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Darth Plagueis Novel by James Luceno
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:37 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I understand that Sith lie, but I think a story about Plagueis keeping his loved ones alive after they should have died is a more compelling story idea than what Luceno gave us.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I also thought a well thought-out prequel trilogy with emotional depth and exceptional characters would have been nice Wink
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:45 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Life Is The Path wrote:
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,


That depends on what your requirements are. To have a character that a reader actually cares about, then it is. Maybe less with just "entertainment". But I wasn't really talking about readers perception of the story, more so about the dynamics within the story itself. Some degree of complexity is required for a protagonist because the story follows them. If nothing happens to them then nothing happens at all. That is why it is required.

Motivation is important for the above reasons on characterization and also because it's important to understanding what is happening in a story so that the story can progress, otherwise it's incoherent.

"He's a Sith and Sith do this, so therefor he must do this" is poor motivation. "He's following the will of the Dark Side" is still not very dynamic, but it's a lot better and at least it is coherent with the story.

Characterization versus plot- I wouldn't say that both need be present for a great story, but it's certainly true that neither makes for a bad one.

I think the problem with Star Wars is that every author has their own style of writing but since they are doing an EU story they are obligated to include things that they don't do so well and maybe even detracts from it.

Luceno is great at exposition which is where these lofty complex political games really shine through. he's less good at drama and characterization, which is why I think that his secondary characters are actually a lot more interesting. Ya know, that tends to be the case in a lot of SW stories for me.


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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Plagueis is a Banite Sith. As such, there are only a few choices when it comes to his motivation. We know the order in its Banite form lasted for roughly a millennium. As a corollary, each successive "administration" shouldn't be required to have some kind of uniquely conceived motivation for doing what it does. In a sense this order is defined by its relationship to the dark side, so "it's what Sith do" includes the will of the dark side, as we know from Revan's own words that were studied by Bane. In the case of the hypothetical Sith character who ends up choosing something diametrically opposed to the stereotypical dark side motivation, we have Gravid for that, but that's not Plagueis' story. What we do have in Plagueis is a Banite Sith who's thinking that it's time to walk back the Rule, which provides a contrast with Bane's relative fanaticism.
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:54 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mace Windu
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Just finished this, it had far too much politics, but it was still interesting.


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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:09 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Caedus_16 wrote:
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.


You know, I got the impression that the ones he cared about and loved were his experiments. Plagueis was very involved and very invested in his work, so in a sense he cared about them, loved them even. It's merely that it wasn't equal love - that of a sentient being has for another, like in relationships - but rather an unequal love - like how we love our pets.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
As a corollary, each successive "administration" shouldn't be required to have some kind of uniquely conceived motivation for doing what it does.


Right. He has no motivation for being Sith other than being a one dimensional character that is evil for the sake of being evil.

But he does have a personal motivation, which is to be immortal.

He says he doesn't crave power and power is just a tool, but he follows the Sith Grand Plan to rule the Galaxy. He trains Palpatine as a Sith in accordance with the Sith way. He then breaks the Rule Of Two telling him that they will not follow the Sith way and try to destroy each other, and you know how that ends up. Afterward he tells Palpatine not to take an apprentice of his own because he intends to discontinue the line of Sith after he becomes immortal. These are contradictory.

He also tips the balance of the Galaxy to the Dark Side which fulfills the need for the Prophecy of the Chosen One, neither of which helps him achieve his own immortality or the Sith Grand Plan, and it actually defeats the later.

See what I mean about his pointless villain role being at odds with his own personal motivation?

Life Is The Path wrote:
You know, I got the impression that the ones he cared about and loved were his experiments.


It does specifically say that he loved them. I suppose it says this just to conform to what Palpatine says in Ep.III. For some reason people seem to have missed that.

But the only person he ever kept alive was Tenebrous' apprentice, and only after killing him, so that doesn't really follow.


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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:50 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Caedus_16 wrote:
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.


You know, I got the impression that the ones he cared about and loved were his experiments. Plagueis was very involved and very invested in his work, so in a sense he cared about them, loved them even. It's merely that it wasn't equal love - that of a sentient being has for another, like in relationships - but rather an unequal love - like how we love our pets.


