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Karen Traviss Quits!
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:59 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Son Of Skywalker wrote:

I find it ironic that the same people who complain about the EU being so messed up at the same ones going along with the biggest mess up for it: TCW.

Who me? Embarassed I actually don't have any beef with the clone wars timeline being a mess, in a way I actually kind of like it. You don't have to worry about events immediatley before or immediatley after, it's kind of a nice way to escape. Sorry if I came across wrong.

Otherwise everyone seems like they know something I don't. Do you guys know why Karen Traviss quit (other than it's a continuity issue- I know that)?
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Hmm...I don't know any other reason. *shrugs* If it's more specific than that, I haven't heard about it yet. I'm interested to find out, though.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:44 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I will miss Karen Traviss. She was one of my favorite Star Wars authors, and her Clone Commando books were some of my favorites. Kal Skirata is probably the coolest Mando in existence. I will miss him greatly.

Now, I'm going to speculate what the problem is. Karen had a plan for her Mandos in the Imperial Commando books. And all of the sudden, they say she has to do some major retconning.

Now why does that happen all the sudden?

The only other franchise that could be in conflict would be the Clone Wars Season 2 with it's Rise of the Bounty Hunters and the appearance of Mandalorians. And old George just loves to trample on continuity. I bet he thought up this whole angle on the Mandalorians in the Clone Wars that was completely oblivious to Karen Traviss' Work. Thus something had to go.

For those who badmouth Karen for continuity conflicts/rewrites/reimaginations, I say bah humbug. She gave life to Boba Fett unlike any author before her. Fett was such a dry, cold character, and the deepest we ever go into him was the Bounty Hunter Wars books. If someone does a bad job the first time around, are we suppose to chain ourselves to that work, saying "Oh well, we're stuck with it. Can't change it now." Or do we allow someone else to come in later and do it better. Because that's what Traviss did. No one wrote Mandos like she did. No one bothered to explore them in a novel.

And don't bash her because she overwrote Pena's work. I like Pena. But I didn't hear anyone complaining when Stover overwrote Pena's work on Black Hole.

And as for the Traviss 'overpowering' the Mandos or writing Mary Sue characters, let us remember that not all of her Mandos were great guys. They were flawed characters. And not all of the were good guys either. Look at Hogan, that Mando that worked for the Seps in her first Republic Commando novel.

And Jango WAS a Mandalorian. I don't know where that came from. I mean Lucas had it in the movie: Boba was a clone of Jango, Boba was a Mandalorian, thus Jango was a Mandalorian. And someone (not Traviss) wrote up the backstory of Dooku killing off a bunch of the Mandalorians. The big thing I remember Traviss changing was having Mandalorians train the Clones. That was new, and did not conflict with canon. We all knew Fett was involved, and obviously he couldn't train all of them. It's not a crime for an author to plug in the gaps.

That's enough for now. Let's just hope Denning doesn't butcher Fett and the Mandos in Karen's absence.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:23 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Darth Skuldren wrote:

For those who badmouth Karen for continuity conflicts/rewrites/reimaginations, I say bah humbug. She gave life to Boba Fett unlike any author before her. Fett was such a dry, cold character, and the deepest we ever go into him was the Bounty Hunter Wars books. If someone does a bad job the first time around, are we suppose to chain ourselves to that work, saying "Oh well, we're stuck with it. Can't change it now." Or do we allow someone else to come in later and do it better. Because that's what Traviss did. No one wrote Mandos like she did. No one bothered to explore them in a novel.

Very well said.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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Reepicheep wrote:
Darth Skuldren wrote:

For those who badmouth Karen for continuity conflicts/rewrites/reimaginations, I say bah humbug. She gave life to Boba Fett unlike any author before her. Fett was such a dry, cold character, and the deepest we ever go into him was the Bounty Hunter Wars books. If someone does a bad job the first time around, are we suppose to chain ourselves to that work, saying "Oh well, we're stuck with it. Can't change it now." Or do we allow someone else to come in later and do it better. Because that's what Traviss did. No one wrote Mandos like she did. No one bothered to explore them in a novel.

Very well said.


