Has Del-Rey Made A Serious Mistake?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Grand Admiral Wettengel, Oct 16, 2000.

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  1. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    This mistake would be:

    Has DR made a strategic error in deciding that only the major events will happen in the hard-covers?

    First, please don't think that I didn't enjoy the PBs so far because I enjoyed each one of them--except for HC which I found to have been a sleeper except for what the Vong were up to--far more than VP.

    My only concern is that the HCs set the tone that the PBs will be following. NR gets defeated in VP. NR gets defeated in Onslaught. NR/Empire get defeated in Ruin. NR gets defeated in HT, although the Vong plan against the Jedi is foiled. NR gets defeated in JE, although this defeat resets upon the shoulders of a single person--Jacen Solo.

    Defeat, defeat, defeat. Enough of it already! Also, an entire YEAR has elapsed since VP and the NR seems to have learned absolutely nothing about the Vong. This whole storyarc has just been so poorly planned its pathetic.

    The idea behind it is certainly interesting but I'm getting tired of seeing the hero's--and yes I now consider Luke & Co. to be hero's since the NR and Empire are on the same side--acting like idiots.

    We have consistently seen that all of our heros are capable of thinking. Unfortunately, this quality seems to be absent in the NJO so far. Luke & Co. brought Thrawn down in 3-4 months (if I remember the little hints that Zahn provided for time elapsing in the Thrawn Trilogy correctly) and they've been facing the Vong for a year and are no closer to beating them. Why are they paralyzed to such a large degree by indecision? They've never been indecisive before.

    I'm all for character development and I believe that that is what the PBs are mainly for. However, we all have our own likes and dislikes when it comes to characters. For example,I don't care about Han. HT was such a struggle for me to get through--I eventually just skipped all the Han/Droma stuff since it wasn't connected to the major plot till the end. I found myself skipping the Han/Droma scenes again in JE for the very same reason. Basically, if you don't care about a character you won't enjoy a book that is centered around him/her/it.

    For example, I'm sure that some or perhaps most of you would dread having to read through books that center upon characters I care about: Imperials and Kyp. I want to see a novel entirely from Pellaeon's POV or perhaps Moff Saretti's or even Daala's and something from Kyp's POV is essential since we're only hearing one side of his views: from the "holier-than-thou" Skywalker/Solo camp.

  2. Darth Darkheart Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2000
    star 1
    I'm not sure I'm clear on what you're calling a mistake... But I agree that the stories are getting alittle repetitive...

    As for centering books on certain characters, I think it's absolutely true that if you don't care about that character it's going to be hard to read a book about them... Also, I don't think they should be basing books on the old heroes; Luke, Han, Leia and such... I know they've only done Han so far, but still... If one of the purposes of the NJO is to introduce a new generation of heroes, I think if they're doing a whole book on a certain character, it should be a character from that new generation; like any of the three Solo children, or Kyp, or Ganner, or Jagged... Those would all be books I'd like to see by the way...
  3. Gandalf the Grey Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    star 6
    I'm sure that in year 2 and 3 it will be a repeditive Vong take a planet, Republic takes back a planet see saw, and year four will be a repiditive NR wins again, and again, and again , sort of thing.
  4. Gryffindor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2000
    star 1
    Yeah, repetitive. Almost every book ends in an NR victory but when you open up the next one they're losing a bunch of planets.

    I also wish that the heroes would act smarter, even if they keep losing. It's hard to like characters you think are dumb. And like you guys said, it's hard to be interested in characters you don't like. Maybe that's why I'm only sorta interested in the next few books. I don't even mind that long delay after Balance Point.

    I heard a while ago that you don't have to read the paperbacks to undertnd the story but I find it hard to believe now. So much has happened. I guess we'll have to wait and see what's in Balance Point and see if that explains enough.
  5. A Smuggler's Spin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2000
    star 3
    I'm right with you GAW, Del-Rey made a major mistake in making it "The hardbacks are all that matters". It shows in the 4 paperbacks we have had. And I do not expect the ones after BP to be any different.

    I think one of the reason the DT trilogy was cut in two was because it would have made a major impact on the storyline if the third book had been used. It would have expanded the details to much to be just a side story.

    Some people seem to enjoy the way things are going, and i'll admit i'm not on board with bringing in extra'galactic aliens to be the main plotline, so it taints my views of the books, i just have not thought the paperbacks were all that great. They were adequate, just good enough. Which for me is not enough.
  6. JettaKnight Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 1999
    star 1
    They may see whether this decision flies by year 2 or 3. We've all read the paperbacks this time around. But then when Balance Point comes out, then followed by more "non eventful" paperbacks, will we really buy into that?

