Lit Missed Opportunities

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Danzo, May 21, 2013.

  1. Danzo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2012
    star 1
    I'm curious as to what opportunities you guys feel have been missed in the EU works, specifically what characters do you feel had their development take a route that ran counter to a chance for them to shine. Were they killed off too early? Did the story line given to them differ from what you had hoped? Did their development suddenly fall into one of Kessel's black holes? What would you have done differently if you had been guiding their fate in the GFFA?

    (Please don't use the thread as a method to complain about individual authors but just detail what you would have done differently)

    The first big one for me is without a shadow of a doubt Tahiri Veila. I actually liked a lot of her characterization in the NJO from being upset at getting left behind at the start to her experiences with the Vong, her loss of Anakin as they were finally beginning to understand their true feelings for one another right through to the melding of her and Riina into one personality. The Tahiri/Riina subplot was one I particularly enjoyed and one that left me looking forward to her future. Here she was, a child of both the Jedi and the Yuuzhan Vong but not truly belonging to either, trying to balance two sets of impulses and beliefs that ran very counter to one another. In the Final Prophecy we see some of this come to the forefront and her scenes with Mezhan Kwaad and Corran Horn in this novel are fantastic. As we move into The Unifying Force we see a little less of this due to the focus being on a greater number of characters but there's still some examples of her being part Jedi, part Yuuzhan Vong, however come DNT the Vong side of her is barely touched upon and then vanishes almost entirely as LOTF and FOTJ take center stage. From this point on her development becomes extremely eschewed, seemingly taking one step forward, two steps back, three to the side and then spinning around. Her grievance for Anakin is brought back to the forefront in contrast to where her character seemed to be at the end of the NJO and her story line drifts to and fro, not quite settling her into one cohesive characterization.

    In the case of Tahiri I'm glad the she returned from the Unknown Regions so we could see a little more of her but had I been in charge of shaping her character I would have kept a fair amount of focus on the mix of Yuuzhan Vong and Jedi that she represents. I would have loved to have seen how she would have handled being a part of a galaxy that only half of her belonged to, part of an order that supported beliefs which opposed the impulses her Vong side impressed upon her. Had TPTB still felt that she should be apprenticed to Caedus then I would have approached her fall from the unique personality she had acquired and the conflicts that it created within her as opposed to an addiction to see her deceased lover. When she reached FOTJ I would have avoided her court subplot and instead focused her character into more of a Grey Jedi, not quite a part of the Order but not entirely separate from it, serving the Force in her own way. I realize my ideas for her might not appeal to anyone but it's just the route I probably would have gone.

    My second character would be Dyon Stadd. From the get go he's introduced as an interesting somewhat quirky character with some great potential. I assume he's not much older than Ben (presumably 10 years or so at the most) given that he was a candidate for the Jedi during the NJO and only a boy at the time, and whilst he's not especially strong in the Force he's shown as being more than a little capable. His death was one of the biggest disappointing moments for me in FOTJ as I would have loved to have seen him become a part of Ben's future in a way similar to how Luke has Lando and Han and Karrde who he can turn to for help. All three of these men have less brute power than the many Jedi at Luke's beck and call yet their actions have saved the galaxy more times than most Jedi could hope to do even once in their lifetime. Currently Ben has no one. No close group of friends, no support that is unable to touch the Force. I would have taken Dyon on a route that would have eventually led to him becoming someone Ben could go to for aid, a man who had a slight sensitivity to the Force but who relied on skills that were homegrown and in doing so become one of the first of Ben's circle of future friends.

    I'll leave it there for the moment but may add more later. Where would you guys have differed from the stories we have? What characters would have trod different paths or avoided death had you been the writer?
  2. stung4ever Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 2
    Kyp Durron

    He may be the most powerful of the non-Solo/Skywalkers, but he pretty much fell off the map after the NJO.
  3. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Jacen Solo post NJO. He should never have fallen.
    Tahiri post NJO as well. She should have never been tricked by Jacen with the going back in time and seeing Anakin Solo. She should have a boyfriend by now as well.
    CooperTFN likes this.
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    NJO Jedi schism

    I would have taken it away from a personalised conflict of Luke vs Kyp and placed the crux of it being around where best to engage the Vong and, if they engage at point X, they know they have to leave points Y and Z undefended.
  5. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    The falling was not really the problem for me, more how it was done. He could have just became a Jedi hermit and have had little to do with the Order.

