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Voices Cry Out - Character Deaths
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Voices Cry Out - Character Deaths
 PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:16 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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So I've noticed that the Mara Jade Skywalker thread in Expanded Universe Characters has strayed off topic by getting deep about the deaths of certain characters. I've also noticed that any time any character's death is mentioned in any thread, this straying always occurs. So...! I've created this thread just for discussing the passing of our beloved characters, or the good riddance of others. To start with, I'm going to address Chewie and Anakin Solo's deaths:

I thought Chewie's death was meaningful (at first), and though it was very sad to see him go, I felt his death had purpose. He gave his life to save Anakin Solo, the bright light in a dark Universe. He also had an extremely well written death...it was very moving and I felt it was the best possible way to write the passing of our beloved Wookie friend. However, his death's purpose and meaning was completely wiped out when Anakin Solo died not 10 books later. Evil or Very Mad

Anakin Solo was the greatest new generation character ever created. I love Jaina, but Anakin beat her by a mile. Jacen was good, too, but I honestly don't think too many people would have cared if he'd been the one to go in Star by Star. Not like they did for Anakin, anyway. While I adored Jacen's character in Traitor, and was slightly comforted after all that had transpired in SBS, it was never the same. Jacen went totally downhill after The Unifying Force. They jumped the timeline forward too far to Dark Nest, in what I think was a way to get Anakin Solo back in the form of an older Ben Skywalker. Unfortunately, this was a bad idea. We left too many other characters in the dust that had so much more potential. By the time we finally settled down a little for LotF, the New Jedi Order was all grown up and moving on! We were expecting characters that were in their late teens, early twenties. Characters that were the same age as the Big Three in the movies. By jumping to their thirties, we wasted all their potential.

Hmm...that paragraph doesn't say much about Anakin Solo. But my point is that he never should have been killed. Whatever the reason was for his death, it had no noticeable purpose. In a horrible domino effect, it ruined the later series of books to come. For the most part, that is. Their star character was killed off in a bad move, so they fast-forwarded to their next hopeful, thus wasting so much timeline when they could have developed and/or continued to develop the characters we were introduced to in the NJO. Unfortunately, though, their next hopeful wasn't Anakin Solo, and unfortunately he was written terribly when we finally really got to see him. First impressions and all that, I don't think he endeared himself to people like Anakin did.

So in point: Anakin Solo's death was a very big mistake. It ruined the future as well as things in the past. By killing Anakin, Chewie's death now seems in vain. And by killing Jacen Solo, the merest glimmer of hope for a reason to Anakin's death is now completely crushed.

Come to think of it, I do believe much of the reason behind Mara's death was to further develop Ben Skywalker, a 'prodigy' that isn't quite living up to his status. And so I have to ask, were Anakin Solo still around, would Mara still have been killed? I would say no, because they wouldn't have needed Ben so badly in that case. Not badly enough to kill his mother. Yep, bad decisions all around.

So by the death of one character, much of the Star Wars EU came crashing down. It now lies shattered and broken, the Powers That Be desperately trying to put the pieces back together. May the Force be with them. Crying or Very sad
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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Oh my word, this thread just begs for comments. Great idea, Mara! Very Happy

I'll begin by giving my outlook on Anakin and Jacen Solo's deaths. As Mara said, they were a result of extremely poor planning. Obviously, when they killed Anakin, it was with the assumption that Jacen would become the great hero of the NJO and future EU books. This assumption was killed when the powers that be got to thinking that there hadn't been enough Sith in the EU lately. They got the bright idea that Jacen would make a wonderful Sith, which wouldn't have been such a bad thing.......if Anakin had still been alive. As it was, all focus was pushed to Ben, resulting in Mara's needless death just to give him something agnst over. All this could have been avoided if Del Rey had just planned further ahead.
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:16 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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It's been a while since I've read Chewie's death, so my memory is a little foggy. I do recall Han's struggle to get over it as some rough reading that was kind of hard to bear with. And it retrospect, you do have to wonder how much of a purpose it really served and whether there would have been more to gain by keeping him. Han and Chewie were a good pair. Han still has Leia, but one has to wonder what things would be like if Chewie was still around. For one thing, we'd get a steady Wookiee character again. For another, we wouldn't have to deal with the awkward bodyguards that Han and Leia keep getting. First a group of Wookiees, then the Noghri. But at the tie they killed Chewie, it did sort of make a statement that nearly no one was safe.

Then they killed Anakin. I'll admit that his death was well done, but my gripe is that they killed the character with the most potential. Anakin was well liked, and was set up to be the next great character of Star Wars. But they decided to waist that opportunity and kill him. After his death, there was a void that, for me, has never been filled. Neither Jacen, Jaina, or Ben have been able to capture my interest like Anakin did.

