Lit Eleven-ThirtyEight and stuff

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Jul 8, 2013.

?

Well?

I don't care 15 vote(s) 15.8%
Hm, neat 42 vote(s) 44.2%
OMG COOPER IS MY HERO 38 vote(s) 40.0%
  1. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    It's entirely an OOU problem. The OT shows that you can have characters who are arguably more experienced and more powerful who have to step aside and do nothing but mentor and die away. EU was slowly getting there, before the dark times, before Denning took over. The question I see is whether the EU experiment of creating a new generation could ever really have paid off - people called TTT the episodes 7, 8, and 9 for praise or out of their own perception, and all the huge DR series all seem to be attempts at the scope of a movie trilogy. But none of those were allowed to really phase out the old guys and concentrate on the young ones.

    As much as Jacen was the NJO's 'mythical hero', that part is still much more up for discussion than if you said the same about Luke or Anakin Skywalker and their movie trilogies; especially since EU never really established itself as a myth. EU was a quasi-scientific approach at world building, at the creation of technologies, biographies, and history books, not a platform for characters to evolve through fairy tales. What do you get when you concentrate fully on the younger generation? "Younger" stuff like YJK and JJK, something that can stand on its own but is basically brushed aside because it doesn't really count. Cade in Legacy is probably the first real attempt to lose the shackles of the movies and go forward (instead of going sideways and showing characters like Ulic or Revan or Zayne or Vos), but that one only worked because it took enough distance from the movies. But close the gap, make Luke's force ghost appearance link up with that father "Vong supporter/Academy leader/Imperial assassin husband" father character that had to be named Kol and you get what a proper third generation standing on its own would have needed.

    And it's all in the hands of an editor or author: If you simply write that Luke is too weak because of Vong poison to do anything but teach, if Han and Leia live in a skyhouse and just stay there, and if Jaina, hero of the Vong war, is the Queen of the Empire who is said to have solved the McGuffin crisis singlehandedly offscree, you're there and we would have no complaint about the next generation. But someone made a very different decision, and there's been a statistical thing that implied that it was probably the right business decision.

    Now the really interesting part about this is that a new movie trilogy would be the place to finally get this right, and what do we get? Reports that Rachel and Thomas will be tagalongs in the next adventure of the big three at first. If this is true, I guess it's either because Abrams really wants to do his SW film playing with his very own childhood memories instead of with new madeup characters that mean nothing to him; or because most people involved want to keep this as close as possible to the OT because they think that's what people want from a sequel (and they are probably superficially right with that assumption). Probably both.


    Well, I quoted you so people knew what I was referring to, and I aimed at anyone interested in discussing the issue. Well, probably at anyone saying it was a great article since I don't agree with that, as I stated. I got that bit about someone else having written the article. ;)
  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Sure you can take the position that it's all due to writers and editors but that doesn't solve the in-universe problems.

    If anything, the article is a very effective summary of why the next generation problems in SW EU are beyond fan fixes! And, if nothing else, this forum has proved its collective ability to create innovative fixes time and again thus anything that is beyond its ability to fix must be damn bad!
  3. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    I didn't perceive the problem as an IU problem - the timeline continues right up to Legacy somehow, so first of all, the kids being underachievers doesn't break anything (and seeing how there was a movement for a non-Force using Ben Skywalker, there might be a fan out there who's happy that the Skywalker/Solo dynasty doesn't always excel at everything). Second, the very nature of the fan fix allows us to read a bad book and make up a story of how 0.3 percent of the novel were important as a piece in an offscreen character's master plan. So of course us fans can happily buy the books and say that Jaina is truly awesome and does a lot of stuff, even if we never read about it. Jacen and Anakin being evolutionary dead ends is kind of sad, but their deaths made for huge stories (even if LOTF and Jacen's recharacterization aren't appreciated, at least they go for the grand pose) with quite some impact. [With two turnabouts, Jacen's story developed more than Han's ever did, especially if you only look beyond the movies.] And the story can still go on without those two characters, especially with a greater variety in family names, and if the authors would take the chance with a cast of a Skywalker Jedi, a Solo Jedi-turned-politcian/empress, a Fel fighter pilot turned politician/emperor, an Antilles pilot and a "take them out of the box they're still there" cast of lots of Jedi, Jedi turned queens, Jedi turned bounty hunters, Sith, bounty hunters turned Mandalorians, pilots, intelligence officers, gamblers turned secret agents.

