The Pitch – Rebels Bottle Episodes

A handful of you will find this hilarious.

While we’re only a couple of weeks away from the official premiere of Star Wars Rebels, it may be a while yet before we really know on a macro level what the show is about. The Inquisitor, after all, doesn’t even join the party until later on—and it remains to be seen just how big of a presence he’ll be in the first season as a whole, to say nothing of future seasons. The same goes for Lothal—it’s the heroes’ base of operations for now, but forever? I doubt it.

So with that in mind, I asked the others to pitch their ideas for what you might call Rebels “bottle” episodes. Colloquially, a bottle episode of a TV show is a standalone story designed to be produced entirely using existing sets and contracted actors, meaning it can be produced for a bare minimum of expense—often these will show up to allow for something particularly extravagant elsewhere in the season.

While I didn’t hold them to the “cheap” part, I did mandate that the story be entirely self-contained, so it could theoretically go anywhere in the first season without getting in the way of whatever the larger arc turns out to be. Here are their ideas. » Read more..

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.

» Read more..

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..

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