The Eleven-ThirtyEight Gazetteer, Vol. I


Every six months or so, the staff of Eleven-ThirtyEight takes a well-deserved week-long break to rejoice in not having to write about Star Wars for a minute—also there’s some sort of pine tree festival going on; not sure what the deal is there. Because I, much like Mrs. Claus, am not at liberty to leave the premises, I use these skip weeks to run a feature called Second Look, where I revisit specific pieces from the past few months that deserve another moment in the spotlight.

I’m going to do it a little differently this time, though—after eighteen months of regular publishing, we’ve amassed a pretty damn huge back catalog; with more gems than I could ever revisit adequately. So this week I’m presenting the Eleven-ThirtyEight Gazetteer. See that “Ongoing Series” word cloud down there on the right? Think of this as a map of that territory—each weekday (yes, all five of them) I’ll list in detail a few of those recurring series, some finite and some still ongoing, talking a little about the goals of each series and what makes them interesting.

While the Gazetteer will comprise well over a hundred pieces in total, I should note that this totally bypasses our countless—seriously, I can’t figure out how to count them—standalone editorials, features, interviews, group roundtables, and so on. So while this is a great way for newer readers to get the lay of the land, this is by no means an absolute compendium of our publishing history; for the whole picture, you’ll have to click around in the “Simple Tricks” and “Nonsense” menus up top. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

A Case for Starting Over

Alexander Gaultier was my first new hire to the site’s regular staff beyond the original group; his first major proposal was this six-part series analyzing different aspects of the post-Return of the Jedi story as told by the Expanded Universe, and the ways in which in succeeded, went awry, and in some cases, was flawed from the beginning. This series was the exact kind of thing I wanted to start ETE for; it’s respectful of the EU’s hard work without being beholden to it, and over the course of several months it laid out a comprehensive case for how a rebooted Galaxy Far, Far Away could learn from what had already been done. Somewhat perfectly, the final part was completed just as the reboot was officially announced—and the rest is history.

Escape Pod

The Escape Pod series was also founded to detail things from the EU worth saving from a then-hypothetical reboot; in this case, specific characters, species, or other elements. It’s proven to be a very versatile topic; even growing to include one real-life author and one character from the movies. And while Daisy Ridley’s character in The Force Awakens appears very likely to reflect some of the points I made early on in my article about Ania Solo, Escape Pod wasn’t able to claim its first official victory until just a couple weeks ago when The End of History, a short story in Star Wars Insider #154, recanonized the ancient Jedi world of Ossus.

Everything Disney Needs to Know

The very first article I wrote for ETE became the inadvertent prototype for this series, whose full title is “Everything Disney Needs to Know, It Can Learn From…” The goal is to pick one EU element that you feel embodies everything important about the Star Wars franchise that Disney, and by extension the creators of new stories, would do well to remember. Rather than advocate for specific elements to survive, this series is intended to highlight broader ideas, philosophies, and styles from the EU that we’ve grown to love, and to illustrate why that is.

Fleeing the End

Much like Alex’s A Case For Starting Over, Fleeing the End was Ben Crofts‘ own analysis of the looming end of the EU, largely setting in-universe concerns aside and focusing instead on fan psychology and how people interact with their favorite franchises, and what they do and don’t—and shouldn’t—come to expect from them. Comprising eight loosely-connected pieces, Fleeing the End started early in the site’s run and would also conclude shortly after the reboot became a done deal.

Come back tomorrow for another look at our first round of Star Wars Rebels coverage, and much more as the week goes on.