Lit KENOBI by John Jackson Miller: The Official Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Okay, just found the "Shane" connection. Last name as the title, get it. Still prefer "The Man Who Shot General Grievous".
  2. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    "When the legend becomes fact, print The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi"
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  3. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    [wind mill squeaks]

    ...so, basically, I missed the discussion of this?
  4. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    Yeah, I did too, because I wanted to stay spoiler-free. I don't think we missed much, since about 90% of the thread is slowpokeking's usual material.
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  5. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

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    I wanted to give Bohmer a hug when I read this.

    I know that adds nothing to the discussion, but I just felt like saying that. Bohmer needed a hug.
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  6. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    It's one of the perverse rules of the internet in action Grey, Kenobi was brilliant therefore we have little to say about it!

    Now had it been crap....
  7. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I like it a lot, too. Well written, in my opinion, and fun to read. Great character work. I like that the meditation parts lead up to the result they're leading up to.

    Thinking about the meditation, and Obi-Wan dealing with what has happened thanks to his former padawan, I must say that there's one thing in the EU that seems to have beena bit unnecessary: Obi-Wan beating himself up about his failings. There's the part in the ROTS novel where he totally breaks down when seeing the temple evidence - saying stuff like "we should have left him in slavery" - and here, he's got that total emotional breakdown in front of Annie. Watching the movies, you get the idea that he's emotional about the whole thing, of course - but at no point does he have such a, well, 'immature' moment that breaks through his facade of being a pretty stoical guy. The biggest breakdown is when he shouts down burning Anakin. And yes, I understand that a reserved person can have such a total facade breakdown - it's just that outside the EU Obi-Wan doesn't go in that direction.

    The thing I disliked most abot the book, besides the need to have a big action ending that had someone find out about Obi-Wan's Jedi status, is the inclusion of the Sharad Hett angle. It's obviously a good shorcut to get the Tuskens to interact with Ben, but it's diminishing a book that could easily have stood on its own toes as a standalone. I wonder if it works better to read about the Jedi who wanted to be a backwater planet clan warrior if you don't know the EU connection. In the end, I know how popular A'sharad/Krayt is, but I really think he's one of those concepts that should better have remained hidden in some corner instead of becoming such a huge part of the EU. So including his father here is equally distracting. Although it's ironic that the idea that sandpeople really don't look pretty under their bandages and masks that's in here really comes across as information in conflict to A'sharad's later appearance.
  8. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Well by ANH he had close to 20 years to mull it over, here he had a few weeks, of course it will still be hard on him, especially as he has little else to do but think about it.

    It works either way, plus if it just gets one additional person to read Outlander it was worth it. ;)


    Legacy is just so awesome one can not contain it. :p


    Well they are not Tusken, but Humans that have joined Tusken clans.
  9. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Still, they spend their days with lots of fabric wrapped around them in a very hot environment... the dead Tuskens aren't an awful sight because they are Tuskens, but because they spent their life wrapped into bandages.
  10. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Yeah but we never see A'sharad's face until he had already left the clans for years and hopefully stopped doing that.
  11. Nobody145 Force Ghost

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    I didn't mind Obi-wan's facade cracking a few times. Never quite a breakdown, but I liked it. Especially since as he put it, he's got almost nothing to do but think anymore. He's setting up his hut, and trying to figure out a good way to keep an eye on Luke without attracting attention, particularly from an unfriendly Lars, but that's still not enough to keep him from brooding a few times.

