Discussion in 'Literature' started by DigitalMessiah, Aug 30, 2013.
Well, when the author argues with people on this forum about it...
Oh? I'm not saying you are wrong, so don't mistake me for asking due to that, but do you have links? I'm honestly curious about his thoughts.
I can spend some time digging stuff up, but he did an interview with TFN that's still available and I don't need to find:
That said, later posts on the forum- from the early LoTF era, do say that Vergere's motivations can easily be read as ambiguous:
That goes back to my point of the novel being intentionally ambiguous. Readers are encouraged to draw their own conclusions, but I think that Stover would be the first to question how those conclusions were reached...
I'd say that you can discern Vergere's motive indirectly, and actually rather easily in the epilogue. After all, she's rather proud of Jacen, there's some mention about what the student learns...
That's from folks arguing with him about Traitor. He says Traitor does not contradict what he learned directly from Lucas. Ergo, if a reader perceives a problem with the message of Traitor, is the problem in the message, or in the reader's perception?
Reading that only makes me think more about how things could and should have turned out. The fandom decided long ago that there is ONLY room for Ewoks, Young Jedi Kinghts, and happy go lucky space operas that stray little from anything that hasn't already come before. Oh and lots and lots of Sith.
I've been reading through Stover's posts. He supports the Caedus is a clone of Jacen theory, and points out that the last time Jacen was believed to be dead, he was actually being trained in badassery.
KEEP THE FAITH
You had me at this. I support this forever!
Is it what the teacher teaches, or what the student learns? - a wise old bird
The writers would have to come up with a way to explain why realJacen was absent during the whole Fate of the Jedi fiasco. It would have to be some brutally badass training for him to sit that one out.
realJacen: "I am your father!"
Allana: "That's not true! THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE!"
He was way out of contact with the galaxy during his training and he finally came out when he sensed the Abeloth crisis; "Caedus" is an Abeloth-created clone through Akanah. So Abeloth wasn't out of the Maw, right? But she reached out and touched the young Jedi...maybe she could possess Akanah from a distance, too.
See, that's the thing. I don't think anyone is saying Vergere is a fool, and totally wrong.
She spoke some wisdom. I just firmly believe that her teachings, while allowing him to become the 'hero' of the Vong war, also heightened his arrogance (something he had issues with throughout the NJO) and world view, which eventually led to him falling and doing the things he did. (To say nothing of the line about how he would chase the power he has at the end of TUF, and never attain it again, and how the Jedi needed all hands on deck to rebuild the galaxy, and he went of on a great spiritual journey.)
However, when the author admits freely that the characters motivations are ambiguous, which I would also use the word suspect for, then nothing is as clear cut as it seems and all interpretation are as valid as one another. Which goes right back to the point that its not simply one camp being 'enlightened' along with Jacen and the the rest of the readers simply misunderstanding the mind blowing revelations of Vergere. Because on that point, whatever happened behind closed doors in a meeting, something else either happened to change it so that she was declared a Sith, the Potentium a path to the dark side, and Jacen Solo was falling from Dark Nest onwards. That's what's canon now. The 'Power of the Jedi' roleplaying sourcebook outright declares it a corrupt teaching ("Corrupt, misguided philosophy"), apparently, also. It was written in the same timeframe as Traitor, released around a month apart.
With that in mind, and the ambiguity of her motives that the author himself admits, i'm going by the theory that her teachings are dangerous, if not wrong. And, in turn, that stops it from conflicting with other views of the force. Because there is still power and wisdom in her teachings, but Luke and a thousand generations of Jedi weren't incorrect.
See, those of us who saw Jacen's fall coming aren't the ones who are annoyed that what Mr Stover portrayed didn't get expanded upon, and feel that Jacen was the victim of massive character derailment. We aren't the ones mystified why so many people 'missed' the deeper meanings of Vergere's teachings.
However, since it's 'ambiguous' (man, i'm starting to hate that word already) it means that the other authors and editors may missed the opportunity, mishandled Jacen's character, and so on. That the Pontentium was the future of the Jedi. Stover himself seems to feel this way too, which is odd to me, from that last post about a Jacen clone. Perhaps its just a case of the Jedi learning the wrong thing, to compound matters, to what Jacen learned? After all, isn't 'what is actually learned' a big part of her teaching to Jacen.
