Lit A Cynical Walk Through the NJO

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Cynical_Ben, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Sep 29, 2005
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    I think that's one of the aspects most underappreciated by fandom. People want their characters to be more-or-less perfect heroes who are right all the time. When a hero says something, or does something, they want to be able to take it as given that it's right, and too often they do take it as given that it's right -- and when the hero fails them by not being right, it's some kind of betrayal of their heroism -- as if Jacen's not having all the answers is an affront to heroism, and teenage dreamer Jacen should BE RIGHT and HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS because if he doesn't he SUCKS AT HEROING and is AWFUL. Or he's disagreeing with Luke, who is a bigger hero, and therefore always right, so he's WRONG for disagreeing with Luke and he's AWFUL and should GET IN LINE because protagonists aren't allowed to disagree or question an authority figure we like and how dare those authors have him arguing with Luke. Or because heroes must be right all the time, and a hero is saying these things, the story is trying to tell us that he's right, but these fans don't think he's right, so the story is AWFUL for SHOVING these WRONG IDEAS from this hero DOWN OUR THROATS with their terrible message that teenage idealist Jacen is obviously supposed to be spouting as the TRUTH as the voice of the author.

    And it all stems from this inability to grasp character fallibility and to appreciate that maybe you won't like the result of it or everything he has to say, but maybe a thoughtful teenage idealist should be shown struggling with ideas and saying some slightly unrealistic things as he tries to get a handle on the world as an emerging adult, and maybe teenage idealists can be really interesting characters even if they aren't Voices of Truth.
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  2. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    *coughSOScough*
  3. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    star 5
    The thing is, this is Jacen's hero's journey (sorry if that's a spoiler, I think that's well known now but wasn't in 1999). There's gotta be a journey. Jacen has to start somewhere. He has to Refuse the Call.

    The New Jedi Order was intended to be a morally complex series, and it started this by showing what ostensibly appeared to be relatively straightforward, only to peel away layers and reveal that the situation wasn't quite so simple -- just like life. The misstep the writers took, at least in terms of knowing the audience, was that Anakin was always intended to be Jacen's foil. His role in the series was to contrast with Jacen, and in doing so he also represented a more simple way of dealing things. If the solution to the New Jedi Order was just Anakin kicking Yuuzhan Vong butt, the series would not be that interesting. That's not what the films were. Luke didn't stride into the Emperor's throne room and straight out smoke Vader and the Emperor.

    But the fans latched onto that and expected that, in part I think because that's precisely what a lot of the Expanded Universe up to that point had been, and because they didn't like Jacen.
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  4. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Yes, yes! To Havac you listen! Just in reading as far as I have in VP, Jacen's point of view is a necessary one. But that doesn't mean he's right, nor does he have to be. There's nothing more boring or unrealistic in a work of fiction than an invincible, infallible hero. That's why Superman is by default a less interesting character than someone like Iron Man. There's nothing that Superman isn't good at, while Tony Stark is an arrogant, alcoholic, womanizing, paranoid eccentric. The most Superman might get is a few issues of angst because he feels like he's too powerful or because he can't save everyone. But it never lasts, because that's not what people want to read.

    Don't worry about spoilers, DM. I've got no problem with it, and if people complain, that's their problem.

    The NJO is already shaping up to be bigger and more intricate a series than anything the Bantam era put together. The only thing that's ever close is the X-Wing books' villainy of Isard, since that lasted for more than a trilogy. Vector Prime is laying the groundwork for a book series longer than anything Star Wars had ever seen before. It's easy to take for granted how long this series is considering that we've had two nine-book series's since then, but corroborating and collaborating between all of the separate stories and authors had to be a monumental task back in 1999. And it's not like they just wanted to tell any old story over a single massive series; they wanted to tell one of the most complex, rich and challenging stories in the entire Star Wars universe, one that would shake the entire GFFA to its core and change the EU forever.

    It's really a shame that it wasn't better received in its day. Maybe the fans just weren't ready for the status quo to change. Jacen's an easy whipping boy because he's arguing an unpopular point of view, both out of universe and in it. People don't want passive Jedi, they want action Jedi. That's why Anakin is more popular, even today. He's the action hero, Jacen is the navel-gazer.
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  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I still want to see an alternate universe in which George Lucas didn't forbid Anakin Solo as the hero (in which he would be Jacen's characterization), didn't forbid the light-bringer prophecy, and didn't forbid the Yuuzhan Vong being extragalactic exiled Sith.

