Blood of the Empires

EVE: Blood of the Empires Promotional Poster
Tom Hardy is The Pirate in HBO's new Eve series!
It had been awhile since I pulled the leg of the Eve Community, so yesterday's parody post was extremely well timed. It worked so well that I had people contacting me directly desperately wanting it to be true. Lots of people. Dozens of direct messages. All of us in the Eve Community want something like Blood of the Empires to be true. For the greater world to dip its toe into this virtual universe that we all find so amazingly compelling. It is why we all tweet and re-tweet and link posts that sometimes even just mention Eve Online.

It reminds me of Comic Book culture back in the late '80s and early '90s. Every convention I would attend, the same refrains would be heard from fans. When will someone "get it right?" When will Hollywood understand why we all love comics so much and translate that on screen? As we've all seen over the past decade, when it finally started happening, it took the world by storm. And continues to do so. Finally.

Eve will never be as big as the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes, but I do strongly believe that great films or television series are possible based within this universe. Like everyone, I enjoy my Star Wars and Star Trek films, but I also realize how both of those franchises have stifled creativity for other potential science-fiction films with spaceships in them. If it wasn't Star Wars of Star Trek, it wasn't getting made. This choke-hold has been around our throats for decades. Think about how sad that is. The universe is big enough for more.

There is one thing we will all have to give up about Eve if it is to make the transition to the screen. I've debated this issue in the past in these pages, but for Eve to work on film the idea of the Capsuleer piloting his ship from INSIDE the goo of a pod will have to change. That idea will have to change to something I proposed years ago. The Pod becomes the Captain's chair essentially, and the small crew has time to also escape. From a story perspective this little alteration of the lore will be essential. In fact, I would argue, that it should be adopted as gospel in-game as well. But I know I'll get a ton of push back on that idea.

In my dream series Blood of the Empires I would take a character from each of the four Empires, each involved in a seemingly different storyline, and use them as the main character threads thru which the complexity of the universe and its rich history are revealed. I would try to keep those initial entrance stories as simple and human as possible, slowly revealing the larger themes over the course of the series. Eve is so rich, it would be amazing to work in and thread thru as many connections to that history as possible. But important to not let such richness destroy the essential elements needed to tell a great and compelling story.

I would create a completely new and original story not based on any specific player created storyline. Player created stories would certainly play a role in the development, serving as inspiration and the jumping off point for various plot and story threads. But the series should be totally original. The reason for that is simple and based completely around foreknowledge. Something the audience doesn't have but that us players have in droves. It is tricky, but it can be done. Eve stories tend to be about spaceships and not always about people.

All of which is pointless. The Eve TV series is over at Scott Free Productions and looking for investors to pull together a pilot. It is already out of our hands. Whatever becomes of it, if anything, will be what it will be. Based on the Halo series they produced, my hopes are not all that high. But, as always, I will hope for the best.

Like all of us, I want it to be amazing. Please be amazing.



8 comments:

  1. "If it wasn't Star Wars of Star Trek, it wasn't getting made." really? Both Dr. Whos, Babylon 5, X Files, Quantum Leap, both BGSs, the whole Stargate 'verse, Hero’s, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Firefly, Farscape, Fringe, Continuum, Falling Skies… just to name a few…

    Yes, I too would like to see "good" treatment of EVE on a weekly or even mini series... I forwarded this idea, “YC113 An Empyrean Odyssey” back in 2012.

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    1. Those are all television series, I was talking about film when I was referring to Star Wars and Star Trek primarily. Science fiction on television has mostly thrived, for better or worse, during the past four decades. No doubt.

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    2. Sorry... I thought the main theme of this post was a HBO mini series... like BSG 04. I was just commenting that I disagree that something has to be in the Star Trek or Star Wars verse to be made today... though I do agree that together they are the 800lb gorillas in the SciFi room as twere.

      But even with that said, there are some really good not 'Wars/Trek' movies out there... the Terminator verse, the Jurassic verse, the Hunger Games verse, Insurgent, Jupiter Ascending, Tomorrowland just to name a few.

      I do not think the SciFi genre is stagnant or stunted in either film or TV... but actually growing and thriving. And the preeminence of the Wars/Trek verses and the plethora of series, both film and TV are also all to the good for my most loved genre, be it film, TV, online, publications or games.

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    3. My point was that original spaceship based films are essentially limited to Star Wars and Star Trek and have been for decades. That doesn't mean there haven't been others, and a few good ones, but none that have really taken off. (pardon the pun).

      Certainly sf as a genre is doing extremely well otherwise.

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  2. Reading this, I feel like Eve lost something when they stopped publishing chronicles. They did a great job of building a world around and beyond us, that was far greater. We may be the main characters in the picture, but we're diminished by our darkened background.

    As for the capsule conundrum, I'm not sure. It depends on the main characters: if they're all capsuleers, do you really need to see the crew? That does leave the dynamics between mortals and immortals (a sadly unexplored area on TV) rather ignored. Considering that that is one of the moral mazes of Eve, I'd be disappointed to see it removed.

    Besides, we all know that there's going to be a immortal Capsuleer Goddess with her mortal lover(s), right? :P

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    1. Well, if you look at almost every TV series ever made, all characters belong to a same niche of a community. I see no problem in making a story about capsuleers with mortal crews being as relevant as bus drivers in Fresh Prince of Bel Air...

      ..specially since the Chronicles paint interactions among capsuleers and mortals as something quite grim.

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  3. Not my words, but 100% true (quote pulled from the forums):

    >>Three simple steps to make a succesful adaptation:

    - make it a good story on its own
    - no fanservice unless it serves the purpose of making it a good story on its own
    - don't try to fit EVE in a series. Pick a small section that makes a good story on its own and focus on that alone>>

    Amen. There is no good film/series without a good story, and one that makes sense even if the viewer doesn't knows what is a "EVE Online". Making such good stories is hard, specially with fans involved since everybody wants to see his favorite bit of lore into the production.

    Striking the balance is vey difficult, specially when the producer is looking for money. That's the ultimate goal, it must be something that is bought and broadcast and then is bought again by followers who can't live without a hard copy of the production. EVE player base is too small to achieve that, so the series must be sold to a wider audience.

    And doing it right, making it a good production on its own wich just happens to be about EVE Online, means upsetting the fans. "Why don't you...?" and "Why did you...?" and lots of rabble. But then, WHAT is EVE Online? According to WHO? Does THAT sell as a SciFi production?

    Personally I'd like to see independent episodes, rather than a single arching plot. Likely it's gonna be a mini-series so there's gonna be like 250 minutes worth of storytelling. A single arching plot is riskier than 5 smaller self-conclusive plots; I'm thinking of Black Horse Comics and how did the "True Stories" comics went... Take 1 poor story, span it for 5 episodes and you're toast. Whereas 5 independent episodes can afford that one or two stories misfire, if the other are good enough.

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  4. I'd rather see a bunch of well-known sci-fi novelists commissioned to write an anthology of novellas on EVE, all brought together in a single volume. I'm sure that would be a lot easier to achieve than a TV series, especially if it was an e-book. Just give them all the game to play for six months or so and the stories would write themselves...

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