Overall, its something of a mess, really. I just find it less of a mess to throw out what she taught as interesting, but a corruption, not only based on her words but by her actions also, and by where it all led. Perhaps the other authors squandered a good thing? But we have LotF and FotJ now, and sadly they are the continuation, even if its not what Stover himself envisioned... which is ambiguous, just Vergere's motives were.
The Potentium isn't even remotely the view/philosophy held by NJO Jacen and Vergere, or the Jedi, or even the authors. Even Sekot comes to reject it.
There's been a few options -- I haven't read Crucible but it sounds like biots might be an option. Crosscurrent had an Imperial cloning facility. There was an intimation of an Abeloth connection with Jacen in Millennium Falcon that Fate of the Jedi just used as a red herring.
I think it would be best to tie it into the antagonist of whatever the new story is -- and for Jacen, as far as being trained during all this time, I have always envisioned his journey as being a spiritual thing rather than a martial thing, so the idea that he picked up all these Force powers strikes me as counterfeit as it is. I can see him just being completely out of touch with everything going on in the galaxy, but I imagine that would make people hate him even more. But that sort of was the direction he seemed to be heading. But just achieving some sense of spiritual balance, the Dai Bendu Je'daii, as it were, I think would make him very much a Qui-Gon-esque knight errant.
A connection between Crosscurrent, Millennium Falcon, LOTF, FOTJ, and NJO would be perfect. Crucible and its biots can burn in a fire–unless that's the only option for bringing good-Jacen back, in which case I say go for it.
I would argue that Vergere's motives were only ambiguous in the sense that we don't crawl into her headspace and we have to interpret them for ourselves -- which results in a myriad of interpretations.
I'd say with Traitor, there's no one right way to interpret it, or Vergere, but there are wrong ways to do so. But I point again at Vergere being proud of Jacen, with the intimation being that Jacen has become what she wanted him to become, as insight into her motives. And Stover straight up says it in that interview.
As for the Potentium, there is a distinction between the Potentium and Vergere -- or what I would call the misinterpretation of Vergere -- which is this:
Potentium: Evil is an illusion, the Force is inherently good and can't be used for evil.
Misinterpretation of Vergere: There is only the Force, the dark side is only internal, but you can do evil.
Vergere: The dark side is not a devil that coerces you into doing anything, you choose to do evil. There is an internal dark side, which is reflected by the external dark side, and vice versa.
Edit: A simpler way to put it: yeah, you have to interpret ambiguity, but that doesn't mean that it means what you want it to mean. The interpretation has to be supported by the text. And a lot of these interpretations aren't. And when Stover posted here, he called out a lot of them. That hasn't stopped people from believing them.
Wookieepedia's entry on the Unifying Force leaves something to be desired. It's not a philosophy so much as it's an aspect of the Force.
Fair enough, I'll leave it at that then. I know where I stand, and don't mind where others stand. What disturbed me was a page of what read very much like intellectual elitism based around a Star Wars characters teachings. I don't even know why I made that last post, aside from perhaps bordom.
From myself or someone else?
In general, it seemed to be the general theme of discussion at the time. No one person, I don't believe, without going back to read again.
He was studing under Ace Rimmer (what a guy), that excuse anything
So Ace Rimmer, Kyle Katarn, and real!Jacen walked into a bar...
Learning the art of kipper-smoking.
As bad as FOTJ was to the legacy of Luke Skywalker ( otherwise i did enjoy some of the novels) to me Crucible was an even worse book on all levels, especially the big three retiring when NOTHING is resolved. Can i actually hope that Disney cleans house, bring in a new publisher and some fresh authors and does this right?? Probably too much to ask. Does Disney even know Star Wars and the EU well enough to get it right?
All right children, the playtime is over. The pure random spew in this thread demonstrates why people proposing your propositions lost the pitch.
If you are truly for a coherent alternative counterthesis for the status quo then we must identify several key factors leading into what happened in the publishing world before you can attempting to curtail the spew going on into something worth of a pitch.
