Discussion in 'Literature' started by Lord Sith Harloxzz, Sep 8, 2017.
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I don't think the Aftermath Trilogy gets enough credit for being the sort of massive status-quo-changing story that most people don't see the new canon as having outside of the films. Life Debt and Empire's End, in particular, operate on a scale comparable to that of TTT. Huge events take place - the Empire separates, Han and Chewie separate, Ben Solo is born. They simply feel less huge because that series is always viewed in the context of being part of the connective glue between the OT and the ST. Imagine a universe in which TFA didn't happen, and we had to reckon the Aftermath Trilogy without the foresight of knowing what was to come and without knowing that it was simply setting the stage for TFA. We'd look at the trilogy as a whole very differently, and perhaps may not be as quick to complain that the novels weren't delivering game-changers. The Aftermath Trilogy did - the problem was, we already knew what the game was being changed to.
My favorite part of the Dark Times was the Jedi stories.
Currently rereading NJO, but after I want to start the new stuff. My impression is that the books are mostly young adult novels. That true?
But on the whole, the YA stuff has had the edge over the adult stuff.
I can look at 13 adults novels right now, while I have 9 YA and 5 younger material items.
If you're going to really explore the new material, go by this one rule: Forget the age rating, just read the book.
The age ratings seem fairly irrelevant for most of the new material. I've enjoyed everything from the Young Readers Guardians of the Whills to the Adult Thrawn. I even hear the Servants of the Empire series is pretty good, and that's pretty exclusively for elementary and middle school.
“Forget the age rating, just read the book” is a pretty good rule to follow anyway.
If I followed the guidelines for my age and gender for reading material, I wouldn’t be talking to you people at all, I’d be looking for a Barnes and Noble to find the latest Nicholas Sparks novel with white people almost-kissing on the cover.
It's not so much that for me, more the writing style (which I like, by the way, this isn't the usual criticism of Wendig's writing). It reminds me of A Song of Ice and Fire in places, in that important events can take place off-page, and are later related to the audience through passing dialogue -- especially Ben's birth, for instance, which Wendig surrounds with urban legends. It feels less... formal than TTT, so the big events feel more like backdrop than the focus they were in that series. I think the jumping back-and-forth between plots and interludes also contributes to that feeling. I'd find it hard to pin down the exact plot line of the three books, honestly.
I know many casual SW fans, let alone general fiction readers, who will look at Star Wars novels and instantly get into their heads that it is teen/YA fiction - and dismiss it as a result.
Sad reality - though that said, Sci-fi/Fantasy as a whole is still looked down upon by the wider community of fiction. Their loss, I say. That's not say any one type of fiction is better over the other, though.
Alas, the day is not yet come when the literary qualities of some sci-fi is actually recognized widely - that said, who cares about abiding by the establishment anyway?
Writing style changes not only according to social/cultural trends, but also due to the author. So I tend to place change of style in the context of the author, rather than be more cynical and say "That's dumbed down" or "Fiction has none of the complexity it used to have" etc.
I would agree. The big events are there but Wendig tends to make them background elements rather than highlights of the story - the battle of Kuat, for instance, a weeks-long battle which is a huge, critical victory for the NR but happens almost entirely off-page. The story is epic and game-changing, but the game-changing events aren't always approached directly. In many ways it's a very different way to tell a Star Wars story, especially when we're used to the direct narrative of something like TTT, and I think it's another reason why the Aftermath trilogy tends not to get recognized as having the scope it has.
It could well be that they leave big events undeveloped in this way to leave pockets of development for future novels in that time period.
So you can argue it as a positive in that respect.
Indeed, and in the case of Kuat I believe the Blade Squadron series has developed that already.
I actually like Wendig's style because it's the antithesis of the TTT and something different. It's not the Heroes of Yavin solving everything, though Han DOES play a huge role in Kashkyyk. All of this stuff is happening with multiple players across the galaxy.
It makes the universe bigger.
Leia basically opens a paper at one point to find a group of what we'd think of Galaxy of Fear or children's book protagonists captured Mas Amedda and ended the war.
The thing about Aftermath is it's basically meant to simulate an experience, I think, rather than try to tell the whole story. Our characters are important characters in the grand scheme of things but are more like the Rebels team in that they're just one small segment of the larger Galactic Civil War and events are always happening around them. We get to feel "V-Coruscant Day" and "V-Jakku" day like one of the people on the street and their little snippets versus "Mara Jade kills C'boath and they blow up Mount Tantiss before Ackbar kills Thrawn."
