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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:22 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
Caedus_16 wrote:
Crash Override wrote:
I read Star Wars novels because they're good stories, not because they're canon stories. If the EU is erased or reset, I would still re-read the good stories, because they're good stories. Heck, I may still re-read the bad stories at some point simply for nostalgia's sake. Likewise, I'd read the new stories for the same reason.


Not all stories are good stories, but a lot of good stories are built on tons of other stories.


Ok, but any book in existence can be said to be based off backstory not featured in the book. The entire universe of any book didn't spontaneously start with the first page. Things happened to the characters before the book starts, and those happenings inform the decisions and the motivation of the character.

Let's say Fate of the Jedi #1: Outcast was the first Star Wars thing ever published. A lot happened before the start of that book, especially recently. It could be said that the entire series follows directly from the outcome of the Legacy of the Force series, which in turn stems directly from untold events before The Dark Nest Trilogy. But it's possible to set up the books with enough backstory in it so that I understand what's happening.

A lot happened in the world before the events depicted in The Hunger Games, but that book was still amazing. In fact, part of the fun is piecing together what happened in the backstory.

When I first got into the EU, I was reading the New Jedi Order books. They constantly referenced things from past series, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying the NJO. A good author provides enough backstory so that any one book (or miniseries) can be read by itself without knowing the larger context.

If I hadn't read The Crystal Star: 1- I'd be a happier man, and 2- I would've still understood references to Hethrir and Waru from later books.

So yes, if a Star Wars book is good, then it should be bought and read. If it isn't, don't buy it, don't read it, and buy the next one. You won't miss anything. The next book will fill in relevant backstory, and if you really want to read more, there's Wookieepedia or the library.

But no, I do not buy that "good stories can be based on bad stories, therefore I must read all stories, regardless of quality."


There's still nothing wrong with wanting a canon, especially with Star Wars literature and its reasonable to find it desirable.

SW has done something that no fandom (sorry fellow geeks but not even comics) have done before - they've put together a canon that they attempt to keep consistent and only interference from Lucas ever truly made it a mess.

A lot of effort was put into it and openly saying "well those don't count anymore so Disney can do their own thing" would be frustrating to those who have been investing in it for years, keeping up with the characters, all of that. When its something that just hasn't been given as much time of day in other branches of nerd it was beautiful to have this one. I will continue to find it frustrating as I have over 20 years invested in this canon and all these characters and such.
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:06 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I suppose that I always thought from the onset that if a sequel trilogy was filmed, the jig was up. In fact, I initially expected it with the prequel trilogy. Way back in 1993 when I first started with the EU, in my Dark Empire trade paperback, there's a foreword by KJA that says as much that I've always kept in mind.

“When you read Dark Empire, or any of the other novels, remember that although Lucasfilm has approved them, these are our sequels, not George Lucas’s. If Lucasfilm ever makes films that take place after Return of the Jedi, they will be George Lucas’s own creations, probably with no connection to anything we have written.”


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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:34 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Crash Override wrote:
I suppose that I always thought from the onset that if a sequel trilogy was filmed, the jig was up. In fact, I initially expected it with the prequel trilogy. Way back in 1993 when I first started with the EU, in my Dark Empire trade paperback, there's a foreword by KJA that says as much that I've always kept in mind.

“When you read Dark Empire, or any of the other novels, remember that although Lucasfilm has approved them, these are our sequels, not George Lucas’s. If Lucasfilm ever makes films that take place after Return of the Jedi, they will be George Lucas’s own creations, probably with no connection to anything we have written.”



I know, but the fact that a conscious effort was made to make it cohesive outside of this was extraordinary. They proved that they can hold things together in spite of Lucas's attempt not to, so it wound up working.
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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It occurs to me that this new series "The Star Wars" is effectively an alternate universe. The same general themes of Star Wars, done in a completely different way.

I would have no problems keeping the existing canon as-is, with Episode VII and the new books arising therefrom as a distinct alternate universe. A "what if?" path that diverges minutes after the end of Episode VI.
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:42 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
It occurs to me that this new series "The Star Wars" is effectively an alternate universe. The same general themes of Star Wars, done in a completely different way.

