Well, that’s it. If you’re reading this, you made it. Congratulations.

2016 hasn’t been the best of years. But even still, some good things were there. There were several major anniversaries, including Star Trek, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and others. Rouge One and Captain America: Civil War and Moana were fantastic. There’s a vaccine for Ebola, child mortality continues to fall, and DiCaprio won his Oscar. I’m not going to go through the pretense that any individual life, especially my own, was any more or less important to anyone else’s this year. I only really started in April, and it’s been somewhat scattered at that, but we had some good times here. I do this for a lot of reasons, but fun is certainly one of them.

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I’m bad at these intro paragraphs, so let’s get into the content. Here are some highlights and hidden gems of this year.

Star Trek

It was Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year, and what a year for it! A great new movie, a new show coming next year, a critically acclaimed documentary about one of their major characters, and many other celebrations.

Image result for mirror mirror star trek

The Top 10 Most Important Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series

For the anniversary itself, I wrote about some of the most important episodes of the original series in terms of their effect on canon. I discussed how the Squire of Gothos lead to the best Star Trek antagonist ever, how the movies used the unaired pilot to inform their new canon, and how the Mirror Universe brought us a decent episode of Enterprise. Yeah, those exist.

Scary Sci-Fi: How Horror Built a New Genre

Over Halloween, I made several posts about the Horror and Gothic genres and literature within it. One of the features of this post focused on Star Trek’s Borg Collective, and how they grew out of humans’ base fear of being forced into conformity and loss of what we consider our basic humanity.

Let’s Get Literary

As I am an English major, things around here sometimes get a bit intellectual. Sometimes it’s an examination of a genre or trope, sometimes it’s flat out discussing a journal article. I do my best to try and be inclusive, but we all have our niches. This one is mine.

The Case For Critics

How true is the phrase “Everyone’s a critic”? Well, it’s very true, from a certain point of view. Anyone can take the position of a functional expert, and the Internet makes that even more real and persistent. Not that this is a new concept.

A (Revised) Future of Criticism

A lot has changed since the 1980’s. Shouldn’t the idea of what literary criticism even is change as well? Well, it is– through the Internet like I talk about in the previous post, and through what we consider to be worthy of that criticism. But the gears of academia move slowly, so it might take some time.

Star Wars

I make it no secret that I absolutely adore Star Wars. From its form to its content, there is a lot to unpack in these films– even the Prequels.

7 Films That Would Not Exist Without ‘Star Wars’

Of course, the cinematic impact of Star Wars cannot be limited to seven films; but these seven, from their SFX to their very existence, owe a very large debt to the Original Trilogy. I talk about ILM and how it helped reinvent special effects with CGI, as well as the fantasy boom of the 1980’s that immediately followed to try and cash in on the craze, including a certain space opera…

Breaking Genre: Star Wars

This was the big one. I decide once and for all what the genre of Star Wars actually is. Okay, probably not, but I make a good case. And it’s probably not what you think, either. This was sort-of a break-out post for this blog– not that it got any more views than anything else, but I started to get a solid grasp on what I wanted this blog to be.

Top Posts

And my top 5 posts (by view count) of 2016 are:

1. Beyond the Brand: Disney Princesses and Cultural Diffusion

2. Breaking Genre: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Taking advantage of some social media connetions, these shot way up past everything else. The Princess post has been viewed more times than my Home Page!

3. 5 Predictions for Pokémon Sun & Moon

Thanks to the popularity of the new game, this post gets searched for more on Google than any of my others.

4. Robert Frost and the Unknown: The Poetry of Over the Garden Wall

Apparently, people really like Over the Garden Wall. It deserves every fan it has, I can say that much.

5. Breaking Genre: Star Wars

I already talked about this one, but I’m glad it made the list in any case.

Next year

…will hopefully be better than this one. We’ll get more Star Wars and Star Trek for sure, but I’ll throw in some more Harry Potter as well (which is shockingly missing from this blog), as well as Lord of the Rings and Hamilton and Disney. I’m already working on next week’s post, which I’ve been thinking about since I saw Moana for the first time.

Happy New Year!