Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best Of 2008 - Star Wars

The culmination of my "Best of..." series is the Best of 2008 for the Star Wars franchise. Now, Star Wars has had a number of things put out. The long-awaited The Force Unleashed whimpered into our living rooms and libraries via a video game (with slightly divergent game play & story per system), graphic novel and novelization. Legacy of The Force, the 9 book series set a decade after the NJO continued the dark, dreary and depressing Beyond the Saga era. Legacy the comic, and Knights of the Old Republic comics also continued and also continued to excel.

Of course what probably disappointed me the most in the franchise this year was the Coruscant Nights series. It had such potential as the pre-publishing blurbs, and the cover all had a distinctly noir feel to them; a feel which the story itself forgot to utilize.

But again, this is about what was the best thing for Star Wars in 2008, not the stuff that disappointed me, and what was the best thing in Star Wars for 2008 was not a book, it was not the television show (not even the pilot episode on the big screen), and it wasn't even a comic. No, the best thing for 2008 was Hasbro's new Millenium Falcon toy.

THIS is the toy that the original should have been back in '77. This thing at nearly 3 feet long is closer to on-screen accuracy than any Falcon not labeled a prop replica has gotten.

It features a huge list of THINGS TO DO even without the need to put batteries in, and when you do, you get lights, sounds and dialog. Sure, they took a liberty or two (after all, the Falcon doesn't sport a little fighter craft in canon), but the sheer amount of things that they got right negates that.

Here's what Hasbro has to say about the thing:

Best known as the fastest ship in the Star Wars galaxy, piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca, this detailed replica of the rebel spacecraft packs powerful secrets and special modifications – inside and out. Measuring more than two-and-a-half feet long, the Millennium Falcon’s uniquely circular style is ready to “blast off” with light-up headlights and loads of electronic vehicle and weapon sounds, including engine boost, cruise mode, fly-by, firing cannons and much more. Open the light-up cockpit and fit up to four figures inside. The vehicles comes with Han Solo and Chewbacca figures and can hold up to 16 more (each sold separately) inside its secret smuggling compartments, pivoting gunner station or missile-firing mini-fighter vehicle. Remove the outer panels to access the ship’s interior. Then, head for the medical bay to “treat” wounded troops. Activate deployment sounds and landing lights with the auto-opening boarding ramp. Or plan your attack against the Empire with a pivoting gunner station, rotating laser turret and 3-missile launcher, with plenty of realistic blasting sounds and projectiles to keep enemies at bay. A pivoting training probe makes lightsaber and movement sounds for those who wish to practice their Force fighting skills. Trigger more than 20 authentic movie phrases and sounds from the voices of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2.Light up the hyperdrive engine lights and fly your imagination into the next constellation – or the other end of your playroom. Add this impressive vehicle to your collection and recreate your favorite battle scenes, or strategize your own endless action adventures. Unassembled vehicle comes with 7 projectiles, mini-fighter vehicle, Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures and instructions.
Truthfully, the only real drawback I see to this toy is the fact that at 2.5 feet long, it would be nigh upon impossible for a 6-7 year old to pick it up and fly it around the house the way I did my old Falcon back in the '80's. But the sheer awesomeness of this thing, makes that almost a negligible concern.

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