Lit How do you feel about Star Wars being over?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Sinrebirth, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
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    Apologies for the hyperbole, but It occurred to me that the timeline in Star Wars is, for the first time, not going forward. It's purely filling the gaps between one point and another. Legacy is The End of Star Wars.

    I'll admit, I'm not enjoying it, which is a tad odd. What do the rest of you think?
  2. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    For me, Star Wars is at its best when it is moving down the timeline. The Expanded Universe started around the idea that the best stories are set after Return of the Jedi. This doesn't mean that we need constant "Big Three" stories, but for me the best parts of the EU typically are set forward, but backward.

    There are notable exceptions to this rule. The entire KOTOR series, from games to JJM's stellar KOTOR comics, are pinnacles of the EU. Dawn of the Jedi, while admitedly still in it's infancy, has the potential to be another fantastic exception to this rule.

    HOWEVER, for me personally, the future will always hold the most interest. It is why I have spend nearly 17 years of my life reading the novels. It is why John Ostrander & Jan Duursema's Legacy is still for me in the top three of all EU works, alongside the NJO and Thrawn Trilogy.

    I lament that the timeline has been frozen at 138 ABY. The Expanded Universe is at a turning point, IMO. It needs a bold new direction and fresh stories. We need something ambitious like the New Jedi Order series or Legacy.

    In short, we need a future.

    --Adm. Nick
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  3. blackmyron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    You're not thinking fourth-dimensionally, Sinre... ;)

    Think about it. The earliest we've seen the Star Wars universe for over a decade is 5000 years before the OT, with a decidedly tepid story covering something with a name like "Great Hyperspace War".

    POW. Suddenly we have a story that's set over 36,000 years BY. We're talking 'order of magnitude' greater. And that lays the groundwork for all kinds of stories set in the interim - the founding of the Republic, Xim's time, etc.

    But I get the point - you're really talking about the OT crew and their time. I don't think it's forever - Legacy will one day ride again (possibly as a setting for the Star Wars RPG that hopefully will come up in a year or so), but it needed to be done. They were leaping forward for years, ever since the NJO, without slowing down. We're just finally getting another story set in the NJO era (when we've previously had... what, a handful of short stories that came out at the same time and a poorly-written RPG book?) and more to come in the established era. Really, all FOTJ did (and I mean that literally) is set the effective upper limit of storytelling for the "OT crew".

    Just prior to the NJO, remember the leaping around that Bantam would make? Here's a story in 5 ABE, here's one in 12, and now one set immediately after the Battle of Endor. They weren't really trying to tell a cohesive story, and despite the slapdash nature of it all they managed to tell some good stories despite it all. There seems to be more space, actually, to tell stories in the NR era than the Legacy-Fate era. Nothing galaxy-shattering, since we 'know' what's going to happen. But I think that it's only going to get better as they return to tell tales in the gaps. (I'm really digging the Han Solo books-era Agent of the Empire, for instance).
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    If anything, the problem is that, contrary to expectations, too many Star Wars fans do not appear to like the notion of a time jump forward and LFL lacks the confidence to actually make it one in truth. IF the story of the big 3 had ended at TUF and then you have the jump forward 100 years to Legacy, would it have been more accepted? Hard to say, but it would certainly have been the riskier move - to end the big 3's story.

    At the same time expectations of the big 3 seem to have ascended to sky high levels, if Luke doesn't eradicate evil from the galaxy forever he's a failure! Huh? He is? I'm confused! Also: Legacies are dependent upon the recipients of it upholding and maintaining it, if things go wrong then it is on the recipients and not the person whose legacy it is!

    Given how Legacy ended, I am convinced that John and Jan's ambition in part was to create a series that could carry on after their run was done - so matching the big continuing series that Marvel and DC do. Worse perhaps was that they left a rich, fertile ground for a successor team, which is unlikely to happen or be tapped. The pity here is that, of course, that ground is screaming out to be harvested!
  5. Manisphere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    On the one hand I love Legacy Comics like nearly nothing else in the the EU and I wouldn't change a thing about that. On the other hand, I'm a quarter into Apocalypse and we're deep into the Daala/Fel conflict and no matter how you dice it, Fel ends up Emperor somehow. Someday. It's a fixed fact in time. But what we don't know is still a lot.

