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Lit Han Solo Trilogy/ Crispin

Discussion in 'Literature' started by dylan24601, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 2006
    I've never read this trilogy, but I've heard that it ties together basically every reference to Han's past from previous EU, save for his childhood best friend Bey. Seems like a conspicuous absence, especially if other Marvel characters from the Jo Duffy run are mentioned. I wonder what the deal was with the lack of Bey.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  2. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    Continuing with Paradise Snare. I'm not going to point out every sledgehammer Crispin slams home.

    Having Han be a street kid forced to beg, and hate it, was excellent. It sets up a certain amount of pride and willingness to do anything to make credits rather than have to beg for them. It was also a good idea to put him in a mansion and have him spend some time with rich people to learn that he doesn't fit in, which is followed up on when goes to Alderaan later as a free man and hangs around some rich college kids at a restaurant. Those kids didn't grow up on the streets, they've never stolen to survive. It's just a very illustrative scene, showing that Han just doesn't belong in that world. I'm surprised Crispin didn't actually have Han run into Leia, though.

    Some interactions between Han and Bria on Ylesia resemble Han and Leia on the Falcon. Bria is unsure and Han kinda takes the steps for her.

    Was just skimming some pages.

    Ah ha ha ha ha. See guys, doggedness does pay off!

    Han meets Bria's parents and it turns out they're rich with a huge mansion and a huge estate. I mean...there's little difference between this and Leia being a princess. They're both about class differences, and I don't think it's needed here. We don't need to put Han through this as a trial run. It actually conflicts with the "guy like me" question, because he's already fully been with someone who was way above his class. He should already have some idea of the answer, because that time in ANH was not the first time he's asked himself this question.

    When he meets them, he thinks "I don't belong here. I know it, and they know it." It's just a perfectly self-conscious thought to give him. I loved a lot of little things like this. He also thinks of Bria's dad, an ex-pilot and trader himself, as a "regular guy". Good choice of words, there.

    I love the part where Han first gains inspiration for the chorus to his future hit song:

    Reading this really cracked me up.

    I'm solo, I'm Han Solo.
    I'm Han Solo,
    I'm Han Solo, Solo.

    Making the Academy was just another feel good moment, even if it wasn't meant to last. Street kid makes good.

    Told me get myself together,
    now I got myself together.
    Now I made it through the weather,
    better days are gonna get better.

    I honestly couldn't stop hearing the song.

    I'm so happy the carbonite is gone!

    Wait, too soon.

    I really don't have a problem with Bria in Paradise Snare. Yeah, she's another damsel in distress for Han to rescue, and he's a bit pushy (duh, she's a brainwashed, addicted slave), but I don't mind. Yeah the class divide is a bit too much like Leia, but we're still okay here. Of course she leaves, she's been through a great trauma that has left her empty and addicted, her mother and brother didn't support her, and things weren't going great with Han. Of course she ran. She was very young, a confused kid who went to Ylesia looking for answers and received manipulation, she's a really empty and unformed person who needs to be independent. And of course Han was hurt, she was his first love. No problems here. To me, this really has nothing to do with Leia, it says nothing about her, and it really doesn't "prepare" Han for her in any way, not even incorrectly. Not yet, anyway.

    I honestly feel pretty good about giving Paradise Snare a 9/10.

    Edit: Btw, I really love the fringe element in this trilogy. A bunch of thieving and con games in Han's childhood. I mean, there's a freaking slave planet masquerading as paradise that gets people addicted and then makes them process spice in the freezing, pitch black darkness, and Bria is flat out given to some nasty alien to be his bride. There's just all kinds of sick **** going on, and this is the world Han is from, the world that is hinted at, when we meet him in Chalmun's Cantina in ANH (and there's one Duros to compare him with).
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  3. TalonCard

    TalonCard •Author: Slave Pits of Lorrd •TFN EU Staff star 5 VIP

    Jan 31, 2001
    The two Marvel characters referenced (Katya M'Buele and Rik Duel) were only throwaway references that didn't impact the story much. (Only Rik actually appears. Han's early pre-Falcon voyages with Katya aren't even mentioned; she's only name-dropped late in the last book.) It's possible that Crispin didn't include Bey as he was too important to Han in the comics to relegate to a brief mention. LFL was telling authors at the time to ignore the Marvel comics, so any major incorporation of Bey into the trilogy might have been seen as too tangential to include.

