Discussion Listening to Fanfiction

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by TKeira_Lea, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    I guess I don't have a problem with the dis-continuities in the EU because I gave up on it years before TPM came out.

    The fundamental flaw in the EU back then was that the writers did not have the back story of the prequels. I could feel it in the writing. They were tip-toeing around the whole chasm of information about everything in the Sage that they did not know.

    Here are just a few of the critical the things that they did not know:

    - Owen Lars was Anakin Skywalker's step brother and he and Beru only met him once. And they knew he was a Jedi.
    - Luke's grandmother lived at the Lars farm for years, was Owen's stepmother and apparently well-loved by the family.
    - Luke's mother was a queen and senator from Naboo.
    - The Jedi had a huge, massive eye-sore of a Temple on the Republic's central world.
    - The Jedi lived by a 'Code'.
    - Palpatine actually got elected to his position years before he declared himself emperor.
    - Yoda and Ben knew both of Luke's parents.
    - Luke's father had a huge prophecy attached to him.
    - Mon Mothra knew and worked with Luke's mother.
    - Jedi were forbidden attachments, especially personal ones.
    - Chewbacca was in the Clone Wars and served with Jedi, including Yoda.
    - Luke and Leias' mother died right after delivering the babies; Obi-Wan, Yoda and Bail Organa were there.

    Not knowing this background ALWAYS made the EU writing weak, especially when it came to the movie characters. There's no way around it. The characters can't be whole without knowing their back story. I never even started writing SW fanfics until 2005, after ROTS came out and the Saga was complete.

    I had to wait 28 years for Lucas to show us that battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader and Lucas made it well-worth it. Back in 1977, we would have LOVED to have had all these details. We were ravenous for more SW - believe me, we wondered why 'Uncle Owen' was Luke's uncle, but we just did't know. The EU writers could have used the details, too, but they just weren't available.

    So, what will happen if the Clone Wars decides to do background for Han Solo? I always assumed he was maybe ten years older than Luke, so he would be a kid during the Clone Wars. We'll just have another AU EU.



  2. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5

    I actually enjoyed making it all up in my head, honestly. Not that I didn't enjoy watching Lucas' vision unfold in the PT, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment. Not knowing actually encouraged me to dream.

    I'm not sure knowing all those facts would have made the EU stronger; but rather bogged it down in facts. The fun in reading new stories is the journey of different characters along their path to heroism and growing L/L/H as leaders along the way. As far as I see it, the OT gives a writer and the reader a strong enough compass of who Big Three are to drive their character arcs forward.

    As a fanfic writer I've learned that retelling of background actually slows stories down so you only need little distinct moments for understanding. For instance how does Chewbacca knowing Yoda change the EU? It doesn't really.

  3. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    I was going to point out what I thought was a contradiction between two episodes of the Clone Wars in season 1 where the same senator is killed twice. But then I read that they were different people of the same species.

    So now we have a Kenny effect for the Star Wars. Anytime they series shows a Gran senator, they are going to find a way to kill him. Man, I would hate to be a Gran and be voted in as a Senator. "Oh my god, they killed a Gran!"
  4. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    One thing that I think the EU is criminally lacking right now are strong female characters, lead or otherwise. If you want to take away anything from fanfiction, this could be it. Just take a gander over to the Beyond forum and take a look at the billed leads for a bunch of the fics. Lots of Jaina, Mara, Tahiri.

    (Full disclosure, I am a male fic writer)

    This bothers the heck out of me in profic. Why in the world has the EU devolved back into a Boys Only club? Even in the Bantam days, we had more compelling female characters. Since Dark Nest on the best we've gotten is a derailed Jaina and Mara. If there are other female characters, they're off on the periphery of the story.

    Maybe it's the fact that I'm a Whedonite at heart and have a soft spot for the strong female lead, but it just kills me to see Del Rey and LFL drop the ball like this. Crafting some well characterized females could do wonders for the current EU. I know my writing has improved tenfold by focusing on that. I've got a trio of fics that revolve around Syal Antilles and feature a pair of female sidekicks of sorts. These stories, by far, are the most popular things I've written here to this point. If writing these Syal fics has shown me anything, it's that here at TFN it appears that there is a strong market and desire for these kinds of characters and I have to think that extends beyond our borders as well.
  5. mrjop2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2007
    star 4
    My star wars fic has a female lead as well.

    I think the lack of women characters in Star Wars, period, was poked fun with by Family Guy. The old guy was Obi Wan Kenobe, and Chris Griffith was Luke Skywalker. Obi-One told Luke that he had a sister, and Luke asks, "Really, who is she?"

