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Darth Plagueis Novel by James Luceno
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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The interesting thing to me is that Plagueis defines the difference between the Jedi and the Sith as those who follow the will of the Force and those who bend the Force to their own will. Bad intentions and Dark side techniques don't really have anything to do with it.

Based on that idea the Sith really can't be said to be evil and they don't consider themselves as such. Now it makes sense that the Jedi would view them as evil (although Plagueis says that they know they aren't and they just say that to cover up the truth that they are just opposing ideologies) and so we'd see them as evil in all the books from that POV.

Since they put forth that viewpoint, it would really interesting to see things from the Sith POV and show that they really are not evil. But that's where the story is disappointing to me. Star Wars has to have it's heroes and villains clearly defined, so it makes them be evil anyway despite the fact that there is no reason that they have to be. Plagueis says that power is not for it's own sake, but a means to an end; yet this is exactly what we are shown.

Why did Plagueis have to fulfill the Sith Grand Plan to wipe out the Jedi and control the Galaxy if he just wanted to be immortal? He doesn't - and if he didn't try, then he ironically would have probably succeeded in his personal quest.


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Bad intentions and Dark side techniques don't really have anything to do with it.


However, that is an observable difference between the Sith and the Jedi: the Sith use dark side techniques, and the Jedi don't.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Based on that idea the Sith really can't be said to be evil


Based on the behavior of Plagueis and Sidious in the book, it's not difficult to say that the Sith are evil.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
Reepicheep wrote:
To me Darth Plagueis breaks one of the fundamental rules of Story-Telling 101: Give the main character a motive


I don't see how someone who read the book could conclude that he did not have a motive.

Okay, I probably worded that wrong. Plagueis's goal: to take over the galaxy. Why? He thinks it's 'the natural order of things'. Problem is Plagueis has no passion. About anything. Plagueis may as well have been a robot, programmed to take over the galaxy. There's a reason The Matrix isn't told from Agent Smith's perspective. Plagueis would have been a passable character, but he's a failure of a protagonist.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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his motivation was his hatred of the jedi and the drive to be the immortal who fulfilled the plan. It was the same as palpatine's
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Reepicheep wrote:
Problem is Plagueis has no passion. About anything.


Except midichlorians. And immortality ( stopping aging, bringing back the dead ). And the "Grand Plan".
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I gotta agree with Reep and I think I touched a little bit on how he really doesn't have a reason to take over the galaxy, other than just because he wants to, and that reason runs counter to his personal interests. That does make a one dimensional character.

It's Ok for Palpatine to be one dimensional because he's an agent of pure chaos and destruction and his role is to undermine everyone else. But for the titular character, Plagueis should demand more storyline.

I like stories that are just inside of someone's head, so to speak, but that kind of character study requires strong characterization, and SW doesn't do that well. If you are going to sacrifice plot for that then it can lead to a boring story- so I totally understand the criticism that people have had for this.

It had enough tasty tidbits to carry my interest through, but this could be a polarizing book for fans. I don't know if it will be remembered as fondly as it's presently held.


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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:37 am Reply with quote  
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  SidiousThrawn
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I think it will be remembered because it showed Sidious' rise to power. I agree with you, Plagueis should have had more story time.
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:21 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
Reepicheep wrote:
Problem is Plagueis has no passion. About anything.


Except midichlorians. And immortality ( stopping aging, bringing back the dead ). And the "Grand Plan".

And that's all well and good, but you could (theoretically) program a robot to study midichlorians or to take over the galaxy. That in itself, doesn't make for a good character.

If I ever meet a Muun, I'll be sure to recommend Darth Plagueis to him, but for me, as a human being, it means nothing to me.
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Reepicheep wrote:
Arawn_Fenn wrote:
Reepicheep wrote:
Problem is Plagueis has no passion. About anything.


Except midichlorians. And immortality ( stopping aging, bringing back the dead ). And the "Grand Plan".

And that's all well and good, but you could (theoretically) program a robot to study midichlorians or to take over the galaxy. That in itself, doesn't make for a good character.




That sounds like an unusually interesting robot character. Just imagine if it also told jokes and played the ukulele. However, being unable to use the Force, it would never be able to accomplish the manipulation of midichlorians via the Force.

So.. Plagueis has no passion about anything, except for the things which he does have passion about, but someone could program a robot to research those things, so... what? You could say the same thing about any topic that someone could be passionate about. Thus, by this logic, no character has acceptable passion about anything, because the "robot defense" always cancels it out.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
I gotta agree with Reep and I think I touched a little bit on how he really doesn't have a reason to take over the galaxy, other than just because he wants to


He's inherited the legacy of Bane's order and its Grand Plan. He ultimately has the same motivation as any Sith. It's not something that qualifies as a specific criticism for him and him alone. Sith wanting to take over the galaxy is just part of the setting and the nature of the dark side; it is what it is.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
and that reason runs counter to his personal interests.