    It's also possible that she simply didn't have enough information about the character to work with. Bey appeared relatively late in the Marvel comics, when the films were over and readership had declined significantly, so he could have just been missed entirely in a pre-Holocron, pre-Wookieepedia era. He's not in Han's entry in the original version of the Essential Guide to Characters (another 90s book that referenced the Marvel series more extensively than was usual at the time) either.

    It's interesting that you point out how well those scenes serve the character, since most of them come from pre-existing elements of Han's backstory that Crispin incorporated--definitely speaks to her skill as an author that she was able to knit them together into something that works so well.
  4. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 2006
    Yeah, fair points. Nineties EU was acknowledging Marvel in reference guides like The Essential Guide to Characters, but seeing stuff from it pop up or even be referenced in an actual book or comic was still pretty rare well into the next decade. Sure, Jon and Jan used The Wheel and Simon Greyshade in Republic, but that was pretty clearly their initiative and not some mandate. Like, even by 2006, Lumiya showing up in LOTF was a huge deal, and Nagai and Zeltrons being cast in Legacy seemed crazy. And two years later Mindor took care to mention Bakura but not the Nagai-Tof war.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  5. Ackbar's Fishsticks

    Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 25, 2013
    As a vehicle for exploring the underworld of Star Wars, this trilogy freaking rocked. Xizor and Durga especially both came off way better here than they did in their introductory novels.

    And yeah, the Ylesian priests are somewhere towards the top of my list of "Star Wars villains you love to hate."
  6. Ackbar's Fishsticks

    Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 25, 2013
    I noticed that especially in contrast to Plagueis, which is another work that does a lot of canon welding. With that book, a lot of the time I could tell when some was being referenced even if I didn't know what it was. With the HST, though, I usually don't, and I'm still surprised from time to time when I stumble across an old book and go "hey, I remember those from the HST. Wait, those weren't original?"
  7. The Raddinator

    The Raddinator Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 18, 2017
    Great minds think alike; I read a ton of EU back in the day but never got around to ANY of the Han books, and have just rectified this by picking up a copy of Paradise Snare on kindle. About half-way in and I'm really enjoying it so far, despite the (pretty clunky) heavy-handedness mentioned above.
  8. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    Last bit I want to put in before Hutt Gambit: I really do love all the Han-isms, Crispin really nails his personality quirks, you can really hear and see him while reading these novels and it's just a lot of fun. I honestly love that he calls everyone pal and everything is hokey and he's scruffy looking and he basically uses every line from the movies. I love a lot of the little details. I love that we get him strapping on his blaster low on the hip, we get the background for his piloting skills, we get the Falcon and his mods for it, etc. It's just fun to be in that world.
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  9. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007
    When I read these a couple years ago it just felt perfectly done not only because I had read about some of these events in character biographies and chronologies, it just felt like a sensible origin for this character and just nailed the tone and voice for Han. Great stuff.
  10. Giovs

    Giovs Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 29, 2013
    I loved the Han Solo Trilogy when I've first read it. It was my favorite series from the old EU (Well, but Han is my favorite character, so...).
    I'm reading the trilogy again because I want it fresh in my mind to see how different the new canon interpretation of Han's backstory will be.
    Rigth now I'm in the middle of The Hutt Gambit.

    Also, I've ordered the Barnes and Nobles hardcover edition of the trilogy, it should get here by tomorrow, looks pretty neat.
  11. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I'm glad everyone is positive because I'm totally going to ruin that vibe. My main problem with Hutt Gambit is that it's all over the place. Maybe moving from one thing to another might seem breezy and fun, but it's just so thin and scattershot. There are literally a dozen bounty hunter encounters just passed over with a mention. We run into all these characters; Mako, Roa, Xaverri, etc and they come and go in just a few pages. There's a million references, but little point to any of them. It's just checking off a list of references. Things are mentioned, but not really used. Things are told, but not shown. Hey, that magic tour Han went on with Xaverri, that sounds cool, let's actually do something with that. Nah, let's skip to Xaverri's Dear Han letter after it's over. Sounded cool, anyway. But it's just chapter after chapter of things that sound cool but are never seen. It's like Luceno's Darth Plagueis, it's a neverending list of Wookieepedia links. Entire relationships are summed up instead of explored and lived. I get that there's a lot of ground to cover, but maybe it would have been better to actually focus on a few things instead of just mentioning a million things.