    I think it would be a stronger story overall, the death of a Solo child would be justified within the plot, and instead of everyone hating Jacen they would love him and hate Anakin Solo.
  6. AlyxDinas Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    I do think that the story would lose a lot of important themes if the enemy was not the Vong, that's for sure.
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  7. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    I would like to point out that I don't like Jacen, and yet I also repeatedly complained that the jedi are too much action hero, and not nearly enough contemplative monks - not to mention that whole diplomacy thing they are supposed to be good at. Similarly, I liked flawed heroes and it annoys me when they are always right.

    It is just that certain flaws can make a character rather unpleasant to read - plus, everything has its time and place, including when to think and when to fight.
  8. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Chapters 5-9 will be covered in this post, as with the last few, with general thoughts and ideas that came as I was reading.

    5 isn't much but Yomin fullname Carr being a highly effective spy. It's a good chapter, but I feel like it'd be a bit better if he didn't spell out every step of his plan through the narrative as he went. We're also introduced to Da'Gara and the rest of the Vong. I mentioned before, Salvatore gets the alienness of the Vong really well. They're creepy, their technology is all different and the way it's described makes them as creepy as possible. Really, between Yomin fullname Carr being the most effective covert agent in the galaxy (aside from his immediate superior), and the Vong's plan being carried off almost without a hitch, this book is really working at making them a looming threat. Danni still annoys me a bit, but not as much this chapter since she's being so thoroughly played by Yomin fullname Carr.

    6 is... awkward. Really. I mean, I like Mara, I do, I was introduced to the Adult-level Star Wars books by reading the Thrawn Trilogy, and I liked her from day one there. (Sorry, @anakinfansince1983.) But... it seems like she's a really hard character for authors to nail down. Even in this book, her characterization seems to waver quite a few times. The dialog between her and Leia is amazingly awkward in this chapter, especially when they're talking about the toll the disease is taking on Mara's body. Maybe it's just because the scene calls for Mara to be vulnerable, and that's just not an emotion that exists for her to play. She's got the iron-clad determination she's always had, but... there's nothing else there to distinguish her as Mara. I can't even explain it. She just feels off, and it really hurts what should be a poignant scene.

    The duel between Anakin and Jacen is much better. We've talked about it a lot in this thread already, but the differences between the two approaches to being a Jedi are highlighted right there on the page. Anakin sees the Force as a tool, a weapon to be used responsibly; he takes the "keepers of the peace" idea to it's logical conclusion: the Jedi are the police, or at least Batman. Jacen, as we've covered in the thread, sees the Force as being more complex than that, and sees things like putting the Jedi under the Republic as being contrary to what makes the Jedi special.

    And you know what: They're both right, and they're both wrong. It's a complex, thoughtful issue, which neither of them has the full answer to yet; they are still, after all, teenagers. We'll see this in a later chapter.

    Chapter 7, where Yomin fullnameyesI'llkeepdoingthis Carr proved again why he's an incredibly effective and competent villain, and Nom Anor proves why he's the executor. Nom basically signs off on the terrorist bombing of his political opponent's capital city with a wave and a smirk, circumventing the NR's security ship with laughable ease. Yomin fullname Carr ensures the utter destruction of the ExGal station, and the deaths of all of the research team but Danni and her crew, personally executing their only skilled mechanic and making it seem like an accident just to make doubly sure that no one gets a message out, or escapes. These guys are the kinds of villains we love to hate. Side note- I like how Yomin fullname Carr notes outright that there's something exceptional about Danni. Nothing to suggest she's Force-sensitive or anything, just hyper-competent and possessing formidable intellect, both for science and other things. A worthy sacrifice indeed.

    I probably just skimmed over most of the Force discussion in my initial reading of this book, because I didn't remember chapter 8 at all. Yet, on this reading, it was one of my favorite chapters thus far. The only misstep is another flat scene between Leia and Mara that's about a page and a half long and brings things to a screeching halt for no reason.

    Chapter 8 opens with a discussion between Luke and Jacen that's more in-depth and civil than their last one. I love Luke's characterization here; he's wise, but not condescending. He's willing to listen and judges everything Jacen says based on the merits of the argument and taking into account the fact that there are still things about the Force that even he, the foremost Jedi Master, doesn't know or fully understand. And Jacen really doesn't come off as a know-it-all. I have experience with know-it-alls, I was a know-it-all as a teenager; a know-it-all won't waste any opportunity to bring up the fact that they know something, or rub it in someone's face that they happen to know it. Jacen is awkward and humble here, he's talking to his teacher and bringing up the idea that he might just possibly, maybe be kinda missing part of the solution. He's not saying that Luke's wrong, he's just saying that he doesn't have the whole answer. And Luke says the same thing to Jacen, that he's not wrong, just not completely right.

