Lit Reading NJO...Again

Discussion in 'Literature' started by spicewood, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 5
    They might. For it to work as 7-9, though, the entire YV war background would have to go.

    Most of TFA works fine, imho, it just makes no sense to pick up after Ben has become Kylo Ren.

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  2. Darth Invictus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2016
    star 4
    I'm just making a satirical point really. If audiences love TFA which some of us have agreed is a watered down weak kneed version of LOTF audiences would most certainly love the stronger, darker, product of LOTF.

    Think of it like tea-you have weak watered down tea and strong tea which is very thick and warm. TFA is the former and LOTF is the latter.
  3. Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 5
    Eh. I walked away from the EU for a while after LOTF. I hated it by the end. Hated FOTJ, too.

    TFA and the ST take elements of LOTF, without a total railroading of the Jacen analogue in order to twist him into a dark sider/Sith. Jacen was completely botched, the NJO thoroughly misunderstood, from DNT through LOTF to make that story happen. It wasnt, by any means, a natural outcome of where that character went in the NJO in order to emerge the big hero.

    Kylo Ren is less of a gut punch to me, because the Jacen of TUF is not the Jacen of DNT and certainly not Darth Caedus. I dont know anything really about Ben Solo, but at least he never had a moment of enlightenment that somehow ends with him going full incomprehensible loony Sith Lord.

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  4. Onderon1 Jedi Master

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    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Kylo is, IMHO, somewhat more honest of a "broken Solobrat" than any of the trio from Legends; he resents his parents getting in the way of the Skywalker "destiny" he inherited, so he throws a (horrific) tantrum.

    The problem is that he's 10 years too old by TUF for it to be even remotely tolerable. Instead of a trust-fund brat gone wrong, but still young enough to get his act together, he's a man-child. [face_not_talking]

    Jacen's train-wreck ... well, he never had any chance to be anything but a Jedi, and the mix of expectations and addictions warped him.

    Bad enough his uncle possessed him, even temporarily, when Jacen was only 3 (seriously, Luke - sending a 3-year-old to fight Sith battle hydras? :rolleyes:). Legends H/L at least had the sense to properly warn their kids about Vader not being a good role model; Jacen, however, kept seeming to want to go into academics and esoterics - if he'd've been a Jedi librarian/veterinarian/instructor, he would've been fine.

    As a hero ... not so great.

    He fumbles with Brakiss, gets traumatized when he hacks off his first girlfriend's arm, and nearly falls to his death on Cloud City. And when he gets close to speeder-license age, he gets all snobby and bullies his brother. :oops:

    And then ... Jacen attempted to intellectualize the war, when he needed to fight. The sad part is, he could and sometimes did fight - very well! - but he wasted time and effort picking at Anakin, who was getting his own head on straight and finding his own right path forward.

    Early-NJO!Jacen's at his best when he's got a firm hand guiding him. When he tries to direct ... re: Clusterkriff the First, AKA the Fondor Disaster. [face_plain]

    There seems to be a common belief that Anakin was either A.) reverting to type - headstrong dumb-kid glory-hound, or B.) actually genocidal against the YV by SbS. Neither is correct; yes, he championed the drive to take down the voxyn - but because he'd had so much success against the YV to that point.

    As for genociding the Vong, I'll just point to the facts that he accepted Tahiri as she was after her shaping, and worked with Vua Rapuung. ;)

    Myrkr being a trap to exterminate the flower of the NJO wasn't Anakin's fault. Not evacuating after discovering the trap? OK, I'll grant that was his fatal error.

    But Anakin's death was unnecessary - editorially, ethically for the future of the Order, and yes, for Jaina and Jacen's character development.

    Anakin did overcome the evil in his own heart, to paraphrase an earlier poster; he reached out to the Other, reached across the species and cultural divide, and saved the girl he loved. Had he avoided the pointless fate he suffered at Myrkr, he could've someday led the NJO to a less prequel-esque blindness.

