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Lit LOTF - First Time Read Thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by OutsiderJediSam, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Hello, I've recently read NJO and TDN for the first time. I found the discussions on both highly entertaining (Reading NJO again thread which I followed, and DNT - First Time Read - Immediate Issues which I started). Now, I have started LOTF.....at the warning of others of how bad it is. Yet, I can't stop now, I have to at least read and find out about Jacen's fall.....so any that want to go along with me on this, please feel free. If not, at least I get to ramble and rant and rave all on my own.
     
  2. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Good luck
     
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  3. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017
    So, I know this is technically double posting, h/e I felt the need for a separate opening post welcoming everybody before delving into the real thread....so w/o further ado....

    I would like to point that this thread will have SPOILERS bc what's the point if I can't talk about what I've read....

    To get something out of the way to begin with, this book shocks me in a way I'm not sure if it's good or bad.....the beginning of this book drags h/e that's usually true in any 1st book of the series since it's setting up everything that's going to happen, the shocking thing to me though is this....this book is actually pretty good!!! I have really enjoyed it (barring the complaints I'll note) and it would definitely have me interested in this series moving forward (if it wasn't the fear from all the complaints from others) and all this leaves me unsure about actually liking this book....if the series was just bad from the start, I would at least know what I'm getting into but know I have to do it to get the story of Jacen's fall.....h/e I also know 1 or more good books out of 9 is better than 9 bad books so maybe I should be thankful......yet the good/interesting will only make the bad all the worse once I get to it bc I'll definitely notice the ruining of the story.......so UNSURE!!!

    Anyway, on to what I liked about this first book.....

    1) Allston as a writer, he just knows how to write in a way that makes everything flow to me, and I can envision most of what he writes, even with the constant jumping back and forth b/t characters, it's seemless and flows greatly and you don't feel lost or that you missed something (almost like in the SW movies)....it's also got that "fun" aspect of SW even in the midst of serious events like a Civil War looming (fondly remembers NJO works)

    2) I love that Han finally seems upset at Luke from the SbS events from NJO, yes it's too late IU since he never seemed all that upset during NJO, but during SbS and onwards in the NJO, I kept thinking how that mission would have left me feeling towards Luke if it'd been my kids.....so it resonated with me personally for him to act like this

    3) Once the book gets going, the story is highly entertaining even if elements of it have issues.
    1. Han and Leia's and even Wedge's story of helping Corellia and the actual events in that story are awesome. Wedge is his snarky self. His escape from GFFA custody, his brief reunion with his daughter, his verbal thrashing of Thracken, his awesome plan.....all great!!! Han and Wedge flying the mission is great as well, perfect portrayal of Han's abilities, and even Leia's help from the bridge of the GFFA ship is pertinent. Han's commentary throughout is just Han!!!
    2. Jacen and Ben's story of tracing the tassel is quite interesting to me at least and how Brisha Syo guides them using others is compelling, and even the events once she gets them to Bimmiel are just highly entertaining, I missed things like this when the Jedi were fighting Vong and bugs....this just felt more like what they usually do to me at least
    3. To backtrack a little, the story of the meeting on Toryaz Station b/t the GFFA and Corellians was a good setup to the rest of the book...had all the main players, an attack/investigation to set everything up, and a mystery to follow up on....that's when I really go hooked and couldn't put the book down til I finished it and probably why I really liked Jacen's/Ben's story moving forward
    4. A lot of Lumiya's claims in this book are pretty good to me for greying the Sith if told to the right person...and I would agree that Jacen is the right person based off TDN persona, maybe not NJO persona....this by no means means I agree with her claims and I can def. see the problem with them, just like I said, an arrogant Jedi who has spent years finding ALL available knowledge on the Force outside Luke's/our normal teachings could def. listen to what she's saying and be persuaded, and that is def. post TDN Jacen
    A pretty long post, sorry. And it's not even that comprehensive. Feel free to post anything you liked about the first book of LOTF - Betrayal. Or comment on what I've written.
    I'll get into the things I didn't like tomorrow sometime hopefully.
     
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  4. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    I think Betrayal was originally well received and has always been well regarded despite the general opinion of the overall series. I think it was probably even more highly regarded when it was released, because we didn't know where it was going.

    Given Jacen was the hero of the NJO and that series served to pass the torch from Luke to Jacen, I believed that this series was going to serve as Jacen's Dark Empire, but perhaps even on a grander scale in reuniting the Jedi and Sith traditions.

