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

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

  1. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    :oops:

    Doh! And here I was, thinking most of the flubs were in Denning's books! Thank you, Golden. /sarcasm
  2. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Denning is a huge-huge Luke fan. He prefers Han but both characters are ones he adores.

    However, his version of Luke is essentially an older Kyle Katarn. The Rebel Commando turned Strategist.
  3. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    That's the problem; Denning doesn't write Luke. For all his stating that he loves Luke, he writes him as a different character than the man we see in the movies.
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  4. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
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    I think Denning's Luke is more caustic than Kyle Katarn, but I don't really distinguish Denning's Luke from Allston or Golden's Luke in the same series, or Crucible.

    For instance, just the way that Luke and the Jedi are written at the start of Outcast and Crucible strikes me as the elite oligarchy that everyone hates them for being, and so completely self-absorbed that they're oblivious to it. They're religious zealots that know they're right, so they don't even consider that other people might not be so certain about their religion and so discriminate against them for the status that they are afforded as a consequence of it. They are the Jedi of the prequels in their ivory tower to the nth power.

    And Luke is so weary of the fact that the galaxy won't just acknowledge that they belong there that he's a caustic jerk.
  5. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    Allston does better with it, but it's still gotten to the point where the NJO has gone through the same corruption the old one had, except over only 30 years instead of 1000. :confused:
  6. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I imagine him writing the grown-up version of the Luke he envisioned while playing with action figures in his backyard.

    I have a much more forgiving view. That the Luke of the LOTF and FOTJ series is so completely sick of the **** he has to put up with that he's developed a surprisingly bitter streak. Like the Doctor and the Daleks, he passed the point it was funny and now just considers the villains of the universe an irritation.

    "I am the Dark Lord Valgroth who..."
    *Luke cuts off his head before he finishes*
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  7. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    The prequel Jedi in the associated EU show much more awareness and compassion for the common man despite the fact that they're supposed to symbolically be in that ivory tower. The FOTJ Jedi don't even show awareness of the consequences that their actions have on the galaxy and more specifically the people of Coruscant. They just overthrow the government because it's threatening them. There's not even consideration of what the coup would mean for anyone besides the Jedi.
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  8. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    You know, that makes entirely too much sense. I can see Denning rewriting ROTJ, with his Luke action figure brutally chopping up Vader and the Emperor. And Han and Leia...doing unmentionable things. A lot.

    I can kind of understand this, if he were only speaking for the villains. But a lot of the time, Luke treats just about everyone that's not a Jedi like scum...need I reiterate when he tells Boba Fett that his injured granddaughter wasn't the Jedi's concern? It's not like Fett even did something to make Luke mad, he just expressed concern over his granddaughter's well-being, and Luke says he doesn't give a flip about the girl. [face_dunno]
  9. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
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    The whole Jedi Order seems to have fallen to the dark side, quite literally.

    "For [the Jedi], other beings are mostly abstractions, simple schematic sketches who fall into two essential categories. The first category is Assets: beings who can be used to serve [their] various interests...
    "The other category is Threats. In this second set, [they number] every sentient being [they] cannot include in the first.
    "There is no third category.
    "Someday there may not even be a second; being considered a Threat by [the Jedi] is a death sentence."
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 19, 2013
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  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    He also comments on Boba and the Mandos having "inserted themselves into the mission thinking the Jedi would serve as their shields"
  11. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    re: The Doctor and Luke

    There's an important difference here:.

    The Doctor regularly has these crises of faith, where he says 'screw it all' and withdraws. Then he gets over it. That doesn't look to be happening where Luke's concerned! The "tear down in order to build back up" is a long standing traditional story telling technique, but where's the latter part? Lots of tearing down, grounding yeah and crushing, but where's the flip side? Nowhere in sight!
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  12. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    What is this quote from? Kark it all...

    Even when that wasn't the case. IIRC, Luke requested Boba's help; Boba didn't offer.
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  13. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    The original was in the RoTS novelization- about Dooku.
  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
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    @Revanfan1

    "For Dooku, other beings are mostly abstractions, simple schematic sketches who fall into two essential categories. The first category is Assets: beings who can be used to serve his various interests...
    "The other category is Threats. In this second set, he numbers every sentient being he cannot include in the first.
    "There is no third category.
    "Someday there may not even be a second; being considered a Threat by Count Dooku is a death sentence."
  15. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    Ah. Well, that certainly seems to be very similar to how the Jedi are portrayed in FOTJ. When I'm finished with Kenobi I need to take a nice trip down memory lane and reread the JAT, Darksaber, The New Rebellion–anything when the Jedi are still good! We seriously need a reset button that deletes everything post-TUF.
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  16. blackmyron Force Ghost

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    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    I don't really see that. The most 'aware' of the Jedi seem to be the ones always on the outs, like Qui-Gon. Their training seems to be exactly like regular school, right down to bullies and cliques, and seems to generate enough future Dark Jedi they might as have a scene of Yoda declaring Bruk Chun as House Slytherin. And even before the Clone Wars, Dark Jedi seemed endemic. They also barely seemed to take any action of themselves, just react. Hey, what about the other Sith Lord that Yoda thinks exists? Maybe be we should look into Sifo-Dyas' death? Wow, where did all these clones come from? The ridiculousness of not forming attachment was essentially what caused the entire Anakin trainwreck. It is attachment that leads to awareness and compassion. That it can lead to the Dark Side... well, one would think that's what Jedi training is supposed to be about, not sticking your head in the sand.
    That isn't to say that the portrayal of FOTJ and LOTF are heavily flawed - they are, especially since Luceno set up a great version of the Jedi Order that was roundly ignored by every author afterwards (which isn't different than anything else he did in TUF). But the PT Jedi failed on many, many levels.