    Honestly, Hutt Gambit was almost becoming a frustrating bore to read. Every time something cool is mentioned (and there are many cool ideas), it turns out just to be an idea that comes and goes in less than a page. I get that she's giving us an idea of Han's life, but dammit, I don't want to read a Wookieepedia entry on Han. It just comes down to, "and then they did this, and then they did that", but we never get to see any of it.

    But thankfully there are some cool scenes actually shown. The bar fight at the beginning with the Barabel about to chomp on Han's head, and Han's blaster getting stuck in his holster, eventually leading to him shaving off sights so it won't get caught again (Han's blaster has its own origin story). Anyway, Chewie shows up to save Han, I think he puts the Barabel in the Cobra Clutch and throws her across the room. This is what finally makes Han accept Chewie as a bro, and it's a perfect way for Chewie to make his way into Han's heart, because this is their relationship: they're blood brothers. You fight one, you have to fight the other.

    Meh, let me quote a part that made me laugh. It's when a Twi'lek bounty hunter gets the drop on them on Nar Hekka. One of the few bounty hunter encounters that gets more than a line. (yes, yes, I know we can't just detail one bounty hunter encounter after another, that these encounters are almost certainly going to be short and deadly anyway, and at some point mere mentions are enough to keep the idea of them having a bounty on their heads going)

    The yell is what made me laugh, because I imagined this:
    In fact, I like to think that was what inspired Crispin here. So evocative of the movies!

    I did enjoy the brief visit to the old, shriveled up Twi'lek woman with bad teeth acting as an info broker on Nar Shaddaa. She makes a pass at Han. "Pilot handsome". It's just a funny little encounter that turns the sex appeal of both Han and Twi'lek females on their heads/tails. Oh, and btw did you know Han was handsome and sexy and females want to bone him? Yeah, they do. Luke, we're gonna have company! And by company, Han means the endless line of females to his bedroom in this book.

    We also get a run-in with Vima-Da-Boda, because no stone is left unturned. Still, Crispin really did her research, and I really dig the fringe atmosphere Crispin created on Nar Shaddaa. It's also...informative to see Han scorn an old beggar woman, considering his past.

    Sinewy Ana Blue and Wynni make perfectly natural references. Couldn't leave them out.

    Even Han's piloting gloves get an origin story! Nothing left unexplained!

    Xaverri's magic show was a cool idea, it was fun to think of Chewie/Wookiees as primitives totally freaked out by magic tricks. Criss Angel would freak Chewie out so badly he'd get his arms ripped out of their sockets....only to reveal that he's fine because it's a *twist* part of the act. Too bad we didn't get to see Han and Xaverri pulling cons on Imperials during the tour, that could be a whole book, like The Sting or something, but that's not what we're doing here, Crispin is chronicling Han's life and we have to move along. But I really wanted a full scene of Han wearing that skintight, spangled stage him running away from Imps in his tights or something. Just something with tights. Btw did you know the female audience members loved his tights? Mm-hmm, a girl dashed on stage and kissed him full on the mouth. Or so we're told. It's just Han reminiscing about "that time" they did this and that, for the nth time in this book. That's this entire book, referencing "that one time" without actually showing it.

    The less said about Han's remote control Spock encounter with Boba Fett the better, right? What is it with Crispin and creating/dragging out these "stick em up" scenes? And remember when Lando used the same drug on Boba and made him rub his belly and the top of his head at the same time? Yeah, that happened (okay not the latter part, but kinda). And this was the first time he met either Boba or Lando. Officially. Oh, and he sees the Falcon for the first time, too. Officially.

    The Hutt Grand Council meetings are silly fun. Rabble! Rabble rabble rabble!

    Alright, that's enough for now. I'm gonna come back with my take on the big climax, where something finally happens: the battle of Nar Shaddaa.

    Respond to let me know how negative and wrong I am!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  12. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 2006
    I've read Crispin's Pirates of the Caribbean novel, and it's the same thing with Captain Jack.
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  13. Duguay

    Duguay Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 30, 2002
    Hey, it's cool to see this series of Han Solo books getting attention again! Although it makes sense given the movie that's coming out soon. Long time ago I skipped it when it first came out, then one day at random bought the first two; and found reading The Paradise Snare very enjoyable beyond what I could have imagined. Paradise Snare is still my favorite of the trilogy, but the other two were fun reads as well. I really liked how unconventional the overall story structure of The Paradise Snare was; succeeding in a big heist isn't the end.

