Lit Anakin Solo is overrated

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

  1. Auditor Dredd Force Ghost

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    Cute, there are actually some of us who expect Luke to fall under the "mentor trope". As long as Luke gets to shine and is well represented I think we will be happy, can't say we got that in EU for the last decade. So give us a little credit. :p
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  2. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    Aug 12, 2013
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    Hey, I'm supposed to be cynical, it says so in my name. ;)

    I'd say Luke coming into a more "mentor" role is actually far more likely than him dying if any of the recent rumors about the script to Ep. VII are true. If any of the Sky-Solos will bite it, my money's personally on Han.
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  3. Auditor Dredd Force Ghost

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    It might be on your name but after reading more than a decade of EU I'm plenty cynical and a tad insane. Planet of Twilight, Crystal Star, and Glove of Darth Vader will do that to you :p

    But yup I agree with your point as well. Although I don't expect that til Episode 8 myself.
  4. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Most complaints about Starkiller are basically complaints about TFU. He's just the poster boy for "let's make this kick-pants official Episode 3,5 that's so important and everyone has to like it and it's so important".

    Since we're turning this into a general TFU discussion - Bel Iblis came in a time when stuff like that expanded the universe; TFU came at a time when there had been so much expansion that new stuff dealing with the same "most interesting" topics is cramming in instead of expanding. While TFU doesn't really bother me since it came at a point when I didn't care about the inclusion of everything anymore anyway, i definitely have huge reservations about it. First of all, Starkiller is designed as the typical WASP crewcut sourpuss action guy; put a hood on him and you get that assassin guy from those famous games. Visually, he's bland. He's the avatar in a game that's describing itself as "blowing **** up with the Force", which doesn't really go with my style. His love interest is a blonde WASP girl. I haven't got anything against blonde WASP girl love interests, but here, it's all just trying too hard to get the most general audience. The general twist of the Emperor founding the rebellion is actually a twist we should be used to these days; the prequels made Anakin from just some Jedi who turned into a Chosen One of prophecy; and I agree that liking Plagueis is a double standard because he's rewriting more "supposedly intended" facts, funking up the entire Rule of Two thing into oblivion. Same twist as twisty dark rebellion origin. I am your father, rebellion! I haven't really got a problem with that since it's at least a way to tell something new about this event, but I'm a bit disappointed that all has to boil down to the bad guys doing stuff and the good guys just getting lucky. (Full disclosure: I probably find Plagueis more offensive because I spent more money on him and there's less possible handwaving.) Most of all, it's breaking down a story of organizations to a story of an individual when that individual doesn't really belong there conceptually. Dark-side taught punk twentysomething out of a GTA game with a crappy lightsaber stance tells politicians and generals to organize? Tiny Tim would have been a better conceptual choice for an outside character making these guys get their act together. Finally, you get stuff like a Jedi General in the rebellion which is... probably necessary these days but disappointing like any Order 66 survivor when you grew up with a SW universe in which people thought of lightsabers as ancient relics of legend. And Shaak Ti suddenly dressing in leather straps because she's a woman in a video game. In the end, TFU and Starkiller really do not do for me what Jedi Knight did as a nice little alternative version of Star Wars.

    Regarding Bel Iblis - I agree, most continuity buffs today grew up in a time when he's not a surprise but written history, out of That Book That Is The Best (actually its sequel) to boot. When I read or listen to TTT these days, I don't see it as better form to make the movie character who actually did something (and her Bothan friends) into people on the moral low ground, while that guy that did nothing and then kind of took money for doing more nothing is suddenly the big hero with the moral high ground. Shoehorning stuff like Han at school in (now that was just embarrassing). But at least he's a plausible general/politician in a spot where he has enough influence. TFU seems like a case of everyone waiting for a Jedi saviour to lead them, and then Kota decides "he once bested me in personal combat so he's in charge".

    Again, most of the problems with Starkiller and TFU come from it being a video game that's done for a maximum audience (which lowers some quality thresholds). Most of the problems with Kyle entering the EU at all come from him being a videogame character, and people who didn't like him didn't want an 80s action movie style SW story imported into their continuity, and most of all, they didn't have to. Dark Empire was hardwired into the novel timeline, YJK and JJK were overlapping enough to be hard to shun, too, but the games, for all little EU tidbits, just weren't integrated into the novel universe. Having said that, I think there'll always be people wuick to judge stuff for the most peripheral reasons and then proceed to be very vocal about it.

    Dash is a good example, though, since he's been a poster boy character, too (with his own video game) and no reason to reappear beyond SOTE. And of course he gets to do all the stuff like give Leia the bounty hunter costume, give Luke his black outfit. Silly. But we're in juvenile franchise fiction here; even the graphic dismemberment stuff seen with Denning is there for immature reasons.

