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Lit Expanded Universe Fail/Success: An Analysis of Expanding the Movieverse

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CeiranHarmony, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    Don't get me wrong, I love my EU, even when it contradicts itself sometimes, or features other problems we talked a lot about on these boards. This is not for complaining or hating but a critiqual view on our beloved holy EU. Going back to the roots, the Movieverse and highlighting where its expansions delivered great fitting canon, and where it went too far, or not far enough, or even in the wrong way with its expansions of the universe. This is for one to highlight the best and worst of the EU based not on your personal opinions but critiqual analysis of the saga itself, its core themes and discerning the Saga anew, without the EU in mind at first, to f.e. find problems of the EU as well as ways how to counter them in the future to ensure its survival in an evergrowing Movieverse.

    Some often debated topics that would f.e. fit this discussion are:

    -The existence of Order66 survivors as well as multiple Dark Jedi/Inquisitors and other Force cults in the OT era despite ANH's "their fire has gone out of the universe" & as per Tarkin Vader being the last member of that old religion
    -multiple Death Star plan theft tales.. which was best or closest to the spirit of the movies if you had to pick one? I know all an coexist more or less due to retcons
    -too crowded eras around ANH and how "too much" all in the same timeline is rather troubling and confusing characterisationwise rather than have these multiple alternate takes actually be alternate infinities with one canon line
    -lack of longterm streamlined overall planning and more a puzzle tactic of inserting new material into/over old one
    -lack of understanting or misinterpretations of the Movie sagas core themes and lessons, like nature of the Force, Jedi, Sith, Light&Dark Sides etc. not only in heated fandiscussions but also by authors and editors who each interpret this different, thus leading to multiple concepts being usded in different sources
    -what sources are closest to the movies/best expanding them, what are too far off and not feeling starwarsy or rather like a tale in the universe but without a star wars feel or connection to the core Saga?
    -Maximalism vs. Minimalism approaches as well as Diversity

    Post ROTJ EU themes:
    -Fall of the Empire
    -Rise of a new Government
    -Foundation of the Jedi Order
    -Getting Luke a Wife
    -Han and Leias marriage and offspring
    -Passing the Torch

    these are the general topics of post-ROTJ Eras that had to be adressed one way or the other. Multiple sources dealt with one or several of them. In between and around those got their own Mini-EU like the Zahnverse, the X-Wingverse, short stories and lots of other rpg etc. expansions expanded the novels further. Some books in between could be there or not, even despite being well written and awesome, they are great parts of the EU but not working on expanding a major movieverse element. Others are expanding a movie element but are mediocre at it. it happens. lets discuss this.

    Newspaperstrips & Marvel expanded the universe in its own way but with tales too far off from the main SW feel sometimes with several weird superheroesque or otherwise wibbley wobbley tales. Some of the Marvel contributions that fit the bill of intertrilogy themes were:
    -A girl for Luke: Shira/Lumiya's tale (later mirrored in Mara in the Bantamverse post-ROTJ)
    -Finding a new Rebel Base
    -Han's escape from the Bounty Hunters
    -Leia dealing with the loss of Alderaan
    -The evacuation of yavin IV
    -the introduction of the Executor
    etc.

    WEG did a great job, we all agree, especially in developing the alien species further in detail as well as the cultural and historical backdrop of the Moviesaga filling it with planets and adventures and more.

    Thrawn Trilogy kickstarted the post-ROTJ era after Marvel pioneered it with few tales. Outward from this trilogy grew COPL and the X-Wing line as Thrawn-trilogy prequels, as well as the Jedi Academy Trilogy as a sequel, concurrent with Dark Empire as comic sequel set in between but developed at the same time. Another important stepstone was The Crystal Star, less in its plot and holy Waru and more in that it first portrayed the Solokids personalities and talents developing them YJK#0 style on which later books based their Solokid characterisations.
    The Hand of Thrawn duology, followed by Union comic closed of an era, with the YJK books bridging the next generations rise till the NJO kickstarted a new Era. since then multiple passing of the torch attempts, sequel-esque attempts tried to use familiar themes and hero's journeys to continue star wars and move on.. with as fandiscussions showed, limited success being great works themselves (NJO, DN, LOTF, FOTJ) but with several problems.

    Now, Death Troopers f.e. is a novel that is well written and a great read. But it is no necessary SW expansion at all. I love it for different reasons though.

    The Tales of Books expand background characters a lot and are awesomely interwined into the movies plots.. true gems of the BEST the expanded universe ever did in ways of expanding the Saga.