    Personaly the biggest waste has to be Boba Fett, especially by the NJO, as the original set up for him was as a real Vong Merc would have been a interesting angle, but no he was only playing and doing it to protect a people he could not have cared for less in the past 40 years.
    Cronal likes this.
  6. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    made me lol for some reason
  7. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Yeah. I have a problem with him being swayed by Lumiya's arguments. Why should he trust someone that tried to kill his uncle many years ago? Wouldn't Jacen turning to the Dark Side hurt his uncle more than Jacen being dead? Maybe Jacen should have gone around the galaxy teaching force sensitive people and swaying them to his side and that causes a war or something. Seems more believable than what went down.

    Well she should be with someone.
  8. Tick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Ben Skywalker

    I think he is unbelievably boring right now. I really liked what Denning did with him in Dark Nest and wish they had explored that path. We could have had a non-Jedi protagonist, and I believe Luke and Mara having to accept that their son doesn't want to use the Force could have been great. He admired Han, so we could have had him interacting with someone other than Leia. Of course, his character has been misused in a number of ways, so I might even like Jedi Ben had he been handled better, but this really is the worst missed chance I can think of.
  9. Cronal Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2009
    star 4
    I think I agree with Gorefiend. Nothing entirely wrong with the concept but the execution of Jacens fall was just... not very good. If he fell, it should have been grand and Caedus should have been terrifying. If anything, I felt he was more weepy then Anakin Skywalker and in fact felt like he did worse off then his grandfather despite his claims of not repeating Anakin's mistakes after witnessing them. So, for me, its not a complaint thing I mention but I think if he was to fall then it should have been done in a different manner.

    On Boba, possibly... I mean I could see him fighting the invaders but might have been a better story if he was operating early NJO and somewhat unaware of his employers true nature at converting the entire galaxy. That way, he would have turned half-way through after realising that his way of life would be ending if he kept on supporting the Vong. Might have made for a better story instead of making Fett into Superfett who managed to con Nom "Conman" Anor.
    Force Smuggler and Gorefiend like this.
  10. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    -) Anakin Solo.
    He was supposed to become a great Jedi.

    -) The Imperial Mission and Konrad Rus suddenly became not important in Legacy.
  11. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Oh tons of stuff had to clearly be cut for Legacy, you can tell that Blue and Syn were supposed to have their own arcs somewhere down the line, Syn likely to do with the Vong and Fionah Ti, whilst Blue seemed to have been drifting towards a story with the Imperial Mission.
    General Immodet and Loopy777 like this.
  12. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Kyp Durron is the biggest dropped ball in my opinion.

    Even if I didn't like the story arcs for someone like Tahiri or Fett or Jacen, at least they got used and were not completely ignored.
  13. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Jacen falling was a bad idea but I can roll with it. In my current read through of DNT/LOTF/FOTJ I can't help but find certain similarities between Jacen and Anakin. Since it is a rehash of the PT I should say I am surprised but the comparisons are insane. They so should have kept him alive after LOTF. Maybe have him stripped of the Force or kept him evil. He should have been made a better threat. He should have injured Luke close to the end of LOTF to show him that he shouldn't trust his visions so bloody much. Have Jacen stay evil and then do another series 5-10 years later or something with Jacen still in charge and have Jaina or Allana leading the resistance or something. Allana assumes the Throne of Balance because of Jacen's death or something.
  14. darth fluffy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2012
    star 2
    That's the magic of fanfic.

    Tahiri is the biggest dropped ball for me. :oops:
  15. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    1) Jacen's death. I don't have a problem with turning him dark, but if they were going to do it, it should have been a long-term investment, not some poorly thought-out stunt. He could have been a great villain for years' worth of stories to come. Turning him into some terrifying recurring antagonist after LOTF almost would have been enough to redeem his ineptitude in the series itself. Or we could just kill him off for no reason, either way. It's baffling how anyone could have thought this was a good idea, but then you hear about how they wanted to send Jacen back in time and have him switch places with Anakin and you think... yeah, maybe these are not the people who should be writing these characters.

