No Sleep Till Bespin – On Hyperspace Travel Times

Hyperspace_falcon

One of the best selling points of the canon reboot has been the opportunity to revisit troublesome details in the worldbuilding of the Galaxy Far Far Away that were either ill-conceived to begin with, or became overcomplicated as the years went on and new stories piled up. One detail that was confusing from the get-go is exactly how fast hyperspace is. For one thing, the film characters call it “light speed”, when it’s clearly got to be way, way faster than that—in fact, the films also tend to suggest each transit takes no more than a few hours; no one brings a change of clothes before departing Tatooine for Alderaan, and Luke doesn’t seem very stiff or grubby when he exits his X-wing on Dagobah.

So maybe you can’t blame the Expanded Universe for never really ironing out these inconsistencies; they didn’t have much to go on. When I raised this topic to the others, David Schwarz pointed out that West End Games’ original table for the transit times depicted in the original trilogy (below) actually contained a typo that suggested all these trips took a matter of days, not hours—which might have been more sensible, but certainly doesn’t seem to be the films’ intent, and isn’t that more important?

Meanwhile, one of my own favorite examples dates all the way back to Heir to the Empire—the Star Destroyer Chimaera, with a hyperdrive faster than even the Falcon‘s, takes five days to travel from Myrkr to Wayland. Look for those two planets on the Essential Atlasgalactic map and you’ll find them practically right on top of each other at the coordinates N-7. So if it takes five days to go that tiny distance (and it’s not a freak detail; multi-day hyperspace journeys factor into the Thrawn trilogy alone on multiple occasions), how the hell did Luke survive a trip from Hoth (K-18) to Dagobah (M-19) without his body eating straight through that flight suit? Read More

Continuity, or Why You Are a Bad Person and Should Feel Bad

This picture will make sense soon, I promise.
This picture will make sense soon, I promise.

Here I am, writing a column telling you to stop buying Star Wars novels if you don’t like them. “Why would you waste your time saying something this elementary? Do you think we are stupid?”, I hear some of you grumbling (especially you, the dork in the Robotech shirt: I can see you). No, I don’t think you’re stupid. I think you are smart enough to still read books in the era of the iTwitterbook, and you are obviously intelligent enough to choose this website as your place to go for Star Wars discussion (we are on your bookmarks, right? Right?). I know you are a smart person. I’m assuming you also have disposable income and that you regularly spend a chunk of it, no matter how large or small, on material that will make Lucasfilm’s coffers fill up. That’s good! What I’m trying to tell you is that if you are buying part of that material just because of a completist need, then you are part of the problem, this problem being that a lot of crap is getting released.

“But I like collecting figures!”, you say. Yeah, sorry, I should have explained myself: I’m talking about fiction, not about collectibles. If you collect fiction, you are making it worse for the rest of us. What a bold claim! How do I dare? Well, I dare because I have a keyboard, that should be obvious, but also because I love Star Wars and I’ve seen our relationship (mine and Star Wars’) become an abusive one for years, all because of that terrible c-word, the one that rhymes with “Mitch Buchanan”. It’s such an awful word (and so often misused!) that for this piece I will use the “continuity” euphemism in its place. But let me explain what I mean, and I’ll do it using my favorite conversation topic: myself. Hi, I’m David, and I used to be a completist.

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The Bantha in the Fridge: Our Reactions to Heir to the Jedi and You-Know-What

nakariIf you’re new-ish to Eleven-ThirtyEight, this may be your first exposure to Aggressive Negotiations, our occasional chat-session format. Aggressive Negotiations are just that; fast-paced, live discussions among members of the ETE staff (and others), often focused on hot-button topics like the earliest previews of Star Wars Rebels or Dark Horse Comics losing the Star Wars license. This time around the gang got together to dish on Heir to the Jedi, in particular the big spoiler at the end of the book—so consider this your warning on that score. Remember, this format is about fandom at its most raw; no censorship, no second-guessing, and a bare minimum of copy-editing. Cheers! – Mike

*     *     *     *     *

Jay: hello folks

Lisa: hey

Jay: I can’t stay too long, so hopefully Ben arrives shortly

Lisa: he’s got 10 minutes

Lisa: :p

Jay: yeah

David: here i am as well

David: all fresh and clean

Lisa: so fresh and so clean

Lisa: Did you like the book?

Lisa: I think we need Ben cuz I’m pretty sure he hated it

Jay: eh. It was a real struggle to even read it

Lisa: really? That’s interesting

David: I actually hated it, so I might fill that role :p

Lisa: perfect Read More

Meet the Marvels: Mark Waid

Daredevil_Vol_3_1In past entries of Meet the Marvels we spotlighted the works of Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen, writers of the new Star Wars and Darth Vader comics respectively. We are not going to discuss Kanan‘s Greg Weisman in this series, as Ben Wahrman already took a good look at his career, so we are going to finish this feature (for now) looking at Mark Waid, writer of the Princess Leia miniseries.

And boy, what a daunting task. While Aaron and Gillen are both excellent writers, their careers started relatively recently. But Waid is a real veteran. No, I’d even go beyond that label and say he’s a legend. Several comic book scholars (and this author) consider his seminal Kingdom Come series to be the dividing line between the Iron Age of Comics and the Modern Age. Yes: to some, he defined a whole era of comic book publishing, one marked by the marriage of the Silver Age’s sense of wonder and the Iron Age’s modern sensibilities. He’s written for extended periods almost every single iconic superhero, from Superman (co-writing the fantastic Superman 2000 proposal) and Batman, to the X-Men or Captain America, leaving his mark in all these well loved properties. He’s also very active in the community, never shying away from controversy and often offering a clear point of view on many polemical subjects. Some would call him larger than life. So how to choose just one issue to spotlight here? Read More

Base Delta Fulcrum: The Lothal Conspiracy Theory

bdz

It’s always fun to speculate about what our favorite TV shows have ready for us. Shows like Twin Peaks or Lost turned the art of teasing and fueling fan speculation into an art, and why wouldn’t Star Wars Rebels get a piece of that cake, as small as it might be? The serial nature of Rebels, unlike the anthology structure of The Clone Wars, lets Dave Filoni and company drop hints and seed future storylines in a very organic and natural way. The traitor Senator Trayvis appears twice in the background before the episode that features him, for example, and these appearances hint towards his eventually revealed Imperial allegiance. Most serious fan speculation so far has been directed towards the identity of the mysterious Fulcrum, the main intelligence source of the Ghost crew and apparently also the hand directing Hera Syndulla’s actions, probably the main mystery of this season. Although recent spoilers appear to be strongly pointing in one direction, we prefer to wait until we see it with our own eyes, so we are all here awaiting the official reveal of Fulcrum’s identity in the season finale. But there’s another really interesting theory that’s been gaining adepts among fans because of how intriguing and macabre it is. Let’s call it the Base Delta Zero theory.

Most of the audience probably missed the first mention of Base Delta Zero in Rebels, as it’s a pretty hard one to spot unless you already know what to be looking for. In episode 1×03, “Rise of the Old Masters”, our heroes are watching Holonet News when Senator Gall Trayvis interrupts the signal to broadcast the news that Master Luminara Unduli is alive and in the hands of the Empire, the main focus of the episode. When the pirated signal goes out and Holonet News returns, we can hear a brief fragment of a sentence before Sabine turns off the holoprojector: “–and another successful planetary liberation utilizing the Base Delta Zero initiative.” The regular fan probably didn’t think anything of it, considering the fragment just some random mumble jumble and promptly forgetting all about it. The old timer? Well, let’s say my wife had to elbow me a couple of times to get me to stop laughing. Read More