    Also interesting to see is that Barnes and Noble have made the trilogy into one of their really nice hardcover series that go for fairly cheap. Again it makes sense (although wonder what made them choose Crispin's trilogy over Daley's), given the movie coming out.
    CT-867-5309 likes this.
  14. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    It’s been quite a while since I read it, but THG is definitely scattershot. But I think Crispin was put in a rough position. She’s writing a trilogy about Han’s past. Han has a LOT of accumulated past. Some of it, like the swoop racing and Garm Bel Iblis and Thrackan, she was able to get out of the way in TPS, but most of it is smuggling backstory. So she can either try to include everything in one for or another to make sure that all Han’s past is acknowledged in the definitive “Han Solo’s backstory” trilogy and run into the biopic problem, or she can write a tighter adventure that doesn’t acknowledge big chunks of what we know about Han Solo’s past. And she went with the biopic problem.

    By which I mean the problem you see with a lot of biopics where people have big, interesting lives with lots of events to highlight but they don’t comfortably form a single big narrative. So you get movies that hop from incident to incident, hitting all the famous highlights, and try to tie it together with something general like a love story or overcoming some adversity, and the result feels choppy and incoherent, more montage than narrative.

    Working within those constraints, I think Crispin does about as well as she can. She really can’t get away with skipping ahead to Han already established as a smuggler and have just another adventure in his world. She can try to roll all these big firsts into one story where he meets Lando and Chewie and becomes a smuggler and we’re introduced to Mako and Shug and Salla and all these big aspects of his past all in one neat story, but that runs the risk of being too contrived and pat. We’ll see if Solo avoids this pitfall. So she goes with the biopic approach to cover these beginning years and I think does a decent job of balancing playing out the highlights and montaging through a lot of established but less necessary stuff. Like, I would have loved a Dark Horse comic of Han and Xaverri running a scam, but does it justify standing as its own fully fleshed-out episode of the Han’s early years story? Not necessarily. But she doesn’t want to ignore it and make it seem unacknowledged or disavowed; she wants to show how all his known past fits together, so it gets montaged.

    I agree it’s not perfect (I’m not a big fan of sprawling biopics) but I’m not sure Crispin had a lot of better options available to her and I think it does its job of giving you a narrative and an understanding of the big picture of Han’s life pretty well.
  15. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    ^Agree 100%.

    with the big climax: the Battle of Nar Shaddaa.

    Guess what: more negativity incoming.

    I like Han's background as an Imperial officer being used for insights and tactics, and Han being the one to make the bribe to Greelanx.

    But that's all I like.

    I dislike the entire idea. I just don't buy it. I don't think Han would do it. I'd think he'd leave and let the destruction of Nar Shaddaa happen. I think most of the smugglers would do the same. There are plenty of other planets to call home, and there's always the Smuggler's Run.

    I don't think it meshes with ANH. It turns out, he's taken on a suicide mission against the Imps before, and won. It's a...contradictory lesson.

    Well, what was your idea of the battle of Nar Shaddaa, Han? The battle where you were grossly outgunned? The battle you led and won?

    Why does he leave? It's not like he hasn't been in a battle like this before. I don't like it.

    I know there are arguments. Nar Shaddaa is his home (I don't buy it). The smugglers are his friends. The innocents who can't get off the planet would die (better them than me). They have the Imperial battle plan (the rebels had the plans to the Death Star). And Han doesn't let something go without a fight.

    But there were other options, other lessons. He can take on the Empire in a battle...and lose. Badly. With everyone dying. The lesson learned would be that opposing the Empire in a space battle is not courageous, it's suicide.

    Or he can leave some situation and let people die, and have to live with the guilt. By the time he's faced with the choice again in ANH, he just can't face the guilt again. He has to do something this time.

    Or maybe combine both of the above. Or something, because this doesn't work for me.

    Or: he can just not take on the Empire at all. We can avoid this whole situation and let ANH be the first time. There are other battles that can be fought in the climax. I suppose we lose out on the Empire crushing or attempting to crush something close to Han...but Han doesn't join the rebels in the OT because the Empire needs to be stopped, he joins because of Leia and Luke. He gets into for them.

    I don't like the idea, I don't buy it, I don't think it fits. Sure, you can just go with it (and I did, I kept reading, didn't I?), you can try to convince yourself that it fits, but I don't want to have to. Why should I have to? Maybe Crispin can just write something that fits naturally, something that doesn't require suspension of disbelief at all. I'm not being anal about things fitting with the movies, she said herself (in the acknowledgements) she's trying to set up ANH Han with these books, and I think this is a significant mistake.