    Another thing to discuss is, given expansion themes for each era.. be it intertrilogy, post-ROTJ, darktimes or else.. is.. what is better, exploring all these themes in one source or trilogy interwined into several plots.. or should each get its own book/game/etc. to expand it?

    f.e. Marvel bridged TESB and ROTJ with multiple stories dealing with several facettes of the themes each. Shadows of the Empire packed all in one awesome story right interwined.

    The Thrawn Trilogy dealt with multiple powerful themes at once:
    -Imperial reorganisation
    -birth of the next generation
    -Luke's Jedi Quest
    -Luke finding a future wife.. kinda
    -Leia training to be a Jedi

    whereas in contrast the Jedi Academy Trilogy only dealt with few big themes and several lesser ones:
    -foundation of a new jedi order
    -survival of the dark side
    -Death Star evolution explained
    -Kessel expanded from the Movies

    Dark Empire again had multiple avenues:
    -Luke's flirt with Darkness
    -the Emperor reborn/cloned
    -Leia vs. the Emperor
    -Luke training the first new Jedi.. (as in some late Marvel plots)
    -Leia more powerful and a Jedi too
    -another Solokid born
    -ties back to distant past of the Jedi (holocron, Empatajos Brand, etc.)

    thus... after these short examples of how/what to discuss and analyse.. what would an EU redux look like if reduced to the mist crucial important sources? which are essential, which are not? If a post-ROTJ series would stripmine the EU.. what needs to be in?

    f.e. The New Rebellion is an interesting book, but it could be skipped. same for the awesome Black Fleet Crisis trilogy or the Corellian trilogy, who both tell, expand and give us great characters and stories, but in the overall perspective they have less impact than say the Thrawn trilogy or COPL. Corellian Trilogy has the plus of giving us Corellia as movie expansion. Black Fleet crisis though trying fails in expanding any major theme, despite doing that for several lesser themes, because the Prequels hardly made Akanah's story believable. It is a hoax essentially, an interesting one but one presented as a hoax at the end of the trilogy even.

    Pact of Bakura though is a great book showing Imperials and rebels can work together, as well as expanding especially the early-post-ROTJ hours/days pretty well especially in its accompanying WEG sourcebook.



    lets discuss...
    Last edited by CeiranHarmony, Mar 15, 2013
  2. blackmyron Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    What I found interesting in the Celebration panel on the Marvel series is what eventually killed the comic - that LFL restricted them basically on everything, to the point where they struggled to find a story to tell... they didn't want them stepping on any future stories (which is funny, considering that the idea that the comics would be 'canonical' was probably the furthest from their mind... why would they care?)
    I have a sneaking suspicion that a "new" EU would end up the same way - novels and comics that would (a) feature characters that everyone wanted to see but (b) without them doing anything to change the status quo

    It doesn't always have to be bad - we got the Han Solo and Lando series where they basically leave the Empire to go to other regions because the authors were obviously told they weren't supposed to touch anything related to the Empire, or backstories for those characters, etc. ... but it would've gotten old quick if they had continued onwards like that beyond those two series.

    Lastly, I suspect that such a "new EU" would also go heavy on being "kidz friendly", with whatever the new trilogy version of the Ewoks cartoon would be.
  3. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    wait, them limiting Marvel? in an age where anything goes and not much there to limit anybody? now that is a surprise indeed, did not know that.

    as for kids friendly.. not all can ever stay kids friendly.. in some cases not even the movies are.. burning Anakin and all.. skeletons of Owen and Beru etc. they are all age family movies.. not adults only, but not kids only either!
  4. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Wasn't Dark Empire originally going to be a Marvel story?
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Think it was going to be done under the Epic label.

    Ceiran, you really don't see any difference between a few seconds shot of the Lars' charred skeletons and the drawn-out immolation of Anakin Skywalker?

    I can't see a parent being too bothered with ANH's brief shot, but ROTS? Different kettle of fish altogether!
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Mar 16, 2013
  6. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    so you saying that burned bloody flesh is worse than smoking skeletons with pieces of blackened flesh? how and why? I see no difference at all there. especially since Anakin was shown not much longer than the Lars were, longer but not much.
  7. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    There's enough difference for one film to get a U rating and one 12A Ceiran. The Lars are shown for seconds at most, Anakin's immolation is far more detailed in how its shot.
  8. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    I do not know what U or 12A is.. different ratings in different countries ;)
  9. Cad Bane Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    If Ben doesn't mind, how about this substitute: there's a difference between a PG rating (brief glimpse of some burnt skeletons) and a PG-13 (OH GAWD SOMEONE'S ON FIRE AND YOU CAN SEE HIM MELTING). Look at the ratings here if you need more elaboration.
    Last edited by Cad Bane, Mar 16, 2013
  10. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    what rating then was Indiana Jones with melting faces and else?
  11. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    It wouldn't hard for you to find out!

    http://www.bbfc.co.uk/
    And, in answer to your question Indy Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was dubbed PG.

