Discussion in 'Literature' started by instantdeath, Apr 18, 2013.
Mental images... cannot unthink what has now been thunk.
I have to say, after Parnesius pointed out Trioculus' protagonist qualities, reading the synopsis of this chapter with that in mind, it really jumped out at me how true it is. This should really be Jello's favorite book series - it has an Imperial protagonist, it's all about affirming the primacy of Palpatine's bloodline, and it's aimed at indoctrinating kids.
You know, as strange as it is for me to say, this does kind of match up with Luke's characterization in the Black Fleet books. Of course, depending on your views, comparing GODV to BFC could be a slight on either work...
Also, I just realized - is this series stating that Han Solo is part of the "Rebel Alliance Senate", since he's always at all of their meetings (even if it seems to consist only of the Big Three, Mon Mothma, and Ackbar), referred to as a leader of SPIN, and all that? On the one hand, I think it's kind of cool to imagine Han, even for a short time, serving as something like the provisional representative for Corellia. I think there could be some meat there. Especially since I'm imagining Leia spending so much time wheedling and cajoling him to using his talents in the political arena, he agrees, and the fact that high politics is nothing but everyone obsessing over whales and twelve year olds while being buzzed by Imperial bomb droids makes him decide to never again get involved in politics.
Wait...what? So Luke never learned about the Lost City - but he somehow got knowledge of it out of thin air, for him to assume that it was a legend in the first place?
Actually Abel's Dark Forces article might (once more) help work in GODV's favor, since it mentions that the Lost City is like the GFFA version of the Atlantis myth. Of course that always made me hope that we might get a "Corellia Antilles and the Fate of the Lost City of the Jedi" story someday, but I guess that will just have to live on as an Endorian fungus tea dream of mine...
For characters who seem to obsess over the events of the three movies (almost literally) religiously, you'd think Hissa would get his facts straight. I bet even Ken got taught the exact dialogue and character actions of that scene in droid school.
So Trioculus only finds three-eyed women appealing usually? He must really not have a romance life at all. It makes me...somewhat leery over the real reason he wanted to find the Glove of Darth Vader. And the real reason why he's going blind.
Now I'm imagining all of Ken's lines delivered with a menacing whisper, cadenced by a delighted slurping noise.
I have to wonder at the sick things Ken does to droids. Chops off their fingers to make a necklace? Uses their outer hull plate to make silverware and dishes, and discarded headplates as cups? Do his perversions ever become sexual?
I had no idea his problem with droids ran so deep.
I too would like to learn more about the Lost City. They made a step in the right direction with Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, in which they retconned the Lost City of the Jedi into an underground terraforming station that would restore Yavin 4 to its former state after the ravages of the Great Sith War. I also like the idea that the City had another function, that of guaranteeing that the spirit of Exar Kun would not break free. Well, he did break free in the end of the day, but that was after the Lost City of the Jedi was destroyed.
When I read these, aged, oh, about eleven or twelve, as one of my earliest encounters with the EU (the school library, though generally decent, was rather light on for Star Wars), I do recall just loving the TNTs to bits. They were up there with Dunhausen's earrings and Lando owning a theme park as my favourite little bits of the series, and I'm both surprised and a little disappointed they never turned up in any of the RTS games.
Edit: Wait, that bracketed bit sounds like I'm appologising for reading these. I was going to mention that I read the Jedi Academy Trilogy at around the same time, resulting in some confusion about the status of Yavin, the Lost City of the Jedi and the Jedi Praxeum, then didn't, orphaning the school library gag. Anyway. No appologies, nor regrets, regarding reading the Jedi Prince series.
My favourite part of this chapter: the capitalisation of 'Plan Number Two' suggests to me that Trioculus and Hissa, before making their move, first brainstormed all the possible plans and put them up on a whiteboard. While Trioculus was scowling, Hissa was neatly erasing 'Plan Number One: threaten SPIN with droid bomb'.
What the Empire really needs here is a Scott Trioculus character to point out these things.
"Seriously, guys, why not just blow up Yavin? We have a Death Star Prototype like right next door to Kessel, you know, our main base? And why fly around in a Strike Cruiser when we could have access to four Star Destroyers and an Imperial Admiral as crazy as the rest of you?"
