Discussion Fate of the Jedi Fanfic Redux

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by MasterGhandalf, Apr 8, 2013.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. MasterGhandalf Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2009
    star 2
    We’re all familiar with Del Rey’s fondness for big series- New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi. Now of these three, NJO was polarizing (though I personally fall on the side of liking it), while LOTF and FOTJ were much more universally poorly received. Personally, though, I felt FOTJ in particular had great potential that was buried under poor execution. With the right amount of work, I think a really good story could have been hung on its basic foundations.

    A while back, when Fate of the Jedi was still running, I proposed a multi-author fanfic epic, set during some point in the past. That project never materialized, but here I’m proposing something similar, except as an AU version of FOTJ rather than an entirely new concept. My proposed title for the project is Star Wars: Odyssey, which I’ve read was a rejected title for the canon FOTJ series. Since this’ll resemble FOTJ as it stands in only broad strokes, I don’t think you’d need to have read it to contribute, though I’d recommend browsing Wookieepedia for info. To start with, basic ideas:

    I. Focus. The Coruscant conspiracy plotline always felt pretty extraneous to the main arc of FOTJ, slowing things down to a drag every time it showed up and distracting from the more interesting section of the plot. I recommend for this that it be cut entirely. The story should be about Luke and Ben travelling the galaxy and visiting and learning from different Force traditions, while the threat of the Lost Tribe and Abeloth grows. The Coruscant plot was, IMO, interminable filler until the very end.

    II. Abeloth. The Big Bad of the series was a really, really cool idea who suffered from poor execution, coming off more as a female Palpatine who could be in multiple places at once than an ancient, inscrutable Force horror. Part of the problem was that she was used way too much, and her individual bodies got beaten too easily. If anyone’s familiar with Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books, I’d propose using the villain Ruin as a baseline for how Abeloth should be handled. Ruin spends most of the series an impersonal force steering events towards some inscrutable purpose, occasionally a spooky voice in someone’s head; it’s not until the final third of the final book that he shows up in “person” and the reader gets a real sense of his nature and goals. Handling Abeloth similarly would do wonders to preserve her power and mystique. Oh, and I think she should be a corrupted Celestial, as was hinted earlier in the novels, as opposed to the out-of-left-field connection to the Mortis Ones that was ultimately established for her.

    III. Lost Tribe. Our other main villains. Honestly, I really don’t see why they have to be Sith. The Sith may be the overarching Big Bads of the saga, but the EU has badly overused them. I say, simply make them the Keshiri, an isolated race ruled by a corrupt dark side-using aristocracy, perhaps having them corrupted by one of the various Sith Empires in their backstory. Vestara, her father, Ahri Raas, Lady Rhea, High Lord Taalon, Grand Lord Vol, and the other named Lost Tribe characters can largely keep their canonical personalities and role in the story, but make them all Keshiri instead of a mix of Keshiri and human. I’d also like to see more of an exploration of the workings of their society and culture, much like we got with the Vong.

    IV. Plot structure. Keep it straightforward. Luke decides to retrace Jacen’s journey as per canon, and takes Ben with him, but there’s no real reason to go through the trumped up exile rigmarole. Meanwhile in a parallel storyline near the edge of the Unknown Regions we see the Keshiri begin to expand beyond their homeworld, prompted by mysterious voices in the dreams of their leaders (Abeloth, though this shouldn’t be revealed- and maybe not even that there is something prompting the Keshiri- until further down the line). Luke and Ben end up clashing with a Keshiri task force and wind up bringing Vestara with them on a quest to stop the Keshiri from releasing the mysterious Force entity (again, Abeloth) who’s been manipulating them. Pretty much as canon FOTJ, but more pared down. Endgame is a direct confrontation with Keshiri forces and Luke (+Ben+Vestara) vs. Abeloth (to prevent her release, not destroy her permanently), rather than the whole “Abeloth hijacks the conspiracy and becomes Chief of State” bit which in canon frankly made her a much more mundane villain. Oh, and we should definitely do more exploration of the actual philosophies of the different Force groups, which in FOTJ were often disappointingly brusque (particularly in the case of the Aiing-Tii).

    V. Length. Without the conspiracy stuff, I think we can keep Odyssey briefer than FOTJ, at about four-five fics rather than nine books. Unsure when, in this streamlined version, Vestara should team up with the Skywalkers- end of the first one seems too early, maybe end of two?

    VI. Force groups. The groups Luke and Ben meet can be pretty much kept as canon- Baran Do, Aiing-Tii, Mind Walkers, Fallanassi, and end with Keshiri. Dathomiri can be cut (already well-explored) and Theran Listeners (don’t seem all that terribly interesting, honestly, unless someone really wants to keep them).

    And, some questions:

    1. What to do with LOTF? Keep it canon, up to and including absurdities like Daala as CoS? Do broad strokes only, where the major events were the same but we can make up specifics as needed? Keep only the core element of “Jacen falls” as backstory, which might leave thing open to include Mara as well?

    2. The Solos. This is essentially a Skywalker-centric story, but what about the other side of Star Wars’ first family? I’d feel kind of bad leaving Han, Leia, and Jaina with nothing to do, but neither do I particularly want them on the “Odyssey” plotline, which should just be Skywalkers (and later, Vestara). I’d like to have them pitch in at the final battle, but beyond that? Come up with something for them to do, and risk running into the same problem as FOTJ’s conspiracy plotline? Keep them out of the action entirely? Other thoughts?

