Is it time for EU to call it quits?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Charlemagne19, Aug 30, 2001.

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  1. Bogga Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 1998
    star 4
    I just wanted to quickly thank Genghis and Valiento for clarifying the Zahn and Dark Empire issue. So thanks.
  2. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    I also have the audio drama and I cannot recall it adding to Palpatine's history one iota. It isn't like he sat down with Luke and started chatting with him: "I began my training in the Sith arts when I was five years old, and I was a nasty, vindictive little tike. You should've seen me my young apprentice." ~evil cackle~ "I used the Force to blow up women's skirts so I could take a peak at their under-carriage."

    I would certainly give you the credit that Zahn is unoriginal, if we knew what he was told about DE and what, if any, of the Marvel comics he had looked through or been made privy to plot points from.
  3. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    "also have the audio drama and I cannot recall it adding to Palpatine's history one iota."

    uh, and history past ROTJ doesn't count, ;)?

    But actually, I mean audio drama added all this info about palpatine's darkside compendium he was working on, on Coruscant before he died on ds2. It Let's us in on the way palpatine's mind works. Let us in on how evil he truly was. We get a deeper look at palpy's Psychology, and how the Darkside was effecting him. We get to see his oppinion of his apprentice vader, Some of his lines in the audio drama are extremly Wicked, and very intriguing. He was not someone you really wanted to be tied too. "I" found it rather interesting.

    Now I respect your oppinions, and choice that you don't like it. but it really did add alot to palpatines character, imho. I still enjoy it as much as I enjoyed TTT.
  4. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    My only point is that these charges of "unoriginality" in Zahn's work are totally groundless without evidence.

    For all we know he may have come up with an idea of a clone of Obi-Wan before he was made privy to anything about DE.
  5. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Thank you Dev - that might be the "interview" I was thinking of.

    MT...
    No need to retract :D

    To all of the Anti-NJO Zahnites - beware of who you're bashing - it may very likely be your god. :D
  6. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    GAW...
    As for the G.I. Joe series - it's only going to be a comic book series. No new cartoon, at least from what I know of.

    (Actually the charges of Zahn's unoriginality are completely well-founded, however, without concrete evidence. :D )
  7. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    Comic? Drat.

    I disagree with you, of course. I don't see the evidence as being "well-founded," I see it as being non-existent except for some conjecture strwen together from the plots in long out-of-print comic books and the goings on behind-the-scenes that you're just creating out of thin air.
  8. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    Well, at the time darkhorse didn't have very many comics if any at all.

    as far as I was awhare DE was to to be there first release.

    so fore zahn to make refrence to it, and say he didn't want to have anything to do with DH's comics from what he knew about them, according to the AJ1 interview. Points to the fact that he knew about DE's conception.
  9. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Very well let me answer the charges of unoriginality.

    * Mara jade

    The idea of creating a sexy female lover to contrast Luke's farmboyish innocence has been a staple of literatue ever since bad boys have been attracted to good girls and vice versa.

    Red headed and green eyes are the mark of the Devil in Mythical lore and typically associated with fiery tempers.

    Making her a Imperial is an excellent way of setting up "Meet dangerous", Meet Dangerous is the opposite of meet cute which James Bond is the greatest master of. In Willow for instance Mad Mortigen falls for Sorcera despite/because she is the one trying to kill him. Luke has in Classic Star Wars fallen in love with such bad girls before.

    Making her a Jedi was only the right thing to do because unlike Leia Luke needs an old fashioned jedi chick to found force sensetive dynasty.

    Unoriginality meter: 8 out 10 lightsabers

    See: Shira Brie/Luminya

    Mara Jade is a wonderful character and like Han, Leia, Luke, and Ben an Archetype-the Bad Girl the Mata Hari. However the concept has been thought up before by Star Wars authors including an Imperial Princess by Kathy Tyers and reportadly George Lucas himself in early drafts.

    * Grand Admiral Thrawn

    The idea of an Alien in a position of High Imperial Power is one of immediate curiousity because people question why the Rebellion is so well stocked with aliens in the movie but the Empire is not.

    Taking a title out of Nazi germany, making him a genius, and making him the opposite of Vader in the form of an "Admirable Imperial" even if a ruthless one is following a tradition of making villians that are respectable adversaries not necessarily beings you hate.

    Stretching all the way back to Paradise Lost with Lucifer as a reasonable if ultimately completely vile foe and even further to the Koran where the same is.

