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Halt of EU books for Ep7 and new timeline?
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 PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:04 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Then the question becomes if you read these stories because they were good, or because they were Star Wars. Or as an intermediate, because they were stories with Star Wars trappings.

Personally, I find there are other pieces of fiction that appeal to me far more, once the stories cease to be genuine SW, or are just quality fiction with SW trappings. Arguing that the quality of these stories remain just raises the question of whether that quality is good enough. I don't particularly feel it is.

To raise the pointed question: If quality is all there is to these stories all of a sudden, are they really the best option we have? In all of literature, comic books and video games, is the EU really the pinnacle of quality, or did their appeal come from being SW?
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 PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:29 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I wouldn't think it has to be one or the other. There are awful EU books, and there are amazing ones, but getting as condescending as that about it feels ridiculous.

The thing a lot of us love about it is that it is one of the first EUs to try to hold a strong canon. There were levels but they tried to make everything work. Now they're tossing a lot out but keeping some, its now a mess. Its annoying.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:00 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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That is kind of an odd question. The obvious answer is that we read them primarily because they are SW just as people who don't like or care about SW are not going to be reading them for that same reason.

They could put out a book that wins the Nobel prize and we'd all agree it was a great story, but if it was put out under a series of SW books and it had nothing to do with SW other than the title, we would all be disappointed because it was not what we wanted or expected.

You're conflating two different ideas when you say quality story versus Star Wars story. That's not the issue. It's really about quality versus canon, since you're making the argument that if they are rendered non canon the only criteria to judge them will be quality.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:30 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Thank you. That was my point, yes. We don't read this stuff for its quality, we read it because of its logo. Possibly because of its trappings.

Which is why I contend that "maybe it isn't canon any more, but it is still quality fiction" is a pretty weak defense of the EU. Take away it's canonicity, and you are left with quality as its biggest selling point. One it doesn't fare very well at. It also has the selling point that it features SW trappings, but so does fanfic. I don't think people would defend the EU by citing how it is quality fanfic that you pay for. By process of elimination, that makes its canonicity pretty important. Important not just to loremasters, but to most readers, whether they realize it or not.

The selling point of the EU, IMO, is that it features the mostly true stories of characters from a movie universe we love. It fleshes out, explains and expands the universe so that you can go back to the movies and look at them with new eyes, rather than being mere what if-stories of no consequence. Truth value matters to fans other than loremasters and continuity nuts. Quality is a distant consolation prize.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:27 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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DarthMRN wrote:
Thank you. That was my point, yes. We don't read this stuff for its quality, we read it because of its logo. Possibly because of its trappings.


DUDE, speak for yourself and not for me (your "we" is a bit unclear, and seems to imply all fans). I stopped falling under that "we" a long time ago. Bad Star Wars books are still bad books. The Crystal Star was a piece of trash that I regret wasting time on when I was in the "read all the books!" mode. I dropped numerous Star Wars comics because they stopped being good (namely Dark Times, Legacy, and "Star Wars." I only get the ones that have genuine, specific appeal (where the story looks interesting, for example). I didn't buy Crucible, or Smugglers, or any of those recently. I will buy Maul: Lockdown, cause that looks cool. But I reject that 'we" buy Star Wars books purely because they're Star Wars, and will put up with garbage with a SW logo on it.

My apologies if your "we" was meant more restrictively than I interpreted it.

DarthMRN wrote:
Which is why I contend that "maybe it isn't canon any more, but it is still quality fiction" is a pretty weak defense of the EU. Take away it's canonicity, and you are left with quality as its biggest selling point. One it doesn't fare very well at. It also has the selling point that it features SW trappings, but so does fanfic. I don't think people would defend the EU by citing how it is quality fanfic that you pay for. By process of elimination, that makes its canonicity pretty important. Important not just to loremasters, but to most readers, whether they realize it or not.

The selling point of the EU, IMO, is that it features the mostly true stories of characters from a movie universe we love. It fleshes out, explains and expands the universe so that you can go back to the movies and look at them with new eyes, rather than being mere what if-stories of no consequence. Truth value matters to fans other than loremasters and continuity nuts. Quality is a distant consolation prize.


I hear you, and I guess I understand where you're coming from. I just find that I disagree nowadays. Five years ago, I'd be completely on board, but now...meh. I enjoy a book, and that's enough for me.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:48 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I'm going to have to totally disagree with the selling point of the EU being canon or stories of truth. I read the EU because it's entertaining escapism. I enjoy reading them. I enjoy diving into the characters, into their adventures, and for that moment, being somewhere else. The fact that the EU has in the past more or less fit together means that future adventures can tie into old ones, thus creating massive meta adventures.

If they would keep writing EU books based on the current characters and events, I'd keep reading them, regardless if they were canon or not.

And when it comes to quality, everyone has a different opinion. For instance, I actually like The Crystal Star. It's one of the few Star Wars books I've reread.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:02 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Lest I be misconstrued, obviously veteran readers will be discerning about quality. That is true of any consumption. But if anyone tells me their first ten EU purchases were made because they were looking for quality or escapism in general, and yet they chose SW, I wouldn't believe them. Those purchases were made because of the logo, and satisfying minimum criteria of quality.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Well I started with Dark Force rising cause my mom bought it at a yard sale and thought I might like it. It took me five years before I ever picked it up and read it. She got Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Jedi Search and Dark Apprentice. Those were the first four Star Wars books I ever read. I liked them, so I bought each book that I was missing in the two trilogies. For me, it's always been about escapism. However, technically, my mom bought the books because of the Star Wars logo.

