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Bantam Era, this is your life, er, thread!
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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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The Bantam era tended to have more far-fetched plots. They got kind of crazy on us quite often. They were generally well-written, though. DelRey is sometimes more stale, because they put everything into series. So a book by itself may be rather boring. So...I generally think of Bantam as being more epic (with the exception of the NJO), and DelRey being more...predictable. *shrugs*

But then again I have nostalgic ties to Bantam. I remember those years fondly, and I definitely treasure them more than I do the current era. But I may say the same thing 5 years from now. Who knows.
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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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The stories to some Bantam novels are wonky but the individual novels were a lot more fulfilling than anything published after The Unifying Force. Children of the Jedi and The Crystal Star had crazy plots but the characterizations in them made it so that they were worthwhile reads for me.

That said, ironically I'd say the weakness of the Bantam novels is that some of them were just really poorly written and I have to really work at reading them and the Del Rey novels typically don't have that problem, but that the stories to the Del Rey novels are so unsatisfying that their readability is irrelevant because I don't want to read them anyway.

Bantam put character before story, Del Rey puts story before character. And I don't like that, because then you get inorganic character growth or outright character derailment for the sake of the story. I'll gladly take Waru over Darth Caedus.

The New Jedi Order was a nice mixture of story and character IMO.


Last edited by Crash Override on Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Crash Override wrote:
That said, ironically I'd say the weakness of the Bantam novels is that some of them were just really poorly written and I have to really work at reading them and the Del Rey novels typically don't have that problem, but that the stories to the Del Rey novels are so unsatisfying that their readability is irrelevant because I don't want to read them anyway.


I think you have a really good point here. I didn't find the Bantam novels overall to be badly written, but it was more common than DelRey. DelRey, though...yes, very much unsatisfying on the whole. I always feel "Meh" when I finish a novel lately. More so than I ever did in the Bantam days. And some of those were just ridiculous stories. So I think you make a good point when you talk about the character development. It's really more important than the actual story...at times. The NJO was the perfect blend of both, but unfortunately it was tossed to the wind in the stories that followed. So I shall remember it fondly.
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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Mara Jade Skywalker wrote:
Crash Override wrote:
That said, ironically I'd say the weakness of the Bantam novels is that some of them were just really poorly written and I have to really work at reading them and the Del Rey novels typically don't have that problem, but that the stories to the Del Rey novels are so unsatisfying that their readability is irrelevant because I don't want to read them anyway.


I think you have a really good point here. I didn't find the Bantam novels overall to be badly written, but it was more common than DelRey. DelRey, though...yes, very much unsatisfying on the whole. I always feel "Meh" when I finish a novel lately. More so than I ever did in the Bantam days. And some of those were just ridiculous stories. So I think you make a good point when you talk about the character development. It's really more important than the actual story...at times. The NJO was the perfect blend of both, but unfortunately it was tossed to the wind in the stories that followed. So I shall remember it fondly.


Lol, I just edited my prior post to say NJO was the perfect blend.

And the NJO being tossed to the wind by the stories that followed is what I mean when I say that they put story ahead of character.
"Hey wouldn't it be an interesting story if Jacen Solo became a Sith Lord!"
"Isn't that the exact opposite of his characterization, and would completely undermine his character growth in the NJO and completely discard it thematically?"
"But it would be a cool story!"
"Okay, let's do it!"


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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  JediMara77
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Mara Jade Skywalker wrote:
The Bantam era tended to have more far-fetched plots. They got kind of crazy on us quite often.


I dunno. Daala being CoS of the Galactic Alliance is definitely one of the most far-fetched plotlines of anything in the EU. LOL.
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 PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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JediMara77 wrote:
Mara Jade Skywalker wrote:
The Bantam era tended to have more far-fetched plots. They got kind of crazy on us quite often.


I dunno. Daala being CoS of the Galactic Alliance is definitely one of the most far-fetched plotlines of anything in the EU. LOL.


