Our 2015 Star Wars Superlatives

2015 was a banner year for Star Wars. From Celebration to Comic Con, from Lords of the Sith to Aftermath, from Rebels to The Force Awakens, 2015 had something to appeal to every Star Wars fan. A bunch of us were lucky enough to travel to Anaheim back in April for Celebration, an event that jump-started an already furious fandom. And what better way to end the year than with an all-new Star Wars movie? It doesn’t get much better than that.

Since it’s the end of the year and we’re a website on the internet, we’re obligated to present a list of things we liked best about 2015. We’re pretty sure our list would be “The Force Awakens” a bunch of times, so we decided to mix it up a bit and offer our favorites in different categories, such as books, comics, games, and Rebels episodes. After the jump, we present our 2015 Star Wars Superlatives.

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Our 2015 Superlatives – Movies Edition

It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time for Best of Lists! Here at Tosche Station, we thought we’d break up our lists into categories, and post a different topic per day.

In this installment, we discuss our favorite movies of 2015.

Nanci – I went back and forth on my favorite movie of the year (other than The Force Awakens, of course), but in the end I had to choose Mad Max: Fury Road. (My other option was The Martian.) What can I say? This movie is so shiny and chrome. I didn’t catch this in the theatre (along with being lax in reading books, I was very lax in going to the movies this year), but I really wish I had. I was glued to this story from the first scene, and couldn’t take my eyes off it while watching it at home. Usually I’ll be watching a movie or TV show while surfing the internet, but Fury Road captured my entire attention. Imperator Furiosa is such an amazing character, and I was not expecting Nicholas Hoult to make my cry.

Saf – This is hard, because though I adored Mad Max: Fury Road and think it’s a cinematic masterpiece, Mockingjay Part 2 is the film I’ve gone to see the most (other than TFA, obviously) and will continue to watch a lot once it’s out on Blu-ray. The Hunger Games basically owns what life I have outside of Star Wars already, so I think Mockingjay wins out for me.

Bria – By far and away, my favorites this year were Ex Machina for completely blowing my mind and Man from UNCLE for being so gosh darn delightful.  I can’t pick between them because I loved them both for completely different reasons.

Brian – Easy choice for me, The Martian. In what was a thoroughly amazing year for science fiction in the cinema, this one stood out. The hopeful tones, the brilliant one liners, the funny to balance the dread. Wonderful return to form for Ridley Scott.

Our 2015 Superlatives – TV Edition

It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time for Best of Lists! Here at Tosche Station, we thought we’d break up our lists into categories, and post a different topic per day.

In this installment, we discuss our favorite TV shows of 2015.

Nanci – I know I sound like a broken record, but I don’t watch a lot of serialized TV shows. I still haven’t watched The Man in the High Castle, or Jessica Jones, or Daredevil, or…take your pick. (I did finally see some episodes of Supergirl and loved them, but I need to catch up.) Anyway. The one show I did watch religiously was unfortunately one of the shortest–Agent Carter. I love Peggy. I love Jarvis. I even love to hate Howard. Everything about this show spoke to me on a spiritual level. Yes, there’s lots of room for improvement–the diversity on the show is lacking, and will hopefully improve in Season 2. But Peggy is such a well-rounded character, and we need more women like her on television. I’m so glad Agent Carter is coming back for a second season next month. Like Peggy, we all know her value.

Saf – I watch a lot of things, but at the same time feel like I watch nothing. My favourites would be Brooklyn Nine-Nine for its humour and characterization; iZombie because everyone is super cute and it’s just super fun; The 100 because, damn, that story is so good and there are also queer ladies; and How to Get Away With Murder because that is one heck of a twisting drama story with a lot of really interesting characters.

Bria – Oh yeesh.  I watch too many darn shows.  Agents of SHIELD continues to thrill me to no end and Marvel certainly didn’t slack with Daredevil or Jessica Jones.  As far as new shows go, Quantico turned out to be oddly addictive and the fight scenes in Into the Badlands were rad as hell.  The dark horse though was definitely Fresh Off the Boat.  It’s funny without making Chinese people the butt of the joke.  Actually, more than a few times, I would watch an episode and then call my mom and go “Oh hey Mom so Jessica did this in the episode tonight and it was so you!”

Brian – Pretty much echoing what Nanci said. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV either, but what I did watch was great. Peggy Carter was the highlight of the year for me for all the reasons Nanci said. I also got into Supergirl and Man in the High Castle. While I’m not caught up, I love both of those shows tonally and can’t wait to see more of them.

Our 2015 Superlatives – Books Edition

It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time for Best of Lists! Here at Tosche Station, we thought we’d break up our lists into categories, and post a different topic per day.

In this installment, we discuss our favorite books of 2015.

Nanci – My reading tends to go in cycles; some years I read a lot, and sometimes I only finish a handful of books per year. This year, most of my reading was focused on Star Wars, especially after September 4. My to-read list seems never ending, especially with Kindle sales, and I’ve resolved to read more in 2016. That said, there were a couple of books I read this year that really stood out.

  • Liesmith, by Alis Franklin – a queer urban fantasy set in Australia that tells a modern version of Norse mythology, focusing on Loki in particular. I’m not a huge fan of Loki, but I loved this story and especially the characters. Sigmund is an utter delight.
  • Under the Empyrean Sky, by Chuck Wendig – this is the novel that convinced Del Rey to hire him to write a Star Wars book, and I can definitely see why. Wendig has described it as John Steinbeck meets Star Wars. It’s the story of a young man named Cael who lives in the Heartland, which is ruled by the Empyrean, a totalitarian regime that floats overhead in flotillas in the sky. I really enjoyed the setting–cornpunk is definitely a different genre for me–and Wendig’s prose is a breeze to get through.

