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Lit Anakin Solo is overrated

Discussion in 'Literature' started by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I've been getting too many likes lately so I felt like making this thread. Just as a caveat this is of course only expressing my opinion which I'm not trying to pass off as fact.

    In any case, I really don't understand the fascination with the character, or the outrage over his death. His arc had pretty much concluded and it wasn't particularly deep or satisfying to me. He's a guy that blames himself for stuff outside of his control, and after initially curling into a ball and feeling sorry for himself because his father blamed himself for Chewbacca's death, he turned that into motivation to drive himself forward. Okay.

    He had his teen romance with Tahiri but it's not like it's this amazing romance that we were robbed when he died. I don't think Star Wars has ever really done romance all that well so I guess it probably wasn't awful which in SW is good, so I dunno. I suppose there was potential there for Tahiri's future development to dynamically impact their relationship.

    But really, he doesn't strike me as a character with any particular nuance, just a living embodiment of wish fulfillment in escapist fantasy. The term Gary Stu gets thrown around a lot here and I don't think it's really an accurate assessment of a majority of the characters it's applied to, but I honestly think of characters with traits belonging to a Gary Stu that Anakin Solo certainly has some. His failings aren't his failings, he just gets blamed for them and feels bad about it even though he didn't actually do anything to fail. It's not his fault Chewbacca died, but he gets to feel bad about it and that's his failure.

    He's this super great Jedi and it's all completely unearned.

    He's just not interesting.
    [IMG]
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014
  2. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
  3. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    [IMG]

    Recall the FADA fleet from the far side of Endor!
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  4. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    FADA is a term which I'm not familiar with?
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Now that's surprising, given when you registered! Reasonably certain it was still around at that time.

    In any case, answer is Fans Against Dead Anakin.

    In hindsight, it could be suggested that the killing off of Anakin Solo is where the road to the cynicism of Dark Nest and its successors began. In any case, it seems that DR concluded people wanted more of this sort of thing so duly supplied it.
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  6. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2013
    star 4
    I haven't read much of the NJO, so I never really cared for him.
  7. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    The Edge of Victory novels, especially the first one, are all the proof we need of Anakin totally not being overrated. For starters, he has a logical, compelling character arc with a romance that is not mushy, but actually based on a years-long friendship that blossomed into something more. Not only this, but his time with Vua Rapuung, an enemy, actually makes him a better person than what he started out as in the beginning of the novel. There are moments where he does stupid things, learns from them, and moves on and becomes a better person for it. Not only that, but he's there for Tahiri and is willing to do anything, even die, to save her, but it's not like Anakin Skywalker; Anakin Solo would never have turned to the dark side to achieve his goals. And if that's not enough proof:

    "Kiss Tahiri for me."

    :_|
  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I liked Anakin but I still agree with a lot of your post, @DigitalMessiah .

    I came into the EU only within the past few years with the prequel-era stuff so I wasn't around when the NJO books came out; the idea of a Fans Against Dead Anakin is funny to me. Although that said, if the rumors are true that he had to die to keep people from confusing him with Anakin Skywalker...that is pretty stupid.

    I loved Anakin and Tahiri, and I liked Anakin with Vua Rapuung. I felt sorry for him when he blamed himself and got blamed by Han for leaving Chewie behind. Other than that I'm not sure what he did prior to the mission to Myrkr other than have philosophical arguments with Jacen.

    He seems to be a character who us defined by his relationships with other people as opposed to his own accomplishments, and maybe that really works for some people; but only Yavin and Myrkr stick out in my mind regarding Anakin and that was more for Vua, Tahiri and his family than Anakin himself.

    Star by Star broke my heart and I wouldn't have it any other way. I think Anakin surviving leading that mission might have made him a Stu.

    And his main purpose afterwards might have been keeping Tahiri from going bats. There wasn't much else for him to do.
    Jobertus likes this.
  9. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    Yeah, I hate that. When I notice that I'm getting too many likes I usually mention that the clones are non-sentient mooks.

    It is a fact, though. Right, Tenel Ka?
    Now that that's settled...


