Lit CRUCIBLE by Troy Denning: The Official Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. JStepp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2011
    star 2
    Well we already have two planets full of menacing true sith. Kesh and Korriban. Not to mention we had Darth Caedus and Lumiya last series.
    I guess a lot of us just wanted another Mara. I miss mara myself and I wish Vestara had gone that route rather than evil. The message of the Original Trilogy was redemption. Anakin Skywalker was redeemed in ROTJ. Since then we've had that message ignored with Darth Caedus (its debatable with Jacen, especially because FOTJ where Jacen's ghose is still evil and bitter) and Lumiya dying unredeemed. Now Vestara seems to be heading down the irredeemable path.

    Also the guy above me has a real good point, it would have been a great story arc to have vestera be redeemed, and a major success for the jedi after they failed with jacen.

    Also the whole Palpatine is a mental gnat compared to the bad guys of this story was from the villians perspective. These guys do have some impressive feats but they are nowhere near palpatine's level of genius.
    Last edited by JStepp, Jul 12, 2013
  2. IG_2000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2008
    star 4
    I'm not planning on ever reading this. Can someone just spoil the whole thing for me? I just want to know if anything important happens setting up for the sequel trilogy
  3. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5

    Not from the look of it, though we won't know for sure until the ST.
  4. newdawn12 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2013
    star 4
    Written before the ST was announced, the ST has nothing to do with the EU
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    That explains quite a bit! Thanks for the info.

    Well, to be honest, if there's one story idea both SW and its EU kark up on a regular basis it's redemption. That's likely because it is a very hard idea to execute. You are basically taking a complete bastard, turning him good and expecting the audience to accept this about-turn. It can be done but not easily.

    SW has opted for redemption by death - bad guy does something good enough to avoid eternal damnation in the dark side, as has the EU - see Vader and Qel-Droma, redemption while still alive? Far harder and requires much finer handling, a more skilled author could probably do wonders with Kyp' s story but we had KJA instead.

    And then there's further complexities - don't you need to atone before being redeemed? Isn't the acts that you are atoning in search of redemption going to define you forever? Likely, yet, if rehabilitation is to work, then those acts have to be gotten past and that probably hasn't happened with Kyp either.

    And no, there aren't all that many dark side redemptions in the EU nor is there anywhere near the frequency of "the dark side made me do it" that fans allege. People do overlook that this is a universe where you can be possessed!

    And then there's the Vong. Perhaps the sole case where someone took what TUF started, asked what would happen next and gave a substantive answer in the Legacy comics. More of that careful handling of redemption is needed, not less.

    Changing tack, lessons? Oh yes. Lessons, because we all need lessons just in case we all decide to live our lives SW-style! Thus, since NJO onwards, SW has had Life Lessons and educational content designed to teach all us dumb fans the following bleeding-obvious points:
    • People die in war
    • Your favourite characters die in war
    • War is nasty
    • Kids die in war - see Anakin Solo, who you really loved due to the 2 previous books, die horribly!
    • You can't redeem everyone - just watch Darth Caedus tell everyone repetedly he doesn't need to be redeemed!
    • Watch the Vong idea of brother vs sister duel happen after all and see how nasty a sword duel really is!
    • Cauterised wounds? Pah - you need gritty, bloody dismemberment instead.
    (This service has been provided to you by DR, educating SW fans since 1999.)

    That loads of Rebel pilots are immolated over the Death Star, that Darths Maul and Tyranus both get executed, that the Lars die, that a planet-full of no-arms-bearing-hippies gets annihilated - doesn't seem to register. I seriously doubt anyone, after watching the OT, never mind the PT, is going to immediately going to their local recruiting office to sign up for the military because they think war is cool from seeing SW!

    (And if they do? A supply of useful idiots is an essential part of the military operation. ;) )
    AdmiralWesJanson likes this.
  6. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Denning's been writing Luke that way since Dark Nest.
  7. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
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    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    Finished it last night. Not the best SW book, but certainly not the worst either.
    Jedi_Glover and Gorefiend like this.
  8. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Crucible is nothing spectacular, but still a solid read.
    I was a little disappointed perhaps. But not overly so.
    Not Denning's best, still serviceable.

    True to form, Denning puts Luke/Han/Leia through some incredibly gruesome injuries, shows Mandalorians being killed on masse like ants, yet surprisingly no Saba Sebatyne.

    Without spoiling, the latter passages were very reminiscent of "beyond shadows" in Denning's FOTJ books. Suspiciously . . .
    Gorefiend likes this.
  9. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    As a Veteran, I find that last comment somewhat offensive...
  10. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Not sure what book you were reading but she was portrayed as largely incompetent and was useless at pretty much everything she tried. Han Solo in his 70's completely owned her in the only direct combat they had.

    Her injury wasn't off-screen. And she was portrayed just as she had been previously. Denning didn't do anything.
    This is why you should read a book before you complain about it
    Last edited by FatSmel, Jul 13, 2013
  11. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    This. Pretty obvious. If she was listed in the DP it would completely ruin the twist.

