Lit Retcons and storytelling - when they make things better or worse

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Charlemagne19, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Star Wars fans are no stranger to retcons. Halagad Ventor joins Voren Na'al in terms of those who have tried to give us a sense of Star Wars "history." We've got such retcons as it was Halagad Ventor, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi Wan in a Marvel comic world while Trioculus was rivals with Ysanne Isard for rulership of the Empire.

    There's also "secret history" like the fact Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Garm were unable to get anything done until Darth Vader's apprentice decided to get the ball rolling--amusingly, at the instigation of the Dark Lord.

    Yet, sometimes these retcons make things more complex or confusing. Also, people dislike the changes like Ryloth having a day and night cycle (clearly, it's extensive cloud cover!). So the real question is--which retcons make stories better. Which retcons have made things worse. The only judge in this thread (where we share our opinions of retcons) is whether you, the viewer/reader LIKE them.

    Say which your favorite are, which ones you disliked.

    Go nuts.
  2. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Me I like the new Mandolorias from the Clone Wars
  3. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    For me, I'm a fan of the Clone Wars retcons regarding Dathomir. When the Courtship of Princess Leia came out, the Nightsisters vs. Witches conflict was something which seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. Palpatine wasted vast efforts to destroy the Jedi Knighthood but just insisted on marooning the Nightsisters? A whole planet of Force users and they don't actually have much role in the galaxy at large?

    The retcons regarding Dathomir have really managed to integrate it into the larger EU quite well. Ventress being a trained Nightsister (I'm against her not being Ratatakki) before she joined Dooku helps explain her devotion to the Dark Side as well as raging hate for the Jedi. I also like the fact that Sidious would turn to the Dathomir for an apprentice since they're really strong force-sensitive bloodlines.

    I guess I take Ventress more seriously as a threat knowing she was trained by Jedi, Sith, AND an independent Force Tradition versus just coming fresh off the wagon yet able to duel Obi-Wan Kenobi outright.

    Now people may find the idea that Tenel Ka has some Zabrak blood in her to be offensive but I like the idea the Dathomir are a "hybrid" race even more. Not only does it clean up some of the lack of nonhumans in the main cast but it also shows what we've been told but rarely see that aliens and humans breed fairly regularly.

    On my end, I'd also like it confirmed that Maris Brood is a Witch of Dathomir now.

    [IMG]

    Especially given...

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 16, 2013
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    The Good:

    I liked the new Mandos as well until Satine went stupid in season 5.

    I liked Anakin being Knighted soon after Geonosis as opposed to a year and a half later. I think the pressure of early Knighthood when he wasn't ready, added to his character arc.

    I liked Ventress' added back story as a Nightsister.


    The Bad:

    Adi Gallia getting head-butted by Savage Oppress.

    Anakin having an apprentice--not the idea itself, which had potential, but the way it played out.


    The Oh-So-Hideously Ugly:

    The utter butchering of Barriss Offee's character.
  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    The worst retcon in the EU is easily the Vergere retcon and all that entailed.
  6. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I think the worst of the Vergere retcon is that there's no indication that being a Sith made her evil. This is the kind of complaint only *I* would make but Troy Denning made the retcon that Vergere was SAID *BY* Lumiya (not the most trustworthy source) that said Fosh studied under Emperor Palpatine for a time. This doesn't mean she was bad, only that she studied under a bad person for a time. Later, it said Vergere tried to kill Emperor Palpatine--which is, by nature, the actions of a sane and rationale being.

