Discussion in 'Literature' started by DigitalMessiah, Feb 10, 2014.
Jacen never espoused pacifism.
Only to the reader over and again
I'm not sure what you think pacifism is but it isn't what Jacen was espousing.
This essentially goes back to my point where readers were unable to step outside their worldview for the NJO.
Sekot: "You do not believe in fighting for peace, for freedom?"
Jacen: "I believe that there should be a way of achieving peace other than fighting."
Sekot: "Have you found it, Jacen Solo?"
Jacen: "No. No, I haven't."
Perhaps it doesn't fit the general definition of pacifism as he still participated in his own way in the war, It's been a while since I read NjO to be honest. But he gave the appearance of applying pacifist principles to the reader. Whether thats good or bad is up to the audience but the execution was found wanting IMO.
Preferring nonviolent solutions is pacifism now huh.
Did I say that it was ? I think by the time he talk to Sekot he gave up on achieving everything through pacifist ideals, hence the emphasis on him not finding peace through nonviolent solutions.
Jacen never had pacifist ideals. He fights from start to finish in the series. He fought to free the slaves on Belkadan in the second book. He blew up Helska in the first book. He went on a suicide mission to kill the Voxyn queen. He fought at Dantooine and Ithor. He was on the badass Garqi strike team.
Then tv tropes needs to fix their definition of an actual pacifist
"In the New Jedi Order, Jacen Solo at one point becomes one of these. While all the other Jedi and the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant are fighting the Yuuzhan Vong. ...It was rather annoying. When he comes out of pacifism, he goes quickly into Messiah Mode, and later becomes evil."
Indeed it does.
There's not a single book in the series where Jacen doesn't fight, or doesn't endorse some form of violence. Even when he goes to Centerpoint with Anakin, it was specifically to activate the gravity well generator to trap a YV fleet to destroy it. And Jacen wasn't opposed to that. That's not pacifism.
Alright then, Jacen just comes off as whiny jk. In seriousness like I said before he comes off as the "appearance" of being a pacifist or better yet a somewhat reluctant warrior without truly being one. I think it came off as too strong, perhaps being reinforced in the reader's mind too many times. Hence the audience being annoyed by it, the same goes for Luke's hesitation in the early part of the war. Post Star by Star those issues seem mostly resolved by then.
The problem I have with Jacen is less his beliefs than his attitude that everyone should just listen to him and do what he says. That said, I still think NJO was a missed opportunity to explore what happens if a person born into a military family realises that that is not what he is or should be, Jacen's a good fit for that. There are other ways to contribute to life after all.
If that's so then what is the difference between using Centrepoint as a gravity well projector to hold a fleet in place so another can destroy it completely and using Centrepoint to destroy the enemy fleet directly, which he was opposed to? In both cases the result is many Vong dead.
Only problem there is by the time you get to SbS 2 years have gone by. That is a major reconciliation job any which way you slice it. Frankly if Rodan had decided to lay into Luke in DW on the basis of how many NR citizens died for the Jedi's moral principles, I'd likely have backed him far more!
Changing tack, on the one hand NJO's roving spotlight idea was a smart recognition that you can't have everyone in every book, but I never had much sense of what the other characters were doing while the spotlight was on character(s) X.
Finally, as to why I don't want the Solo trio dead or wrecked, the answer is simple. If a character's dead, I don't get an opportunity to see what another author might do with them.
So do you think the controversy over whether America should have dropped the atomic bombs on Japan is much ado about nothing?
These moral decisions aren't so clear cut in real life, you just happen to disagree with Jacen's position. People act like there is a "right answer," and Luke and Jacen didn't pick up on it. There's not.
What you've claimed is that Jacen was perfectly happy for the fleet to be held in place by Centrepoint in order to be destroyed - I'm asking you what is the difference between that and using Centrepoint to kill those Vong directly?
In each case, there is going to be a massive amount of death.
It could even be argued that, compared to holding a fleet in place with massive interdiction while the NR's conventional weaponry slowly destroys it, using Centrepoint to annihilate in an instant is more merciful!
So, why should Jacen be opposed to one option over the other when the outcome is the same?
As to the use of A-bombs in WW2, you're being silly to imagine you'd get such a blase response from me on that. (Attempting to extrapolate what I might think about real-life cases from comments on SW isn't a good idea.)
