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

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

  1. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Remaining pissed off after death would suck.

    But I don't think dead people feel anything so there's that.
    DigitalMessiah likes this.
  2. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Maybe they were practicing Jedi detachment.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  3. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Yes, over the course of half an hour he went from Sith Lord who murdered everyone they ever knew, to cool guy back in the club.

    Luke forgiving him, that I don't take issue with. Luke was always naive.

    But then that is what the Old Jedi Order does. So far as they are concerned Vader killing all those people was a non issue because they didn't care. Rejoice that the murdered rejoied the Force they did :p
  4. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Well, in the Force I'm pretty sure that you get over killing people since that's only part of your life.

    But this is a WEE bit esoterric.

    Anyway, hating a guy for ALL ETERNITY no matter his crimes seems crazy.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 17, 2013
  5. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    I actually like the Hundred-Year Darkness retcon. It pushes the formation of the Sith Order way down the timeline, which means that any author who writes in the ancient Republic period (pipedream at this point, but hope springs eternal) has to use a story hook besides the millionth Jedi vs Sith story (sure, they might use Xendor and his Legions, but they'd have to differentiate them significantly from "Sith"). It gave Wallace, Fry and co. room to flesh out the early Jedi without jumping immediately into the same old tired storylines.
  6. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    So, really, what it actually accomplished was to make 25,000 - 7,000 BBY a dead zone for stories, because the Sith are the "featured villains of the Expanded Universe."
  7. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Eh, I'd rather have that dead zone (which Warfare, the Atlas and The Essential Guide to the Force have turned into anything but) than more of the same tired paradigm.
    kubricklynch likes this.
  8. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Those are nice but I'd like a Tales of the Jedi revival that jumps around the timeline with each arc.
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  9. Lazy Storm Trooper Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2012
    star 4
    I wish the story of Xim would be told in a book or comic instead of just in Warfare.
  10. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Well, it was also told through Xim Week over on Hyperspace when it was still up and running. The excerpts from the Despotica were pretty neat, though IIRC @Rogue1-and-a-half wasn't too impressed with them in his Journey Through the EU thread.
  11. blackmyron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    Yeah, the deal with the Force appears to be... to reject the Dark Side. That's it.

    The oft-misunderstood famous quote from the Bhagavad Gita - "I am become Death, destroyer of worlds" - is from a tale where Krishna is attempting to convince a king to do his duty and lead his forces against an enemy. When he makes the ultimate appeal - that he does not want to be responsible for the deaths of other people - Krishna becomes Shiva and utters the famous line. But a better translation would be "In the end, all things die", that they would eventually die one way or another.

    With relationship to the Force, life and death are part of the natural order of the universe. Unnaturalness is using the Dark Side, which corrupts and destroys life - and in some sources, dooms the Dark Sider's soul to Chaos, lost in a perpetual dissolution. KOTOR2, I think, illustrates the true ultimate end path of the Dark Side (however Sidious and Vitiate thought it would end up) - utter nihilism, or an existence consumed solely by prolonging existence.
  12. Vialco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    Eh, being the Chosen One has it's perks.

    Besides, Anakin did what no one else could. If he hadn't turned back and sacrificed his life to destroy the Emperor, Luke would have died, the Empire would have won at Endor and Darth Sidious would rule the galaxy.

    Forever
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  13. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    It's up to future authors to make to make this time period interesting or a dead zone. When DOTJ was announced, I was so happy to have a pre-TOTJ story.
    RC-1991 likes this.
  14. Lazy Storm Trooper Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2012
    star 4
    Now the question is what would you feel like if there was a pre-DOTJ story now? :p
    Last edited by Lazy Storm Trooper, Sep 17, 2013
  15. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    The problem with retcons is that by definition they're changing what was previously canon. I'm quite simply annoyed when a later work overwrites a past work. What's more, all too often the retcon is unnecessary, and horribly done.

    Worst Retcons? TCW springs to mind:

    Ahsoka, Barriss, Maul, The New Mandalorians, Asajj and the Nightsisters; didn't care for any of it.

    I'm sure it's been mentioned, but Vergere now being a Sith. [face_not_talking] I find that to be the result of shortsighted thinking and a general unhappiness with another author's work.

    Traviss attempting to retcon Spar to a bit player working for Shysha (And I was happy that that was quickly retconned away and back to Spar having been an actual leader) That just came off as her not liking the idea of Spar, so she decided to change it to suit her tastes. There was no conflict with him being Mandalore, she just didn't like the idea and then decided to retcon it.

    Jacen Solo's fall to the Dark Side being motivated by a vision he had during his 5 year journey, really just every retcon that made it happen as well.

    This entire business that's been happening since the end of NJO, where Luke's Order slowly becomes a carbon copy of the Old Order.

    The Death Star, who created it, who had access to the plans, everything about it.

    The "Darth" title and its origin.

    Midichlorians.:mad:

    The Jedi of the Old Republic not being allowed to have families.

