The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded. Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels. The Inquisitor, the Imperial Security Bureau, and Sienar Fleet Systems are story elements in the new animated series, and all these ideas find their origins in roleplaying game material published in the 1980s.

The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page | StarWars.com

EVE, offline: how do you archive a universe? | The Verge

The difficulty of capturing ephemeral moments is felt deeply in video game archival work. „Preserving Virtual Worlds,“ a landmark paper and project in the field, uses the example of virtual candlelight vigils held in Asheron’s Call and Everquest after the September 11th attacks. One version of a single-player game can stay more or less the same over the years, but these moments were as fleeting as their real-world counterparts — and unlike those, there are no physical relics left behind. If EVE Online somehow manages to keep running into the next century, it won’t be the same game it was in 2013. Even going back 10 years is a struggle: in the early days, Ólafsson says, CCP had to overwrite older data to keep from running out of server space. Today, the company keeps a huge archive, of which MoMA currently has only a fragment.

EVE, offline: how do you archive a universe? | Adi Robertson, The Verge

Alan Moore on Superheroes

The subject of comic-related-films (or film-related-comics) had understandably arisen and, when asked, I had ventured my honest opinion that I found something worrying about the fact that the superhero film audience was now almost entirely composed of adults, men and women in their thirties, forties and fifties who were eagerly lining up to watch characters and situations that had been expressly created to entertain the twelve year-old boys of fifty years ago. […] It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite ‘universes’ presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.

Last Alan Moore Interview? | Pádraig Ó Méalóid AKA Slovobooks

The Allure of the Map

Every map tells a story, and writers yearning for new ways to tell stories are drawn to them. Walter Benjamin wrote of how he had “long, indeed for years, played with the idea of setting out the sphere of life—bios—graphically on a map.” Written when he was forty, “A Berlin Chronicle” resists a standard, linear biography and, instead, plots a map. Rather than a chronology, Benjamin creates a geography of Berlin; the relationships and events of the author’s life become map dots rather than plot points. A geographical map of Berlin converges with Benjamin’s personal map of the city, though Benjamin is still dependent on sentences and paragraphs.

Casey N. Cep | The Allure of the Map : The New Yorker

Flow (Still) Matters

Perhaps because of technological convergence through DVRs and TiVo, television fragmentation, and the so-called post-network era, for many television scholars working on “important” texts – most often masculinized shows that air in primetime – flow has become passé, bygone, and moved beyond in television studies. Choosing not to engage with the (super)text and focusing only on the narrative elements of a show makes for concerning, unremarked-upon assumptions about “quality” audiences and spectatorship practices with strong implications for erasures of class and gender beyond what I can cover here. But flow is, of course, alive and well and even, as I’ll argue, desired. Moreover, it’s not only characteristic of network broadcasting (especially in daytime), but cable and non-network spaces are themselves begging for ‘flownalyses.’ For instance, I’m an avid viewer of Logo’s #sitcomtherapy nights, which air old episodes of queer-friendly sitcoms like The Golden Girls and Roseanne, punctuated by bumpers showing gay men and couples, PSAs by gay puppets educating audiences about AIDS, and programs for queer shows with queer bodies like RuPaul’s Drag Race, all the while overlaid by Tweets, hashtags, and queer trivia.

Taylor Cole Miller | Flow (Still) Matters | Antenna.

‚Star Wars‘: Now the Spinoffs Will Matter (Some of Them, Anyway)

„Star Wars Canon is now determined by the Lucasfilm Story Group which [Pablo Hidalgo] and I are both a part of,“ Chee tweeted on Sunday. The story group, he explained, „has a hand in all facets of Star Wars storytelling, including movies, TV, games and publishing.“ When asked what the change meant, he wrote that „a primary goal“ was to ensure that there was no hierarchy between the movies and spinoff material, but instead one cohesive canon across the entire franchise, adding that „more so than ever, the canon field will serve us internally simply for classification rather than setting hierarchy.“

‚Star Wars‘: Now the Spinoffs Will Matter (Some of Them, Anyway).

Building Imaginary Worlds: An Interview with Mark J. P. Wolf (Part One)

The fact that it is an imaginary [..] world means that it is somehow set apart from the “real” (or “Primary”) world, with some boundaries between them, making the secondary world a thing of its own; and whereas some boundaries are physical or geographic in nature, such as mountain ranges, deserts, oceans, and so forth (or the surface of the earth itself, for underground worlds), some boundaries are temporal in nature (as in worlds set in the distant past or future, making them equally inaccessible to us in the present), or even conditional, such as in the alternate versions of the Primary world that some stories present. Tolkien separates the two by calling them the Primary world and Secondary worlds (borrowing terms from Coleridge’s discussion of the two types of imagination), and writes that the latter is dependent on the former, hence the term “subcreation” (literally, “creating under”); secondary worlds use material from the Primary world, reshaping and recombining elements from it, so that the end result is both recognizable but also new and different.

Building Imaginary Worlds: An Interview with Mark J. P. Wolf (Part One).

Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0

In the era of convergence, television producers are developing transmedia narratives to cater to consumers who are willing to follow their favorite shows across multiple media channels. At the same time, there still remains a need to preserve an internally coherent television show for more traditional viewers. This thesis offers a model for how transmedia storytelling can coexist with and enhance a television narrative, using Lost as a case study. By building a world to be discovered, creating a hierarchy of strategic gaps, focusing on the unique capabilities of each extension, and using the “validation effect” to reward fans for their cross-media traversals, television/transmedia producers can provide a satisfying experience for hard-core and casual fans alike.

Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0 by Aaron Smith, 2009

Alan Sepinwall on the origins of Lost

Abrams told Braun that there wasnt quite enough there for a series, but suggested that „The island has to be a character in the show, and somethings wrong with the island.“ Braun agreed, so long as Abrams promised to keep things in the realm of „scientific fact“ and have an explanation for everything.

via Alan Sepinwall on the origins of Lost.

How to Live Without Irony

Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.

Christy Wampole – How to Live Without Irony – NYTimes.com.