    3. Author formatting- how to organize things? Each other does one-two fics? Alternating authors? Authors do a fic or two in a row? One person writes, everyone pitches in on worldbuilding? Post as individuals or create a sock?

    So, does this seem like something I might get another couple of people interested in and get off the ground? Or is this a big idea that will never see the light of day? Ideas, thoughts, criticisms, anything?
  2. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Sounds interesting, but way above my writing abilities.
  3. darth fluffy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    star 2
    I love FOTJ the way it is, and I actually like it better than NJO.
  4. Mando-Man Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2008
    star 2
    FOTJ was good but it did have its low points in some spots. I actually enjoyed the NJO and LOTF more.
  5. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    I liked NJO, and the Yuzzhan Vong series for the most part, though I thought Anakin Solo's death was a bit much. I haven't read any of FOTJ, though I've looked up stuff about it on Wookieepedia. I just can't wrap my my around Jacen going Sith. He was the least likely in my mind that would betray the Jedi Way, and I couldn't make it through reading the first of the Hive series. Same thing with LOTF, what I know about it is from Wookieepedia.

    I'm not sure I would be much use in writing... or re-writing this storyline.
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  6. darth fluffy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    star 2
    How about we do LotF? That's where the real work needs to be done.
  7. Cnaevs Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2013
    1. My suggestion is that because of the new Disney/Lucas thing, we could actually have SW: Odyssey be the AU of SW 7. Just a suggestion, this is Ghandalf's boat.
    We can certainly decide to keep everything up to LOTF cannon, if we want.
    2. We could have something like the Solo flying into a wormhole or something so that we could explain away their absence, and use them later.
    3. Alternating authors didn't do the rl LOTF and FOJ any favours. One person write and the rest do world building sounds better. RL example: the Warriors YA books.
  8. Chilla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Sounds interesting and I think I'd read it, but I've never read the FotJ series, so I don't think I'd be much help, plus I don't think I will have the time for it. But good luck! I hope you can find some co-conspirators! :p
  9. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Indeed it did seem that the Coruscant conspiracy may have been filler (i.e., too much page time given over to it), but in the end there was a payoff beyond Abeloth taking over. Overall I quite liked the FotJ series, much more so than LotF (epic fail caused by epic creator's pet syndrome) and about on par with NJO (warts and all). For me, the point where the storyline took a hard left at 4th Street and Bananas Avenue was, as you stated, when Abeloth takes over the Alliance and the TCW Mortis plotline is tossed in there with no more consideration than what tie one might choose to go with their suit.

    I did have a fan fiction novel published, though, which did feature a canon-friendly tie-in to FOTJ with my own original characters along with Luke and Ben, which could serve to be a small diversion. [Title removed]

    Mav Edit: Please don't post titles of other fics.
    Last edited by mavjade, Oct 5, 2013
  10. darth fluffy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    star 2
  11. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    Well, I'll try to keep it going...
    I agree with you on this, but that's because I've only skimmed FotJ. IMO, Denning introduces too many ideas and then lets them get watered-down to the point of being useless plot-lines. And don't get me started on what I feel is a total retcon of Jacen's trip. In all honesty, I'd be more for doing this type of thing for LotF.

    Anyway, this is REALLY ambitious project. I would have to REALLY bone-up on what happened in Fate to make any meaningful contribution, but I do think the 'conspiracy' plotline could be interesting if done correctly. At it's heart, the argument is this: what IS the relationship between the Jedi Order and the Senate/Chief-of-State? The Senate is NOT always corrupt, the Jedi are NOT always right, and the bureaucracy is NOT always useless...points that seem to be lost to most authors. IMO, the Alliance has been turned into a banana republic, what with all of the coups.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  12. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    What a wonderful discussion happening in here. :) I would read a total reboot of LoTF in less than a minute especially if plotting was tighter & Mara was still around. [face_love] !! I have read great multi-author collaborations before, and it seemed like the best way was to alternate authors -- each taking a chapter and also because generally the subplots making up the entire story got the focus in succeeding chapters, it turned out that a subplot was handled mainly by one of the authors, which makes outlining much easier. :D Example: One author could handle the plot points surrounding the political stuff with the GFFA, while another handled the tension :p in the Jedi ranks. [face_thinking]
  13. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    What's funny is that it would take me three days to write what you would read in a minute! (I am SO-O slow at writing) I confess to being intrigued more and more by the idea of such a collaboration...but, as we've brought up, I do think LotF would be a better place to start. Fate, it seems to me, was Denning's way of trying to fix the mess he made with Legacy...only to create a bigger mess. To quote my grandfather, 'If you're in a hole....'

    I think the biggest problem would be this: whose vision of LotF do we use? I'm pretty sure my 'head canon' is much different from Nyota's or Fluffy's or Ghandalf's. Who wants to be 're-writer-in-chief'?
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  14. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    Dude, I'd definitely be interested in this. I've always been fascinated with the idea of focusing on "legacy Jedi" within the NJO and moving on from there.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  15. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I'm willing to bounce ideas around.
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