    So, there's actually a potentially very interesting story about all this but it gets swept under the rug as if she was attempting to corrupt Krayt and Caedus from the very beginning. Which is entirely possible to not be the case.
    Robimus likes this.
  7. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    The first phase of the Vergere retcon already "established" that she was trying to corrupt Jacen when Denning invented a straw Vergere for Dark Nest in which she was paraphrased as saying things which were entirely at odds with what she actually said -- making Vergere a "Sith candidate" was merely making it official. The idea that she was a Sith candidate doesn't really work, though, because the time between her trying to kill Sidious and leaving the galaxy is two years, during which time she is said to have evaded assassins sent by Sidious. If she really wanted Sidious dead, she could have told the Jedi High Council that the Supreme Chancellor is the Dark Lord of the Sith.
    Lady_Misty and Zeta1127 like this.
  8. The Compeer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2013
    star 2
    Can't argue with this; Adi had a perfectly fine death already at the hands of General Grievous. You know, back when we took Grievous seriously. Although, I suppose if we're resolved not to do that anymore, than redistributing that kill might not have been a terrible idea.

    Wow, talking about character deaths like fungible commodities is as close to Dennningthink as it gets, isn't it?
    AdmiralWesJanson likes this.
  9. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Not necessarily. She could have been in the Unknown Regions or some place where there wasn't ready access to transport to the Core. But yes, it means there should be a Luceno-written novel about Vergere.

    The only problem would be getting someone other than Die-Hard Star Wars fans to read it.

    I still find it amazing we have two entirely new Jedi Masters because re-casting the Jedi Council is apparently verboten.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 16, 2013
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    She was at the Jedi temple when she was sent to Zonama Sekot. She was at the Jedi temple all along.
  11. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Cool. Maybe she got a force vision Palpatine's Empire was needed to prepare for the Vong then.

    :D

    I can't stop the retconning!

    But no, you're right. Vergere studying under Palpatine almost certainly makes her complacent in the Banite Sith's evil.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 16, 2013
  12. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I don't think Tenel Ka necessarily has Zabrak blood. Sure, The Last Jedi shows some Dathomir witches as half-Zabraks, but there was no indication that Augwynne Djo–or, consequently, Teneniel or Tenel Ka–has any Zabrak blood at all.
    Gorefiend and Charlemagne19 like this.
  13. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    That's because they were designed as humans. Now they're Zabrak-Human-Rattataki hybrids.

    If the Singing Mountain Clan were pure humans, I'd find the retcon no longer a good one but a horrible one.

    Basically needless complexity for specism.
  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Nightsisters seem to be the ones that interbreed with the Zarbaks. The non-Nightsister clans may not. I haven't read The Last Jedi though so maybe that sets it straight.
    Charlemagne19 likes this.
  15. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    So, the good guys are a bunch of racists?

    Edit:

    But basically Dathomir is a prison planet and people get sent there and the Witches take husbands. Presumably, some of these guys were Zabraks.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 16, 2013
  16. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    No... the Zabraks are segregated from the Nightsisters, and they keep them geographically isolated. They also practice slavery on men, so they might have a monopoly on the Zabraks whereas the Singing Mountain clan is stuck with capturing their men from the Imperial prison or whatever.

    The Witches of Dathomir and the Nightsisters are the product of several canonical strata of retcons so it's a confused situation.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 16, 2013
    Charlemagne19 and Revanfan1 like this.
  17. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Eh, I don't think they have Rattataki blood. Just Zabrak and Dathomirian. And why is it so bad that some of the Singing Mountain Clans are human? There was one in TLJ that was a half-Zabrak, and at least two (including Augwynne Djo) were just stated to be "human" or "Dathomiri", I can't remember. But the fact that it would be a bad retcon because they're not all the exact same species is silly. Why can't there be some human, some Zabrak-Dathomiri?
    Charlemagne19 likes this.
  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Singing Mountain clan is a single clan. There's others like Bright Sun clan, Misty Falls clan, Great Canyon clan, etc. The Nightsisters were originally outcasts from all the clans, but have since been developed into one or more distinct clans of their own.
    Lady_Misty and Charlemagne19 like this.
  19. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I suppose I find myself enamoured of taking the metaphor to the next logical step. Species in Star Wars are a metaphor for different races as opposed to different species so the idea there is cross-species breeding going on doesn't offend me because I'm not taking Star Wars on a literal level. I also like the idea that it's not going to be solely human bloodlines that our heroes fall in love with and/or have children with. I actually am a little glad that Cade Skywalker's kids could and should be a little pink.

