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Putting the “War” Back in Star Wars

rogueone-notoBy now, you have likely heard about the announcement of Disney’s first standalone Star Wars movie, Rogue One. Going against the persistent rumors of a spinoff featuring Han Solo or Boba Fett, all that we have to go by from the unveiled title is that “Rogue” is also the name of the elite starfighter squadron founded by Luke Skywalker after A New Hope. While we currently do not know for certain whether Rogue One will actually be about the Rogue Squadron that stars in numerous Star Wars novels, comics, and video games, current indicators suggest that a military unit of some sort are the planned protagonists of this upcoming film.

The news and speculation about Rogue One is cause for great excitement among many fans. For me personally, the space and ground battles depicted in Star Wars are the parts of the saga that have always captivated my imagination the most. Goodness knows how much time I spent as a kid playing with my humongous collection of Star Wars Micro Machines, or how many hours I logged into TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance. There are undoubtedly numerous other Star Wars fans similar to myself who have daydreamed about starfighters going “pew-pew”. So then, to what extent does Star Wars owe its massive fan following to the saga’s identity as a timeless war story? And what happens to Star Wars when it chooses to brush aside that identity? Read More

Shrines, Temples, and Tombs – A Look at Existing Beyond Death in Star Wars

“I am here because you are here.” – Qui-Gon Jinn, “Overlords”

The release in March 2014 of The Clone Wars’ “Lost Missions” was seen at the time as a generous gift to the loyal but disappointed fans of the powerful and popular Star Wars serial. Abandoned story arcs would be resolved, secrets uncoiled, and, best of all, it would all be streaming on Netflix.

Almost a year later, it’s become clear that the “Lost Missions” were not just a gift to fans, but also a necessary statement at a critical time for the Star Wars universe; the prequel mysteries of the clones, Order 66, and the fate of Master Sifo-Dyas were solved. More importantly, the triumphant Yoda arc explored deeply the mythos of the Force and the secret of how some Jedi are able to maintain their identity after death. Read More

Why Star Wars: The Old Republic Needs a “Legends” Expansion

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On April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm announced that in preparation for the upcoming Sequel Trilogy, the Expanded Universe would not be in any future material and would be declared non-canon.

As a fan of the Thrawn trilogy and other Star Wars books & comics such as John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi, Drew Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane: Path of Destruction John Ostrander and Jan Duursema’s Star Wars: Legacy and the critically acclaimed Bioware RPG video game Knights of the Old Republic, I was disappointed in the announcement. The idea that we were getting brand new Star Wars stories was exciting, but a lot of fans did not see it that way.

Most of you by now know of the “Give Us Legends” groups, and the many “Disney is ruining my childhood” posts. And the constant bashing of new Star Wars content on official Star Wars Facebook pages. Dark Horse finished its Star Wars run in August, and Del Rey has published two official Star Wars canon books, A New Dawn and Tarkin. There isn’t anything that’s non-canon in Star Wars that’s still ongoing – except Bioware’s MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic (Or SWTOR for short). SWTOR is still running and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere for a while. I had an idea, which I thought was silly at first, but the more I think on it, the more I like the idea.

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Analyzing the Emotional Response to the Great Reboot, Part II

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(Editor’s Note: comments on Part I of this piece have been disabled—feedback is welcome here on Part II, though readers are strongly encouraged to read both halves before commenting.)

Why should people NOT be upset about the reboot? Because not everything new is bad!

Despite my personal position on the severe mishandling of the Expanded Universe, there’s one thing that I’ve come to find significantly more annoying over the last few months: many of the other fans!

Facepalm - apply directly to the face!
Facepalm – apply directly to the face!

A lot of the arguments start off as “I don’t like what Disney/LFL/other power-that-be is doing”, and I start to think, oh interesting, why doesn’t this person like the reboot? Then they go off into “they changed this minor detail and it sucks because they changed it”, even though if the exact same decision had been made in the Classic EU they’d have loved it.

Though the reasons behind rebooting the universe are questionable, not every decision that has been made is a bad one. With anything that is created, either in the Classic EU or the new Canon, things will change. In fact many of the things that are complained about are not an issue: 1) Cosmetic Changes, 2) EU Accurate Characterization, 3) Respect for Existing Material, and even if you ignore all that 4) Constructive Criticism is better than directionless whining. Read More

Analyzing the Emotional Response to the Great Reboot, Part I

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Statement from the Editor: I don’t like seeing people get shouted down. Regardless of my own feelings, if I perceive a reasonable opinion as being forced out of the conversation, I will generally go out of my way to give it a fair hearing—I mean, broadly speaking, that’s what this whole site is for.

So a couple months back, I reached out to the #GiveUsLegends people.

“Open letter to the ‪#‎GiveUsLegends‬ campaign: while your cause is not abundantly interesting to me personally, I do admit that there is a fair case to be made here. That being said, ETE has an open submissions process, and I pride myself on a willingness to engage unpopular opinions. If anyone associated with #GiveUsLegends wants to pitch me a piece making the case for continuing the Legends universe in a way that meets our format and tone guidelines, it would be given fair consideration.”

Well, I didn’t hear back from them. About a month later, Anger Leads To Hate arrived—Eric Geller’s compelling, exhaustively-researched, and vital exposé on the movement for TheForce.Net. As the backlash against this, frankly, childish campaign of hashtivist harassment against Del Rey (of all people) reached its height, one person did express a desire to speak up: two-time Eleven-ThirtyEight guest contributor Lance Henning, who sympathized with #GiveUsLegends’ cause while nevertheless lamenting their methods and public image. Read More