Discussion Official Sequel Trilogy / Legends / Expanded Universe discussion thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII - Spoilers Allowed' started by YoureNotJonesy, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    Perhaps, but this approach is what makes most spin-off material uninteresting, poor in quality and unworthy of my money.
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  2. Krueger Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2004
    star 4
    This is what the new EU (if there even is one) should strive for. Nothing major should happen. Nothing Earth shattering. Certainly no deaths of major characters or children being born. They've got the opportunity now to keep an eye on the new EU and to not let it run away and collapse under its own weight like the first time. Of course, I've got this nagging feeling that, eventually at least, the same thing will happen with the new EU as with the old.
    Last edited by Krueger, Jul 29, 2013
  3. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    There's been great Star Trek books where nobody was born and nobody died. There are comic stories that don't always kill off the good guy or the bad guy that are still classics. You can do spin-off materiel that isn't just "ahhhhhhhhh!!!" all the time. Hell, take out the births of Jacen and Jania Solo and the Bantam books basically had a good idea of maintaining the "status quo" and telling compelling stories (I love the Thrawn trilogy and it basically has zero reason because Han and Leia are married and have kids in it). That's also why I barely own any Del Rey post ROTJ stuff, they took it in a direction that were big things with the characters that weren't a part of the movies.
  4. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    Do you have that nagging feeling about the "Marvel Movie EU"?
  5. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    The new EU should strive for irrelevancy? What reason would anyone have to buy this stuff consistently? Why would anyone put any kind of investment into such a thing?

    The kind of tie-in material you suggest has a history of poor sales.

    I completely understand being cautious while Episodes VII-IX and maybe beyond are coming out, but eventually that has to end.

    Sounds like you guys want Star Wars EU to be just more lousy tie-in material and nothing more, that could never be anything more.

    I never suggested "ahhhhhhhhh!!!" all the time. But the possibility of any "ahhhhhh!!!" at all is nice.

    What? Del Rey stuck with the Big 3 to the bitter end, which has been one of the biggest criticisms from fans. They stuck with the old generation when it definitely seemed like it was time to move on.

    That status quo of the Bantam era was also heavily criticized, also known as the "Villain/Superweapon of the week era".

    I'm generally not interested in any tie-in material, because most of it is terrible regardless of the franchise. I have been interested in Star Wars tie-in material, however. The reason for that is that it sets itself apart from other tie-in material, it tries to be something more. The reason why tie-in material has a negative connotation is because it is destined for a lack of quality due to the nature of most tie-in material.

    Maybe what you're suggesting is best, but Star Wars EU has done extremely well financially with an approach different from the vast majority of tie-in material. But perhaps Star Wars EU will succeed regardless of what it does, simply because it's Star Wars.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Jul 29, 2013
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  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I love the NJO, what I've read so far that is, because it doesn't do character shields (OK, not really, but more on that in a minute) and it's not afraid to go dark to tell a story about exactly how much trouble the good guys were in. I don't think a character has to die in order for a story to be good; ESB was certainly dark and suspenseful enough without anyone dying. But I don't think character death should be avoided due to authors being too chicken-**** to do something major to an established character either.

    That said--the post-ROTJ EU has character-shielded Luke, Leia and Han, and I hope this is something the ST and any tie-in material avoids.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jul 29, 2013
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  7. krtmd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    It's my understanding that they character-shielded the Big 3 upon Lucas' orders - but I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong about that.

    My irritation with the post-NJO EU in that they've ruined or killed off the next generation. They don't have to kill off Han, Leia, and Luke - they should have been retired. Unfortunately, they killed off a LOT of the next generation, and are thus left without characters to write about.

    But yeah, I'm not going to be interested in reading tie-in fiction where nothing happens.
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  8. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    The thing is, nothing can happen in tie-in fiction because the main product can't be beholden to the tie-in.
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  9. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    You may be right; I wasn't sure if they were character-shielded on Lucas' orders or simply because no one wanted to be the author who killed Luke Skywalker, especially after Salvatore and Denning took crap for killing Chewie and Anakin Solo.

    I have no plans to read anything in the timeline after The Unifying Force for precisely the reasons you mentioned. At this point I can imagine myself turning into a Sith Lord before I can imagine Jacen Solo doing it. I'd like to keep it that way.

    I can't even imagine the point of a book where nothing happens though.
  10. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    There's plenty of things that can happen other than galactic conflicts.
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  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
  12. Artoo-Dion Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 4
    The sensible approach to tie-in material is to flesh-out the backstories of the main characters and tell side-stories of minor characters. That way you can still tell great stories with a degree of freedom without boxing-in any future films.