So, having lost Anakin, I sought out another Jedi to take his place. I chose Ganner. Then they kill Ganner. Again, anther heroic death, and perhaps one of the best deaths ever, but still, a waste of potential.

Then they go and make Jacen a Sith. Now I never liked Jacen, so making him the star of the series was a fail in my book, and though the idea of a cool Sith held promise, Jacen made a absolutely terrible Sith. The only other Sith that comes close to such terrible standards is Anakin Skywalker in the movies (and I'm talking PT). So when they did kill Jacen, I really didn't care.

Now during Jacen's transformation to Caedus, they went and killed Mara. And as I've stated elsewhere, I think this was a death that didn't server a purpose. It could have, but the way they did it, it failed.

One last character I'd like to mourn is Gilad Pellaeon. Whether his death served any purpose other than miring Tahiri's reputation, I don't know, but I guess it did open the way for Jag and the Imperial Throne.
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Re: Voices Cry Out - Character Deaths
 PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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I utterly agree Mara Jade Skywalker's comments about Anakin and his death and how it affected Chewie's fate. There's a habit of this ruining of meaningful deaths too, like aforementioned Ganner Rhysode's actions and death in Traitor were much more meaningful and heroic when Jacen hadn't fallen. Now Ganner's heroism has been tarnished by the fact that he simply looks misguided. Tony Blair keeps talking about how history will judge his actions - well, history has judged Ganner's, and they are lesser in the light of posterity than they seem in Traitor.

I think there's this kind disconnect in the novels, where the effects of characters falls and deaths are not seen in the larger context, both before and after. They just have a role in some particular novel and series now, although in reality the deaths alter the meaning and importance of great many events in the past.

That said, deaths also remove possibilities. Including future character deaths. Currently the list of major characters that could realistically die without it crippling the novels and being in contradiction with Legacy is short indeed. Assuming that the Big Three are protected, the only major movie characters who could still die are Lando and Threepio (yes, I think that when his existence ends, he too dies) and even among major EU characters we are left with B list characters at best, like Kyp, Corran. Tenel Ka and Allana (who, if lives, will be A list).

Thus killing so many important characters in the past has made the survivors more safe and from the adventures of the survivors has largely disappeared what many said was a positive aspect in NJO: The aspect of danger. Nobody fears that Ben will die in FotJ, because afterwards reconciling the novels with Legacy would necessarily include similar things that have been largely condemned as too far-fetched to bring back previously dead major character. But who knows, perhaps in the end of FotJ Luke will flow-walk to change the past and stop Ben dying the terrible death that took his life in Backlash? Wink


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:07 am Reply with quote  
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  Aush
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I recall some saying Anakin's death was pointless (and it was when you see what lead to that decision in our galaxy), but the authors did well in giving it meaning, which still has effects now (getting to the Ganner comment above after Jacen's fall). Stockpole said that the reason he focused so much on Anakin in his duology was the hope that the powers to be would see what wrongs would be done if they did follow through with their plan. Of course, his attempts were in vain, but he helped establish the greatest character in the EU (IMO) and I have nothing but great respect to the Rogue Leader Wink

But Anakin's death was a real turning point for the war. Although Jaina and Jacen both brushed the dark side at this time because of the death (Dark Journey and Traitor) they managed to come back stronger than ever and set the wrongs of the Yuuzhan Vong right. Anakin's death also forced Luke into more direct action; until Anakin's death, all Luke did was try and solve the mystery of why the Yuuzhan Vong existed outside of the Force and tried to reason with many parties to bring the conflict to a peaceful end when others like Kyp, Ganner, and Anakin realized the Yuuzhan Vong weren't interested in anything but conquest. Anakin's death forced characters into action and helped lead to the great ending with Luke wielding Anakin's blade to fight Shimmra.

And now with LotF, Luke has hardly wavered in his directness when it comes to dealing with conflicts. He personally finished the Killik crisis by charging right into the Queen's nest; even with Mara's death, Luke pushed forward in thwarting Jacen, even sneaking aboard his flag ship and embarrassing Jacen greatly, and guiding the illusions to aid Jaina. Even Jaina continues to push the good fight which I would say is strongly influenced by Anakin's death. So even if you want to argue Ganner's sacrifice is now wasted after what Jacen became, at least Anakin's death is not in vain as long as Luke remains strong in dealing with the troubles that require immediate action.