    For me, and from what I got from others, Anakin is a fun, nice guy action hero who makes a decision, charges into battle with a smile on his face, kills the bad guys, spares the not-so-bad guys, saves the girl and the day. He's pure mindless fun. He absolutely is wish fulfillment, but that's not really a bad thing, imo. He's Luke Skywalker in ANH, here to rescue you. He's this:
    [IMG]
    Even though Jacen usually gets these poses, this is really Anakin.

    Anakin is decisive, he doesn't waste time and page space with boring thinking. He is the anti-Jacen. Jacen thinks, Anakin does.

    I didn't feel any outrage over his death. Yeah, I lost a fun, young character. The young part didn't become tragic until the eradication of the next generation of Star Wars continued. Other than that, I don't care, I'm fine with his death.

    The romance....was kinda cute. It's cute because they're young and they've been friends since they were little, so it's a girl next door thing. Wish fulfillment. I don't think it's amazing. However, like you said, Star Wars doesn't do romance well, so any decent romance become more appealing when compared to Anakin&Padme and Luke&Mara.

    No particular nuance. Escapist wish fulfillment. Now that I think about it there's definitely quite a bit of Stu in there, but I never found it annoying.

    He's a super great Jedi and it's mostly unearned, but SHUT UP BRAIN and soak up the fun.
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5

    That's not true, it's a distortion of what originally was intended, which is laid out in detail in The Essential Reader's Companion. Which is this:

    Originally Anakin was the hero of the New Jedi Order series, and Jacen was supposed to die. Their characterizations were swapped, so Anakin was the guy asking Luke "is this what it means to be a Jedi Knight?" all the time, whereas Jacen was the heroic character that died. The Yuuzhan Vong were exiled Sith, and there was a prophecy concerning their defeat by a Lightbringer. Since Jacen was the big hero, the Yuuzhan Vong/exiled Sith thought he was the Lightbringer, and targeted him and killed him, but the pacifist whiner Anakin was the real Lightbringer who, upon being trained by Vergere, comes into his own and defeats their leader.

    Lucas didn't want the hero of the NJO to be an Anakin who was subject to a prophecy because that was treading close to what he was doing with the prequels -- and the whole prophecy element may have been a huge coincidence because this was probably sometime in 1998 that this was the plan. Lucas also didn't want the villains to be Sith because of the rule of two -- in Lucas' mind, there can't be more than two Sith for a long period of time because they'll eventually whittle each other down to two, so the idea of this Sith society didn't fit his vision of what the Sith were.

    Ergo, the exiled Sith became the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong, Jacen and Anakin had their characterizations swapped, and the prophecy was dropped. However, the death of the Solo boy that wasn't the principal hero was maintained. Whether that was a good idea or not is up for debate, I suppose. I think it's kind of a zero sum thing myself.
  11. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5

    Okay, but I already have that character. His name is Luke Skywalker.

    Oh god I forget myself. The double post. Please don't beat me Ulicus.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014
  12. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    He was pretty amazing in Dark Tide II: Ruin, IMO.

    Yeah, you're right. He's the feel-good, gets-things-done character, and he could've been more, I think, if he hadn't died. He and Tahiri were apparently supposed to do something amazing together, but his death ruined this. I hate that there was a whole prophecy ruined by his death, but I hate it in a way that's relevant to the story. Despite the fact that I wish he wasn't dead, I think his death worked. He's still not overrated though, IMO. :p

    Sometimes you need those heroes. But sometimes you need the Jacens, the people who think things through to make sure they're doing the right thing. It's all about moderation. For every Anakin, there has to be a Jacen.

    I didn't feel outrage so much as sadness, and that's the way it should be. It was a well-written death, and I applaud them for having the guts to do it, despite the fact that it really didn't need to happen because of George's "people will confuse him with Anakin Skywalker."

    Luke/Mara was squicky at times but it usually worked for me. But Anakin's and Tahiri's was way better. As I said in my previous post, it was natural and came after years of friendship, and it was not a force-fed romance like Anakin/Padme.

