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Lit Episode VII: Was Dark Empire on the right track?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Guy-Gone_Weird, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Guy-Gone_Weird

    Guy-Gone_Weird Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2003
    This is kind of an amalgamation of two posts I made in the new Ep. VII forum, but I want to have a separate discussion here with the more open-minded Lit people. Long post ahead.

    Before some of you throw up your arms, I'm not talking about Palpatine reborn or any specifics of the story. I'm talking about in general as a story arc for the characters involved, and specifically the scale of the threat.

    Before I ever read any Post-ROTJ EU material, this is what I imagined happened would have to happen in a sequel trilogy, combined with my current knowledge of 3-act structure. Like ESB, the Empire would get revenge for their defeat, and it would be up to the heroes to stop them. I'd also expect to see the heroes struggling to restore the government to what it was - only better, without the things that caused it to fall in the first place.

    Following the 3-act structure (assuming that there will be only 3 "Episode" trilogies), where each trilogy is an act in the overall saga, the 3rd trilogy would have the heroes overcome their problems and come out better. But within the trilogy, things have to get much worse before they get better.

    While I don't think they should adapt any of these, I think these stories really captured the elements I expected before reading any EU:
    • X-Wing series - struggle to retake the government and begin to build a new one
    • Jedi Academy Trilogy - the Jedi are reborn with mistakes along the way in an effort to support the new direction
    • Thrawn Trilogy - strong new villain who tests the heroes
    • Dark Empire - heroes come the closest to being defeated and are tested to the point of becoming evil, but unite and emerge victorious, signifying the birth of a new generation, and a new hope
    • Crimson Empire III/Hand of Thrawn - peace is made with their enemies without wiping each other out completely
    If Episode VII is indeed set around 30+ years after ROTJ, then the story will likely focus on the next generation of heroes with Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, etc. in the background as supporting characters.

    I think most of us agree that even under new leadership, the Empire is not just going to say "oh no Palpatine's dead, oh well it was a good run". In the OT we see a lot of officers in the Empire actually firmly believe in what they are doing. The EU has plenty of proof that the Empire would endure for a long while. In Dark Empire, the Empire strikes back in a huge, merciless way. In a lot of ways it's the doctrines of the Empire (and the Dark Side) completely unrestrained and unstoppable. Lucas himself praised the story, saying that it was the closest to his idea of a sequel trilogy.

    In the story, Luke almost becomes what he fought against to defeat his enemy (like Ulic Qel-Droma in TOTJ). If the unbridled wrath of those defeated by the OT heroes were to come back, it would be a perfect test for the new generation instead, really challenging what they have been told is right by the OT generation. On the other hand, if it's a new enemy, it should still be more powerful than the OT Empire in some way in order to be a threat, otherwise it won't live up to expectations. Either way, the new generation has to face this threat in order to ensure the direction of the future.

    It has to be more threatening - look at how Blackbeard fell flat for most people after having Davy Jones in the Pirates series. It won't be the Jedi having a pesky pirate problem or having to face filibusters. It has to raise the stakes even more than the Empire did before. Something that they have no obvious way of defeating. Look at Bane in TDKR.

    I've seen several ideas thrown around about a new Sith leader or the return of Darth Plagueis, but it doesn't even have to be Sith to be that kind of threat. Maybe it's the Empire badder than ever, maybe its a twisted version of it separate from the remnant. Maybe its something new. We've seen this over and over in the EU.

    Even if the new films somehow keep the existing EU, is it likely we could see the Empire or some form of it come out as an unstoppable force when it takes place? (let's say after Crucible)

    Thoughts? Was Dark Empire on the right track? Do you think Lucas' treatment has the Empire, or some form of it, as the main threat?
     
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  2. vong333

    vong333 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 18, 2003
    Until we know what episode 7 is we really won't know
     
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  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Return of the Jedi was, at least according to some of George Lucas' notes, pretty much what he envisioned for the third trilogy with all of them smooshed together like new Death Stars, the Emperor, and Luke's sister. Dark Empire is thematically similar, however.
     