    2) Lumiya. Why did they even bother? Like why was she even there? What was her motive? Why? Apparently she didn't want revenge anymore, and Luke went out of his way to let us know that they never even have sex, because god forbid anything in this series be remotely interesting or engaging. So what was her plan? Why was she doing any of what she did? She was nothing like the character from the Marvel comics. Literally anyone could have done what she did in LOTF. If you're going to bring back a character that's been around that long and whose history is so strongly connected to Luke's, how about writing her as that character instead of the generic "Force wizard" you invented for your series and slapped someone else's name on after the fact? She was the Dark Lady of the Sith for almost 40 years, but now she's so weak a Meditation Sphere doesn't even recognize her as a real Sith and she's willing to sacrifice herself for some nebulous higher cause that is never explained and it doesn't even make sense for her to believe in.

    3) Nom Anor's death. Obviously Luceno knew what he was doing with his ambiguous death at the end of TUF. The door was open for him to come back at any time. It still is, really, but the idea at LFL seems to be that he's definitely dead, no question about it, don't even bother wondering. I guess there's no place for characters that interesting in the post-NJO. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

    4) The status quo after the NJO. Like all of it. This really should be number one, because it's sickening how much creative potential was wasted here. Five years after the NJO, the Ithorians are still looking for a new planet, and that's about it. Five years after that, it's like the Yuuzhan Vong never invaded at all. Moving the galactic capital to Denon? No way! Tahiri's character development? Reset! The World Brain? Don't need it! Vergere's teachings? Forget that! Luke's poisoning? Never happened! Lowie and Lumpy's life debt? What's that! The Jedi headquarters moved to Ossus? Not anymore! The Vongforming of Coruscant? That's not how it looked in the prequels LOL! Amazing.

    5) TOR. This absolutely drives me up a wall. Why did anyone think this was a good idea? Everyone LOVED the KOTOR games, Star Wars fans and non-fans alike. On what planet does it make any sense to completely abandon that story for no reason and pass off a totally different story, about totally different characters, set hundreds of years later, in a totally different gaming format, as its conclusion? It's astonishing to me and it bugs me more than almost any other bad decision made by any Star Wars license-holder ever. What was stopping them from making a single-player KOTOR 3 AND an MMO? They even had the perfect place to put it. It would have been so easy for them to have their cake and eat it too, but instead of two products that could have been awesome we got one that nobody wanted.

    For a franchise that was and still is so beloved, it's amazing how much the KOTOR brand has been mistreated. Don't patch the game we released without an ending, don't do any comics unless they're about completely different characters and end abruptly after 50 issues, don't write any spinoff or tie-in novels unless it's to hastily kill off the player characters from the first two games so we can push the new product we're peddling now, don't celebrate or acknowledge their ten-year anniversary in any way, certainly not by re-releasing them with updated graphics and added content. Why would anyone be interested in that?

    6) Darth Krayt's identity. OMG he's A'Sharad Hett oh no one cares.
    Havac, Trip, Zeta1127 and 7 others like this.
  16. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    @_Catherine_ I don't believe for a minute that Lumiya didn't want revenge on Luke. She might have fooled Jacen (why he believed her is beyond me) that she didn't want to kill Luke or anything but how does Jacen falling to the Dark Side not cause grief for Luke? A disgraced hero is worse than a dead one.
    I agree with you about Jacen's death.
    I am convinced Nom Anor is Wyn Dorvan or his animal thing in disguise.
    I wholeheartedly agree with you on point 4 as well.
  17. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    That's how I justify it in my brain but it's pretty obvious that's not what the writers of LOTF intended, except maybe Allston. I didn't really mind the way Allston wrote her; he gave her a personality and I could see his version of her as the same character from Marvel. The scene at the end of Betrayal with her alone with the ghost/spirit/vision/hallucination of Evil Jacen seemed to imply that she had some ulterior agenda beyond what she described to Jacen, which of course the other authors ignored. I also liked how she was always making herself up and had all those mirrors that made her look beautiful, then in Sacrifice she suddenly doesn't care what she looks like. I don't really remember how Denning wrote her but she was wildly out of character in Traviss's books. Just like everyone else.
  18. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Whats with the A'Sharad Hett hate? :( It always struck me as a pretty nice twist.
  19. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I don't mind that one but K'khruk and Tra Saa coming back annoys me.
  20. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Yep, as they really have no reason not to hook up with Lukes Order way earlier, though Tra Saa might just have been asleep and lamenting for a hundred years or so, as Neti are know to do.
  21. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I can buy that one about Tra Saa since that one Jedi was asleep on Ossus for 5000+ years. I just don't like the idea of PT era Jedi being around 100+ years after Luke's Order has been around or controlling the Order.
  22. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    At the risk of echoing @_Catherine_,