You can't let personal opinion enter into continuity. You may not have liked Boba Fett as he was before, but others did, neither of you is wrong in your feelings towards the character. However, what came first came first, and it should stay simply because selectively choosing to change continuity is a slippery slope I don't want to be on.

Look at it this way, if things went the way you described in your paragraph it would be perfectly fine for an author to come in and change it so that Han actually died in between ESB and ROTJ and the Han we've known all these years is in fact a clone. Whether you like it or not doesn't matter, because the precedent has already been set and as long as some people like the new character direction than overwriting existing continuity is perfectly fine.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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So you prefer the Boba Fett in the Bounty Hunter Wars over Boba Fett in Bloodlines?
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
So you prefer the Boba Fett in the Bounty Hunter Wars over Boba Fett in Bloodlines?


Which one I prefer doesn't matter. I'd rather have the original continuity adhered to, and honestly if you are a professional writer you should be able to work with the original material to create something good.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I disagree. I'd much rather have Boba as he is (was Sad ) now.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:33 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I know we've mentioned what seems to be Traviss' anti-Jedi sentiment, and I was checking out her website when I found her FAQ. One of the questions was, "Do you really hate the Jedi?" I thought her answer was rather interesting. Rather...deep. And kind of funny. Smile

It's been edited only for language:

Q: Is it true you hate Jedi?

A: I get asked this a fair bit. Well, you asked, so you'd better be ready for the answer. Because it's not funny, on-message Karen talking now. This is about serious stuff - psychological underpinnings of attitudes.

And "you" here means - if the cap fits, honey, then wear it.

No sane human can hate someone who doesn't actually exist. From a writer's perspective, the more super-powers characters acquire, the harder it is to develop logical story arcs and true human drama...but I don't have any real feelings about fictional characters that stay with me once I step out of character-point-of-view-writing mode and get on with my life. The characters don't exist. I recognise, though, when they press a button in me and I see they're a conduit or a cypher for stuff I don't like in the real world. I'm very self aware. When a character pisses me off - not as a writer, but as a person - I ask: "Okay, what does this tell me about myself?"

I can do that, however uncomfortable it is. It's the reason I can change my mind if I'm presented with new facts. I recognise I don't have a permanent right answer in my head, and that my own subconscious needs to be dragged out into the light of day on a regular basis.

My real problem, then, is not with fictional Jedi, but with the people who refuse to believe they can do wrong. And by that I mean the people who believe it, not the harmless majority who just enjoy Jedi-centric stories as entertainment. I know just how deeply held that conviction is by some folks, and when those people try to argue a certain specific point with me, I can see that their line between fiction and reality is way too blurred. I can see their real views on life surfacing. I know where my real views impinge on the unreal, so I can see it in others.

The fiction you regularly choose, and the passion with which you defend it, tells me an awful lot about what goes on in your head. Very few people deliberately choose to read material - fiction or otherwise - that doesn't reinforce their real-life worldview. Most people don't set out to be alienated or offended by their reading material. They tend to settle with what they like - what fits their comfort zone. So if you get pretty het up about anyone suggesting the Jedi might have made a few immoral decisions - or anything else, come to that - chances are it relates to something you actually believe in for real. It wouldn't upset you otherwise. Would it?

I start to back away from Jedi-worshippers at that point. I'm troubled by deferential forelock-tugging to supposed genetic superiors at the best of times, which is why I personally find the genetic Jedi concept sinister, but there's an especially disturbing kind of butt-kissing that makes me recoil. It's the kind that says the Jedi are always justified when they do seriously bad things, because - well, they're the good guys, and what good guys do is never bad, right?

Well, I worry that it's even less naively benign than that in adult readers. Like the big guy in black said - look into your heart. You know it to be true. Okay, you've been told they're the good guys. If you're a child, I'll cut you some slack. But if you're not, I have to ask if you believe everything you're told as obediently and unquestioningly as that in real life. Because if you do, you scare me.

Now, if you like Jedi because Luke is basically an ordinary guy who finds the hero in himself, great. If you like lightsabers and impossible martial arts moves, bully for you. If it's just fun for you, and you don't feel mortally wounded when someone suggests that the Jedi might not actually be completely perfect, fine. You pass the harmless test.

