Lit LTTP: Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (may include spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by desh, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Darth_Calgmoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2006
    star 2
    That's a possibility, but the way Geptun and Luke talked about the whole thing in the end strongly implies that the whole Luke POV is strongly distorted by Geptun's 'interpretation of events' as well. Luke is supposed to be the hero of this 'story', despite the fact that he did not feel or think he behaved all that 'heroic'.

    The brilliant (or interesting) aspect of this novel is the thing that we can't be sure if or what happened 'for real', and it's actually interesting to find out what real Luke really did in the novel, and what stuff clearly comes completely from Geptun. And it's not only Luke we talking about here, it's also the whole stuff about Cronal's POV, and anybody else's. What we have here is really a holodrama script turned into a novel.
  2. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Luke didn't feel he was the hero, IMO, because his actions directly led to the deaths of thousands of Imperials (it was thousands, wasn't it? Been awhile, and I don't have the book with me to check). He wanted Geptun to investigate him, to decide if his actions are worthy of punishment. Which is of course why he's so angry when the man decides to write a holothriller about it.

    Oh wait, a relevant bit is available on amazon preview.

    "Verisimilitude? I did not defeat Kar Vastor in single combat- I didn't even fight him. He was terrified, and confused, and aside from one, well, bite, he just ran away. I didn't cut off his arms with my lightsaber, and I don't even know what a vibroshield is."
    "I did take some liberties," Geptun said. "Call it artistic license."

    To me, that says that the "investigation" that Luke is so angry about is not the novel itself, but an exaggeration of the novel. At the very least, from the way Luke describes it, we know the encounter with Kar Vastor is true as written. I think the main counter to that is Geptun saying that he "likes his little astro mech droid", and that he thinks he'll end the story with him, which is of course how the book itself ended too.

    Nonetheless, I think the events depicted in Shadows of Mindor can be interpreted as fairly accurate, at the last. Some of the narration may indeed be embellishing- I think Luke say's "take me to your leader" and a few other one liners at different points, in a very self-aware way- but I was definitely left with the impression at the end that Geptun did not intend to be particularly faithful to the original events.
  3. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I love that phrase: "If it's not too much of a cliche, take me to your leader. If it is too much of a cliche, take me anyway." Hilarious.
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  4. mbruno Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2010
    star 1
    Probably a dumb question, but what does the LTTP in the topic title mean?
  5. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
  6. desh Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    I thought this as well, but as instantdeath points out, Luke tells Geptun to take things out of his "holodrama" that never happened, like Luke's encounter with Kar.
  7. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Ohhh... And here I was thinking it stood for A Luke to the Past. :p
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Sep 8, 2012
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  8. Amphimachus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    It's been a little while since I read this book, but at the time I'd only read the NJO and Legacy of the Force series's. I knew I was missing out on a ton of references but that just gave me more incentive to catch up on the novels from this era. I must say, this book has the best description of Lando's wardrobe ever, I almost died laughing when I read about Ackbar drawing the line at an opera cape on a uniform. I also like how it leaves what happens to a bunch of characters open at the end, it reminds you that the EU is a big place and not everyone's plot lines have to wrap up at the end of every book.
  9. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Everyone forgot the second best part of the novel (besides the novel, of course): ME!
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  10. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2003
    star 6
    Perhaps Geptun and Luke were arguing about a working draft. We, the readers, read the finished version. So maybe Geptun decided to edit out the vibroshield battle at Luke's request. ;)
    Last edited by Rogue_Follower, Sep 9, 2012
  11. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    The novel still very much goes against Geptun's original wishes for the project, though. Unless Luke really, really jerked him around. Worth nothing that Luke didn't actually tell him to take out the lightsaber fight :)
  12. mattman8907 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2012
    star 3
    wasn't this the story that had luke resign from the New Republic military?
  13. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    What exactly did people find "out there" about it?
  14. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Perhaps that the villian spent the whole story in a box?
  15. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    lol, I never considered that strange in the slightest.