    My guess is that most people here will buy them no matter what, because, heck, we're Star Wars fans and we wouldn't be talking about it on a message board if it wasn't such a big deal.

    But it is hard to see how the strategy is going to survive for 5 years....
  7. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    Hmm, well that's kinda funny, because Jedi Eclipse went higher on the bestseller lists in its first week than Hero's Trial. People obviously aren't sick of it yet.
  8. keiran_helcyan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 1999
    star 4
    I'm with you Smuggler's Spin, the series so far has dissapointed me, but I'll probably read it no matter what.
  9. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    Am I the only one who has enjoyed every book?!?!

    And no, I don't like everything that has the name Star Wars on it! I didn't like Planet of Twilight or The Glove of Darh Vader.
  10. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    I've read and enjoyed every book in the NJO. But then, I like the concept for the series. I like the focus on the Jedi order. I like the focus on the Solo kids' coming-of-age heroes' journeys. I like epic sagas--and this is the only "literary" Star Wars saga that even approaches the six-film epic in scale. I enjoy the way the YV contrast sharply with the Jedi.

    This series has a strong "Star Wars" feel to me. And no, I don't like every Star Wars book or comic either--Crystal Star and the Black Fleet trilogy come readily to mind, as does JA #10 and some of the JJK/YJK books. I haven't read PoT or the Bounty Hunter Wars because I don't anticipate enjoying them.
  11. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    Quote: "I've read and enjoyed every book in the NJO. But then, I like the concept for the series. I like the focus on the Jedi order. I like the focus on the Solo kids' coming-of-age heroes' journeys. I like epic sagas--and this is the only "literary" Star Wars saga that even approaches the six-film epic in scale. I enjoy the way the YV contrast sharply with the Jedi."

    Agreed.
  12. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    Rebecca191 , I suspect the sales of JE were so good because Hero's Trial was a super book (sorry, GAW...many of us loved it even if Han was the major focus). I was SO anxious to get JE, and then so disappointed. Same thing happened with Onslaught. I loved it and waited breathlessly for the next Stackpole and had my expectations of another story as good and entertaining as Onslaught dashed. I see a trend here. Each author writes a really cool opening book for their duology, then tries to cram the rest of their story idea into just one more book.

    But back to the topic title. Has DelRey made a serious mistake? IMHO, yes
    (Please note the following is all opinion. My opinion. if anyone has differing opinions they are welcome to state them).
    Dragging this dark, depressing storyline over 5 years is a recipe for disaster. That alone would be a major problem. But add to that the way the books seem to be written for a different audience that the Zahn, Stackpole, Tyers, Crispin books; DelRey stands a good chance of losing the established fan base that Bantam built up. They probably think we old fans are expendable. The 13 to 25 market share is where all the discretionary spending money is these days. That's the market they think they need to reach and that's the market they seem to think they have to change SW to reach. They haven't thought this thru. In 3 or 4 years, those younger, newer fans will be young adults with very busy lives that just won't have time for a generic SciFi series. They won't bother with the NJO because it has gotten so predictable. The kids (now in grade school) who will be the age group with all the spending money, will not be picking the series up in the middle of a 5 year story arc, and quite likely won't want to start back at the beginning of a long story arc that is nothing but doom and gloom for too long. And the old fans, the people who discovered Star Wars as young adults or older kids and enjoyed the diversity of different authors writing about different things, they will have gotten tired of seeing their heros constantly blundering, being indecisive, beaten by a bunch of Forceless barbarians.

    If DelRey had made the Vong invasion a little shorter, given us some real victories to feel good about, the NJO would be better. If they'd put a few more Jedi in the New JEDI order, it would be better. If they had not decided on this overriding story line and just done a better job of continuity than Bantam, things would be great.
  13. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I think DR's mistake is an overambitious marketing strategy that'll come back to haunt them once its rumbled, which given BP's publication date isn't going to be long.

    One point I'll mention: NR blew the crap out of Helska 4, it remains their one non-poisonous victory. I reckon the only successes will come in the HBs but I'm losing interest.

    Talking of mistakes is the Jedi Council plot a continuity gaffe?

    Yes, some people will have told Luke about it but Ep III is, I think, going to portray a near-absolute Jedi genocide. Those who survive know how effective/ineffective the Council was so is it not an error on Luke's part to consider revising it? True he doesn't know how it ended, neither do we as yet, nor does Vergere; but the fact the Jedi got annihiliated has to count as evidence against revival so why do it? All I can think of is to link NJO to the prequels, as well as the original trilogy and the Bantam line, it's pure franchise-building.

    Jedi Ben
  14. aleja Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 3

    It's not so much where the book debuts on the bestseller list, it's how many weeks it stays on it. In movie terms, whether the book "has legs."