    I love it, this is the sort of thing the discussion in this thread makes me eat up. And, as a bonus, 8 ends with a great scene of Han and Chewie walking into a bar for some info on Lando's new digs. It's a fun little scene, not wholly necessary, but fun.

    Chapter nine is where things start to really pop. Beings die. The excursion from the ExGal station all wind up dying horribly thanks to being three steps behind Yomin fullname Carr's machinations. Danni and her team run afoul of a squadron of coralskippers and get shot down, despite the only effective member of the research team's best efforts. Watching the redshirt researchers die is actually a bit horrifying as some commit suicide, sacrificing themselves to save the others, and at least one just goes nuts and guns down their best field researcher before turning his blaster on himself. I love how Yomin fullname Carr executes Jerem out of respect for his feat of endurance rather than letting him die horribly of the fumes. It adds a layer of depth to him, that nebulous quality of honor. Only, for the Vong, it's honor in death. Kinda samurai-like.

    In the end, Danni is captured rather than be killed. If this book were a movie, Danni would be played either by a young Sigourney Weaver or Jennifer Lawrence. She's the damsel in distress, sure, but she's also being kept alive on-purpose because she's blatantly better than every one of her co-workers. That sort of hyper-competence doesn't die easily. And yes, I know she gets out of this alive, don't worry.
    More tomorrow.
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  9. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I do find this desire to revise history, with just about everyone and their brother going for the status of underdog in their fan beliefs, amusing.

    NJO was very, very popular and it was very, very loathed. It was not a "oh, I might like it, I might not" story, it was nuclear Marmite! You LOVED it or you HATED it and that was pretty much the way of it until SBS came along and annihilated the unity of the NJO fanbase by killing Anakin Solo. But even then it was very popular, you only have to look back through the old threads to see the popularity of it.

    For myself the EL duology followed by DW gave the story an overdue boost, which was quickly crapped on by the FH trilogy, then that was followed by a very strong finish in TFP and TUF.

    The other funny thing is watching a great many NJO fans loathe LOTF, even though it's using the same move-set as NJO. As does FOTJ....
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  10. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    I really don't have an opinion on NJO yet, I haven't read it all. I intensely dislike LotF because of the subpar quality of writing and storytelling, not because of any particular form or whatever.

    In my experience, much of the negative heat I've seen over the NJO comes from the more casual fans. VP hit in the post-TPM downslide, where a whole bunch of new fans were brought in to the franchise. And VP is a series made for the long-time fans who want to see the characters they grew up with change and move on, to see them progress as characters. There's a fundamental clash of expectations there, and the choice of villains NJO has put people off as well. I've heard the Vong described as rediculous, too sci-fi, and even racist.

    The entire series is polarizing from the ground up, from concept to execution, ideas, characterization and plotting. Either you love and enjoy it, or you hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Most of the people who hate it, though, are people who either haven't read it, or read one book (typically Vector Prime or Star By Star, since those are the big name ones) and threw it away in disgust.
  11. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Interesting that you see the problems as being with the wider, more casual fans - haven't seen that view before. Previously the problems people had with VP were more with the way it broke with what had been set up with VOTF for instance, which is why the following book Dark Tide I got a more positive reception.

    I think, in a non-spoiler sense, where the likes SBS is concerned there is cause for a sense of disgust, with some very bad marketing going on - I don't think any of us would see NJO as being suitable for kids but that's where the wider perception of SW as a series was, premised on the visuals and tone and style of the OT.

    On a truly cynical note, I'm waiting for the probably inevitable LOTF love-in, in oh say 5 years? :)
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  12. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Chapters 10-13: Chapter 10 is more of the Stackpole-ian starfighter action surrounding the goodness that is the one and only Lando Calrissian. Let me talk about Lando for a minute here.

    Lando is the most criminally underutilized and misused character in the EU, in my opinion, right alongside Mara. He’s suave and sophisticated, people get that, but there seems to be an obsession with him coming up with hare-brained schemes to get rich. He’s like the Star Wars equivalent of Scrooge McDuck, with half the grouch and double the smooth. Pretty much every author out there forgets that Lando is #1: an officer in the New Republic, #2: a great pilot and #3: a darn good leader. He’s fun to read, I'm not saying anything against him; his effortless charm is a breath of fresh air in most books because he plays so well off the others, Han especially. The issue I have is, this is exactly the same Lando we saw in the Thrawn trilogy. And in the Hand of Thrawn. And in Glove of Darth Vader. The only times that come to mind where Lando is something other than a get-rich-quick schemer are Shadows of Mindor and the Black Fleet Crisis. (Though, I could very well be wrong. Folks?)