You know, I like that line of thinking. I could get behind that. It makes sense that a brutal, cruel scientist might actually develop a sense of connection with his test subjects seeing as how he telepathically connects with them on a cellular level. Good call, I'm on board.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Reepicheep wrote:
Plagueis is a Banite Sith. As such, there are only a few choices when it comes to his motivation. We know the order in its Banite form lasted for roughly a millennium. As a corollary, each successive "administration" shouldn't be required to have some kind of uniquely conceived motivation for doing what it does.

Understood, but I never got the sense that Plagueis was especially passionite about taking over the galaxy. It's a big commitment.

I want to re-read the Bane books pretty soon. In a sense he was similar to Plagueis, but I thought he was a good character while I think Plagueis is a poor excuse for one. When Bane died I was actually a little sad. When Plagueis died I didn't bat an eye.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
He also tips the balance of the Galaxy to the Dark Side which fulfills the need for the Prophecy of the Chosen One, neither of which helps him achieve his own immortality or the Sith Grand Plan, and it actually defeats the later.


That the Chosen One ultimately destroyed Palpatine does not somehow constitute a problem with Plagueis' motivation. It's nothing more than outcome-based Monday-morning quarterbacking, and is illogical in the extreme. However, he doesn't start the imbalance, he just advances it further. Both LOE and Darth Plagueis established this fact. Thus, if the Sith who started the imbalance created the need for the prophecy, that wasn't him. The prophecy and the imbalance were understood to have predated TPM, and this book does not change that. Furthermore, the ascendancy of the dark side does indeed advance the Sith plan. This was emphasized during the PT, AOTC specifically.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Right. He has no motivation for being Sith other than being a one dimensional character that is evil for the sake of being evil.


No, that's your revision, but it's not even consistent with the rest of your post. Somehow Plagueis is motivated by the Grand Plan and simultaneously motivated only "for the sake of being evil". This isn't an inconsistency in the text, it's an inconsistency in your position. Make up your mind.

Under your terminology, "one-dimensional character" just means "committed Banite". The only other options are a milquetoast pseudo-Sith, a non-Sith, or a Sith who turns to the light side. By not falling into any of these categories Plagueis is summarily written off, but that really doesn't make sense. Books about this order are apparently not for you.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:11 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Arawn_Fenn wrote:
Somehow Plagueis is motivated by the Grand Plan and simultaneously motivated only "for the sake of being evil". This isn't an inconsistency in the text, it's an inconsistency in your position. Make up your mind.

Under your terminology, "one-dimensional character" just means "committed Banite".


So "committed Banite" must mean "shallow character".

It's an inconsistency because those two things contradict each other. I have shown how he says and does one thing and then says and does something else that counteracts that thing. You can have a conflicting character and make that part of their characterization, or it can be a substitute for a lack of one, in this case.

Explanation isn't that same thing as character development, that's why I'm talking about coherence. He does what he does for the Grand Plan. Why does he follow the Grand Plan? Because he's a Sith. Why is he Sith? Because GL made him up to be one. These aren't real motivations because they don't give a reason for why he does the things he does, other than to do them. He merely fills his role as a plot device and doesn't develop as a charcter that reacts and is effected by the things that happen in the story.

If that is just a committed Banite, then any of them would do and we wouldn't need to read a story about Darth Plagueis because we already know that Sith serve the will of the Dark Side, etc.

Contrast that with Bane himself who actually has a real distinct character outside of being a Sith. We are given very detailed accounts of why he chooses to become a Sith and what motivates him to follow the Dark Side, as well as his reasons for creating the Rule Of Two. His motivation to rule the Galaxy is there, but it's the result of all those others things, not "power for it's own sake" as employed and contradicted by Plagueis.

To put it simply we know why Darth Bane followed the Rule of Two, but all the other Banites just follow it because it is the Rule and they still follow it even if they don't actually believe in it, as neither Plagueis or Sidious do. That's just one simple example for why a Sith can still be a Sith and not be a shallow character.

None of this is necessarily problematic for a story if it tells the story that it wants to. Good Versus Evil can be a very compelling story, but it's not a deep story with complex and dynamic characters and interactions. That's Ok, it doesn't have to be.

Darth Plagueis is not the story of Darth Plagueis. If it was it would be more like the Bane books.

It's the story of Darth Plagueis and Palpatine and the Phantom Menace. It's hard to develop a character when a good deal of the book isn't about him.