    A high debut but then a quick fall off (as I believe happened to Hero's Trial but I could be wrong) means that the avid fans who absolutely, positively have to have the book as soon as it is published bought it, but no one else is. If the sales rank can't be maintained, then it means the books are not branching out to other readers, that it is not generating word of mouth.

    For a movie analogy, look at the X-Men movie. It had the sixth highest box office debut of any non-sequel movie. Based on opening weekend numbers, the movie was projected to do over $200 million in box-office. But the numbers were skewed because the opening box-office was flooded by avid fans who absolutely had to see the movie right away. The movie only ended up with about $150 million -- still a more than respectable take, but ultimately a little disappointing.

    So while it is very exciting to see the book on the bestseller lists, the real measure is how long it stays there. You can sell 500 books in one weekend or 500 books over 10 weeks -- you've still sold only 500 books. What you really want to do is sell 500 books every week for 10 weeks.
  15. domawe Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2000
    I think that the problem is to many authors. Before NJO one author would start and finish a story line. We knew the empire was still out there, but the most resent threat has been eliminated. The duology or trilogy started and ended and whatever was the threat is now gone. Happy endings after each series. With NJO this is not the case. Too much doom and gloom and no continuation. Corran Horn just leaves when the NR is in such trouble.....I don't think so. Vergere, a possible Jedi is introduced and the not even mentioned in the next book. Same with Jag Fel. Does anyone really believe that during this Wedge and Ackbar would stay in retirement? Where are they?
  16. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    I bet you anything Jag will be back during Cunningham's Jaina book.
  17. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    After BP, I am definitely going to be more selective about buying the PBs.

    The only NJO novel I haven't been able to take some enjoyment from was VP; all the others I have either enjoyed the entire book immensely or certain parts of it (as in the case of HT. Take out all those beginning Han/Droma scenes, all the irrelevent stuff about Han's background and then you get the book I enjoyed; for JE take out all the Han/Droma filler).

    Right now I'm not planning on purchasing any PBs that are going to have the Solo brats as a primary focus--especially if its only one of them at a time. I'm more interested in the overrall strategic and tactical picture of the war and the political scene then I am reading "Jaina/Anakin/Jacen does blah blah blah and this brilliant flash of insight leads to blah blah blah" They're only kids; for them to be able to eclipse Luke, Leia, Han, Kre'Frey, Gavin, Pellaeon, Saretti, Borsk or any other character who actually has some degree of political power is absurd, unless of course some of the previously mentioned characters start to drop-off like flies.

    I believe that how the Solo brats are going to be brought to prominence is not because they truly deserve to be, but because the older generation will die in battle and they'll be all that's left. Rogue Squadron pilots die, so Jaina receives battlefield promotions until Gavin bites the dust and little miss I'm-prefect-because-I-have-the-Force becomes the CO of Rogue Squadron. Then she gets blasted up by Vong and we can all rejoice.

    The Solo brats aren't going to be leaders because they've earned the respect of their peers, it'll just be because folks are going to die and they'll be picked to take their place because of their surname and the fact that they're Jedi.

    I have always been fascinated with the Jedi, so I am pleased to see this concentration on them because the Force is what makes Star Wars be Star Wars. But I would rather see an emphasis on Streen, Kyp, Kam and the rest of Luke's early students; not the Solo brats. They possibly could have come into the series at some later point after they had gotten beyond adolescence and we could actually see them acting for the good of the galaxy instead of only seeking to prove that their particular philosphy is right or that they're better than everyone else.

    The Vong are really starting to bore me. Unfortunately, in order to stress that these dumb things are all frightening and menacing, our hero's have intentionally been dummed-down to make the Vong seem practically brilliant. At least Zahn actually has Luke & Co. wanting to engage Thrawn, but he had thrown Fey'lya into the mix to ensure that they would be obstructed and that dramatic tension could built up and that the plot could last through a trilogy.

    In the NJO, so far its like Luke, Han and Leia have had their brains sucked out of their craniums. Luke knew that Belkadaan had been terraformed by the Vong, why didn't he bring thermal detonators along if the opportunity arose to somehow disrupt Vong logistics?Why didn't Leia contact Luke--since he seems to have had absolutely nothing to do in JE--and ask her brother's opinion about the vision she had? Why didn't Han contact the NR military about refugees at Fondor?

    Yeah, Dew, I realize that Hero's Trial was well received around here. I liked it just to see how the Vong polot turned out, which had me on the edge of my seat, I just saw the Han/Droma stuff as filler.

