Man Your Stations – Why It’s Time for Fighter Pilots on the Small Screen

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It has been quite an exciting few weeks in the world of Star Wars. As we steadily creep towards the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the unstoppable juggernaut that is the Disney/Lucasfilm team continues to release more and more information about the new movies (namely the excitingly titled Rogue One), a whole slew of new novels & comic series that will flesh out the canon of the New Expanded Universe, and hints begin to emerge on the potential for Star Wars to appear on the small screen in a live action series. It is an exciting time, to say the least, and you will be forgiven if the sudden deluge of new and exciting information causes you to momentarily squeal like your inner fanboy or fangirl.

While we all spend our free hours (WARNING: doing this at work reduces productivity, or so my boss says) reading, discussing, and analyzing what we DO know, let us not forget the greatest joy of all- SPECULATION! And there is nothing more exciting to speculate about than the unbridled potential of a live action TV series. There are all kinds of directions a TV series could go. Bounty Hunters, new Jedi, entirely new characters- the possibilities are endless. And yet, if Rogue One‘s title is any indication, there is one group above all others that has a sufficiently built-in fan base to sustain a TV series: starfighter pilots. » Read more..

The Bantha in the Fridge: Our Reactions to Heir to the Jedi and You-Know-What

nakariIf you’re new-ish to Eleven-ThirtyEight, this may be your first exposure to Aggressive Negotiations, our occasional chat-session format. Aggressive Negotiations are just that; fast-paced, live discussions among members of the ETE staff (and others), often focused on hot-button topics like the earliest previews of Star Wars Rebels or Dark Horse Comics losing the Star Wars license. This time around the gang got together to dish on Heir to the Jedi, in particular the big spoiler at the end of the book—so consider this your warning on that score. Remember, this format is about fandom at its most raw; no censorship, no second-guessing, and a bare minimum of copy-editing. Cheers! - Mike

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Jay: hello folks

Lisa: hey

Jay: I can’t stay too long, so hopefully Ben arrives shortly

Lisa: he’s got 10 minutes

Lisa: :p

Jay: yeah

David: here i am as well

David: all fresh and clean

Lisa: so fresh and so clean

Lisa: Did you like the book?

Lisa: I think we need Ben cuz I’m pretty sure he hated it

Jay: eh. It was a real struggle to even read it

Lisa: really? That’s interesting

David: I actually hated it, so I might fill that role :p

Lisa: perfect » Read more..

A Cynical Response: The Possibilities of “Rogue One”

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When the title of the first Star Wars spin-off film, Rogue One, was announced, the conclusions jumped to by many people were so astronomically large that they could be measured in parsecs. It’s the Star Wars version of Top Gun! It’s all about Rogue Squadron’s formation! Felicity Jones is Wedge’s daughter! Denis Lawson may be coming back! There had better be a dedication to Aaron Allston!

Let’s slow that roll down and reexamine what the announcement told us. Right now, we know nothing about Rogue One except for a title, its director, the writer, one actress, and the film’s production posse. Everything that is being inferred springs from established lore, books, video games and magazine articles, 99% of which do not exist in canon anymore. The only reason people even remember the name Rogue Squadron (aside from it sounding cool) is because of these materials, it certainly is not at all emphasized or fleshed out in the movies. » Read more..

Putting the “War” Back in Star Wars

rogueone-notoBy now, you have likely heard about the announcement of Disney’s first standalone Star Wars movie, Rogue One. Going against the persistent rumors of a spinoff featuring Han Solo or Boba Fett, all that we have to go by from the unveiled title is that “Rogue” is also the name of the elite starfighter squadron founded by Luke Skywalker after A New Hope. While we currently do not know for certain whether Rogue One will actually be about the Rogue Squadron that stars in numerous Star Wars novels, comics, and video games, current indicators suggest that a military unit of some sort are the planned protagonists of this upcoming film.

The news and speculation about Rogue One is cause for great excitement among many fans. For me personally, the space and ground battles depicted in Star Wars are the parts of the saga that have always captivated my imagination the most. Goodness knows how much time I spent as a kid playing with my humongous collection of Star Wars Micro Machines, or how many hours I logged into TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance. There are undoubtedly numerous other Star Wars fans similar to myself who have daydreamed about starfighters going “pew-pew”. So then, to what extent does Star Wars owe its massive fan following to the saga’s identity as a timeless war story? And what happens to Star Wars when it chooses to brush aside that identity? » Read more..

Pen & Paper: The Role of Role-playing Games in Star Wars

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Tabletop role-playing games have something of a reputation among those who do not play them. The concept of a group of people sitting around a table and rolling dice together while pretending to be bizarrely named (sometimes not even human) fictional characters is intolerably alien to many: since the release of Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson’s original Dungeons & Dragons in 1974, role-playing games and their creators been accused of everything from promoting satanism to inciting their players to commit murder, and at one point had a sourcebook infamously seized by the United States Secret Service.

Even as recently as 2005, the Israeli Defense Forces maintained a policy of restricting soldiers who played Dungeons & Dragons to low security clearances. Yet despite their many controversies, role-playing games have successfully managed to carve out a niche for themselves in the broader gaming market, and remain a popular form of tie-in product for many major franchises, Star Wars included.

But given Star Wars’ longstanding “everything is canon” approach to its spawn, we can’t simply look at our role-playing games as mere offshoots of a prosperous fictional saga. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Star Wars’ sourcebooks can and do directly influence the content of its books, video games, and comics: the information they contain being equal in weight and value to any mainstream work short of the films themselves.

Perhaps this should not come as a surprise, given that a number of the franchise’s most prominent authors (Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, and Troy Denning, among others) had backgrounds in writing and developing role-playing games before they came to write novels for Star Wars. But despite this unprecedented level of acknowledgement for what would normally be considered purely supplementary material, it is their past that is of far greater interest to us than their present.

» Read more..

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