    Perhaps in retrospect, Jacen straight up killing Nelani probably should have clued me into this not being that. But Nelani wasn't handled particularly well, whether it be the lack of any sort of investment of the character, and the perhaps intentional way she is characterized as sort of confirming the suspicions about the Jedi that Lumiya was planting in terms of Nelani forcing Jacen to commit one way or the other.

    Edit: I'd argue, and this is purely my opinion, that this overall story demonstrates why I think the way certain people view the Force isn't particularly well suited for interesting storytelling, because Jacen's character shift just doesn't make sense where he's murdering someone in this book to save Luke's life, but then trying to murder Luke later. This shift in priorities isn't really explained beyond "the dark side did it" and that's not satisfying. I mean, I'm generalizing here, but my point is there are character shifts that occur between books or off-page, and his motives are never really clear, which is why some of us used to joke about his characterization being schizophrenic, which is reinforced by his antagonism with his cape.
     
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  5. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    I think they may have just been trying to put in all the Anakin beats that we saw from the PT. Anakin killed Dooku in order to protect Obi Wan at the beginning of ROTS but then was trying to kill Obi Wan by the end of ROTS.
     
  6. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Obi-Wan wasn't going to die if he didn't kill Dooku.
     
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  7. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Betrayal is definitely the high point of the DNT-LOTF-FOTJ-Crucible series. And that is very much damning with faint praise.

    Like DM said, I remember it being very well received here when it came out, not only because it's a decent enough book on its own (and it is decent, I think, neither terrible nor great) but it also came out within weeks of the first issue of Legacy, so people went wild trying to piece together how these two new releases were shaping the grand new post-NJO Legacy era and just how they might have been designed to fit together. Not too much, it turns out, which is for the better in the case of Legacy.

    In any case, I think my favorite bit from Betrayal is Wedge basically playing X-wing while in house arrest.
     
  8. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    LOTF and FOTJ both started well ... and somewhere around Book 4, each started to slide.

    That said, Exile is arguably the single best Ben Skywalker story ever.

    Sacrifice onwards ... no. He does get a chance to get out from under the pile of dreck by redeeming Tahiri in Invincible, despite her being character-assassinated - but that doesn't make up for the inanely bizarre "Mara's son taken to WAY too far an extreme" business in Sacrifice.
     
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  9. Noash_Retrac

    Noash_Retrac Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Invincible has the 28-year-old Tahiri with her hands in the 14-year-old Ben's pants. Disgusting much?
     
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  10. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    [face_sick] Note to self: Should not have clicked on that spoiler box.
     
  11. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Agreed, its times like this why I'm glad I have a short attention span.

    I'm not entirely sure my memory is accurate, but I was against LotF from the start, after how NJO turned out better than you'd have expected, and that's mainly due to Luceno. Betrayal was... ok, partially because it was kind of a good sign to start a series with Allston, but it slid quickly after that. Sacrifice was probably where any hope for a decent story died. And FotJ started off even further behind than LotF as it had Invincible instead of TUF to build off of (and unfortunately not even Allston could do anything with that), so it never had a chance at all.

    Jacen trusting Lumiya was always one of the more stupid moments (the first of many). Sure, trust the person who is famous for manipulating and betraying people, she's obviously a trustworthy and accurate source. Well, that and overpowered future vision. Anakin Skywalker at least had clear reasons for his actions- stupid reasons, due to war and trauma and personality flaws but understandable. LotF jumped around far too much.
     
  12. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    One thing that comes to my mind is Han and Leia's support of Corellia and the Confederation.

    Now the politics of the second galactic civil war aren't(or should not have been) as clean cut as the GCW or the Vong War but it seems to me Thrackan and Co. are committing treason and sedition against the GA.

    Also Han and Leia are betraying a government they have spent decades of their lives fighting for and creating(assuming a continuity between the Rebel Alliance and GFFA).

    Seems to me Jacen as Co Chief of State and head of the GAG had a legitimate cause to arrest them during Mara's funeral(or was it before?).

    Also are there any fan or official portraits of Nelani Dinn?
     
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  13. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    I'm really surprised that was allowed to stay in the book. Those kinds of things happen in particular novels but I think when you are writing for a fictional universe totally unrelated to that subject matter including something like that in your story should be a no no.
     
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  14. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007

    Dur Gejjen and Commander Twizzl would probably agree. As would the population of Kashyyyk's cities.
     
  15. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Ok, looks like a good start to this thread, albeit some of the stuff is a little far ahead since it's a first time read for me and I've not started Bloodlines yet....but no worries overall....

    now my issues with Betrayal (which might sound weird against my likes above) but a lot of the story was entertaining in spite that it had issues.....