    So they could easily work backwards from Ep7 and provide a lead-in story to it (which I guarantee will be on shelves when the movie hits) and also have comics, say, about someone on the level of Wedge in the new films.

    The thing is, a movie has to be about the pivotal moment in the main characters' lives. So EU material can't cover that ground if the movies are going to work; it can, however, function like a TV series by providing a rich, detailed study of the mechanics of the universe rather than focusing on the BIG events that punctuate the main narrative.
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  13. Artoo-Dion Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 4
    To expound via analogy:

    Movies tell stories in big, broad strokes, never providing more detail than necessary. If a scene doesn't advance the plot, tell you something more about a character and their motivation, add to the thematic weight of the story and portray some kind of conflict, odds are it's best to cut it or rewrite it.

    So if you have the SW universe as canvas, the movies provide these very broad strokes that give a general sense of the universe but also give you the most important features of the overall piece. Each book, comic, etc. should then work around that like an attentive artist adding small but very fine detail.

    The old EU was trying to be just as grand as the movies, so you've got wild, crazy strokes going everywhere--that just isn't sustainable. Tie-in material should support the main product, not compete with it in terms of how big its events are.
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  14. ugaaccountant Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2011
    star 1
    Really? Reading through the NJO series I definitely got a sense that Anakin was the good kid while Jacen had much foreshadowing for a darkside turn. Yes, there was the misdirection of the Anakin name on the kid that turned out good, but Jacen's philosophies were very "ends justify the means" in my opinion.

    At the time, Lucas swore up and down that the movies were done. Why wouldn't they tell big stories in that situation?
    Last edited by A Chorus of Disapproval, Jul 29, 2013
  15. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    This is really bang-on. The point of spin-off materiel is not to have Big Freakin' Things happen to the characters, it's to keep the characters warm and to revist them when the movie and/or TV show isn't around. Maybe develop a great arc that they can go through, do something introspective and get inside their heads, have secondary characters get fleshed out, and tell a really absorbing narrative. At most you can expect like, I dunno, in some movie a random character has a cybernetic arm and they're like "what's up with the cybernetic arm?" and the guy is all like "don't ask" so you find the spin-off that's all about How That Guy Got His Cybernetic Arm (okay, kind of a bad example but you get what I mean)
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  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Anakin is a good kid, but so far Jacen hasn't done anything worse than get on my nerves.
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  17. Artoo-Dion Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 4
    Sure, but that's not the situation today, which is why an EU reboot is needed.
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  18. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    Actually, another reason I bounced from Del Rey is because they focused too much on the next generation, entire multi-book arcs devoted to Jacen, Jania & Anakin Solo (haven't even read a book that has Ben Skywalker in it, I sorta gave up on Millienium Falcon haflway through) but, if I'm reading a spin-off, I want to focus on the movie characters and side-characters. The next generation that was developed entirely on the page isn't something I can get behind, I want to see Star Wars movies about that. I am totally a fan of Bantam supervillian / superweapon of the week because, it's Star Wars, the classic Star Wars heroes quip and blow up the bad guy's stuff at the end. Me likey. A Solo kid getting kidnapped and tortured by the biomechanical bad guy, I'll pass on. Unless a movie decides to do that. That I'll give a shot. It is a film franchise in the end, spin-off materiel can be used to flesh out the corners and to get introspective and to throw self-contained twisty stuff at the reader. It's enjoyable, it can be heavy, but the pieces still have to be in place by the end.

    Here's the crux of the argument. The EU was able to tell big stories, galaxy altering stories (or at least Del Rey did). But now there's movies. And the filmmakers shouldn't be beholden to what the EU did before. It's not their place. It was under the guidance of the EU and now it isn't. C'est la vie. What they have to do is work inside the margins to make the universe richer, fuller, and tell great stories that keep the characters where they should be. But by not being able to run willy-nilly all over the characters doesn't mean that the stories are automatically bad. Look at the Han Solo adventures or most of the Bantam books. They work really, really well inside that box. Not blowing it up like Del Rey did.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Jul 29, 2013
  19. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    QFT. Unlike some people earlier, I don't actually have a problem with reading series focused solely on EU-original characters. But when they're all being killed, Sithed, and/or derailed, it's not easy to maintain my interest.

    In fact, while my gut feeling is that the EU next generation wouldn't (and shouldn't) have been used by the ST even under more stable circumstances, I do think at least some of the apparent decision to go with new characters has to do with the GRRM-esque bloodbath the old ones have been subjected to. As noted earlier, audiences are much more likely to accept Han and Leia having three children offscreen, then they are Han and Leia having three children offscreen of which one sacrificed himself fighting extragalactic aliens and another became evil and was killed by his sister.

