Lit Little Discussed Trilogies? (Black Fleet, Corellian, Bounty Hunter Wars)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Orman Tagge, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Orman Tagge Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2014
    star 3
    As the title suggests, I'm curious about a few of the older trilogies from Bantam: the Black Fleet trilogy, the Corellian trilogy, and the Bounty Hunter Wars. I don't think I've ever heard them discussed, and they're rarely mentioned (I believe that The New Rebellion may have noted them. Let me qualify that statement: I read TNR because I was curious about Brakiss.) either in other EU or on these boards. Are they worth reading? Adding to my collection? Thoughts?
  2. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    The 181st just discussed the BH trilogy -- or tried to. I've seen the Black Fleet trilogy discussed quite a bit, as it seems to be generally viewed as the second best trilogy of Bantam after the Thrawn trilogy.
  3. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    The Corellian and Bounty Hunter Wars trilogies aren't exactly the best of Bantam, which is why they aren't brought up much. While Boba Fett is always popular, the BH trilogy wasn't that great (I think I read one or two books but honestly can't remember or care), and Boba's history is somewhat messy, or at least it was under the old continuity. I haven't bothered to look into it, but I thought its been said that he's fought his way out of the sarlacc... two, three different times? Which implies he was thrown back in there a few times too. [face_laugh]

    The Corellian trilogy wasn't that great either, although not the worst either, which is why its not brought up as often as say Crystal Star or LotF in terms of potential firewood. It was just... mediocre. Though funny enough it did add quite a few things to the EU which later on play a big role (Centerpoint, and while I doubt it introduced that many Corellian details, it did somewhat focus on Corellia, Tendra, Thracken, a few other things).

    The Black Fleet trilogy isn't a masterpiece (I hate the Luke sideplot and the droids' sideplot is pretty pointless), but that trilogy did introduce a lot of new ships, or at least used them (the New Class ships) and more than probably any other story really, really focused on the New Republic now being the superpower of the galaxy and how that fragile new state deals with all the problems of actually running the galaxy. Sure, the New Republic took Coruscant years ago, but by the time of the Black Fleet Crisis, Leia had to deal with plenty of political problems, ethical problems, military problems (do they keep building ships when they outgun the Imperial Remnant).

    In a way its a next generation story. Not literal, since the Solo kids are still cute and innocent at this stage, but next to the Thrawn trilogy, felt like something that could happen after the OT.

    Later stories got lazy and just fell back on new models of X-wings (NJO-onwards really), but everything in the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy felt like it took place years after the Galactic Civil War had mostly wound down, so new models were introduced and the New Republic government was up and running. And unlike during the NJO, it wasn't presented as so hopelessly corrupt and incompetent that a rousing speech wouldn't have any effect. Leia giving a speech and taking a stand on several important issues was enough to get a standing ovation from a majority of the Senate, don't think we'd ever get anything that... inspirational these days.

    For ship fans there are plenty of moments to love, though the ships in these novels were seriously neglected for a long, long time (it took years to get a picture of the Nebula-class that wasn't just black and white), which is another reason its referenced so much. Outside of the Legacy comics, not sure any other story actually went to the trouble of not just using the same old Star Destroyers and Mon Cal cruisers. Those ships are iconic of course, but some variety is very much appreciated by certain fans.

    EDIT: Also, there's some really cool Chewbacca and Wookiee moments in this trilogy (one of the few times Chewbacca really, really shines), another reason this trilogy is somewhat well-regarded.
    Last edited by Nobody145, Aug 10, 2014
  4. stung4ever Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 2
    To be fair, there's some pretty slim pickings there.

    JAT was terrible. BHT was terrible. CT was OK. BFC alternated between pretty dang good and just terrible and pointless.

    ETA: Although if you consider Allston's Wraith books as a trilogy, then you've got a new unquestioned number 1 and number 2.
    Last edited by stung4ever, Aug 10, 2014
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  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I think Luke's arc is the best part of BFC. :p
  6. sharkymcshark Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 12, 2013
    star 2
    I really really like the BFC Trilogy for many reasons.