    Anyway, Lando’s here, he has some crazy scheme about mining asteroids, but the real attraction is this asteroid belt running training course thing that makes the Death Star trench run look like a kid’s game. Jacen, Anakin and Jaina all take turns, and it turns out that the best pilot of the three does the best (surprise, surprise), despite the former two turning it into an argument over philosophy. Teenagers, amIright? Really, it just illustrates again how neither of them are completely right, since Jaina’s natural piloting skill and Force abilities have been honed over years of training in the academy and other places. So, again, they’re both right and both wrong.

    Chapter 11 is a sort of bankruptcy, but it’s also Yomin fullname Carr killing two more scientists and Nom Anor blowing a hole in a New Republic warship. I almost made a joke in a previous post about Nom nuking the Osarin capital, and here I found out that he actually did. Awkward. This means that with a casual smirk and wave of the hand he signed the death warrants of thousands of lives across two planets. He incited nuclear war. And got away scot-free. Magnificent. He and Da’Gara also namedrop Sernpidal for the first time, and they propose the idea of conquering the planet by dropping a moon on it. www.dramabutton.com!

    Chapter 12 is more discussion at first, including Kyp with the Solo kids. I’ve heard that Kyp is out of character here, and I’m not sure exactly why. Kyp didn’t seem to have all of that much of a personality in previous books I’ve read him in (mainly the JAT). Could someone clarify that for me? Is it just because he acts like he and the Solo kids were never friends, just acquaintances? He does seem oddly cold toward them.

    Anyway, Kyp’s a bit of a jerk to Jacen, Anakin agrees with him, and Jaina tries to play mediator. Kyp’s basically the Jedi version of a violent vigilante, like the Frank Miller Batman. He’s on a crusade for “justice,” hunting and killing smugglers (let’s not argue semantics, he has a fully armed fighter squadron equipped with proton torpedoes, he’s out to kill people) for… what reason? I know that they try to play it off as a Freudian thing, something from his past, but he never bothers to explain why he needs to be out killing criminals. He never answers Jacen’s philosophy. I’m starting to side with Jacen and Luke here, Kyp needed to be reined in.

    There’s some false tension with Han and Chewie doing the asteroid run, but it’s not really a thing since we know they won’t die. It’s too early in the book to be killing off movie characters.

    Chapter 13 is Kyp and his group getting their backsides kicked by the Vong coralskippers and Luke showing that he don’t need no stinking shields to run Lando’s little course. Really, that’s all there is. The fighting is good, no complaints, it’s our first look at just how alien and dangerous the skips are. They aren’t indestructible, but they are unknown, which is just as bad. Luke is the one who makes the asteroid course look easy, almost too easy, but I’ll play it off as him being so concerned about Han that he let the Force guide him completely, letting it draw him to his friend.

    Also, Miko Reglia (whose name I had to look up): most underdeveloped and underused Jedi ever? I wanted him to survive, poor fella, he liked to watch the stars...
    More later.
  13. aleja2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2005
    star 2
    QFT.

    As a proud founding member of the now-defunct "NJO Critics Club" (don't be fooled by the 2005 by my name; I lost the original aleja account that dated back to '99), the NJO and especially Vector Prime had its critics. But it also had very, very avid supporters who defended the book and the series with everything they had. I still have psychic scars from some of the debates.

    I also find the revisionist history a bit amusing, even when I fall into myself, because compared to the books that came after? The NJO was a masterpiece.

    But at the time, you need to remember:

    1) The Phantom Menace came out in May 1999; Vector Prime was released in hardback in October 1999. So much of what we now know about the Jedi, etc, from the next two films was just not available.

