(Editor’s Note: comments on Part I of this piece have been disabled—feedback is welcome here on Part II, though readers are strongly encouraged to read both halves before commenting.)
Why should people NOT be upset about the reboot? Because not everything new is bad!
Despite my personal position on the severe mishandling of the Expanded Universe, there’s one thing that I’ve come to find significantly more annoying over the last few months: many of the other fans!
Facepalm – apply directly to the face!
A lot of the arguments start off as “I don’t like what Disney/LFL/other power-that-be is doing”, and I start to think, oh interesting, why doesn’t this person like the reboot? Then they go off into “they changed this minor detail and it sucks because they changed it”, even though if the exact same decision had been made in the Classic EU they’d have loved it.
Though the reasons behind rebooting the universe are questionable, not every decision that has been made is a bad one. With anything that is created, either in the Classic EU or the new Canon, things will change. In fact many of the things that are complained about are not an issue: 1) Cosmetic Changes, 2) EU Accurate Characterization, 3) Respect for Existing Material, and even if you ignore all that 4) Constructive Criticism is better than directionless whining. » Read more..
Statement from the Editor: I don’t like seeing people get shouted down. Regardless of my own feelings, if I perceive a reasonable opinion as being forced out of the conversation, I will generally go out of my way to give it a fair hearing—I mean, broadly speaking, that’s what this whole site is for.
So a couple months back, I reached out to the #GiveUsLegends people.
“Open letter to the #GiveUsLegends campaign: while your cause is not abundantly interesting to me personally, I do admit that there is a fair case to be made here. That being said, ETE has an open submissions process, and I pride myself on a willingness to engage unpopular opinions. If anyone associated with #GiveUsLegends wants to pitch me a piece making the case for continuing the Legends universe in a way that meets our format and tone guidelines, it would be given fair consideration.”
Well, I didn’t hear back from them. About a month later, Anger Leads To Hate arrived—Eric Geller’s compelling, exhaustively-researched, and vital exposé on the movement for TheForce.Net. As the backlash against this, frankly, childish campaign of hashtivist harassment against Del Rey (of all people) reached its height, one person did express a desire to speak up: two-time Eleven-ThirtyEight guest contributor Lance Henning, who sympathized with #GiveUsLegends’ cause while nevertheless lamenting their methods and public image. » Read more..
While I read Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy in preparation for my latest interview with author Jason Fry (not that I wouldn’t have read it anyway), it so happens that I didn’t write an official review of my own, nor will I now. Jay’s piece from last week more or less speaks for me, but I will quickly say this myself for the record: it’s great. I’m the textbook example of a Star Wars fan who turns up his nose at the notion of a sports story, but EotG excels at making its extensive sports content easy to follow, compelling, and most importantly, in service of the larger themes of the book. I can’t wait to read Rebel in the Ranks and see Zare’s appearance in Rebels from his point of view, and to see where his story goes from there. It’s not a good Young Adult story, it’s a good story, period.
One of those themes, crucially, is prejudice. The Empire of the new canon is still xenophobic, but not in an over-the-top, moustache-twirling way; aliens can exist in this system, even prosper, but it’s not enough to just do well—you have to be excellent. Athletic Director Fhurek claims not to be prejudiced himself—heavens, no—he’s just concerned about how other people might see those two aliens on Zare’s team, so better to get them out of the way, y’know, to placate those other people.
It’s a pitch-perfect subplot, and sets just the right tone for how I hope this sort of element is handled in future stories. It’s also a decisive part of Zare’s burgeoning anti-Imperial sentiment, without being preachy or oversimplified. He wants to stand up for Frid and Hench because they’re his friends, but doing so could sabotage the lives of his several human teammates, and they’re his friends, too. Fighting a prejudiced individual is easy; fighting a bad system is infinitely more complicated. » Read more..
Mike: Last week Ben talked about Rebels‘ efforts to begin laying the groundwork for its “big picture” story. In addition to Fulcrum, though, another character with a lot of potential to expand the show’s horizons is Brent Spiner’s Gall Trayvis—an Imperial Senator who appears to be actively undermining the Empire’s authority via rogue HoloNet transmissions. Like Fulcrum, though, his efforts haven’t been entirely helpful to our heroes, and his true motives remain unclear.
Another element “Out of Darkness” and “Empire Day” have in common is the delicate peeling back of the curtain obscuring the main characters’ backstories; Sabine’s in the former and now Ezra’s in the latter. The latest episode “reveals” Ezra’s parents for the first time, by name, voice, and deed if not by sight. For those of us who were lucky enough to see “Empire Day” online, the past week has produced lots of speculation regarding the identities and fates of Ephraim and Mira Bridger; some suspect that Ephraim might be a rogue clonetrooper, while the timing of Ezra’s birth and his high Force-sensitivity also leave room (though not much) for him to be the child of a Jedi. » Read more..
Last Friday, I spoke with Servants of the Empire author Jason Fry about what goes into good Star Wars technobabble, and he hinted at the larger plot of his own ongoing young-adult series The Jupiter Pirates. This time we’ll get a little more in-depth on Edge of the Galaxy; how it portrays the Empire, what elements it shares (and doesn’t) with the Rebels TV series, and what it’s been like developing the series with the Lucasfilm Story Group. Oh, and I asked him about “Sheev”, because of course I did.
There’s been, suffice it to say, a lot of interest in post-reboot depictions of the Empire and its treatment of aliens and women. While the latter situation is much improved to my mind, the continuation of Imperial xenophobia—a major theme in Edge of the Galaxy—was surprising to some people. When it’s speculated in the book that anti-alien prejudice is more an Outer Rim mindset in contrast with the more cosmopolitan Core, is that just the people of Lothal talking, or is that a reliable OOU perspective? And either way, do you see this matter as having evolved in the past year, or is it the same as it was in the EU? » Read more..