Lit Re-Reading The Thrawn Trilogy

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Vialco, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    Yeah I remember reading that in the HTTE annotations. Okay, so C'baoth was somehow cloned, at a different location, by parties unknown, using the genetic sample taken from him at Yaga Minor prior to the launch of Outbound Flight.

    Whoever created C'baoth then let him loose. Somehow C'baoth made his way to Wayland, a secret planet. He then encountered the Guardian of the Mountain and killed him, taking over Mount Tantiss. Liking it, he decided to stick around and never left.

    Idk, Zahn, that seemed very contrived to me. Who created the clone? Why? How? How did the clone even know about Wayland or find it?

    It makes way more sense if Palpatine set up his storehouse, decided to test one of the Spaarti's to see if they still worked. He made Joruus to see if he could clone Jedi effectively. When the resulting madness set in, Palpatine decided to abandon that venture and used the mad C'baoth to guard his mountain, placing in him deep mental commands to "stay here and kill anyone that tries to get inside".

    Placing Mount Tantiss under the care of a sane, Dark Side Master is a recipe for disaster. The Spaarti cylinders alone can create an army in as little as a year. Less, if you use Thrawn's technique.
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  2. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    I like the notion that the real Guardian cloned C'baoth (from the Yaga Minor-taken sample, which Palpatine kept in storage at Mount Tantiss) in the hope of gaining a powerful henchman to help him with the Guarding (perhaps after Palpatine's death?), upon which, C'baoth murdered him.


    Only if the Dark Side Master is untrustworthy. In the Dark Empire radio drama, we find that Palpatine can even warp Luke Skywalker into being a henchman, if he exerts himself enough.

    By minimising contradiction with Zahn's account, yet being conservative about resources (makes sense that a clone and a cloning complex would be associated) - it allows for a story that makes sense.

    EDIT: When I look up C'baoth's page - it suggests (New Essential Chronology) that the Guardian didn't actually start to take over the planet from the residents, until 9 ABY - same year that Thrawn arrived. That really pushes the chronology into a short timeframe:

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Joruus_C'baoth

    After the Battle of Endor and the Emperor's death, the Guardian was left alone and grew bored over the next five years.[9] In 9 ABY,[10] he ventured out of the mountain to meld the Human, Myneyrsh and Psadan populations native to Wayland into one settlement under his authoritarian rule. Afterward, Joruus C'baoth arrived on the planet and challenged the Guardian to a duel. C'baoth killed the Guardian and took his place, using the Force to keep his subjects within his power.[9]

    though it does raise the question of where C'baoth came from (implied to not be Mount Tantiss itself).

    Riptide, much later, portrays Thrawn as having engaged on a Jedi-cloning experiment - maybe C'baoth was his creation all along - cloned, then sent to Mount Tantiss - with Thrawn obfusticating when Pellaeon asks him about it.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jun 11, 2017
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  3. comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight

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    I'm going to hold off on diving into the political aspects of his Borskiness any deeper until we get closer to the relative parts, but I just wanted to note that A) I just finished Lucifer's Star yesterday, for the record, and that yeah, it solidly is not George Lucas' fault. In Sci-Fi as a whole, I blame Heinlein. For Star Wars, I blame Zahn, Stackole, and Traviss. In that order.

    Trek Lit has done a decent job in avoiding it, until they talk about Section 31, at least.
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  4. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

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    The problem is we(at least I) don't want to read about political underhanded backstabbing in the shadows. When I read Star Wars, I want the heroes blow up Imperial ships, or even better, Imperial ships kick Rebel butt before the Jedi comes in. If I wanted politics I might as well read some manifesto or machiavelli or something else in that vein.
    I have enough of we can't do this, we can't do that. I would rather have the whole Jedi Order charging in and fight the vong at the beginning (Even if it meant the entire Jedi order get extinct) At least t hen every one of them is my hero and a martyr. Instead we have the NJO where young kids get to fight old men's war (I don't mean young kids shouldn't get involved, I mean the old men shouldn't have ran) OMZG What if Luke turns to the dark side? Kriff it, a Dark Side Luke is better than coward Luke.
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Er, no, no, no - a dark side Luke is bad, bad news - Shimmraa and co would have legged it after one engagement with him. The problems start after that......
  6. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

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    1. Awesome. I hope you liked it. :)

    2. Heinlein is a sad case because everyone assumes it's representative of his work when The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is about anarchic rebels while Stranger in a Strange Land is...well, what it is.

