Lit SOB: Save Our Ben, Ben Skywalker

Discussion in 'Literature' started by THE EVIL CLIFFIE, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
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    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    AS YOU WISH.
    THE EVIL CLIFFIE likes this.
  2. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    The initials amuse me for purely childish reasons.
  3. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    A more interesting point about the SOB story that is Ben Skywalker's life (*rimshot*) is the fact he's not actually the star of any books. Jacen, Jaina, Anakin, and Tahiri were the stars of a children's book series so *OF COURSE* they have a supporting cast. Ben, however, is a SUPPORTING cast member to Luke Skywalker's story.
  4. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    Well, it doesn't help that Ben came of age during the LotF series, where a good deal of the time the cast came down to Luke, Leia, Han, Mara, a few author pet characters (all the books had their favorites) and Ben. And as the youngest, Ben didn't really have anyone to fight alongside. With Jacen he was pawn and victim, for Luke and Mara he was someone to be protected, so half the time we saw him fighting. When he was on Ziost, he dealt with his ethical issues pretty well despite being on such a dark planet, but mostly Ben's either been an... attachment to someone else or on his own. Sure, there was Vestara, but that was probably planned to end badly, leaving Ben alone again.

    I've mentioned occasionally in the other SO thread that I wish Ben hadn't gone with Luke on his journey in FotJ, as that still leaves Ben in his father's shadow. Though it did protect Ben from the circus that was happening on Coruscant. The books got a few scenes of Luke as the visiting master and Ben as the visiting apprentice before it shifted to full-on action and various versions of "Catch that girl/Vestara/Sith/Abeloth", but it still mostly just father/son bonding at most. It was nice after how estranged Ben was from his parents for most of his life (instead latching onto Jacen), but still not really entertaining. Even when they were attempting the Ben/Vestara romance, I'm not sure there were any references to Ben not spending time around girls, but then that would require detailed comparisons to LotF, and FotJ was already retconning parts of LotF, so no one wanted to bring up too many details (tassels? Nelani Dinn? Ben being grounded at the end of Tempest? Jacen doing all this to avoid a future where he kills Luke? Ha, out the airlock, all of it).

    Of course Ben's not the only one suffering from this problem, just that as the lone next next generation character (with the next generation of Jaina, Jacen and Anakin mostly wiped out or abandoned), he suffers the brunt of the boring characterization and too much focus on Luke. Jaina's not in great shape either. At the same time, they're elevating Allana to main character way too fast to try to fill the gap, since it goes from Luke-Jaina-Ben and now Allana in terms of lead action hero. Technically there's Han and Leia too, but Han's too old (and not Force sensitive) and no one really uses Leia effectively (she's not a politician anymore, no connections, and despite being a Skywalker, doesn't really stand out as a Jedi either). Guess we should be grateful that Ben was 13 when he entered GAG, Allana's already fired blasters in live battles at age... what is she, 10?

    I wish Ben could have had a nicer life. That was the point of fighting, for a better future, and despite various kidnappings, the Solo kids did have a nice childhood, up until the Vong War. Between instinctively hiding from Abeloth in the Maw, being estranged from his parents, probably mind-melding with a bug and then learning at the foot of the next wannabe Vader, he's had a crazy life. Not to mention Mara's death.

    Ben out on more missions could help his characterization, if he gets any focus. They mostly ruined Tahiri's character, but she's been mostly rehabilitated, character-wise, if they give Ben something concrete to do. Not just "go find a needle in a galaxy sized haystack" like the Mortis Dagger quest is, but either finish things with Vestara, or go negotiate, go play spy for the Jedi, something.
  5. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    In terms of having no friends and assumptions, if these "friends" never appear, they may as well not exist like everyone's saying.


    Say it with me everybody:

    Young Jedi Knights Series.

    I mean literally, that was the series that pushed the Solo Children out of a strictly supporting/burdening role, and into the spotlight with their own adventures, and their own supporting cast and setting.

    For me I don't really have a major problem with Ben being a Jedi. Would it have been interesting if he didn't have the Force? Sure, but lets be honest, who of us actually thought he wouldn't? I'll agree that his hesitancy to use the Force at first was interesting, and had some possibilities, but it didn't lead to anything good. At this point, short of turning back time with a Oneness fueled Flow Walking, there's nothing that can be done about his being a Jedi. All's not lost though. I think that if Legacy showed us anything, it's that just having the Force, even just being trained in the Jedi ways, doesn't mean a character is restricted to just being a Jedi. We saw hints of that in Ben during his time with Shevu, his father was once a fighter pilot, his mother was an assassin skilled in a variety of subjects, yet both were still Jedi. He simply needs an avenue to branch down to use his other skills.
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  6. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    And I'll say it again: have Ben start a special investigation branch of the Jedi Temple (maybe with Corran Horn's mentoring but with Ben definitely in charge, not Corran). Bring in a whole cast of new characters; some Ben's age, some younger, some older. Have Ben teach them what he learned from GAG (sans assassination, though if Denning remains in charge I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he taught them that, too :rolleyes:), and have them be like the team the Jedi sends out for problems that normal Jedi might not be normally able to handle (for example, the beginning of TPM was a typical Jedi mission, but Obi-Wan investigating Zam Wessel wasn't, so the second job would go to Ben's branch).
    ChildOfWinds likes this.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I hate how the EU, and even Luke in his own view, is building up Ben to be his successor as Grand Master.

