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Lit So many years after, what do you think of Bria Tharen ?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by BaronNoir, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. BaronNoir

    BaronNoir Jedi Master star 1

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    Sep 6, 2001
    That thread is of course inspired by the trailer, which have a character (Emilia Clarke) that seems to have a role similar to Bria Tharen.

    The Han Solo trilogy was one of my first SW books, so I was really fond of it when I was young and naive. Personally, I found that Bria arc was a bit cliché for YA litterature (daddy's girl who feel empty, get caught in drugs, gangs with quite thinly veiled threats of prostitution) but nevertheless original for SW.

    While it's pretty hard to not mock, when you are blasé and all, the books as a very extensive fanfiction about Han Solo girlfriend that is so much better than the canon one, you have to admit that the author did at least an effort to make Bria beyond ''Han's girlfriend' (something that have still to be done with Sanna...) -if I remember correctly, the two later books have her and Han constantly separated, with in fact Bria choosing Rebellion over Han.

    What doomed the entire endeavour was the same pitfalls that many books of the old EU. Making Bria go from ''slave'' to ''scheming concubine'' to ''rebel fighter'' was a good arc. But making her a founder of the Rebellion on level with Garm and Mon Mothma, who stole the plans of the Death Star.

    Even if Emilia Clarke pulls out a Shakespearan performance and have a Citizen Kane-level script to work with (call me deeply sceptical on both counts), her Q'ara will have the same issues than Bria-she is already overshadowed by Han actual love (1). New characters of SW suffers all the time to be compared to classic ones, and by design, Tharen/Q'ara are inferior versions of Leia...
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    I think some of the complaints exaggerate her role. She doesn't do the stealing. Or the transmitting. She guards the people who have done the stealing and are doing the transmitting. She's not on a level with Garm - she's very much Garm's underling - a member of the Corellian resistance that Garm leads.
     
  3. BaronNoir

    BaronNoir Jedi Master star 1

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    Sep 6, 2001
    Yeah, but she is instrumental in the ackward transformation of the Corellian resistance into the Alliance (ironically, the role devoted in the current canon to a team of freedom warriors with radical hairdos)
     
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  4. Coherent Axe

    Coherent Axe Jedi Knight star 3

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    Dec 20, 2016
    I haven't read that series in years, so I don't recall how problematic she was; that's a shame. I liked her involvement with the Alliance, especially her terse reunion with Han in The Yavin Vassilika, but I think her part in the Death Star plans has now been done better with Jyn and company.
     
  5. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    May 23, 2005
    Her involvement in the creation of the Alliance is far better handled than Starkiller.
     
  6. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

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    Jan 3, 2013
    I've always felt that the overall conceptual direction of Rebel Dawn - pre-ANH Han was a lot like post-ANH Han until one specific event not long before the movie that left him bitter and cynical - was really wrongheaded. And I think it's kinda dumb and SUS to link Han too closely, on a personal level, to the theft of the Death Star plans. But honestly, I've never really had a particular problem with Bria specifically.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  7. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

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    Nov 4, 1998
    The first times I read the Crispin trilogy I didn't mind Bria, but thought that she was quite interesting. Then I got a bit bored with her, I think it's ok until she became one of the founders of the Rebellion, that was a step too far. Still I like Han having to figure out his feelings for her, and it' still one of my favorite legends series.
     
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  8. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    I like her just find but she's the Dash Rendar of the Han Solo Trilogy.

    She's basically the Leia substitute with a different background.
     
  9. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Her background is very similar to Leia's public background - "member of incredibly rich aristocratic family" - it's her personality that's more overtly different.
     
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  10. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 6, 2012
    I never understood some of the Bria hate that shows up on the boards from time-to-time. The stories were a great way to expand Han's character

    My biggest complaint is this: why are they changing her? Why can't we just have her be 'Bria' without the name change? Only us real die-hards are going to have a clue that the backstory isn't the same, and it would be a nice nod in our direction to say that not ALL of our money was chucked down a rat-hole. I thought the same thing about Rogue One...why 'invent' people that already exist? We already knew who designed the Death Star...why change his name?
     
  11. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Never had a problem with Bria. She’s not really anything like Leia. And there’s a difference between being an early member of the Rebellion and being a Mothma/Organa/Bel Iblis-level founders

    I don’t think Qi’ra is supposed to be new canon Bria. The Entertainment Weekly article says she grew up with Han on the streets of Corellia.