    1) first, just to get this out of the way, a lot of NJO is ignored, having just read NJO it clearly stands out (Coruscant fixed, Vergere retcon, Jacen not being NJO Jacen, etc) so it's a problem with continuity which bothers me but I sorta don't mind bc some of the retcons are personally pleasing....but overall continuity outweighs personal pleasing to me so I do consider it a problem at this point

    2) the notion of the GFFA vs. Corellia conflict at all, the GFFA's response, the Jedi's immediate siding with GFFA, Han/Leia/Wedge easily siding with Corellia when they have devoted life to NR/GFFA, lack of considerations for the deaths for either side if not a main character...
    1. I just don't buy that the GFFA and Corellia would have this conflict out of nowhere considering there's no real indications in any previous works....definitely comes off as a NEW storyline for the sake of NEW storyline, not a natural occurrence from previous events
    2. GFFA just immediately goes full on aggression mode on Corellia.....hello Empire redux....out of nowhere
    3. and the Jedi just immediately go to work for the GFFA in full war mode (kidnapping, killing Corellians, etc) and Corellia is not the Vong/Empire where it's obvious they are evil, they're a planet/system looking for independence....I'd think the Jedi would want mediation and wouldn't take sides so quickly
    4. I get that Han and Wedge are Corellians and the GFFA goes postal quickly, h/e this is the somewhat same govt. they fought so hard for throughout the EU, and I know Leia is Han's wife, h/e she too has been central to the NR/GFFA throughout all it's time....just doesn't feel like they'd immediately go full fighting for Corellia side...they'd all want mediation too!!! (and I really like the concept of Leia's inner monologue at the end of the book h/e it doesn't really feel like she'd need the events of this book to come to that conclusion)
    5. finally, all the fighting had tons of deaths with Jedi/Han/Wedge killing other decent people in a civil war, yet the book clearly only wants you to really care about any possible death/injuries to other main characters (Syal, Jaina, other Jedi, Han, Wedge, etc) all other are cannon fodder which feels uncaring in this type of war, the sadness of attacking others should be present in the characters in this type of situation even if they believe they must fight
    3) the lack of Jaina at all really in this book, or at least her doing anything interesting again...which is getting to be a drag since she was mostly overlooked in NJO, a joiner in TDN which made her look weak, and now ignored again here mostly....as someone who really likes the concept of Jaina's character (Jedi who just does the job, isn't constantly philosophizing, and is just sane for the lack of a better word) it's a shame she's so underused

    4) Lumiya/Jacen story is interesting but has some issues that become more present the longer it goes on...
    1. first off, I know you have to make a bad person viable h/e once again, it seems to be at the expense of making Luke look weak....he can't really sense Lumiya's shenanigans, the Force phantom battle is cool h/e how in the world can Lumiya pull that off to that degree where they also appear to Luke and Mara on Coruscant while also appearing to Jacen and Ben on Bimmiel (that seems like it'd be quite a Force feat beyond even Luke's abilities especially once it's over and he doesn't even know how it's possible), for her to be a failed Sith that Luke has already dispatched she's pretty awesome here which seems somewhat impossible
    2. I'll speak to the Vergere retcon here....I didn't like Vergere, I never trusted her, but Lumiya's story is pure crap here....her knowledge of Vergere makes no real sense of how she could know this and it definitely isn't plausible as an explanation for her being Sith....how could she know Vergere's famous line "Everything I tell you is a lie" (probably only said in the presence of Jacen), how could she know Vergere was on ZS safely hiding from the Emperor (AS/OW saw her in Rogue Planet, right? wouldn't they have come back and told others?), and how does she know what Vergere did with the Vong since she definitely wasn't there for that?....that Jacen accepts this part of the story so easily is really pushing it for me
    3. Nelani is a huge problem for this part of the story...she is the scope of the regular Jedi belief for our benefit I know, but her presence clearly reminds us the obvious correct view of the Force and her warnings should act easily for Jacen to not go hook line and sinker into Lumiya's claims and yet he does simply bc of a possible future he envisions.....it makes Jacen look really bad already when he kills her for no good reason other than to prevent a certain future which could be prevented obviously by a number of other future choices other than killing an innocent good friend....making Jacen go this bad this quick is a bad move in my opinion bc we see it even if he doesn't....removing Nelani from this whole sequence would easily let Jacen be persuaded to begin studying with Lumiya just to increase his Force knowledge which would change him down the line over time w/o an obvious "bad side choice" right now that the reader immediately goes well crap, Jacen's pure Sith....and just as a caveat, what he did to Nelani is def. different than the choices he was making on Loorad (killing one in the moment to save many others in the same moment is one thing, killing one in the moment to possibly save others in the future where you'll have time to make other choices/moves to save those others is def. different)
    4. her statements about Vader are just asinine revision history...Vader wasn't a Sith Master simply bc he was more machine than man? give me a break!!! I guess the cloned Emperor wasn't a Sith Master either?
    That feels like enough, there might be more, but that's the biggest of the issues. Funny enough like I said, I did enjoy this book even with these issues. Allston made the book highly entertaining and fun. For now, looking forward to Bloodlines!!!
     
