1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Lit A Chronological Journey Through the EU: Currently Disc. Interference

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Rogue1-and-a-half, May 9, 2014.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    *Yes, it’s true! My legendary attempt to read through the entire Expanded Universe in chronological order . . . failed miserably. Well, anyway, trials and tribulations and such; it was never going to really succeed in its initial high concept phase – new books just keep coming out and jacking with the timeline.

    *In other ways, it was a rousing success and a lot of fun. I got to know a lot of people better over the years I worked on the project, even after it became more sporadic. It’s only been a couple of years now since I had the pleasure of meeting Ryder Windham himself; he’d done a Google search for reviews of his Star Wars books and stumbled across my (generally insulting, hopefully hilarious) reviews of some of his less than stellar work and posted via Facebook, “Stephen, we need to have a talk.” We messaged back and forth for quite a bit. We talked about a lot of things. I talked about how writing humorous reviews about how bad some of his books seemed to someone outside the target audience wasn’t as insulting or mean-spirited as it might seem. He talked about making peace with the fact that he writes on spec for money and won’t ever be any sort of great “artist.” We talked about how we both came to our respective projects (his, to expand the Star Wars Universe; mine, to comprehensively explore it) through the same door: an absolute love for the Star Wars films. We haven’t chatted in a while, but we’re still Facebook friends. I like the guy. And, after Jedi Vs. Sith, I’ve developed an appreciation for him as a writer. Those Jar Jar books are still inexcusable on many levels, most of which we basically agreed on, I think, but, hey, the kids liked them, I guess.

    *I’ve also gotten to talk to a lot of wonderful folks from the Lit forum itself that I otherwise wouldn’t have known. I can’t even start to name names or I’ll forget countless folk, but let me just say this: I was introduced to the poet, philosopher, artist, critic, etc. known as Excellence through my original thread. Goddamn, but it would have been a tragedy if I’d never met that guy. He’s the guy behind my favorite line from the entire Lit forum: “It rains, it snows; I still say Kir Kanos looks like Ulic Qel-Droma.” Maybe one day I’ll write even just one sentence that’s even a tenth as good as that one.

    *And then there’s all the people I met on other websites because of this project. Joe Borngiorno over at Timeline Universe; DinoJim of the Expanded Universe Checklist; Rob Mullins of the (tragically unupdated for quite a while) SWEUC; Eddie, of course – we all know Eddie, the guy with every Star Wars book ever written on one side of the room and a simple, literal day planner on the other, right? It’s been a pleasure meeting these fellows and seeing how all of our different perspectives on the Expanded Universe mesh together.

    *And then there’s the fact that I just got to read a crapton of Star Wars stuff. When it was awesome, it was awesome. The project resulted in my getting into Star Wars comics for the first time and finding a lot of stuff that, if I’d stayed on my path of just kind of reading the main Star Wars novels when they came out, I’d never have encountered. Without this project, I would never have encountered Nomad, I guarandamntee you.

    *In fact, I read so extensively that I was briefly, in my own mind at least, kind of an expert. I used to be an expert on the pre-TPM era. Then KOTOR dropped and now we’ve got Dawn of the Jedi and all that . . . plus the new Bane books and Force Storm and whatever . . . I now consider myself an expert on the 900 years prior to TPM. Well, whatever. Well, okay, Ki-Adi Mundi prior to TPM. I can damn well talk about that without fear of contradiction! He had some blind spots, dammit!

    *Okay, so I am starting over and reposting all the reviews I already posted here. There will be substantial new material as well, of course, but I’m doing this repost for a couple of reasons. First of all, and most obviously, all my old reviews have been brutally truncated by the move. Secondly, well, a lot of my old reviews just aren’t that great; I wasn’t the best writer in the world back then (nor am I now, I suppose, but I’m certainly better now than I was). I’ve edited a lot of them substantially.

