Lit A Cynical Walk Through the NJO

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

  1. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    The best part of the New Jedi Order series is no matter how marginalized it is within the Expanded Universe continuity, no matter if it's even rendered "non-canon" by the sequel trilogy, they exist as a continuity among each other that makes them worthwhile to read as a series, even if it is within a vacuum of no "continuity" with anything else. And their continuity between each other is the best kind of "continuity" that there is, continuity with a purpose that serves the narrative.

    Re: Boba Fett, his words kind of fly in the face of "The Last One Standing," but you can easily shrug it off as Fett saving face.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 20, 2013
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  2. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6
    It's over! A momentous but sad occasion, like when one finishes the LOTR trilogy for the first time. Such a wonderful series with a smashing ending, and you are simultaneously happy to get there, and sad that there's no more! :(

    That said, NJO was without a doubt the high point of the EU. I am not convinced that any author, regardless of whether it was Denning in an alternate reality where he chooses to follow TUF, or Luceno and Stover themselves, could top the wonder of NJO fully. No, this series was It. The end-all, be-all of post-ROTJ EU that every author from then on should've striven to follow; instead it was discarded due to "misunderstandings" and "dislikes." I cannot say that I am happy Episode VII will likely overwrite post-ROTJ EU–but I can say, that I am glad LOTF and FOTJ will not be official canon anymore, either. A fond farewell salute to this thread's reviews, and thanks @Cynical_Ben for doing it. You did wonderful. I laughed, I cried (okay, not actually), and I generally enjoyed the experience. =D=

    And, if TUF had ended with Luke saying "Well, I'm back," and kissing his wife and child, then I probably would've broken into shameless tears.
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  3. Force Smuggler Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Wall of text indeed.
    Best ending ever to the best series ever. Shivers, the feels. All of it.
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  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    He, Cynical Ben, thinks with his review of TUF this thread will end? Does he not know the internet? More fool him! No way will this thread end! :)

    I'm going to throw in the best bit about Alpha Red here - its use ends up embody Triebakk's point about blowback perfectly!

    Oh and C_B? There's a great follow-up on Alpha Red in the Legacy comics, I won't say how or when but it comes up, a century later!
  5. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    When I think about it, sitting down and reading The Unifying Force back on November 4, 2003 was quite possibly the pinnacle of my Expanded Universe experience. I mean, I think I can count on one hand the number of EU experiences that are similar to the experience of seeing a new Star Wars movie at the midnight showing, and of those reading TUF was the most rewarding experience.
  6. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6
    I agree. Even already having spoiled myself as to the ending, TUF was one of my favorite novels ever to read. Traitor and Kenobi rank up there, but TUF is simply amazing.
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  7. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    Traitor is probably a better novel, but The Unifying Force is five years worth of payoff. The series was a nineteen book, five year undertaking with a central mystery and hero's journey and it was sublime to see that concluded after investing the time and interest in it.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 22, 2013
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  8. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2006
    star 3
    It's at times like this I wished I hadn't misplaced my NJO books (don't care much about where the LotF ones ended up though...). I'd been following some of the discussions here off and on, mostly because I was curious, and partly because I was wondering if my memories of NJO were just nostalgia and rose-tinted glasses, especially considering DNT, LotF, and what I've heard about FotJ. Was what I remembered actually better, or was it just better by comparision?

    From what I've seen here, I'm glad to see that it wasn't completely nostalgia and rose-tinted glasses. Will definitely have to track the series down, either to see if I can find the copies I already got, or buy it all again (eventually).

    Had to quote this, mostly because I agree with it. From I remembered at the time, if Star Wars had an actual ending, TUF would have been it. I think it's amazing that Luceno was able to pull off an ending that was epic, fit with the series, didn't leave any dangling plots besides "What happens next?", didn't brush off the hardships our heros had gone through, and yet was still a fun and exciting adventure. And yes, as Revanfan1 said earlier, if it had ended with Luke going home to Mara and Ben, saying "I'm back," it would have been perfect. And I think it's saying something about Luceno's skill, considering that the only series that I have seen all the way through that had finales about as good or better than NJO's are Babylon 5, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Others have tried, but were either hit-or-miss (like Battlestar Galactica) or just flat out crashed and burned (I'm looking at you Mass Effect 3).



    QFT. Ideally, I'd like it if the new film/films took everything up to and through TUF as canon and rebooted everything after it, getting rid of DNT, LotF, and FotJ. Realistically, I believe they'll probably reboot everything after RotJ. If they do that, I think I'd be fine with it. I've got NJO and everything leading up to it at worst. If the new stuff is good, so much the better.

    But yes, NJO as a series is great, even with its faults (and for some of those, there's always fanfiction. :p ).