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  16. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    The Vergere retcon requires a substantial amount of logical contortions to work. Essentially, we're to believe that after Episode I, she was courted by Palpatine as a Sith candidate alongside Dooku, and despite this lack of commitment from Palpatine was made privy to his plans. And depending on the very nebulous timing, conveniently took this mission to Zonama Sekot which fortuitously resulted in her exiting the galaxy entirely in order to evade assassins after she attempted to kill Palpatine... instead of informing the Jedi council he's Darth Sidious.

    And then we have to accept that she communicated with Lumiya somehow upon returning to the galaxy, either fortuitously encountering her after using one of the Millennium Falcon's escape pods, or prearranging this pickup somehow, in order to develop this plan for Jacen.
     
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  17. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017


    exactly, which like I said, even though I never liked her or her philosophy personally, that this was the path of her history and that she was simply a Sith bc of this story is total crap....any of those things you pointed to that would have had to happen are rare, that all of them would have had to is pure impossible
     
  18. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Well, to paraphrase Stover's postings here from the past, to suggest that Vergere espouses any sort of a philosophy he regards as a misreading of the text.
     
  19. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Edit: double post
     
  20. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

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    Sep 27, 2017
    jw, am I to read that Stover is implying she didn't have a philosophy then, that she was just acting as a devil's advocate to the Jedi philosophy? that would actually make a lot of sense to me
     
  21. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Honestly, I've never understood how the mindset that LOTF was going to be good existed in the wake of the DNT, which was pretty much the series that permanently killed "It's Star Wars, of course I'll buy it" for me. Even though I used to have a way less positive opinion of the NJO than I do now as each new book came out, I was still invested, but The Joiner King was pretty much just too bad and jarring to keep that uncritical reception going. Is it just that other people here still had that going on?
     
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  22. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017


    possibly......for me, and I just read NJO and TDN for the first time, I wasn't that high on NJO, TDN really was bad the farther it went in especially with the Jedi's crappy Force philosophy and bugs...but I've started LOTF for two reasons, 1) it's SW with the characters I love, the other option is to quit which I just don't want to do
    2) Jacen's fall is a famous story in the EU and having never read it, felt I needed to (this is basically same premise why I finally read NJO too)
     
  23. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    She was questioning Jacen's beliefs so he'd examine why he held them.

    For some reason I kept reading until Apocalypse.
     
  24. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017

    Just making sure though, you're saying that's all she was doing then? Nothing else? Not trying to teach him a different philosophy. Not trying to get him to reject his current beliefs. Just simply making him be able to answer the beliefs he holds AND why he holds them. So it wouldn't even really require him to change his beliefs truthfully.
     
  25. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    I don't think Jacen changed his beliefs between Vector Prime and The Unifying Force when it comes to the Force, except to understand the existence of the eponymous unifying force. And that comes from Sekot, not Vergere.

    He changed as a character and his outlook on life and discovered who he was.
     
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  26. OutsiderJediSam

    OutsiderJediSam Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2017


    That's just really interesting to me. It's a great explanation for a character (Vergere) I have loathed simply bc I always looked at her teachings as trying to accomplish something nefarious (thwarting Jacen's/Jedi's views) and trying to teach a different view of the Force (which I felt was unnecessary).....h/e it is very important for all of us to know WHY we believe something!!!....I still don't know if I'm okay with how she taught him but something to think about as I relook at Traitor, which I am planning on doing shortly to discuss on the Reading NJO Again board
     
  27. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    *nods* I've posted elsewhere that Ben was, frankly, a child soldier - but he should have never been in that position in the first place.

    When Kyp Durron points out the obvious - he's 13, get the kid home and put a better security system in place - L/M swipe the "Miserable Parents" award from H/L. (To be fair, Exile only works because Ben snuck out of the Jedi Temple, but there could've been better ways to get him to that point.)

    But Luke's passive-aggressive favoritism toward Jacen blinds him. And later ... well, I don't want to spoil things for the OP any more than I have.

    It's not that Ben should've walked away without consequences - maybe get him into counseling and low-security detention until he was 18, with a focus on ACTUAL rehabilitation - but he was more the victim than the perpetrator in this travesty. Especially down the road. :_|
     
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