In our first “The Pitch” piece way back in November, we submitted some ideas for new Star Wars novels we’d like to see. At the time, the only books known to be forthcoming were Maul: Lockdown and Honor Among Thieves, and with the canon situation unresolved, no one really knew what to expect from Star Wars novels in 2014 and beyond—or whether there’d even be any.
Shortly afterward, the announcement came down that the Star Wars comics license would be transferring from Dark Horse to Marvel at the end of 2014. Now, six months later, we’re in much the same position with comics as we were back then with novels—the last of DHC’s new offerings will be along next month, and as yet there’s been no information of any kind on what Marvel will be releasing next year (though with San Diego Comic-Con in a few weeks, I suspect we won’t be in the dark much longer).
So this time, I asked the others to pitch their own Marvel comic series. This being our first Pitch article post-reboot, I also made it clear that ideas didn’t need to fall in line with the existing Expanded Universe. Here’s what we came up with. » Read more..
Shortly before continuity exploded, the staff of Eleven-ThirtyEight gathered to ponder some of our own “what if” ideas for the Original Trilogy, in honor of the classic Star Wars Infinities comics of the early aughts. I’m now proud to present round two, in which we push further than Infinities ever did, by which of course I mean go backwards, into the great goldmine of ill-considered decisions that is the Prequel Trilogy.
You may notice a new name below, so let me also take this moment to welcome Rocky Blonshine, she of our recent feature article on the Rule of Two, and now our newest full staff member here at ETE! Welcome aboard, Rocky—you break it, you bought it.
Jay: After watching Revenge of the Sith, we’d all wondered how it was possible that Obi-Wan could jump over Maul without injury while the same maneuver pretty much destroyed Anakin. As everyone knows, possessing the high ground gives you a +5 attack bonus. Suppose, then, that Kenobi was the one diced in half at the end of The Phantom Menace instead of Darth Maul — what changes? » Read more..
The Infinities series of comics, recently highlighted here by Alexander Gaultier, was basically Star Wars’ version of Marvel’s infamous series What If? Each of the miniseries started with one of the Original Trilogy films, then changed one key moment to see what would happen. The end results were…varied, in this writer’s opinion, but the mere concept of deliberately altering movie continuity was unheard of before then, and it’s a premise that still holds, as Alexander said, unlimited possibilities.
Unfortunately, a few months back, writer Peter David revealed what I’d long suspected—that the series weren’t really as “unlimited” as it seemed. David was originally approached to write Infinities: A New Hope, but his idea was rejected for being “too dark” The story, according to Lucasfilm, still had to end with the good guys winning.
This makes a tiny bit of sense when viewed through Star Wars’ mythological lens; it was foretold that the Force would return to balance somehow, so to go against that would contradict somewhat the very premise of the overall film saga. Nevertheless, why bother with Infinities at all if you’re not willing to screw with things? On its face, the original trilogy is a nonstop razor’s edge, where the slightest tweak at almost any time could have brought ruin to the main characters and the galaxy at large. Giving too many alternate paths to ultimate victory, I believe, does a disservice to Luke, Han and Leia’s struggles—and even the role of the Force itself in the proceedings unfolding as they did. » Read more..
Heath Ledger as the Joker.
Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.
Marrying a beloved character with a living, breathing actor is always going to be a controversial process—especially if you’re trying to reinvent them to a degree. Your movie won’t be out for a year or more, and now irate fans have all the time in the world to mock even the idea that this person could become their favorite character. This guy, as the Joker?? Are you serious??
Part of the problem is that characters in print media, especially comics, can look vastly different depending on who’s illustrating them—my ideal Tony Stark may be nothing like your ideal Tony Stark, and we could both have valid points because all there really is to go on is “white, black hair, goatee”. That’s why taking a slightly askew angle with your casting can be such a powerful move—in Downey’s case, launching an entire filmic universe on the back on one man’s likeability—because it imbues a distinct human element to what is often, honestly, a very bland sketch of a person. People freaked out about Jesse Eisenberg being cast as Lex Luthor in the Batman/Superman movie, and hey, that movie may yet be a train wreck, but Eisenberg screams “rich asshole” to the moviegoing public already (much like Downey screamed “hard living”), and that’s far more important to producing a resonant Lex Luthor on the big screen than whether he’s old and/or bald enough. Admittedly, it’s hard for me to say what Christopher Nolan saw in Heath Ledger that screamed “Joker”, but hell if he wasn’t proven right.
» Read more..
A couple months back, a Disney licensing brochure hit the interwebs outlining several upcoming Star Wars merchandising opportunities over the next two years—Rebels, for example, Lego Star Wars, and of course, Episode VII. But included on the list was the tantalizingly vague “Darth Vader Themed TV Specials”. While the news item included a photo of the brochure and it appears to be a legitimate thing, no official information on these “specials” has been released since. Could they be one-shot episodes from the Rebels team? Tiny interstitial animations like the original Clone Wars Animated Series? Or even fully-produced live action material? No one has any freaking idea.
Could the staff of Eleven-ThirtyEight ask for a better opening? I submit that we could not. Here’s what we’d like to see.
» Read more..