I would have no problems keeping the existing canon as-is, with Episode VII and the new books arising therefrom as a distinct alternate universe. A "what if?" path that diverges minutes after the end of Episode VI.


I'm guessing that will be what happens, but the thing that bothers me is that they'll discontinue the universe we have and there's still so much to do with it and so much to explore.
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Caedus_16 wrote:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
It occurs to me that this new series "The Star Wars" is effectively an alternate universe. The same general themes of Star Wars, done in a completely different way.

I would have no problems keeping the existing canon as-is, with Episode VII and the new books arising therefrom as a distinct alternate universe. A "what if?" path that diverges minutes after the end of Episode VI.


I'm guessing that will be what happens, but the thing that bothers me is that they'll discontinue the universe we have and there's still so much to do with it and so much to explore.


Theoretically yes, but any EU that takes place before ROTJ would still be fair game. The ROTS-ANH era, the immediately-post-ANH era, and ancient times are currently getting a lot of attention from Del Rey and Dark Horse, and would be entirely unaffected by Episode VII.

By the way, I'll clarify that our discussion operates under the hypothetical assumption that Episode VII will contradict the EU in a severe way. I'm not so sure it will.
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:06 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
Caedus_16 wrote:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
It occurs to me that this new series "The Star Wars" is effectively an alternate universe. The same general themes of Star Wars, done in a completely different way.

I would have no problems keeping the existing canon as-is, with Episode VII and the new books arising therefrom as a distinct alternate universe. A "what if?" path that diverges minutes after the end of Episode VI.


I'm guessing that will be what happens, but the thing that bothers me is that they'll discontinue the universe we have and there's still so much to do with it and so much to explore.


Theoretically yes, but any EU that takes place before ROTJ would still be fair game. The ROTS-ANH era, the immediately-post-ANH era, and ancient times are currently getting a lot of attention from Del Rey and Dark Horse, and would be entirely unaffected by Episode VII.

By the way, I'll clarify that our discussion operates under the hypothetical assumption that Episode VII will contradict the EU in a severe way. I'm not so sure it will.


I'll agree to that rule, it is by no means certain that it will overwrite everything.

But on that basis with how Disney has recently been handling some stuff I'm not sure I'd trust them with the universe I've come to love.
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 PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Why do you think that Episode VII won't contradict the EU, Taral?

I think the way that the main cast has evolved through the past twenty years of stories will not be something that Abrams and Arndt necessarily respect. I don't anticipate Jaina, Ben, and Allana to be the stars of the film for a bunch of different reasons. I also don't anticipate that the sequel trilogy will respect the geopolitical (?) situation of the Expanded Universe. Although I suppose the latter can be handwaved by the EU in the same way that Jocasta Nu's incredulous reaction to the notion that there was a star system missing from the Jedi Archives and its ramifications for the Unknown Regions was just ignored. If they call the government the New Republic or simply the Republic the EU will just come up with a story or explanation that the GFFA was changed back to that, and if the Imperial Remnant has no presence then it will simply be presumed to exist in the background or a story will have it absorbed by the Republic somehow. Though I suppose that's discounting the SW Legacy comics...

But I think the characters is going to be the sticking point between the sequel trilogy and the EU, if there is one. It would be for me if I was the writer.

I dunno, I think it would be interesting if Episode VII was completely kosher with the Expanded Universe -- except it had Chewbacca.


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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^^^

I just think that the Star Wars universe is big. I think there's a lot of room for stories that can be told, and that almost any story that Episode VII tells can be written in such a way that it's independent from the EU.

The only sticking point is that such a movie would probably include the children of the Skywalkers and Solos. Inclusion of Ben and Jaina would be necessary, though they needn't be in the starring roles. Also: Chewbacca couldn't be around (but saying he died off-camera is easy; a simple "I miss him, Leia.")

And they probably shouldn't set it in the 25-29 ABY range, because pretty much everything going on during that time is the Yuuzhan Vong War.

Anything else that is happening could be concurrent with the rest of the EU. Easily, I should think. Even if every other character in the movie is different from in the EU, that's not to say that the EU isn't also happening, elsewhere in the Galaxy. 50 new Jedi, and Corran Horn isn't among them? Whatever. Scourge taught us that they can add new Jedi into the mix with relative ease.