    *Anyway, I’m starting a new thread for a few reasons. The old thread is . . . massive and, unfortunately, butchered by the truncated posts thing. I fear that both the size and the fact that most of the “content” posts in the thread have been basically destroyed kind of work against the old thread. I mean, who woulda thought?

    *Secondly, I want this to be a fresh start of sorts. I’m going to really dedicate myself to this project in a way I haven’t since those first couple of years. I have countless other projects that I’ve worked on over the years, right? Middle Earth, Batman, Indiana Jones, The X-Files, Podcasts, etc. Well, okay, enough; I’m setting those all on the back burner in order to really concentrate on this project again. My plan is to still, occasionally, post in some of those other projects – I really want the Middle Earth project and the Batman project to take off again at a later date, so I’d like to post those every once in a while. But mainly, THIS is now my writing project. Yes, there are countless others I wish I could do, but it’s time to focus. And this project, the one that started me off on the all the others, surely deserves to be the one focused on.

    *Something about me also loves the irony of this timing; I’ve been planning this for a while, but it’s somehow perfect to return to the absurdly large EU at the moment when Disney/LFL basically cleared the board. This gives me the opportunity to create a personal canon as we go. The personal canon has always been my preferred method. There is, quite frankly, no way in hell that TPM is canon and the Thrawn trilogy isn’t. That just isn’t happening on my watch. So, with every work I look at, I’ll give it a straight up canon rating. Does this work stay in my personal canon or no? Expect a lot of nos.

    *Now, as we all know, this is a lifelong project here. I’m not going to “finish” reading the Star Wars EU. It’s just not going to happen. So, I’ll take some time off here and there probably, to work on other stuff. But for a while anyway, I’m going to focus on this project.

    *Okay, all that to the side, I’ve once again changed the methodology of my project. I’ve been striving to find a timeline that would combine simplicity and comprehensiveness. I mean, it might be fun to, you know, go through all the TPM adaptations page by page – that’s very comprehensive, but I want things to be substantially less complicated, quite a bit simpler.

    *So, I have four chronologies that I’m going to be using in a tiered fashion. First is the Timeline of Media from Wookieepedia, which typically groups things in the simplest possible fashion at the expense of being totally chronological. A good example is Knights of the Old Republic: Vindication, which it puts in the timeline as a single story, rather than breaking it up according to the two or three flashbacks in it. I’ll go by this one first.

    *Second, I’ll be using Rob Mullins’ Expanded Universe Chronology. It unfortunately hasn’t been updated in a few years, but it does contain a lot of things that the Timeline of Media doesn’t, but it also maintains an emphasis on reading works as wholes, rather than being too anal about splitting them up.

    *Third, it’s Dino Jim’s Star Wars timeline checklist. This one’s even more comprehensive than the others, but also significantly less simple. And then fourthly, it’s the The Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline. Hopefully, that’s all clear. It’ll become clearer as I go. Anyway, this will allow me to be simple about a lot of stuff, but also comprehensive. We’ll see how it works. Probably no one cares. So, anyway, let’s just go ahead and get started and we’ll start with a good one that should help make this “four different chronologies” thing a little clearer.

    *So, I’m going to post my first actual review tomorrow. It’s the beginning of the timeline of the Star Wars EU. And you will not ******* believe how long ago this one is. Next time, it’s The Essential Guide to Warfare: Dha Werda Verda by Jason Fry & Paul R. Urquhart (everybody knows who that is, right?)
  2. Orman Tagge

    Orman Tagge Jedi Knight star 4

    Apr 10, 2014
    BigAl6ft6 likes this.
  3. Lugija

    Lugija Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 3, 2009
    I only have one question, one that I have wondered for years:

    When you write for example "** out of **** stars", is the first * a real star or just marking a new paragraph like above?
  4. Mind Riot