    You're free to think as you like Ceiran, but I think it's absurdly reductionist to just say they're both depictions of violence with no difference between them.
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Mar 16, 2013
  12. Cad Bane Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    That's a good question! Raiders of the Lost Ark was released prior to the creation of the PG-13 rating. In fact, it was two films (Gremlins and Raider's sequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) that caused the creation of the PG-13 rating. Honestly, Raider's still having a PG rating after it being re-released is mostly due (IMHO) to it being grandfathered in. Not to mention out of respect for Spielberg and Lucas. Again IMHO but if Raiders was remade today, no way it'd get a PG rating.
    Last edited by Cad Bane, Mar 16, 2013
    CeiranHarmony likes this.
  13. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    grandfathered as it may be... Indy movies got same rating as ANH despite showing same level of stuff as ROTS.. so they are the same level to me. of course you needn't agree with me there. these days a lot of stuff gets mild ratings that I think needs to be R18 only even.. likewise stuff getting R18 for no reason happens too.of course it is debatable if grandfathered things need to be re-rated or not, especially if still distributed officially and not just as used sales. but the entire rating thing is too arbitrary and fails in my eyes already since ratings for one depend on opinions, and those differ a lot. some cultures think "oh my god a breast is visible" others do not care about nudity but scream in pain when violence happens and one can see blood spilled. but that is an entire different discussion then. especially in movies marketed for kids.. these days movies are so dark and violent, 20-30 years ago nobody would have given them anything other than R18. likewise old R18 stuff is too funny to be taken seriously as R18 these days with effects and all visible as fake.

    but lets return to topic if possible now.
    Last edited by CeiranHarmony, Mar 16, 2013
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Unless you have something else in mind Ceiran, R18 is most likely porn.

    And cinemas would definitely see a difference between U and PG, especially if dealing with an irate customer.

    On Indy, Indy 4 got a 12 rating, which suggests the same would be for Raiders.

    I'm not quite sure what the OT would get now, there's not really all that much going on, with the harshest violence being depicted for a second or two at most, enough for the audience to see and register but not dwell on. Probably PG.

    At the same time, there are films that, no matter their age, retain a visceral edge on the violent element - Sergio Leone's Spaghetti westerns for instance.
  15. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    PG and PG-13
  16. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5

    R18 is not only porn.. also zombie movies, and such stuff. at least those old goodies of 70s-80s ;) those that used the same effects like facemelting Indy and such. and these days every good kidsmovie got zombies, sparkling vampires and other monsters way worse... heck I see lots of kids in cinema watch superhero movies of marvel and dc and those are way worse with violence and all that (despite being cool movies) than their rating implies!

    but back to topic now please
  17. blackmyron Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    I'm talking about spinoff material. I may criticize CWAS, but at least it wasn't at the level of the post-ROTJ material.

    And 'kid-friendly' is relative - the second Ewok live-action TV movie opens with most of the human family from the first one being murdered.
  18. thesevegetables Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2012
    star 4
    About the scores of Order 66 survivors - they were all pretty isolated and without many resources. Yoda was kind of hiding in a cave for a long time. He reached out in the Force, sensed no one, thought he was alone. Same with A'Sharaad Hett. After Order 66, reached out in the Force, "was all alone", thought he was the only one left. No Jedi is capable of sensing every Force-user in the galaxy! It's not hard to understand why these isolated, hiding people THOUGHT they were alone.
  19. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    exactly! ratings go after blood and stuff shown mostly but psychological terror like entire family dead and suchs tuff hardly affects a rating except the entire movie is psycho.

    then again, Ewoks were cannibals :p I never saw the family get burried..
  20. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    good point there ;) the Lightsiders are less of an issue. Darksiders though are.. see Tarkins words in ANH to Vader in my first post.
  21. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    Its not cannibalism when they do it. Unless it is to other Ewoks.
  22. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    they declared them members of the tribe... waited.. then had dinner :p

    I am not convinced the human bones we see them use in ROTJ as instruments are all Stormtrooper bones... too clean for that. How fast do they eat flesh of bones? well.. if older ones, guess whose family we saw played music on :cool:
    Last edited by CeiranHarmony, Mar 16, 2013
  23. thesevegetables Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2012
    star 4
    Tarkin would know even less - as a non-Force user who doesn't like the whole Force thing in general, he would only have second-degree info and people would not be thrilled to give him information. Also, the other (like, all non-Darth) darksiders kind of stayed in the obscure, weaker, hiding modes they had been for centuries of Republic rule. Didn't catch the attention of most then, why now?
  24. CeiranHarmony Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    I was talking imperial Inquisitors and Empire employed Darksiders who are legion... not those in hiding wannabe Darksiders