    I also think this will maketing strategy will come bck to haunt them. We have all this mentioning of the Jedi Council being re-established in VP, then do we seriously see it mentioned again, even for the purpose of the Jedi establishing it on their own just to be able to better coordinate their activities? No. It is obviously nothing more than a marketing gimmick tied into TPM. And Luke really should ask the opinions of those who were around at the time how the Council acted, since this project seems to be an in-house effort without input from the rest of the galaxy. Did Luke head out to Obroa-S
  18. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    The Solo kids are cool! They're not brats! Not even annoying Jacen.
  19. Darth_Dolza Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I would like to start by saying that I'm enjoying the NJO at this point. While some of you are avid fans of the ongoing Empire vs. NR-associated storylines (up till Hand of Thrawn, of course) with their varied natures, personally I prefer a cohesive, coordinated group of stories. IMO, the Bantam line didn't have that, though it had a bunch of great novels.

    Regarding Del Rey, however, I definitely think that stretching one storyline over five real-time years is not good in any sense. It runs the risk of boring the established novel fans and it discourages new folks from picking it up somewhere in the middle (a couple of years from now). Big marketing minus.

    The timing between books is getting annoyingly long, also. Giving the reader time to mull over big happenings is all well and good, but come on!
  20. A Smuggler's Spin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2000
    star 3
    Luke, Leia, and Wedge were all "just kids" at one time. And because the rebellion was without a lot of leaders, and because causality rates were so high, Luke, Leia, and Wedge rose up through the ranks. And Leia was a Senator because she was given the position (basically) because of who she was, not because what she did.

    Giving the Solo kids a chance because of who they are is a safe bet. They could fail, but it is more likely they will succeed. They have the Force for one, and more importantly they have been raised by the best of the best. You need to give them a chance to prove themselves. They aren't perfect though, one can not expect them to be.

    Way off topic, i'm doing that a lot lately
  21. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    I don't think your comments were off-topic at all. I want to see this be a discussion about the mechanics of the NJO, not necessarily about any specific novels; rather, the direction that the entire series is taking as a whole and Del Rey's marketing strategy. Thus far, much of this discussion has been about the marketing strategy, but I don't want any of you to feel constrained in what you can discuss.

    I only have one thing to ask . . . I don't want to see a VP debate erupt in this thread and I'm pretty sure several other posters in this thread wouldn't want to see that happen either. For those of you who are unaware of the debates over VP, send me a PM and I'll provide you with links to various topics which dealt with it.
  22. Gryffindor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2000
    star 1
    GAW ==> In the NJO, so far its like Luke, Han and Leia have had their brains sucked out of their craniums.

    Hahahaha, you said it! Can't anyone think things through?

    I wasn't going to read Heros Trial but then i heard it was good, and it was. Then I bought Jedi Eclipse based on how much i liked Heros Trial and was disappointed. Too much stuff was going on and everyone acted like they weren't thinking at all.

    Aleja ==> I think Jedi Eclipse sold well because I'm pretty sure Heros Trial did so as well. But, I hear more complaints about Jedi Eclipse than any other SW book except Vector Prime. I hope this doesn't hurt Balance Points sales but it might. I already decided I will buy BP but I don't know about anything after that.

    Maybe X-Men II will do better because people will watch and like the first movie on video so they'll see the second in the theaters.

    Back to the Yuzzan Vong, I just wished Delrey didn't plan on these same new villains for all 5 years. That seems crazy since a lot of fans either don't like them or only sort of like them and hope they can get better.

    Here is a question: How can they make the Yuzzan Vong better villains?
  23. PuppetMaster42 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    Minor point but it's the Yuuzhan Vong. And no I don't think they made a mistake. Consider where we were at the end of the novels before Ep. 1.....OK everyone back there? Where was there to go? There needed to be a real threat to stir things up so we didn't start getting VERY formulaic novels. The Vong are so alien to anything we have seen before. I am fasinated to read about them and learn more about them. At 1st they seemed almost a hive mind, but by Jedi Eclipse you could see that not all is right in the Vong world either. That makes me want to read Balance Point and whatever is after that.
    PM42
  24. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    There was a place to go: the Unknown Regions. Zahn left that door wide-open. Instead of getting a series of novels about possibly NR and Imperial forces engaged in a massive grab for territory out there and seeing the implementation of the peace treaty and what not, we get hit with a generic alien invasion story.
  25. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    The most serious mistake DelRey could make right now is to ignore the potential in the Imperial Remnant and regard them as just out-dated villians. They could rise up to be the heroes of the day, if properly written, with Sarreti heading them. If the IR is brought in after the Vong and solidify a hold on some of the territory that was ransacked, they could double in size and perhaps, with their more aggressive nature, they could tempt members of the Jedi over to their side, creating the speculated War Council under a Kyp Durron that has seen the error of the New Republic and come to champion the new Empire, one built on unity of species and aggressive protection of its people.
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