Lit Literature member interviews

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Point Given, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    If that's a movie, I've never heard of it. :p


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
  2. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Boo urns.

    Seriously, It's really, really good. I'm sure you can find more reliable testimony elsewhere :p
    Last edited by instantdeath, Feb 6, 2014
  3. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    No you guys but Twilight is the greatest story ever told though.
  4. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Will have to remember to ask you about how you think the movie is compared to the book when Todd is finished
  5. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    I read the books when I was a teenager and don't remember anything about them except that they are the longest books ever written. The movies are high art, though.



    Tbf though as much as I complain I still have to include it as one of my favorite shows, just like Star Wars is still a great film series even though 50% of it garbage. Season 1 of Lost is the greatest single season of any show in television history, I have yet to watch anything that's changed my mind.

    All the other ones I've seen were either really boring or came off as some unironic male wish-fulfillment/fantasy. Which, you know, that's fine, whatever, but it doesn't have any appeal for me. I like that the Roger Moore ones are like lighthearted adventure films and don't take themselves too seriously. Maybe I just don't care for the character, in the other movies he just seems like an ******* to me.

    Season 1 is Lord of the Flies, Season 2 is about the ruins of a previous island society, Season 3 is about the island's hostile natives, Season 4 is about the consequences of trying to escape from the island, Season 5 is about time travel, Season 6 is ********.
  6. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    In other words, season 1 is the best.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
  7. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Season 6 tries really hard to be its own version of Star Wars IMO.
  8. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I watched the first four seasons of Lost back before the 5th season had come out. I meant to catch up later, but never got around to it. As a result, I have only good memories of the show. I've always intended to finish it one of these days, but at this point there's just so many better things I could be doing...

    I am working my way through Buffy, though, and am disappointed to hear it drops off. Never knew it had a "weak phase".
    _Catherine_ likes this.
  9. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Yes, easily, but 2 and 3 are almost as good. Then in the back half of the show there are like half a dozen good episodes and the rest is schlock.

    I guess people are mixed on Season 6. I didn't like it, apart from the two episodes I mentioned, but it has its strong points I guess. Season 7 is the worst thing in the world though. :(
  10. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
  11. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Lol whoops, completely missed those ones. I'll have to think about it a while.
  12. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 8
    I actually rank season 4 as high as season 1.
  13. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    I was going to write an explanation for each of my choices but that sounded like a lot of work so I didn't.

    9. No surprises here:

    1. The Empire Strikes Back
    2. Star Wars (only frauds call it A New Hope)
    3. Return of the Jedi
    4. Revenge of the Sith
    5. The Phantom Menace
    6. Attack of the Clones

    In terms of personal enjoyment ROTJ and TPM are probably my personal favorites from each trilogy, but because of their structural problems I can't call them the best.

    10. I could probably fill out this list several times over just using characters from KOTOR 1 & 2 and JvS, but instead of doing that, I'll pick ten of my favorites.

    1. Darth Vader (OT version)
    2. Boba Fett (DKM version)
    3. Nom Anor
    4. Brianna the Handmaiden
    5. Bastila Shan
    6. Rain
    7. Darth Sion
    8. Dooku (non-TCW version)
    9. Lumiya
    10. Tash Arranda
    Last edited by _Catherine_, Feb 10, 2014
  14. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    @_Catherine_ 11. What are your favorite novels, books, and short stories, both in and out of SW?

    12. What are your favorite comics and graphic novels, both in and out of SW?
  15. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    The lack of Darth Sidious displeases me, Catherine. His Imperial Majesty will be having a word with you.
  16. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    He's only technically a character. In practice it's hard to rank the embodiment of evil on the same scale as characters who aren't just pretending to be human.
    Zorrixor and CT-867-5309 like this.
  17. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I noticed you used the name Rain rather than "Darth Zannah."
    Ugh.. Darth Zannah.
    [IMG]
    Zorrixor, _Catherine_ and CT-867-5309 like this.
  18. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Well that was her name in the only story she was in that counts.
    GrandMasterKatarn and Zorrixor like this.
  19. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Rain. [face_love]

    I still wish we'd had a decent novel about her.
  20. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    My favorite Star Wars novels are Rogue Planet, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Shatterpoint, Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi, Edge of Victory I: Conquest, Traitor, The Final Prophecy, The Unifying Force, and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. If I had to pick a single favorite, it's probably either Traitor or Rogue Planet, although YDR and ROTS are right up there as well. Short story-wise, "The Last One Standing" by Daniel Keys Moran is the greatest piece of Star Wars prose fiction ever written, but I also like Moran's "A Barve Like That" and have a soft spot for Patricia Jackson's Adalric Brandl stories.

    Outside of Star Wars, I love classic Stephen King, especially It, which I think is one of the most oddly sad novels I've ever read. I like The Fountainhead as a novel, and find the author's philosophy intrusive and distracting, even though I realize it's the whole reason she wrote the book. All of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels are near and dear to my heart, I loooooove his writing style so much, it just astounds me. Like, "a tuning fork struck upon a star" is the most beautiful imagery I've ever read, anywhere. It just makes me want to cry. I like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, they're not like great literature or anything but that's not the point. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis is one of my absolute favorite teen novels, because it's just about complete apathy and disinterest, so I can relate.