    Obi Wan replies, "Who else? She's the only female in all the galaxy!"

    Later on, at the briefing to prepare for the attack on the Second Death Star, Mon Motha starts her debriefing, and Han Solo says, "Hey look, it's the only other female in the galaxy!"

    Leia replies, "I don't trust her."

    I loved the Family Guy spoofs of Star Wars, but it's true: there are very few female heroes in Star Wars, especially in the original series. In the prequels, there were a few, but they were quickly disposed of.

    That's why in my AU, Luke Skywalker had a daughter, rather than a son.
  6. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    I really have to disagree with this. While a lot of the Bantam books were crap, many of them were wonderful. Zahn's books don't suffer because Luke and Leia don't know their backstory. I, Jedi doesn't suffer because Corran Horn's backstory got messed up by the prequels. One aspect I really liked about the Jedi Academy trilogy was that Luke was starting from scratch. He was creating HIS Jedi Order. Now, his Jedi Order is just a reflection of the old Jedi Order, with the exception of Jedi being allowed to marry. While I like that the EU can now accurately reference ALL of the films, I kind of miss that time period when there were a lot of blanks in the story and the post-ROTJ world was very different from what we saw in the prequels and what it is in the LOTF and FOTJ series.
  7. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I agree. I like the Zahn books, and I especially like that Luke was able to create his Jedi Order, using the philosophies that Obi-Wan and Yoda taught him, which reflected the good aspects of the old Order without the mistakes inherent in it. Some of the EU really got screwed up by the prequels, but some of it blends it nicely with the Saga.

    I do have to wonder if certain aspects of TCW series involve Lucas giving the finger to parts of the EU that he doesn't like. :p (Thanks Uncle George. I didn't like Coruscant Nights either.)
  8. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    I also disagree too, but what I really hated is what happened after the authors of the EU received all the prequel information. The books were bombarded with numerous connections to the prequel movies. Many of which were there only for the purpose of the author to say, "Hey, look, we can connect this to the new movies now!" The worst inclusion was the whole R2 finding an old scene of Anakin and Padme in the Dark Nest series. And though I'm a fan of Zahn, he wasn't excluded in using a prequel reference of the droideka in Survivor's Quest. It almost seemed that the EU authors spent so much of their time and words on creating such a bridge between the EU and the prequels that they neglected to spread out the story, with some exceptions.


    And Lane_Winree, speaking as a fellow male writer who somehow writes females well (I have a current epic involving Mara and Jaina pre NJO) as well as another Whedon fan, the women are just as, if not more, interesting than the men. Unfortunately, DR's EU have either killed off the most interesting females in SW, or stripped the ones left of their true character.
  9. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    The Zahn books and 'I, Jedi' were stronger books in the EU precisely because they featured characters created by the authors. that was the device that the authors sued to get around the huge, gaping hole in the movie characters' back story. Fill in that empty space with other material that you can write the back story for.

    The characterization of the movie characters was okay, except that Luke was a complete wuss in 'I, Jedi' .... Stackpole gets away with that because it is first person narrative from Corran Horn, who thought that Luke was a complete wuss .... clever device there. But saying that the lack of background for the main movie characters wasn't important is like saying that Michael Stackpole did not need to go through all that trouble of developing the whole back story for Horn and the book would have been just as good without it.

    What difference would it have made if we knew Chewbacca's back story with Yoda? A lot. His relationship with Luke would certainly have changed. Why was Chewie so sure that Luke was Jedi knight when he told Han about it in ROTJ? Because he knew that Luke trained with Yoda. That adds a little extra depth to that scene and would have added a bit more if the EU had known about it.

    Luke's project to re-start the Jedi Order would have been completely different in the EU, if the writers had just known about that Jedi Temple and the Jedi Code.



  10. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I'm not sure that it would have. Maybe I haven't read enough post-ROTJ EU, but what was different about Luke's Order other than Jedi being allowed to marry and Jedi being allowed to train--as Luke was--starting at an older age? My impression was that the basic philosophies were the same, but the Code disallowing attachments wasn't there. I think that was intentional even without prior knowledge of the PT. Yoda makes a comment at the end of the ROTS novelization that he had been blind in thinking that Jedi could continue to be trained as he had been. (I don't have the novelization in front of me so that's not an exact quote.) I just don't see Luke making a policy that new initiates must be infants, must not know their parents, and must never have families of their own, even if Zahn, etc. had known Lucas was going to have PT Jedi have that philosophy.
  11. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Again, agree to disagree. I am quite sure that the EU would have been very different. To begin with, he probably wouldn't have gone to Yavin to train people if there was this big empty temple lying around. And there would have some debate about whether the 'no attachments' rule should stay. Luke had personal experience with that getting him into trouble in TESB. And how about the 'no possessions' rule? That would be another thing that could get people into a lot of trouble.
  12. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I thought the Jedi Temple burned down? I also thought it got rebuilt anyway and Luke and Mara married there? Maybe he wouldn't have trained on Yavin, maybe he would have set up a central location on Coruscant, I don't know.