    I'm not arguing for character shields, but I am arguing for more care with how their fates are handled. This isn't comics where a poorly-conceived death can just be reversed (something that FOTJ really drove in for me).
  20. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Jacen will get better, especially in Traitor.
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  21. Don't grab the glowy end Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Star Trek is a different animal - it's primarily a work of science fiction rather than fantasy, and their characters don't drive their stories in the same way that Luke, Frodo, Harry, or Katniss do.

    I've never really understood the complaint about major characters dying in Star Wars novels. In decades of writing and hundreds of books, there have really only been four major character deaths. Having major character deaths occurring only very rarely - and again, let's be clear, major characters die EXTREMELY rarely in Star Wars novels - and making it happen in an "important" book (ie, an NJO hardcover rather than a random thing like Crucible) seems like a pretty reasonable way to go for me.

    It's funny to me that posters have actually quoted "Nothing major should happen" as their ideal for the EU. That's a perfectly valid opinion, but it just seems boring to me. Star Wars has grown well beyond a movie franchise.
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  22. ugaaccountant Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2011
    star 1
    I disagree. Bantam era books produced some awful stuff. Crystal Star, Callista trilogy, Black Fleet. Not only were they bad, they were just as "out there" as NJO or FOTJ. Can you honestly tell me the Yevetha and the Ssi-ruuk are not awfully similar to the Vong, just nowhere near as interesting or well written? Calista series had a Hutt lightsaber wielding force user. Plus, you had a villain in Crystal Star who was some incredible all powerful force user who had trained at Luke's Jedi Academy yet we'd never heard of him nor would that backstory have given him any time to become what he was. Other than the 3 good writers, Zahn, Andersen & Stackpole, there was very little else to hang your hat on in that era.

    Plus, if I walked into a movie theatre in 2015 and were told that in the 30-50 year timespan we didn't see that very little interesting happened in the lives of the Big 3, I'd be awfully disappointed. I don't think they are going to tell their stories by flashback, so I'd much rather have the EU than a 1 line reference to their time in "the Vong War" and then wait 25 years to see it come to life as a kids show. I'll take what we have now AND move forward with the next chapter. Let's take this series forward not backwards and then we all get to have old favorites and new favorites.
  23. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    Star Wars is beyond a movie franchise but that doesn't mean the books should drive the ship considering they make the least amount of money and the least amount of fans know about it. By "nothing major happening" what you have to do is take the characters, shake them around, jump them through hoops, but they land back in the same place. And we know some really cool details about That Random Guy that Han said "Hello" to or something. That's where the spin-off materiel should shine, in the things they're put through, not where they end up at the end. That's for the movies.

    C'mon, Darksaber had a freakin' Hutt with a Death Star! That's just downright crazy! I like that but, also, in a big picture, nothing happens to the main characters (aside from General Madine or however you say it getting killed, but, c'mon, he has 4 lines in ROTJ, you can waste that guy) but, inside any given book book, you have Waru or Sun Crusher or Thrawn or C'Both or whatever. It's about what happens inside the pages of the book, not the repercussions that will reverberate in what comes after. Tell a compelling self-contained story in there.

    Also, the entire point of Episode 7 is to move the series forward literally in time. That's what the movie is. What happened in the post ROTJ EU is not their concern because the Big Things happen in the movies. Books and comics? Go nuts inside there, don't mess it up for the filmmakers when they get their chance to play with the toys. Then they can break them if they want because it's their movie, not a book series.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Jul 29, 2013
  24. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    As in Kevin J. "Darksaber" Anderson?!?

    I admire him for his willingness to work with what other authors were doing and his lack of ego when letting others handle his characters, but "good" is not the first adjective to come to mind for his writing.

    And I honestly think the previous slew of "weird scary invading EU aliens" (3 groups of 'em if you include Marvel's Nagai) cast a negative light on the YV (though not because they were "better").
    Last edited by Vthuil, Jul 29, 2013
  25. Artoo-Dion Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 4
    Well, Disney/LFL are trying to sustain a movie franchise. If you doubt this, consider how much money they'll be sinking into the next five SW movies. Let's say we're looking at $250m apiece, including marketing--that's $1.25 BILLION dollars they're sinking into this brand over merely the next six years.

    That's a pretty strong argument for this still being primarily a film franchise, even if there is a massive amount of EU material out there.
    BigAl6ft6 likes this.