Lit Pet Characters

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Sinrebirth, May 10, 2013.

  1. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    IMO, Thrawn wasn't a Gary Stu or pet character until AFTER the end of TTT. when Zahn wrote those books, Thrawn did make mistakes and wasn't perfect. Thrawn became a pet when his actions were constantly being retconned. IMO, it was Zahn himself who ruined Thrawn in later years.

    --Adm. Nick
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  2. AusStig Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 3, 2010
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    Is that the case with a lot of these characters? They come in, people think they are cool, then they just get too much hype (for lack of a better term) and they just get out of hand?

    Or am I totally wrong.
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  3. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 28, 2011
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    I think you're right to a large extent. Some of the characters are like that from the start (Corran Horn and many of Traviss' characters), but others become that way over time. Mara and Thrawn are great examples of characters who became that way over time.

    I pick and choose whether I still like characters after I realize they're pet characters (in the sense of this topic, as I'd say that any author who writes a story primarily from the viewpoint of one character is treating that character as a "pet" character). Some I like and some I don't. I still like Corran because I think he's written well. I still like Mara because she's... well... Mara (though, I will admit I did NOT like her nearly as much in Allegiance and Choices as in other works). I never was a big Thrawn fan with which to begin, so as he got progressively worse my distaste only deepened.
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  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    I like Corran so far although he's considered a pet. I probably would not have such a distaste for Thrawn or Mara if they weren't pets, although I would still find them grossly overrated.
  5. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

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    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    Luke trio are the pet characters of Lucas.
  6. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

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    Jul 12, 2010
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    It's almost THE way to get a handle on most of these type of characters. The jump from TTT Mara to HoT Mara is noticeable because of the authorial filibusters (same goes for Corran in I,Jedi; although I'd say that Stackpole's handling of the character elsewhere makes him far more sympathetic than something like how Zahn uses Mara in Allegiance). And while I really enjoy Outbound Flight, Thrawn's a lot more idealized and while I can sit back and say "This is Thrawn pre-Palpatine, so he's a good guy"...I don't really think that's what Zahn's going for. It gets hammered home in Choices of One.

    The trajectory of Saba is equally, if not more so egregious. But I don't think it always has to be something which happens over time. For instance, Kal Skirata's not even in Hard Contact. But he's already one of the best things that happened to Mando-Bread. Sure, that get more pronounced over time as he's actually part of the story; likewise with Bardan Jusik, but you can read HC (which is a pretty good read on its own merits) and already be in safe water to call out Skirata. You'd probably be safe to immediately call out anyone she's writing in that book, except, maybe...at that point....Etain.
  7. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Feb 2, 2010
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    I think Traviss is kind of a special case. Since her entire viewpoint is an axe being ground against everyone else's vision of the universe she has to bake superiority into her cake to prove the overarching point. I mean, the commandos and friends aren't answering to a higher calling they're basically a band of criminal deserters. So what can be considered a product of favoritism versus a product of a skewed perspective is difficult to determine.
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  8. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 23, 2012
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    I hope they get Denning to write a trilogy of a 12 year old Jedi apprentice hunting down and killing all of Skirata and his clones and mandalorian family in the most humiliating way possible. I would pay big $$$$ for that.
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  9. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    No need, during the Empire the Mandos turned on each other and helped the Empire enslave each other.
  10. fett 4 Chosen One

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    In the TTT it's fine. Thrawn is ruthless Warlord, clever but still bad, While Mara is an ex Assassin who finds out she is just a tool used for revenge by Palpatine against Vader.