    Jacen was damaged long before the YV War by the mix of Force-overexposure and the lack of a sane home life (the kidnappings became a trope, when nobody ever really addressed the trauma that must've induced); the need for order, for stability, can be seen in his menagerie (and his prioritizing a kriffing sleep-inducing snake over the well-being of his fellow apprentices :rolleyes:).

    The philosophical back-and-forth before Myrkr only wasted time, and Vergere ... as brilliant as Traitor is, Jacen falls down in TUF (I don't lay this at James Luceno' feet - he'd been given the directive to make Jacen the hero, but he was given bad clay to work with).

    Jacen killing Onimi is bad enough - it could've been easy enough to subdue Kae Kwaad - but the "Force-oneness" silliness is Jacen grasping for something to fill the hole in his soul. He can't relate to others outside of the Force - even when, tragically, he tries (look at the struggle he has with Han - as bad as it is for Han as the only non-Force-sensitive in the Solo household, Jacen's only ever had the Force as a filter for his perspectives).

    TUF succeeds, despite Jacen killing a delusional, broken sentient, not some evil mastermind. [face_plain]

    So, Jacen goes off for a few years; some people (and Luke in FOTJ) thought the trip was what broke Jacen, when he was never quite right all the way along.

    It's little surprise that Lumiya was able to lead him by the nose so easily. [face_plain] Regrettably, Tenel Ka didn't capture him while she had the chance. :_|

    As for Jaina ... she was pinned between duty, desires, and a series of bad romantic choices (not all of which were her fault). Plus, Luke's inane "Sword of the Jedi" drivel - if she had founded the IKs, I'd hope it was in contempt of the "prophecy" that she'd never find any peace. She certainly deserved it. :(

    But the twin-bond breaking, and losing Anakin, only forced her to stare into the abyss at the worst moment; DJ is less about pulling oneself up than about pulling oneself needlessly across broken glass. Oh, Jaina's "tough" because she suffered even more than she already had? :rolleyes:

    She was already respected enough by the Rogues to be asked to fly with them. She lost a good friend and wingman. Artificially hyping the losses Jaina had suffered - while throwing in the weirdness of Kyp-as-flirtation amidst the thorny "Rebel inheritrix and Imperial-lite pilot" A-plot - was just CW-level drah-ma.

    People complain about Rey being a pale imitation of Jaina, and that's certainly true, IMHO. But Jaina wasn't - isn't - great because of her teenage angst; it's because unlike her twin, she could stand up and act without dithering when the time for dithering passed.

    (Don't get me wrong - sometimes dithering is EXACTLY what's needed. But not very often.)

    Where Jaina went off-course was in not telling Luke EXACTLY what he could do with his "White Eyes" drivel. There is nothing glorious about the gore-fest that is Invincible; no great triumph of the Sword of the Jedi.

    Luke Skywalker was light-blinded, and wouldn't do his own dirty work ... much less remember the lesson of Endor (that said, if he did throw away his lightsaber, he should've had a ysalamir hidden in his robes along with a stun-blaster to capture Jacen).

    Ania Solo is, perhaps, what a post-NJO Jaina could've been - retired, machining things, maybe hauling freight legally. Jaina had fought her war, and she didn't need Jag and his moral compromises and arrogance, much less the damaged, machine-like mantle of the "Sword of the Jedi." [face_frustrated]

    Nostalgia almost always colors retrospective, even among the most self-analytical lookers back; it's part of being human.

    The NJO is celebration-worthy, but there's an - IMHO - undeniable bittersweet taste of unfulfilled and squandered potential to it.
  5. DarthKuriboh Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2007
    star 3
    I still read the NJO... and all of Legends... After all these years, it still has massive re-read potential
  6. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1


    wow, that's an awful lot and I've only read NJO at this point, but I def. see what you're saying.....

