Lit A Cynical Walk Through the NJO

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

  1. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    That is far from the biggest plot hole. Also Nom Anor discovered the Shamed Ones rebellion twice!

    My point is that I don't doubt that Luceno and Shelly Shapiro and whoever had most or all of the major story beats plotted out in advance, but within that framework some plot holes and contradictions will inevitably fall through the cracks once you get a dozen different people writing their part of the story independently. I'll still take that process over the way LOTF and FOTJ were planned in advance, though, which was not at all.
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  2. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Force Heretic is the Maw of plot holes and continuity errors.
  3. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    C-3PO can translate the Yuuzhan Vong language because it's just like some random language spoken in the Outer Rim, despite developing in a different galaxy.

    That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
  4. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Eh that's where extraterrestrial and extragalactic don't mean much in distinction. He can translate the Ewoks too but they're supposedly this unknown species.

    Which I suppose requires justification that the EU has since provided that Endor is the island from Lost with people crashing there frequently and presumably influencing their language sufficiently for Threepio to translate it.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
  5. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    How long did it take for him to learn their language?
    I take it that you have not seen Fox News
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  6. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    What about 3PO knowing Kesh in FotJ?
  7. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    This. Very much this. I'd thank everyone involved for the respectful, insightful, stimulating discussion involved in this thread, but that would make this a very long post. NJO is a divisive series, to say the least, and the fact that we really never had the thread break down into strawmanning or name calling, or even just passive-aggressive sarcasm, makes it better than about 90% of the rest of the discussion on the series out there. It's one of the reasons I love this board so much, the posters here by and large are respectful, thoughtful, and honest without posturing or being facetious.
  8. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Having a keyboard with which to type, I think the NJO is likely the most planned out thing from start to finish ever done in Star Wars. Yeah, even more than the movies, sorry to blow it Lucas!

    Based upon what behind the scenes material I've read/heard, e.g. interviews with the participating authors and the ERC information, I think the general story arc was planned. Some iteration of a dwarf "power behind the throne" guy being melted seems to have been present from day one, when Anakin Solo the PROPHESIED LIGHTBRINGER melted a guy with his LIGHT (although I suppose day one might be hyperbole as it may have been absent from the earliest story in which Anakin kills Jacen). Vergere appeared that early on as well.

    I don't think the plots of the individual novels were necessarily planned out. They were given milestones to hit in the novel, as well as the general climate of the uberplot and knowledge of what preceded and will follow. Troy Denning was given the task of depicting Anakin Solo's death and the fall of Coruscant to the YV, but how those things happened were entirely up to him. He could have had Anakin die defending Coruscant. He didn't have to have Viqi Shesh kidnap Ben temporarily -- I don't think Ben was even in the series outline but was a late addition. His role in the plot is purely fan -- and author, I guess? -- service.

    I doubt any author "deviated" from the script or had the latitude to do so beyond emphasizing certain things in their novel that weren't necessarily important to the series as a whole at the expense of the series plot. But that's probably entirely subjective or otherwise unknowable!
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
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  9. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
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    o_O In what way do you mean "most planned out thing from start to finish ever done in Star Wars"?
  10. LightsaberAccident Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2013
    star 1
    I'm kinda bemused with the idea of Anakin getting fed up with his brother's navel-gazing and holding down the Force Grip key when he's looking at Jacen for a couple seconds too long.
  11. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I mean nothing has had the level of advance planning in Star Wars that the NJO had.

    In said iteration, Jacen had evidently turned to the dark side. LOTF/FOTJ mined abandoned and rejected story ideas from the NJO.

    Incidentally, in the earlier iterations of the NJO, Anakin was the navel-gazer.