    3. I actually think it wasn't too bad until the NJO where they were imitating the Prequels in making the New Republic completely ineffectual. Then they repeated it AGAIN in Legacy of the Force. That did a good job of making it seem like democracy sucked. Mind you, I also get the impression "Star Wars: Legacy" was supposed to be about the Imperial Knights with no Galactic Alliance Remnants but people loved Gar Stazi.

    4. Star Trek is great for that and I love the "Articles of the Federation" novel. Section 31 is kind of a mixed bag for me as they often use it to be a fascist evil group then have the heroes work with it.

    I feel Babylon Five is an interesting case because it's solidly democratic but it's ideal democratic leader is a single military leader elected again and again.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Jun 11, 2017
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  7. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

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    Speaking of Joruus C'boath:

    I'm actually of the idea that he did come and kill a Guardian of Mount Tantis because the idea he would go and make a tomb up for himself is bizarre. Yes, Joruus C'boath is insane but he's not actually all that insane.

    He's delusional about being the original Jedi Master (which might include implanted memories) but he's mostly just got a borderline personality disorder and a slight slur of his u's. All of his "evil" qualities come from simply being rigidly controlling and have the power to dominate everyone around him. He's Hollywood mentally ill in that insane is being used as a synonym for childish and irrational. My take on Joruus C'Boath is that he was cloned by Emperor Palpatine after the original Guardian rebelled in some fashion or proved troublesome. Joruus doesn't actually seem to remember anything from the Clone Wars or Old Jedi Order so instead of someone copying the original Jorus' mind, I assume that Palpatine gave the clone a quick study in the Force before sending him off.

    As for why Wayland? Why not Wayland?

    The Deep Core didn't exist yet nor did the Unknown Regions. My idea is that Palpatine probably created it before he got Byss running in the Expanded Universe. Wayland was a early sort of retreat for him to kick back and enjoy his Dark Side accomplishments in peace before realizing he he could turn whole planets into food for his powers.
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  8. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    The origin date of the Spaarti cylinders supports your theory on the age of Mount Tantiss as Palpatine's storehouse. Kinman Doriana acquired the 20,000 cloning tanks for Darth Sidious during the early phases of the Clone Wars and had them sent to Wayland immediately after the Battle of Cartao.

    I suspect you're right and Tantiss was a proto-Byss. A remote sanctuary where Chancellor Palpatine could hide valuable technology and other prizes that he didn't want lost during the Clone Wars. At that point in time, Coruscant wasn't under his complete control and the Core systems had a large Jedi presence.

    Afterwards, once he was Emperor, Palpatine likely began to build up his secret citadels in the Deep Core.
  9. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

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    Amusingly, I'm imagining Mount Tantiss as a sort of "bug bag" in case the Jedi exposed him or Dooku's role in the universe. He could have an immense amount of wealth and power to rebuild the Sith from should it fail.

    Also, potentially an army of brainwashed servants.
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  10. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    So here are my next set of thoughts on the first part of HTTE.

    Timothy Zahn was probably the first person to really develop Mon Mothma into a real character. The most we really got of her before HTTE and WEG's sourcebooks was her short part in ROTJ.

    For someone who supposedly witnessed Palpatine's political rise to Chancellor and then Emperor, Mon Mothma seems to be completely at ease with Borsk Fey'lya's ambitious nature and constant political jockeying. From what we see in TTT, Fey'lya has Mothma's ear on a lot of topics and is able to bend her arm to do some questionable things. Honestly, Mon Mothma does not come across as a particularly good person in this series. Definitely not a benign or benevolent leader. Zahn writes her as aloof, condescending and very aristocratic. A huge contrast to the Mon Mothma we get to see in Disney Canon. This Mon Mothma isn't approachable, or even friendly at times.