    TOR. On paper, I see the appeal: armies of Jedi and Sith waging war in a Lord of the Rings-style skirmish. But rather than craft a quasi-original, compelling storyline, TOR is content to disrespectfully repackage other elements of the saga; sometimes wholesale, sometimes nigh word-for-word. The Sith Emperor is such a blatant attempt to "one-up" the saga's ultimate villain that it's unforgivable, IMHO. Also, the Darth names really, really, really suck.

    Legacy. I realize there are a lot of Legacy fans on this board and I'm sure it's far better quality than TOR, but its similarly repackaged storyline (Sith and Galactic Empire ascendant, Jedi near extinct, Skywalker the last hope, etc.) and close chronological proximity to the saga are inexcusable. Tack on another "o" or two to the end of its start date and I'd be much happier. Krayt is much more interesting than the Sith Emperor, but I feel that the writers copped out by resurrecting him. Wyyrlok's betrayal was swift, sudden, and fascinating because we're not often treated to the Big Bad being offed by the secret Starscream and the Starscream ascend to the top for the remainder of the story.

    The post-NJO universe. [Pretty much] All of it. Daala as Chief of State? Legions of lost Sith scrambling out of the woodwork like cockroaches? Abeloth, who is excruciatingly incompetent and ineffective despite her hype?

    Caedus. I don't mind Jacen falling to the dark side; it gives us an even longer and more sympathetic character study than Anakin, but Caedus turned out to be utterly flaccid. Only at the end did Denning even try to create a relatively powerful, lucid Darth for us to rally behind. Try harder, folks.


    A new dark side cult. Let's face it, with few exceptions, the Sith are complete and utter failures. Why anyone would willingly convert to that ancient trainwreck astounds me. Jacen, student of a dozen Force cults and traditions, could have hijacked Lumiya and Vergere's plans for Sith ascendance by taking their proffered knowledge, artifacts, equipment, etc. and created his own way. That way the essence of Endor (or DE) is maintained and we are presented with a new, unique Force using threat.

    Lots and lots for the Clone Wars-era. Grievous being an inept military commander; Onderon being intrinsically Republic-aligned despite Mina Bonteri's willing allegiance to the CIS; Savage Opress (down to the very damn name); Count Dooku transformed from a dangerous study of moral ambiguity and deception into a mustache-twirling vaudevillain; the complete lack of efforts by the Separatists to foster dissent in the Jedi ranks-- where are Dooku's renunciate Jedi? Mortis, dear God, Mortis. Lack of tie-in or adaptation of stellar existing Clone War storylines: the corruption of Quinlan Vos, Shatterpoint, Dark Rendezvous, the Battle of Jabiim, etc.

    Darth Plagueis. At the risk of being burned in effigy, I'm dissatisfied with Luceno's latest and [supposed] greatest. Young!Palpatine puts his sociopathy on display far too obviously and easily for the consummate deceiver. I don't expect him to be flawless in his manipulations, but subtlety and deflection are among the character's greatest skillset. Plagueis should have had to work very hard to discern Sidious's true nature. Plagueis himself was a disappointment. I wanted a quasi-sympathetic figure; I'm fine with all Sith being "evil," but all need not be "pure" evil ala Palpatine willing to butcher and slaughter at whim. I envisioned Plagueis as a dark!Obi-Wan: reserved, polite, with a dry sense of humor-- and willing to leave his enemies horribly maimed on the side of a volcano if necessary. Plagueis handling the esoteric aspects of the Sith enterprise is all well and good, but he was far too involved with Sidious's political schemes to the extent that one could not be blamed if one assumed Plagueis essentially handed his apprentice victory. And encroaching into the events of The Phantom Menace is unacceptable.
    Last edited by Sable_Hart, May 22, 2013
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  23. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    The Post-NJO situation could have dealt with the fact that all these characters had spent years fighting a brutal war, and now they find themselves dumped into a post-war galaxy that just wants to stop killing and rebuild. But all the following wars did was reinforce the idea that all problems can be solved by decapitating them.