    I see how others could, though.
  16. madmanslitany Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2006
    I'm even later to the party than the TS, but I read this recently after a long, long hiatus from the EU, and I'm so glad I did. I ditched the EU early in the NJO, and reading Shadows of Mindor brought a flood of nostalgia for the X-wing series and other Bantam Era books rushing back. Chapter 5, the one where in short order, Han, Leia, Wedge with Rogue Squadron, and then Lando with the Mandalorians mobilize to save Luke sent shivers down my spine.

    The Battle of Mindor itself, while slightly hard to follow at times, is up there with Mon Remonda's hunt for the Iron Fist as my favorite protracted military struggle in the EU. It's just such a convincingly brutal, drawn-out slugfest between the RRTF and Shadowspan's TIE forces. It's also an interesting role reversal that highlights the fact that the Rebels are now the New Republic. All the capital ships on the board are with the RRTF or its reinforcements, a stark reversal from say, the Battle of Hoth.

    The holothrillers are a nice touch too, and I liked the in-universe examination of Luke Skywalker's status as The Hero for the galaxy at large. Again, sort of an interesting thematic reversal of Palpatine/Darth Sidious, with Colonel Geptun at the end trying to first get himself rich, but also foster a lasting, healthy image for Skywalker.
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  17. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    It was a good book, but I honestly wish it had entirely been the script for Geptun's propaganda movie, just to see things get really out there.
    Frank T. likes this.
  18. JediMatteus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2008
    star 4
    yeah to me "Mindor" is a great novel. I don't see how it can be underwhelming though if you hype something up enough it may seem that way to a new reader of the material
  19. jedi_samuel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Sorry (kind of) for reviving this thread, but...

    This is the first Star Wars book I've read that I'm really having to force myself through. I'm about half way through, hopefully it gets better.
    Funny how someone described it as "over the top." That's exactly what I thought. I am having a hard time believing the characterizations of Luke, Han, and Leia. They speak and act in ways that I don't think are consistent with their character, at least as portrayed in the original trilogy.
  20. Duguay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2002
    star 2
    @jedi_samuel

    I kind of get that it's got an "over the top" vibe, my impression was that OTT quality was a surface level trait of the prose itself, underneath which some of the actual events have a deeper maturity (so thematic bits like exploring the nature of what a hero does to people, reliability of a narrative, narratives within narratives, ect). The prose goes Bang! Zoom? Exhaustingly lengthy metaphor here...and so forth. I liked some aspects of the surface level pulp-fiction style of the prose, it distracted me from realizing what was being built towards until the half-way point.

    And now, this isn't meant to put you off, because like you said, the surface level mode the material is being presented in is OTT; so maybe for you the underlying themes will start to shine through the murk of the pulp fiction prose. It's kind of fascinating, The Shadows of Mindor struck me at the end to be quite a literate and mature examination of characters and situations in Star Wars, and even the flashy prose is in a way part of that theme. It's meta-textual aspects pleased me as an invitation to feel free to take the story in hand and re-write my own version of this "legend" of Luke Skywalker. It invites the reader to sort through which parts they want to be true (at least, I felt it did). Hopefully the underlying elements will become more prominent for you in the second half.

    For me, though, some of the darker material wore me down. I was having fun with the prose to an extend, though I was glad it downshifted a little after the first chapter, where it really was too much. I found that first chapter to be something of a loss, unfortunately. It gets stuck with that one pilot (was it Hobbie?) who gets taken out of the fight and struggles to survive, and it distracts from the events of that skirmish. That first chapter promised a fun opening dog-fight featuring the X-Wings, but it confounds expectations. I mean, that's kind of a set up for the rest of the novel, the confounding of expectations. I loved one part where Luke Skywalker says, "Why would the audience want to see me defeat another petty villain by loping off all of his limbs again, aren't they bored of that sort of thing and looking for something different?" It made me laugh because it drew attention to me own reaction, which was of two minds about it: on the one hand I was charmed by how Luke handles the situation without resorting to a certain level of violence, and on the other I was like, "Actually, yeah, I'm reading this book for a vulgar SW fix, with proper X-Wing dogfights and Luke slicing through bad guys left, right and center!"