Having Jacen become a Sith Lord is as well.

But Bantam's plots are wonky in that they're just completely off the wall:

1) The Eye of Palpatine has some weird indoctrination thing on it that brainwashes people into hating the Jedi and its crew was distributed throughout the Outer Rim instead of just being stationed on the ship itself.

2) Durga the Hutt is building a superlaser without any means of defending it or any conceivable use for it because the New Republic for some reason kept a copy of the Death Star plans on Coruscant which were easily stolen. And for some reason a poorly defended superlaser is a horrific threat to the New Republic.

3) Daala's four star destroyers are a terrible threat to the New Republic and she totally shows them who is boss by attacking a small civilian colony on Dantooine.

4) Waru.

There's a lot more consideration given toward characterization and the plot basically seems to be thrown together on the fly. Del Rey's stories seem to be more like "wouldn't this be a cool story?" and discard characterization if it doesn't suit the story. Daala as Chief of State is pretty asinine though in the sense that they clearly established it to retread a subplot from the middle third of the New Jedi Order and they already had an established, PLAUSIBLE character from that subplot to use in Fyor Rodan. Unless they specifically didn't use him to try to avoid attention from the fact that they were reusing the plotline from NJO.

But just using Daala was discarding her characterization from the Bantam novels (in which she was an ardent Imperial with no desire to govern), ignoring the war crimes she committed, and having the characters think that this nut was somehow fit to be in charge.


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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:50 pm Reply with quote  
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  darthrevan1
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Ive read virtually everything that Bantam put out for SW.

Starting with the Heir To the Empire trilogy and finishing with Hard Merchandise it was a great journey. It was supposed to finish with Vision Of The Future but Hard Merchandise came out after it.

Del Rey got the licence and completely changed the rulebook for SW novels with Vector Prime.

But you cant beat Bantam even if no major characters died in their books apart from the obligatory Imperial warlord and occasionally very minor film character. The X-Wing series featured deaths of characters we knew from the series which were almost as gut wrenching as what happened in Vector Prime.

Overall enjoyable.
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:59 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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The character deaths in the NJO were handled properly but the can of worms that they opened ultimately stagnated the EU worse than Bantam did.


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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  darthrevan1
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Crash Override wrote:
The character deaths in the NJO were handled properly but the can of worms that they opened ultimately stagnated the EU worse than Bantam did.


Yes but it was hard not to feel emotional when a certain character died in Vector Prime.

Or everyones favourite Mon Calamari in Unifying Force.

I wasnt too put out over Anakin Solos death though.
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I'm completely on the fence about Anakin Solo. Chewbacca's death is ok to me, because in the prior big story, he's sent off to Kashyyyk with the Solo children to not be involved with the story at all. In that respect, he had really become a minor character. Ackbar's not a big deal because he was already overused in Bantam for how minor a character he was. It stretches credulity when he's in charge of every NR fleet.

The problem with killing major characters is you need someone to replace them with. Killing Jacen in LOTF is like killing Luke and keeping Obi-Wan. There's no long term viability. Perhaps some view it the same as Anakin's death, with Jacen being around, in this case Ben, but I don't view Ben as being nearly as interesting a character as either Jacen or Anakin were.

I think ideally the NJO could have done what it had allegedly planned originally and killed Jacen and kept Anakin as the focus throughout, with Anakin slipping into Jacen's role in the post-SBS novels. Jacen's characterization in the series is more suited toward Anakin based upon his JJK characterization.

Bantam didn't kill off characters arbitrarily for a reason. The primary success that killing Chewbacca and Anakin was the shock value, which was long gone by the time that Mara and Jacen died, rendering those deaths as wholly negative. Killing off your characters is usually a bad idea. Even in A Song of Ice and Fire, I question Martin's wisdom in doing it at times.


