Lit A Cynical Walk Through the NJO

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

  1. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    oh man, that's how the EU has felt to me for the past decade at least

    it's too self aware

    like having Leia say Han shot first, thanks denning. or Han telling a joke about a wookiee and an ewok walking into a bar in Shadow Games. wtf is that

    Also Jacen's green lightning was nonlethal so its all kosher. I read an interview with WJW where he says that Vergere is a Jedi consequentialist. That kind of annoyed me.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jun 14, 2014
    Cynical_Ben likes this.
  2. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    That's happened in like a dozen books.
    Revanfan1 and DigitalMessiah like this.
  3. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    yeah I feel like it's happened in at least two of denning's books. Maybe three. And then he tries to make Han Solo into Indiana Jones with bugs. Why'd it have to be bugs?

    I mean it's not like Zahn didn't do the same crap with regurgitated movie lines in the Thrawn trilogy, or have characters think back to how this is just like the forest moon of Endor or Jabba's palace or whatever.

    It's just like, it smacks of fan fiction, or at least subordinate fiction when you drop this crap in. The Empire Strikes Back didn't have to tell us how much it was just like Star Wars.

    Back to the topic I guess sorta, I didn't mind WJW as a writer or his prose or whatever but obviously there were a lot of issues with consistency and his general understanding of what's going on. I guess Shelly Shapiro is the one that wanted to kill Vergere and Lucy Wilson and Sue Rostoni didn't want Vergere to die. Shocker.
    CT-867-5309 likes this.
  4. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    lmao
  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    huh so denning never did it and it was just traviss and allston

    I thought it was in Dark Nest and maybe Tatooine Ghost
  6. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Better do a close re-reading of his entire bibliography to be sure
    kubricklynch likes this.
  7. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I'm pretty sure I'll never read a book written by Denning again. Maybe Star by Star, although even that one is pretty intolerable with its pacing. I mean it's not like Denning did a much better job than WJW in terms of consistency, and at least WJW didn't shove his pet characters in our faces.
  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I suppose the post-NJO books really ****ed up the impact of Vergere's death but that was the most emotional moment for me in Destiny's Way. I liked the "Ackbar is back!" moment but it's much less memorable than Vergere or Alpha Red.

    Or the Vong all erupting in hives. [face_laugh]
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  9. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Oh yeah I thought that was dumb too. :p Like in Traitor Jacen winning the dhuuryam over to his side was a great symbolic victory because because it meant that the heart of the Yuuzhan Vong's dark creation had been tainted by Jacen's light, then in DW all it did was make the YV's toilets back up.
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    look that is important for morale
  11. blackmyron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    Considering the amount of "meta" lines or meaningless cameos showing up in CWAS, I would assume that's how the SW universe is. Certainly I expect jokes about Han's shooting ability, someone mentioning they have a bad feeling, etc. in the new movie. Maybe even a joke about Han once surviving an orbital bombardment hiding in a portable environmental-controlled food storage unit, or something.
  12. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I'm sure Episode VII will be full of it.
  13. blackmyron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    I should point out that in Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, Han actually does beat his opponent by not shooting first.
    Riv_Shiel likes this.
  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Actually though, what did you expect would happen? Jacen explains his intention was to teach a lesson about fundamentalism by disallowing their terraforming of the planet to match their fundamentalist perspective, and that to succeed they will need to compromise. What was the World Brain going to do?
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jun 14, 2014
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  15. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Luke: "You sure your reflexes are quick enough to shoot first? You're 71 years old."

    Han: "Never tell me the odds."

    Leia: "Han, you let a door fall on your ankle."

    Han: "My ankle is fine. It's just a sprain. I'll have full range of motion again in a couple of days."

    3PO: "Sir, the odds of a broken ankle healing that quickly are as good as the odds of being able to speak while in carbon freeze."

    Han: "Shut up."