    On Jacen, I never really though about how the stuff from his earlier childhood must be affecting him when reading NJO but that's a good point, if you connect it all, of course he's screwed up...h/e I definitely think he over intellectualized the war, and agree totally on the last scene with Omini, I was like I thought Jacen was the super understanding guy now yet he just turned an insane crazy guy in goo, that's pretty straight up homicidal instead of the whole "oneness with the force" that he was on about where the goal wasn't destruction but understanding

    Jaina and Anakin both were able to act in the war and try to save the galaxy instead of as you said "dithering",
    Jaina was my fav character in the whole series for that exact reason, and I agree, I knew as soon as Luke named her "Sword of the Jedi" that was gonna suck for her, it was like telling her yea, you'll have to do all the hard labor/kill for the Jedi while the rest of us dither, didn't he even say she wouldn't know peace and have to stand alone??? I was like, man, that sucks to hear that, I'd be like no thank you

    I haven't read LOF yet but I know Jaina is the one to kill Jacen and I figure it has a lot to do with her being the Sword of the Jedi, h/e I just can't imagine how in the world Luke let's her do that....w/o reading it yet it just makes me angry that Luke would let her carry that burden instead of being willing to do it himself regardless of "fear of dark side" which is the reason I've heard he won't do it
  7. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    @Onderon1 Damn. That puts an interesting spin on the Solo kids growing up and why things happened the way they did.

    =D=
    Gives me a lot to ponder.
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  8. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1
    Jw, was the plan always for Jacen to go dark side even when TUF was released, or did that come about as TDN and then LOTF were written and released? A line in his fight with Onimi in TUF tells us, "He knew that he would never again be able to reach this exalted state, and at once he would spend the rest of his life trying." Now that we know he goes dark side, I wonder if this was a hint that he'd become deranged/go to crazy lengths trying.
  9. Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 5
    I've decided that XJ X-Wings look like the T-70s in TFA.

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  10. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    @Onderon1 I disagreed with a lot of your points; but the length, detail and complexity of that post was awesome.
  11. Darth Invictus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2016
    star 4
    Jacen beat Anakin in a duel in Vector Prime while having a debate. That tells me the writers were already heading in a more philosophical direction.

    Anakin to put it bluntly was the traditional hero trope-Jacen isn't. Jacen is a more academic and empathetic young man who questions the order he serves and his place in the cosmos. Anakin never had the time nor intellectual inclination for that sort of thing. I like philosophical "navel gazing" heroes.

    As for Onimi-Onimi was crazy and broken yet he was still an evil mastermind. And achieving nirvana was I think indicative both of Jacen's potential and his deep insight into the force. As well as his humility(he had to surrender his will to its).

    Anakin's death was necessary both for Jacen and Jaina's character development and narratively-it showed that the war mattered. Not just the "family dog" could die but the hero the future-the hope Luke believe in who perished in a grueling brawl above Mlykyr.

    I disagree with your main point-the "dithering" and "philosophizing" was necessary both for the Jedi, for Luke, for Jacen and the Vong.

    Anakin I think if the chips were down would have used Alpha Red and so would Jaina-Jacen even if the war was lost would not have blackened his own soul by indiscriminate genocide.

    But I'm speaking as someone who is passionately a Jacen fan.
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  12. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1
    @Darth Invictus I can definitely see you pov on Jacen as a fan of his, you are finding all the possible great things every action/thought of his could indicate or mean, h/e a lot of Jacen's stuff is left up to interpretation and you take the positive route of it which makes sense for you

    obviously, some of us take a more practical look at how to handle the situation itself and Anakin and Jaina were ready to fight off what we perceive as a obvious villain enemy while Jacen wanted to ponder on it which upsets us bc we think of all the death that happens while he ponders or either we question what the notion of Jacen's philosophy to possibly let the galaxy fall to keep from "not following the will of the Force"
  13. Darth Invictus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2016
    star 4
    Also I don't understand how Jacen was traumatized by chopping off Tenel Ka's arm. It was beyond awkward to be sure, embarrassing and a mess for him to handle. Especially given his crush on her and his admittedly bad attempts to get her to laugh.

    All the same though-there were sparks between them in the NJO and they had a child in DNT and I think would have been married in any universe where she didn't become queen.