    Even with that objection aside, I still don't like it. I didn't enjoy it. The battle plan scenes are some really cheesy, corny, 1950s pep rally stuff. Come on, gang! Yeah! We can do it! Yeah! It's pages of this. It's so awkward to read that it just flattened whatever enthusiasm I had left.

    I'll drop some quotes in case you don't know what I'm talking about:

    When Mako first tells the smugglers the news of the impending Imperial attack, this is the crowd's reaction.
    Okay, Mako is just telling them what's coming...and they boo and hiss him? WHAT THE ****? God, this is idiotic.

    After Mako agrees with them, and says they can fight back because there won't be any Star Destroyers (and I'm skipping over horrible dialogue as it is):

    Ugh. You'll kick their butts? They can't shoot for sour trig-berries? What are you, five? Is this the 50s? Are you the little rascals?

    And why would they fight? Do all these smugglers have hearts of gold like Han? I would expect them to just laugh, shrug and leave. Good luck! A few dozen do leave...but apparently that was a small minority.

    Mako says nobody is wiping him out without a fight.
    Yeah, Mako! Yeah! This is like something from South Park.

    I like how they sound like ten year old Bastion from The Neverending Story.


    Let's see how you like it, chicken! We're gonna get you guys!

    Except this would have been awesome if Bastion showed up during the space battle riding Falkor. Maybe Falkor has turbolasers. YEAAAAHH!

    Han made many other wishes and had many other amazing adventures, before he finally returned to Tatooine. But that's...another story.

    At least Roa proposing and flying his ship into battle was kinda nice.

    The plan itself is fine. The holoprojections, like spinning, are a good trick.

    Soontir Fel makes a useless cameo, because of course he does, because everyone got an invite for this book.

    Xaverri comes back and meets Han's new **** buddy Salla.

    Xaverri, meet Salla Zend.
    Hi! You've boned Han, too? Pleased to meet you.

    And the pep rallies just keep going.

    We got a big game against Imp U this Saturday, people!

    Yeah! Let's kill God! Yeah!

    A drill sergeant cliche for good measure.

    Did I mention these are smugglers?

    Let's get on with it.

    Lando participates in the battle, accompanied by...Vuffi Raa! You old toaster, you!

    Jarik "Solo", Han's wannabe hanger on, is manning one of the guns on Han's ship, Bria. There's a funny part where Chewie literally rips the control yoke out of the gun mount because he got too excited.

    The battle is fine. It's done competently enough. It's certainly not some Kristine Kathryn Rusch disaster. According to Crispin's acknowledgments, she got some advice from Stackpole for Paradise Snare, and it showed well enough. For Hutt Gambit she went to "Steve and Tim O'Brien" (of WEG, I gather) for their "expertise in Star Wars battlegaming", whatever that means. I'm guessing it's RPG stuff.

    Han goes to pay off Admiral Greelanx and hides in the closet when Vader shows up and force crushes Greelanx's throat...because of course Han has to run into Vader, too.

    Btw: I continue to enjoy the stuff with the Hutts. With Jabba and Jiliac meeting with Teroenza to assassinate Aruk, it's like a silly version of The Godfather. I loved the scenes with Aruk feeling too old to exercise and diet, he wants to sit around and grow huge and enjoy the final corpulent stage of his life after centuries of work to get there, like an old, fat Marlon Brando Godfather who doesn't wear pants.

    I wanted to give Hutt Gambit a 6/10 because all the telling and not showing really started to become a bore, and those pep rallies were painful. To be fair, maybe my frustration at wanting more is a good thing. Maybe it deserves better. She did put a lot of work and love into all those references, and there are a ton of cool ideas. I'm kinda talking myself into appreciating this novel more than I did while I was reading it. Okay, final score, 7/10. Even though I think she kinda failed by having Han participate in the battle, I do appreciate what she's trying to do, all the love she put into Han and his life story, and all the cool fringe stuff.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  16. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    You know, I always loved the book, but I can't say you're wrong. The battle is a fun sequence, and I will love to death anything that gets me some Soontir Fel, but smugglers battling the Empire was always a wacky decision (like, what, you're going to declare war on the Empire, and then the Empire will just walk away because you beat a couple junkers?), and you're right that it doesn't really work thematically for the character to be doing this.