    Not to skip ahead, but in Dark Force Rising she orders the arrest of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, as well as the celebrated Rogue Squadron. She lets her long-time ally Ackbar be arrested on absurd charges of treason. She follows Fey'lya's advice so much that she appears to be weak-willed and easily influenced. Compare this to the Mon Mothma we see in Disney Canon.

    She stands up the Emperor on live Holonet and risks her own life to speak up against the Empire. She isn't afraid to get her hands dirty against the Empire and personally helps fix the Ghost during her escape. She takes the time to listen and console a morosely drunk Thane Kyrell. In Rogue One, she wants to accompany the Profundity to Scarif to personally help with the fight and inspire the Rebels, but is overruled by General Draven. She personally approves Leia's operation to save Han from Jabba because it's the right thing to do. And after they defeat the Empire, she devotes her life to reform the Republic and demilitarize the Galaxy so someone like Palpatine can never again rise to power and dominate the Galaxy.

    Compared to all that, the Mon Mothma we see in TTT is a cold, rigid, politician who doesn't really have much idealism. I know that Zahn likes to portray the Empire in a moderate light and the Republic in a questionable one. But I have to say, from the depiction she gets in TTT, I don't much like Mon Mothma. She's not a very sympathetic or inspiring leader in this trilogy.
    Last edited by Vialco, Jun 11, 2017
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  11. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

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    Vialco. Basically Disney Mon Mothma is OOC.
  12. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

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    Vialco. Basically Disney Mon Mothma is OOC.
  13. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

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    I think you're being a bit harsh here on Mon Mothma while also being also perhaps a bit harsh on Borsk Fey'lya. Yes, he's someone who shows his true colors in Dark Force Rising but there's no hint he has Palpatine-esque ambitions. Indeed, Borsk is (if not a founding member of the Alliance) then someone who really did join at the first opportunity. He wants to be the leader of the New Republic but his ambitions are significantly more modest and I think Mon Mothma gets that much more than Leia.

    She's a more experienced politician who understand you need Fey'lyas as well as Leia's to get business done.

    As for Ackbar being framed, I don't see how you can just pretend the charges have no merit even if you know they are an Imperial frame up job.
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  14. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    The charges have zero merit. I'm amazed they even had basis to bring them. Their evidence was sorely lacking.

    1. Admiral Ackbar initiates a bold initiative (and incredibly foolish IMHO) to solve the New Republic's transport problem by stripping down fifty capital warships and sending them to Sluis Van with skeleton crews to ferry relief supplies to the systems in that sector that were recently the victim of Imperial attacks.
    2. An Imperial task force attacks the shipyards and attempts to make off with the skeleton-crewed warships.
    3. The next day, a suspicious sum of money appears in Admiral Ackbar's account.
    These three pieces of evidence were, somehow, enough for an arrest warrant to be placed for Ackbar. Mon Mothma, whose known Ackbar for almost a decade, allows this. This is Admiral Ackbar. The commander who led the Mon Calamari in rebellion against the Empire and joined the Rebel Alliance. It's because of him that the Rebellion had the capital ships they needed to assault the Second Death Star. He fought the Empire for well over a decade and was pivotal in it's defeat.

    And yet, the New Republic accused him of being a traitor. Of aiding the Empire in exchange for money. How did Mon Mothma let that arrest order be executed? She had to know that the charges were utterly baseless. Mothma and Ackbar are shown to be friends in later books, but not this series. I feel like there has to be some deeper explanation for why Mon would let this arrest and detainment play out. Because if I was Ackbar, upon being reinstated I would quit in a heartbeat. Let the New Republic struggle against Thrawn, if that's how they repay over a decade of loyal service. Ackbar should have handed in his resignation to Mothma and walked out of the Palace and never looked back. It would serve Mothma and her Council right for treating him so poorly.