    As for Jaina her flirtation with darkness was understandable. And her relationship with Kyp I think was a mentor(ish) one for the most part. But Kyp is supposed be a handsome charming man his own demons aside.

    Jaina is fine as a character yet there were some things I didn't like about her-one was her coldness and the distance she kept from her family including Jacen-which was silly as lots of pilots and combat veterans don't seem to have that problem. She has a monologue in Destiny's Way that struck me as well-she complains about some Neimodian pilot that had the nerve to strike up a conversation with her during a break that wasn't about his skill as a pilot or what he could do improve. What nerve!/s. I was like wow that's just not decent behavior.
  14. Daneira Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2016
    star 3
    I can't lay claim to writing that, except for ALL-CAPSing certain things, it's the blurb from the back of the book.
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  15. Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 5
    I think this a great crawl for Vector Prime:

    More than two decades after the heroes of the Rebel Alliance destroyed the DEATH STAR and broke the power of the Emperor, the NEW REPUBLIC has struggled to maintain peace and prosperity. Unrest has begun to spread ans threatens to destroy the Republic's tenuous reign.

    Into this volatile atmosphere comes NOM ANOR, a charismatic firebrand who heats passions to the boiling point, sowing seeds of dissent for his own dark motives.

    As the JEDI and the Republic focus on internal struggles, a new threat surfaces from beyond the farthest reaches of the Outer Rim....

    It's just the blurb edited a bit.

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  16. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
  17. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1
    @Dawud786 that is really good! actually great!
  18. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1

    I'm sure it's not something you go oh well and move on, h/e I think the poster originally was going on all the events of Jacen's early childhood and that was just one of the many that added up to a traumatized situation, I know any one bad event of my life might not traumatize me, but when I take all the ones that have happened to me, it has a great effect on me

    I totally agree that Jaina's flirtation with the dark side was understandable...my only complaint with that would be how quick it was wrapped up (flirtation for 9/10 of a book, get over in last 20 pages) and never really affected her again in NJO which made it more like a bad weekend in Vegas....the one thing I'd disagree on is the book definitely threw hints at a Jaina/Kyp relationship with flirting, it just backed off as Jaina realized the mentor thing and knew it would be a bad idea especially since she was already dating Jag and really liked him

    I def. understand that Jaina's coldness could be off putting, but they explained why she was like that well in the book so I could deal with that. I would def. disagree on it being silly though, bc many veterans suffer from that problem when they're back from war. I would also agree that it was rude of her to be so focused on combat w/ the pilot, but once again, the books show over and over again she has tunnel vision on being prepared for battle so that's reason she was rude, still I can def. see how that's off putting
  19. Onderon1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    @DarthInvictus: I respect your fandom for Jacen ... but Anakin's death being necessary to show that the war mattered? I have to disagree.

    Helska, Sernpidal - these are distant worlds. But losing Ithor, losing Daeshara'cor, losing Lusa - there was plenty of evidence that this war mattered, plenty of loss. And, AFA the reading public, Chewie - a movie character - would have had more impact than Anakin, who was known more to readers.

    I did miswrite about the dithering, though. It's absolutely true that the philosophizing was necessary; fighting a war in immoral ways is unacceptable.

    But Anakin did think things through - he'd come a long way from the "hero boy" stereotype he had earlier in the war.

    And I don't think that he'd have ever sanctioned Alpha Red, both because he never struck me as genocidal ... and because Tahiri had Vongtech in her own brain. Had Alpha Red been used, her likelihood of survival was minimal.
    Last edited by Onderon1, Oct 13, 2017
  20. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1

    I think some philosophizing is fine especially about immoral things like the way in which Alpha Red was going to be used w/o known side effects, but I agree with your earlier "dithering" statement in that it didn't keep Anakin, Jaina, and others from fighting where it was necessary aka "past the point of dithering" Many times, Jacen and Luke seemed to just want to sit around and "philosophize/dither" while the galaxy was being overtaken by the Vong
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  21. SiouxFan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    As someone who flew combat missions in an AF tanker during the timeframe of NJO being published, I grew increasingly dissatisfied with Anakin's and Jaina's 'See the enemy, kill the enemy' mantra.

