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I have no optimism about SW Literature/EU Reboot?
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:53 am Reply with quote  
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illogicalRogue2 wrote:
Comics have reboots all the time- I see no reason why SW couldn't have an Ultimate universe- one where Georges Tenants are followed MUCH stricter then before.

But this in no way should eliminate SWEU as we currently have it- it should be something in addition to.


I also like this idea. And this reboot idea doesn't mean I hate the EU or anything... I'm just afraid that they're going to eliminate it by killing off it's audience with the same old stuff.


Speaking of George's tenants, I've always found it interesting to try to "backward engineer" or decode what his version of SW is. We know he created Darth Bane, for instance, but I imagine his story for that is quite different. It is something I was considering looking into later today.


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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  comanderbly
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It's bothersome to me that all Expanded Universe after NJO has just become derivative of the prequels, becoming overly focused upon the Jedi to the exclusion of any significant Jedi characters -- Han Solo doesn't have a whole lot to do, nor does Lando or Wedge, etc., as well as focusing almost entirely upon the Sith as villains.


I have been missing focus on non-jedi characters for a long time. Any taste of Wedge or Han appearing gets me excited, but ultimately becomes a let down. I hold out hope for the Wraith Squadron book for 2012, but after so many changes I cannot really feel confident it will happen.

I also like the idea of an 'ultimate/alternate' universe. A lot of the stories with the core characters feels like a let down compared to the films. When I read the Bane books the thing I liked most is it explored something that really felt like Star Wars - compared to the films. At the same time it touched on relevant new ideas - the idea that the republic pushed some beings away, making the Sith their only refuge. The constant continuity issues, departing authors, and dropped story lines create a feeling of uneasiness for readers. The changes in comics are a great example - they are about large sweeping arcs and taking chances with characters. Look at Batman and Captain America, they are completely different now but very true to the original themes of the characters. When I pick up a SW book I want that confidence - that this is a exciting direction not a compromised piece of marketing trying to hit the buttons.


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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm Reply with quote  
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Yeah, I first thought up the idea of doing an Ultimate/Alternate Universe with the sequel trilogy novels back when I listened to the radio dramas for the first time in a while last year, and realized I missed reading stories about Han, Luke, and Leia that I thought were good stories. The post-film era seems like fertile ground for that, but it's filled with mediocrity and inconsistent characterization and no character development. Hence, if they started a new "AU," starting with a sequel trilogy some 20-50 years after RotJ, they have a baseline for character growth going from A to B, and the authors can't really screw that up.

I guess I'm saying that I can appreciate the SW concept of continuity for the small things, but I've reached a point where without consistent character growth it means nothing to me. I'd rather there be no continuity than to have future novels beholden to JINO or other examples of bad characterization. TCW is sufficiently satisfying with its nods to the EU while not being wholly beholden to it.


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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:47 pm Reply with quote  
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LivingJediDream wrote:
I guess I'm saying that I can appreciate the SW concept of continuity for the small things, but I've reached a point where without consistent character growth it means nothing to me. I'd rather there be no continuity than to have future novels beholden to JINO or other examples of bad characterization. TCW is sufficiently satisfying with its nods to the EU while not being wholly beholden to it.


I totally agree and welcome any ideas that address this problem. Maybe that is one of the reasons people like Zahn are coming back, and why they are planning the Wraith Squadron book. I am not sure if re-establishing old ideas, characters, and stories is going to be enough though. I think the alternate universe, while drastic, is a good move. There are many examples where it works in comics and Star Wars is so much a part of our culture I think people can handle it.


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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:15 am Reply with quote  
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  illogicalRogue2
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Sorry, but the idea of a reboot, or even having multiple story levels, still makes my skin crawl. One of the main selling points, for me, is the continuity.



I honestly see SW's Continuity as a lie....


We've no real continuity- have not had- we do have multiple universes- we just call them canon levels- oh wait? What's this? George made a change? Now this story in the C-level multi-verse is shifted and happened in the S-level universe- and always had? (Ok)


I mean really. There are plenty of books that were a part of THE CONTINUITY that are now regulated to something that happened- but not in continuity...

