Amid the flurry of franchise news, one of Star Wars’ longest-running fan blogs passed a major milestone. Club Jade has been a community of “(mostly) female fans who love Star Wars” since 1995. Formed around a fondness for the novels, the site has been in continuous operation since the days of Web 1.0; by way of the blog, which celebrated its ten year anniversary last week, it braved the way for fansite blogs as we know them today. Club Jade’s reputation as the go-to site for swift and accurate reporting of Star Wars news is legendary, and fansites that have emerged in its wake often have attempted to mimic its trademark snark and spin on fandom. Its staying power is a testament to Tracy “Dunc” Duncan and her team’s love for Star Wars.
The site’s name probably gives away the fact that the members of Club Jade have a special place in their hearts for Mara Jade, the iconic female character who first appeared in Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, written by Timothy Zahn and published in 1991. Dunc recommends the Thrawn Trilogy, which starts with Star Wars: Heir to the Empire and includes Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, as Star Wars Legends must-reads. Other books with Mara Jade have captured the imaginations of her fans since then, including Survivor’s Quest, Allegiance, and Choices of One. This month the Mara Jade ARTFX statue from Kotobukiya has hit shelves at collectible retailers and comic book stores.
Club Jade isn’t simply a site to celebrate the books or their favorite character, though. It reports all manner of Star Wars news, rumors, and speculation. With the members having been through the same cycle of speculation, rumors, and anticipation during the Prequel Trilogy years, they bring experience and insight to their reports. You can also find book and comic reviews, updates on upcoming merchandise, references to Star Wars in pop culture, and information about Star Wars events and gatherings. The site isn’t limited to reporting, but also has a strong opinion-editorial history, weighing in on matters ranging from Mara Jade’s catsuit, fandom civility, and issues particularly relevant to fangirls.
One of Club Jade’s newest endeavors has become an immediate hit on Twitter. After years of watching Star Wars reports from mainstream media and even fansites struggle with the spelling and stylistic conventions of a fictional universe, Dunc has created @SWStylebook, which will provide insight for the masses. If even one Wookiee can be saved from losing an “e” – it’s not spelled Wookie, folks – she will have won the hearts of a few spelling-obsessive fans.
Congratulations, Club Jade. Here is hoping to many more years to come.
Tricia Barr is the founder of FANgirl Blog and writes for Star Wars Blog and Star Wars Insider. She also co-hosts the podcast Fangirls Going Rogue on the RebelForce Radio network. Her novel Wynde has won the Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook in the 2014 Independent Publishers Awards.