    I feel like this is a running theme through the trilogy. How the New Republic is this large, cold and rigid government. How individuals, even war heroes are just another cog in the bureaucratic machine and subject to all the same laws and consequences. There's no recognition of the heroics of Luke, Leia, Han, even Lando. Maybe it's Zahn's way of making the reader dislike the NR a bit and sympathize with the Empire. The NR does not come across as very sympathetic in Heir to the Empire.
    Last edited by Vialco, Jun 11, 2017
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  15. comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight

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    Borsk is true believer, for the record. He funded Garm out of his own pocket, after all. He wants to be incharge, but that;s because he thinks he can do a better job, not because he wants power.
  16. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

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    I was playing KOTOR 2 the other day and when Atton and Meera (The Exile) boards the Ravager in order to escape the Peragus mining facility, a option was to steal the capital warship. Then Atton sarcastically asks yeah with the crew that we brought on board.

    So Even if the space trooper would be able to take over the bridge, wouldn't they need a crew to run the ship? It's not like the skeleton crew left over on the ships would help them. The space troopers would have to take over engineering then they would be skilled enough to run the engines. Have someone skilled enough to do hyperspace calculations. Again, the NR skeleton troops would either be dead or would never cooperate.
  17. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

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    Everyone has to be investigated if the new government is to have merit. It's not like Admiral Ackbar is sitting in a supermax. He's just been removed from his duties until the investigation is completed.

    Which, admittedly, probably was insisted on by Borsk.
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  18. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    The sad part is that Borsk is horribly inept. He can't do a better job, in fact he does it worse than anyone else. When he finally got his chance to be Chief of State, the New Republic plunged into deadlocked bureaucratic morass. The New Republic, as a government, ended under Borsk Fey'lya's leadership. Cal Omas had revive it as the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.
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  19. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

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    To be fair, there was an invasion of the equivalent of the Huns or Mongols.

    If not for the comic-indeptness of Jacen Solo and Anakin at Centerpoint plus a few other horrible failures, the New Republic might have won early.

    Borsk also never turned the Jedi over to the Vong because, as opportunist as he was, he recognized the Vong were bad faith dealers.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Jun 11, 2017
  20. comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight

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    It stems back to the original point. Borsk can't do a good job in the NJO, because modern mil-sci-fi is oriented around the fundamental belief that it's the fighting man who is always right.
  21. Taylore Jedi Padawan

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    If I recall correctly, Han starts out in the cantina because he's trying to develop resources in the 'unaligned sector' on behalf of the New Republic?

    Also, I just re-read The Courtship of Princess Leia--which in its own strange way, is still really a really enjoyable story for me--and it sheds some light on a couple of points:

    (1) Han is a general at the start of Courtship, but resigns his commission during that story, in addition to seeing his major military objective somewhat resolved. It's demonstrated that he is burned-out from a long campaign and would likely have reason to shift more towards a civilian role after he and Leia married.

    (2) Alderaan is still very much a thing in terms of its people, if not as a planet. Part of what drives the plot of Courtship is Leia's concern for her constituents' future and well-being, since they exist as a group (of survivors) but don't have the home or the resources that they once did.
    Last edited by Taylore, Jun 12, 2017
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  22. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Solo Command did a good job of showing the early stages of this "burn-out" I thought.
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  23. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

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    The mutiny for example.
  24. Taylore Jedi Padawan

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    Wow. I never realized that the title of that book was a reference to Han. *facepalm* I have meant to read the later X-Wing books though, so I should.
  25. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    It seems a bit worse when you read it right after the X-wing series - having seen the Empire pull the exact same stunt with Tycho, and being told that they pulled the same stunt with Crix Madine (but that time, the Rebellion wasn't fooled for as long - Stackpole seems to like the idea of the Empire doing this a lot).

    Knowing that the Empire has done this at least twice before - makes the arrest of Ackbar seem a little ridiculous.
  26. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

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    why do people think the Rebels are better than the Empire morally?

    Okay, so the Empire oppresses non human non males. Are we sure the Rebels (and NR) does not oppress other non rebel species and genders? It's not kumbaya. I mean Quarrens definitely think they are superior than Mon Calamaris.

    there really is no check and balances in the NR. They elect a chief of state (maybe they don't even elect, Mon Mothma just say, hey everyone! I was the leader of the rebellion, so I'm the chief of state. booyah. and the chief of state does whatever she/he wants.

    at the best the conflict in star wars is autocracy vs bourgeoisie. at worst it's two autocracies against each other. I mean come on as soon as they came into power the NR started building Imperial Star destroyers.