Lit A question on Karen Traviss and her work(s)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Pyrotek, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    They actually did in the BFC trilogy, but only because large portions of the book were from Chewie's POV when he was alone with his family and no one wants ten straight pages of grr rrr rrrrrggh ghhrr.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  2. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
  3. jSarek VIP

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    Feb 18, 2005
    star 4
    There's a TV special that ought to be right up your alley. I think it aired around the holidays ...
  4. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    Yes, I definitely think so.This thread encouraged me to take the plunge into HC in the first place.

    Truthfully, all I knew about Karen Traviss was that she's in love with Mandos and her post-NJO era contributions to Star Wars were awful, so I had no desire to read any of her work. What changed my mind was a piece at Eleven Thirty Eight which discusses an extract from Hard Contact - when Etain senses Darman in the Force for the first time. So these posts convinced me there was enough meditation on the ethics of the whole situation that it would be worth reading. It just so happened that I cared so much about the characters I wanted to keep going.

    I'm about halfway through True Colors and I'm unsure about whether or not I want to keep going after I finish it. I do think reading even this far has changed my mental canon of the Clone Wars (as I said it isn't really an area I cared much about). I was watching an old episode of TCW that happened to be on TV - it was the one where Obi-Wan goes to Mandalore and he and Satine find out about the Death Watch. What struck me was that at the end of the episode Anakin is there and he's accompanied by a squad of troopers and I'm sitting there thinking "Gosh this must be a truly emotional experience for those troopers being on Mandalore!"

    I've quite possibly gone a little loopy.

    One other thing that struck me while I was reading HC is how small a scale story it is. I've never really been into stories that are about 'fringe' characters but HC, like Kenobi, sketches a pretty broad picture with a very narrow focus. It's an intriguing storytelling technique.
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    For me it's a pity HC is the high point of her SW work, unlike her other books, there's more restraint and its much better for it.
    Gorefiend likes this.
  6. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    I agree. I loved Hard Contact. I thought her works would be a second "X-Wing" series to me. I was sadly mistaken. What started out as a fantastic idea with pretty good execution turned into a "WTF, mate?" series.

    Simple story, a few main characters, good execution... Good formula. Too bad it was used once and discarded.
    Valin__Kenobi and Jedi Ben like this.
  7. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    I've carried on to Order 66, watching the date count down towards 3 years and knowing what's going to happen next.
  8. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Aren't you on the record as only having read two Karen Traviss novels?
    Contessa likes this.
  9. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    I've read all of them, and I have a friend who re-reads them.:rolleyes:
  10. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I reread them all the time, and love them just as much every time. :cool:

    Also, my new friend says his friend at school is reading them (and loves them), and that he wanted to read them, so I lent him my copies–and he loves them now, too. He's already breezed through HC and is making headway into TZ. Two more Traviss fans for the roster. :D
    Contessa and Mia Mesharad like this.
  11. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    I find them pretty boring, though. 501st is almost un-readable, in my opinion.
  12. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    That is just it, though. It is your opinion. Myself, others, my friend and his friend, we all find them interesting and entertaining. Just because you find them boring doesn't mean we do. If you find them boring then I am sorry. I just don't see it that way.
    Contessa and Mia Mesharad like this.
  13. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I am a Republic Commando fan, and even I haven't bothered with 501st.
  14. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Well I admit it wasn't my favorite, but it might've been if its sequel had been written. As a standalone it has too little action, too little going on, but as a part one of a duology, it would've been a great start.
  15. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    And what of it? If she wanted me to read more of her work, she should have done a better job of TZ.

    Now if you're just being picky over terms and a mistaken use of a plural when it should be singular, that's an entirely different matter....
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 19, 2013
  16. patchworkz7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2004
    star 4

    If you do decide to quit, stop at the point when Etain is pulled off of Kashyyyk and headcanon in Order 66 happening, Sev being split off from the group, running into Etain while having comms granting O66 but not comms with Delta or Omega, and let your imagination run wild.

    The loss of momentum when the Omega/Delta war got derailed is really where the series missed a grand opportunity, and never quite recovered.

    501st is good reading for the character moments, if you like them, and the foreshadowing of Kal realizing they've all been made fools of by Palpatine (an epigraph in one of the earlier books shows he's known the Nulls have hacked the network and he's planted false info, hence them not knowing where the hell billions of clones are pouring out from) and his changing of his attitude towards the Jedi.

    His attitude is right on the edge of changing in 501st, and the notes for what Traviss would have done in IC: Death Watch pretty much confirm he'd have made peace. I won't spoil it, but he wouldn't have let certain things happen without having had a serious change of heart.
  17. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    I feel like now that I've gone this far I might as well see it through to the end of 501st.
    Revanfan1, RC-1991 and Contessa like this.
  18. son_of_skywalker03 Force Ghost

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    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    Go into with the bar set as low as you can set it.
  19. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Is that just what you personally call it, or was that actually the working title?
  20. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    I though it was IC: Die Jedi, Die
    Riven_JTAC and Revanfan1 like this.
  21. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Obvious photoshop is obvious...

    but funny.
  22. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    Can I just say that
    Show Spoiler
    Etain's death
    was the dumbest thing ever?!

    Definitely reading 501st for the character moments, but only a few chapters in I can see the massive dip in quality.

    As a side note, I really love the use of epigraphs as a storytelling technique. I think I might drop her an email after I've finished the books telling her how much I enjoyed them.
    Last edited by themetresgained, Dec 20, 2013
  23. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I find something interesting in this moment, something reminiscent of the conflict of the Clone Wars as a whole: the Jedi entering an unwinnable situation between two sides that are neither pure right or pure wrong, and that logically is best left alone, yet is irresistible due to the ingrained sense of a moral obligation to save and to protect. Etain holds no enmity toward the fleeing Padawans, and doesn't wish any harm to come to them. At the same time, she also does not want them to harm the clones, either, who she knows from experience aren't malicious, but merely carrying out their duty based upon false pretenses of Jedi treason. I assume that, ideally, neither party would have come to serious harm: the Jedi's reactionary defense and counter attack would have been halted, the clones would have been non-lethally incapacitated, and she and the other Jedi would make their escape. Yet this plan relied on the use of a lightsaber, one which Etain was not able to brandish as needed. While virtually unheard of in this type of fiction, sadly, this is not a scenario unknown to real life; several cases have been reported of off-duty or undercover police and servicemen attempting to drawn a weapon they don't actually have on them at the time, to varied but sometimes tragic results. The instinct, the muscle memory, of going for the weapon that an officer, soldier, or Jedi has been made to understand is there and will always be there because that's how you've been trained, is an incredibly strong one. Had things been different, had Etain not already hidden her lightsaber away for fear of her own persecution, it's likely that no one needed to have died on that bridge at that moment. And much like what happened with Fi, I felt it fit with the overall realistic lean of the series that showed that the sudden randomness of death and disaster is an ever present possibility, even for protagonists.
  24. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    In my book, a clone commando should be a soldier, not some father. They're the fiercest soldiers in the galaxy: yet they become husbands and fathers. [face_sigh]I never liked the series much, but I hope a better RC series will come out.
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Where do baby Mandalorians come from?

    Edit: And what about wives and mothers, for that matter?
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Dec 20, 2013