    The Hett connection was possibly unnecessary, but considering how much the Hetts figure into recent Tatooine history, I liked that a good deal. Coincidental that Obi-wan would basically encounter Sharad's sister-in-law, but there have been more unlikely meetings. What I liked was how Anakin's slaughter of the Tusken tribe casts a shadow over a lot of the events- the Tuskens scattered after how horrible that was, and A'yark's unconventional leadership was possibly mainly due to how bad their situation was. I just liked how it tied into A'Sharad later taking over too. They are all in the same area too, or will be, since Obi-wan eventually stops A'Sharad's rampage to protect the Lars farm.
  12. JediMatteus Force Ghost

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    glad im not the nonly one that had a few issues with it
  13. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I think the breaking facade is generally understandable; for Obi-Wan, though, I feel like this here, but especially Obi-Wan's reaction to the Anakin=Vader reveal in the ROTS novel is so much more... masochistic than what we see him go through in the films. It's moving in the territory of Karen Miller's we-need-to-cry-for-our-favourite-character game. We can probably extrapolate it from Obi-Wan's reaction to Qui-Gon's death, and his let's-talk-about-out-feelings once he's got Vader's attention on Mustafar. But somehow it doesn't feel right for me; Stover's calling him "the perfect Jedi", and Kenobi's remaining level-headed for most of his existence. He's snapping 80% in these high-profile-situations; simply talking to Annileen shouldn't have him go up to 120% on the emometer in comparison.

    The Tusken... I know that this is great for the EU: Let's make Tatooine into the Hett planet, let's combine a lot of stuff. Somehow, I would have preferred a book about loner Kenobi just using little hints at the EU, to acknowledge what has been done with the planet; not having an entire subplot hinge on offscreen's The Man They Called Bantha. Just have a book that sits alone in a lonely spot (also, one which doesn't need to put Crazy Ben into a huge posse situation in the end that would make him too exposed to local folklore. And from the beginning, he gets drawn too much into such conflicts anyway - the prologue having him defuse a situation when he's literally carrying Luke around, giving him to a stranger who gives him to another stranger. The story arc might be Ben learning to take responsibility; but hey, does he need to start irresponsible for that story to exist. Orrin seeing Ben as a Jedi in the end is anticlimatic; it's an obvious scene showing that Ben wouldn't betray his Jedi principles even if it meant possibly failing the hope of the galaxy; but that's not really a surprise. And that every non-Tusken who's seen the lightsaber has to die isn't a surprise, either. But I digress, I guess.).

    Hett's face... he keeps wearing the mask (which is a "let's give the lightsaber to another action figure" type of idea) as a Jedi for roughly a decade. Before that, 15 years of making your skin all stewed up crispy. And wait a minute, what about the tattoos? What now, do they never reveal their faces (as in, keep the masks on), or do they secretly put tribal markings on the faces they never show? And did A'sharad repair his face, or did it grow back to normal?

    But let's talk about Anakin's slaughter. I find it interesting what has been done with that here. In comparison, Tatooine Ghost shows a somewhat different situation, with the Tusken sacrificing people, demonstrating the vicious cycle of the dark side, to the "angry ghost". I think we have two different interpretations here, don't we?

    And finally, I wonder if it was intended to change Ben's relationship to the local Tusken population. Originally, we have him use the Krayt howl because it scares the raiders off (and the bluray update might mean that he's simply projecting angry Anakin's don't-mess-with-me aura, doesn't it). Then we have him "behead" the most successful tribe with his lightsaber, which should make him kind of a legend with the tribes, especially since the tribes are prone to follow Jedi around. Now we have a tribe find out about his Hett connection, not seeing him as an insignificant old man anymore, but as a wizard who might simply announce his arrival by using that old Krayt howl (keychain?). There's probably leeway in the knowledge about Ben dying out before A'sharad sweeps in, but it's complicating matters on a planet that could use some rest.
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  14. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Different tribes?

    Or since both his parents were adopted to the Clan they might have spared him that rather unpleasant part and his Tattoos could also be something he had done when we was a Jedi.


    Again different tribes, they aren’t a mentally linked swarm society, but wondering groups of nomads that do not even get along all that well. Different groups will have different ideas and reactions, especially in a society that is largely build around "Omens".

    So you basically want a story were he just sits on a rock and mediates for 19 years, only getting up a few times to save Luke from getting himself killed? ;)
  15. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I was pretty happy while he did nothing but forget his shopping basket, bond with his eopie, unwittingly be in a love triangle, and save everyone without anyone noticing him or a consipicuos ribbon of blue light.