    2) Vision of the Future was released in September 1998, and was the last time we saw the Big 3. For many fans, VotF (along with Specter of the Past and I, Jedi) reset a lot of the mistakes made in earlier Bantam books with the Big 3, smoothed out the continuity bumps, and wiped the slate clean for new stories. Also, the X-Wing novels were finishing on a high note. So it was a disappointment to some that this clean slate was ignored in favor of the same old, same old characterization, for Luke especially. In addition, a certain subset of fans were looking forward to seeing a married Luke and Mara - only for Mara to be turned into something out of a Lifetime Movie for Women. That REALLY pissed off the L/M fans (Salvatore also never read the Hand of Thrawn books, and therefore didn't know about the Force bond or where Mara was last left in her emotional journey, so many felt she was particularly OOC.) Also, SotP/VotF were big books with lots of callbacks, reused characters and EU continuity Easter eggs - it felt somewhat jarring to come into VP and not have the characters at least reference other characters or events when it would make sense (for example, Mara is sick: has she talked to Cilghal? A sentence would have cleared up that confusion. But when the author has no EU knowledge...)

    Yes, Salvatore was tasked with kicking off a big series that needed to be a jumping on point - but it was also a series set within an established continuity. There's a way to balance the two so that the books don't become some convoluted labyrinth of obscure references, but still bring up the appropriate references so that the reader doesn't have to suspend disbelief and wonder why the hero just doesn't call X, Y, or Z and solve the problem. Vector Prime required a LOT of suspension of disbelief for previous EU readers.

    3) Salvatore's writing style annoyed some readers. For example, I find head hopping (changing the POV from character to character within the same scene, even the same paragraph) to be amateurish and distracting, but Salvatore does it incessantly. Some found Danni Quee to be a Mary Sue of the highest order, with Salvatore telling us she is smart but showing us Danni making some really stupid moves. And some had issues with Salvatore's plot logic (or lack thereof): the whole invasion depends on Mara carrying the Idiot Ball (and Danni, too). Prior to the book's beginning, Mara apparently met Nom Anor, couldn't feel him in the Force and yet did or said nothing, just merrily let him infect her and hundreds of others (so much for Mara's danger sense :rolleyes: ), then lets him continue to foment disquiet on multiple worlds. Way to go, Mara. It's a wonder Palpatine let you out of your training room.

    In other words, some of the critical reaction was centered around Salvatore as a poor choice, in their view, for the kick-off writer.

    It's not that the critical readers objected to something new. I will give you that some felt the Vong were a) racist - the name seemed to evoke "Viet Cong" and other Asian cultures; b) generic ho-hum villains pieced together from other SF franchises; and c) far too focused on pain, torture and gruesome for gruesome's sake to fit into a Star Wars universe of good ol' fashioned space opera high adventure. (Again, only The Phantom Menace had been released at the time; The Clone Wars series were off in the future, and most fans were going off the OT. Of course, compared to what came later in the books, the Vong violence is positively restrained.) Nor did the most vocal critics, on the whole, object that much to Chewie's death, although some found the death laughable in its silliness, and wished that he had been given a death that mattered with real emotional resonance. (And personally? I think the death threats to Salvatore were a bit exaggerated - not saying they didn't occur, but they were continually trotted out by Del Rey to deflect the deeper criticisms of the book and the series: "See? Anyone who dislikes the book is obviously sick in the head and resorts to death threats!" Um, yeah but NO. But that's just my own bitter opinion based on having been there at the time.)

    There was, however, a TON of anticipation for this novel - Del Rey even took out TV and radio ads for the book - and to the critics, Vector Prime just didn't deliver the Star Wars experience, especially given the Hand of Thrawn and X-Wing books that came just before, and with a brand new trilogy just being released in the theaters. And maybe no book would have fulfilled that anticipation.

    But as Jedi Ben said, for every critic, there was an avid fan who would defend it almost to the death.

    I do think if the NJO had kicked off with, say, a book as well-written as Destiny's Way, then maybe the fan reaction would've been more uniformly positive. But we'll never know. As it is, although I did really like DW (not so much TUF - I think that book gets rated simply because FINALLY the good guys have a decisive victory), my personal EU canon timeline stops at Survivor's Quest.

    Depends on whether the ST knocks it out of the park or screws the bantha completely, and how much nostalgia is subsequently generated for "the good ol' days"....
    Last edited by aleja2, Aug 20, 2013
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  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    It's peculiar that the editors at Del Rey felt comfortable letting the writers erase any significance that the New Jedi Order series had if it was so popular.
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  15. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    DR's post-NJO decisions are utterly bizarre on any level. This is a company that, despite a huge amount of comment, stubbornly stuck to putting out NJO across nearly 20 books, but then, once TUF was out, all that stubborn confidence went up in smoke!

    I'll throw in here - picking up on Aleja's anticipation point - people really believed if others didn't like NJO, it'd be the death of the EU! It's why so many discussions, mostly around VP but not always, tended to go nuclear fast. We're long past that notion these days!

