Archive for Aggressive Negotiations

We Came, We Saw, We (Mostly) Celebrated


Ben: Welcome to the Eleven-ThirtyEight roundtable/Not a Committee/podcast thing, whatever you want to call it. It’s myself, Ben Wahrman, along with David, Sarah, and Jay. We’re gonna be talking about our experiences here at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017, different panels, and just general experiences with the con. To start with I just want to ask everybody real quick, how has the experience been for everybody? Above expectations, below expectations?

Jay: Our intrepid editor has informed us that we’re calling these Aggressive Negotiations, so here we are, aggressively negotiating the convention. This Star Wars Celebration has been sort of interesting; this is my fifth Celebration, and it’s the third one I’ve been to that’s been operated by ReedPOP, and it seemed to be the most disorganized of all the conventions I’ve been to, with maybe the exception of Celebration IV. But I think a lot of that is due to factors that could have been predicted, such as better signage, organization, better estimates of crowd sizes, crowd flow.

The problem with these little difficulties is they had a lot of knock-on effects on people’s enjoyment of Celebration. It really changed the nature of Celebration itself; instead of people going to the show floor at the time the convention opened and going through the list of activities, people had to pre-plan, get their selected wristbands in advance, and start lining up at pretty much 4am every morning regardless of whether or not there was an official line-up or not. And that’s what changed the whole nature of the convention, at least for me. » Read more..

All is as the Force Wills it – Unpacking the Rogue One Trailer


So many pretty new pictures! I got together over the weekend with David Schwarz, Ben Crofts, and eventually, guest contributor Nick Adams, to discuss our immediate reactions—thrills, hopes and concerns—to the new trailer for Rogue One that premiered last Thursday. That’s all there is to say—enjoy!

Mike: First topic: it’s hard to have a measured conversation about a trailer without devolving into “ohmigod that shot was so cool”, so purely from an aesthetic standpoint, what were some of your favorite images?

David: It’s hard to choose, isn’t it? That trailer was a feast!

Ben: Superlaser star destroyer eclipse, Donnie Yen = badass

Ben: The canyon sequences were damn cool.

David: I have to go with the Death Star eclipsing Jedha’s sun. There’s something primal about eclipses, I guess. Plus it made me think about what the view from Alderaan was.

Mike: I choose to think that the Death Star went out of its way to block the sun just to mess with everybody.

Ben: Eclipses are just a great homage to THAT Empire sequence with the Executor. There’s also that talk Tarkin gives in Darklighter about seeing the Death Star rise above a world.

Mike: I wonder if Alderaan could see it at all—it seems way, way closer to Jedha than it was to Alderaan. Which could have any number of implications.

David: I also loved the final shot, the “we are with you to the end”. A bunch of nobodies ready to fight the Empire. 100% Star Wars. » Read more..

In which we chat about the post-Endor war situation but really TFA


If you’re new to Eleven-ThirtyEight this may be the first real Aggressive Negotiations piece you’ve seen here—unlike most of our content, Aggressive Negotiations are raw, largely unproofed live chats among our staff and occasionally others. Being so very off the cuff and unscripted, they can sometimes get a little out of control (this one in particular tops out at over seven thousand words, which just might make it the longest piece on the site), but the goal is to present fandom in its most pure form—and this is absolutely that.

Today’s topic: the post-Endor political status quo, prompted by the latest round of The Force Awakens bits and pieces from Entertainment Weekly and elsewhere. I couldn’t make it to this one myself, and in fact as of this writing I haven’t even read the damned thing yet, so this ought to be fun for all of us. Force Friday ahoy! – Mike, EIC » Read more..

Tsar Wars: The Hapans Strike Back

Hapans-GOI[1]Here’s the third entry in our series on monarchy in Star Wars! On Monday, Bria and I discussed why Star Wars had so many monarchies. On Tuesday, we took a trip to idyllic Naboo and tried to make sense of their political system. Today, we’re visiting the EU and looking at the very strange place (even by Star Wars standards!) known as the Hapan Consortium. We may have had a little too much fun with this one, but we have no regrets.


Bria: So you’re going to start this by softly singing ‘Hapes Hapes Hapes’, right?

Jay: I’m not sure what that is, and if I’m singing anything it’s gonna be a Disney song… which is entirely appropriate I think. Although we’re not quite at a matriarchal Disney princess movie yet.

Bria: Someone needs to go back and reread Courtship of Princess Leia.  That’s what all the pretty people are singing when the Hapan delegation arrives to offer Isolder as tribute uhh I mean husband to Princess Leia.

Jay: And here I thought Mon Mothma was selling Leia for the good of the Republic! But honestly, I do need to re-read it. For all the (occasionally justified!) crap CoPL gets, the politics are intriguing.

Bria: Yeah, without CoPL, we never get Hapes or Dathomir or Tenel Ka of House Djo, First of Her Name and Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium.

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Tsar Wars: Once Upon a Time in a Galaxy Far Far Away


In case you hadn’t noticed, I have a pretty strong interest in royalty and in politics. My passion is shared by my old friend, Bria LaVorgna. Bria and I have decided to co-write a piece on monarchy in Star Wars, presented alternatingly on the sites we write for: Eleven-ThirtyEight and Tosche Station. We think that the close connection Star Wars has to monarchy is pretty unusual and worth examining in detail. We’ll start out with a brief survey of monarchy in Star Wars, before moving on to an examination of how monarchy works on three prominent Star Wars planets.

(Programming note: I’ll update this intro post with links to each piece on Tosche Station and Eleven-ThirtyEight as they go up this week. Look for a new piece each day from now through Thursday!)

Part II: A New Naboo (Tosche Station)
Part III: The Hapans Strike Back (Eleven-ThirtyEight)



c6256992fe890afeb7825666927b7f0d[1]Unusually among science fiction franchises, Star Wars has a strong attachment to monarchy. This is partly due to the nature of Star Wars as space opera rather than pure science fiction, but it’s not really a genre issue. Monarchy is part of the DNA of Star Wars and always has been. Initially, Princess Leia served as the princess figure in the fairy tale conception of Star Wars (one of many inspirations for Star Wars, including myth, serial adventures, etc.) and Leia proves in the very first film that she’s not merely a damsel in distress. But fairy tale inspirations only get us part of the way — monarchy is a persistent and pervasive part of Star Wars, reflected in the Naboo of the prequel trilogy, Hapes of the Expanded Universe, and a myriad of monarchies in the Clone Wars. In fact, The Clone Wars made such a use of monarchies that worlds that the EU had established as democracies (Mon Calamari) ended up becoming monarchies. George Lucas had a pretty direct hand in The Clone Wars, and he obviously crafted the story of the saga, so monarchy is just a part of his political conception of Star Wars. But the question is — why? Why does a story about the struggle between light and dark, between democracy and tyranny, feature monarchies so centrally?

» Read more..

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