But once you're past the age of puberty and you start arguing passionately with me that the Jedi were right to accept a slave army of cloned human beings and use them in war, and cloned humans aren't proper humans like us, and it was too bad the clones died, and the Jedi had no choice - well, sweetheart, I want to run a mile from you. Not the Jedi, who - just to remind you - are a figment of various writers' imaginations, just like the clones. You. If I see that you really mean it, and you're making excuses in your own mind for the Jedi just following orders on that delicate point, then you scare the living crap out of me. For real.

Because it's clear to me that you believe deep down in real life that some human lives are worth less than others, and so it's okay to end them. Whether you realise that or not. Because if you don't believe it at that fundamental level, then why do you get so damned angry with me when I rock the boat of your fictional beliefs? It's just a kids' fantasy story. You could shrug and move on. But the fact that you rage about it means it's hit a real nerve in you, in the core of your real beliefs.

So, either you're nuts, and you genuinely believe that an evil wizard who shoots lightning out of his fingers is threatening your well-being, or you might just have some ugly supremacist attitudes to your fellow man that you can't acknowledge even to yourself.

Am I making you feel uncomfortable? I hope so.

I'm sure you think you're a nice decent person who's kind to animals, recycles faithfully, and fills in tax returns honestly. Maybe you believe in God, too. But to me, you're someone who harbours a vile and degrading belief in the concept of Untermensch - the idea that some humans aren't human at all, and we can do as we like with them, for whatever arbitrary value we put on the words "real human." You're looking for ways to sift your kind of human from the humans who don't matter, and who can be consigned to the fate of animals. In fact, if you use the phrase "real humans" at all, my case is proven.

That belief in a league table of humans - and the casual acceptance of it by nice people who were kind to animals and filled in their tax forms on time - led to the enslavement and murder of millions.

It's slave-owner-think: it's Nazi-think. And yes, I bloody well hate it.

It's not about Jedi - who don't even exist. It's about you.

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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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My gosh, i forgot about when she first said all that. It's amazing that someone can be so insulting to her fan base and human beings everywhere and still have such loyal fans.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I didn't think she was at all insulting. She was simply harsh on those who take Star Wars all too seriously. And those poor people need a knock on the head every once in awhile anyway. If you can't distinguish between fiction (no matter how much you love it) and real life, then there's a problem. Sure, we can act as if they're real when we discuss them, but if we then have trouble dragging ourselves back to reality, that's a little disturbing. It's just that we need to realize we're playing in a fictional world. As long as that is obvious to us, then we're good. That's all I felt she was saying. *shrugs* Smile
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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What she said may have been insulting to some people, but I can only see it being insulting to the ones, like Mara Jade said, who can't distinguish between fantasy and reality.


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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:52 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Heck, it's not even about distinguishing reality from fiction so much, as she was homing in on a specific concept: those who believe some lives are worth less than others, or that some people can do no wrong.

She's addressing moral philosophy here and trying to show how some fan's beliefs are reflecting this philosophy, or rather expressing it.

Personally, it didn't bother me any and I found it to be an interesting little exploration of the psyche. She expressed her beliefs. If you don't like them, then it's as plain as that.
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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:37 am Reply with quote  
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  Jedi Joe
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Bill Thompson wrote:
Darth Skuldren wrote:
So you prefer the Boba Fett in the Bounty Hunter Wars over Boba Fett in Bloodlines?


Which one I prefer doesn't matter. I'd rather have the original continuity adhered to, and honestly if you are a professional writer you should be able to work with the original material to create something good.


I prefer the Boba Fett from Episode VI when he got eaten by the Sarlacc and died. Wink

Anyway, Karen Traviss will be missed, although I never read any of her books. I will eventually read the Republic Commando books though.
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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:10 pm Reply with quote  
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  Bill Thompson
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Old Master Ben wrote:
What she said may have been insulting to some people, but I can only see it being insulting to the ones, like Mara Jade said, who can't distinguish between fantasy and reality.


I didn't find that to be the case at all. She argues from a reality perspective about fictional characters, and the details why if you don't believe in her perspective you are a reprehensible human being, that's as insulting as you can get.
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