    I try to think of a good way to connect this to Anakin Solo, and here is one: As I mentioned above, YJK and JJK were kind of fringe phenomena, too; why read adventure books with teens for teens when this is about serious stuff like a sci-fi military? GODV obviously gets promoted again and again for silliness, but all the other young reader stuff is just that: young reader stuff, hardly worth mentioning. So how could we actually ever get stories about these characters that didn't just come out of nowhere, but actually came from one of them boring places? How would the Solo kids ever truly be accepted as the new heroes when they would always be "the kids"?
  5. JediMatteus Force Ghost

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    Sep 16, 2008
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    yep, that would piss me off
  6. JediMatteus Force Ghost

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    i hate starkiller as anything else than simply a way to kill a few hours in a game.
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  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Well, Lucas said "uh", so we can safely throw that one out.
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  8. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Okay. So, imagine me reading one of the JJK books with Anakin Solo again. Suddenly realizing that the name Anakin, printed without a lot of context around it, makes me think of Anakin Skywalker first. I feel like I'm reaching the age when memories of former best friends start fading away.
  9. GoingInside Jedi Master

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    Mar 31, 2013
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    It's hard to say at this point if the emotion over Anakin Solo's death is solely because of the character, or the potential that he represented. That lost potential has become MORE of an issue as time has gone on, seeing that Jacen is dead and Jaina is, well... Jaina. It's easy to imagine that if Anakin had lived, maybe we'd have at least one entertaining Solo kid. There's nothing that proves that's the case, but it's a still a tenuous hope to hold on to.

    Reading this thread, I actually find myself speculating... what if Jaina had taken up Anakin's mantle after his death? He had become, in-universe, a hero: charismatic, bold, brave, willing to do what was necessary and lead others. Isn't that what the "Sword of the Jedi" should be? It's easy to say this in hindsight, but it really is strange that Anakin's only real legacy is that his death is basically the only defining characteristic of Tahiri at this point: she's still sad about it after like... 20 years. That potential I was talking about before didn't go anywhere, it's still sitting in limbo with his lightsaber. If Jaina had, after her little brother's death, felt some kind of drive to be his successor, that would've given her character something to do, and also made Anakin's death more meaningful.

    Eh, I don't know if I'm explaining myself right, or if I'm just going in circles. The point is that Anakin's death, ironically (especially considering how much I hate how Tahiri is STILL broken up about it), becomes more tragic as the EU goes on, but not in-universe, only to the readers.
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    You're proving Lucas correct.

    Re: Anakin's mantle. What is it? I feel like people treat Anakin as if he was Luke from the OT or something and he has a legacy when all he did was make friends with a Yuuzhan Vong guy and die on a suicide mission.
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  11. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Do you mean his legacy IU or OOU? IU, you could argue that he was pretty popular among the Jedi just before he died, therefore becoming a symbol for their battle, for heroism, for saving your friends and so on. Since the Skywalkers and Solos are always the poster people for the entire universe, he's a symbol for a family sacrificing a lot for the greater good. Unexpected death always leads to thoughts of "how much better would everything be if he'd still be here". And among the star destroyer and the robot entity, there is clearly a legacy Anakin left behind; ripples left by his existence. Even Caedus going nuts, if you read far enough to reach that update of the reason Jacen fell.

    I think Ganner is probably Anakin in a nutshell, both IU and OOU, aided by the fact that Ganner himself is enough of a B-character to not really overshadow Anakin's death (even if the popularity of books/authors sometimes trumps popularity of characters). Both die similar deaths against a huge mass of Vong; both are said to have a lasting impact beyond their death, becoming a symbol. Both are popular OOU even though you could sum up their stories as "did a bunch of stuff, then died".
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  12. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Yes, but Ganner doesn't get the type of praise Anakin does, or have people wanting him to have survived. I like Ganner better than Anakin, and I'm happy he died the way he did. Hell, at this point I think I would have rather Jacen died before Dark Nest doing something heroic.

    I think people that talk about Anakin's potential don't realize that Jacen had potential too. I don't think they would like it if their roles were swapped in the NJO and Jacen died, and then Anakin became Darth Caedus, hearing people bemoan Jacen's potential. Potential to become Darth Caedus? Just because Anakin was a hero in the NJO before he died doesn't mean anything since the authors stopped caring about pesky little things like characterization afterward.
  13. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Well, yes. Rationally, the people who wish that Anakin were still alive actually mean that they disliked the concept of the NJO. If the philosopher had died prematurely and the classic hero had saved the day, I think there might be less sadness over the philosopher's death; but I'm not sure since you always hear more from the discontent than from the content, so the group of people who liked the classic Anakin hero better and couldn't care for the philosopher might not be bigger than those who prefer the thinking man seeking a new solution. Both would meet complaints, of course, since the basic problem is that one of the Solo kids died prematurely in a franchise that had made us expect all of them to live long, happy, adventerous lives.