    And I don’t know if you’re referring to Krennic or Galen, but both of them have wildly different roles than someone like Tarkin or Lemelisk. Krennic is a glorified contractor with delusions of grandeur, Erso specifically worked on converting Kyber crystals into energy for the superlaser.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  12. unicorn

    unicorn Force Ghost star 4

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    Jan 19, 2001
    She was okay if she had just been a love interest, but making her instrumental in the forming of the Rebellion and the Death Star plans getting transferred was too OOT and Mary Sueish to me. If it had just been one or the other (which looks like we're now getting with Qi'Ra and Jyn) it would have been okay, but it was too much of a coincidence that the love of Han's life was instrumentally involved in so many key events of the OT. It also made her and Leia way too similar.

    The turnaround of her dying to Han falling for Leia (since in the Millennium Falcon Han thinks about how the moment he met Leia he fell in love with her) being a day was also way too quick and made Leia seem like a rebound. They should have had her death a year or more before ANH. It also makes Han look really callous by making out with some other chick in the cantina the day he finds out the love of his life died (something Pablo pointed out).

    There were also too many lines in the books that copied Han and Leia's dialogue which felt unoriginal and like the author was trying to imply Han was thinking of Bria while he was with Leia, I can't remember them all but I remember there being an "I love you" "I know" and Han getting offended at Bria calling him scruffy-looking.

    I don't really subscribe by the "Han was bitter and cynical in ANH because he had his heart broken" theory though, so that might be my main problem with the books. It'll be interesting to see what the new HS movie does, although in the YA ANH novelization, Han is written as being a bit of a womanizer and not heartbroken at all around the time of ANH.
     
  13. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    I am 90% sure that the new Solo film will make Han bitter and cynical because of being heartbroken over Qi'ra. It's like the oldest trope in the book. And one thing I've learned from the new SW films, particularly 7 and 8, is that they rely on movie tropes to play it safe with their story, even forcing those tropes onto characters they don't fit on (bitter old man trope a la Clint Eastwood, Logan forced onto Luke Skywalker to the point Mark Hamill was shocked at first despite his regretting to bring his issues public later on).

    It's why I'm so puzzled everyone says 8 was edgy--it used tropes from other movies to play it safe. Literally in a prequel when we see a girlfriend who is never brought up in the original work, and the original work protagonist is cynical and bitter, it's always about being heartbroken over prequel girlfriend. Even the 'Young Sherlock Holmes' movie went this route, in a huge departure from the Doyle books.

    Also these novelizations aren't canon. Proof is literally in the TFA novelization and 8. Rey and Poe meet in the TFA novel, but they meet again for the first time in 8. Jyn's backstory in the Rogue One novel is not reconcilable with the canon Rebel Rising book.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  14. unicorn

    unicorn Force Ghost star 4

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    Jan 19, 2001
    I'm pretty sure this one is considered canon, it's not the Alan Dean Foster novelization. It's ANH told from the POV of the three main characters.



    At least my understanding was that all the novels Disney are bringing out are canon, and the novelizations of the films are considered canon unless they contradict with something else (like Rey and Poe meeting for the first time).
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  15. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    Which means that Han not being heartbroken in the new canon ANH novelization isn't going to hold when he's heartbroken over Qi'ra in the new film, i.e. non-screen stuff in novelizations basically isn't canon. Even if it is in name only canon, any future material is free to contradict it, so what is the point?
     
  16. unicorn

    unicorn Force Ghost star 4

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    Jan 19, 2001
    Even if he's heartbroken at the end of the Solo film, it ends when he's 24, so by the time he's 29 in ANH he won't be freshly heartbroken and there's probably no need to mention something that happened 5 years ago?

    I don't think A Smuggler, a Princess and a Farmboy is considered a novelization anyway, it's just considered another Disney novel. The ANH novelization is the one by Alan Dean Foster.
     
  17. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 5, 2011
    So, I literally just got through reading Crispin's trilogy for the very first time. Oh, I haven't seen the Solo trailer and I'm not going to, nor am I planning on seeing the movie. Don't care. You just happened to open a convenient thread for me.

    I guess I don't really have a problem with the character in isolation, but she's a very poor fit with the OT, when Crispin's goal was for her to fit with it.

    And I think you're quibbling. She's on the damn team that steals the plans, what difference does it make if she steals them personally? She's there guarding them while they're being stolen. They send the message to the Tantive IV.