    I kind of get what your saying about characterization, an I felt the occasional impression of uncertainty about certain moments for all the characters, by as I thought about each of these moments, I realized that they were true to character...I guess they might have felt off because the book is exploring facets of their characters that we tend not to think about, or that other authors don't look into as much. In many other books we see Luke comfortable with his role as an heir to the tradition of a Jedi warrior/adventurer, but The Shadows of Mindor takes his best, thoughtful and compassionate moments from RotJ and plays them out in a story where I expected him to get frustrated and start chopping around with his lightsaber. I can't go through a rundown of all the other characters right now, but careful examination of those puzzling moments left me comfortable with how they are portrayed. It's quite a dynamic look at alternative ways that they might be expected to act, all still based on what we see in the original movies, just taken a different direction.

    I wasn't as keen on some of the apocalyptic elements, they made me feel despair. Those darker moments are what made the second half of the book go slower for me, compared to the first half. YMMV, maybe it'll work better for you. Though I personally didn't like the apocalyptic aspects, it nevertheless left me with a greater respect for Luke, and how hard he keeps angling for more compassionate approaches.

    In the end, I very much respect what the novel was aiming to accomplish. Even when it didn't work for me personally, I still am impressed with it's ambition. The opening chapter is one of those moments where I feel like that idea of subverting expectations goes to far to the point of being ineffective, but it works okay for the rest of the book. Good luck with the rest of your read through.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  21. Vialco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    This is one of the few Star Wars books I actually regret buying. I only really read it the one time and I honestly wish I hadn't bought it. One of the few Star Wars purchases I consider to be a waste of my money. I really expected better from Stover, considering how good Shatterpoint and Traitor were. I enjoyed the ROTS novelizations, but something I recently realized was that the ideas in that book weren't Stovers's, they were Lucas's. Stover wrote a novel version of the film, but he was just adapting Lucas's film. Though it was a very good adaptation.
  22. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    who says it wasn't? :p

    also I'm aware this thread was raised from the dead
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Aug 13, 2014
  23. jedi_samuel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2014
    I felt something similar when I (tried) to read Knight Errant. It had a lot of promise, and was ambitious in a way... but... it just didn't work out.

    Actually I lied in my earlier post. I couldn't finish Knight Errant either. Now I think Mindor will be the second Star Wars book I don't finish.

    I really wanted to like both books, too. I was really pumped up by the initial themes.

    Welp, moving on. Time for TTT. ;)
    Last edited by jedi_samuel, Aug 13, 2014
  24. jedi_samuel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2014
    I actually plan on reading Shatterpoint and the ROTS novelization in the future. I heard they were very good. I'll give the benefit of the doubt that they were different than Mindor, and give them a chance.
  25. Protectorate Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2013
    star 1

    Can you elaborate on this point? Also, what exactly do you feel the characterizations of the Big Three were in the OT? There is a huge difference of opinion on that point, and if you hate the characterization in this novel, you are going to have a tough time with lots of EU novels.

    When this book initially came out, reviews were fairly glowing about this story, but I was more lukewarm. Not because of characterization issues, which I think are a logical progression from the OT, but because the "unreliable narrator" conceit bugs me and makes the Battle of Mindor less interesting than what was initially revealed in the Essential Chronology. Also, the central conceit of the Battle of Mindor is that it leads Luke to give up the military career and decide to fully commit to restoring the Jedi Knights. I felt that Shadows of Mindor sort of glosses over this theme and the unreliable narrator muddles it even more.
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