    I wonder if a story in which one kid goes dark and gets killed by the righteous hero kid while the third one stands by and has some b-plot (or teams up with the hero) would have created less hate than the double-loss situation.
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    How can I put it? Ah yes - not a fan of the Solo kids, but that doesn't mean I wanted them dead or done over.
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  15. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    To be fair, isn't this how you can basically sum up anyone's life?
  16. Anakin Solo Revanchist Force Ghost

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    Problem with the "role swap" of Jacen and Anakin argument of Jacen dying and Anakin becoming Caedus, is that it's not in Anakin's character - at all - to embrace the dark side. He's FEARED becoming the next Vader since his early childhood. Going to Myrkr, he insisted, "NO ONE will be turning to the dark side!!"

    The argument could be made that because he died, he didn't. And you'd be right. But to say that he would've if he'd survived and Jacen died, is basically saying the authors would care less about character consistency than they do even now.
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  17. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    That's my point, "it's not in [Jacen's] character - at all - to embrace the dark side." It wasn't in either of their characters to turn to the dark side, and it wouldn't be anymore absurd for Anakin to turn than it was for Jacen to turn. Anakin surviving wouldn't have made the authors not derail his character.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Feb 23, 2014
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  18. Havac Former Moderator

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    No, I think you're right that the philosopher would be mourned less. It's a poor statement on the fandom, but a huge part of the Jacen backlash was the massive offense that he dared to stop and think in the middle of a war. Why couldn't he just be an awesome unconflicted asskicking hero like Anakin? Not that there wouldn't be a group that thinks the other way, but I think you'd unfortunately be overestimating the audience if you thought that the number seeking complexity, depth, and thoughtfulness had the numbers of those seeking sunny, unconcerned, badass villain-slapdown action.
  19. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Agree with you @Havac and that is indeed a sad thing. I like depth and thoughtfulness. Personally, I don't think either of the Solo boys were handled well.
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  20. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I think it boils down to more cerebral storytelling vs wish fulfillment escapist fluff. I think you can meld the two, and I think the NJO did. But fans of the latter took issue with Jacen not having a simplistic dichotomous worldview in which "the Yuuzhan Vong aren't in my moral community, ergo my morals don't apply to them and I can kill them with impunity." And that mindset is exactly what Luke feared, and I think people that dislike Luke and Jacen's "inaction" either fundamentally have a different worldview than the Jedi but expect the Jedi to share their worldview, or it goes over their head.
  21. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    I actually think part of the problem was with the NJO story arc as a whole. The Vong 1) weren't portrayed at all initially as the sort of people where contemplative passivity was a useful option and 2) relied heavily on the New Republic juggling idiot balls. It wasn't a situation designed to create a lot of sympathy for Jacen's attitude, unfortunately.
    Last edited by Vthuil, Feb 24, 2014
  22. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Well said, DM. I largely agree with you. I am one that prefers more cerebral style but do believe both elements can be blended. Yet, I don't agree it was done successfully in NJO. Basically everything else I agree with.
  23. Auditor Dredd Force Ghost

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    Edit:
    I think the "inaction" would have been favored more if we saw the jedi early on take an "Invasion" style of approach of saving civilians and holding off the Vong til the refugees escape. That way they're doing something with the war effort while not compromising their stance on the paradox of the Vong. I think readers were frustrated that Luke and Jacen appeared to be sitting on their hands and having philosophical debates while people were dying and NR leadership being particularly incompetant. I know for myself I would like to see the forces of good actually put some effort in the war.
    Last edited by MasterSkywalker86, Feb 24, 2014
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  24. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    They were, on Dantooine and Ithor. They never sat on their hands, even when Jacen stopped using the Force he was helping refugees on Duro. The series takes place over the course of five years -- the same time over which it is published -- and the war continues going on when the plots of interest aren't. And Luke is the leader of the Jedi and not going out in the field as often like Yoda or Mace Windu, and he has to deal with the politics as well, and he has a terminally ill wife who needs to receive treatment on Coruscant. His hands are absolutely full and it is unrealistic to expect Luke to be fighting very often if at all.
  25. Auditor Dredd Force Ghost

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    I said "appeared" to sit on their hands, and in a sense to the audience perception is reality. At least when it comes to a hefty 19 book series where battles are constantly being fought. Perhaps if they handled a better execution on Luke's leadership instead of having him "aloof and ineffective". Or have Jacen not remind the reader about the virtues of pacifism while genocide is being committed. The ideas are not bad ones but they didn't get the right balance of a cerebral narrative and escapism than say Mindor. Of course its hard to juggle that with a dozen other writers.
    Last edited by MasterSkywalker86, Feb 24, 2014