    We get to see Han still in his military role, and we get to see Lando as more than just someone always starting some other zany business. I also quite enjoyed the Luke stuff, though for something set 6 years after he reestablished the academy he was played as a bit naive. The main story - Nil Spaar's expansion of the Duskhan League - was brilliant. It felt a lot more real and better thought out than any other threat to the NR during that era, possibly because a) they didn't really involve the Force in it until the last for chapters and b) it is probably the most hard military science fiction writing of the EU.
  7. Orman Tagge Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2014
    star 3
    Heh. Well I liked the JAT. Sounds like the BFC at least is worth a read.
  8. Abadacus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2014
    star 2
    I have to admit, I have a big soft spot for the bounty hunter trilogy. This comes with the caveat that I haven't re-read it in many years, so it may not hold up as well today.
    It's a great depiction of pre-PT Fett as a character straight out of the Wild West: The mean, laconic, lawful-neutral but not above getting his hands dirty for a payday sheriff he seemed to be in the OT. He also gets a fair few crowning moments of badass.
    It's far more dialogue-driven than might be expected - especially since the bounty hunters in general have been reduced to simple mercenary thugs since then - but the plots-within-plots, then-and-now interwoven exposition, sudden but inevitable betrayals, and professional but deadly rivalries can be greatly entertaining for readers with the patience to follow them to their payoffs. There's also some nice implicit worldbuilding of how the Empire manipulates law enforcement (of an old west, hunt down and bring in for cash variety) and criminal syndicates into tearing themselves and each other apart, leaving the only real power in Palpatine's hands.
    Overall, I'm hesitant to declare myself to a position with the books so distant in my memory, but I remember them very fondly. I've been considering a re-read since I saw them in a local used bookstore. If I pick them up in the near future I'll be back to give a more coherent and declarative take.
    Last edited by Abadacus, Aug 10, 2014
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  9. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
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    I'll defend Luke's character arc in BFC to the death. For starters, he actually has a character arc, a relative rarity in the Expanded Universe!
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  10. Valin__Kenobi Author: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji

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    BFC is outstanding for all the reasons Nobody145 and sharkymcshark mentioned. It actually moved on from the NR-as-wacky-band-of-misfits that prevailed in almost every other story. And we see the main characters growing into roles well outside of the usual OT-rehashing so you really feel that some time has passed. The Falcon even got stripped and rebuilt by NR techs with up-to-date technology, although following stories seem to have ignored this, as indeed they did most of the developments put forward in BFC. It was also the first story to directly translate Chewie's speech for the reader.

    The Corellian Trilogy was great as well, and as far as I recall it was the first series to visit the Corellian system "onscreen" and to develop it to any useful degree. All the Selonian/Drall/Centerpoint stuff we take for granted today dates back to that trilogy.

    Bounty Hunter Wars was awesome in most respects, although Boba talked WAY too much, and the personalities of the other ESB bounty hunters were off from their previous depictions to varying extents. But I forgive Jeter since he gave us a ton of the heavy Xizor/Vader plotting hinted at in SOTE as well as Kud'ar Mub'at, Kuat of Kuat, and Cradossk. The trilogy's new species and tech, like D'harhan, the Assembler, and the Shell Hutts, definitely have a more "alien" and straight-up sci-fi feel than a lot of other EU, which makes sense as Jeter made his name in the steampunk and cyberpunk genres.

    To be honest, these three are among the most successful in terms of truly expanding the universe beyond the OT in settings, character progression, and different writing styles/approaches. As much as I enjoy Zahn's stuff and genuinely love the X-Wing books, those basically hewed to a straightforward military-SF model which is less to my personal taste. And these three trilogies introduced antagonists and conflicts that don't rely on the low-hanging fruit of Darksider Of The Week, which worked well in series like JAT, DE, and COTJ but which became repetitive very quickly. There's only so many times you can watch Luke smack down a rogue apprentice or an inexplicably reappearing Imperial Dark Jedi, so the restive systems and geopolitical themes in BFC and CT definitely were a maturation of the era both IU and OOU.
    Last edited by Valin__Kenobi, Aug 10, 2014
  11. Kablob Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2014
    star 4
    If you're refering to Exar Kun, then yes it worked. If you're talking about Kyp Durron...not so much.
  12. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Jan 3, 2013
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    Kyp isn't as bad as you might think - I've actually been planning a big character analysis post on him for a while now that I'm going to post sometime in the indefinite future.
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  13. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    The Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy really isn't talked about much, and that's because it isn't held in high regard by many. The main reason is probably because it featured books that focused on Boba Fett before the PT was out and finished with, and therefore didn't necessarily have a solid history for the character to go on. It also, through no fault of it's own, introduced a way that Boba Fett escaped from the Sarlaac Pit. However, this was contradicted by other works which ended up making the entire ordeal seem rather silly. Though funnily enough the depiction in this trilogy is my favorite. I also think that it's a fair interpretation of Fett for it's time, and doesn't necessarily contradict later revelations all that badly. He's not good. He's not evil. He's just a man doing his job and operating by his own code, for his own ends. I think he also makes it clear within the novels why he's the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. There are also certain elements that make it more...Sci-fi-like than many other installments of the old EU. (Specifically things like Kud'ar Mub'at) The two storyline's being told, one in the present after Fett's fall into the Sarlaac, and one in the past sometime before, along with the numerous plots going on within the trilogy make it an old favorite of mine.
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  14. Kablob Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2014
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    Well, it's more the fact that he got off scot-free with destroying several solar systems.