  4. Valin__Kenobi

    Valin__Kenobi Author: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2004
    It seems to me that George's real antagonist in the films is the dark side of the Force (in the form of the Sith) and the Empire is just one particular incarnation of it. The third trilogy may, but not necessarily, involve the Empire, but will almost certainly have some form of darksider as the antagonist. My money's on Mortis or Plagueis, but YMMV.
     
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  5. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    I hope that with Lucas out of the way, we never have to hear about Mortis ever again.
     
  6. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I already heard all I needed to hear about Mortis, well, at least enough to tell me it's a bad idea, a bad idea that made the post-NJO even worse, something I didn't think was possible.
     
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  7. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Between the clones, the squads of Jedi vs. Dark Jedi lightsaber fights, a more mystical approach to the Force and its powers, and Palpatine's search for immortality, I'd say the PT has helped consolidate the 'legitimacy' of DE, such as it were. Actually, I think EE was even the first source to equate Palpatine with the Sith.

    Actually it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of those themes (or at least Palpatine's immortality quest) from the PT were influenced by Lucas reading DE in the mid 90s.
     
  8. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Dark Empire is controversial somewhat, but it sure was epic too (great artwork helped immensely too).

    While I don't see them adapting DE, especially with rumors of a "source" saying it'll be an original story (and unknown source aside, it seems likely that's the direction they'll go), the general outline of Dark Empire could serve quite well as an outline for a sequel trilogy.

    Say, we see the galaxy rebuilding, then the Empire strikes back really hard, and the war concludes by the ninth movie.

    But that depends on why they use as the antagonist. In the OT it was Rebels vs. the Empire, the prequels had the Republic which would become the Empire, introducing the various droid armies of the Confederacy. By the ST, it could be the New Republic, the Galactic Alliance, or something else depending on how much of the EU they bother to use. They could use the TOR or Vong approach with a brand new enemy from somewhere showing up for the heroes to fight.

    Although a big part of the trilogies was a Skywalker's journey- Anakin's fall (and eventual redemption), Luke growing up, so they could just follow another young hero or not, guess it all depends.
     
  9. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Yeah, I'm convinced it'll end up being a darksider of one sort or another (which in the simplified filmverse will inevitably mean someone named Darth). Now, in the PT we saw a secret Sith sewing rebellion in Dooku, and in the OT we saw a public Sith waging open warfare in Vader, so exactly what they do for a different "feel" this time I'm uncertain of.

    As I said in the Disney thread, I'm sure they'll fill the ST with lots of lightsaber wielders to keep today's kids happy, but how they do that I'm admittedly torn on. I'm actually kinda keen on them resurrecting the original idea of lightsaber stormtroopers! Luke thinks his new order of Jedi noobs are going to save the galaxy? Well, Darth [TBA] says otherwise with his Dark Army.

    Despite lots of Jedi again, you'd then actually have quite a different feel to the PT, as it'd be the "young Jedi" triumphing in spite of their lack of experience where the old Jedi like Yoda and Windu had failed back in the previous Republic. (Not that I'm a huge fan of "youth tops experience" as a theme normally, but it's the kind of theme I could definitely see them emphasising in the ST). The main protagonist -- Ben? -- would then have the potential to be placed in the same position Anakin was in ROTS: but this time, in Episode 9, they'd make the right choice and the New Republic would be shown to have conquered its predecessor's failings.
     
  10. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    I'm just gonna repost something I've said in two other threads.... because I think you're on the right track with Mortis. I don't like FOTJ, and really didn't like the last minute development, but...

    Here it is:
    Can I just say that I can't shake a feeling that the last minute direction of FOTJ and Abeloth took was some how mandated from "on high" because Episode VII was decided on for sure while that book was being written?

    Just what if the new trilogy is set to take place after Crucible and the story actually revolves around Abeloth, finding the Dagger of Mortis and a new group of Ones? That actually makes a whole hell of a lot of sense for where to go next to me now. And I really didn't like that development being shoehorned into FOTJ(which I already didn't like) in the final installment.​
     
  11. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Well, if that is the case, then Episode VII will be dead on arrival for me, because I can't stand Mortis, and the post-NJO timeline is a mess.
     
