectly.

 

I am also now a member of two libraries; Glasgow and my home council. Yes, that means exactly what it sounds like. MORE BOOKS. I now have access to a huge range of resources for my Masters, but we are actively encouraged to use the library for pleasure reading because that is what libraries are for! So I went through my massive to read list and now have two lists on goodreads:

There were some cross overs, and local library is still easier as it’s literally at the end of my road, but I will definitely be grabbing some from Glasgow libraries. I’ve already ordered two I have been dying to read and hopefully will be able to pick them up when I’m there on Thursday.

In other geeky news I have been playing Guild Wars 2 again. I will be popping back into World of Warcraft for bits and pieces, such as holidays like Brewfest, but otherwise my motivation has just ceased up and died. I went in to do the 5 pvp pet battles for pet battle weekend and just ended up going ‘meh’ and logging out again. I go through phases with everything, gaming is no exception. I will probably post more on GW2 and gaming in general soon.

Let’s Talk about Star Wars

Lets talk about Star Wars

Most people that know me are well aware of my obsession love for Star Wars.  I was first introduced to the universe when I was about 7 or 8 and I fell in love with it. Several years later I bought my dad the original trilogy (OT) on VHS and ended up watching it myself – and again, and again. I went through a period in my teens where I was watching it every day. The only other fandom that I’ve watched that much is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I bought the PC programs that took you ‘Behind the Magic’ and I devoured every book I could get my hands on. The Expanded Universe grew and grew and a lot of the characters found a place in my heart. I am still reading them, currently working my way through the Fate of the Jedi series and the Legacy comics. I much prefer the OT than the prequel, and while I don’t dislike the Republic time period I still have yet to read most of the books (and all of the comics) set in that time.

New Movies & The Expanded Universe

So naturally the announcement of new movies was exciting. Yet there was this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I held on to the belief that they wouldn’t throw out an entire universe, a host of amazing characters and the hard work of many authors. Yet they did. The EU was gone from canon. I honestly didn’t think it would happen despite all the nay sayers. So it hit me pretty hard when it was announced. Yet I am still excited about the new movies and the new novels. Admittedly that excitement is tinged with a LOT of caution especially as everything has been wrapped up so much. There have already been a few changes released in the new Marvel comic series such as this bombshell (WARNING: SPOILER!) which worry me. That one pretty much rocks the entire core of one of the most known aspects of the universe. That relationship happened, it was in the movies, it IS canon. Don’t screw with me Disney!

Speaking of what is and isn’t canon. At first the KoToR and SWToR games were canon and then they weren’t. I’m actually more annoyed with that then I am with the entire universe being thrown out. In a video game you immerse yourself in a universe and now it’s pretty much ‘well, you’re in the universe, but you’re not IN the universe’. Umm, what? I still love the game but I have to admit that does taint it a bit for me. I no longer feel like anything my characters do has a bigger role. Not like in World of Warcraft; in WoW my characters are champions of the Alliance, and are recognised as such, especially in Warlords of Draenor.

 

Disney

A lot of people had a problem with Disney taking over, sighting that there would be a lot of changes (which there have been) and that Disney would, well, disneyfy everything Star Wars. I sort of found that last one funny considering Disney have had Star Wars in their theme parks for YEARS. There has always been a connection there, and in the once place that is the epitome of everything Disney, Star Wars still remained Star Wars. I have visited Disneyland Paris several times in the past and loved the Star Wars experience. Plus there’s the whole ‘Disney are buying up everything OMG!’ – at the end of the day, why is this a bad thing? Capitalism and conspiracies aside, a company as massive as Disney buying out a popular fandom means lots of new merchandise. We’ve already gotten a new tv show, new books, new comics. It’s only going to get bigger.

 

My Thoughts on the New Movies

Let’s start with the stand alone, Rogue One. Like any good Star Wars nerd I heard the title and immediately knew it had to be a Rogue Squadron movie. From the description released, it sounds very plausible; “A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans“. The trailer doesn’t show much either other than a TIE fighter and the Death Star, however, “Rogue” has a long history in the Star Wars movies as well as the Expanded Universe. “Rogue One” in particular is the call sign for the leader of Rogue Squadron. It appears in The Empire Strikes Back and therefore is most definitely canon. The new Trilogy certainly hasn’t forgotten it’s X-Wing Pilots, with the trailer and photo shoots including them. The question is; just how much of the Rogues will be what we already know? There is a hugely popular novel series dedicated to the Rogues and their exploits (you can’t call them missions, they are exploits for sure). Their motto is “doing the impossible” and let’s be honest, securing the plans for the Emperor’s new toy is up there on the list of impossible things to try to accomplish. A lot of the original Rogues were in the OT; Luke, Wedge, Wes, and so forth. Those character exist and better yet, they are cannon! While we know Luke won’t be in it – this is set before A New Hope remember, back in the days when Luke was just a moisture farmer on Tatootine – but Wedge and the others were with the Rebellion before Luke came along. I honestly don’t see how they could do a movie called Rogue one and not included any of the Rogues we know.

