Das Reboot – The First 48 Hours

confused stormieSo that happened.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you probably wouldn’t be reading this site, but so as not to confuse the aliens who exhume the internet a million years from now: Star Wars continuity has done the unthinkable and performed a hard reboot.

Going forward, the only “canon” Star Wars material is the six films and the Clone Wars TV series; everything else is out unless drawn directly from said material—even novelizations are currently a question mark. New novels, comics, etc. will be written with the oversight of Lucasfilm’s Story Group, and for the first time ever, be considered equal to the films—as, naturally, will the new TV series Star Wars Rebels.

All the old stuff, however, is pretty much staying in print, and being rebranded under the shiny new “Legends” banner, an example of which you can now see at the top of this site. I stuck it there partly as a lark and partly to commemorate the wonderful (and wonderfully exhaustive) universe we here at Eleven-ThirtyEight have been mired in for most of our lives, but I should add that we aren’t going out of print, either. What exactly this means for the site going forward is something I’ll get into later this week, but first I wanted to share our immediate reactions—and in some cases, our second thoughts as the weekend went on.

Serendipitously, the finale of Alexander’s A Case For Starting Over series was already scheduled to run tomorrow, so stay tuned for that, and much more over the coming weeks. Read More

Star Wars: for all ages, all of the time?

Star Wars is meant for kids. George Lucas agreeing to take the rights to sell T-shirts and lunchboxes and plastic snowtroopers in lieu of a pay hike is proof of that. Star Wars has always been meant for kids. But it was its ability to draw in everyone else that made it one of the most commercially successful films in history. Adjusted for inflation, only Avatar and Gone with the Wind fare better. Despite its monolithic cultural influence, no other Star Wars movie comes close to beating A New Hope.

Far more intelligent people than I have tried to explain why the prequels were seen by so many as a disappointment, but it was never really the children that it disappointed. There’s a complicated discussion to be had about whether that’s because kids will accept anything as long as it’s shiny or whether adults are just cynical and greedy, but I think it’s fairly uncontroversial to say that the prequels focused more sharply on that younger demographic. The Phantom Menace, in particular, set the tone, with its Roger-Roger tin-can comedy bad guys, a nine-year old protagonist and everything to do with the Gungans. But even Revenge of the Sith, the only movie in the trilogy not to be granted a fully family-friendly rating, spends its opening see-sawing between Artoo’s slapstick cargo bay antics and Anakin’s adventures in dismemberment and beheading. Read More