    Just think of that. Han's ex-girlfriend who he was in love with five minutes before was on the team that sent the plans to Leia, and died during the mission. That is a crazy thought. It's just completely crazy, and if someone told me that back around 1993, there's no way I'd believe it.

    She may be Garm's underling...but Garm literally isn't in the entire trilogy of books. I believe he's only given a single mention, in which Crispin goes, "oh yeah, it was really Garm who pulled this off". But it was Bria's speech that convinced Winter to convince Bail to get actively involved. And Bria doing the legwork meeting with all the cells to convince them to make an alliance.

    Agreed.

    Agreed.

    I was actually fine with her until book three when the rebellion stuff really takes off and everything just starts adding up way too much. I soured on her big time in the last few chapters alone.

    No, Han wasn't in love with a Rebel commander five minutes before ANH, a rebel commander who breaks his heart and then dies five minutes before ANH.

    It seems Crispin wrote this with the idea being that Han, for some reason, was opposed to Leia/rebels in some way from beginning in ANH. He wasn't. Not sure how she made such a fundamental misreading of Han. Han clearly takes a liking to Leia in ANH, and there are no signs of any sort of bitter lost love holding him back. By the time ESB begins, Han is already full on in love with Leia. There's no resistance to her. He spends the whole movie trying to break down her resistance to him, not the other way around.

    This set up was clearly a major goal of the trilogy and it is an utter failure. Not just a failure, but a contradictory backfire stemming from a total misread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  18. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Feb 9, 2007
    Hm, up until the third book, I didn't mind her character too much. I knew the "fall" was coming, since up until then Han and Lando were on good terms, I'm annoyed with her with how she abandoned Han. More than that, its a bit jarring with ANH since there Han is neutral towards the Rebels, whereas Rebel Dawn's actual Rebel sections weren't exactly... flattering to the Rebels. Bria's character arc mostly makes sense, going from slave to kind of fanatical rebel.

    Maybe she played too big a role in the early Rebel alliance, but I think she was clearly field leader rather than actual leader like Bel Iblis, so I didn't mind as much. And while she was part of the Death Star plan theft, she was only part of it, its not like she personally marched into the Imperial archive and stole it herself while also inspiring a bunch of people she's barely met for a few days into being better people.

    I wish there had been a bit more time between the end of Rebel Dawn and ANH, rather than literally leading into it. More time for Han to mourn (both his failed romance and Bria's death) and to settle into the circumstances we see him in in ANH (owing Jabba a lot of money).

    I doubt the Solo movie will have new-Bria, especially all the history between her and Han (that spanned years). I honestly expect something more like one of the woman from the Indiana Jones films (well, aside from Marion of course) or one of the ladies from the Han Solo trilogy. Based on the time frame, plenty of time for new characters to just be exes or old acquaintances from before ANH.
     
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  19. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 5, 2011
    This is a ridiculously low standard. Of course she didn't single-handedly steal the plans and form the rebellion all on her own with a few speeches. It's not a defense to say she didn't do the most ridiculous thing imaginable, though.

    Indeed, it comes off as very rushed and ill-prepared. It's like she wasn't prepared to explain these things at all, yet we know that's what she set out to do. Since she set out to explain these things, she should have had good explanations figured out before even starting the trilogy in earnest, and worked them in throughout, or at least well ahead of time, instead of cramming them all in at the last second. Han's rifts with Jabba and Lando don't really work.
     
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  20. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Master star 4

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    May 4, 2017
    Just wondering, why does everyone think Qi'ra is going to be Han's girlfriend, or the new Bria Tharen?
     
  21. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

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    Jan 3, 2013
    It's, sadly, still pretty rare for Hollywood to have the male lead and the female lead have a close relationship (which the trailer indicates) without it being romantic. And TBH, Han having a pre-ANH romantic interest is completely believable; all of the Daley books had one to some extent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    It's the "on a level with Mon Mothma, Bail, Garm, etc" that's being argued though - hence making the case that it's a step down from that.

    Similar, when people say "Bria stole the Death Star plans" they're implicitly putting her level of involvement on Kyle Katarn's, or, in the newcanon, Jyn Erso's.

    When actually, she's more like Sergeant Melshi - the leader of the soldiers protecting those that do the actual thieving and transmitting.
     