    There needs to be some over-all vision of what you're going to do when the war's over, how you're going to get there, and how you're going to prosecute the war. Does the end justify the means? While even I got tired of Jacen's arguments at times, I recognized his need to say them -- mainly because NO ONE else was. Does being 17 make his position invalid? I don't think it does. Maybe if Luke or Corran had been voicing these statements instead, we readers would have given them more weight. I will agree that both Luke and Jacen made mountains out of molehills, but I think that makes their war-fighting all the more poignant. For all of their doubts, they still fought, still did what was needed.

    Because of what I was doing as I was reading this series, I will never be able to truly separate the two wars. For me, NJO became a proxy for the war in Iraq. I had plenty of friends who were 'Jaina', only wanting to kill as many of the bad guys as they could for king and country. I couldn't go to war that way...couldn't fight only because 'they told me to'. Like Jacen and Luke, I wanted to know if we were doing the right thing. 'Why' was just as important as 'How'.

    The military, either real or SW, needs people like Jaina to 'vini, vidi, vici'. But it also needs people to philosophize and plan. Neither is better, both are important.
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  22. Darth Invictus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2016
    star 4
    As @SiouxFan said there is nothing wrong with philosophizing in war. In fact I'd argue its inherently moral and just to ask why. And I don't think it hinders combat or command performance.

    Some have misinterpreted some of the earlier Jacen quotes and Jacen Luke discussions in the NJO as Jacen not wanting to be a Jedi. I fundamentally disagree. Jacen is asking questions. I like the sort of protagonist who asks why? "And Jacen asks that of the Jedi order. "Why must we be this way.?" "Why do we participate in this?" "Why do we not do things this way?" Etc... Jacen is shown to be an introspective and philosophical young man who wanders but wanders looking for the truth. I respect and like that sort of character.

    As for Jaina I felt it was rude and indifferent at best and cold at worst that she brushed Jacen off in Destiny's way. That made a bad impression on me when I read that scene. Here is your brother who has been gone a year and believed dead and yet is back again with whom you have special incredible bond since before you were born. She should have showed him more sisterly affection than what she did.

    As another question I wonder is if more competent Vong commanders were in charge throughout the war such as Nas Choka.
  23. EmperorHorus Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2016
    star 2

    Really? You don't think chopping of someone's arm could be traumatizing? Let alone a good friend's?
  24. OutsiderJediSam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2017
    star 1
    @SiouxFan thank you greatly for you service man, I can appreciate that's how you saw it as someone who had to see 1st hand real life scenarios of it play out, as someone who never served, it never struck me as them having that "mantra", I just saw it as them seeing the Vong as trying to wipe out them/friends/family/innocents in the galaxy and they were fighting back against that in preservation, yes they were intense about it, but it was bc they felt the Vong were intense towards them...in other words I never saw it as them fighting just bc NR military/govt told them too, if people in real war fight only for that reason that is sad.....

    My issue with Jacen's/Luke's arguments weren't in that they had them, I agree it's important to know everything you pointed out, it's just for a 19 book series, they spent way too much time almost intentionally not engaging in the war and questioning others for engaging at all, there were multiple books where Luke just didn't get involved at all and instead just sat around questioning while others are giving their lives and that's what hit me wrong I think, I just got to a point where I was like I'm tired of the philosophizing not getting anywhere or rendering an answer since people were dying while Luke/Jacen were waiting on the "answer".....A lot of this could have been resolved with the series just being shorter I think....It's just the war starts in VP and Jacen/Luke begin ?, and what it's not until Traitor til when Jacen gets his answers and Luke doesn't really find anything til he reaches Zonoma Sekot in FH3???
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  25. Darth Invictus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2016
    star 4
    How exactly was it traumatizing for Jacen? He fathered her child just a little over twenty years later.