    "Ambitious" scares me when thinking about Del Rey post ROTJ EU after LOTF and FOTJ. Course that depends on what one calls ambitious. What if things felt a little more Bantamy for a while? Smaller scale stories that can make that 100 year gap feel like an aeon.

    But, yeah. It's terrible that we've got that big wall 100 years in the future. Even though beyond that wall is like the best comic ever.
  6. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Forgive me, I'm just re-stating my visit in EU after nearly 5 years of reading nothing...can someone explain to me why everything 'stops' at 138 ABY is it?
  7. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    For books, can't explain it.

    For comics? No one's got the nerve to follow on from John and Jan on Legacy... yet.
  8. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I guess I don't agree with the premise. Star Wars was "filling in" throughout most of the Bantam age. TAB and COPL came out after TTT. In 1995, YJK came out, which put everything after 1995 in the fill-in zone. Even if you don't count YJK, the Corellian Trilogy came out in 95, which means that everything published afterward was still fill-in, except HOT. The "big story" came out in random-assortment chunks; it wasn't pushing forward as much as flying scattershot all across a set canvas and revealing more over time. If you want to look at the publishing schedule, it went 9/10 ABY, simultaneously - 4 - 11 - 8 - 14 - 18 - 12 - 23 - 22 - 12 - 6 - 16 - 17 - 13 - 19 - 11. And that's only counting the beginning of series, not their interweaving, not counting Starfighters of Adumar, and not counting arguable big-story stuff like GODV, Jedi Knight, the X-wing comics, Union, etc., or big-story-relevant material that was consciously a case of "going back and filling in" like I, Jedi.

    We've only had simple linear progression during a few periods: the years of the Marvel comics (I'll put aside the fact that the Marvel comics actually spent a couple years catching up to Splinter of the Mind's Eye), during which there was also heavy fill-in material coming out in the form of the newspaper strip, and the NJO era. So out of Star Wars' 35-year existence, for about ten of them there has been nothing out ahead of a linearly-progressing "big story." For the rest of the years, either there's been something out ahead of the rest of the storytelling effort, or there's been no effort to advance the story at all. Even if you just restrict it to the post-TTT revival, you've got six years out of twenty-one.

    Furthermore, I don't think that Legacy caps "the story" in a meaningful way. It's still a hundred years out ahead of the "big story," which continues to press forward linearly with tons of room for experimentation and very few set endpoints in terms of what has to happen to the ongoing story. There's still a ton of "what happens next" to learn; Legacy doesn't answer the question of what happens next to the big three, the next generation, or even the galaxy nearly as much as it answers the question of "What happens in the far-off future," which is different from what happens next. Legacy, to me, is still "the future" in every meaningful way, and it's going to remain so until "the present" pulls within twenty years or so of it. It's not really comparable to the TTT kicking X-wing to the status of filling in the timeline, or the NJO meaning that Survivor's Quest is inherently behind the curve. FOTJ is still the cutting edge; it's just got a future hovering out far in front of it. That distant endpoint for the current linear progression doesn't bother me, and it didn't bother me when we didn't have any linear progression at all during the Bantam years.
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  9. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Are the Legacy comics the series that feature Cade (I think) Skywalker? If so, any idea how many generations from Luke he is?
  10. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Dooku-Darklighter: Yes. He's at least Luke's great-grandson, and most likely his great-great-grandson. As for the reasons that the timeline "ends" at 138 ABY with Legacy, it's because that's currently the latest story set on the timeline, and the series is not being continued at the moment, nor is anything else being set beyond it, and it's likely to stay that way for a few years at least. So there's no forward progress at the far end of the timeline at the moment.
  11. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Havac: Thank you. Hmmm...that is curious. Due to the lack of cohesiveness between stories in the EU, I am a bit wary to dive fully back into it. I am starting at what I believe was the original post-RotJ launch point the Thrawn Trilogy. I can understand how everyone has time periods and chars they prefer but why are the 'fill in the gap tales' bad? To me, they may address lingering issues left by a film or something.