    Finally, the death threat aspect always gets brought up. What isn't mentioned is Lit's response to the news at the time which was this: The forum, as a whole, rejected such acts absolutely.
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  16. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    star 5
    I don't want to derail the thread discussing hypothetical motives to Del Rey and their treatment of the NJO both during and after, but I think they saw that they were selling 200k copies for the NJO novels and took it for granted. The amount of effort necessary to create the series was immense, and they figured they could get away with doing much smaller series with less (or no) planning, fewer authors to pay, and overall minimal effort, and maintain that level of sales. But they didn't, and I think their first inclination was to attribute this to the fact that Betrayal came out a year after the prequels concluded, but to compensate for the lower sales they made their next series following the same model an all hardcover series, but sales dropped even further. And a lot is made of Invincible selling 100k copies, but that's a full fiscal year versus The Unifying Force selling more than that in half the time.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a different publisher is given the license by Disney once the current contract is up, because Del Rey did a poor job sustaining sales. Even now over eight years after Episode III they're still declining. They never leveled off.

    As for their motivations for undoing the NJO, I suspect that there were people both on the creative side and editorial side that didn't like the NJO that didn't have enough influence (or any) during planning to rectify their issues. They used the next few storylines to undo everything that they could, and the editors drew the line at resurrecting a character killed during the NJO, which would have swapped one character for another.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 20, 2013
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  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Sinny has a theory that DR planned their post-NJO output on feedback received SBS-DW time, so pre-TUF, but while it has his usual innovative creativity, I'm not really sure it explains the utter confidence collapse by DR in their own work!

    Still, back to VP.....
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  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I don't believe they planned Dark Nest and Legacy of the Force three years and four years ahead of time, respectively. Or four years and five years, if going by Star by Star.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 20, 2013
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Oh I'm sceptical of that too, but in some respects, it would explain a lot.

    One thing that's quite interesting in VP about the Vong is there seems to be a lack of hyperdrive equivalent biotech, which I think got changed in subsequent books.
  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I'll have to finish re-reading VP, but based on memory I'm under the impression that their hyperdrives are similar to the Rakata in that they have to "lock on" to a system. For the Rakata, they had to lock onto worlds that were strong in the Force, i.e. that had profuse life or a lot of Force sensitives. The Yuuzhan Vong, IIRC, needed their dovin basals to lock on to a gravity well within a certain range. The distance between galaxies is so vast that they couldn't do that and had to travel at sublight.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 20, 2013
  21. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4


    But likewise there are no hyperspace lanes leading out of the galaxy, and no hyperspace bouy's for guidance and logging position. does not their absence make extra galactic FTL travel a virtual certain death?
  22. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I'm not sure what possible excuses that the EU has created for the necessity of hyperspace lanes besides collisions with physical objects, but given that intergalactic space is largely empty I don't see why you would need one. It's one giant lane of empty space. Hyperspace beacons were made obsolete between Tales of the Jedi and the first KOTOR game as nav computers came to exist, but they likewise are needed for navigating through dense regions of space.

    Although I guess there could be various bizarre warped space-time or whatever it is that apparently is walled up between the Republic and the Unknown Regions, but it's my understanding that these hyperspace disturbances or whatever were purposely put there by the Celestials, and I doubt they filled the entire intergalactic void with them but instead just surrounded the galaxy with them and cut off the Unknown Regions and the Known Galaxy from one another using them.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 20, 2013
  23. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4

    not just that, ftl travel from what I read is slower off the hyperspace lanes, the very act of travelling through hyperspace frequently helps establish the lain not unlike game trails through the wilderness, following the trail is faster than forging the the bush. That how i interpreted it.
  24. HWK-290 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2013
    star 2
    Also, black holes and other gravitational anomalies. Apparently the GFFA is littered with them.
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Maybe that's what they established, but I'm not really into the Essential Guides as I prefer narratives and stuff that's established through the narrative, so all I know is that those types of books established these "hyperspace disturbances" exist that cut off the UR and the edge of the galaxy. It has always been my understanding that the whole Kessel Run thing is a matter of navigation, and the Millennium Falcon has one of the best nav computers which is why it's worth bragging about doing it in less than 10 parsecs, getting the shortest route, at least that was Lucas' intent. He makes a point of exposition in the dialogue of the film explaining the necessity of precise calculations before making the jump.

    The "hyperspace disturbances" and the idea of hyperlanes permitting faster travel than would otherwise travel don't seem to have any reasoning behind them except that they just are. I'm not really a fan of that TBH.