    That being said, the meditation parts were pretty good.
  16. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

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    Oh boy, I went into Kenobi not really knowing what to expect and was I ever impressed! Ben's characterisation is perfect and the new characters we were introduced to actually made me care a lot. The notion of the Settlers' Call warmed my libertarian heart so much I was disappointed at the fact that Orrin was treating it like a giant slush fund. I think the only real problem I had with it is the fact that Orrin's 'turn' I guess just seemed really sudden. Or maybe I was just reading his character wrong - he seemed like a bit of a big-shot businessman but not one who would stoop to such lengths to preserve himself.

    Also the A'Yark twist was like a kick to the guts. I pride myself on being a feminist and yet it didn't even occur to me that A'Yark might not be a male. Even when Annileen makes the observation of A'Yark standing over A'Deen's body, I had to do a triple take because I wasn't sure what I was reading. How's that for being forced to critically examine unconscious bias, hey?

    Seriously, JJM knocked this out of the park and I am so glad I read this novel. I really felt invested in it.

    And Bohmer totally needs a hug.
  17. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I think the big "problem" with Orrin's turn is that the entire setting is so perfect that I doubt anyone would have a problem with reading twenty years' worth of Orrin flirting with Annie, Annie yelling at her kids, and Ben forgetting his shopping. So when Orrin shows that everything is just a facade, the setting can't go on like it used to. And with a setting this lovely, this is devastating. It's not just a simple twist (like A'yark's reveal, that one changes our perspective but not really the situation), it's the announcement that the book will have to end. Leading up to the point where Annie has to leave and all these great situations simply won't be anymore.

    So I think if the turn wasn't that sudden ("reader-heartbreaking"), the opening might not have been as much fun, since we would just have waited for Orrin to finally tear it all down. Until his Mos Eisley plans came up, I really couldn't decide how the book's conflict would come down, even when the settlers went into the "bad" corner with the Tusken massacre.
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  18. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    There are slight hints before that, especially him being rather thugish towards Wyle.
  19. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    Okay, finally posted my review. Linky.

    tl;dr version-
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  20. PrincessKenobi New Films Manager of DOOM

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    I don't normally venture into these parts nor do I find myself wanting to discuss Star Wars books I've read.

    I loved Kenobi. It was fun and very sad all at the same time. And left me with lots of questions into future reactions Obi-Wan will have. I can't help but think that in ANH he is afraid Annie and kids might still be on planet along with Bail. It's a whole new layer of sadness added to this man who keeps loosing people who are on some level important to him.

    And I've read the whole thread and I have to agree with Dp about the line in the book. I remember reading it and it coming across in a very bitter and dark tone.

    The A'Yark reveal also took me by surprise and changed everything I previous thought about her. I have to wonder though if I'd still feel the same if she were a man. If those sympathies would have been different.

    I just want more stories of crazy Ben on Tatoonie now. I loved watching big city Kenobi trying to adjust to small town life.


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  21. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    The Life & Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi has a few Tatooine scenes of interest.

    In addition, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, has a good bit at the end, in which Qui-Gon talks to Obi-Wan for the first time, and Obi-Wan finds out Vader is still alive.
  22. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

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    Star Wars: Kenobi had a nearly a seven year journey to the printed page, so it's right that the production notes for Kenobi should take a while, too. But they are now online — and are the longest batch I've done. Going back to read the very earliest conversations about it jogged my memory about a lot of things I'd forgotten! Plus answers to some frequently asked questions.

    Spoiler warning, as you might imagine!

    (And I don't know if it was officially announced, but there appears to be a July 1 release date for the mass-market paperback out there.)
    Last edited by JohnJacksonMiller, Dec 15, 2013
  23. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Sweet, I've been waiting for these! :D
  24. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

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    You can also find out more about Mr. Miller's work on Kenobi in next weeks episode of Scum and Villainy Radio, where he was kind enough to do an interview with us!
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  25. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

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    Awesome! Thanks for writing this. I always love your production notes.

    Not an animal, per se, but Droopy McCool was once known as Snit, as seen in the band story from Tales from Jabba's Palace.