Bantha Tracks: Best of the Year, Online Edition

Mary Franklin | January 15, 2014

Star Wars Insider #147 cover

This month in Bantha Tracks Volume 80, tucked nicely into Star Wars Insider #147, you will find the annual “Best of the Year” edition. It’s one of my favorite issues of the year to do, and it seems only fitting that a good solid tease of the “BOY” is included here on StarWars.com.

Read on for a taste of the best in images, events, and snapshots of the “life Star Wars” from your fellow fans, and maybe even from you!

Insider #147 should be with subscribers now, and on newsstands soon. These images, however, are specially selected for starwars.com readers only.

The Reek by Spencer Brown

Best Total Package

Spencer Brown not only decorated BOTH sides of his envelope to Bantha Tracks with excellent art, he also included this Reek drawing inside. Eleven-year-old Spencer went on to recommend himself as an extra for the new movies, and made sure we knew how to find him.

I love art envelopes, and get fewer of them every year as so few use the post anymore. Thank you, Spencer, for helping keep my art envelope dreams alive!

For those of you who want to submit to Bantha Tracks (and who wouldn’t?) see the submission guidelines at the end of this blog.

Darth Vader fortune by Ates Cetin

Best Fortune

Even if, as Obi-Wan says, there is no such thing as luck, having the Dark Lord of the Sith read my coffee grounds gives me a good feeling about the New Year.

“It is something traditional here in Turkey,” writes Ates Cetin, “that once you finish your coffee, you turn the cup upside down and wait for a minute. Then the fortuneteller picks the cup and tells your fortune by looking at the coffee grounds.”

May the Dark Roast be with us all!

Feel the Force Day

Best Idea for Sharing the Force

By “sharing the Force” we mean not only Star Wars, but the force of friendship, creativity, caring, and fun, as well. Jonathan Lucia-Wright, together with support from other Star Wars fans and celebrities like Warwick Davis, hosted “Feel the Force Day” in the United Kingdom. The event, billed as the “first ever Star Wars meet and greet day especially for visually impaired people, disabled, and adults with learning difficulties,” focused on sharing Star Wars with those who might enjoy the saga, but who might not be able to take part in a standard convention. Lucia-Wright brought in masks, action figures, costumes, and props for the fans to experience, and enlisted the help of other passionate fans who came in costume, like Simon Wilke who costumes as C-3PO.

“It was a real pleasure and honour to be Threepio for those that have never seen him,” recalls Wilke. “I met many who loved Star Wars but who had no visual knowledge of the characters. Also one man had known Star Wars when a boy and loved it. It was very emotional for him and me for him to be able to experience a droid as he remembered seeing one over 30 years ago.” Photos submitted by Jonathan Lucia-Wright.

Rancho Obi-Wan

Best Collection

Rancho Obi-Wan, the legendary Star Wars collection belonging to the every-bit-as-legendary Steve Sansweet, was the location of a grand party to celebrate the inclusion of the collection in the Guinness Book of World Records. Fans from all over the world flew in to enjoy the festivities which included not only a look at the historic collection but also entertainment from James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

“I am just so pleased that we’ve been able to make so many fellow fans happy and add to the sense of community that makes Star Wars fans a breed apart,” says Sansweet.

Well said, Steve. It seems that you have not only the best collection of Star Wars treasures, but a most impressive collection of true friends and supporters as well.

Read more about Rancho Obi-Wan at www.ranchoobiwan.org.

AT-AT driver by Jose Sanchez

Best Find

Jose Sanchez created his stunning AT-AT driver in 1998, but submitted it to Bantha Tracks this past year.

Muppet Troopers in Detroit, Michigan

Best Hopefuls

When the local casting calls went out in the United States and London for Star Wars: Episode VII, some very unusual hopefuls came out for the trails — or maybe more accurately to entertain the hopefuls. The Muppet Troopers paid a visit to the auditions in Detroit, Michigan.

“We were happy to spend some time with thousands waiting in line for their turn,” reports Mike Lica. “The Detroit News is reporting that 2,000 came out to audition.”

Indiana Jones meets Star Wars

Indiana Jones meets Star Wars

Best Indy Adventure of 2013

Thanks to Jim Waigand’s whimsical photographs we glimpse the start of the next great Indiana Jones fantasy adventure, this time set in a galaxy far, far away.

Tauntaun holiday card

Best Last Card of the Holiday

Many thanks to the Rebel Legion Lion Base in the Czech Republic.

Bantha Tracks Submission Guidelines: Any original art, envelope art, comics, illustrations, news, stories, meeting information, or any materials voluntarily submitted become the property of Bantha Tracks. No compensation will be given for voluntary submissions, and there is no guarantee of publication. Submissions to Bantha Tracks will not be returned. Each submission must include the creator’s name, age, contact information, date the work was created, and a statement that the work is original, and created by the person submitting it. Send electronic files to banthatracks@starwars.com, or send your snail mail to Bantha Tracks, c/o Mary Franklin, P.O. Box 29901, San Francisco, CA 94129.

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