    Though as far as I know the only part of EU I've ever been to thus far is Post-RotJ. I will be changing that in the near future when I read Death Star. I'm hoping it's Tarkin's DS1 but won't know until I read it. Everyone knows what happened to DSI and DSII but being as I like back story and history, I'm hoping to enjoy Death Star.

    Question: I am in TTT Book I and Outbound Flight is mentioned very early. Yet, didn't Zahn wait *years* to actually pen the tale of Outbound Flight? That is the one thing about SW EU that bugs me: everyone is writing in different eras all the time and thus inconsistencies and such happen. I like things to make sense and when one story contradicts another, it doesn't.
  12. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    That is why, for some people, they advocate reading the books in the order they were published instead of their chronological placement!

    This definitely applies to Zahn's works. Stackpole's too.
  13. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Jedi Ben: I am trying to read Thrawn's arc in order. TTT was written first but Outbound Flight sounds like it would've been the character's introduction in the timeline.
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    In chronological terms it is, but if you try to sync that up with HTTE, you might find it doesn't gel well due to the latter being written years before the former.
  15. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Easily through the length of the NJO, and probably most of LotF too, I remember a tangible excitement going into each new book, exactly because it was the cutting edge. But what excites me now is newness of context far more than newness of plot developments. No matter how original the cutting edge story is - and Daala and Abeloth are nothing if not original - I can't help anymore but be bored by the big three.

    I think the true cutting edge material these days is the stuff that's attempting to do things Star Wars hasn't done before - DotJ, LTotS, KE, the assorted "Darth" books, etc. I know how Plagueis ends, but it still feels drastically "newer" to me than anything in FotJ.
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  16. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Jedi Ben: I don't know much SW short hand. What does HTTE stand for? I am considering going to get Outbound Flight in a matter of minutes.
  17. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5

    Dooku-Darklighter

    Jedi Ben: I don't know much SW short hand. What does HTTE stand for? I am considering going to get Outbound Flight in a matter of minutes.

    In my opinion, that would be a mistake!!! You should read Survivor's Quest before Outbound Flight,and before that you should read HTTE (Heir to the Empire ) and the rest of the Thrawn Trilogy and then I, Jedi, and then the Thrawn duology (Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future.)

    I feel that Outbound Flight is far better after reading Survivor's Quest, and much of the mystery of SQ is lost if you read Outbound Flight first.



    Sinrebirth: Apologies for the hyperbole, but It occurred to me that the timeline in Star Wars is, for the first time, not going forward. It's purely filling the gaps between one point and another. Legacy is The End of Star Wars. I'll admit, I'm not enjoying it, which is a tad odd. What do the rest of you think?

    I don't like it either, and I knew it was going to be a problem when I first heard that they were planning Legacy, especially since Legacy was set far too close to the LotF/FotJ era, in my opinion.

    And while Bantam may have gone back and forth in the timeline, they didn't move many years in either direction. The far future was still a very blank slate and I think that makes a HUGE difference. The future could still be very bright and promising. Now, we know that possible bright future won't happen. :(

  18. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I, personally, am just fine with "fill in the blank" stories. Shadows of Mindor is a great recent example. I think the very nature of the EU, after all, is to build a strong continuity. Sometimes we do need to go back and expand on certain era's. No need to race to the end.

    Heir to the Empire. Don't worry, spontaneous abbreviations still bug me :)

    Anyway, if you want Thrawn's story in order, it would be something like this.

    Outbound Flight>>>Mist Encounter (short story included with Outbound Flight)>>> Choices of One>>> Thrawn Trilogy.

    There is quite a bit of other stuff that could go in there, like Side Trip (a novella by Zahn and Michael Stackpole that features Thrawn), but those are the main ones.

    To expand on what ChildofWinds said: Outbound Flight is intended as a prequel to Survivor's Quest. You can read them in either order, really, depends on your preference. From what I gather, if you read Survivor's Quest without reading Outbound Flight, it's much more of a mystery. If you read Outbound Flight first, then when you read Survivor's Quest, you're "in the know", and it's more about watching Luke and Mara put it together.

