No Sleep Till Bespin – On Hyperspace Travel Times


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

Yankee Canon Swap: Reboot, Year One

sw2chaykinWe knew early on that a group piece would be in the cards to celebrate this, the one-year anniversary of the Legends announcement. But without really planning it, it just sort of worked out that several of us had their own larger commentaries to offer on the reboot, modern fandom, and the current state of continuity—such that by the time we got around to today’s piece, I thought something more distinct was warranted.

With that, allow me to present Yankee Canon Swap! Which is an odd title that basically means I told the gang to pick a canon story to replace with a Legends one they preferred. But! That would be too easy, and really, borderline whiny. The thing is, there are very few canon stories to choose from at this point, and (though opinions vary) there isn’t really one universally agreed-upon stinker in the bunch that would make for an easy answer—so what I wanted was to get us thinking about Bigger Things than just which stories we liked and which we didn’t; I wanted to talk about priorities, by potentially forcing ourselves to reject a good canon story because what it represented wasn’t important enough to us as what some other story represented. Read More

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

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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

Review: Heir to the Jedi

Heir_to_the_JediOf the new books, I was most excited about Heir to the Jedi. This time frame is my favorite part of the EU. Star Wars, to me, has always revolved around Luke’s story and Heir to the Jedi is the new beginning of Luke’s Expanded Universe journey. I was also apprehensive about this book because I, Jedi is one of my favorite books and it is the only other Star Wars first person POV book. My standards for this book were probably impossibly high but despite those high expectations the book was a pleasant surprise. Heir to the Jedi continues the trend of the new EU having a higher quality.

The first person POV from Luke was fascinating during this time frame. Kevin Hearne did a great job of getting into a young Luke’s mind. I really enjoyed reading the insecurities and feel that Hearne brought a previously missing depth to Skywalker. Other authors have attempted to give us this, but without actually reading Luke’s thoughts it was difficult to really capture how Luke felt after Obi-Wan Kenobi’s death and discovering the ways of the Force. So much of this part is seen in Empire and Jedi but the movies can only do so much without random narratives that wouldn’t have worked in with the rest of the films. It was fun to read Luke’s thoughts concerning his inadequacy with women and other things alongside his thoughts on the Force. Sometimes I think that Luke had to grow up too fast and this book served as a great reminder on how naive he really was when he blew up the first Death Star. Read More

End Date for the OT Characters – What Star Wars Can Learn From Carrie Vaughn

KittyRecently one of my authors, Carrie Vaughn announced the end of her main series. I call her ‘one of my authors’ because for the past 6 years I could always count on her to have a new book (or two) out each year. For someone who reads as much as I do this is important. Star Wars was winding down and not producing as much in the past and I have to have a book on me all the time. She’s an author that I’ve met and hung out with on several occasions over the years that I adore because she’s so personable and always forthcoming with the fans. For years she has said, “If you ever see the title Kitty Saves the World, that is the last book for my main character. So as an avid reader I’m sure you can all imagine my dismay at seeing her Facebook post a few weeks ago with the image of a new book with that title. One goes through various stages of grief all in an instant when one finds out a favorite series is ending. However, upon further reflection I heartily applaud Vaughn’s decision.

Carrie Vaughn is making a choice to end the story arc for her main character, a werewolf named Kitty. The supernatural world she created, though, is so much bigger than just the one character. So perhaps we will see books featuring other characters. She has already experimented with this and stated there is a big possibility for such books. She is doing what other authors who get bogged down with a certain set of characters should do. She is doing what Star Wars needs to do with this reboot. Another example of an author who knew when to walk away is Charlaine Harris whose books were the inspiration for True Blood. While I sometimes regret not being able to go to the bookstore and pick up the new Sookie Stackhouse book, part of me appreciates knowing there was an end for those characters. One could also look to J.K. Rowling who stopped at seven books for Harry Potter when she easily could’ve started next generation books with new bad wizards for the characters to fight (to be fair she still might do this.) I like having an end to a series. I didn’t realize how much I liked it until Vaughn’s recent announcement. Read More