    My favorite non-SW short stories include "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by J.D. Salinger, "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway, "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" by George Saunders, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison, and "Robot Dreams" by Isaac Asimov.

    Not really qualified to talk about comics with any authority. The only "real" comic I've read is Watchmen, which was good I guess but my instinct when reading comics is to just read the text and skim over the artwork as quickly as possible, so I always feel like I'm doing it wrong. I really, really like Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. Otherwise my graphic novel exposure is mostly limited to Star Wars.

    Jedi vs. Sith is easily the best Star Wars comic imo and one of the best EU stories period. I love almost everything about it. Even the artwork isn't as bad as a lot of people say, although it's definitely not my favorite style. Maybe my favorite aspect of it is that it stands completely alone, its closest neighbors on the timeline being at least a thousand years away in either direction (or they were when it came out), but at the same time it's so immersive that you don't notice. It doesn't ease you into a new era; it just drops you in in medias res and goes about the business of telling its story without taking a breath to introduce important new characters, vehicles, or factions. "Sorry we were late, but we had to stop and fight King Whatever and his pirate fleet," and that feels like a completely natural extension of the universe even though it has no bearing on anything in the story and is never mentioned again.

    It's also beautiful how brutal JvS is in its economy of storytelling. Here's this legendary Jedi hero everyone's been talking about whoops he's dead now. Here are a whole bunch of characters, and we don't get to spend too much time with any of them, but everything we need to know about them we can infer from subtext and their interactions with other characters. It's quick and harsh and characters are introduced and abruptly killed off like they're nothing, because this is the darkest point in the history of the galaxy and there's nothing noble or heroic about this war. The comic tells you everything you need to know about what's going on without really saying one word; the tone by itself says it all. People complain about the Jedi using bows and arrows and it makes me want to pull my hair out because it completely misses the point. It's not supposed to be realistic; the primitive warfare aesthetic visually reinforces the theme of war turning heroes into barbarians, which is arguably the main point of the entire story.
    The Jedi are supposed to be the ultimate good guys, and here they are sending children to be butchered by madmen and dying ignobly in the mud. It's a great deconstruction of the recurring Jedi vs. Sith stories, even though it predates almost all of them.

    Tales of the Jedi: Redemption is second on my list. Not as thematically complex as JvS, maybe, but really beautiful in its own right. It has the best art of any Star Wars comic, bar none, and the art is really what makes the book, because the script isn't really that great. It's still good, easily the best thing KJA ever wrote, but you could just look at the images without reading any of the words and still get almost the same effect from the story. Redemption was the first TOTJ story I ever read, so it may have given me unfairly high expectations of the rest of the series, but I still feel that it reads like the final chapter of a much better series that doesn't exist. Ulic and Nomi's relationship is given a lot of focus in the story, but it was all but nonexistent in the earlier arcs. Like they might have kissed once, I think? And then she abandoned him when he was brainwashed and later stripped him of the Force for dubious reasons.

    Then there's Ulic's ring/medallion (the art is inconsistent on what exactly it is), which shows up repeatedly but whose significance is never explained, other than that its very important to Ulic. I love that we're never told what it is or where it came from; you can imagine all sorts of various backstories for it. Maybe it was Nomi's, or Arca's, or Cay's, or maybe it has some connection to Ulic's past before he became a Jedi. Who knows? But if you read the series in order, the pendant just shows up out of nowhere in the final arc. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it ever appears anywhere in the preceding stories.

    Then there's the matter of the Sith War itself, which, as depicted in TOTJ, kind of sucked. It seems like it was mostly just the Republic fleet fighting Mandalorians and Krath illusions, then Exar Kun became a ghost and everything got better. Redemption implies a somewhat different conflict, and later sources to elaborate on the GSW seem to have gone the same way. Hoggon takes Ulic to Yavin 4, and Ulic is haunted by memories of Republic soldiers fighting Massassi on the ground, which never happened; the Jedi just showed up and Exar Kun committed suicide without them ever setting foot on the moon. It's just one little scene, but in my mind it implies a more expansive type of war than the one portrayed in the previous story arc.

    Finally there's Ulic himself. We're told that he's one of the worst war criminals in the history of the galaxy. He betrayed the Jedi and sided with Exar Kun, and is guilty of countless crimes and atrocities. Compare this reputation with the broken, humbled, penitent man we see in the comic, and Ulic's quest for redemption not only makes sense, but it's also something we really want him to achieve. Reading DLOTS and TSW, though, I'm left feeling like he didn't really do anything all that bad. He didn't willingly join the dark side and commit himself to evil, first of all. He was tortured and poisoned and brainwashed and abandoned by his friends, who then place all the blame for his subsequent actions directly on him and don't hold themselves at all accountable. And even then, it was still mostly Exar Kun doing all the villainous things. The worst thing we see Ulic do is kill his brother, and even then, despite being brainwashed and indoctrinated, he's immediately horrified by what he's done and is stricken by grief and regret. So I don't really buy him as the monster the story wants us to think he is. Honestly I would just give someone the Redemption TPB and tell them to skip the rest of TOTJ. Like the OT and the prequels, sometimes it's better to be satisfied with a great story whose background you have to imagine than to see that background firsthand and realize it was kind of mediocre.