It's the big Lie of being a SW fan.... Continuity is a shifting fickle thing.
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:12 am Reply with quote  
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Gah! IR2, you're a great guy, and I always enjoy reading or hearing what you have to say, but that post just killed me.
I am fully aware of the different levels of continuity, but that's not what I was referencing. I just don't see it as a lie, I think of continuity like one of those old deep sea diving suits. You know, the full metal one. It's banged up and broken in some places, and with some obsolete parts that have been replaced with more up to date tech, but it's been patched up, soldered together, so that it's serviceable. I like this suit. It's banged up, yes, but it's got history, character. Rebooting it, or even just painting over the bits you don't like, would be, for me at least, like either throwing away the thing altogether (a full reboot) or taking away a leg and replacing it with the newer rubber legs or giving it a modernistic paint job (what you and Living are suggesting).
That wouldn't fit, for me. I'd just find it far too jarring, and - to continue the iron suit analogy - the seal between the old iron and the new rubber wouldn't be as tight a fit and you'd have larger leaks. It would be better, in my opinion, to simply bring in a new, polished, iron chest plate, of the same make but newer, better.

All I'm saying is that, sure, you can write new stories in the Bantam era, and even write a new series which encompasses, addresses and answers all your woes, but keep it in the same series, the EU, rather than have a new AU.
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Last edited by Life Is The Path on Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:25 am; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:28 am Reply with quote  
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Couldn't agree more, Life. Smile
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  illogicalRogue2
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Gah! IR2, you're a great guy, and I always enjoy reading or hearing what you have to say, but that post just killed me.
I am fully aware of the different levels of continuity, but that's not what I was referencing. I just don't see it as a lie, I think of continuity like one of those old deep sea diving suits. You know, the full metal one. It's banged up and broken in some places, and with some obsolete parts that have been replaced with more up to date tech, but it's been patched up, soldered together, so that it's serviceable. I like this suit. It's banged up, yes, but it's got history, character. Rebooting it, or even just painting over the bits you don't like, would be, for me at least, like either throwing away the thing altogether (a full reboot) or taking away a leg and replacing it with the newer rubber legs or giving it a modernistic paint job (what you and Living are suggesting).
That wouldn't fit, for me. I'd just find it far too jarring, and - to continue the iron suit metaphor - the seal between the old iron and the new rubber wouldn't be as tight a fit and you'd have larger leaks. It would be better, in my opinion, to simply bring in a new, polished, iron chest plate, of the same make but newer, better.

All I'm saying is that, sure, you can write new stories in the Bantam era, and even write a new series which encompasses, addresses and answers all your woes, but keep it in the same series, the EU, rather than have a new AU.


I love this analogy!

And agree- I say it's a lie with a big tongue in cheek though. The "lie" is the nature of the beast- but when it comes to SW I will say this- When you move beyond the movies - explaining how it works to someone who's only seen the movies- the term "one continuity" doesn't come to my mind. Laughing
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:04 pm Reply with quote  
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I appreciate the Expanded Universe giving Star Wars a sense of history and verisimilitude, and I enjoy that now, but I have a feeling once the Big 3 are finished, there's no characters that have been developed to the same extent as them to take their place. Ben and Jaina are not Luke and Leia/Han.

I also noticed, when writing a list of novels I would recommend to be read, that I was tending to put quite a few novels in the list that I didn't actually like, but which introduced elements that became important in novels I did like, or which I simply liked the ideas in, such as Rogue Planet. Not really a fan of the book, but it introduces Vergere and Zonama Sekot. Some of the books of the NJO I'm not overly fond of, but I'm a big fan of three of the books at the end, so I recommend them all. I would prefer the EU be quality over quantity.

Ultimately, I am 50/50 with regard to this -- I don't mind either way, but I think it's going to be necessary for LFL to do this to maintain the popularity of SW novels, because once Luke, Han, and Leia reach the end of their lives, all they can do is go back in fill the gaps with novels. And I don't think novels not featuring those three characters can carry the publishing arm of the Expanded Universe.


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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:30 pm Reply with quote  
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LivingJediDream wrote:
I appreciate the Expanded Universe giving Star Wars a sense of history and verisimilitude, and I enjoy that now, but I have a feeling once the Big 3 are finished, there's no characters that have been developed to the same extent as them to take their place. Ben and Jaina are not Luke and Leia/Han.


But that development took 30+ years. Luke, Han and Leia didn't become so well developed overnight. The other character's are getting developed, but you can't expect them to compare to characters who have been around for decades. A reboot certainly wouldn't fix this. Allt the development we do have would be swept away and we'd be back to square one.
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:51 pm Reply with quote  
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Reepicheep wrote:
LivingJediDream wrote:
I appreciate the Expanded Universe giving Star Wars a sense of history and verisimilitude, and I enjoy that now, but I have a feeling once the Big 3 are finished, there's no characters that have been developed to the same extent as them to take their place. Ben and Jaina are not Luke and Leia/Han.


