Vision of the Future: Eleven-ThirtyEight Enters its Fourth Year

You see a Mon Cal cruiser too, right?

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

A New Dawn, Indeed: Our “Official Statement” on the Reboot

anewdawnSo, 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

Eleven-ThirtyEight – Where do I start?

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.