Heck, I didn't even read fiction until I read those four books. Those books are the reason I read sci-fi and fantasy and even some other genres. Before then, the only books I read were non-fiction history books.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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DarthMRN wrote:
Lest I be misconstrued, obviously veteran readers will be discerning about quality. That is true of any consumption. But if anyone tells me their first ten EU purchases were made because they were looking for quality or escapism in general, and yet they chose SW, I wouldn't believe them. Those purchases were made because of the logo, and satisfying minimum criteria of quality.


I fall under the category you describe. But things are not always the same from one year to the next. Regardless of why I picked up my first book, the question becomes why am I picking up THIS book?

Or, more precisely, why am I not picking up this book? Because the bad or the uninterest outweighs the logo.
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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  AdmiralSteven
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I’ve been a fan of SW since 1977, but it wasn't until about 3 years ago that I finally came around to reading the books. The first book I picked up was “Heir to the Empire,” on the recommendation of my brother…and yes, I picked it up because it was SW. Isn’t that why we picked up our first SW book? That’s why I picked up mine. I wanted more of SW. I wanted to be a part of the story, to immerse myself in it, to escape for an hour or two while I read. Either way, with my addictive personality, and a good story, it didn’t take me much to get hooked.


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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I think I get MRN's point. We have been perhaps "spoiled" a bit when it comes to continuity. It would be a lie to say that was of no consequence. I know that I was popping blood vessels over TCW and Disney purchase as much as anyone when I had no real obligation to have to accept that media other than the desire to hold canon.

Things became a little bit muddled because there used to be a time when that didn't matter and it was just about SW and good or bad stories. I still think continuity matters, but that could be a positive point for it's potential loss.
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:49 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
Regardless of why I picked up my first book, the question becomes why am I picking up THIS book?

Or, more precisely, why am I not picking up this book? Because the bad or the uninterest outweighs the logo.

Because the quality was or wasn't sufficient. Which is a far cry from buying it because of quality.

None of the counters I have heard so far suggests the logo wasn't the primary cause of purchase, whether it was for love of the films, wanting to continue the story from other books, or just an assurance that the minimum quality requirements would likely be upheld.
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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DarthMRN wrote:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
Regardless of why I picked up my first book, the question becomes why am I picking up THIS book?

Or, more precisely, why am I not picking up this book? Because the bad or the uninterest outweighs the logo.

Because the quality was or wasn't sufficient. Which is a far cry from buying it because of quality.

None of the counters I have heard so far suggests the logo wasn't the primary cause of purchase, whether it was for love of the films, wanting to continue the story from other books, or just an assurance that the minimum quality requirements would likely be upheld.


NO ONE is arguing that point. The logo drew people in, but once in we began picking and choosing whether or not some were worth reading similarly to any other form of lit. We based it on authors, on whether or not the story was intriguing etc.

DPW mentioned that we've been spoiled by a maintained canon. Its completely true, we were given one of the only universes that solidified a canon and put forth a ton of effort to make sure it stayed consistent. I think frustration with it being just done away with because Disney wants another film is justified to a degree, the stories we enjoyed are still good but having them removed from the timeline frustrates after years of following characters and arcs, of re-reading old books and looking at them differently knowing what is to come. The coherence of it all was a chunk of the attraction.
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:10 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Becoming discerning depends on being a steady follower to begin with. And if the logo is what creates such followers, then the only two ways I can think of this happening, is 1) because of a promise that this is what happened outside the movies we love, or 2) because even if they are just stories of no consequence, they still have those familiar movie trappings, Luke, lightsabers, the Force, the Falcon etc etc. Stuff we can't get anywhere else in that exact form.

Accepting that premise, it seems to me canonicity is the more compelling reason, since inconsequential stories with familiar trappings can be found in free fanfics. The only way I can see canonicity being downvoted in terms of importance, is if we are given a stark, absolute choice between crappy stories that are canon, or quality stories that aren't, with everything else being equal. Naturally quality would rule under such a scheme.

But in reality everything else isn't equal. In reality you can choose between free fanfics of decent, if not good quality, if you know where to look, or professional fanfic that you pay for. I just can't see that difference in degree of statistical quality -for that is really all you are guaranteed, each work must be judged on its own in the end- justifying purchase.

Hence I am forced to assume that officialness, that canonicity, is the real deciding factor, no matter how many people say they don't care about canon so long as they get a good SW story.

...

Though, thinking about it now, perhaps I have found my mistake. It may just be that I conflated officialness and canonicity. Maybe truth value isn't all that important. Maybe the logo -on its very own- is the real deciding factor. The knowledge that this was licensed by Lucasfilm, carries a bunch of fancy logos, and is protected by legal rights. Fanfic, no matter how good, can never compete with that. Maybe it simply is one big blind adherence to authority, the actual truth value of the product be damned. If Disney ends up getting away with producing their own fully canon stories without Lucas involvement, that is going to seem a very likely possibility.
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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The problem with fanfic is two fold: most of it is not easily obtainable on an eReader (I don't like reading short stories, let alone books on a computer), and there is so much of it out there that it can be hard to find good fanfic.

But I'm probably a bit abnormal when it comes to Star Wars books. I like the books more than the movies. There are only a handful of books I didn't like. Generally, most of the Star Wars authors are good authors. I like reading their non-Star Wars books. People like Paul S. Kemp, Kevin J. Anderson, Matthew Stover, Michael A. Stackpole, they write some really good non-Star Wars books.
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