Escape Pod: Wedge Antilles

The coming sequel trilogy has put a lot of value on the presence of the older generation of heroes and on the impact they had. While it remains to be seen how the Rebellion/Alliance will fare in the new continuity, it’s a safe bet that a New Republic still exists even if it’s not necessarily by that name. In that new Republic the vested veterans of the Rebellion, the heroes of the original trilogy, will likely have influential positions, just as they did in the Legends stories. Leia will likely be a politician still, Han may be a military officer, and Luke a veteran Jedi Master, perhaps the head of a new Jedi Order. But they are not the only veterans of the war against the Empire.

Consider one Wedge Antilles.

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The Empire and Rebels: Causes for Optimism

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I have a copy of A New Dawn on the to-read pile and it’s giving me the evil eye: I did buy it to read it, didn’t I, so what’s taking so long? Some things should be properly appreciated, so no, I’m not going to casually barrel through it at speed. One thing I’m quite confident of is I’m going to like how the Empire is portrayed due to a couple of things: First, John Jackson Miller has an excellent track record and second, the Emperor has an efficiency adviser? That’s genius. Efficiency gurus are a modern-day Bogeyman who are more terrifying due to existing – you can’t bargain or reason them, they feel nothing, they only think in maths equations – in short, a perfect villain.

Despite this there is much trepidation around the show Rebels, particularly where the portrayal of the Empire is concerned. I was never going to be inclined to like the Clone Wars cartoon. The offense was simple but enduring: It steamrollered the 2002-2005 work done in the same era with casual contempt. Rebels, however, is not doing that. No, it has its own time period, it is not setting fire to somebody’s else’s lawn, so what’s the problem? The fear is that the Empire will be rendered as too easily defeated, too incompetent, that it will be a joke. I don’t think that needs to be feared as much as may be thought. » Read more..

A New Dawn: The Staff Reacts

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When a book is as hotly anticipated as A New Dawn, just one review might not be good enough. Several of us at Eleven-ThirtyEight were able to make our way through it over the last couple weeks, and in order to give everyone a chance to speak their mind, myself, Ben Wahrman, Jay Shah, and Rocky Blonshine got together last weekend for some informal Aggressive Negotiations.

It’s been a while, so if you’re unfamiliar with this series, all you need to know is that it’s basically a low-key chat session with only loose moderation, and no holds barred—no censorship, no editing, no typo repair. Enjoy!

 


 

Mike: Let’s start with general impressions of the book itself. Was it pretty much what everyone was hoping for?

Ben: pretty much, yeah

Rocky: even better.

Ben: i loved Kenobi, and this was about on that level, but different

Mike: i’m not as over-the-moon about it as i was Kenobi, but it was definitely classic JJM

Jay: More or less. I wanted confirmation that EU would still be used, especially background information. And I was hoping that it would make the characters from Rebels seem interesting.

Rocky: I was so scared that this book wouldn’t feel like the EU we know and love, but it had a lot of the feel of classic EU stuff. » Read more..

The Minority Report: A New Dawn

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As you may well know, dear readers, I have always taken a special interest in the state of diversity in the Star Wars franchise, and Expanded Universe in particular. One of the first recurring series I commissioned for Eleven-ThirtyEight was Michael Lind’s Go Figure, in which he broke down and analyzed a wide range of demographic data from the Galaxy Far, Far Away, with a special focus on race and species prevalence.

After the reboot was announced, of course, Michael’s impressive pool of data was effectively useless—and so Go Figure came to an end, and I picked up the baton. Beginning with my article No Gays in Space last May, I’ve seized upon the reboot (much like the Story Group) as an opportunity to start afresh, and build a new database from the ground up. My own methodology differs quite a bit from Michael’s, though; while interesting, the exact number of Twi’leks is of less concern to me than one basic fact: how many straight white guys there are.

More thorough explanations of my personal Diversity Scoring system can be found at the above links, but as this constitutes the beginning of a new series, I’ll reiterate very briefly—a Diversity Score is the percentage of characters in a story who are anything other than straight, white, human men. Historically I’ve gone off a given story’s Dramatis Personae (the cast of characters often presented at the beginning of a SW novel), but as I’m attempting to be as thorough as possible, my new policy is to count, as best I can, all named characters. In the case of the six films, given their status as the most visible and inviolate elements of the canon, I have gone by the full casts as listed in their end credits—meaning that then and only then will I count, say, “Imperial Captain 3″. While I presented rough scores for the saga (as well as The Clone Wars) back in May, I’ve since had the opportunity to work straight from the films (as opposed to Wookieepedia) and I present the following as my final scores for the Star Wars Canon. » Read more..

Coming of Age in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

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One of the staples of literature and media aimed at children is the story of growing up. It can easily be linked to the hero’s journey that is the mainstay of the Star Wars story arcs, and throughout the saga we meet many a young hero who has to grow up a little and save the galaxy. We watch Anakin and Luke Skywalker go from idealistic kids to serious Jedi- and then two different paths for the hero’s journey from there. The Solo children also face the challenges of growing up in an unstable galaxy, answering the call to adventure, and having to grow up in order to handle the challenges thrown at them. For each generation of Star Wars fans, we find the characters who are about our age when we first fall into their stories, and we grow up with our favorite characters. The theme of growing up bridges the young adult and adult novels, keeps Star Wars accessible to all ages, and brings in new fans as they get old enough to identify with the characters.

Luke Skywalker starts out as a young idealistic kid, seeking adventure far away from his backwater home planet. He wants to see the galaxy and have adventures, but when given an opportunity by old Ben Kenobi, he nearly runs away. Luke hasn’t been raised to be a hero and isn’t yet aware of his importance, and it does take rather tragic events to begin his growing-up process and start him on the path to becoming a Jedi Knight. It’s something of the stereotypical hero’s journey, and as a coming-of-age story, Luke has many opportunities to walk away and not deal with the danger of being a member of the Rebel Alliance and a Jedi Knight. It’s an important part of his growing-up process to stick with his journey, and it pays off in the end.

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