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  23. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

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    Jan 3, 2013
    But I think the point of a lot of people here is Sgt. Melshi being Han's ex would still be bizarre and SUS. It's just contrived and unnecessary to have someone closely connected to him also be closely involved with the theft of the plans.

    To put it another way: yes, there do seem to be some people who object to having one character do everything for the Rebellion that Bria did, but the commoner objection is more just that it's a weird, weird storytelling choice to have that "early Rebel hero" character be connected so much to Han.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  24. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 5, 2011
    Yeah, when Vader asks, "what have you done with those plans"...he means the plans that were stolen on a mission in which a woman who Han was in love with and working with just two weeks before was directly involved in, firefights and everything. So when you see Han for the first time in ANH, just know that someone he was in love with with two weeks earlier was fighting on the mission that got the plans to Leia that got her captured and led to her asking Kenobi for help which led to Han. It's just crazy to think about.

    She was a commander in the rebellion who went on missions to free slaves. Isn't that enough?

    But Crispin's idea to make Bria a rebel who betrays Han isn't sound. Meeting Leia after all that should bring up painful memories and repulse Han, but it doesn't. Han isn't reminded of Bria, his dead first love. There's no sign of it. He's not averse to rebel women who are dedicated to the cause because it reminds him of Bria, that's not in the movies. Based on Crispin's work, there should be a barrier, Han should go "oh no, not again" when it comes to rebel women who are dedicated to the cause (like Bria and Leia), because Bria betrayed him/put the rebellion first, screwed him over and broke his heart. But it's not anywhere in the movies. Han takes a liking to Leia immediately, and is in love with her from the get-go in ESB.

    The consequences of a rebel woman/romantic interest betraying Han and breaking his heart do not exist in the movies. I don't know what Crispin was thinking there. There's just no continuity. When is there ever any hint that Han once had his heart broken by a rebel? You'd think if that was the case, it'd be pretty major and it would end up in the movies. It would be lame, but it would be there. Han would be distant and stay away from Leia, and eventually reveal to her that he once had his heart broken by a rebel woman. But it's not there. It's the complete opposite dynamic in the movies, Han pursues her.

    Of course there's a lot of sarcasm there, but he really does take a liking to her.

    He just met her a few minutes ago and he's already thinking about them together. Where is the aversion to rebel women based on his experience with Bria? It's not there.

    What, this?

    Where is any sort of grudge against the rebellion here? We all know what this means. He doesn't give a **** about the rebellion, but that doesn't mean he has any grudge with it, or any negative experience with it. He just doesn't care, he's out for himself and money. Does anyone wonder what Han has against the rebellion? No, but Leia does call him a mercenary.

    Han rescues Leia for the reward. Well, according to Crispin he worked with rebellion before for the money and he got screwed out of it. So why would he think the rebels would pay up this time? When Luke mentions the possibility, he should go, "nope, last time I worked for the rebellion they screwed me. I'm not doing a damn thing for them." But it's not there. You might argue that Han doesn't know she's a rebel princess before they go to detention block, but he certainly knows by the time they finish off the TIE fighters. (so when did he learn?)

    Han does not fight with Leia because he once loved a rebel woman who broke his heart, they fight based on their situations and personalities (which is part of what makes them great), not because of Han's past (which would be artificial and forced).

    It's really bizarre, unnatural and counterproductive to try to anticipate and even play out these scenarios beforehand as some sort of primer, especially since the results don't actually inform his later behavior; in fact, they contradict it. Sometimes things just happen naturally. Not everything needs to be set up like this, and in this case the set up just seems entirely mistaken.

    It's too bad that they're so fundamentally flawed in what they mainly set out to do, because they're fun books and Bria would be a good character if she were placed in some other situation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  25. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    "But they're gonna kill her!"
    "Better her than me."

    It's worth noting that in the Crispin books, the catalyst for Han's cynicism isn't so much Rebel Dawn - it's at the end of The Paradise Snare when Bria "abandons him".

    The Daley books handled it slightly differently- but in Han Solo At Star's End, Han's "what happened to a friend of mine when he did the morally right thing" tale (pretty clearly referring to himself) does bring up "He lost his girl, his job, everything" - suggesting that Han had a girlfriend and getting kicked out of the Imperial service, lost him her - with the implication that this is partly why he's such a womaniser.

    Bria's reason for abandoning Han (she needs time alone to pull herself together) is a bit more sympathetic than the implied reason for Han's unnamed girlfriend in his backstory in the Daley books.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018