    And before I go =D= to Cynical_Ben for getting through TUF, NJO, and posting that monster of a write-up.
  9. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, TUF is definitely the first step on the road to rewriting Vergere. Which I hate to admit, because I love the book so much, but Luceno botched it big-time. This is the first instance of Luke refuting a Vergere who never existed -- rejecting a message she never expressed, expressing concern over lessons she never taught. Oddly enough, he basically ends up settling on what she actually said as being the truth that he's taking instead of the things she supposedly said but never actually did, but it's still a major misstep, a serious botch of the landing of the philosophical journey that's at the heart of the whole series' throughline.
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  10. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of CT, SW Saga and Lucasfilm Ltd

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Question for you all: Remnant is so ****ing awful that I may need to skip the other two Force Heretic books if they are equally bad. Does the trilogy improve at all and if not, is it possible to skip the books and still know what the hell is happening later?
  11. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Remnant, for me, was the the best of a bad bunch - Keyes is pretty good at recapping, so you could perhaps skip to TFP but I haven't read that for over a decade!
  12. Cynical_Ben Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Yeah, that's what I'd reccomend. You'll get the recap in The Final Prophecy and The Unifying Force if you just can't take the Force Heretic books. I read them because I'm anal about completion, but if you don't care, by all means, skip them.
  13. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Something else that needs saying about this thread and its topic....

    NJO threads can easily devolve into accusations aimed at hackneyed stereotypes conjured by either side and from there things get worse.

    This thread not only didn't take such a gutter route, it soared upwards and went far past such crudity to actually creating a damn good discussion. In that respect it's quite unique as I'm hard-pressed to recall a similar one.

    But that didn't happen by chance! So, to all participants, take a bow!
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  14. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I get the impression that it was an instance of the inmates running the asylum in the sense that there was -- and still is -- the contingent of fans to whom Vergere was a secret Sith or Jedi infiltrator or dark Jedi or whatever, and Luceno basically didn't want that perception to harm the narrative or the outcome of the story, so he had Luke reject her by agreeing with her to take her "radioactivity" off of her philosophy. He also spelled it out very carefully and simply.

    Unfortunately, that didn't stop what followed. I was reading Dark Nest again and the straw men are very deliberately constructed by Denning.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
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  15. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of CT, SW Saga and Lucasfilm Ltd

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    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    @Jedi Ben and @Cynical_Ben : thanks for the feedback. If Remnant is the best of the three, there is no way I'll be able to make it through the other two, so I'll be skipping them. I look forward to more Keyes.
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'd say C_B's advice is the more reliable! He's read it far more recently! :D
  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    re: Vergere

    Thing is, if Luceno constructed the outline of NJO, as has been said, then this could actually have been the plan all along, couldn't it?
  18. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    To have Luke criticize her by agreeing with what she said?

    To be honest maybe the scene is overblown by me because it ultimately comes down to a perceived difference of semantics between Luke and Vergere, but the problem is he says she was corrupted by the YV before back pedalling and saying that she was influenced, but he never explains what he means or how that accounts for the semantic difference.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    What I'm suggesting is it's more like 'illusion of change' as opposed to 'actual change' which is something franchises tend to be very good at.

    So you have a story with a conundrum, apparently radical new knowledge is found in the course of attempting to solve it, then, at the end, that radical knowledge isn't deemed as radical due to reasons A, B, C .

    Personally I'm very sceptical that NJO really was as planned out as people claim, but if it was then that suggests what TUF does was always part of it. Ah but how to account for this clash? Perhaps it may be that it was Stover who went off-piste rather than Luceno?

    Unlike some here, who have read that TUF interview, I haven't so I'm not sure what was and wasn't deemed part of the Plan! I mean you could, from a certain point of view see Omas' authorising the deployment of Alpha Red as setting up his disagreements with the Jedi in DN! I don't particularly wish to, but interpretation's there.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 23, 2013
  20. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I doubt Stover went off script because it ties directly into Jacen's moment.

    That's the whole thing: Vergere is "right," and Luke disagrees with her or impugns her character despite reiterating what she said, and then Jacen puts it into practice. You could just drop the scene it serves no purpose.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
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  21. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    So something you like is part of the plan but something you don't isn't? :confused: :p

    For all we know the specs for Traitor read: Jacen undergoes ordeal, is taught a different way of being a Jedi by Vergere, required intensity and amount of philosophy required is level 5. Of course, Stover being Stover, he delivers level 10 intensity and that's why the two books don't really marry up.
  22. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    I'm not sure how you're reaching your conclusion. The series bible didn't plan out individual scenes in the novels.

    And the scene in question had a null effect on the plot. Luke reiterated the Force info in agreement with Vergere at the end.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
  23. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Then I'm no longer seeing your problem with all this!

    All the last few posts have been is me suggesting possible ways to resolve this supposed difficulty, but if it isn't there anyway.... None of it's needed then.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 23, 2013
  24. _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    I feel like the NJO was probably planned out the same way Lost was planned out. Like we want this, this, and this to happen, this character is going to die, this one's going to save the day at the end as a culmination of his growth throughout the series, the bad guy will have really been ______ all along, maybe we can do a subplot about this if we have time, the point of the story is for the characters learn X about whatever, and we'll figure out the rest of the details out as we go.

    Actually the NJO was probably planned out better than Lost.
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  25. DigitalMessiah Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    Yeah you're giving Lost too much credit. Desmond had a vision of Claire and baby Aaron getting on a helicopter if Charlie died!