    Personally it was ruined for me straight away when Savara Raine was described as being beautiful with "a small scar at the corner of her mouth"

    Sexy GMILFs, young boys being molested, it's all good
    Last edited by FatSmel, Jul 13, 2013
  12. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    Nine chapter in. Loving it so far!
  13. Slowpokeking Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    None of these are really menacing before Luke and his family, Caedus and Lumiya are dead.

    Not everyone would or should be redeemed, we also got the Emperor, Tarkin and a few more, a true villain can also be interesting. Anakin was redeemed because he never fully accept the Sith' way, he fall to the Dark Side to save Padme and only accepted it after her death when there was no choice, but Jacen totally accepted the philosophy of the Sith and thought it's the only way to bring order to the galaxy.
    Last edited by Slowpokeking, Jul 13, 2013
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    C89,

    Yeah, it doesn't work - I know what I was going for, but no, it doesn't work, my apologies.
    Chewbacca89 likes this.
  15. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Reread what I said: Ghes was injured off-screen. Mirta wasn't, her husband was. And Denning did do something, and I have read it, so I do have a right to complain about it. Don't accuse me of not reading something when you don't even know me, hmm?
  16. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    So you're complaining about Invincible? Not Crucible?
  17. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Yes. I am complaining about Invincible. I specifically states that I'm talking about "the end of LOTF" in my post.
  18. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    In that case I can agree somewhat. But doesn't really upset me considering how insignificant it was compared to how Karen Travis "pooped on" Star Wars as a whole.

    And don't be surprised if people think you are talking about a certain book in the thread devoted to discussion of that book.
    Last edited by FatSmel, Jul 13, 2013
  19. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Have the book, actually somewhat disappointed that it ended without a partial rewrite to fit into ST, but I imagine that it was too far advanced to fix. I quite liked how the cast are tugged after the Qrephs via the Lost Tribe/Mortis Quest angle, and then we do find a Monolith, which was fun. The Monolith of the Lost, Leia said, which suggested lost Celestials, to me.

    The sabacc games lost me, at one point, but the Dark Side-Mando was fairly creepy, I'll say.

    Vestara actually came off softer than Mirta, who really didn't care when Vestara killed one of the Columi when she used him as a human shield. Mirta comes off as a strong character, caught in a situation she cannot resolve. The Mando plotline does need to be put to sleep, mind you, by now.

    I am sad that Luke lost his faith in individuals but I can see why it happened - and the Jedi creating their own enemies again and again (Brakiss, Kueller, Kyp, Dal Konur, etc) is an issue, so I appreciate the development.

    Copious damage to the main cast as ever, which was quite unpleasant but standard fair for Denning - though it's severity made me genuinely fear for the cast, which I approved of. He at least makes us believe they are in jeopardy, which I like. YVH droids, Lando by the bucket, Bessie's, all generally loved.

    The ingenuity demonstrated by our villains, and the sheer variety of wickedness was interesting, and I don't overly mind that they were described as more intelligent than Palpatine - because they were so arrogant it made sense for them to think of themselves that way. Or even for Vestara, with her minimal experience, to think it. There is still a decent amount of naivety to her thoughts which I approve of, even if that cunning malicious side is something to love about her.

    Overall...it suffers from being a one-shot, but it's a decent adventure with very few strings attached into the future. The last huzzah of the big three? I hope not, but it sets up matters enough for me. It could have been better, but it could have been much, much, much worse. No continuity disasters so I don't need to worry about it :p
  20. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    There's a difference between ruining a character and presenting unpopular ideas. Traviss' ideas were very unpopular, yes, but at least in her Republic Commando books she was dead-on about the Jedi–with the exception of a few good ones like Obi-Wan, they were corrupt and stagnant, and they didn't question the use of what was a slave army in all but name. Just because she went a little to the extreme in her views didn't make them wrong at all–because most of her characters were either Mandalorians or otherwise biased against the Jedi, so of course the opinions would be extreme because the Jedi hate was coming from the character's POV as much as from Traviss. Really, all she did was extrapolate on what ROTS already told us–the Jedi were wrong, and completely blind to it. I'll never get why because there are a few books out of over a hundred that don't focus on Jedi, they're basically considered the red-headed stepchild of EU books.

    On the other hand, Traviss kept most of her characterizations at least somewhat accurate. Many have claimed that she did Luke and Mara an injustice–I don't see it at all. Luke was fine to me, and as to Mara, she was portrayed as an understanding, compassionate mother with a protective side that was willing to kill whoever she needs to in order to keep justice in the galaxy and harm from her son. But Denning took a character who was established as strong and confident, who loved her grandfather, uncaring about appearances, and turned her into a wimpy girl who was scared of having her face ruined, hating her grandfather, and (now) wearing a slinky black dress. Not only that, but he also attempted to kill off every one of her characters from a series she was still writing. She hadn't even finished 501st (maybe not even Order 66!) at that point, but he didn't even bother to see where she was going with it before deciding "every Fett clone on Mandalore is now dead."