But that development took 30+ years. Luke, Han and Leia didn't become so well developed overnight. The other character's are getting developed, but you can't expect them to compare to characters who have been around for decades. A reboot certainly wouldn't fix this. Allt the development we do have would be swept away and we'd be back to square one.


The EU hasn't consistently developed Luke, Han, and Leia at all. I am not a fan of their characterization in Fate of the Jedi, whether it be Luke "Compassion is for those who deserve it" Skywalker (the same one that thought Vader was worthy of redemption but not his nephew, consistent characterization), or Leia and Han's contrarian efforts against Kenth Hamner in which the laws apply to everyone but them. None of the characters have been consistently developed, whether it be Zahn establishing that Luke was training Leia to be a Jedi, Dark Empire putting her at the same level Luke was in Episode V, and then every other book completely abandoning it until Denning decided to apprentice her to his pet character, or Luke's varying views of the Force and power level depending upon author. The only consistent character is Han Solo, because he has no character development at all and is completely static, with the exception of when Chewbacca and Anakin died. There was also the minor little character arc he had across one book in Courtship when he was serving as a General in the New Republic and was completely burned out that Allston preluded in his Wraith Squadron novels sort of, but that's it.

I'm speaking to the strengths of those characters solely as presented in the films. I want post-ROTJ literature featuring those characters growing as characters after ROTJ. We never got that, and because of the continuity, we never will.

Edit: And Del Rey had a character that had been developed for 19+ novels over seven years (though I would say developed poorly in those last two or three), and killed him off in favor of a character that was really just starting to be established in that same series.


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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:50 pm Reply with quote  
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So, you're saying the Big 3 had more development in three movies than any of the EU characters? I can't agree. Confused
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:10 pm Reply with quote  
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Reepicheep wrote:
So, you're saying the Big 3 had more development in three movies than any of the EU characters? I can't agree. Confused


The EU characters that had an equivalent amount of character development are now dead. Or, like the Big 3, they're now kind of shadows of their former selves.


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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:17 pm Reply with quote  
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The problem with me is that my introduction to the EU was Legacy of the Force so I have a skewed viewpoint on these things. Razz I still like the EU just fine and I see no reason for a reboot.
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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:28 pm Reply with quote  
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Reepicheep wrote:
The problem with me is that my introduction to the EU was Legacy of the Force so I have a skewed viewpoint on these things. Razz I still like the EU just fine and I see no reason for a reboot.


I suppose the difference in perspective is the cause, then. I've been reading since Heir to the Empire. Back then, I was younger and more accepting of inconsistent characterization -- except The Crystal Star. I'll never forget Luke uttering "Damnit Han!"

The New Jedi Order did a pretty good job of maintaining consistent characterization across nineteen books. Obviously there were some issues, both characterization and continuity, but it was really the best time for SW novels. I suppose it's not economically feasible now.

What annoys me is that -- and I could be off-base here, as these are my conclusions based upon available evidence -- for the New Jedi Order series, Jim Luceno was the head of the creative team. For whatever reason, personal choice, Rostoni/Shapiro choosing another direction, whatever, Troy Denning took that role, (obviously) for his Dark Nest trilogy, as well as Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi. I don't dislike Denning as a writer. His prose isn't awful like certain Bantam writers. But I'm not a fan of his stories. I enjoyed Star by Star and Abyss, but he's overly reliant on conflict within a group that sabotages or adversely affects their stated mission. This worked in Star by Star when it was a bunch of teenagers, but I dislike how the Jedi Council has been pretty incompetent in FOTJ.

Also not a fan of his revisionist history of the New Jedi Order that he presented in Dark Nest, which became "canon" for what "really" happened in those novels. It completely altered the characters of Luke and Jacen, making them both into jerks. They weren't jerks in The Unifying Force. He also made Mara into a gullible idiot that bought whatever Jacen was selling.

So yeah, if we didn't have several total non sequiturs in the Dark Nest trilogy, which were naturally picked up by the subsequent two series, I wouldn't feel this way at all, because Luke Skywalker would be Luke Skywalker still, Jacen Solo wouldn't be dead and he would be a great and engaging protagonist character that could replace Luke and be relatively underpowered in comparison, thus allowing the writer to avoid Luke pressing the "win button." It wasn't until Denning made him overpowered by his journey -- which was supposed to be an ascetic journey in which he found himself, but instead revisionism made it be a journey he went on to learn kewl new powers and become uber powerful.

Meh.


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