And one final thought (this is already too long and I don't expect anyone to read the whole thing), if Jacen had died instead of Anakin, I wonder how long before the powers to be would devise a way for him to fall from grace (would he succumb to the fear of becoming his namesake? Pushed in that direction by fathering some child with Tahiri and being pushed through illogical means by Lumiya? ); I'm sure the would have found something, and this is a reason I was glad, although sad, when Jacen met his end: no more damage can come to them...until they find some way to resurrect the dead, but it sounds like even the floating heads haven't damaged the past images yet).

This was meant to be short, but obviously I just got carried away; I guess nice thread (and we did get awefully off topic in that other thread Razz )
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:59 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I have to point out one thing though, Anakin was actually managing to persuade Luke into taking more action before his death. Remember that Luke launched the operation to save the Talfangio hostages (I probably misspelled that) and agreed to launch the Myrkr mission. Luke's final shift into action is why Saba and the Barabels joined up with them, because like Kyp, they were about taking action. Even Kyp signed back up with Luke when he found out he was finally going to do something. So I don't think Anakin's death was necessary in order to get Luke into taking action.

And reading Star By Star now, it's rather depressing knowing what's coming up, but also somewhat humorous to hear Jacen talk about not putting the ends before the means or sacrificing morality for results. Oh how he changed.
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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  kurtdc
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OK, I loved Anakin's character, and I thought his death was handled well and had a lot of meaning. However, I don't see him as being around long enough, and developed enough, that people are still so crushed about him being killed off(not that I'm glad he's gone, don't get me wrong).

I think part of this is that at the time of Anakin's death, Jacen was basically a wishy-washy little sally. However, traitor changed all of that and Jacen went from someone I could care less about to what I thought was an awesome and interesting character. I feel seriously stung by the death of Jacen/Caedus. I liked the Jacen of Dark nest who was still a good guy, with a little nasty streak to him. Once it was clear they were turning him sith, I assumed his fate was either death OR him being stripped of his force abilities(thus seriously diminishing him in the long run). I never really thought of redemption as an option.

I think right now the void of Jacen is being filled by the hunt for information about his 5 year journey. Once that is all spelled out, I think I'll feel his loss even more.


I thought Chewie's death was handled well. I agree with the notion that if one of the main original characters never died, it would not seem realistic or suspensful(always knowing everyone would pull out of any dire situation).


Mara's death kind of stunk. Moreso than Ben, I look at the effect it had on Luke and I have to admit I liked it. I think the sort of lonely, tortured soul Luke is much more interesting than the married-blissful Luke. So I did not want to see her go, because I sure liked her nasty little streak, but it was what sealed Jacen as sith(and ultimately unredeemable by the skywalkers), it matured Ben the hard way and gave me back a version of Luke I like much more.


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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Jedi Joe
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Chewie's death was uncalled for. He was a hero in the movies and he got crushed by a moon while saving Anakin Solo's life, who ends up dying anyway.

Big mistake, EU writers... Mad Rolling Eyes
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Chewie's death was extremely meaningful when it happened, but with the death of Anakin Solo, it became useless.

Somebody over at Del Rey really needs to consider having a more long-term plan for the EU. Sad
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:50 pm Reply with quote  
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  Rouge77
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Queen Padmè Skywalker wrote:
Chewie's death was extremely meaningful when it happened, but with the death of Anakin Solo, it became useless.

Somebody over at Del Rey really needs to consider having a more long-term plan for the EU. Sad


QFT


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:20 am Reply with quote  
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  kurtdc
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Well, it may well be that when Chewie's death was planned it was still Jacen they were planning to kill off. But then GL stepped in and wanted Anakin gone so's to not have multiple Anakin issues's at that time and that threw the plan off kilter.

In that case, I don't think you can blame the writers for that, but the big honcho at the top.


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:26 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Haha believe me, there are 'angry at george' posts in almost every thread because of that and other things. We do blame the head honcho haha. Personally I like the authors that have made the kills, and I like their work.
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:27 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I don't blame the Powers That Be for the mistakes of the NJO. I do blame them, however, for all mistakes thereafter. Jacen's fall, Mara's death, etc. They do indeed need a more long term plan. Confused
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:01 am Reply with quote  
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  kurtdc
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I don't mind Jacen's fall or Mara's death.

I would have liked there to be a different resolution to Jacen's fall though. Stripped of the force and sent to some backwater place like Dagobah to comtemplate his life.


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:14 am Reply with quote  
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  kurtdc
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I also would have liked Jacen's reign to last longer. He did some really nasty stuff in his time, but he didn't have enough time.

Thus, my major changes to LOTF would be:

a) they would have figured and/or admitted to themselves sooner that Jacen was falling

b) jacen would have had a longer stint as a tyrant


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