Star Wars: The Fan Awakens
by Jillian Ocken
Hello there! It’s Star Wars day, and what a day for a Star Wars fan to be alive! With a new Star Wars series launching and many more projects already announced, it looks like the galaxy far, far away is getting bigger every day.
Before we continue, I have a confession to make; until recently, I had only really watched the Star Wars movies. I knew there were animated TV shows, books, and games out there, but I didn’t pay too much attention to them.
Like many casual Star Wars fans, “The Mandalorian” opened my eyes to some of the stories happening off the beaten track. It offered a glimpse into lives less glamorous—but no less interesting—than the Skywalkers and Yodas of the universe. And of course, it roped me in with some awesome characters that I didn’t know, but that set the Internet abuzz.
So of course, I decided to watch the most talked-about Star Wars TV series: “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels.” Of course, I had to watch everything in chronological order from the beginning, starting with Episode I. I’m not a huge fan of the prequels, but watching them was a good refresher.
I can now say, I understand what all the fuss is about “The Clone Wars.” The computer-animated series, which takes place after Episode II, does a great job of mixing action with interesting story arcs and character development. I got to know Anakin and Obi-Wan much better, but I also met and become attached to so many new characters. The series gives many clones their own backgrounds, personalities, and moments of heroism or tragedy—often both. The series format allowed some beautiful story arcs for characters that would otherwise languish in the background. I loved it.
After wading through more movies (some of which I knew by heart), I dove into the animated series “Star Wars: Rebels.” With a teenager protagonist, I was expecting a show for kids. I was not prepared for another trip through the emotional ringer. In addition to showcasing some great story lines, “Rebels” brought me up to speed on characters that are likely to show up in at least one upcoming Star Wars series.
And I’ve barely scratched the surface. I don’t need to watch all of the animated shows from the 80s, but there is so much to read about Star Wars: original novels, novelizations of the movies, graphic novels, spin-offs…It’s a little overwhelming.
So here’s my plan. I’m going to start watching “The Bad Batch,” and when something comes up that I haven’t heard of, I’ll do a little searching. I suspect the Star Wars fans of the world will have my back, posting factoids and reading lists about every name drop and Easter egg as it appears. I’ll make a list of stories that pique my interest, and then I’ll start placing holds in the Library’s catalog. I know I won’t be the only one, so I have backup plan in case I have to wait for someone else to finish a book.
I’ll be checking out Star Wars cookbooks and crafting books to keep myself busy. I’ll pick up the “Jedi Academy” and “Origami Yoda” series to read to my kids. I’ll check out some of the Star Wars videogames from the Library. Maybe the kids would like to play some Lego Star Wars with me. Maybe I’ll re-watch some of the Clone Wars episodes—especially the ones that introduce Clone Force 99. That should get me through, right? At least until the next episode is released.
Perhaps our paths will cross at the Archives, er…Library. If so, May the Fourth be with you!