The Geek Tree is back again for 2018. There are no major changes to it this year save for the now-fully functional Hallmark Star Wars Storyteller collection. There are a six new ornaments on the tree, which is once again near capacity. I once again avoided going with a theme tree to limit the number of ornaments, but clearly, it’s only a matter of time…
The Saga Continues
When last we geeked, the Death Star, X-Wing Fighter, and TIE Fighter Advanced had been added to the tree but not networked together. The all-important power cord arrived on Christmas Eve 2017, and now all of them are fully armed and operational.
The powered TIE Fighter Advanced and X-Wing are subtle additions to the tree, with their respective cockpits illuminated and slowly changing color. The Death Star, which is considerably larger, is fully illuminated and looks a bit like a LED-powered grapefruit. Given how it dominates the tree, I’ve taken to hanging it near the bottom so it doesn’t overwhelm other ornaments. Two new additions this year are the Millennium Falcon, who’s quad-laser turrets, cockpit, and engines glow and the TIE Fighter, which has a flowing cockpit.
When activated, the ornaments re-enact scenes from the Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, specifically the destruction of Alderaan by the Death Star, the Millennium Falcon’s discovery of the galactic crime, and the attack on the climactic attack on the gigantic space station. I have to say that the whine of the starfighter engines in the final scene grates on me a bit; it’s nothing you want to listen to if you have a headache. It is, however, a cool effect and the ornaments look great.
Other new additions to the tree include this year’s Star Trek starship ornament, the U.S.S. Discovery (from the CBS series Star Trek: Discovery). It’s a huge, gold-brown ornament who’s warp nacelles are larger than any other Trek ship on the tree. It’s not a bad ornament, but it’s not the U.S.S. Excelsior that I’ve been wanting for years.
Many years ago Dark Horse Comics released the Serenity, of Firefly fame, as an ornament. Unfortunately, they sold out before I could get one. My wife bought me the Reavers variant inspired by the movie Serenity, but it lacks the clean (and corpse-less) lines of the standard ship. Hallmark released their own version of Serenity, with an engine that lights up yellow-gold a bridge that shines a bright white. The bridge lighting is a little intense for Serenity, but the ornament looks great hanging on its own tree bough and it’s still recommended for fans of the series.
The day after Christmas is a great time to pick up cheap ornaments for the tree. This year I got a new Boba Fett ornament, which features the notorious bounty hunter in a flying pose (instead of the stiff-backed, pose for the ornament I already had). Guardians of the Galaxy is one my family’s favorite movies and it’s now represented by a teenage Groot and Rocket Racoon ornament. And finally, there’s the new HAL 9000. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyessy and consists of a black rectangle with HAL’s signature red-lit lens. It recites dialogue from the movie.
With the Geek Tree near capacity, next year is looking like a theme year. The obvious choices are Star Wars or Star Trek, as they’re the series’ that are best represented by ornaments. Such a themed tree will require some creativity to augment the standard ornaments — maybe painted styrofoam spheres to represent key Federation planets? Or specialized garland that stands in as hyperlanes? Finally creating that Borg-zied angel that I’ve often talked about?
Regardless of the theme, it would push the Geek Tree into a new frontier … and force me to spend more time thinking about what I want to do. Neither of which is a bad thing.