    But the Yuuzhan Vong were originally the Lost Tribe of the Sith, more or less, and Anakin had his Vestara love interest which drove Jacen and Jaina to the dark side out of jealousy. The Yuuzhan Vong as Sith was rejected by Lucas while the Solo twins turning to the dark side was presumably abandoned because it's terrible. I'm not sure what the thinking is in taking rejected and bad and thus abandoned ideas for the next story.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 23, 2013
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  12. LightsaberAccident Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2013
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    What the...
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  13. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
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    Perhaps the distinction between NJO and what followed was that when they had these planning sessions, they actually filtered out the bad ideas. Someone at Lucasfilm or Del Rey wisely pointed out it was a terrible idea and they dropped it, but that person was on vacation when they finalized the uberplot for LOTF.
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  14. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    I am afraid I don't understand what you mean. Maybe if I ask you to compare NJO to the Thrawn Trilogy
  15. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    The Thrawn trilogy is three books by the same author.

    The NJO is a nineteen book series released over five years involving eleven different authors (plus other people whom didn't author books), initially planned out in 1998 and completed in late 2003.

    Edit: Whoops, forgot WJW. Twelve different authors!
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 24, 2013
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  16. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Now I understand you. Thanks for clearing it up
  17. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, it's become kind of noticeable that, after the intense planning and brainstorming of the NJO, a "Sure, what the hell, first draft is good enough!" mentality seems to have taken over the editing department. It's like DR turned into Kruger Industrial Smoothing all of a sudden.

    "I was, uh, thinking about turning the hero of the last series into a villain and killing him."

    "Whatever!"
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  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Or was there perhaps simply a different ethos? Whatever I may think of NJO, there is at least a sense that the various authors saw it in collaborative terms - though I never liked Denning's revision of Keys' EOV in the SBS summary, but that's a rare exception.

    In contrast, on the likes of LOTF, it was, by most accounts, evident in the material that this shared outlook was lacking, particularly with regard to Traviss and Denning's work. Allston? He may have been trying his best, but 1 man can't do a dance designed for 3 no matter how good he is.

    An essential aspect of filtering out bad ideas is that those who advocate them are open to the notion that it isn't as good as they thought and they're not so attached to it as to fight tooth-and-nail for it. Which is my guess as to what happened on LOTF, neither Denning or Traviss had any interest in compromising their ideas and there was no sufficient editorial club to force the issue. Or, it may well have been Traviss pushing a certain direction that Denning resisted and felt he couldn't give in on?
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 24, 2013
  19. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Just wanted to pop back in to wish all of my forum friends a very happy Christmas; and even if you don't celebrate it, enjoy the time off work and such.

    Also, a though for what my next thread will be. I've alluded many times to my love affair with the Allston/Stackpole duo and the X-wing series in general. However, I'd previously owned only two of the books in the series, Rogue Squadron and Solo Command, and had read all of the others via the library years ago. Now, thanks to my mom reading the Amazon wish list I sent her, I own the entire nine-book series, and I'd like to propose the idea for a new thread: Cynically Reliving the X-Wing series!
  20. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I'd like that. Except I think that they are putting a halt on the read through threads. Or are debating the merits of them or something.
  21. Grade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2013
    star 1
    Yes, please.

    Like the reviews of NJO books, but since I love X-Wing series, I might try to keep up with you!
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Suggestion - just change the title of this thread. We all know where to find it after all, but there will be a reduced level of cynicism around the X-Wing series.

    Second, you're including the comics aren't you?

    Finally, there is,technically a 10th book now!
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 25, 2013
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  23. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    First, I could, if I had a mod around to change it for me. Second, I don't have any of the comics, so, probably not unless I can get my hands on the entire series relatively quickly and cheaply. Third, good point, I still need to pick up the PB of Mercy Kill. I keep thinking I already have it, but, no, that's Knight Errant... I'll probably PM a mod and ask whether going into a new series would be permisso, and if so, would they kindly change the threat title for me.
  24. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    The entire XWRS run has been Omnibused. Volume 3 you can get used on Amazon for like $4 but for some reason the first two look pretty pricey right now. There's also an extra XWRS special in the Other Sons of Tatooine Omni but that's going for about $4 as well.
    Last edited by _Catherine_, Dec 25, 2013
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    You have to do Invasion if you're going to do the X-Wing comics. Even though it isn't really relevant to the NJO besides being set during it.