Plus, it ties in with the new trilogy – Poe Dameron is an X-Wing pilot and described by the actor playing him as “the best fricken pilot in the galaxy” – while myself and my fiancé (and I’m sure other fans) are thinking ‘well dude, you got a LOT to live up to with that statement’, it certainly FITS with Rogue Squadron. They are the best of the best. In the EU Rogue Squadron is a squadron with a legacy, one that exists for generations and quite often the children and grandchildren of the original pilots end up in Rogue Squadron at some point. So, could Poe be a legacy? It is possible that one of his ancestors was one of those in the original squadron, possibly even on the mission to steal the Death Star plans. Star Wars and Disney like continuity and they want to grab the attention of a whole new audience. While Star Wars nerds know about Rogues and their long history, a lot of people have just seen the movies and probably have no clue who Rogue Squadron even are. So setting Poe up to be this type of character would help them lead into a movie based solely on an elite squad of fighter pilots.

I am certainly excited about Poe, not just because I’m sure Rogue One is a Rogue Squadron mission but because this photo of him looks awesome. He has the sexy badass starfighter pilot look down to a T. In regards to the other characters; I was originally convinced that Daisy Ridley’s character was Han and Leia’s daughter. I am still rooting for that possibility, but what we already know about her doesn’t necessarily fit right. It could be a total throw off and she’s estranged from her family, but we’ll need to wait and see. The one that is bugging me the most is one of the characters we know absolutely nothing hardly anything about (there’s been a new leaked photo in the last 2 days) about; Domhnall Gleeson’s character. Leaked photo aside, I’m not convinced that this isn’t Luke’s son. Perhaps I’m just clinging on to the hope that Mara Jade (my favourite character ever) makes an appearance in the new movies. But it seems odd to me that this red headed young man has been hidden from us so much. No name, no details, nada. He obviously has a BIG part to play if his character details are being so well hidden. I won’t spoil the leaked photo, but lets just say that the assumptions people are making from it don’t necessarily add up. That’s just one possibility out of many.

Speaking of Luke – again, we’ve hardly seen much about him or the Jedi in the new film. The trailer gave away the whole Sith thing, so naturally we know about Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver. Kind of hard to miss that there’s a Sith after that trailer. But Jedi? The whole Star Wars universe focuses on the relationship between the Sith and the Jedi and c’mon, it’s called The FORCE Awakens. So yes, there will be Jedi. So far no one has been named as one, other than Luke and we see Leia holding a lightsaber in the trailer – we don’t know if she’s just being given it for the first time or if she’s a trained Jedi by now. You might be thinking ‘well she’s a Skywalker, of course she’s a Jedi!’ but as seen in the EU Leia’s ambitions are very different from Luke’s and I don’t see them straying far from that. So I definitely believe that Domhnall Gleeson’s character is more likely to be a Jedi than a member of the Empire.

In regards to the EU, there are only a handful of characters I’m sad to see gone and hope they incorporate them somehow in the new movies/new canon. Obviously, Mara Jade, as mentioned. And some of the Rogues, specifically Tycho who is a partner in crime of Wedge and Wes. The later are already canon and it just doesn’t feel right now having Tycho there too. As for the Jedi characters; Corran Horn. He’s a Rogue as well and his entire history is just fascinating – we need more Jedi families. I love the Skywalkers, but there’s so much potential for Jedi legacies in there. There are many other characters I love, don’t get me wrong, but I’m content with them staying in the EU and not being reincarnated. It’s a very big and complicated universe and if you start trying to fit in some characters, it breaks because others are missing.

I think that covers pretty much every thought I have so far regarding the new movies. I’ve yet to watch Star Wars Rebels because I’ve not even finished the Clone Wars series yet and I know they lead on from one another (at least one character anyway). So there will probably be more in the future as I catch up on the new stuff coming out. I will leave you with this handly link to a list of how the new timetable of movies, novels and comics work out.