    It all sounds pretty confusing, I know :)
  19. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    instantdeath: Thank you very much. [:D] I would prefer to read the books in order and mysteries never really held appeal for me. I didn't know Thrawn was in Side Trip or Choices of One so I don't have those. :( If I read: Outbound Flight, Mist Encounter, Survivor's Quest, TTT, and HoT in this order will I pretty much have Thrawn's arc?
  20. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    "Over" is a rather loaded word, IMHO. [face_peace]

    I think it's more a matter of not if the post-Legacy timeframe will be explored, but rather when. Legacy is a high bar to get over, to be sure, but there's been ideas floated around (most notably during the planning stages of TFU) for 500 ABY.

    If something post-Legacy does come out, and it's quality, then there's a new era right there. Dark Horse, IMHO, has rarely gone wrong with SW work; KOTOR and Knight Errant are both proof that SW doesn't have to rely on Skywalkers to support stories that do work within the canon, if done well.

    And even if that time is years from now, there's still thousands of years of the Old Republic to explore. Dawn of the Jedi probably won't deal with Xendor, given that the First Great Schism is about 1,200 years down the line, so an "Arden Lyn and the Legions of Lettow" mini is still in the cards.

    And what about the Vontor Cataclysm? The Pius Dea Crusades? Kark, forget the Jedi for a bit and give us tales of heroic Lorrdian rebels against the Argazdan oppressors, or Hutt expansionism, or the Lost Biography of Talon Karrde's Early Years.

    I'm not writing off Del Rey, either, by any means, but I'm not blind to the ... shall we say, IMHO, mixed results of the post-TUF era. Nevertheless, books like Darth Plagueis and the Lost Tribe of Sith e-books give me hope that the novels shouldn't be ignored.

    Of course, I'm also posting as a rather older fan. The franchise survived the end of the Marvel comics; it survived Jar Jar; it even survived the Mysterious Death of Even Piell. I'm something of an eternal optimist, but Star Wars is still here. :D
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I have a feeling that once DOTJ wraps up, which hopefully won't be for another 4 years at least, John and Jan will be recharged for that time period and go back to the LEGACY era. I could accept some proven, high-quality authors tackling that time period too... but that would be a gamble on a currently-excellent time period.
  22. _Catherine_ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Survivor's Quest takes place after HoT and Thrawn isn't in it.

    I think your list covers most of the main Thrawn stories, but in case you're interested, I think these are pretty much all of his prose appearances:

    Outbound Flight
    Mist Encounter (short story included in the paperback version of Outbound Flight)
    Choices of One
    Galaxy of Fear #8: The Swarm
    Command Decision (short story you probably won't be able to find anywhere)
    Side Trip (short story included in Tales from the Empire)
    Crisis of Faith (short story included in the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire)
    A Grand Admiral Returns (another short story you probably won't be able to easily find)
    Tatooine Ghost (cameo appearance)
    Heir to the Empire
    Dark Force Rising
    The Last Command
    Specter of the Past
    Vision of the Future
    Survivor's Quest (optional, Thrawn is only peripherally involved)
  23. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    He appears in Choices of One, but it's not "essential" if you want to get Thrawn's story (though it's definitely worth reading at some point, Thrawn has some interesting views on the Empire). Hand of Thrawn doesn't actually feature Thrawn, but he has a huge presence in it: it's basically all about his legacy.

  24. JediMatteus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2008
    star 4
    yes i did not finish the Legacy comics. I just could not stand reading that junk anymore. But Cade for 98% of the series sucked, and was an embarrassment to the skywalker name. If that is the last of Star Wars, it is indeed a freaking tragedy.
  25. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    I'm happy that we're done with linear progression for the moment. Now perhaps we could actually fill in the gaps and flesh out these conflicts. Such a huge fuss is made out of the 2nd GCW, yet we never see a ground view of it, while that perspective was one of the core elements of the original GCW.