But yea, I have no problem believing that almost any story told for Episode VII can be told in such a way that it does not immediately contradict the EU.

Also: I would be tolerant of using the approach that TCW had: being a bit loose with timelines, but telling stories that only rarely contradict the EU, and could be retconned away in most cases.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Well, another issue to overcome to make the sequel trilogy consistent with the Expanded Universe will be the timeline in general.

You can't set the sequel trilogy before 44 ABY. No existing stories take the events of the sequel trilogy into account for either characterization or overall effect on the universe. And if Disney wants to market EU around the film as well, they can't, because that time period is mostly filled up, unless you place it in the gap between New Jedi Order and Dark Nest, or Dark Nest and Legacy of the Force. Even then it's problematic since the film trilogy presumably would occupy much of that empty space, considering the two trilogies we have span thirteen years and four years, and the gaps of those periods of time are both six years (if I did my math right...).

But if you do set it at 45 ABY, then you have to deal with a child character, which I suspect they will want to avoid, especially considering that Disney has been distancing itself from the prequel trilogy and will presumably want to model the sequel trilogy on the original films. Thus you have to jump ahead to 54 ABY, but then you've effectively bypassed a whole generation, as Jaina and Jag will be 45 and 47, respectively. Ben will be the same age as Han Solo in Episode IV. Allana will be the same age as Anakin in Episode II (maybe a year younger?).

I suspect that Arndt and Abrams will find this all too limiting in crafting the story. I know if I was writing Episode VII, my foremost concern would be making the best Star Wars movie possible, and I would sacrifice continuity with the Expanded Universe if I felt it would improve the film.

Frankly, as a fan, I would rather them be free to do what they want to do to write the story and not to limit themselves to what the EU has provided. If given the choice between a film equal to The Empire Strikes Back in quality that breaks continuity in a major way, and a film equal to the prequels that does not, I'm definitely choosing the former. Edit: I'm not offering this up as a false dichotomy, though I do believe that the quality of the story will be compromised if it's set after 44 ABY and sticks to continuity. I'm just illustrating my prioritization of quality over continuity.

Plus I want Michael Fassbender to play Han Solo's son that has taken up his father's former occupation. It needs to happen. While promoting Prometheus, he confessed to being a huge Star Wars fan as a child! Oh god make it happen. I'm willing to sacrifice my fanboy crush Jacen Solo for this.

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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:38 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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@Crash: I agree with you on some, but not all, of your points.

Your argument about not being able to set it pre-44 ABY because "no other stories have referenced it" holds no water, in my view, since they can fix that with more stories. Recall that no post-ROTJ EU novels referenced the life and times of Anakin Skywalker in any real detail, until Tatooine Ghost and then the Dark Nest Trilogy. Mortis was depicted in TCW as being a major thing that happened, with huge implications for the prophecy of the Chosen One, but it was never referenced elsewhere, until Apocalypse. You could easily write a story set after Episode VII that helped tie it in.

But I do agree with another point you made: if the difference between a good story and a bad story comes down to whether or not it will step on continuity: then screw continuity. I would rather they make a good movie than a bad one that keeps the continuity safe.

I posted something witty about that on the Dark Horse forums, and Randy Stradley put it on his facebook. It was in reference to the new "Star Wars" comic series (issue 4 out tomorrow!) Something to the extent of "This Eisner-Award-winning comic series contradicts a newstrip story from 1979" vs. "This new comic ties in perfectly with all these obscure things! Too bad it's TERRIBLE!" I would prefer the former to the latter, with comics and with movies.

Also: Fassbender is awesome. I can't wait for Days of Future Past.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:15 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Gotta be brief, regarding the point we disagree on:

The two trilogies we have involve the transformation of the Republic into the Empire and the collapse of the Empire, and both involve galactic wars. I am assuming, and I could be wrong, that the sequel trilogy will have equally dramatic events. I think if that is the case, it would be equally damaging to the EU and the trilogy's standing within the EU to slip that inside the existing timeline. So I don't think it's worth doing. That's my reasoning.