Those are plans three and four. Five includes raccoons. Lots of raccoons.
Can something like this be done for The Approaching Storm? I'm currently reading it for my chronological read-through and boy is it boring. But curiously it also has some hints of Barriss' dark side, and it is weird to think that both Obi-Wan's and Luminara's padawans will turn to dark side in the next three years. If only TCW had done it better.
No. I barely got through The Approaching Storm. Took me three months for me to read that book, which is an eternity for me for one book (I think I blew through the whole Wheel of Time series in little over that). Not only am I never reading that book again, the idea of doing in depth summaries makes my skin want to break out in hives.
That said, that book is strange in that there are some genuinely interesting passages, and there are some parts that rival Jedi Prince in terms of ridiculousness. Of course, most of them aren't funny bad. Just bad bad.
Now that you mention it, though, I am somewhat interested in how that book reads with Barriss' future in mind. Not curious enough to consider going near it without at least a .009 blood alcohol level, but curious nonetheless.
How in the Glove's name did you blast through Wheel of Time in 3 months? It took me 7 just to finish The Eye of the World.
Ah, that one was an exception. That book, being boring as sin, took me like two months on its own. From there it's smooth sailing. Except when it gets painfully slow again, but by that point the last books were out so I had something to shoot for. Also, I was listening to a ridiculous amount of ambient music in that time period, which is great music to read to, so I read much more than I probably would have.
That's nothing, though, compared to how quickly I read the Harry Potter books when I was a kid. I know for a fact I read the last one in a day, and I did some marathons with the others as well. Maybe that's why I'm not much of a Potter fan these days.
Bah. I can't even finish The Great Hunt. It doesn't help that I constantly end up comparing it to ASOIAF and Malazan while I'm reading it.
How do you think I feel, having to compare everything I read to the Jedi Prince series? There's a glass ceiling of literary quality that only few works can ever hope to pass. Nothing's ever truly captured my imagination in the same way.
I had trouble keeping the straight face when in A Clash of Kings people said that Bran should "open his third eye". Without it he can never achieve perfection!
So I reread Dark Empire yesterday, and couldn't help but note that Luke wears a Glove the entire time. This is the book that establishes Luke can land Star Destroyers and crush AT-AT's with his mind, and is a follow up to a trilogy where Luke wasn't able to pick up a walker smaller than an AT-ST. In that trilogy, Luke did not wear a Glove.
Think about it.
Chapter 6: A Healer's Secret
Ken "risks Dee-Jay's wrath" in sneaking up Topworld again. One has to wonder why Dee-Jay wouldn't put guards on duty this time... though maybe he did, and Ken simply did what he does best by killing and mutilating them. We're told that this time he chooses to give Chip and HC the slip as well, by convincing them to help him with his latest homework research in the library.
The assignment was to write a report on five major planets that had been wiped out by asteroids in the last half million years. HC and Chip were still probably deep in the Jedi Library, walking up and down the aisles trying to find out where the file on destroyed planets had been misplaced, unaware that Ken had hidden it under his bed in his dome-house
Ken retraces his steps the last time he had come Topworld, and finds Beji. He is also met with the smell of intense smoke, and believes a forest fire is happening nearby.
Ken had never seen a forest fire before, except in holograms and pictures in the Jedi Library. His heart skipped a beat as he watched in horror. So much beauty was being destroyed in the fiery orange glow.
Ken turns away from the carnage and approaches Beji. Ken introduces himself, and apologizes for startling the Ho'din. He asks if Beji has seen his lost notebook.
Baji put a hand on Ken’s shoulder and said:
"Find it I did
In my hut it is hid
Come there with me
And your notebook you shall see."
Picking up a sack that had flowers, plant stems, roots, and seeds, Baji led Ken to his thatch hut.
I have to wonder what happens if Beji has something important to say but can't think of a rhyme. Will he just keep quiet and let everyone around him get screwed over? Rhyming is serious business.
Beji's hut is plain, for the most part, but he has a bed made of leaves (that's gotta be itchy), and numerous bottles and display cases showcasing the various kinds of exotic fauna found on Yavin Four, fauna that the evil Imperials are indiscriminately burning.