    I think the Lost Tribe of Sith got pretty shafted in terms of concept. They could have explored the power dynamics of a society based on evil and domination, one with a pyramidal social structure where the most powerful Sith are on top. Grappled with the idea that the lower rung Sith might be victims in their own right and be salvageable. Plus, this approach would also show the Sith as evil in a capacity outside being smug and willing to do stupid crap that technically counts as "ruthless".

    That silly Capulet-Montague subplot might have been workable if the love interest was a member of the lower castes of Sith that get the short end of the stick and serve as impoverished lackies so she actually has a reason to face turn aside from wanting space-Beiber's babbies. I don't want anymore rich characters who grow up in the lap of luxury anyway.

    Instead, all the Sith were cookie-cutter, power hungry jackasses. Every single one of them was involved in the Evil Politicking and power struggles, which doesn't make a lick of sense for a whole society of Sith.

    Yeah, making the child of two super-badass Jedi a super-badass Jedi himself is just about the least creative thing you could possibly do. There's mountains of potential in a character related to the most famous heroes in the galaxy who can't or won't live up to the unreasonable expectations placed on him just for accident of birth.

    They haven't even done much to endear him to me personally. He's the reason why toilet bowls are big enough to fit a human head.
    Last edited by Reveen, May 22, 2013
  24. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5


    Thing is they wanted to still use elements from the NJO aftermath, which the really could not if they set it 1000 of years later, or at least not without having it seem really odd.



    Properly not the original intention, or at least not as quickly, as pretty much everything after the Monster arc had to be come up with on the fly, because they were forced to cut the story short.

    I have to fully agree here, he should have already been long dead by the Phantom Menace, as it really cuts down on Palpatines reputations as magnificent schemer who got the whole Republic to collapse in on itself just by playing it against itself.
  25. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    More to add,

    Darish Vol. FOTJ was disastrous, but Vol provided one of the few glimmers of sunshine. Note to TOR writers: You wanna cash in on Palpatine's icon? This is a step in the right direction. Vol is an ancient human with "much the power of [Luke friggin] Skywalker," who commands his flock through a mixture of cunning and power. But unlike the Sith Emperor, who's given all the depth of a contact lens, Vol is genuinely Affably Evil and a progressive visionary. He is suitably cautious of Abeloth's abilities and, when he realizes he has underestimated her, does his best to wipe her off the face of the Kesh. And he's mortified over his own gross arrogance. That's some character development right there. I'm cool with him dying, but the fact that it happened off-screen was a shame: it was intended to make Abeloth a mysterious badass, but the character had been neutered far too much to resurrect any shadow of awesomeness... and it wiped out the only compelling villain in the 9 book series.

    Revan. All of it, especially the titular character. This was, in my opinion, a bad idea from its inception but, initially, I praised Karpyshyn for not overtly making Revan the Gary Stu we all assumed he would be in light of the moronic, nimbus cloud of Fan Dumb that stormed around the character since 2003. Instead, Revan comes off looking like a complete idiot from start to finish. This idiocy tends to blunt the fact that Karpyshyn did, in fact, have moments of trying to pass Revan as a quasi-divine being. "Channeling the light and dark sides of the Force into some uber-Force push lol wut?" Revan, like Thrawn, and arguably like Palpatine himself, works far better when the audience does not get in his head. He's meant to be an enigmatic great man with a powerful cult of personality. Fleshing him out only works if it's meant to be ironic: "lol you guys think Revan is so l33t, but in reality... this is what he is..." a la what George did with Vader. A complete and total failure. We should have just been given KotOR 3.
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