    Mind Riot Jedi Padawan star 1

    Oct 25, 2013
    This sounds really cool! I'm thinking of doing a similar thing, only instead of going chronologically, use a random number generator to figure out what to read next (if it's a later book/comic in a series, like Unifying Force, I start at the earliest book in the series I haven't read yet.) It's better for me because that way I have the chance to skip ahead to something really good and won't have to stick with something that I don't remember fondly like LotF just because it's next on the timeline. And also because there's so much stuff, and I'm terribly indecisive. This is definitely a great time to be doing such a project and it will be interesting to see how you go about it.
  5. The Extreme Moderate

    The Extreme Moderate Jedi Master star 1

    Jun 30, 2005
    So glad this is back!
  6. BoromirsFan

    BoromirsFan Jedi Master star 4

    May 16, 2010
  7. Plaristes

    Plaristes Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 2, 2007
    Really glad to see this is back. :D Do you plan to even work through the various rpg and miniatures scenarios? I have to question though: putting Indiana Jones on the backburner? How can you put something on the backburner that's already been there for years? :p I hope you eventually get back to it, since the deficient Indy timelines you were using for your Indy readthrough was what prompted me to create my own (which is, as far as I know, the most comprehensive available online; I suppose it's possible that TalonCard has an even more comprehensive one that he hasn't posted online):
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    You know, once upon a time that kind of bothered me. But it's a star, not a new paragraph marker. So, '** out of **** stars would be 2 star review. At least you're not like the person who, after I'd been doing the thread for years, told me they thought I was starring out profanities.

    The Essential Guide to Warfare: Dha Werda Verda



    *Okay, so Dha Werda Verda is a short little section in The Essential Guide to Warfare. It comes at the very beginning of the book. Yeah, it’s Chapter One, Pages 3 – 4.

    *Mmm, before we jump into the thing itself, let me talk about its placement here. The only timeline this appears on is DinoJim’s. He places it at the very beginning of his timeline, with a dating of Unknown. However, he does give some indication of the dating. The second entry on his timeline, a flashback from Dawn of the Jedi, is dated at 36,453 BBY. So, this Dha Werda Verda takes place sometime prior to that. So, the most conservative dating one could give this event/story is around 36,500 BBY. Which is frigging insane.

    *Remember the good ol’ days when I started this project and I was flabbergasted about the Tales of the Jedi stuff taking place 5,000 BBY. Well, this takes place more than seven times as many years BBY.

    *So, just for fun, let’s make the Battle of Yavin a stand-in for the present day. I thought it might help us kind of get a grip on just how long this actually is before the Battle of Yavin and our adventures with Luke and Han and Leia to take a look at what was happening here on planet Earth 36,000 years ago.

    *So, 36,000 years ago, even the scientists are kind of just doing best guesses and estimates, if you know what I mean. But here are a couple of things. The last great Ice Age was most likely going on. Humans had probably just crossed the Bering Strait into North America. And a Neanderthal in France was killed with the earliest example we have of a stone weapon.

    *Alternately, it was still going to be 30,000 years before God created the Universe.

    *But seriously, yeah, 36,000 years is a long dang time. Now, we have nuclear bombs; then our ancestors were kind of figuring out about hitting people with rocks.

    *Some of the articles I looked at were kind of old, so some of that info may be outdated by now. But you get the idea.

    *Also, in doing some more research on the DWV (Dha Werda Verda), I discovered that this is actually considered to happen a lot longer ago than that. I saw someone estimate it at like 200,000 BBY. Yeah, 200,000 BBY. That’s insane.

    *So, 200,000 years ago on this planet? Homo sapiens had just achieved what scientists call Anatomical Modernity. Homo sapiens sapiens had just arrived on the scene. Our ancestors? Finally were starting to look somewhat recognizably human. That’s a long ****** time ago.

    *In other words, put Luke and Han and Darth Vader out of your head. We’re at a place on the timeline so far removed from them as to be ridiculous.

    *And when I say to be ridiculous, that’s exactly what I mean. But let’s give the pertinent details before I start beating up on the story, right?

