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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Reepicheep wrote:
You think Ben and Luke's relationship is forced? How? Confused


It does the same thing that they did with Caedus and completely skipped over the most important part of character development, instead dumping the reader in medias res. In LOTF, Luke and Ben pretty much ceased to have a relationship because of the gulf between them created by Caedus, and now in FOTJ suddenly they have a healthy father-son relationship that developed off-stage, just like how Jacen turned into a cold, uncaring pragmatist -- the biggest component of his becoming Caedus -- off-stage.

The best stories have the characters undergo arcs in which they start the story off as one type of person and end it as someone else due to the experiences they have. New Jedi Order did this across the board. LOTF and FOTJ change the characters before the story even starts into what they need the character to be to benefit the story. We don't see Luke and Ben develop the relationship that they have in FOTJ between LOTF and FOTJ, we're just forced to assume that it happened. And that would have been the most engaging use of that relationship in storytelling, instead of what we have on FOTJ where they crack awful jokes to each other and that passes for a father-son relationship. It's extremely inorganic and forced, because the writers simply wanted to tell a story where a father and son retrace Jacen's steps and didn't want to put the effort into developing that relationship so they just assumed it existed.

You generally want to place the biggest character changes within the story, rather than happening between stories, but since the end of the New Jedi Order the majority of character development on that timeline has been between the stories rather than in them. Luke and Ben's relationship in FOTJ is just one example.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Crash, did you not read all of LOTF because it definitely re-established the relationship between Ben and Luke through several book.

For me Ben was the single bright spot in LOTF.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Cerrinea wrote:
Crash, did you not read all of LOTF because it definitely re-established the relationship between Ben and Luke through several book.

For me Ben was the single bright spot in LOTF.


I don't really remember Revelation and Invincible, but I don't recall it establishing it to the point it is at in FOTJ.

My primary complaint about it though is that it's entirely static and unconvincing to me because it consists of lame jokes for the most part, yet it's one of the focal points of the series.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Well, FOTJ is a couple of years after the end of LOTF so presumably there was some growth in the relationship between series. I certainly got the impression from LOTF that Luke and Ben had become close. I don't see anything out of the ordinary in just picking up their relationship where it would have naturally progressed to in two years.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:19 pm Reply with quote  
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Well I'm not saying it's a flaw in FOTJ specifically, just that I don't really care about Ben as a character and I don't have a whole lot of investment in his relationship with Luke. It's not something I'm particularly interested in reading about.

Usually the father-son story is more engaging when it starts out with conflict between the two before reconciliation, like in Battlestar Galactica or Super 8. I'm not saying that Fate of the Jedi should have done this, but I don't personally find a static father-son relationship to be very engaging, and I suspect that the writers struggle with it as well since their non-plot related interactions seem pretty lacking in substance beyond cracking jokes at one another's expense. There's no personal arc there that exists outside of, but is informed by, the events of the plot.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:21 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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But it did start out with conflict as far back as DNT, but especially in LOTF. That conflict was resolved with Mara's death.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:24 pm Reply with quote  
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Cerrinea wrote:
But it did start out with conflict as far back as DNT, but especially in LOTF. That conflict was resolved with Mara's death.


In DNT Ben was a pre-tween, and in LOTF their relationship wasn't a focal point that was given the same sort of attention that it's given in FOTJ. There was definitely more potential for it as a focus in LOTF than there is in FOTJ.

I'm not saying that FOTJ should introduce unrealistic conflict between the two characters, I'm just questioning the decision to make part of the premise that Luke and Ben are on a journey together without any sort of character arc being a part of that, because it makes for their interactions to be really boring.

Edit: Compare it to Han's relationships with Anakin and Jacen through the NJO. It's only the focal point of a story when there's conflict, whether with Anakin because of Chewbacca, or with Jacen because of his hippie phase. Or because Han is just being a bad father in general due to Chewbacca's death.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  JediMara77
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There is conflict between Luke and Ben in FotJ. It's called Vestara.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:30 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Cerrinea wrote:
Well, FOTJ is a couple of years after the end of LOTF so presumably there was some growth in the relationship between series. I certainly got the impression from LOTF that Luke and Ben had become close.
I got the same impression. I don't think that the gulf was created by Caedus though, it was there before Jacen turned to the Dark Side (is Dark Side capitalized?).
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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I don't think it's capitalized but I do think the Jacen certainly took advantage of the estrangement between Ben and his parents. He was grooming Ben to be his sith apprentice.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:33 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Oh definitley, but there was tension before LotF but I forget why.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Well, first off Ben shut himself off from the Force and then he became a Dark Nest joiner. That would create some tension.

Also Jacen was the only one who could influence Ben to use the Force.
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:50 pm Reply with quote  
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JediMara77 wrote:
There is conflict between Luke and Ben in FotJ. It's called Vestara.


That doesn't become a conflict until book 5, which is halfway into the series. Luke and Ben also aren't foils for one another so they don't really play off of each other all that well.

I'm just saying why I don't find Ben engaging as a character so I can't see him holding up a book by himself. But having the Big 3 in the book or in the case of this plot thread, Luke, isn't really helping either.

In contrast, Anakin and Jacen were foils for one another and played off each other rather well. Jacen was also a foil for Luke. And Jacen changed dramatically throughout the series, so it got to explore how his relationship with Luke changed.

If Ben and Luke works for you, that's good, but it just isn't very engaging to me.


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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  JediMara77
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I don't want Ben and Luke to have conflict. I want Ben and Luke to actually get along, like Father and Son should.

The SkySolos got torn apart in LotF. I don't want that to ever happen again. Sad
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 PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:54 pm Reply with quote  
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JediMara77 wrote:
I don't want Ben and Luke to have conflict. I want Ben and Luke to actually get along, like Father and Son should.

The SkySolos got torn apart in LotF. I don't want that to ever happen again. Sad


The conflict doesn't have to be major. They can be foils for each other, the way that Anakin and Jacen were. But when the working title of your series is "Star Wars Odyssey," which implies that Luke and Ben's journey is going to be the focal point of the series, and it pretty much is, I think that the characters should have some sort of meaningful interaction beyond the mundane. I think the authors realized this as well, which is why we get throwaway subplots like Luke not wanting Ben to learn flow-walking to create some sort of conflict between the characters, because it's boring without that, and we're stuck with "Luke and Ben went and collected artifacts for the Aing-Tii."

I don't know, it just doesn't work for me, but I can see why some of the minor conflicts in the books would work for other people. I'm not saying it's wrong or an objective flaw in the books, it just doesn't work for me. They did put some effort into it, I just think the story would have been better served if it was more integrated into the plot.


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