That makes no sense.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
It's Ok for Palpatine to be one dimensional because he's an agent of pure chaos and destruction and his role is to undermine everyone else. But for the titular character, Plagueis should demand more storyline.


So if the book had been titled Palpatine, I assume Palpatine would have been the problem in that case? Shouldn't the standard apply equally to both Sith?
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:57 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
That makes no sense.


I already addressed that point. I didn't see the need to explain it again when making that statement in support of someone else's comment. Unless you care to provide your own explanation for why it doesn't make sense, that is not helpful.

Arawn_Fenn wrote:
So if the book had been titled Palpatine, I assume Palpatine would have been the problem in that case? Shouldn't the standard apply equally to both Sith?


Yes. It was Ok for Palpatine to be one dimensional because that added to the plot. Complexity is not required for secondary characters in a novel, but it is a problem if it's the main character who is the focus of the narrative, because they are the one that carries the story.

You can sacrifice character to have a story where the narrative is more important than the people and it will be entertaining. You can have a story with little external plot development that focuses on a character and it will be entertaining. If you compromise both because you can't choose one over the other than it might not make for a very compelling read.

Again, I liked the book and felt that it did manage these two well enough to compensate for the flaws, but I also recognize that it is a valid criticism.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:11 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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I'm afraid I have to disagree. Complexity is required for secondary characters. That is, if the author wants it to be a great story. That's what separates great writers from mediocre ones, and great stories from mediocre ones - the attention to detail.

I'm on the fence as to your second point. Part of me wishes to say that a great story can, and perhaps should, have both, - but at the same time, not much happens, story-wise, in Ep V, whereas it focuses more on character development (and conversely, a lot happens in The Knight's Tale, the book I'm currently reading, yet the two main characters are almost completely interchangeable). Perhaps this distinction lies in what's good and what's entertaining. Action films, for example, are entertaining - focus on action, not much on character development - yet I don't think I could call them great. Save for a few - like Black Hawk Down. It's an action movie, so it focuses on action more, yet what makes it a great movie and story (in my opinion) is the character development, and their story.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:56 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
So.. Plagueis has no passion about anything, except for the things which he does have passion about, but someone could program a robot to research those things, so... what? You could say the same thing about any topic that someone could be passionate about. Thus, by this logic, no character has acceptable passion about anything, because the "robot defense" always cancels it out.


A robot cannot love. A robot cannot hate. Neither can Plagueis... the guy who was supposed to be able to keep "the ones he cared about" from dying.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:09 am Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Unless you care to provide your own explanation for why it doesn't make sense, that is not helpful.


Taking over the galaxy and Plagueis' so-called "personal interests" are not mutually exclusive. We see in Dark Lord that Palpatine has the same "personal interest", one that is fairly typical of the Sith mindset. You're apparently trying to convert Plagueis' death into a problem with his motivation. But the same thing could be said about Palpatine or Bane. It's a characteristic of Sith. If you're looking for a story about a Sith who just keeps to himself and doesn't get involved in things like apprentices and Grand Plans, you're not really looking for a story about a Banite Sith. In fact, you're really thinking of a Dark Jedi. This is not that story.

Reepicheep wrote:
the guy who was supposed to be able to keep "the ones he cared about" from dying.


It looks like that part of the "legend" was framed primarily for the benefit of the listener.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:11 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Reepicheep wrote:
Arawn_Fenn wrote:
So.. Plagueis has no passion about anything, except for the things which he does have passion about, but someone could program a robot to research those things, so... what? You could say the same thing about any topic that someone could be passionate about. Thus, by this logic, no character has acceptable passion about anything, because the "robot defense" always cancels it out.


A robot cannot love. A robot cannot hate. Neither can Plagueis... the guy who was supposed to be able to keep "the ones he cared about" from dying.


Sith lie. Sidious was lying about Plagueis caring about anyone, much like he faked his care for Anakin till he got what he wanted from him. Plagueis simply did what Sith do - he served what he thought was the will of the Force, but he served the Dark Side.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:23 am Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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In the book, Plagueis states his belief that the dark side brought Pavan's holocron to Palpatine; in another passage, Palpatine's thought process refers to the will of the dark side. In the Karpyshyn Bane books, it is made explicit that the Sith believe they serve the dark side.
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