    *Okay, so the Dha Werda Verda . . . you know, I get angrier every time I have to type that. So stupid. But, anyway, I did some research on Wookieepedia and I guess this is some kind of thing with the Mandalorians and they use parts of it as a war chant or something much later on the timeline. I dunno.

    *Anyway, it’s an epic poem. The Guide to Warfare gives some background on when it was composed and why and then we get a few paragraphs from one of the stanzas.

    *Okay, so I’m going to skip all this stuff about the Rakatans and hyperdrives and all that nonsense. The pertinent info is that there’s the Taungs and the Zhell. The Zhell are the ancestors of humans in the GFFA. The Taungs and the Zhell are fighting each other on a little planet that would later come to be known as Coruscant.

    *That’s the Taungs in the foreground of the picture above. I think. Maybe.

    *Anyway, the Taungs were getting their butts kicked when suddenly a huge volcano erupted and destroyed Zhell, the capital city of the Zhells. This turned the war around, of course, and the Taungs were triumphant. The Dha Werda Verda was composed as an epic poem about the war and the Taungs’ victory. Oh, yeah, it means The Shadow Warriors.

    *Oh, yeah, good job naming your city too, guys.

    *Anyway, this is very, very short. This post is already longer than the actual excerpt we get from the poem.

    *Right, so the poem just basically tells us that the Taungs were horribly outnumbered and nearly defeated. Some general named Rexetu (or something) rallies them to, you know, die like men. They bravely assemble themselves and prepare to sweep down on the city of Zhell, spending their lives in one last hopeless charge against their enemies. And then a volcano erupts and Zhell gets blasted and the army is scattered. The Taungs charge down into the valley, cloaked in the shadow of the ash cloud, and, you know, kill everybody.

    *So, I’m not being flip here; I’m honestly curious. Does anyone actually care about this? I would love to hear from someone who really enjoyed this story. I mean, it’s just . . . it’s not even Star Wars. I mean, it takes place so long before the stories that I know and love that it’s just . . . well, it could actually take place in any sci-fi/fantasy universe that you wanted to plop it down in. I guess I just don’t get it and it seems to fall, for me, squarely into the category I most hate: Timeline Clutter. Just adding stories that are meaningless and not very good for the sake of growing the timeline. I mean, there’s so much stuff on the timeline that no one could read it all in a lifetime. We really don’t need nonsense like this making it bigger for no reason at all.

    *Anyway, I didn’t give a ****. If you did, I’d love for you to talk about why and explain why this is good or whatever. I certainly can’t.


    Jason Fry, Paul R. Urquhart

    0 out of **** stars

    *Okay, next time, it’s a repost of one I wrote . . . last year, I think. It’s the story that the four timelines I’m using disagree about the most. We’ll take a huge jump in time and talk about The Fourth Precept.

    Star Wars Chronology!
  9. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    *raises hand*

    Aside from my generally well-known fondness for both ancient history and epic poetry, I really enjoy this story. Especially how it's been developed by the EU from a one-off reference in the SotE soundtrack between a battle between Taungs and the Zhell (whatever the hell those are) to a battle between the Taungs (the early Mandalorians) and the Zhell (the early humans of Notron/Coruscant). I relate it to my general dislike for Mandalorians and Mandalorian fandom, as well as the Imperial repression of Mandalore during the GCW.

    The Mandalorian civilization is the ancestral enemy of humanity -- of the galactic civilization that humanity created from Coruscant called the Galactic Republic, and its successors. Thus, it is an intrinsic imperative for humanity and the Republic in general to be enemies to the Mandalorians: to never give them aide and comfort, and to wish them and their kind every possible ill. And all the subsequent Mandalorian wars, the pillaging they have visited upon the last refuge of the good and the great. The heirs of Zhell strive to build, to create, to grow, and to love -- the heirs of the Taung strive to destroy, to pervert, to enslave, and to rape.