    Okay, so at that point I can understand. But if you had read my whole post you'd have known that I specifically stated I was talking about Invincible.
  21. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    On chapter 12. I have to say, switching to Ben and Tahiri this far into the book kind of threw me off....
  22. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Except were they do unless they are in a Traviss novel. ;)

    Thing is, they still do focus on Jedi as just about everything is about how wrong they are and how much better her characters are supposed to be. If you want real Jedi-Free works go for the Han and Lando books.

    Read Sacrifice you will wan't to smack Mara on how stupid she behaves in it.

    And Traviss took Boba, who could not have given less of a thought about Mandalore all his life and made him their living Warrior god [face_not_talking] and no she never loved him, she was devoted to him (something that happens to just about every female Traviss character). Her breaking with him after the absolute mess he caused by his actions for everyone is only understandable and no she was never uncaring about appearance (Traviss Mandos are some of the most vain people that seem to run around for that matter), but she is not wimpy, just reread the interrogation, what gets her to be half cooperative is not the thing about her face, but something else which is quite well planned out.

    No he did not, it is just what people want to read into it, they could easily have been off planet at the time.
    FatSmel and Dr. Steve Brule like this.
  23. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    I think it was to be anticipated, though, as they were mentioned early on.
  24. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Well, okay, you've got a point. Some did. But Yoda, Mace, Obi-Wan and the like, they weren't in Traviss' books. Everyone (meaning the characters) assumed they didn't question it, because the Jedi the character did meet didn't seem to question it. It might be a misconception, but you've got to admit, the Jedi kind of encouraged it by not talking about it outside their Temple.

    You've got a point there, but what I meant was that the Jedi aren't main characters. The Han books are great. The Lando books just felt like the character was being jammed into Indiana Jones and Star Trek movies, though. I couldn't get into it until the last ten pages or so.

    I have read Sacrifice. I never felt like Mara was mistreated, personally. She was there for Ben when he confessed to doing something he didn't want to admit he'd done, like any good mother should be, and she was willing to take down Lumiya, like Mara should be.

    Well, okay. I can see your point here. Boba was a loner and he really didn't need to get involved in Mandalore, but he made a promise to Shysa, and he's nothing if not a man of his word. Especially in A Practical Man and Bloodlines, you can tell that Boba really doesn't want to be Mandalore. And Mirta did love him, at least she did by the end of Sacrifice. At first there was definitely some friction, but she at least definitely loved him–or really wanted to–by Invincible. I'll have to go reread the interrogation scene, though, see if it's as bad as I (vaguely) remember it.

    Well, they could have been off-planet, sure. And he probably didn't think about it; it was probably a mistake. I'd much rather believe that than that he brutally murdered at least ten good characters whose storylines hadn't been completed yet.
  25. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Obi-Wan actually comments on it Cestus Deception and Mace debates it with several Jedi that do indeed refuse to fight the war in one of the comics.

    Also about what exactly are they meant to talk about to the public? That the Republic is so badly prepared for the war that the Jedi along with the Clone Troopers are forced into it and that they like many other Republic citizens got drafted into fighting it? Also have you ever considered what the Kamino would actually do to the Clones if the Republic refused to take them? They do not seem to be people that leave “defective goods” sitting around, especially since they had already been paid for them and made them so they would be loyal to the Republic (though as others have pointed out the Cloners must have been half asleep the day they made the Clone Commando novels ones). Also the media is already controlled by Palpatine at this point, so good luck getting anything out there that he will not have turn against the Order.

    There is no Traviss SW book were a Jedi is not one of the main characters, we have either Etain, Bardan, Arligan, Borik, Kina, Scout, Vader, Ashoka, or Altis merry band of Inquisitor bait, whilst her LOTF books are also full of Jedi. Hell even in her strange Boba Fett short story we have one show up in order to get made fun off, whilst she has Vergere spew one of the most “WTF” lines ever in SW lore.

    That is not the problem but she goes about it in such a stupid way you are baffled she lasted a week as Hand of the Emperor, especially since she leaves no real back up message should she fail.

    Thing is, he is no good as Mandalore, and even clearly hates doing it, but of course we have to force it on him because…. Actually wait there is no bloody reason, just have someone else be it who actually knows something about galactic politics and economics, Boba can still hang around if it is so desperately needed to have him there. Hell Shysa should actually hate his guts for what Boba has pulled over the years and name just about anyone but him.




    Thing is Traviss female characters do not simply love, they devote each and every aspect of their life to it. Her Clone Commando books are full of these supposedly strong minded and independent woman that throw everything overboard just for a piece of cloned or Mando backside.

    Do that :) you might be surprised.

    Of course it had been completed; Traviss already did it by forcing them into LOTF, which takes places 60+ years after their own story. That any of them were still around and kicking is baffling anyway, given how old they are, were they life and what they do for a living.
    Dr. Steve Brule likes this.