    Those are the two big ones, but I also really like the Chewbacca mini-series, especially Attichitcuk's and Lando's stories. Visionaries is another favorite. No one ever talks about it outside the Maul comic, but it has some really good and some really weird stories in it, and some really awesome art. I liked KOTOR but didn't love it; the Mandalorian War issues were always way more interesting to me than Zayne's low-key misadventures. Legacy I could take or leave. Like it doesn't offend me or anything, but I don't think there was any reason for setting it so soon after the current era and featuring half a dozen PT-era characters. I was also turned off by the PT Jedi aesthetic and the derivativeness of the Sith. I haven't read any of the Ania Solo stories but those look much more like something I'd be interested in. Um, that's all I can think of right now.
    Last edited by _Catherine_, Feb 10, 2014
  21. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    @_Catherine_ 13. What changes, if any, would you make to the post-ROTJ EU?

    14. What are your favorite SW video games, and what other video games do you like?
  22. Protectorate Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2013
    star 1
    Since the Brandl stories appear in the anthology, they have a lot more exposure, but do you have any opinion about her other stories? Drake Paulsen, Thaddeus Ross and the like. I'm always surprised that for a female author, she never really fleshed out any female protagonists. Fable Astin is really the least developed of her characters.

    Darovit - "Don't you see? You should see yourself now! You hated it on Somov Rit--trodding in mud, eating roots and raw fish. And these Jedi were no better!"
    Hardin - "Exactly! No better, no purer nor braver! Yet their cause made them noble! Made me noble! Don't you see?"
    Darovit - "No these Jedi are not the right ones! Jedi don't die! Jedi live forever!"

    Straight up amazing.

    I'm always a little puzzled to see people claiming YDR as one of their favorite novels. What is your favorite part of the book? The Yoda scenes are a little cheesy, until we get to the Dooku conversation, where the tone shifts. But before that, it was all slapstick and jokes. I assume that they were going for the same dichotomy as in ESB, but it doesn't really work here IMO, as I think "Silly Yoda" undermines the serious introspective Yoda that confronts Dooku.

    I also don't see anything great or interesting about Whie and Scout's story with Asajj. Maybe I'm just being too critical, but for someone who seems very down on the Prequels, I'm surprised to see this novel in your top picks.
  23. vadimk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2009
    star 1
    @Protectorate, YDR is a good example of what every SW novel should do - expanding the universe. It introduces new places, new adventures, new original characters, adds deepth to existing characters. It's definitely the best charactrisation of Yoda out there, and it shows exactly what it is to be the head of the Order in the time of war. We see his deepest sorrow at the deaths happening all around him, but also his unyielding love for all people, friends and enemies alike. And of course, Yoda - Dooku encounter is the pinnacle of the novel, but definitely not the only good part of it.

    And yet I see you didn't include the biggest badass himself, Revan.

    That's one awesome list! Glad I'm not the only one who thinks Keyes' NJO novels are among the best of the EU. Did you read his short story, Emissary of the Void?
  24. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    I haven't read any of her uncollected stories because LFL doesn't want my money for some reason.

    The book has the best version of Yoda of any PT-era story, including the PT, but that's one of the least memorable things about it for me. YDR is the best characterization of Dooku in any canon level. It doesn't just start at the end, his underlying humanity and weakness are portrayed throughout the whole book. It honestly made you believe that Dooku was going to turn back from the dark side, even though you knew that was impossible because Lucas wasn't consulting with Sean Stewart while writing ROTS, and then at the last second his redemption is snatched away from him by Anakin and Obi-Wan's good intentions. It's probably the best Sidious manipulation in the EU. YDR was also the first story to make Ventress even slightly interesting. The comics kept wanting us to feel bad for her for some reason and I was like "ugh stop there is nothing redeemable about this character." In YDR she was still a monster but she also had quieter moments that made her feel like she could conceivably be a real human as well.

    And I love Whie and Scout. I generally enjoy reading YA books but most of the EU's aren't that good, so it was great to have a story that read almost like a YA book for adults. Like it's fairly lighthearted at the beginning and we spend a lot of time with these teen/pre-teen characters competing in the Tri-Jedi Tournament or whatever, but then they get sent out into the real world and have to learn to grow up really fast. The tone of the book works really well, I think; the levity and humor make the ensuing violence and horror that much more jarring and discomforting. It's not supposed to be a grimdark "war is hell" story like Shatterpoint and I'm glad it wasn't written that way.

    Well s/he's not really a character you see.

    See my previous answer to the Patricia Jackson question. I'll read it whenever LFL wants to stop sitting on their property and decides to make a quick buck off it.
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5