It's a fundamental shift in approach, much like in the way that the PT and the OT were stylistically distinct.
Star Wars has always been larger than life and the OT takes that and liberally spreads the mantra over the characters, plot, settings, ideas etc.
What the PT did was throw in politics, and some other stuff, a sense of many things happening at once, to allude to a certain degree of busyness and diversity in the SW setting.
What the new canon is doing is suppressing some of the large than life fantasy element, and replacing it with a degree of humility, honesty - even perhaps a little grit. Such has been done in the EU before, but not always well, and not often fully.
Now I would argue that one of Star Wars' greatest achievements is to take something which is total fantasy, exaggerate the characterization, exaggerate and blow up the ideas - yet still manage to have a complexity and insight into the human spirit that remains iconic and ageless. I like the overexcited heroes vs evil thing - though I do have to admit that overdone, it becomes tired, recycled. Perhaps the new canon has realised this fact and is counteracting accordingly.
On the topic of the OT-era NuCanon, I'm not interested. Notice how I've been very much for more Old-Republic and Legacy content. My reasoning is simple; those eras are very unexplored. There is so much more to learn. We've been getting OT EU for four decades! What more is there to know? I'm just not interested in the "same ol', same ol'".
What's canon Legacy?
I was just disregarding canon for the moment and talking about stories in general. Substitute 'ST' for 'Legacy' and my argument remains unchanged.
EDIT: So to get back to my point, why do we need more OT EU?
Well, the issue is not "why do we need more OT EU?" but "Do we have any good stories with them?"
The answer is yes.
They're just not being handled well as far as I can tell I feel like they've only done a few good ones.
I think the NEU have handled to inter trilogy periods very , well. A New Dawn, Catalyst, Tarkin, Servants of the Empire, Leia Princess of Alderaan, Rebel Rising, and Rebels all do a great job at showing how the Empire rose and established its control over the galaxy. They also handle the early Rebellion well while so providing a nuanced perspective of it. Meanwhile, they add fantastic characters to the saga, on both sides of the conflict.
For post ROTJ, Aftermath handles the fall of the Empire and rise of the New Republic well. It also does a fantastic job at laying the groundwork for the First Order. Then Bloodline fleshes out the New Republic and develops the beginning of the ST conflict while hinting at how the First Order interacted with the galaxy prior to their emergence. All of these books have great characters and add to the universe. In addition, despite this era having a lot of restrictions they construct a logical narrative between trilogies. Phasma did great character work and gave us some hints into the FO.
The OT years has had a lot of success as well. Bowever, it does have less consistent quality. The Battlefront novels are great, as are the Vader, Aphra, Lando, and Han Solo comics. Lost Stars is really good as well and adds a lot of complexity to the galaxy. The Leia comic started out pretty good and ended well, but wasn't great on the middle and the Star Wars series has been hit or miss so far. The Luke novel was forgettable. Overall this era has been pretty good, but has had less stories and so doesn't appear as strong.
So overall, I think the NEU is doing a great job and has added a lot to the universe. It has integrated the eras very well and has already developed a decently clear narrative across the saga. It has made the conflicts more complex and introduced numerous pheno characters. Of have to say o prefer it to the EU and I loved Legends.
Perhaps a direct and simple answer to the question of why do we need more is that the previous material in Legends has been wiped away, therefore this new canon is working to flesh out a time period in the canon which is effectively a blank slate.
Notice how the OT EU is now dominated by what I would call a "harder" canon - TV series, an anthology film (and we expect more). These are taking over the roles of less publicized novels in Legends - there is now what you might call a firmer ground in place.
I have to admit that I haven't read that much of the modern EU (time, money and interest issues) but the one that I do follow, Doctor Aphra (as TPB), I do like.
Oh, short answer, "yes" with an "if."
Long answer, "no" with a "but."
To be honest, I have read mostly the new comics from Marvel and so far I enjoy them.
I think I've said this before, but I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to go back through to check, but I feel like the era between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope has been explored in depth enough that I feel like we can move on to other time periods. Like maybe explore more about the ST era, since I find that there are still a lot of unanswered questions, like how the FO is able to get all their ships and such.