    The case for starting over is "I don't like IU anymore, make a better IU". Which is, of course, as OOU as the process of starting over is an OOU process. It's all about the books being so badly focused that we don't enjoy them anymore, and about certain events making us lose interest in the timeline. And why do we care? Because we'd like better for the characters, or because we'd like better ROI for our money. So the case here isn't that the characters somehow "underperformed" (which, I stress again, the article goes to great length to deduce from a skewed perpective on the characters), it's that the car won't get out of the mud. It won't ever for people who hate having lost Anakin, it won't ever for people who hated the Vergere/Jacen retcon affair. And yes, the train is also gone for those who wanted the supposed Crucible/SOTJ situation - big three retire, next novel attempts to sell with the next generation - to happen in a more timely fashion, and not lose more than a decade of IU timeline. Those problems, however, have nothing to do with the general state of the YJK generation characters.

    Now, if we're starting over and write a new EU, aren't we simply delaying the Next Generation question for exactly one generation? Would Rachel's and Thomas' kids ever be allowed to take over the EU? Or is there a more fundamental franchise logic problem at work?
    Contessa likes this.
  4. newdawn12 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2013
    star 4
    Here's an out of the box thought, maybe we're getting an Abrams and Thomas and Rachel are Luke, and Leia?

    Carrie< nmark, and Harrison might be Force visions of the future.
  5. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
  6. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    You guys are in luck! Not only do we have a great new piece by Ben today, but I've just launched our first poll ever--how will you be watching the new episodes of TCW? Go for Ben, stay to express your love of Netflix, your amenability to piracy, or your disdain for TCW under any circumstances.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 13, 2014
  7. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
  8. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Again, thanks for insisting on "the Exile" over "Meetra". [:D]
    Last edited by Ulicus, Feb 17, 2014
    tjace and RC-1991 like this.
  9. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 6
    RC-1991 likes this.
  11. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
  12. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    That's a terrific article, Jello. Especially in light of my recent readings of the X-Wing series. Isn't it odd, as well, that of the three most prominent villainous Imperial female characters we have, two came from Mike Stackpole and the other came from Kevin J Anderson of all people? No one's created a female Imperial officer above the rank of Lieutenant since the Bantam era.
  13. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I didn't talk about her in the article because of her low rank, but the few examples of an author actually engaging the topic head-on includes Stackpole's Iillor, who does actually look like a competent officer held back by the system.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  14. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    Stunning article, Jello. Really phenomenal stuff. I couldn't agree more on all accounts. :)

    On a side note, I love your analogy of the Republic being a mix of democratic Athens, republican Rome, and Arthurian Camelot. That damned line was quotable, good sir!

    --Adm. Nick
    Iron_lord likes this.
  15. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    The Galaxy of Intrigue splatbook gave us an organization focussed on fighting the system - the Firebird Society - led by a female Major General:

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tessala_Corvae
  16. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 21, 2014
    Gorefiend, Contessa and Iron_lord like this.
  17. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Actually it's a WEG invention from Lords of the Expanse (one of their best set of books). GoI expanded its history into the republican period, and established that the key issue was the inability of female characters to advance beyond middle ranks. I refer to the Firebirds (and characters like Oxtroe) indirectly when I talk about obscure reference material, but my primary focus was the novels where characters get the most development and exposure.

    I like the Firebirds a lot though, and wish somebody would use them. It's still an Imperial group though -- it's still odd the Tevels don't make more of Imperial misogyny as such.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    Good point - haven't read much of WEG.
  19. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    Thank you very much for the opportunity, Coop. The article is a bit out of date already, unfortunately, since I wrote it earlier this week before we got the profiles of Zeb, Sabine or Hera, but that really doesn't affect the main point, so, I'm happy with it.

    I'm considering making a weekly Rebels review a thing on my own blog once the show starts airing, since I do enjoy a good feature review. But that'd involve me actually posting on my own blog.
  20. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    You do it, I'll pimp it. Probably. :p
  21. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    We'd been getting an unusual amount of Twitter traffic for a Saturday, then I noticed that Greg Weisman has retweeted Ben's article. :cool:
  22. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    I KNOW RIGHT?

    [IMG]
    Jedi Ben and CooperTFN like this.
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    Prior to the Bantam era, on the other hand, there was a female Imperial captain, who appeared to be commanding a 6-ship fleet of Star Destroyers.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Plikk

    It's interesting to think about.
    GrandAdmiralJello likes this.
  24. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    Oh, hey--as long as the thread is bumped anyway, it gives me great pleasure to welcome @Mia to our guest ranks as well! Friday was the carrot; today is the stick.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 24, 2014
  25. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2013
    star 4
    =D= Well done, Mia, terrific article. I think it's telling that Sabine (and Hera, to be fair) already has a small mountain of fanart devoted to her and cosplays being put together months before the show will air; people are excited at the prospect of having another heroine (or two) to cheer for, and the fact that she is a woman of color gives representation to an ethnicity that has been sorely underrepresented in Star Wars previously. Hopefully, Rebels is the beginning of a changing of the color guard within the franchise, not just the exception to an unspoken rule.
    Mia Mesharad and Iron_lord like this.