    And to go further into JAT, Daala is like the least competent villain ever. She hand that cool scene where she murdered all the warlords in Darksaber, but that is literally it.
    Last edited by Kablob, Aug 10, 2014
  15. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    If it wasn't for that vile Akanah woman, I might actually like it.
  16. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2013
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    I, like most, wasn't a huge fan of the BHT, but that's actually the only part I remember and really liked - the worldbuilding and politics around Palpatine, Vader and Xizor.

    The Corellian and Black Fleet trilogies - read one, only know the basic outline of the other, but I agree that one of the nicest things about it was that it showed the New Republic as the big kid on the block. There was something very, very nineties about them: they seemed to be borrowing from the headlines, with the overarching Big Conflict (the fight against communism in real life, the war with the Empire in Star Wars) now mostly over, and now the main issue was small conflicts driven by people with more local concerns, though still tied to the previous Big Conflict in some ways. The Yevetha especially, from what I've read of them, remind me of the tribalist, genocidal maniacs that started popping up in different places after the Cold War - the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hutu supremacists in Rwanda, Serbian supremacists in the Balkans, take your pick.
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  17. Abalore Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2001
    star 1
    That's true. The Corellian trilogy is kind of an EU treasure trove. It is, however, pretty dry reading all the way through, which is why it's not on too high a pedestal for most people, it seems.
  18. First Of My Name Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2014
    I've only read the Corellian Trilogy of these more obscure trilogies, I liked it a lot when I was younger (must've been 12 or so?). Less so today, but it's still enjoyable. Surprisingly little gets done in the first two books, mainly due to McBride's generally slow-paced writing. I thought this way of writing worked to his advantage in several scenes. For example, there's a scene when Leia descends a tower with a home-made rope, and another where Luke and some others must travel through a corridor without oxygen. These scenes last longer than necessary, because the author stretches them out without them becoming boring, and as such, he built tension. I thought those scenes were great when I first read them. (McBride does go overboard once, though - I recall that Han has to perform a crash landing in the beginning of the third book. This landing takes over 40 pages).
  19. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    I agree. I'll admit the Luke parts weren't amazing, but Luke himself was actually written really well. He starts out "I'm tired of life, time to be a hermit" but even he knows that's bull****. Once he's out gallivanting with Akanah Norand Blah Blah Pell, he just has a blast throwing as much snark as he can to the stick-up-her-ass Fallanassi. He basically reaffirms his own faith in the Jedi, while also coming to terms to the fact that not all mysteries can be answered, whether they be mysteries of the nature of the Force or the mystery of his unknown mother.

    And it's not just Luke who's written really well; Lando and Threepio get the best development of any Bantam books outside of the Zahn-verse. Leia kicks mother****ing ass as Chief of State (barring the short period where's she's all "woe is me"), and even Ackbar gets some of his best scenes in any Bantam book.

    Corellian Trilogy is pretty horrible, but I gotta give it credit for using the Solo kids well. And Han's actually characterised well too. But it also paved the way for Otter sex. I'm still not sure if I should appreciate it for that development or condemn it. :p
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  20. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    Don't be a lutriphobe, man.
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  21. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    Don't get me wrong. Otters are awesome. And adorable. But humans + otters isn't exactly something I want to think about, even in the GFFA. Thanks, Stackpole.
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  22. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2011
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    Not really, IIRC Nil Spaar plays her like a fiddle, the Senate hates her (again), she's about to be ousted (again) until one rousing speech bails her out in the end (again).

    She did manage to invoke the Charter to declare war on the Yevetha, despite being surrounded by mountains of crap.

    I still really like the politics in BFC, though.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Aug 11, 2014
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  23. Vialco Force Ghost

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    Mar 6, 2007
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    You must have been happy when she got absorbed by Abeloth in FOTJ.
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  24. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Well, considering I utterly despise the post-NJO, that isn't really something to cheer about.
  25. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    That letter Akanah wrote to Luke about concerns over the direction Jacen was going in didn't help (in the Essential Guide to the Force). Luke on his own is ok, its Akanah that I don't like. Although she didn't deserve the Abeloth death, the only character that really should have been killed off in FotJ didn't die of course (that being a former Chief of State).

    The rousing speech is nice, just too bad it took until the last book for Leia to pull herself together. Before that, the Yevetha are running circles around them tech-wise, Leia seems naive at best, and arrogant at worse (she removes one general, and only later realizes she was wrong).

    Plenty of great moments from Ackbar and Drayson in this trilogy though, and the New Republic fleet in general. Though Han flying out is a bit contrived, but at least it set up the awesome Chewbacca rescue later.
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