A look back at Star Wars 2016

We had struggled with this post. The event on December 27 still weighs heavily on our minds. 2016 was supposed to be great. A new movie was planned that had our favourite Star Wars characters from the movie that started it all. Stormtroopers had come back, Darth Vader was back, heck, they’d even resurrected Peter Cushing to play Tarkin from beyond the grave. Cushing wasn’t the only one to be given new life. Due to archived footage, Red Leader (played by deceased Drewe Henley) flew in a glorious battle above Scarif. The movie was immediately a favourite among fans and critics (unfortunately, we didn’t like it all that much. See why).

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2016 also teased us with the Han Solo stand-alone movie. With Han biting the dust in The Force Awakens, many fans would like a feature-length tribute to the scruffy-lookin’ nerfherder. So far, not much is known about the movie except Alden Ehrenreich will play Han Solo, Donald Glover will play Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke has been casted in an yet unnamed role. We are definitely stoked to see Han and Chewie (hopefully) together again.

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The film will be written by Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan with his son Jon Kasdan and will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The screening is planned for 2018 so we will expect plenty of teasers after next year’s Episode VIII.

The biggest movie franchise in the world
Star Wars took the world by storm and grew immensely – both in pop culture and in brand recall. Legoland Malaysia even unveiled the world’s largest Millennium Falcon Lego creation earlier this year (we were there to see the festivities). Besides Lego, fashion designers turned to the galaxy far far away for inspiration as couture meets geek culture. We are still hoping the hype would turn our non-believing wives into super fans by the time Episode VIII hits. (See more #simisaialsostarwars here)

Designer togs by local fashion doyen Sabrina Goh (see more here).

Other Star Wars news that happened in 2016: Chewbacca Mom went viral and became a minor celebrity after putting on the Hasbro voice-changing Chewie mask and having a laugh with it.

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Toys were a big thing in 2016 as well. Propel’s new range of battle-ready drones hit the stores and were immediately sold out. (See Geek Culture’s review here). Bandai’s premium SH Figuarts range featured many characters from the old and new Star Wars franchises – with Han Solo and Chewbacca, and more, to come in 2017. Do look out for our reviews when we get our hands on them. SH Figuarts is the six-inch equivalent to Hot Toy’s incredibly life-like creations.

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Propel X-Wing battle drone

Even Hasbro’s Black Series figurines are becoming better sculpted with more articulation for adult and child fans to recreate their favourite Star Wars cinematics. They’ve even been featured along with other toy lines such as Funko and Lego for Star Wars’ Go Rogue campaign.

In an unofficial poll, Star Wars fans in Singapore revealed they would much rather side with the Galactic Empire than fight along with Rebel Scum even though the light side always foil the Sith and their plans. (See the poll results here)  Don’t take the results to heart, padawan. We doubt true Rebels would actually indicate that they rebel.

Tragedies of 2016
However, all these highlights came crashing down just as the year wound to a close. Star Wars royalty Carrie Fisher, aka Princess Leia, succumbed to a heart attack on Dec 27. Her Hollywood blue-blood mother Debbie Reynolds died a day after she did. Fans from all over the world poured tributes to mother and daughter. (see our obit here) The world also lost Kenny Baker, who moved us – and R2D2 – in August this year.

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As the world mourns for Fisher, we are beginning to see even more proof of her strength and mettle. We couldn’t put it more eloquently than Twitter user @osheamobile.

What else did we miss out in 2016? Tell us in the comments and like our page for more Star Wars news in 2017.

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