    I'll fault FOTJ for a lot, but having the Jedi - or anyone, really - overthrowing Daala is not one I'll give them grief for, since she never (IU or OOU) should've been the head of the galaxy to begin with. Nor would letting old school Imperials call the shots be that much better. Though I would've liked it more if, say, Wedge or Han had led a popular revolt, or something.

    Sadly, the end I thought they were going to - considering Daala -> The Maw -> Abeloth - was that Abeloth engineered Daala's rise as part of a master plan. I would love to see that retcon, to salvage in some small way that whole plot element.
  17. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    It's more or less how comic book writers work. Every time a new one comes to a title, the character gets reset to the time they existed in the writer's childhood.

    The other side of this is Luke lost all faith in the universe respecting niceness and goodness after the galaxy's repeated throwing of the Jedi under a bus.


    Well, for that, I have no problem because Boba flat out intended to use the Jedi as cannon fodder. Using the Mandos, instead, is grossly out of character. There's a difference between calling a villain out and stooping to their level.
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  18. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    @blackmyron
    You're operating off a different definition of "attachment" than the Jedi are.

    ATTACHMENT
    Definition: Exaggerated not wanting to be separated from someone or something. (Exact opposite of Aversion) Because the label of "pleasant" is very relative and based upon limited information, Attachment includes an aspect of exaggeration or "projection".
    Near "enemy" (or not to be confused with): Real appreciation, love and compassion.
    Opposite: Wanting to be separated from someone or something: aversion.
    Main quality: exaggeration of positive qualities, which can only lead to disappointment. Falling in love will usually fit very well in this category.

    LOVE
    Definition: Wishing others to be happy.
    Near enemy: Conditional love (attachment).
    Opposite: Wishing others to be unhappy: hatred --or-- not wishing others to be happy: which is indifference or egotism.
    Main qualities: Unconditional, no self-interest, but based on self-acceptance.

    COMPASSION
    Definition: Wishing others to be free from suffering.
    Near enemy: Sorry for someone, pity.
    Opposite: Wishing others to suffer: cruelty.
    Main qualities: Sorry with someone, com-passion means with-feeling, urge to help.

    "No human can let go. It's every hard. Ultimately, we do let go because it's inevitable; you do die and you do lose your loved ones. But while you're alive, you can't be obsessed with holding on. As Yoda says in this one, 'You must learn to let go of everything you're afraid to let go of.' Because holding on is in the same category and the precursor to greed. And that's what a Sith is. A Sith is somebody that is absolutely obsessed with gaining more and more power -- but for what? Nothing, except that it becomes an obsession to get more.

    "The Jedi are trained to let go. They're trained from birth. They're not supposed to form attachments. They can love people -- in fact, they should love everybody. They should love their enemies; they should love the Sith. But they can't form attachments. So what all these movies are about is greed. Greed is a source of pain and suffering for everybody. And the ultimate state of greed is the desire to cheat death."

    Attachment doesn't lead to compassion. They're not at all the same thing. Attachment is an exaggerated sense of love. It's obsession over a person. It's loving how someone makes you feel, not loving someone. It's lust; not love.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Sep 19, 2013
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  19. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    The whole overthrowing Daala thing would've gone over better (with me, at least) if they had done it in a way that didn't knock over everyone between them and Daala and suggested the Jedi didn't even care. Like that security officer that Seha Dorvald flirted with; he got arrested because of supposed ties to the Jedi because he went on a date with her. Sure, it turned out fine when he became Allana's bodyguard, but still...it just seemed like the Jedi didn't really care what happened to anyone else as long as they got Daala off her throne. (Which wasn't a bad goal, what with her sending Mandalorians to kill slaves. Slaves.)

    I always wanted that to be the case too, especially since Daala disappeared, and Abeloth-Pagorski was working with Daala. I hate FOTJ's depiction of Daala as a whole, actually. Remember when she was a semi-good character? Revelation at least made her seem like a good guy. I wish she'd just disappeared after her appearance there; it would've been more in line with her character.
  20. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Best retcon of the Daala mess was that Daala as Chief of State isn't actually reasonable but a horrible sociopath who wants to turn the galaxy back into the Empire.

    That was just...glorious.
  21. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I don't know. If Daala actually had turned out to be a reasonable COS like was implied in LOTF, I'd have been totally fine with it. She never actually did any real damage to the New Republic, after all. Thrawn or Zsinj or, heavens help us, Isard becoming COS; yeah, that'd be messed up. But Daala? I always found her character to be somewhat naïve and, as a result, redeemable.
  22. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    They kinda walked into that one when they reformed the New Republic into a government with a stronger central power and then appointed a former Imperial nutjob to run it.
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  23. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    The redeemable part always seemed to be weird as it kept showing up. Kevin J. Anderson created her as a female Tarkin and every one of her actions more or less reinforced this.

    Of course, I suspect a lot of her reasonability may have been do to female authors wanting a reasonable female Imperial. Star Wars hasn't had the best luck with gender roles and it's problematic the most prominent female Imperial is a raving nutjob.

    (I consider Isard 1000% more competent and sane)
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 19, 2013
  24. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    You mean Isard? ;)
  25. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    I think that it makes sense for the most prominent female Imperial to be a nutjob -- the most prominent men in the Empire are Sith. The men that are ruled by an ethical or moral code aren't going to rise to the top in the Empire, and the prominence of a "good Imperial" is because they're against type.