    The scenario does the job of capping the narrative by bringing together all these elements of the underworld we've seen into one big battle, and it allows us to sort of preview the idea of Han being a natural leader. I can see why Crispin went with it. But I think it would have worked better if Crispin had found some other way to do that. Maybe Han and Mako organize a huge smuggling fleet to challenge an Imperial blockade for big one-time profits, or some complex heist raid. Maybe there's a big smuggler gathering out at some remote location that gets jumped by an Imperial fleet and Han rallies all the gathered smugglers to make an organized breakout. Maybe the Hutts have Han organize a defense of Nar Shaddaa against some Black-Sun-backed raid, rival-crimelord stuff. There have to be better ways to go than Han rallying a bunch of smugglers to fight a basically illogical Imperial raid on Nar Shaddaa.

    Though I do think that some of the thematic issues aren't quite as great as you make out. Nar Shaddaa is Han's home, his place of business, the power center of his employers. If it goes away, he's adrift, and it's believable that he'd be more willing to fight for that weirdo community that he's found himself a part of than for some do-gooder yahoos he's just run into who are undertaking the ultimate suicide mission. Also a lot of people would die, which I think would operate on Han's heart of gold even if he would never say it or even necessarily acknowledge it to himself. He shouldn't really be put into that situation, to better preserve his ANH character . . . but if he is I don't think his reaction is wildly out of character or gets in ANH's way too badly.
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  17. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 2, 2000
    Not just ANH. In RTJ too
    Han “I didn’t realise they were looking for someone to lead this crazy attack”
    Lando “I’m surprised they didn’t ask you to do it”
    Han “Who says they didn’t but I ain’t crazy”

    Even by then there are things Han does and does not do.
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  18. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I agree with Havac that it's not a great issue, but I do believe it was a mistake. There were a million other options. POTC: At World's End figured it out, even with the cowardly Jack Sparrow and a bunch of pirates that can't get along. "We must run away". (obviously that's more suited for Jack, not Han. Han's not a coward, he's just cynical and selfish.) You could just have Han lead a battle he feels confident about winning, something more evenly matched. Really, anything but what she did.

    There are lots of ways to justify it (I'd just rather not). Taking on a few Dreadnaught cruisers, a few bulk cruisers, a pair of Carracks, picket ships and some TIEs with a huge fleet of modified freighters, a large modified Hutt yacht, Drea's two corvettes (both armed with missiles/torpedoes for cap ship damage) and some Headhunters and Y-Wings (armed with torpedoes) isn't anywhere near as crazy as taking on the freakin' Death Star with about 30 fighters. They're just not comparable. The battle of Nar Shaddaa is not evenly matched, but it was rigged from the start, with Han having the battle plans and Greelanx's promise to retreat the moment it became reasonable. The rebels have to shove a torpedo down a two meter shaft.

    So you can see Han seeing the Nar Shaddaa scenario as not really suicidal, since they have Greelanx's cooperation, while the rebels are throwing spit wads against a moon, hoping they hit it just right. Assaulting the Death Star is just several orders of magnitude crazier. The sheer size of the Death Star makes it look indestructible, but a Dreadnaught or a bulk cruiser can be crippled with only a few salvos of torpedoes.

    They're just not the same.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  19. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 2, 2000
    Fair enough .. now I’m looking forward to your review of Rebel Dawn :)
  20. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I'm still obsessing over the battle of Nar Shaddaa!

    Han is a cynical, selfish guy who won't throw his life away on an improbable battle for some selfless cause when he can just cut and run. So what will he do? Well, he will do things for credits, including fight. So give him a battle he can win and have someone pay him for it and he'll do it. Have him take charge (maybe after things go south, so it's like a Chris Pine-Kirk taking the Captain's chair after the previous leader goes down) to establish that he's a natural leader.

    I just skim checked, and I'm pretty sure Han doesn't even get paid for the battle of Nar Shaddaa, the Hutts don't even pay him for his insight, his trip to Greelanx or for his participation in the battle. There's no mention of it. There's not even any mention of the Hutts paying for the mods to the smuggler fleet. Hell, they have to "borrow" Jiliac's yacht without permission. Han gets a krayt dragon pearl off Greelanx after Vader kills him, and he has to sell a statuette he stole from Toroenza to buy in to the sabaac game on Bespin.