Baji kneeled to pick up Ken’s computer notebook. "Thanks, Baji," Ken said. "It was nice of you to save this for me. And the droid who corrects my homework, HC, will sure be happy it’s not lost. HC would really give me a hard time if I told him I’d lost it.
Since when have you cared what a droid thought? You probably butchered your last homework droid anyway.
Beji looks out the door of his hut, and hangs his head in sorrow at the approaching flames.
"I know what you’re thinking," Ken said. "If the fire reaches your hut, then all your rare plants will be destroyed."
"I wonder how the fire started," Ken said. And the reply was:
"The weapons of the Empire
Did cause this big fire
So now the end is near
For a forest so dear."
Rhyming Empire with fire. Truly expired.
"Come home with me," Ken said. "You’d be safer there, underground."
Baji shook his head no.
"My work here is done
From this forest I shall run
My people are on their way
A spaceship comes next day."
"I can see that you’ll be sorry to leave," Ken said. "It’s a shame we haven’t had the time to get to know one another, but I understand. Your home is on another world."
Baji nodded and smiled.
"I’ve got to be going," Ken said, "before the fire gets any closer. May the Force be with you, Baji."
Ken, having retrieved his special computer notebook, begins to head back to the transport tube, in hopes that Dee-Jay and HC hadn't noticed he'd disappeared. However, fate intervenes, as Ken is leaving, he spies three stormtroopers marching towards Beji's house! Ken's first impulse is to shout, but "he knows better than that", so he hides in the foliage and watches as the stormtroopers carry Beji away.
Each of Baji’s two hearts was beating rapidly as the stormtroopers forced him up the ramp of Trioculus’s Imperial strike cruiser. His warm green blood became hot from fear as they led him past the maze of equipment in the control room, and into the private cabin of Emperor Trioculus.
The private cabin is dimly lit, and the Emperor is seated in an ornate chair, accompanied by Emdee and Hissa, who proclaims that the Ho'din is here (seriously, whoever said that Hissa and Ric Olie are related was on to something; as far as I'm concerned, Hissa puts Olie to shame in his bid for title of Master of the Obvious).
Trioculus leans closer to Beji, looming over him, as he sees the Imperial leaders three eyes are glassy and unfocused.
"Ho’Din, if you ever breathe a word of what I’m about to tell you, you’ll never live to see another Yavin Four sunset," Grand Moff Hissa said. "Tell me, are you a healer, like the rest of your people?"
Baji nodded but didn’t speak.
"I command you to answer!" Trioculus shouted in a hoarse voice.
Suddenly realizing that Trioculus was unable to see, Baji replied:
"For the sick and weak do I care
Be they powerful or meek, old or fair."
I'm not gonna lie, if I were Trioculus, I'd threaten Beji to speak without rhyming. Or maybe I'd go the opposite route, and shoot at his feet, demanding he continually dance and rhyme for me.
"They tell me you’re a Ho’Din," Trioculus said, "but at the moment, I can’t tell. My eyes have betrayed me. I order you to heal me!"
"This is the most powerful patient you’ve ever had, Ho’Din," Grand Moff Hissa explained. "He commands the Empire. He is the ruler of the galaxy. Your life is in his hands."
I continue to appreciate Mr. Olie's, no-nonsense demeanor. No one does "completely unnecessary" quite like him.
Baji leaned forward and stared cautiously at Trioculus’s glazed eyeballs. Then he noticed the glove Trioculus was wearing on his right hand. Baji kneeled down and touched it. Quickly Trioculus pulled his hand away.
"I asked you to examine my eyes, Ho’Din, not the glove of Darth Vader," Trioculus said. "Now heal me, understand?"
"The glove you wear
Brings blindness and gloom
Remove it now
For it seals your doom."
See, even yokels on forest planets have heard of the power of the Glove.
"This glove has doomed many men, Ho’Din," Trioculus said, sneering. "Men who have angered me. But it will never doom me."
Well that's a lie, unless Trioculus has discovered a way to kill with it while we weren't looking. Maybe he just kills them with a good old fashioned strangle... Vader had no problem doing it in ANH.
Now, we discover that Baji is apparently a prophet.
"Since Darth Vader’s glove
You now do wear
Blind you are
And next goes your hair
Take off the glove
Or there is no doubt
Your teeth and nails
Shall all fall out
Your hands will rot
Your face will welt
Loud you shall scream
As in terror you melt."