    Its when we got to the Hand of Thrawn books, where we have Thrawn the all knowing and all great, who is even smarter that Palpatine. While Mara is just brilliant and the most highly regarded person. Even Darth Vader is made to look a chump compared these two. Hammered home again and again whether its the SideTrip short story and Choices of One with Thrawn leading Vader around like an idiot or in Alliegence where Vader is jelaous and is constantly outsmarted and talked down to by Mara (his rival no less) again and again.
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  11. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 23, 2012
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    Lol i remember the whole thread we had talking about this
  12. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    I'm reading The Last Jedi now and thought about this thread. Jax Pavan, I-5, Den Dhur, i'd say that all of them could be classified as Pet Characters, but as with my mention of Alema Rar earlier, I wouldn't say its a bad thing. Unlike other characters, they're not really shoehorned into situations they don't belong in, because they're each central characters in the novels they appear in, and so of course receive a tremendous amount of focus. Yet it isn't to the detriment of the other characters in the novel. Also, unlike with Thrawn at times, none of them are portrayed as being even close to perfect. They each have their own flaws and character arcs that play out over the course of various novels, and their flaws get them into trouble at different times. Though they're the good guys, they hardly ever come through a confrontation without suffering some type of loss. They're far from equal to the enemies they're facing, and often have to rely on each other and no small amount of luck to pull through.
  13. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    May 23, 2005
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    I like Corran as well, but his tendency to pontificate can get a bit annoying after a while.
  14. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Have you read the X-Wing novels?

    I'd also only qualify I-5 as a pet character from the Reavesverse, yet he is still tons of fun. The other characters like Jax or Den Dhur are just characters with nothing really that exceptional about them. Having a recurring character in a book doesn't make them a 'pet', not liking a character doesn't make them a 'pet' - having them stand out over and above everyone else in numerous special ways that aren't entirely logical, that makes them a 'pet'.

    For instance, to me Corran isn't a pet because he is a central character in some of the stories, but he becomes one as his exploits get more and more detailed. It is an exaggeration, but it feels like all the ladies want to get them some Corran in Rogue Squadron - that type of thing slowly adds up and beats one over the head.
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  15. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I haven't read those, and yeah, that's exactly what I consider a pet.
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    I'm a fan of the Reavesverse - not the greatest stories, but they're fun to read and generally have a good cast.
  17. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Indeed. I think the term 'pet' character is best used to characters that are utilized across multiple storylines by the same author. A character who occupies a favorable position in the one major plotline in which they occur is simply a character who is favored or perhaps poorly written. To truly represent a 'pet' a character must be inserted into a story where they have little to know practical reason to be and then subsequently be given favorable treatment compared to the characters who are already there.

    So to extend the Corran Horn example, Corran isn't a pet character in the X-Wing novels or even I, Jedi he's just slightly Stu-ified at points. His treatment in Dark Tide, by contrast, is very much as a pet character, since despite having no real reason to do so, his actions more or less eclipse what the entire rest of the Jedi Order is doing at the time.
  18. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    I simply classify a Pet Character as one that a specific author uses often, and may have even created.

    Examples:

    Denning and Alema Rar
    Zahn and Mara
    Reaver and Jax
  19. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Which was mildly amusing when Luke dressed him down for it in Swarm War.
  20. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

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    Jun 24, 2006
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    I'm kinda blind when it comes to Corran, but I totally didn't think there was anything wrong with the Dark Tide plot. Maybe part of it is that Corran comes from a series without the big three and so it seemed natural to me for him to step up and be the one to make the sacrifice.
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  21. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    I agree with that. Each of the 'first class' of Jedi Luke trained needed their own stories. His generally fit for me.
  22. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Whatever happened to Streen?

    Is he dead?
  23. dokratr0 Jedi Master

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    Jun 18, 2013
    star 1
    Is Tahiri Greg Keyes' pet character?
  24. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 4, 2012
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    Nah, he's probably the kind of old bastard who sticks around long enough to make everyone else as miserable as possible and then keels over right at the point when people are seriously considering smothering him with a pillow.

    I would love a story with him interacting with Allana and Ben. Privileged little punks, he'd set 'em straight.
    Last edited by Reveen, Jul 10, 2013
  25. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    He didn't create her but works for me.