Lit A Cynical Walk Through the NJO

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

  1. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    A little more on Destiny's Way...

    Lando influencing elections? Damn, didn't see that coming, and I know that the Jedi needed to ensure that Rodan didn't win, but it was still a little surprising.

    Jacen's reunion with his parents was great. Their hatred of Vergere was understandable from what they knew that she did to Jacen but they still needed to take a step back.

    The Vong itching disease caused by Jacen ****ing around with the World Brain...LMAO.

    ACKBAR IS BACK!!! [face_dancing] His strategy for the Vong including a trap was just...fantastic.

    And for the main reason I came in here right now, because sometimes I read something that just instigates an "I've got to talk about this before I keep reading" moment...

    Alpha Red.

    Holy. Hell.

    I'm normally not a big fan of Jedi navel-gazing during wartime, in fact that irritated me in the first few books, but damn, they needed to have a discussion on principles here. I can appreciate Cal's position but...ugh. I liked what Luke said about not blaming the common people, especially the children, for the religious zealotry taught by their leaders.

    And Vergere...she came through again. :D For now anyway.

    Poor Jaina, so disgruntled right now and who could blame her? It creeps me out some that she and Jacen are being used as Vong bait.

    Off to read more... @Cynical_Ben , if backtracking your thread is messing it up, I'll try to find a book-specific one to boot.
  2. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Finished the book and damn, that was a hell of a suspenseful final battle. Of course the Vong had voxyn in places other than Myrkr, and of course they were willing to go on a kamikaze mission.

    The Solo Slingshot move was awesome, as was Han being back in action. Seemed like an all-star Rebel Alliance cast for this battle.

    VERGERE! :_|

    But...Jaina killing Tsavong Lah was spectacular.

    Overall...it's not Traitor, it's not Vector Prime, it's not Conquest...but I think I'd definitely put this one in my top 5.
    darth fluffy and Gorefiend like this.
  3. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    'Sokay, I'd actually appreciate the diversion and your perspective on things we've passed. I have yet to even start The Unifying Force, so, now's a good a time to discuss Alpha Red as any.

    I see Alpha Red as being the main story reason why the Jedi spent so much of the first half of the series hashing out philosophy, because it familiarizes the readers with the most important role the Jedi fill IU: the Moral Compass. If not for the Jedi throwing their weight (literally) on the side of the weapon not being used, it likely would have been. Yes, it would have meant the complete and utter end of the war, but it would have made the Galactic Alliance leadership mass murders on the scale of Palpatine. Genocide should never be an option put to the table by a faction trying to claim the moral high ground, in any universe.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I have difficulty buying that Lando and Karrde's scheme worked, as if Rodan had actually got in bed with real politicians it would have failed, with one of them doing a Clinton-style confessional and lo and behold! All sins are forgiven! Rodan ends up as Chief of State easy.

    As to Alpha Red, for me Triebakk makes the best argument against its use.
  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I wonder what shape the EU would have taken if

    Show Spoiler
    Vergere appeared as an apparition beyond DW.


    Surprised it didn't happen in Abyss or Apocalypse to reinforce the retcon tbh.
  6. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I automatically assumed she would be reborn after dying in a fire in DW. That's what phoenixes do.
  7. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Phoenix? More like turkey - deep-fried! [face_devil]
  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Did you all read Ylesia? I've downloaded it along with Remnant, just not sure what it adds to the rest of the series.
  9. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Ylesia is basically like two chapters cut out of the book that go between chapters 22 and 23 and explain what happened to Pwoe and Thrackan.
    Force Smuggler and CT-867-5309 like this.
  10. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I loved Thrackan in Ylesia; he was hilarious. Didn't he tell the New Republic his bodyguard's last name was Farglblag or something like that?
    Gorefiend and Force Smuggler like this.
  11. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5

    Ylesia is awesome, Sal-Solo and the insanity of the Peace Brigade government have to be seen to be believed. :)
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  12. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I'm a little more than a third of the way through Ylesia and I'm enjoying it. Thracken is an arrogant dumbass but I knew that already.
  13. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    So, I've finally cracked open my copy of The Unifying Force, and I just came upon the most tragic sentence I've read since Anakin died: "Jacen's brown hair was combed back and almost fell to his shoulders now, but he had recently shaved his beard."

    :( Thus his journey to the dark side began. :_|
  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Yet he's perpetually drawn as an older version of his YJK depiction.
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  15. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    This. The American cover of TUF is the only one that properly illustrates Jacen with his post-Traitor hairstyle.
  16. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I like this idea that as Jacen gets older through the NJO, he continues buying clothes that are identical to his existing ones but in larger sizes. And his clothes as drawn on the Japanese covers happen to be Luke's Dagobah training outfit.
    [IMG][IMG]

    I guess it's a darker color though that might be the lighting, but at least the belt is different I guess.
    [IMG]

    ohh... I guess Jacen set the precedent for Cade. To be fair his costume on the covers of YJK was a bit more nondescript and it was the Japanese cover art that gave him Luke's outfit with Han's belt.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 5, 2013
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  17. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    So, I just finished TUF, and I have to say, I echo Jedi Ben's opinion on this book almost completely. Luceno is at his absolute best in this book, and it marks the fulfilling and fully satisfactory end to both the series and, IMO, an era of the EU.