Saf – Boy, I’ve been so overwhelmed with Star Wars books this year that I’ve barely read outside of them, except for a few others. There were two I absolutely adored, both by my two favourite authors since high school.

  • Tigerman, by Nick Harkaway – a British sergeant is sent to the island of Mancreu, a place that is slowly ticking down to an apocalyptic event. It’s filled with Harkaway’s throwaway line worldbuilding and typical flare, and builds up a lovely, but sad story about a man who just needs a long, long rest.
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness – in a world where young heroes save the world on the regular, the rest of the kids at their schools just want to survive their normal, drama-filled teen lives. Ness always tends to have two things in his stories: LGBT people, and a lot of feelings. The Rest of Us actually helped me get through some rough things in my life, just because Ness really seems to understand how young people think when writing his YA fiction, and I adore him for it.

Bria: THANK GOD FOR GOODREADS.  Look, I read a lot this year and can’t remember everything but there were some standouts. I’d also like to mention both Passenger by Alexandra Bracken and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel which are both due out in 2016.  I was lucky enough to advanced copies of both and they were both AWESOME.

  • The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey hit all of the right notes for me that a Tamora Pierce book does while having its own vibe.  Lindsey created a neat fantasy world that simultaneously plays by the rules and break them.
  • Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger is about a finishing school for young ladies who are also assassins in a steampunk fantasy version of England.  Is it ridiculous?  Yes.  Is it delightful? Absolutely.
  • Lightless by CA Higgins was just plain neat.  It gave me Leviathan Wakes vibes at times.  I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about this science fiction book with its very contained cast at first but once it really kicked into another gear in the second half, I was completely enthralled.

Brian: Like Nanci, much of my reading was focused on Star Wars this year, especially with the Journey to TFA stuff taking up all of my post-September reading time. That said, I did have some time to read a couple books outside of the Galaxy Far, Far Away.

  • Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig. Nanci and I read this about the same time, and like her I really enjoyed this book. I thought I had burned out on post-apocalyptic YA, but this was really a fresh take on the genre. Set in what was once the heartland of the USA, Wendig self-describes this book as cornpunk. Read it and you’ll see why. I actually picked up this book because I wanted to get used to the third-person present writing style Wendig would be utilizing in Aftermath. Let’s say I got a whole lot more than just a style choice primer. This was an excellent read and one I’d encourage everyone to pick up.

Our 2015 Superlatives – Comics Edition

It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time for Best of Lists! Here at Tosche Station, we thought we’d break up our lists into categories, and post a different topic per day.

In this installment, we discuss our favorite comics of 2015.

Shoshana: There were a lot of comics I really enjoyed this year, many of which are aimed at younger audiences. As far as continuing traditionally published comics go, Lumberjanes continues to be one of the most fun and diverse adventure comics around and Ms. Marvel is still as great as ever. There were a lot of great new comics, too, with the magical girl series Zodiac Starforce really standing out with its fun writing and art and memorable characters. Other new comics I had a blast with this year include Squirrel Girl, a very fun and wonderfully silly comic following the exploits of a superhero who can talk to squirrels and who absolutely beat Doctor Doom in her first appearance, Jem and the Holograms, the comic reimagining of the 1980s cartoon, and Raven: Pirate Princess, a spin-off of the also wonderful comic Princeless that follows Raven, a lesbian pirate princess seeking to build a crew and reclaim the fleet that her brothers stole from her.

On the webcomics front, this year I discovered the joy of Band Vs Band, about the two very different lead singers of two very different bands, neither of whom seems to have quite figured out that they’re totally into each other, and the wonderful pain of Witchy, following a young witch who tries to hide her long hair in a magical kingdom where hair length equals magical power and too much power equals a potential threat to authorities.

Bria: I could talk about Ms. Marvel or Saga (which are both fantastic) but those are on everyone’s best of lists.  So instead, let me just put in some applause of Sam Humphries’ Planet Hulk which featured GLADIATOR CAPTAIN AMERICA RIDING A T-REX and also the newly started Doctor Strange by Jason Aaron.  I’m also mourning the loss of the fantastic Elektra which lasted only a dozen or so issues.  2015 was the year when I finally got to start reading Gillen and McKelvie’s Wicked + Divine and it blew me away.  Also on the indie front, Monstress and Invisible Republic rock my socks more than I could possibly say.

Our 2015 Superlatives – Games Edition

It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time for Best of Lists! Here at Tosche Station, we thought we’d break up our lists into categories, and post a different topic per day.

In this installment, we discuss our favorite games of 2015!

Nanci: It’s no secret I don’t play a lot of games, but the one Xbox game I consistently enjoy is Just Dance. I received Just Dance 2016 for Christmas and can’t wait to get back into it after too long being a lazy bum.

I also discovered a card game called Slash this year, which is basically a game in which you ship different fictional (and some real!) characters with each other. It’s fantastic for fanficcers!

Saf: I didn’t really get the chance to play many AAA games this year because of not having a new console (haha), but I did get the chance to play a lot of little indie games, and one I absolutely can’t get over is Blake Wood’s Dolly. It’s a short game, but the art and the music both combine to deliver an emotional punch. Bonus: it’s made by a Kiwi!

Brian: Star Wars category, it’s Battlefront. Super immersive. Flying an X-wing never gets old. Non Star Wars video game front, it’s Fallout 4 because no one does open world like Bethesda. On the tabletop gaming side, another vote for Slash. Play that game with the right company and it’s a blast.