    Unoriginality Meter: 4 out of 10 lightsabers

    See: The Grand General

    The Grand General being blue and an alien represents another author attempting to create a memorable character. Blue is a memorable color because it is patriotic and passive like the oceans as opposed to fiery like Mara's hair.

    * Joruus C'Boath

    Joruus C'Boath is effectively nothing more than a really well described insane wizard.
    The fact he acts like a ranting baby version of Emperor Palpatine/Ben Kenobi is a deliberate allusion I can only assume on Zahn's part to show Luke how easy it could become for a noble Jedi Knight such as himself to cross over and become exactly like Emperor Palpatine.

    His desire for the babies of the Skywalker line is very Herod.

    in creating Joruus C'Boath Zahn hoped to give audiences a reason for Luke to take up a father figure like Vader and Ben before him in order to usher away the responsibility as the Last of the jedi Knights....

    Ben passed the Torch but Luke doesn't want it.

    Unoriginality Meter: 2 out 10 unless Ben Kenobi aspect is involved to where it jumps to a five.

    See: The False Ben Kenobi

    In Classic Star Wars it was noted Luke had communicated with what could only be described as the ghost of the Jedi Master. In those specific strips it was an excellent idea thus for them to create a false Ben Kenobi by Vader to play on Luke's desire to complete his training and also use a recognizable face from the movie to screw with Audience's minds.

    Zhan no doubt had the same idea however in this case Luke suceeded in redeeming the false Jedi's cynicism and he perished fighting Vader.

    * The Noghri

    A race of supercommandoes who respect the Dark Lord of the Sith because of his fighting prowess and the fact that figure comes like an awesome dark God out of the sky to deliver them from treachery.

    The race of the Noghri can't of course have super technology because that would render such godlike worship ridiculous. Hence the martial arts and hand to hand prowess become important.

    Also like Jay Gatsby's girl the object of their adoration is merely a leach on their affection and adulation while secretly exploiting them.

    Unoriginality meter: 6 out of 10 l
  10. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    1) And as far as the invasion from the "outside" goes, it has to go through the Unknown Regions in order to take place.

    2) Zahn mentioned that Thrawn's species will not be involved in the new books.



    Two things that are wrong. The invasion has stayed away from the UR, and the Chiss are involved, or at least showed up in Stackhpole's Ruin.

    Somehow I doubt that Zahn was in on any of the NJO planning.


    PPOR
  11. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    A most insightful analysis and one I enjoyed reading very much.

    Additionally, its nice to see how your analysis indicated that Zahn didn't plagiarise characters and/or plot points from Marvel, since examples of all the characters and situations he came up with are not new to literature.

    As far as Thrawn goes, let me also bring up Professor Moriarty, the great nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes needed to a major adversary who could match his intellectual powers, yet who was like him in terms of social niceties. Esentially, Moriarty was the anti-Holmes, a likeable, respectable dark mirror-image of Sherlock Holmes.

    And Thrawn is a darker mirror-image of Luke, Han, Leia and Co. If he had made different choices, he could have very easily been on their side.
  12. Dev Sibwarra Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 4
    JF- Remember, that's an old article. In the early days of NJO, lots of things were changed. Zahn's information probably wasn't up to date, but at least he had some idea of what they were doing.
  13. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    Pretty good post, Charlemagne.

    Now no one brought up plagiarizing something you can't do in a universe that doesn't belong to you. that would be like saying LFL Plagiarzed itself, or someone stealing ideas from a previous book they wrote. It's just not plagiarizing.

    Now thrawn deeply reminds "me" of a villainous Spock character, :D. Man, I like spock, and Thrawn is pretty cool too.
  14. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Valiento...
    "Now no one brought up plagiarizing something you can't do in a universe that doesn't belong to you."

    Technically correct. However, if one were to present Charlemagne's essay to a court, Zahn could very easily be charged with copyright violation of Marvel's works - as charges less than what he did have succeeded in conviction.

    A very insightful essay, Charlemagne. One key aspect is missing. While many of the concepts, items, etc. are generalized, there are very specific details within the Star Wars universe which were copied near-exactly. That is a charge which Zahn is defenseless.

    Mara Jade and Shira Brie are technically different characters. However, changing a name does not absolve Zahn of "plagiarism." All Charlemagne's analysis has proved is that Zahn is even more unoriginal than even I gave him credit for.
  15. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Dev...
    "That predates VP by six months, which would suggest that Zahn had at least some contact with Del Rey."