    SO! My idea to make this review different, which I would appreciate feedback on: doing the review in an audio/video format. I looked in the TOS, and I'm pretty sure this is kosher so long as I don't use anything pirated or in flagrant abuse of copyright law. I have recording and editing equipment I can use for a podcast-style audio-only review and a camera for a video review, so both are options. I can do it live, in one sitting, or edit it together in a more formal matter. What I'd like to know is what you all would prefer. Any opinions or ideas are appreciated. And if you'd want to pitch in somehow or otherwise be involved, message me, we'll talk.

    And no, this doesn't mean I'll abandon the text review, I'll still be writing one up and posting it simultaneously with the other review, likely under spoiler tags to aid in keeping post length down, since the review will likely be massive.
  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    My ambition to podcast some sort of NJO roundtable discussion died alongside my passion for Star Wars.
    _Catherine_ and CT-867-5309 like this.
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    My personal preference is for text and, if it's going to be so massive, then use headings! :)
  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    So... proto-Yuuzhan Vong... Sekot... Jacen's moment of numinosity/apotheosis/epiphany... the Unifying Force... uhh...

    I don't remember if people thought this was evil or not.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 6, 2013
  21. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Clearly one person did - see DN - but it wasn't me!
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  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    OK DM the scene I had in mind is the whole Force epiphany which he knows he'll never experience again but wishes to anyway.

    One writer's profound sequence is another "magic = drugs, drugs are bad, m'kay?"
  23. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    I don't think that ever even came up or was mentioned in DN-LOTF though. I kinda wish it had, because even if it was a misinterpretation it still would have been more interesting and more consistent than whatever Jacen's motives were supposed to be.
  24. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    That's what I figured. Here's a quoted section from earlier in the novel:
    Show Spoiler
    "You're suggesting that I've held myself back by not wanting to incorporate this raw power into my awareness of the Force," Luke said.

    "Vergere received years of formal training in the Force," Jacen said. "The things she told me must have been common knowledge among the Jedi of the Old Republic."

    "Vergere was corrupted by the years she spent living among the Yuuzhan Vong," Luke said evenly.

    "Corrupted?"

    "Maybe that's too strong a term. Let's say strongly influenced."

    "But she felt she hadn't been influenced by them."

    "She can't be blamed. Each of us stands at a kind of midpoint, from which we're capable of seeing only so far in either direction. Our senses have been honed over countless millennia to allow us to navigate the intricacies of the physical world. But because of that, our senses blind us to the fact that we are much more than our bodies. We truly are beings of light, Jacen.

    "The emphasis the Jedi have always placed on control operates the same way. Control blinds us to the more expansive nature of the Force. The Jedi of the Old Republic wanted only youngsters for this reason. Jedi needed to be raised in the light, and to come to see that light as unblemished, undivided. But you and I haven't had the luxury of that indoctrination. Our lives are a constant test of our will to exorcise any darkness that creeps in.

    "In that sense, your instincts about me are correct, and so were Vergere's. The dark side has, in a sense, dominated my life. I've suspected for a long time that the fatigue I've sometimes experienced when drawing on the Force during combat owes to my fear of abusing the raw power you describe.

    "It's true that the Force is unified; it is one energy, one power. But here's where I think you and Vergere are incorrect: the dark side is real, because evil actions are real. Sentience gave rise to the dark side. Does it exist in nature? No. Left to itself, nature maintains the balance. But we've changed that. We are a new order of consciousness that has an impact on all life. The Force now contains light and dark because of what thinking beings have brought to it. That's why balance has become something that must be maintained -- because our actions have the power to tip the scales."


    chapter 26 of The Unifying Force, pg 267 of the hardcover edition

    Luke seems to be telling Jacen that Vergere is wrong here, and I would imagine that some people took it this way. After all, it is Luke saying it. And I think this is Luceno's mistake. Luke is the mistaken one, because Jacen's peyote trip is what Luke is saying that he and Jacen don't have the luxury of going on because they weren't raised from birth by the Jedi. In essence, Luke is buying into the prequel dogma in this scene, and I think that's wrong on his part, and Luceno's part. Now, I haven't gotten back up to the climax, and it certainly seems like maybe Luke changed his mind to some extent -- Luke isn't directly referring to what Jacen does, but just the concept of immersing oneself into the Force absent control, which I'd argue that he does against Shimrra and the Slayers. Jacen goes a step beyond even that. I think it's bad writing of Luke on Luceno's part overall for this particular scene, and I think it's Luceno's equivalent of the "Mara/Luke speech" in VOTF where he's trying to clean up Traitor and Onslaught with Luke's exhaustion on Belkadan and Dantooine -- the latter being necessary because Luke doesn't get exhausted in the climax of this novel.

    But I think the problem which Luke has is his diagnosis of Vergere's "influence" is speaking as much to himself as Vergere; it's the earliest ad hominem on Vergere.

    "I found the Force at a time when what I needed was power. I wanted a weapon to protect my friends, not enlightenment. I was thinking of war against the Empire, not peace with the universe. Perhaps something of that lingers in how I see myself."

    pg 161 Shield of Lies

    And Luke is ultimately wrong that it's not something which he or Jacen can't achieve as a result of being separated from the prequel Jedi upbringing, because Jacen does achieve it.
    kataja likes this.
  25. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Hmm, interesting take.

    For myself, I only ever really saw that sequence as restoring the notion of the dark side being both internal and external, which shouldn't be that controversial a notion.