    How's that for irredentism?? :p
  10. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 23, 1999
    Unrelated to the actual topic, because I've never read the story, but in response to the paleoanthropology references in the post: the timing is generally right, but just to clarify, no one knows what happened to the neandertals (except that modern humans with ancestry from outside Africa probably have some neandertal genes), I don't know of neandertal remains associated with damage from AMH stone tool technology, stone tool technology being far older than either the human or neandertal species anyway, and finally that your timing for anatomical modernity at around 200 kya is accurate - but it really does mean what it says, that those people looked like us.

    But regardless, you're absolutely right that these spans of time are far outside the bounds of "civilization" as contemporary humans know it. Even the Republic itself is, for Obi-Wan Kenobi, about twice as old as farming and cities are for us.

    Also, "I care." Both because I like fictional universes that have that sense of long spans of time and history, and because I really like the piece of music from the SotE soundtrack that this was based around.
    kubricklynch likes this.
  11. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    Rogue, you're going to be doing this after Google buys Disney and reboots the NEU, right?
    jSarek likes this.
  12. Lugija

    Lugija Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 3, 2009
    He should have started with Episode I and said "Fooled you".
  13. Protectorate

    Protectorate Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 11, 2013
    I always loved how thorough you were in your attempt to read through ALL of the EU, but this is pushing it. Are you really going to delve back into paragraphs at a time of the Essential Atlas as you make your way through the timeline? That seems needlessly complex.

    That's a cool story about Ryder Windham. He's definitely one of my favorite "source fiction" authors, despite writing primarily YA books. I really appreciated how he tried to tie the EU universe together by referencing old and obscure stories, really showing off his love of Star Wars and that it wasn't just another contract job for him. (At least that's how I saw it.) He has to be the only author that actually referenced "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" in his work, and that really filled me with glee.

    With that being said, I gotta disagree about "Dha Werda Verda". I'm a pretty big fan of the EU continuity, and on that level, this little story works. It's a cool callback to "Shadows of the Empire" and fleshes out the backstory of Coruscant and the Mandalorians with lots of unique little continuity nuggets. And this is from someone who is generally uninterested in the "ancient past" of Star Wars. If Jason and Paul had just pulled this story out of thin air, and if it existed completely in a vacuum, I might agree with you. Instead, I find it a very well done piece that ties in a variety of other Star Wars works including: Tales of the Jedi, the Marvel Star Wars comics, the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, and the Republic Commando video game. That's an impressive feat for a short story like this, and on that level I think it succeeds.
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    See, this is the real reason I love this project. All of you guys that defended DWV did so really interestingly. I think it would be instructive to include the poem as used in the SotE soundtrack. If I'd cared enough to do more research than I did, I might have known enough to include it initially. :p

    The choir on that track sings sections of DWV throughout the track.

    And this is a different iteration of the DWV from the Republic Commando video game soundtrack.

    That's all very interesting really. Thanks for pointing me in the right directions, guys. Doing more research in the areas mentioned has genuinely helped me understand why people would be interested in this little short story. I just hadn't really experienced much of the EU where there were other references to it, so to me it just kind of dropped out of thin air. GrandAdmiralJello, I found your explication of DWV particularly evocative.

    And thanks to Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn for the clarification on my notes on the Earth's ancient history.
    Starkeiller likes this.
  15. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn

    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 23, 1999
    You know, I always thought it was track three on SotE - "Imperial City" - that had the quotes from Dha Werda Verda. It certainly has a choir. And I love that it's intended to be, basically, a flythrough of McQuarrie-painting-Coruscant (filmic depictions of the planet being nonexistent at that point), starting with Monument Plaza.
  16. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    Chanting identified with Dha Wherda Verda is used throughout the score, in sections, though it is most prominent in Track #10, The Desctruction of Xizor's Palace (arguably Track #3 as well, yes).

