So, there’ve been a lot of questions raised in the week since R-Day; what’s canon, what’s not, how old is everybody, what’s still being printed, even what we’re supposed to call everything now. Also being asked: what happens to Eleven-ThirtyEight, now that the subject of the overwhelming majority of our content no longer “counts”?
As such, I just wanted to take a moment to state for the record that aside from the half-ironic (and temporary) “Legends” banner up top, pretty much nothing about ETE is going to change.
Our mission statement from the beginning was “to help ease the transition into the Sequel Trilogy era”, and while I’m sure all of us had our moments of wild hope, from my point of view, some degree of reboot was part of the plan all along.
As I’ve said before, one foundational premise of this site is that the Expanded Universe, regardless of canonicity, is a master class in telling Star Wars stories—and especially post-Return of the Jedi stories. I don’t believe there’s anything Abrams, Kennedy and company can do in Episode VII that hasn’t been tried in some book or comic or video game somewhere, and unlike George Lucas, who follows his authorial whims for good or ill and won’t be told otherwise, it’s heartening to me to know that the people now in charge are open to drawing not just bits and pieces from EU continuity, but examples, and hard-learned lessons about What Works and What Doesn’t Work—and ETE at its best is meant to serve as a comprehensive map of that territory.
In other words: The Expanded Universe Explains will be continuing. Escape Pod will be continuing, as it’s even more relevant now that the ship’s been struck and it’s leaking atmo. Lucas Jackson’s Top Shelf series will still be continuing, and Alexander Gaultier’s A Case For Starting Over series…well, that’s actually done now, but Alexander isn’t going anywhere as far as I know.
I will backpedal a teensy bit, however, and allow that two things are different now: one, Tyler Williams, author of several Star Wars and History pieces, will no longer be a regular staff writer. There are a number of reasons for this, but rest assured that it was in no way prompted by the EU situation—and Tyler is still on the books, as it were, so there remains the chance of a guest piece from him someday.
And speaking of guests, the other thing that’s changing—and again, was going to happen anyway—is that I’m now officially taking open submissions for ETE guest pieces, in both the op-ed (>800 words) and Feature Article (>1500 words) categories. There will be a notice to this effect at the top of the site starting tomorrow, but the full details are already available on our new Submissions page in the About the Site menu.
Lastly: I put “Official Statement” in quotes way up there because while I am speaking as Editor-in-Chief of this site, and the person who thus makes the big decisions, my exact opinions on this whole EU kerfuffle are my own. Not all ETE staff may feel the same way—and I hope, in fact, that we can continue to serve as a source of healthy debate going forward on just what the hell it means to be EU fans from now on. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.