    Luke: "I have a bad feeling about this."
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jun 14, 2014
  16. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    WHY DON'T YOU JUST MARRY DW IF YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH
  17. dokratr0 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2013
    star 1
    I really ****ed up reading this for the first time as an idiot ten year-old. I was just buying, and reading, whatever books came into the bookshop near me, so roughly my NJO went, in order;
    - Enemy Lines I
    - Destiny's Way
    - Dark Journey
    - Dark Tide I & II
    - Agents of Chaos
    - Balance Point
    - Edge of Victory
    - Force Heretic III
    - The Unifying Force
    Grey1 and Revanfan1 like this.
  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I'd note that the absence of Traitor from that list is conspicuous, but at the same time it's probably best not to read it when you're ten.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Jun 14, 2014
  19. Thuro Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2013
    star 4
    I've only read a few. Destiny's Way was a great book in my opinion. I liked Vergere's scenes. I really hated how they retconned her into a sith. She was so much more....
    Last edited by Thuro, Jun 14, 2014
  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Vergere is okay in Destiny's Way I guess.

    "Vergere was an enormously fun character to write, because she's so extreme. She tortured Jacen Solo for eons in hopes of turning him into an enlightened being!"

    "Her treatment of Jacen in TRAITOR is a complete refutation of Luke's understanding of compassion." I guess I could make a snarky comment about how compassion is for those who deserve it.

    I find it curious that WJW feels comfortable making assertions about a book he evidently didn't read.
    Riv_Shiel and Revanfan1 like this.
  21. Thuro Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2013
    star 4
  22. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I blame the fans. TTT came out and fans went ape**** over Thrawn and military people were coming up to Zahn and going, "I'd love to serve under Thrawn!" (this is stupid, you do not want to serve under Thrawn, pay attention dumbass, you want to serve under Wedge Antilles or Ackbar), and everyone was like "HE SO AWESOME YES!" and I think Zahn got carried away by the fan reinterpretation/stupid interpretation/uninterest in interpretation because he's awesome smart cool of the character. I mean, he was a really great villain, but he was a villain, but fans kind of lost sight of that because he was such an awesome villain and they latched onto how smart and "sensible" and cool he was and he wasn't as obviously malevolent as Vader and Palpatine. So Zahn got mobbed by Thrawn groupies telling him Thrawn was awesome and honorable and totally way better than any other Imperial like I don't even think he's that bad a guy he should have joined the New Republic, and I think that response had to color the way he approached the character going forward, knowing he was a massively popular fan favorite. Had fans mobbed him saying, "He's a great villain, so brilliant, so ruthless, I want Ackbar to kick his ass but he's so fascinating!" I think we could have gotten a different slant on Thrawn.
  23. Thuro Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2013
    star 4
    Ahem. I am one of those fans. Thrawn believed in what he was doing. His beliefs were idiotic but he was trying to do the right thing.
  24. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I guess we're fulfilling the cynical part of the thread.

    I could see the complete disconnect between Thrawn in Dark Force Rising and Thrawn in Choices of One arising through silly "broken telephone" evolution, primarily Thrawn's depiction in Outbound Flight in which it's perhaps justifiable to show him in a relatively uncorrupted state, and the presentation of the Empire of the Hand being this relatively egalitarian version of the Empire with regard to its inclusion of the Chiss -- which Zahn expanded to other alien species in Survivor's Quest. The problem is that this acceptance expanded to Thrawn and it doesn't really make sense why he's this progressive, enlightened thinker when it comes to tolerance or whatever but then he's mistreating the Noghri and perpetuating the poisoning of their planet. I mean, this is kind of important, since the fact that he did this is essential to his downfall as a villain, and it's completely at odds with how he's now depicted by Zahn.

    Hell, Denning did the same thing with the character in Tatooine Ghost, where he's incognito as a stormtrooper commander, and the lesson he's trying to impart that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar is something Thrawn himself doesn't seem to understand in Heir to the Empire when he shows up on Wayland and starts demolishing buildings because no one is giving him info.

    The guy wasn't a sympathetic character in the Thrawn trilogy at all, but he was someone you respected as a villain. Somehow he's become this tragic hero which doesn't fit the original characterization at all or really even make sense.
  25. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2013
    star 3
    I think Thrawn's characterization could be better if Zahn didn't make Vader or Palpatine so incompetent and ooc by comparison.

    Like in Choices of One, when he told Palpatine to beware the Ewoks on Endor. Without any very specific knowledge of the future, that just sounds like the most rediculous advice because they are teddy bears of no threat at all. And it even smacks of irony considering Thrawn's death was a result of underestimating the Nogiri.

    Basically I could never buy when Zahn tried to paint his character as somehow smarter than the Sith Lords. If that WERE true, why wouldn't it be Thrawn's Empire?