    Boba Fett escaping the Sarlacc and falling back in. [face_frustrated]


    Favorite Retcons, let's see:

    Ailyn Vel impersonating her father during the YJK series.

    That the Republic fought alongside the Clone Army instead of against renegade clones. (At least in terms of the main conflict.)

    Anakin's Knighting Ceremony being moved up. It interfered with the neat and concise original Clone Wars timeline, but I feel it gave the character more time to grow into the role of a Jedi Knight and helped him live up to his OT characterization as a "good man". Really TCW in general did wonders for the character.

    Boba Fett being replaced by Spar as Mandalore during the Clone Wars.

    The Ruusan Reformation being used to explain the comment in AOTC, "There hasn't been a full-scale war since the formation of the Republic." Obviously due to the EU we know this isn't true if you take it to mean when the Republic itself was first created. Having the Ruusan Reformation allowed the past conflicts, like the Great Hyperspace War, to remain canon without contradicting the films. Very cleverly handled.

    Corran Horn being retconned to having been part of the original class at Luke's Praxeum.
    Last edited by DarthJenari, Sep 17, 2013
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  16. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    Even happier
    Lazy Storm Trooper likes this.
  17. victor-dm Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2013
    I think they should sequel DotJ with "Dawn of the Sith". It seems like the most logical choice, and could finally clear up the whole Hundred-Year Darkness business, and probably make reference to Xendor's exploits throughout, with how one Schism could possibly influence the other, and how the Second Schism could really just be considered an extension of the First.
    purplerain likes this.
  18. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    I suppose they could have Lucas turn around and say Vader only killed bad people and that he was never really on the darkside at all and was really Judge Dredd but to me that would be even more silly.
  19. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Then we would have a Vader shot first controversy.
  20. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I've got to say I find the Vader comments a bit disturbing.

    "Yeah, I favor redemption but only if the person who is redeemed didn't do anything too bad."

    o_O

    This is why I favor, "Mara was just a hitwoman who killed whoever the Emperor said to."
    Vialco and fett 4 like this.
  21. Alixen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2003
    star 4
    I think Vader's redemption is is one of the influences western religion had on the story, as the ideas behind karma simply don't fit. The idea behind Biblical redemption is that it is a undeserved gift, not earned by doing good deeds or making up for our crimes, given freely, when someone truly sorry/repentant of their deeds. Its a wondrous thing precisely because we (or he, in this case) don't deserve it(, and in Christianity came at great cost). It's not truly forgiveness if you want to see the person work for it; that's parole, and judgement.

    Lucas noted he took elements from all major religions, and the force having a will, a netherworld, and redemption are definite themes, as we see.

    Anakin didn't deserve forgiveness or 'eternal life' after all he had done, but the light loves, and forgiveness and love are just as much its nature as justice and order. Nor is a grumbled and dishonest apology enough. You have to be truly sorry, truly hate, what you have done, and potentially yourself for it. And what gave Vader the power to kill Maul?

    I don't see where the confusion is. I'd imagine the majority of posters here are from the western world. As a Christian myself, its actually a sorrowful pain to see a concept as simple as unmerited forgiveness as an alien concept, especially as they are spiritual concepts that have been core ideals and virtues for as long as some of our cultures have existed. A sign of the times, it is. :(
    jSarek, Jedi Ben and Gamiel like this.
  22. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    I love KotOR II, a lot, but I have long wished that something like the above is what the KotOR series had been instead. No direct sequels, just loads of standalone stories about prominent Jedi Knights of the Old Republic.

    KotOR II could have been set during the New Sith Wars. KotOR III could have been set during the Hundred Year Darkness. KotOR IV could have been exploring the 10,000 BBY period, and so on.

    Basically making it like the SW answer to the Final Fantasy games, except with different time periods rather than worlds/universes.
    purplerain likes this.
  23. FTeik Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2000
    star 5
    The point is not, that Vader's crimes were absolved or forgotten with him becoming a Force-ghost.

    The point is Vader turned his back on the Dark Side. Basically he realized, that he was on the wrong path and did the right thing by acting on that realisation. Not only that, but he was willing to sacrifice himself to at least partially right the wrongs he commited and you can't ask for more. The Force accepts Anakin back, because he did all that was possible for him to do. 100% commitment. I think it was Sartre, who said "to be is to do" and by ceasing to do evil Anakin/Vader ceased being evil. Or, if you want biblical terms, "the wayward son has returned home".
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, we're all going to find out the answer to this one!
  25. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    People like to see concepts as forgiveness, atonement and redemption as easy but I have to disagree point blank. It is exceedingly difficult in most cases to forgive, doesn't mean you can't do it but it sure isn't easy.

    I much prefer the mystic notion of the Force taking pity on Vader and granting that which he himself would consider unmerited and unearnt. It's why I like Tyers and Luceno's use of the character in ghost form in NJO - until then, there was nothing that could be deemed a substantive atonement, nothing that could, in Anakin Skywalker's eyes, be deemed to count. Until the Vong invaded, with their aim of annihilating the entire galaxy so as to then form into whatever shape they chose.