A Giant Freakin’ Thanksgiving: Here’s What We’re Thankful For In 2012

We take a break from Turkey Sleep to be thankful.

By David Wharton | Published

Managing Editor David Wharton
I’m thankful that we’ve had more than one memorable science fiction movie this year. I’m thankful that I got to watch my childhood dreams dance across a giant screen in John Carter, sitting the whole time next to my dad, the guy who introduced me to Burroughs’ books in the first place. I’m thankful for The Cabin in the Woods, the single best time I had in a movie theater all year. I’m thankful that Joss Whedon made The Avengers work better than any of us could have hoped. I’m thankful for the good parts of Prometheus, and that at least the painfully stupid parts looked pretty. I’m thankful that Seeking a Friend for the End of the World didn’t wuss out. I’m thankful for Total Recall…the original version. I’m thankful for the pleasant surprise of Robot & Frank, a movie I hope more people discover on DVD.

I’m thankful that the enjoyable science fiction wasn’t limited to summer would-be blockbusters. I’m thankful for a Dredd movie that knew exactly what it wanted to be, and excelled at being just that. I’m thankful that Looper was just as good as I’d hoped, and even more of a surprise than I could have guessed. I’m thankful that the Wachowskis returned to both the big screen and the science fiction genre with Cloud Atlas, an unforgettable movie experience that I still find myself thinking about all these weeks later.

I’m thankful that Star Wars has had new life breathed into it. I’m thankful that in 2015 my boys will be the perfect age to introduce them to the original trilogy, just in time for us to all experience the new trilogy together. (They will be taught that the prequels were just an elaborate urban legend.)

I’m thankful for Doctor Who. I love every crazy, ridiculous moment of it, even when it fails to live up to its potential (season 7 so far, for the most part), and I’m thankful that even when it isn’t at its best, it will reinvent itself all over again before too long. I’m thankful that the languid pacing of last season’s Walking Dead has been replaced with brutality, desperation, and the dawning realization that just staying alive may mean walking a very dark path. I’m saddened to see the end of Starz’ Spartacus: Blood and Sand, but I’m hugely excited to see creator Steven S. DeKnight’s upcoming military science fiction show. I’m thankful that J. Michael Straczynski is returning to television. While we’re on the subject, I’m thankful for the bountiful creativity and variety of the cable landscape, even as network TV becomes more and more of a wasteland populated only by interchangeable reality shows and bad sitcoms. I’m thankful for the addictive ride of Last Resort, even as I mutter angrily about its cancellation.

I’m thankful for the countless hours I’ve sunk into Star Wars: The Old Republic, and that I’m still enjoying it as much now as I was almost a year ago. I’m thankful for the amazing experience of Mass Effect 3, ending complaints be damned. I’m thankful for the hopes that they might get the Mass Effect movie right, and maybe even the Assassin’s Creed movie too. I’m thankful for the fact that we’re only a few months away from Dead Space 3.

I’m thankful for a job that allows me to spend my days immersed in wonder, both of what is, what could be, and of what may someday be. Most of all, though, I’m thankful for a life comfortable and safe enough that I have the option of hanging out on the internet arguing about which Doctor Who actor was the best, or which classic SF writer deserves Hollywood’s attention, or whether Tron Legacy was anything more than a gorgeous Daft Punk music video. I get paid to write about things I’d be thinking about and debating anyway. Hard to beat that.

Contributing Writer Nick Venable
Today, I’m thankful for a year of great comics embracing all aspects of the science fiction realm. The poetic space opera Saga is not my favorite comic by my favorite comic writer Brian K. Vaughn, but it’s certainly a lovely story to watch unfold. The Walking Dead has been as shocking as the TV show, and Alpha Girl is great if you want some dark humor with your undead. Saucer Country makes political alien conspiracy fun. Locke & Key skews toward horror, but the story is fantastical, and it began its final stretch towards a finale this month. The Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles have both seen great resurgences at IDW. Futurama brings the laughs. And my favorite of all, the cryptic Morning Glories, has shown readers more mysteries than answers this year, but is as thrilling as can be, and begs to be adapted after The Hunger Games wraps up.

Speaking of, I’m also thankful for another year where originality trumps duplication in the cinemas. With the possible exception of Dredd, remakes and sequels failed to reach the acclaim of their predecessors, while new ideas, and some adaptations, have thrived. The Hunger Games gave up violence and backstory to bring in the young’uns, but it remained an enjoyable romp. Chronicle rattled the stale found-footage and superhero genres. Loopergave time travel a budget and stars. Lockout was as dumb-fun a time as I’ve had watching a movie in a while. Extraterrestrial brought relationship drama to an alien invasion. John Carter…tried. But the big badass of the bunch was Prometheus, and while I anticipated it a little too much beforehand, and then talked a little too much shit about it afterward, I still had a blast while in the theater seat. Just like in that Whedon guy’s movie.

I’m thankful to live in a country that used to rely solely on government funding with a casual distaste for extremely wealthy people, just to feel all the more jubilant about the success of the privately funded SpaceX, and a multitude of other research-based Kickstarter successes. Because of these guys, I believe my lifetime will contain the event of people wondering if that lunar base they created was really worth a damn. More worlds are being discovered all the time, relatively, and probes are being built that may give our great-grandchildren‘s grandchildren a glimpse of cloud cover for some lettered orb that we don’t even know about yet. Space is exciting. I’m also thankful for Neil deGrasse Tyson, and that doesn’t need an explanation.

Contributing Writer Rudie Obias
I’m thankful that Disney rejuvenated the Star Wars saga with the promise of Episode VII in 2015. The series has been getting stale and dull but Disney came along and made Star Wars relevant again. Also, I can say next Thanksgiving, I’ll be thankful for the new Hunger Games movie coming out in theaters!