TheForce.Net shuts down flagship ForceCast podcast

ForceCastTheForce.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.

UPDATE: Ex-manager/host Erik Blythe gave his side of the story in a live Q&A last night. You can listen to that here.

The whole situation is pretty odd, to say the least. The ForceCast had long since ceased to be the podcast for the fandom, but it is certainly the end of an era.

No more slash restrictions on TFN’s Jedi Council boards

As far as venues for Star Wars fan fiction are concerned, the fan fiction area on TheForce.net’s Jedi Council message boards may very well be the oldest still-active fan fiction community on the internet.

slashing-action2They 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.

Forum poster guessed ‘The Force Awakens’ title back in 2012

tfa-tfn-guessTheForce.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.

Celebration V roundup: Prep or be prepped!

It’s the last weekend before the con. What have you done so far?

Saturday is the last day to pre-order tickets to TheForce.net’s party! You want in on this, guys: In addition to being organized by CJ’s own lovely Dajuan, they’ve added a ton of celebrity guests in the last few days. You’ll want to be there!

EUbits: Get Crosscurrent early with Kemp giveaway

CrosscurrentFree book, sort of. Paul S. Kemp is giving away three signed, unbound galleys of his January Star WarsCrosscurrent. Enter through Dec. 18.

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.

Your moment of zen. The TFN boards have been quite the font of hilarity lately. First there’s the otter thing, and then the LULZ of reading KJA. Of course, then along comes something like this. Oh, TFN.