    As far as the no-attachments rule--for the sake of full disclosure, that old Order rule really chaps my hide. Anakin's attachments didn't get him in trouble, the way he handled them did--and that could have been handled without telling him that he could not be attached to people at all. The idea is to put the good of the group and the galaxy ahead of the Jedi's loved ones, and I feel that the old Jedi Order tried to take the easy way out by ensuring that there were no "loved ones" that the Jedi would have had to set aside for the good of the group. I see being attached to people as a normal part of human nature and telling a human Jedi that he is not allowed to be attached to people, is telling him to deny his humanity.

    Yes, attachment almost got Luke in trouble, but Luke did overcome that, and did so without letting go of his attachment either to his sister or Han. So I don't know how much debate would have happened over that.
  13. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    ^ THIS. The lack is criminal and just plan wrong. Knocking out strong female characters costs Del Rey readers.
  14. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Burning it down isn't such a bad idea since it is not the most attractive structure I've ever seen. But, aside from the architectural bad taste of the Jedi, it is clearly visible in the background on Coruscant at the end of the re-released version of ROTJ.



  15. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    I think that the current EU suffers from a major lack of balanced female characters that can be loved as heroes as much as the menfolk can be. That was what was so great to me about Leia in the OT--she was strong, she had flaws and quirks, she could kick it when necessary but she also had this clear feminine "romantic" flair to her that balanced it out. But right now we have Jaina as the "Sword of the Jedi" while her personal life has been run over. They're still writing her love life like they haven't moved significantly past NJO. Meanwhile, Tahiri (who I originally saw as...sort of sweet?) got Vongified and villified--what happened to the side of her that was devoted to Anakin? There's no balance. There's action without the introspection. These characters can't matter unless they have more than one facet that is adequately developed, and that facet can't be a lengthy diatribe on whether they prefer to use their light saber or blaster that day.

    Same with the description/backstory conversation. We have so many characters out there with potential, but without a tidbit here or there to give them personality and history they're flat pawns that move the story. There are characters that I see suffering that issue. On the other hand, it is possible to put too much weight on them without giving the reader something to "dream" about, which is vital to bringing you into the story and making you waiting for more.

    Balance. It's all about balance. Where's Qui-Gon at the Del Ray table when you need him?
  16. Etain Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2008
    star 3
    THis.
    I wondered if I was alone with it. Loving somebody and still making the right decision sound a lot more difficult to me than backing out of the problem by not loving. And they had no clue how to help Anakin. I feel that they had a kind of 'it's forbidden so it cannot be, thus it's not an issue' attitude.

    And I keep wondering how the Jedi, who do not love or hate actually relate to a galaxy full of beings driven by that? How can they really understand? And how can they halep people deal with tehir dangerous/conflicting emotions when they have no clue?

    And it makes for a lot of story potential, having to make a decision like that. How many secret (almost) love affairs have cropped up? Not to speak of Ki-Adi-Mundi who has the most sorry excuse for marriage ever.

    To make it short - feelings breed conflict and conflicts make good stories (without having the galaxy end oncve more).
    Oh, I forgot you had to be attached to the characters that have those trouble, or it'll be boring.
    Why do I sense a problem there? [face_thinking]
  17. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Aside from the lack of gender balance, I think the Del Rey table could use more Qui-Gon in any case. :p
  18. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4

    Good God...there's THAT many now???? :oops:

    Sad to say, but any time a series goes on that long, no matter HOW good it started out, it's going to turn to crap. It even happened to "Dallas."

    The main ingredient of a good story is that it IS a story...it has a beginning, middle, and end. "Guiding Light" was on for almost 75 years, but no one ever pointed to it as a stellar example of great TV drama. No one ever will.

    The thing about an open-ended saga like this is, it's all about the Benjamins. And anything that's only about the Benjamins degenerates into crap.

    I don't care a flip about SW anymore. I'm so over it.
  19. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    Luna, well said.

