After ten full years of operation, Eleven-ThirtyEight has officially ceased publication and now exists solely as an archive, so that our many great pieces of writing can continue to be enjoyed in the future. Head here for more on the history of and thinking behind this decision, and we thank you for your readership.
Four years ago, I attended Star Wars Celebration for the first time. Never having attended a real convention before, the months leading up to it were filled with a lot of uncertainly regarding hotels, passes, the survival of my car, and so on—some of which I documented here, actually. The biggest uncertainty, of course, the one that fed all the others, was money. Had I saved enough? Had I saved enough to enjoy myself? What if something went wrong?
To alleviate some of these concerns, I decided to ask you, our stylish and insightful readers, for assistance paying that year’s hosting bill. I originally intended to collect donations for a week, but by the third day I had to deactivate my PayPal link because I had collected enough to pay for not just that year’s hosting but for four years.
That level of support felt lovely, of course, but it brought with it a major sense of responsibility: I now had to earn all that support. With only one Star Wars movie left on the horizon at that time and Disney+ still a major question mark, could I keep Eleven-ThirtyEight going another four years? What the hell would Star Wars even be by the end of that time?
It also occurred to me, though, that those four years of funding would bring us to 2023, the year of the site’s tenth anniversary. If I could keep things going that long, justify all that faith you folks had expressed in us, that anniversary would be a great moment to put this whole thing to bed. That was still a long way off, of course, so I put a pin in it and got back to business.Read More
Last Friday was the third anniversary of Eleven-ThirtyEight’s official launch. Usually we mark the occasion solely via the bi-annual Second Look feature, which ran all last week, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how the site has developed thus far and how best to move forward now that we’re knee-deep in the Disney Era of Star Wars filmmaking, so I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss these things with you, our beloved audience.
When I was first approaching people to write for this site in early 2013, part of the “elevator pitch” for what I had in mind was that instead of posting news, ETE content would be news. I’m nothing if not presumptuous, but what I meant by that was that the platonic ideal of an ETE piece would be something that wasn’t being said anywhere else—something that needed to be said, and that upon reading, people would want to pass on to others in the way they would an important news item. That was very much FiveThirtyEight’s reputation after the 2012 American presidential election, and that was the bar I wanted us to be aiming for at all times—hence our name—even if the reality was unlikely to be quite so lofty.
While not directly related to this goal, another priority I established early on was that we would post on a regular schedule—for this reason, I’ve often used the word “journal” to describe ETE rather than “blog”. Posting content whenever it strikes one to do so, in my mind, was the hallmark of a news site, where important things might happen at any time and prompt immediate reaction; and conversely, where there might be occasional periods where nothing happens at all. I wanted to set us aside from that by being, well, predictable—you might not know whether a given day would involve breaking news or the deepest of deep cuts, but you could bet your ass that on Monday at 8am EST, we would have something for you to read. Read More
So, there’ve been a lot of questions raised in the week since R-Day; what’s canon, what’s not, how old is everybody, what’s still being printed, even what we’re supposed to call everything now. Also being asked: what happens to Eleven-ThirtyEight, now that the subject of the overwhelming majority of our content no longer “counts”?
As such, I just wanted to take a moment to state for the record that aside from the half-ironic (and temporary) “Legends” banner up top, pretty much nothing about ETE is going to change.
Our mission statement from the beginning was “to help ease the transition into the Sequel Trilogy era”, and while I’m sure all of us had our moments of wild hope, from my point of view, some degree of reboot was part of the plan all along. Read More
Now that we’re officially live, this post is just a brief rundown of what we’ve got going on for your reading pleasure. First up, under “About the Site” you’ll see a Site Map page with a rundown of every current part of the site–even a couple that haven’t kicked into gear just yet.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the territory, check out some of our staff contributors’ op-eds—over in Cry Havac, Lucas Jackson is already three entries into his series Star Wars and Genre, and Ben Crofts is using Obiwomble’s Outlook to explore fans’ fear of “the end” of the story, and how the EU feeds into that. Maybe later he’ll explain what an “Obiwomble” is. As for myself, I wrote a little about the background of this site in D-Day, an’ Everything After, and I had a bunch of stuff I just had to get off my chest about X-Wing Alliance.
Beyond the op-ed section, if you look under Feature Articles in the “Simple Tricks” section, you’ll find “The restoration of the Republic and the ‘Glorious Cause’“, a piece by guest contributor Nick Adams on the New Republic—both the one we’ve seen already in the books, and the one we’re hopeful to see in Episode VII.
Last but not least, keep an eye on Not a Committee—that’s our group discussion feature, and by the end of this week we’ll be tackling our first topic: the bad guys of the Sequel Trilogy.