    Anakin may have been a Stu, or he may not have been; I'm not qualified to say. But even if he was, it works way better than pretty much any other Stu in the history of Star Wars. He actually doesn't have a major internal struggle in NJO, aside from his guilt over Chewbacca's death and conflict with his dad, because that was Jacen's role. Anakin's internal conflict, ironically, is in the JJK series, which is for young readers.
  13. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I know I've come across this prophecy many times, yet I can't tell you anything about it right now. Not one thing, not one word.

    Just that Anakin is special, or something.
  14. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I actually don't remember whether or not it had any specific words other than "You and Tahiri together are going to do something amazing." Meaning Anakin was only one part of the equation; Tahiri was required for it to be complete. :p
  15. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    It wasn't a prophecy. Ikrit just told Anakin and Tahiri that together they were better than the sum of their parts. That's all.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014
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  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Anakin and Tahiri had the best Star Wars romance next to Han and Leia. Luke and Mara made me feel like I had swallowed a jug of high fructose corn syrup, and Anakin and Padme...well, we know how that turned out.

    I read Ruin last spring and the only Anakin scene I remember was one in which I wanted to knock the hell out of him for complaining that his grieving father was not enough like his "strong and brave" and hot Aunt Mara.

    Maybe he did something else while traipsing through the woods and I've just forgotten about it.

    I wouldn't call him a Stu because I'm easily annoyed by Stus and with the exception of the above scene and one in Balance Point that I can recall off the top of my head, I pretty much always liked Anakin.

    As far as Ikrit...I took that as just commentary on their relationship, not a prophecy.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Feb 10, 2014
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  17. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    I would suggest that is more correlation than causation. Dead Anakin was not the cause of the more cynical Dark Nest and later books, it is just related because Denning wrote both Star by Star and the Dark Nest trilogy, then heavily shaped the later series.
    Vthuil and Revanfan1 like this.
  18. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Ruin was the one with Daeshara'cor, the Twi'lek rogue Jedi. Anakin and her had some pretty good philosophical discussions that were contrasting to Anakin's and Jacen's. And then there was some other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head...while talking to Chalco, the underworld guy who helped Luke/Mara/Anakin find Daeshara'cor.

    My favorite scene of him in BP was when he jumped up on stage to duel with Luke to cause a distraction. As for Ikrit, I guess you're right, it's been a while since I read the "prophecy" so it might've just been commentary.
  19. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5

    Ah, I remember that. From the way people have talked about it I thought I was missing something major from something I haven't read, like JJK or the Corellian trilogy.

    Guess not.
  20. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I'm still waiting for Episode 7 to keep everything intact but change Ben Skywalker's name to avoid confusing with Ben Kenobi. :p
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  21. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5

    Yeah, sure. I've never been particularly fond of Luke myself.

    If Luke "retires" from adventure, Anakin is his logical replacement, imo.

    Or not, it turns out the next Luke Skywalker is here to rescue you but dies in the effort.
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  22. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I agree, but with Anakin's death, Jacen would've been the next logical conclusion. Unfortunately Denning apparently had trouble reaching said logical conclusion leaving us with an aged Luke Skywalker still in the hero role and Jacen becoming the villain. [face_sigh]
    Tahiri-Solo likes this.
  23. _Catherine_ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    I liked Anakin in JJK. Didn't really care about him in the NJO except in the EOV books. SBS was the first NJO book I read and I was already spoiled for his death anyway so I didn't care. I am probably not the best person to respond to this thread.
  24. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    I don't think Anakin Solo is any more overrated than the other Solo kids. All of them largely failed to "take hold" as characters the way they should have except under specific circumstances (like the previously mentioned EOV books for Anakin).

    I think killing him was a big mistake, but that's mostly not because I was a fan of his.
    Last edited by Vthuil, Feb 10, 2014
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Well, I'll say that I'm not really a fan of replacement characters that are essentially the same character but with a different name. Like I hear that Crucible has a new Han Solo character and I think that's silly. Luke isn't a replacement Anakin Skywalker.

    And Luke has more nuance than Anakin Solo. A lot more, especially if you include some of the EU. I feel like Anakin Solo is if you take the most superficial interpretation of Luke and make that into its own character.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014