Edit: Got some more time to elaborate.

If the story of the sequel trilogy dictates that Luke/Han/Leia/Chewbacca/Lando dies, they can't do it before 44 ABY and stay kosher with the EU. I don't think the Mortis example holds up well because it wasn't a major event except for Anakin's characterization, and even then his character became more somber and solemn between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, so it was accounted for. Mortis was explaining a change already depicted in the character.

I don't think that the Vader/Anakin backstory not being known by the post-ROTJ EU initially doesn't work as an analogy either, because the original trilogy already demonstrated the consequences of the prequel trilogy, and it wasn't necessary for the prequel trilogy to be known to build off of that. The EU built off the presumption that Luke simply knew what the audience knew, and then when the prequels were filmed the EU retconned it immensely, having Luke's Jedi suddenly shift into being very similar to the old order and having Luke know a lot more than he let on in books set shortly after ROTJ despite not showing it in earlier published books. In this case, Luke or any other character can't be handwaved as just knowing what the audience knew about the sequel trilogy when any currently existing EU stories are set after its hypothetical placement, because Luke experienced it. And maybe died in it.

A slightly better analogy for the sequel trilogy would be to presume that there was no original trilogy, only the prequel trilogy, and an expanded universe that expands forty years after Revenge of the Sith, and then say that you're doing the original trilogy and you're dropping it twenty years after Revenge of the Sith right into the middle of that EU timeline. Can you see how restricting that would be for the original trilogy if that happened? It's an imperfect analogy, because Revenge of the Sith was more or less a cliffhanger ending, but I think it better illustrates the issues than the inverse.

If you're going to drop the film trilogy into the EU timeline rather than at the fringe of it, and you're also intending to keep continuity with the Expanded Universe, then you have to maintain the status quo with the stories on both sides of the timeline as the sequel trilogy. That's immensely restricting for storytelling, and implicitly is prioritizing continuity over story quality, so I think if they do keep continuity with the EU it needs to be done after 44 ABY.

I'll note that I'm assuming two facts about the sequel trilogy: A) That Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher will be reprising their roles, and B) that the films will not star them, but they will feature in supporting roles like Alec Guinness or Samuel L. Jackson, and the films will instead star their offspring. In other words, a lot closer to the NJO, except even less focus upon Han/Luke/Leia, rather than LOTF-FOTJ's level of emphasis on them. I view it likely that one, if not more of them will die. Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to die in Return of the Jedi, and he seems surprisingly eager to be in Star Wars again..


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:35 pm Reply with quote  
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I think it's a fallacy to suggest one must choose between a "good" story and keeping continuity.

In the past continuity was established in mode exclusively through Lucas' vision for SW: Stories allotted for an EU, his own stories that took no consideration of it, and the demand that the two be reconciled. This meant shoehorning into the canon random and separate events that then had to be retconned to fit together.

I would charge that this is not the definition of a true continuity. True continuity is an organized and intentional mode of crafting stories that fit together.

What this mean for the Sequel trilogy, ST, is that it can achieve both constraints by the simple act of adapting in whole or in part existing EU material. If they don't want to do that, as they have expressed as much, then I see it as pointless to try to reconcile a continuity... but it's not for a lack of being able to tell a good story.
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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:21 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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^^^ I agree wholeheartedly that "having to choose between continuity and a good story" is a fallacy. It is entirely possible that we will get good stories that fit with other stories due to intentional planning.

My arguments stem from the possibility that a creator may come up with an amazing story that's exactly what all the big executives and most casual fans want, but to make it fit with existing canon it would need to be changed in such a way that could dilute it severely.

It's all about possibilities. The stories that Lucasfilm/Disney want to tell could fit with the existing universe. Or they may not. If they're excellent stories, it won't bother me if they don't fit. If they're terrible stories, it will bother me, regardless of whether or not they fit.
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 PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:54 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Continuity or quality as an either/or is definitely a false dichotomy logical fallacy, and I brought it up as listing my desired priorities for the sequel trilogy, but perhaps I should have phrased it better.

I think we can all agree that Fassbender in Star Wars would be ideal though, amirite.


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