TheForce.net shut down their flagship podcast, the ForceCast, yesterday. The actual announcement from TFN content manager Dustin Roberts is brief, but almost all the background on what led up to it has played out on Twitter and Facebook, with the relevant bits helpfully gathered up by Brian over at Tosche Station.
They were also rather infamous for a well-known rule that precludes fanfic that features same-sex relationships. (Often called slash and/or femslash.) And now, it’s allowed. Writes moderator Grand Admiral Jello:
I can now announce that MS has decided that the lifting of the same-sex romance ban applies to canon and EU characters as well as original characters — it’s a full lift, in line with the existing PG-13 rules about opposite sex romances. I’m sure we’ll have something official-ish soon, but we thought you all should know ASAP so there’s no uncertainty that this is a full lifting of the ban.
The first announcement this morning left the status of slash with existing Star Wars characters unclear.
The Jedi Council boards have always had a rating restriction of PG-13 and under for fanfic.
Slash fanfic has been around in various fandoms since (at least!) the days of the original Star Trek. In Star Wars fandom, slash exploded when the popularity of Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan back in 1999 practically created a subfandom out of whole cloth – and LFL stayed hands-off. Slash has been a hot-button issue among fans ever since – and occasionally before. But as the times change, both in society and in fiction, good on the TFN owners and moderators for finally putting the ban where it belongs – in the past.
TheForce.Net tracked down forum member Queen Gimmedala, who guessed the Episode VII title way back in 2012. She told Eric Geller:
Ultimately this was a random guess. No inside info or connection to Lucas. But to me it seemed logical that the first movie in this trilogy would need to address the force. I’m a believer that the movie titles in each trilogy closely relate and I suspect this will carry over for the ST.
So I knew it was going to be 3 words, and the force. I also know that the wording would be vague/ambiguous/old fashioned like all the other six movie titles.
The Phantom Menace (something is wrong with the force), A New Hope (something is helping) and The Force Awakens (It’s BACK BABY). I LOVE IT.
Pretty neat! This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a fan predate an episode title, although under vastly different circumstances: The title Revenge of the Sith was used on a 1986 fan fiction novel, a story set some 40 years after Return of the Jedi.
There is some seriously awesome merchandise emerging. I brought very little home from CIII and CIV, but I’m seriously considering both the IGGY’S Eighty-Eight Espresso sign and the Scruffies. If I can get to them in time, anyway!
The blogside Karen Miller finished the rewrite of Clone Wars Gambit: Siege this week – twice. And Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff takes a look at forceful women and… Pets. When’s the last time we saw pets in the EU? I’m not sure I want to know. (Pittens in Children of the Jedi? Oye vey.)
Hyperspace. Discounting the Wookieepedians (with their love of War and Peace-sized character entries,) only Jason Fry could dedicate a week to Xim and the Tion Cluster.
If I hadn’t already decided that the Todayewok shenanigans was one of my favorite Star Wars moments of 2009, this song may very well have been the thing to push them over the edge. You go, drunken ewok.
TheForce.Net talks at length with Dark Horse editor Randy Stradley about Star Wars, comics and the always ‘popular’ issues of continuity and canon. I particularly like this bit:
But, writers, know this: I am not interested in “stories” that plug or explain holes in existing continuity. Your goal is to tell a tale that moves, inspires, challenges, or at the very least entertains the readers, not to fill in perceived omissions or pave over “errors.”
No, cheesy franchise books are not generally up for awards. You know why? Because they’re cheesy franchise books, and let’s not even pretend that their burger-flipping reputation is entirely undeserved. Face it, guys: For every Traitor, there are a half-dozen Darksabers. (I’ve paid for most of them. In hardcover.) And half the time, particularly in this franchise, the subtleties of Great Book Z might not work for a reader who lacks extensive knowledge of Crappy Trilogies X and Y.
I’m not even saying that genre award winners are necessarily great literature (I’ve been bored to tears by at least as many as I’ve enjoyed; Pretty much the same as Star Wars, come to think of it) but it’s an entirely different kind of playing field.
And lest we forget, hardcore fans of the sort that inhabit TFN’s Lit forum are not exactly the most unbiased of creatures.