You came up with that on the spot? I'm impressed.
Trioculus, however, is not amused.
"I should have your eyes plucked out for saying that!" Trioculus exclaimed.
Why is everything about eyes with you? I suppose in his view, depriving one of their eyes would be the supreme punishment...
Emdee, in what may be his first line in the series (not gonna check that), says that the Ho'din makes a valid "medial point" (so cryptic prophecies pass for medical study in the Empire?), and suggests that the sound wave device he implanted in the Glove could be a cause of the side effects.
"The sonic charges in the devices are probably causing damage to your nerve endings, affecting the optic nerves in your eyes."
"Perhaps you should consider taking off the glove, my Dark Lordship," Grand Moff Hissa said. "It’s worth a try."
Reluctantly, Trioculus removed the glove of Darth Vader. Grand Moff Hissa and Baji couldn’t help but gasp when they saw Trioculus’s right hand-it was all red, blistered, and withered. And just as Baji had warned, the flesh on his hand had already begun to rot.
That's actually some rather interesting imagery, and certainly very grotesque for this series. And no picture to ruin it!
Trioculus blinked. The yellow, glassy look slowly faded from his eyes. "I can almost make out the shape of your face, Ho’Din," Trioculus said in a hoarse, deep voice.
"Your Excellency!" Grand Moff Hissa said. "The Ho’Din healer has brought back your eyesight!"
Buh? When the hell did that happen? All he did was tell him to take off his glove!
Baji reached into his pocket and took out a few kibo seeds-all that he had. He placed them in Trioculus’s raw and withered hand. Then said:
"Eat the seeds of the purple flower
Or your sight shall lose its power
To be fully cured you must feed
For a hundred days upon the kibo seed."
I think someone has seriously mixed up the order of events here...
Trioculus chewed and swallowed the kibo seeds. Moments later, his face brightened and his eyes cleared. A faint smile formed at the corners of his lips as his vision was slowly restored.
"Ho’Din, your medicine is impressive," Trioculus said. "I now see better than ever. Tell me, where can I get enough kibo seeds to eat them for a hundred days?"
Baji's only response is to sadly lower his head, as he is prone to doing.
"Kibo flowers, so very rare
Will soon be found nowhere
For the flames that you have spread
Shall soon make all kibo plants dead."
"What is he saying, Hissa?" asked Trioculus. "I can’t follow all of this Ho’Din’s rhyming!"
At least this time Hissa's unreasonably astute observations are asked for. And come on, Trioculus, we're not dealing with Robert Frost here.
Hissa says that, if he understands the Ho'Din correctly, the kibo seed is nearly extinct, and Trioculus' decision to burn the forests is rapidly destroying them.
You must eat their seeds for a hundred days, or-"
"Go on!" Trioculus said. "Then what?"
Emdee finished the sentence for the grand moff, who was too frightened to say any more. "Then, Master, you will go blind once again," Emdee said. "This time probably forever."
Is Trioculus slow or what?
"In my hut I have seeds in store
Enough for all your needs and more
But my hut soon shall burn
Tell me, why does the Empire never learn?"
Damn, threw in a stealth insult at the end, and concealed entirely in impenetrable, high brow verse that only one who has dedicated their life to the pursuit of enlightenment through the art of poetry could ever hope to accurately interpret.
Trioculus panics, and demands to be taken back to Baji's hut. In case the point had not been driven home enough, the prose once more clearly states that Trioculus is about to burn the only cure for his blindness. They board a mobile jungle transport video, and as they near the hut, they see the walls of flames are rapidly approaching. It's about this time I wonder why Trioculus, being the freaking Emperor and all, doesn't just order the forest burning stopped, but then I realized that the authors are likely making a statement about the never ending cycle of destruction that destroying forests can cause, and how once started the suffering extends to every corner of life, so I don't question it any further.
As Trioculus gets out of the transport unit, one of the TNT's is rapidly approaching. Trioculus screams for him to stop, but the stormtrooper piloting the vehicle can't hear him (bet you wish you would have ordered a cease and desist back aboard your ship now, don't you?), and Baji's hut is burned to the ground.
A very desperate Trioculus went running into the fiery hut to save the kibo plants and seeds. But as he clutched them in his hands and tried to escape the hut, the doorway was blocked by a wall of flame.