    On top of everything, Han does all this for free? He wouldn't even stick his neck out for Leia until he was offered a huge reward, and he was already on the station with her!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    Sarge likes this.
  21. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 2, 2000
    Don’t get me started on JJ Trek. Spock decides to shoot Pine/Kirk out on to a planet rather than lock him in the brig.
    After all that at the end, Pine/Kirk becomes Captain rather than simply reinstated as FO. It seemed a bit much to me [face_dunno]
    Also I was uncomfortable with the new facist style uniforms they gave to the Trek crew too but that’s a whole nother thread.

    As for Han. I think it all would’ve worked if he/smugglers had lost the battle or of they’d been sold out by some of the bosses. It would gel well into the cynical screw them Im only it for myself trope for ANH.
    Besides which the Empire are such whipping boys in battles in both books and TV shows, the only wonder is how they managed to stay being an Empire for as long as they did [face_thinking]
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    Sarge likes this.
  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Sep 2, 2012
    The point of that scene was that Han is leading an equally crazy attack on the shield generator - Han's "I ain't crazy" is about to be shown as him being snarky about the mission, with his task being just as dangerous in its own way.
    They're booing and hissing the Empire, not him.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  23. ForcePushUp

    ForcePushUp Jedi Padawan star 1

    Oct 19, 2016
    Finished the 1st book and about to start the 2nd.

    So far, I'm enjoying it. The first book (wisely) didn't include any of the things we would have expected from a Han Solo backstory. No Chewie, No Falcon, No Lando, No Jabba, no Boba Fett (though it appears alot of those will be showing up in Book 2).

    It basically just establishes Han's character, why he is the way he is, and why his beliefs are what they are. It made for a fun read.
  24. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I know I already said this for Paradise Snare, but I'm saying it again!

    I know why I can't honestly dislike these novels at all, why I'm so forgiving, why I enjoy them even if I think there are mistakes being made: it's such a fun galaxy to be in, a galaxy where we're modding our ships, making Kessel Runs, dodging bounty hunters, gambling, hanging out in the seedy underworld with our big furry friend as muscle, hooking up with stage magicians and fellow smugglers, trying to make deals with scheming Hutts, running into Imps and Rebels, etc. It's just a fun place to be, and Crispin knows it and uses it well.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  25. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    Heading for ANH with Rebel Dawn. Galactic eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin'. We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

    Let's talk about sabacc, with Han (and Lando) entering a big tournament on Cloud City in the opening chapter. As a guy who likes card games, it's a terrible ******* card game that has consistently been portrayed even worse than it is. It's a terrible card game because the luck factor is WAY too high, the randomizer makes it veer way too far toward lottery, and what little skill aspect there is has hardly been touched upon. Anyway, this is the best portrayal of sabacc I've seen. Crispin downplays the randomizer and plays up the skill as much as she can. She does a good job. I love that she tries to give Han and Lando playing styles. Lando sells a personality of careless big risk taking, and he plays on sheer nerve. Han plays more like an opportunist. You'd think the playing styles would be the other way around, with Han making big bluffs and Lando looking for opportunities, but at least there's some thought process to it.

    Others have written sabacc as a pure luck game where you win simply by getting lucky and drawing a pure sabacc or an idiot's array over and over and over. No playing styles, no tactics, no playing your opponent, no bluffing of any kind, no consideration of the odds, nothing. Just being the best at drawing the best cards, which is nonsense. They usually don't even fold, usually everyone plays every damn hand, which is the dumbest thing you can do. It's literally giving up the power of choice (by never choosing to fold) and leaving the outcome up to pure luck. You want to know who the best player is at a poker table? It's probably the person that folds the most at the beginning of the hand, limiting their losses. I know Han and Lando have this luck thing going on and it sorta goes with their characters to run on their luck, but there's so much luck involved there's no reason anyone would play this game unless they can cheat or use ESP or the Force to determine when to stay in and when to fold. That, or they just like gambling. Might as well play the slots. You certainly could not be a "professional" sabacc player, there's just too much luck involved, unless you think you can be professionally lucky. Skill is what separates card players over the long term and allows those who are good to at least have a realistic chance at coming out ahead over the years. I would never play it, and I LOVE Razz, one of the most frustrating card games there is (where the goal is to get the worst hand possible).

    Winning the Falcon in a sabacc tournament, and with a little twist being that Lando didn't realize he was putting it up for grabs, was a pretty cool way for Han to acquire the ship. It's quite the prize.

    Share your thoughts on sabacc now!