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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  darthrevan1
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I remember the outrage at the time when Anakin was killed. It was worse then Chewbaccas death. He had been built up as possibly the saviour of the jedi and then he was killed. There was no real planning to it.

When I read Sacrifice I knew someone would be killed but not who so Maras death affected me.

I didnt like Jacen, i never did so when he was finally defeated I couldnt care less.

Bantams books became formulaic. Some crazy imperial warlord wanted to be the new emperor and the fledgling new republic had to deal with him. No one was killed of importance so when Del Rey took over they decided to change the game. Originally Luke was to be killed but Lucas said no so they said what about the euivalent of the family dog in this case Chewie. So a moon crashed into him.
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:03 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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darthrevan1 wrote:
When I read Sacrifice I knew someone would be killed but not who so Maras death affected me.


The cover of Sacrifice pretty much telegraphed who was dying in that book. I remember the massive swell of groaning when the book cover was released.

Whether you like Jacen or not, what was done to him after NJO was massive mischaracterization as well as making him the most inconsistent and lousy Sith lord ever. Plus, his character was needed in the EU. Del Rey's gone on a serial killing spree but haven't offered up much in the way of replacement characters.
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:25 pm Reply with quote  
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I don't want to offend or upset anyone, but I think a large part of the reason why NJO is unpopular among a lot of people is that they completely missed the point. I remember back when the series was still being published there were countless people that downright hated Jacen, and there's quite a few of those people still around. I've also seen a lot of people at TFN that express dissatisfaction over the ending of the series because the Yuuzhan Vong weren't wiped out.

Man, they completely missed the point. What I find disheartening about this is that the whole lesson or theme to the New Jedi Order series that is at its core hearkens back to the original trilogy (which Episode I also did but is completely overlooked), and the lesson or theme from them, specifically Return of the Jedi.

I suppose Anakin Solo's popularity is also another indication of people missing the point. I would be more charitable and say that the creators of the NJO misunderstood their audience, but the films themselves had this same theme, so the people that missed that point and came into the NJO expecting it to be about Anakin Solo whooping Yuuzhan Vong ass were setting themselves up for disappointment. Luke didn't topple the Galactic Empire by whooping Darth Vader and Darth Sidious' collective asses.

I don't know if the people complaining about the Jacen's character in the New Jedi Order are the same people that complain about Yoda fighting in the prequels but I guess it's just lose-lose. But that New Jedi Order echoes the theme of the saga and expands upon it makes it all the more egregious that what followed completely subverted that theme in more ways than one.

Personal theory is that the lightsaber is the equivalent of cops with Dirty Harry syndrome, and the prequels' display of Jedi ass-whooping created the expectation of that even though it was shown to be wrong.


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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:02 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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See, I don't see the Del Ray era to be any better or worse than the Bantam era (and thus the Bantam era no better or worse than Del Ray). I like some stories in both, and there are stories that I don't like in both. There are specific things I like, and specific things I don't like. One era has one focus, and the other has another. I just don't look back on the Bantam era and think 'wow, I wish we could return to that'. I liked the Bantam era for certain things, just as I like Del Ray for certain things.
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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  darthrevan1
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I think theres good and bad points from both eras of SW literature. I read at the time of the NJO that it was supposed to shake up the universe and have major characters killed off. Chewies death got a lot of coverage, they built up anakin then killed him off and there was another jedi female I think who was killed off too.

The problem is these characters werent replaced. Han had some weird alien guy take over as his co-pilot ( i forget his name ) but then decided Leia would be his new co-pilot even going so far as replacing chewies seat with a seat that fitted Leia better.

I think Jaden Korr long term may be a good character to get behind but therre is no one in the current FOTJ series who stands out from the rest. No one has truly replaced Anakin or chewie or anyone else. I dont think characters were killed just for the sake of it though bar Chewie because they wanted to make a point. The SW galaxy was safe for no one.

As I have said Anakins death caused more uproar then Chewies because of how he was built up.
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