Second Look: Shrines, Temples, and Tombs – A Look at Existing Beyond Death in Star Wars


In Shrines, Temples, and Tombs, a guest piece by longtime ETE follower John Gauthier, the mysteries of life beyond death as presented in the prequel trilogy are revisited in light of The Clone Wars‘ Lost Missions Yoda arc. Those episodes were not just bonus information, John said, but an essential part of the story:

“With Empire as the precedent, The Clone Wars did the legwork. Fans spent the years and months leading up to Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith speculating about the seemingly inevitable return of Qui-Gon Jinn, but it was The Clone Wars that explained the story – and significance – of his existence beyond death.”

He went on to take the Expanded Universe, and its somewhat more liberal treatment of Force ghosts, into account, concluding that where the Sith historically were able to retain their identities by attaching themselves to places (their own tombs, primarily), for Jedi these connections were instead with individuals. Will this conceit hold up in the new canon, based on what we’ve seen so far? John had a few thoughts on that as well.

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Second Look: Shouting Into the Void: We’re Not as Important as We Think


Every six months, once on Eleven-ThirtyEight’s anniversary and once at Christmas, I give the inmates a week off and run five days of the Second Look feature, wherein a highlight particularly interesting pieces; some that maybe didn’t get much attention the first time, and some that I think just warrant extra attention. While our anniversary isn’t technically until July 8th, that’s the week Dark Disciple comes out, so I decided to get this out of the way a little early. Yay, summer!

First up is Shouting Into the Void, by Alexander Gaultier. Partly a response to the volatile gaming industry, Alexander’s message here is twofold: firstly, internet-age fandom doesn’t have as much sway over the movements of its favorite franchises as it might think, and two, that’s not exactly a bad thing:

“Fan reactions are commonly heated, passionate affairs that make political debates look like bastions of civility and compassion by comparison, dominated by knee-jerk reactions and seething personal attacks directed at those they perceive as having wronged them. The human desire to find someone to whom they can attach blame is a strong one: it is unfortunate that, in many cases, due to the strength of their feelings outweighing their knowledge of the creative process, their target is the wrong one.

Remember, Second Look is a daily feature—so come back tomorrow for another piece!

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Dramatis Personae: The Force

JediClassroomThe Force is that mystical life force, the thing that surrounds us and binds us together. It operates like a sixth sense and seems to have a will of its own, grants supernatural powers, and can be tapped into by nearly every sentient species that exists. The Force itself also functions as a character. It’s kind of a centerpiece of a lot of Jedi- and Sith-focused stories, to the point that it can almost be considered an independent party on its own. The nature of the Force has been pondered over the years, its purpose varies depending on how you use it, but it very much is the focal point of so many tales. When bringing balance to the Force is a main objective of the OT, it clearly states that this weird life energy is something that the galaxy just can’t live without.

Remembering that the Force is entirely a neutral party makes it all the more interesting as the wild card and primary influence of the Star Wars universe. The Force doesn’t really have an agenda or allegiance, it can’t be swayed to one side or another, and though one side may dominate at different times, the Force itself is still there. Making that distinction matters- we see plenty of instances where either Jedi or Sith are mostly in charge of the galaxy, to the point that they believe the other to be extinct. There are also plenty of smaller Force-using groups, as well as individuals who may not be aware of their own power. The multifaceted nature of Force-users, running the gamut from good to evil and back again, gives life to a supernatural power that otherwise seems only held by two rather dogmatic organizations. The Force is a larger thing than what we often understand. » Read more..

The Rules of Buying Star Wars Comics (or any comics)


So, Padawan, you wish to acquire some Star Wars comics having heard tales of one million sales? This is not a road for the faint hearted or those unable to be flexible. You believe you are neither? Very well, let us begin.

Rule 1: Know what is coming out when

Surely this is easy? There is release data all over the internet! Indeed it is and that is the problem, how much of this data is reliable? The answer is, exceedingly little. There is but one reliable source of information for what comics are coming out for a given week and it is Diamond Comics. Diamond Comics are not a comic shop or a chain but instead are the distribution agents for all the monthly comics. It is Diamond who get the comics to the shops for you to buy, therefore it is their info that is the most reliable. (Monopoly, I hear you say? Yes they are and if we go into that this will be a multi-part article, suffice to say that that’s simply the way it is!)

Diamond always have two lists online – one of confirmed releases for the Wednesday of a week and one of tentative releases for the following Wednesday, which is confirmed the Sunday before. Links to them are:

Confirmed Releases

Tentative Releases » Read more..

Consequences – The Fate of Those Who Rebel


Ben: A number of TV shows, especially the successful ones, have a problem with the status quo. Once a show is established, the easiest thing to do is leave things as they are, repeating a successful formula ad nauseam until the ratings stop coming in. This is especially true about typical kid’s cartoons, where the stakes are microscopically low and conflict is played for laughs. A list of examples would take up most of this page. But right from the beginning of Season Two, Star Wars Rebels proves that it is not one of those shows.

“Siege of Lothal” is an intense and dramatic story about the consequences of the actions taken and done through the show’s first season. The heroes thought that they had won, if not a war, at least a very great battle. They had defeated Grand Moff Tarkin, destroyed his flagship, saved Kanan’s life and united with a larger rebellion than any of them had known even existed. But the realities of what little good their action had actually done, how little they had accomplished, came crashing back down on them throughout the events of the hour-long season opener.

How willing Rebels is to shake up and alter its own status quo has been subtly working its way through the first season, with neither characters nor plots staying stagnant. But there has not been a point where more has changed in such a short time as this two-parter. The foremost agent of these changes is, of course, Darth Vader, a foe far above and beyond anything that the Ghost’s crew has ever faced. He wipes out their allies, destroys their hiding places, and sends them on the run to somewhere, anywhere that is not Lothal. There is nothing they can do to stop him, or even slow him down, they can only run for their lives and hope that he does not follow. » Read more..

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