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  12. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    The consolation prize would be that the EU is worked into everything so it is, finally, one cohesive continuity. I believe that Filoni really cared about that before GL came along and said "do what I say, and do whatever you want, screw everything else." We know that there are people whose job is continuity and who care about continuity in LFL. The new folks in charge are actually liberated from GL's whims, and if they really care about Star Wars as a whole... they can keep it all straight as one continuity. Future films could potentially adhere to continuity established in the EU, which would cease to exist as the "Expanded Universe" and now just be Star Wars. Unlikely, perhaps. But certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

    I'd like to think that if new management is as passionate as the rest of us, who really want to maintain Star Wars... and by that I mean everything that has the Star Wars logo.. they aren't going to be as inclined as GL to toss the baby out with the bath water.
     
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  13. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2007
    This post just terrified me.
     
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  14. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Interesting perspective...

    So you're basically saying that without Lucas, there is no G-Canon anymore, and that it's all someone else's fanfic, with the sequels no different than any other piece of EU... whose continuity has always depended on whether or not the author of an individual story gives a kriff?

    I hadn't thought of it like that...

    Makes me think the most interesting decision might be who gets appointed the screenwriter, then.
     
  15. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    How about this... levels of canon are gone. Period. There is just The Canon, and it's all Canon.
     
  16. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Furthermore, it's not about whether or not an individual author gives a kriff... it's about the management saying "this is what has happened over all, this is what has happened before and after the time period you are writing it. Make it work, or it's a no go."
     
  17. Guy-Gone_Weird

    Guy-Gone_Weird Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Well, here's another aspect of Dark Empire to consider - will we see a hero turn to the dark side, like Luke did in DE? One of the Skywalkers/Solos? We've seen this in the EU as well, so there is a chance.
     
  18. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Like Luke or Like Jacen?

    ie. redeem them or kill them put of hand?
     
  19. DarthJenari

    DarthJenari Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Well just like Anakin and Luke were (as all Jedi are) the main character (Ben?) has to have some inner conflict with the Dark Side.
     
  20. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    I hate to say this, but they indicated at Celebration that the CWAS is going to return to the whole Mortis nonsense.

    But yeah, like midicholorians I hope it vanishes forever with Lucas no longer in charge.
     
  21. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Yeah, but what airs on TCW is always a few years behind of what's been working on. So there might be some Mortis stuff that they've already done that we've yet to see, but I'm hoping that'll be the end of it :p

    edit: Also they might still jsut decide not to air it, actually.
     
  22. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 8, 2004
    I just hope Lucas's underlying ideas about Mortis don't bleed into what he outlined for the ST, with the death of the Father (Anakin) causing the Son (Luke) to go dark and need rescuing by the Daughter (Leia) or some weird thing like that (sure, it happened in Dark Empire, but Dark Empire at least had subtlety in a way I doubt a film would).

    It wouldn't be about Mortis itself, but... I wouldn't be shocked to find Lucas was operating under the same basic theme.
     
  23. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 28, 2006
    As I said about my thoughts regarding the new trilogy and FOTJ and Crucible... it realky could be all of the loose ends from Apocalypse with Abeloth, the Dagger of Mortis and the Ones. It's a bit crazy, but all of that was shoved into FOTJ in the last third of the last book.
     
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  24. CoraxRD

    CoraxRD Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Sep 17, 2012
    It may have seemed that all of that was shoved in for the last third of the book, but they knew what Abeloth's connection to Mortis was since Omen. All of that is well documented form interviews.
     
  25. Darth_Kevin

    Darth_Kevin Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2001
    As mentioned, DE has a similar theme to the Mortis theme. If GL really said that DE was similar to his ideas for the sequels, and he also pushed for the Mortis stuff, we may be on the right track (unfortunately) that the sequels will have a theme like Mortis with the daughter (light) saving the son (dark) with the father bringing the balance. Perhaps in this case though, Luke will be the father, rather than the intention for it to be Anakin in TCW.