    If Zahn was involved, then I can begin to see where the few NJO bashers claiming that the NJO in concept has been "dumbed-down," or is aimed at a younger audience, has incorrect characterizations and has continuity problems may be getting their opinions from. ;)
  16. Sturm Antilles Former Manager

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2000
    star 6
    Just so everyone knows, I have seen direct plagerization in SW novels. Sometime I will post it here. It's a few sentences, word-for-word, from Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba's Palace. I made a note of it in my notebook as I read them again last year.
  17. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Yes but because of her copyright charge against Harry Potter the woman who wrote the books supposadly plagiarized will likely never work again without being spat on by the cb industry.

    As for Shira Brie and Luminya I can only say that while they are almost identical in concept Zahn would still have his personality defense.

    Shira Brie was a beautiful pleasant girl next store whom was likely going "aawwwww shucks" until she led poor luke to lose his virginity.

    Mara Jade was caustic and murderous from the Get Go not to mention at the time of the events a known smuggler, crimminal, and black board.

    Shira Brie never lowered herself to such events because aside from her horrofic disfigurement she was able to wield power in the Empire.

    The court case would be thrown out because Zahn's character basically took the same Mati-Hari/La Femme Nikita/Lilith figure and went in a wildly different direction.

    Basically "What if Luke had never fired and Shira had fallen in love with him and become a Jedi"

    in a situation like this a court could reasonably just say the same concept might be everyone starting as a first level thief whose sexy but evolved differently.

    Just my thoughts, Zahn is a wonderful writer in prose but the ideas in epic work the same.
    At best it's still people working from the same Pulp Material from nearly a century ago.

    My .02.
  18. Gasgano_of_Earth Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2001
    star 1
    yeah bash zhan. ah, who put IG-88 in the death star II? oh yeah it wasn't zhan. Zhan had to fix stupid things like authors trying to hook mara jade up with lando. ricockulous.
  19. Jedi_Master_Carr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 1
    FIrst off I admit Zahn is not an original writer but nor is Lucas. Lucas took things from other sources ie: the empire (Nazi Germany), Obi-Wan's role in ANH (Merlin), Luke (the typical mythological hero), Han (the typical rouge), Leia (the damsel in distres), etc. So really Zahn is copying Lucas in this regard since Star Wars is not about originiality. Really almost nothing in this world is original everybody copies something when they write unintentionally or intentionally, especially in fiction. Tolkein's work wasn't even original it was based on classic european mythology (elves, dwarves, etc). So really it is wrong to criticize Zahn for being unoriginal when Star Wars isn't really original in the first place. Also, I wanted to bring up the fact some people argue that when Zahn realesed HTTE in 91 it reengerized fans into Star Wars. This was probably part of Lucas' master plan and the reason for the creation of the trilogy, but still Zahn captured the imagination of a lot of fans, including myself and his work began the EU like it or not. I myself despise most of the comic the whole cloned emperor thing is just ridiculous especially since it makes Anakin's role seem meaningless. What was the point in killing the emperor if he was going to come back again and again.
  20. Sturm Antilles Former Manager

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2000
    star 6
    If Zahn's books truly sucked when I picked up HttE in 1994, then who knows, I may not have become such a huge fan of SW. That trilogy blew me away, and I love it. So do most EU fans, I think.

    Let me remind everyone - It's spelled "Zahn" and "Lumiya".
  21. RingoJuna Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2001
    star 3
    Well, I liked TTT, but I might just be stupid. As for comics, no thank you. The only ones I've ever collected were the Dark Horse "The Thing From Another World" series. I've got the first two, which pick up maybe a few hours after the end of John Carpenter's simply amazingly cool remake "The Thing" and the first 4 issue series that came after that, "Climate of Fear" I'm still looking out for the series that came after that one. If anybody has any idea, or might have them and want to sell, give me a shout.
  22. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    And take a look at the original treatment for Star Wars. It is such a blatant rip-off of The Hidden Fortress.
  23. ReaperFett Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 6
    Erm, Lando never was with Mara. It was obvious Lando was trying, but Mara wouldn't. Zahn did jack to dispel this
  24. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    Dev - Having "some idea of what they were doing" is not the same as being in on the planning. A concept that seems to elude some.
  25. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    The problem between authors began with Jade.

    Barbara Hambly thought it was a nice extrapoliation that Lando Calrisian with his rogueish charm, good looks, and innately decent nature would seduce finally Mara into his bed.

    Even if that made quite a few characters uncomfortable.

    It was probably more realistic than Zahn's continuity fix
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