    Oh, and I love the really ancient stuff. A friend of mine gave me the SotE score as a gift when it came out, and I was fascinated by the glimpse into the dimly remembered prehistory of this fantasy sci-fi universe that the accompanying booklet provided.
  17. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    I care about this. And I'm gonna follow. I might have... very little to add, but I'll be reading.
  18. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    Great to have this project back- and I love the historical frame of reference given to things. i know it was something you didn't make integral to the ongoing nature of the original thread, but when the old thread used either the then-present-day or 1977 as the Battle of Yavin, it was always kinda neat perspective of the EU's history.

    Honestly, now that the EU is "closed", the notion is much more feasible- even moreso than when you first started the project, despite the years of material produced since then.

    I'll add myself to the chorus [​IMG] and say that I also care about DWV. Reading it in the liner notes of the SOTE soundtrack was fascinating at the time (especially as it was written by Ben Burtt, which lent some additional canon credibility given his role in the implementation of language and sound for the SW universe) and then watch it's place in the SW universe evolve when it was officially connected to the ancient history of the Mandalorians (in Abel's article, IIRC) from which it was later expanded for Republic Commando by Jesse Harlin and, as a result, became the basis for the Mando'a language itself as part of Karen Traviss's rapid expansion of the Mando culture through her RC spin-offs.

    Burtt also tied it to his Droids character as well, which was a daring continuity connection at the time.

    Rogue1-and-a-half likes this.
  19. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    I love this picture. The mob of warriors below reminds me of something from LOTR.


    This is a cool idea, and I think that people sometimes lose grasp of time in a universe where storytelling is as fluid as in the SW universe.

    :cool: [face_peace] :cool:

    Dude. *Collapses*

    Seriously, that does sound like something from LOTR or something similar. I want to see that depicted in visual form somehow.

    It's so cool because it's ancient history for the Mandalorians, and as a Mandalorian fan, that rocks.

    Like I said, as a Mandalorian fan, reading their history is fun. Sort of like how I didn't care about who the Seven Dwarf Lords in LOTR were until I found out one of them was Thorin's grandfather Thror. Like that.
  20. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 10, 2005

    I also like this kind of work - I am a historian after all, so creating a sense of history instead of having things just spontaneous come into being is something I appreciate. Personally, I like to imagine that ancient Coursicant was like a dungeon and dragons world, with force users taking the place of wizards and clerics.

    This bit of the book is really enhanced by the cut content of warfare I think, where it is said that in spite of the popular depiction of the Tuang and Zhell as fighting with swords and spears, they were actually more likely to have been nuclear age at the time.
    Valin__Kenobi likes this.
  21. rways

    rways Jedi Knight

    Jan 31, 2014
    That's one nice thread, i'll be following!
    I find DWV very interesting tbh because of it's origin

    that's a great track
  22. TOD-UK

    TOD-UK Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 4, 2002
    So glad your back on track with this. I don't know if you remember me mentioning or not, but when you started your original journey, I joined in. That's every book, comic, short story, sourcebook vignette, etc. That must've been, what, 6/7 years ago. To put it into some context, I've only just finished Riptide :confused:
    Rogue1-and-a-half likes this.
  23. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001

    My favorite part is at 7:29 when we hear "The Imperial March" after the bombastic destruction of the palace. You've got that, "Oh **** Vader's mad." moment going. Though I've felt since 2003 that at 9:08 is the perfect place for the finale like in the book with Luke getting ready to launch his plan. Then it would got into an end credits theme. Shame that there wasn't room for that back then.
  24. Alixen

    Alixen Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 7, 2003

    Now, now, no need for mockery. Some of us genuinely trust our religious texts more than we trust the scientific community. But this really isn't the place for that sort of discussion. ;)

    On the actual topic, this is very interesting, and looking forwards to seeing where it goes. I really need to get to reading my Guide to Warfare properly. And I have to admit, i've never been a big fan of the mandos.
    Sarge likes this.
  25. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Jedi Padawan

    May 12, 2014
    So Rogue, you are looking at a few different sources to get your combined timeline correct? Could you post your timeline so we can follow along?