First, nineteen novel series, galaxy left devastated, Jacen Solo promoting a new reformation for the Jedi. The Unifying Force itself is fairly open ended at the end. The Imperial Remnant seems to be on a resurgent by the liberation of Vong occupied space. Do we move forward, or do we enter a period similar to Reconstruction after the American Civil War, aka the biggest clusterfrak in American history. We speak of what is and is not Star Wars so let us look closer at the situation. We might have to bring into the propositions of the prose form and the idea of an expanded universe unto itself.
As it stands, as my professional opinion as a newspaper and literary editor, almost every idea advocated so far is awful. These would never move past an editors desk. You are mixing idealism, the idea of seeing how bright the sunset is with actual writing. There are many hack websites out there promoting these ideas, and the are useless. If they spent as much time creating their cosplays or cheap attempts at snark they might have something profound. Let us focus the spotlight on something important.
Faulkner stated "l and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat." Remember this because this is a key quote George R.R. Martin uses when writing A Song of Ice and Fire. Donaldson and Brooks are also disciples of Faulker so the good creator of Yoknapatawpha County is quite relevant to the galaxy far, far away.So, if the status quo of the EU after The Unifying Force is a stale place, what are we doing as authors to create the conflict for our characters? How are they trying to make their way through the odd and bizarre galaxy?
A fundamental and important mission of a book is to remind us why we are taking the time to read this novel. We have busy lives. What insight are we gaining into the characters and the universe by looking into the book? Do you want to know why current Zahn is a failure? Choices of One and Scoundrels adds no additional knowledge to the characters we love and know. This is partly a failure of the timeframe. The Original Trilogy stands inself as a completed story. As much as I love Shadows of the Empire there is nothing to be gained. So how is this diversion germain to the Legacy era?
We are looking for a continuation of the story. There is a contingent of the fanbase who dislikes the idea of any stories set after Return of the Jedi, and I have little doubt their contentions are applicable to the Sequel Trilogy. The story is complete, the sunset has come, it is time to move on. If we are to move on then we must have motivation to move on.
Zahn can complain however he wants about the EU not taking his pitch. He helped create it, and since he lost the pitch then this is perogative to disagree. However, Hand of Thrawn shows that the galaxy itself is not stable. Old Republic, First Galactic Empire, the New Republic, and now the Galactic Alliance. Fifty years of instability followed by the Vong adding their screaming and yelling into the mix. Now many naifs want us to believe the GFFA must follow a course exactly like the fantasied version of United States history. They are of course ignoring the Hartford Convetion, the Nullification Crisis, the debate precipitating the Mexican-American Wars, the compromises made by the Grand Triumvirate, Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War, and the travails of Reconstruction. Now you must say no, this Star Wars universe is better suited to a more peaceful way.
Yes, a decades long First Galactic Civil War and Yuuzhan Vong Invasion means the galaxy has infinite peace after a tremuldous several decades toppled the thousand year way of living. The Expanded Universe by its definition means the story must go on. Where is your consistency? Where is your clear definition? If you are contending the story continues then why are you angry at changes?
Tragedy is a core component of the Star Wars experience in the lighter and darker entries. Luke lacks parents to find out his father is Lord Vader. Now Havac is contending the first nineteen novels are wasted, and once again Lucas is revealing why he need a rigourious post-secondary English experiece. Emotional core, this is the argument we are going for. Very few EU novels have this. The nonsense posing as attempts at profoundity illustrate this. Do you want to know why?
Here Lucas, I have a counterpoint for you instead of the typical hand touching at your website. Consider that Jacen Solo's fall makes the New Jedi Order even more heroic because within us all is the capacity for good and evil. In Mormon theology Lucifier was God's most trusted lieutenant in the premordal council before Jesus' plan was undertaken. All of our heroes contain the capacity for darkness. This is a trait inherent to the prose form.
If you feel that novels and films are the same then you a fool who needs to study what they can and cannot do. A novel lets us see the characters for all of their flaws, for what they can and cannot do. Why is the implementation of a novel allowing what they should do such a flaw? Wait, becuase you are a fan of trash, and you want everything to be trash. Thank God this has not happened.
None of you, not a single person in this thread has offered a true counterpoint to the post-NJO status quo. You tried to make a smart alec remark because you cannot pick up a woman at a bar, you tried to be intelligent, but you have not. Come on, my claws are finally out. Let us see all you rise to the occasion. Remember this.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,