    You're right on the Rattaki bit but since everyone looks like Ventress, there's no reason they CAN'T have that. It'd be another cool bit about how various races other than humans aren't restricted to their home planet.
  20. blackmyron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    The whole leadership of the Separatists is a back-and-forth for me. The two movies made it pretty clear - there's a bunch of representatives of various galactic powers in AOTC, and they're killed as members of the Separatist Council in ROTS. Connecting the dots, right? But for Lucas, the shortest distance between two points is apparently a huge zig-zag, as suddenly half the Council is still with the Republic - working against them, sure, but apparently in a way that they can never be caught (considering the Chosen One caught the IGBC and the Trade Federation red-handed, which resulted in... nothing happening).
    Then again, the appearance of the Separatist Congress was fantastic. We finally had a leadership - obviously not the 'real' power in the Confederacy, but recognition of the "Independent Systems" of the CIS. A face of the opposition, as it were, more like the 'heroes on both sides' with Congressmen from planets that were tired of the Republic rather than the cliche mustache-twirlers of the Council.
    And then we never saw them again. Good job, guys. [face_plain]
  21. Shadow Trooper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2013
    star 4
    I loved Assaj's additional back story as a Nightsister but I hated how her fate was changed from its original in Obsession. Her original fate was better, as I preferred it being Dooku's choice to betray her rather than Sidious's command. On the bright side, the alterations to Obsession means Alpha 017 is no longer lost in the middle of nowhere as Assaj wouldn't be around to hijack his ship.
  22. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I'm torn on that because I'm not what the Separatists are supposed to be. Are they supposed to be a viable alternate to Palpatine or are they supposed to be the Boogeyman? Even their name is kind of misleading because the RL Confederacy's descendants have tried to whitewash the fact it was one of the most evil governments of the past 500 years but the romanticism doesn't hide its cruelties. Also, that said cruelties allowed Lincoln to consolidate Federal power.

    If the Confederacy is composed of the Republic's enemies, it's definitely a "heroes on both sides" situation as Palpatine gets to legally justify cracking down on dissent and opposition to his enhanced Executive office without problem. It's only chance which results in Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Garm and other would-be rebels from standing with the other opposition to Palpatine's regime.

    If it's the Boogeyman then we have Count Dooku and company having set up a massive collection of terrorists like Durge, Grevious, and so on with a bunch of greedy corporate psychopaths in a group which would never-ever suceed against the Republic. It's basically Al-Qaeda and the entire war is a sham. That's why 10,000 systems seemed so threatening despite composing less than 1% of the Republic. The Boogeyman allows Palpatine to take over with the New Order and look like the good guy.

    There's evidence for both.
  23. TychoCorde Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2012
    star 1
  24. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    This is just a personal retcon, and one that's just humorous, but...

    [IMG]

    This is actually Kenth Hamner, going to the past and trying to warn Luke–"Hey, moron, whatever you do, do not send your nephews and niece on a mission against the Yuuzhan Vong twenty-some years from now, because one's going to die, and one's going to save the galaxy and then go totally stark-raving bonkers and turn to the dark side!" The only problem? Like Mara Jade's spirit, he couldn't talk and Luke mistook him for dear ol' dad...and then did exactly what Kenth tried to warn him not to.
  25. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I like the retcons which establish Trioculus and the Central Committee of Grand Moffs were actually a serious threat. Much like Warlord Zsinj and Aaron Allston, I love the idea the Glove of Darth Vader covered a serious time in the history of the galaxy but it just so happens the presentation was Scholastic level.

    Conversely, I hated the treatment of Zorba the Hutt which made him seem like an idiot. Zorba was the most competent character in the setting!

    I also love when writers take retcons and run with them like Stover and Cronal.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 16, 2013