The Centerpoint example is exactly the same. Drop the bombs and kill a lot of Japanese, or invade the islands and kill a lot of Japanese at the cost of American lives. Why are people opposed to the atom bombs, then?
How is that different than firing Centerpoint, which might only wipe out the Yuuzhan Vong fleet in a best case scenario, or allow for a fleet battle with the same intended result at the cost of NR lives?
Or are you saying that the people that think it was wrong to use the atom bombs are hypocrites? That's what you seem to be saying about Jacen. Or is there somehow a difference?
The matter of the A-bombs has the not insignificant matter of radiation poisoning attached to it - it isn't just a case of bombing a place to crap and afterwards rebuilding, those sites are rendered uninhabitable. Plus, there is no way you can look at A-bomb explosion footage and not see it as anything other than a horror. That things got to the point they did in WW2 where it was seen as a lesser one tells you exactly how fracked up things were back then! (It's interesting to note that conventional non-nuclear weaponry is now up to the destructive potential of battlefield nukes, few seem to have noticed this.)
But this is all beside the point that I'm asking you to explain further - it is your contention Jacen would be just fine with using Centrepoint as a massive interdictor, despite that it would entail mass Vong death - why would he be OK with this?
It is my contention that life isn't as simple as critics of the NJO that claim it wasn't "well executed" make it out to be, and this situation is substantially more complex than you make it out to be. Centerpoint Station had to this point only been fired to destroy stars and had never been tested as a weapon against fleets, and there was no way to know that it would work or that it could be targeted to hit only one fleet. Anakin claims he could, but that doesn't mean he could, and the Yuuzhan Vong can't be sensed in the Force so I'm skeptical. And he didn't claim it until afterward. There was absolutely no plan to use the weapon against the YV fleet and they were completely caught off guard by the attack at Fondor, expecting it to be made at Corellia hence the interdiction field. There was no communication with the fleet at Fondor and no way to ensure that there wouldn't be friendly fire.
It was a completely unknown quantity, and Jacen wasn't comfortable with Anakin firing the "starbuster," untested, against an enemy he couldn't sense with a friendly fleet in the area. What if he destroyed Fondor's star by mistake? What if he destroyed Fondor? There's absolutely no way to know, and you can't pretend to have hindsight that you would know. Life isn't so simple, and I find that people that pretend like this situation is such an easy decision don't really put that much thought into it.
The reason I asked you for that more in-depth answer is I was intrigued by that initial post of yours but couldn't tell what you were getting at and really wanted to know!
I think it gets forgotten a lot that, as fans, the default outlook is you want a story to work, no matter what, no matter how bad it may appear to be. Now it may be I can't make story X work for me because of how it's been told, but maybe someone else with a different take can!
That said, I can't see Jacen being at ease with the interdiction option either - and he shouldn't be. I don't want characters being blase about what they're engaged in either.
Sorry for being combative -- I'm having a bad day.
Or you know agree to disagree when it comes to differing opinions
I think the answer to the Centerpoint problem lies in Jacen and Anakin's conversation afterward. Anakin asks him where the line between defending an ally and simply taking an offensive strategy is, and Jacen says that he doesn't know, and that he resolved to stop looking for it at Ithor.
To say that Anakin can't say he would've known that he could've hit the Yuuzhan Vong without collateral damage, I have to disagree with you. Using the Force, he can understand Centerpoint like no one else alive. That doesn't mean he needs the Force to see the Yuuzhan Vong fleets, he can see them the way Centerpoint would see them. As he was debating firing the hyperspace beam, he could see the YV, the Hapans, Fondor, Fondor's primary, heck, even the colonists in Hollowtown! And the only casualties would've been Yuuzhan Vong. He could've done it. He decided against it at Jacen's request, which could've been grounds for more common ground between them. I just tend to believe that NJO was poorly handled.
Ok then DM, but you know I did nearly decide to do this instead:
Visions of the Future and all
It is a good thing I put a flame suit on to start the thread.
I don't buy Anakin sensing the YV through Centerpoint. I think he was thinking he could do it better than Thrackan, but he didn't, and we'll never know if he could have.
Everyone else seems to loathe it but I do really like what BP did with Jacen in the wake of the disaster at Fondor. Plus in how Jaina responds to him in the book, you can see why I think there could have been a story built around Jacen simply not being able to fit into the family mould as it were.
I always thought of him as a hippie in the NJO.