Commentary: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our Emperor. His wisdom and foresight are known and respected across the galaxy.
So now we're really getting into the meat of the environmental theme of this book, as we see the results of the forest burning. Surprise surprise, it effects everyone, even the villains!
And while I'm on that subject, I just want to say that the Kibo plant is so, so contrived. And oh so convenient. So Trioculus is going blind for some pseudo-scientific reason, and the only thing that can prevent it is some plant a crazy old hermit grows in his hut? I've seen your third eye, Trioculus. You've had more than enough of that stuff. Has to be exceptionally strong stuff, too. I'm not botanist, but I don't know of any plant that would have a curing effect happen that quickly, especially for something like blindness. I mean, I suppose I'm nitpicking here, considering this all takes place in a universe where dudes in bathrobes can deflect bullets, but it's often the little things that can utterly shatter a persons suspension of disbelief.
Not much else to talk about in this chapter, really. Ken's an asshole, but we knew that. Hissa is comically useless, but we knew that too. Emdee is quite literally good for absolutely nothing. I don't think he's had anything to do so far in the story, and unless I'm misremembering, he doesn't have much to do in the future, either. I'm really not sure what his purpose is. I'm not clear on Hissa's purpose in the narrative, either. I mean,someone like Pellaeon makes perfect sense to me; he's there to provide an outsider view to an important and mysterious character. But Trioculus isn't at all like that. As others have effectively argued, the guy might as well be the main character, and as a character is as about as layered as a Steven Segal film. As near as I can tell, Hissa's one and only true purpose is to lick boot. That's it. Maybe I should start calling him Smithers.
If I ever become absolute leader of something, I want a Hissa around, to narrate my every action.
Or I could be Hissa. I'll try it right now: commentary for chapter 6 is finished! Next time I will be covering chapter 7! It will be awesome! Ken will be there! You should be there too!
To further that thought... remember that panel when Luke, almost randomly, is missing a hand, and tells Leia the Emperor is getting him a new one? It's because the Glove was making his hand rot.
Man, I barely remember Dark Empire, and I just read it last in 2010. Really, think how better everything would be if it tied into GODV.
Can't stop thinking about it. Does he wear a glove in DEII and EE?
A list of the known Glovebearers at the moment:
Darth Maul (b. 32 BBY - b. 0 BBY)
Maul tries to get the Glove back by taking over the Prophets of the Dark Side and dueling Vader for its mastery. The Glove betrays Maul, and he finally dies. More details in the upcoming Darth Vader and the Glove of Darth Vader mini-series.
Darth Vader (b. 0 BBY - 4 ABY)
The Glove realizes young Skywalker's potential and betrays Vader. It doesn't get to Luke, however, on the account of falling into the shaft.
C.F. Palpatine (unknown - 4 ABY)
Palpatine controlled the Battle of Endor by using the battle meditation through the Glove, but when it fell into the shaft, rebels started to succeed in everything. Palpatine never wore the Glove, so he wasn't directly betrayed by it (just putting this here so people wouldn't say that this undermines Anakin and Luke's victory)
A Fish (4 ABY - 5 ABY)
Sadly, there was a bigger fish.
Trioculus (5 ABY - )
We are following his story right now, so we'll see what his fate will be.
Luke Skywalker (c. 10 ABY - )
Dark Empire is the story of how the Glove sends Luke to the Emperor, and how it almost made him to turn to the dark side. Any theories on what he did with it afterwards?
Michael Jackson covered it in sequins and used it during the height of his career.
Hmm, witchdoctor type character who lives in a hut in the woods, has herbal remedies, and rhymes all the time?
YES!!! That's who I thought of too!
Would you by any chance read a FOTJ/MLP crossover?
Sorry, but you lost me at FOTJ
C'mon, give it a chance. Please?
My Little Pony writers: confirmed Jedi Prince fans.
He most likely puts it away for years, afraid that he can't fully control its power. But remember that scene where Luke really lets loose in The Unifying Force? Luke brought the Glove back out for that. The NJO, as a series, represents Luke's growing acceptance in the fact that he cannot hope to control the Glove, but also a growing realization that he can turn an artifact that has been used for such great evil into a force for good.