That's also why it's a Luceno or a Denning, and not a Stover or a Kemp.


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:17 am Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
So "committed Banite" must mean "shallow character".


No, you just see those as the same thing.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
I have shown how he says and does one thing and then says and does something else that counteracts that thing.


No, you've shown he has a hobby, and attempted to bring mutual exclusivity into a situation which does not support it. In addition, you've attempted to portray the eventual downfall of the Sith as a problem with their motivation or characterization, which, logically speaking, is a joke. Palpatine was also interested in immortality, as depicted in other sources, and no one ever had a problem with that or suggested it meant there was something wrong with his motivation. Why not?

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Why does he follow the Grand Plan? Because he's a Sith. Why is he Sith? Because GL made him up to be one. These aren't real motivations because they don't give a reason for why he does the things he does


The "problem" with Plagueis' motivations is not that they aren't real or don't exist, it's that they're not unique. In-universe it wasn't Lucas who made Plagueis a Sith. We know why Sith do the things they do. Some of this is explained in the OT. You seem to expect each Sith to have a unique motivation, but at some point this becomes a departure from continuity.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
If that is just a committed Banite, then any of them would do and we wouldn't need to read a story about Darth Plagueis because we already know that Sith serve the will of the Dark Side, etc.


Exactly. You don't need to read a story about Darth Plagueis. In fact, you don't need to read any book. Similarly, a book about a Sith doesn't need to invent a uniquely conceived motivation in order to justify its character.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
His motivation to rule the Galaxy is there, but it's the result of all those others things, not "power for it's own sake" as employed and contradicted by Plagueis.


Wrong. These are the words of Revan's holocron in POD: The dark side offers power for power's sake.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Darth Plagueis is not the story of Darth Plagueis. If it was it would be more like the Bane books.


Darth Plagueis is not the story of Darth Bane. If it was it would be one of the Bane books. This summarizes your problem with the book: Plagueis is not Bane. You've set up Bane as the supposed model for motivation and characterization, and thus any character who is not Bane is somehow found to be deficient.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
That's also why it's a Luceno, not a Karpyshyn.


Fixed.

Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
It's hard to develop a character when a good deal of the book isn't about him.


Well, at least we know Karpyshyn would never do something like that.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:17 am Reply with quote  
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  Arawn_Fenn
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:26 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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haha. I think I've written more about Darth Plagueis than the actual length of the book.

Final Summary: I'm not the only one who thinks that this suffers from shallowness, so maybe it is the book and not just me. Or maybe it's me. Could be- but I still like the book and it made me think a lot so there is something.

I don't consider Bane books to be the model for which DP should follow. I think we agree they are different books and not meant to be the same. I simply used Bane to show the difference in portrayal of Sith in two different books.


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:13 am Reply with quote  
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  Lord Ree'dius
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
haha. I think I've written more about Darth Plagueis than the actual length of the book.

Final Summary: I'm not the only one who thinks that this suffers from shallowness, so maybe it is the book and not just me. Or maybe it's me. Could be- but I still like the book and it made me think a lot so there is something.

I don't consider Bane books to be the model for which DP should follow. I think we agree they are different books and not meant to be the same. I simply used Bane to show the difference in portrayal of Sith in two different books.


And still when talking about Plagueis everyone who doesn't like it will compare it to Darth Bane. Two different people, two different times. While one stood at the beginning of an Order the other stood at it's end.
Plagueis is meant to be a "shallow"character, if that's what you want to call it. Born and bred for just the purpose of being a Sith Lord on a well defined path to domination. He isn't in turmoil all the time because he is just that sure of himself nor is there a need for all matter of adventures because most plans to galactic dominance are already set in motion.
He's like a very rich guy that is taking over the succesfull family bussiness and having an obsession on the side. If you compare Plagueis with someone like that you'll see a lot of comparisons also on the shallow part.
I just feel like people talking about shallowness or the nocvel being boring missed out on a great deal in the story.
To me it kinda shows that they really had no idea what to expect from a Sith novel set in this time frame.
Would you guys rather have seen some fights with Jedi crammed in just for kicks? Or have Plagueis and Sidious fighting rivaling Dark Siders.
Or would it have been better if Plagueis would have been full of doubts or develop feelings for people he intended to use as pawns so he could whine on and on about that? Im glad to have this more believeable Sith Lord than another over exaggerated one.
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