    I think the EU has tried to show how Jedi with attachments will have troubles of a different type as the Jedi who denied attachments. The great thing with Luke is that he had no understanding of his Yoda and Obi-wan's Jedi Order other than what he learned in a short span of time. He was also raised to have attachments, and it's hard to just change that in a person. I think in some regards the books are a better medium to explore the plusses and minuses of both extremes.

    I think one of the problems with Fate of the Jedi is that it's one story over nine books as opposed to nine-stories that relate to one arc. It's hard in this day and age to keep people's attention, let alone stretch the story out over a couple years. In essence it will cost people close to $200 and 20-30 hours of reading to get beginning-middle-and-end.

    Yes, it's about the Benjamins but people are learning to be more picky. I used to buy every SW book. I have purchased one this year. If I like a Star Wars book I want to own it...you can read between the lines on how I feel about recent books.

    I think the Star Wars EU has tons of potential by telling the stories of individual characters. How about Wynssa Starflare's story? Or a hero arc for Valin Horn? Syal Antilles? They are doing individual stories but a lot are about Sith and OC-Jedi, which I think aren't as compelling to a large demographic.

    But if each book worked to develop interesting side characters that fascinated the reader or teased them then there would be potential to keep fans coming back to buy a new book. I think that Dyon Stadd in FotJ is a great example. People liked him; he was interesting. They should have left him alive - it's obvious now he was put in the books to kill - and he would have been perfect for a book of his own in the future.

    They should have worked on a rolling plan for generating new characters and also romantic arcs instead of being so insular. This is why yes Dallas didn't know when to quite but how about another tv example? JAG (the show) spun off NCIS, which spun off NCIS: LA. They find interesting new characters within the first show and create a new show. And it's been a successful process for CBS.

    As far as romantic arcs, if they had married Jaina and Jag or at least put them as a solid couple in LotF or by the end, they could have worked on a new relationship (Ben at his age with a Sith chick is not compelling enough). Maybe Tahiri and someone? Valin (who's older then Ben) and a new female character? Syal Antilles and a new character that Wedge hates? Develop romantic tension and new friendships continuously. Allana should have new friends. How about some friends for Ben, rather than a love interest?

    edit: fixed markup code


  20. Estora Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2009
    star 1
    So, I'm up to Book #7 of the Legacy of the Force series (Fury, Aaron Allston), and don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the series for the most part... but if someone were to tell me it's about a man who turns to the dark side because he believes it's for the good of the galaxy and he also has a secret lover and child, I'd think they were describing the Prequel Trilogy to me, not LotF. A bit of originality please, LucasArts and Del Ray? And, um, maybe you could turn Jaina into a likeable character? And stop killing characters we do love for the sake of 'shocking' the readers?

    ...Please?
  21. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    I'm really not into the whole adding more grit and violence for the sake of drama thing. I suppose that sells books, but it would be awfully nice if Del Rey would break from form a bit and offer up some variety. I just don't want to read book after book of gritty, action-packed military style fiction.

    And I agree with you guys that I don't have the patience (or the money) to buy and read nine books for one story. And not every plot needs to involve the galaxy in peril.
  22. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love The Empire Strikes Back...if it's followed by Return of the Jedi.

    This is why the NJO works for me. It had an uplifting ending. The SkySolos were together, laughing, and honoring the fallen. How does LOTF end? With a sister killing her brother.
  23. EmperorFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2009
    star 1
    The crazy thing is that the death and violence for the sake of drama, hasn't caused sales to increase. It's just caused people to stop bothering as their favourite characters are killed off in one form or another. But for some reason, Del Rey are continuing on in this manner.

    NJO sold strongly, but certainly not because main characters were being killed off, but because it was an epic, well co-ordinated story. LOTF and FOTJ simply weren't epic (there's only enough material in each for a trilogy each). And it was foolish of them to think they could continue in that fashion - I mean really? 9 books for Fate of the Jedi? What were they thinking?

    I read somewhere that they will be discontinuing such long series. Can someone set my mind at ease and confirm that?
  24. EmperorFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2009
    star 1
    And when I say epic, you know, there's New Jedi Order EPIC, and then there's a bit of a civil war and Jacen turning to the dark side - not nine books worth, which would have been a great series, had it NOT been so long (not to mention taking liberties with the lives of potential long-term characters). And then there's... Abeloth. Stretching that out to 9 books is as credible as communism.
  25. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Yes. First stated at Celebration V, confirmed numerous other places since then.
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