    When did the Jedi become a hereditary absolute monarchy?
  8. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Did it ever say this or is it just speculation?
  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I wasn't responding to you or anyone here in particular, just Ben's depiction in the books so far.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Oct 5, 2013
  10. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4

    There's a moment in FOTJ when Luke thinks about Ben and wonders how he'll be like as a Grand Master and how he'll deal with problems and if he's ready, etc.

    Hated everything about it.
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  11. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I don't think this has really been the depiction, at least I know it wasn't in LOTF or Crucible. It's been a while since I read FOTJ but I really don't recall anything about Luke training Ben to be the next Grand Master. If anything, that role should fall to Kyle or Corran (although they're Luke's age too; but hey, K'Kruhk was GM by Legacy and he's karking centuries old, so whatever).

    Which book was this in?
    Last edited by Revanfan1, Oct 5, 2013
  12. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    Dec 17, 2011
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    Don't remember. I'd like to say Backlash or Allies, but i'm honestly not sure.
  13. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
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    Huh. Well, it's been a while since I read either (probably 2 1/2 years for Backlash and 2 for Allies), so I don't really remember much about them (other than I really loved Backlash). But I really do need to reread FOTJ sometime. I just haven't recovered from the badness of Apocalypse (which I just read back in March).
  14. THE EVIL CLIFFIE Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2008
    star 2

    I like the idea of Ben as Jedi Coulson.
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  15. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I admit, I find the oddity of GAG techniques in the Jedi amusing for an entirely different reason.

    "So, drag the padawans down to room B for waterboarding. We'll adminster beatings to the knights until they confess...."
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  16. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    I generally agree with @Charlemagne19 that it could be cool if Ben would be one of the few kids in modern literature who actually accepts his heritage wihout to much ado and tries to follow in his parents footsteps. And I must say I've been pretty satisfied with Ben's characterization so far and don't think he hasn't been carving his own path. There was much wrong with LOTF - but Ben followed a clear storyline, showing him follow his own path. He distanced himself from his parents and looked to his cousin instead along with other grown ups (like Lon Shevu). He even flirted with the DS. Yet, slowly he made desicions that made his path parallel his parents, more and more. I approved of both this his rebellion - and his straighting up inside the 9 books of LOTF. In FOTJ, I think Luke and Ben's interaction was what made the books worthwile. I don't se him a Luke copy at all - he's got far too much of Mara's snark in him! But if people see him as Luke II, it might be for the same reason why people think Luke's a one dimensional character - because every hero who doesn't contantly doubt himself gets that epithet.

    No, I really think Ben's been fairly ok characterized so far. He was even allowed a romance with the bad girl - and wihtout copyig his dad's path! Even his distancing himself from the Force when he was little has been explained satisfyingly!

    I agree a young Ben story where we could see him interact with other kids would be a good thing, though. I don't think he spent all his childhood alone with his parents in the Jade Shadow - but it could be nice to actually see him with other Jedi youngsters - also because we need recognizable faces in that generation!
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  17. THE EVIL CLIFFIE Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2008
    star 2
    The investigation thing was something I really liked for Ben's character; it was something that differentiated him from other characters, before it got dropped. Like I said, I quite liked Traviss' Ben in Revelation.
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  18. newdawn12 Force Ghost

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    Feb 9, 2013
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    What kind of changes do you think the ST will make to Ben?
  19. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    The bad-girl romance is the only thing I didn't like. From the beginning I really wasn't a Ben/Ves fan.

    Unfortunately, it will probably annihilate him from canon. :(
  20. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4

    :D

    [IMG]
  21. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
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    I think it's a large question of who, exactly, the ST will star. If it's Generation 3, then it's unlikely JJ Abrams will feel beholden to keep the names and characters. If the OT heroes are just side characters like Old Spock is in "Star Trek" then that won't be so much of a problem. Ben Skywalker could be as much of a character in that as "Cantina Resident 12#."

    But a major thing I think we have w/ Ben Skywalker is the fact he doesn't really have a story arc or a planned change of character. As a result, he doesn't really have anything to hook himself onto or any real development to undergo. I don't think he needs a Young Jedi Knight series, really, but something like the Anakin Solo Duology would be nice.

    I admit, a part of me would also be cool with the idea that Ben Skywalker realizes that he could NEVER get out of his father's shadow because of circumstance. Jacen Solo was able to get out of Luke Skywalkers shadow because of the invasion of death-dealing pain cultists. Even then, Luke did as much to end their threat as Jacen.

    He can hope to be a great Jedi but the events which would make him a legend aren't in his time frame.
    kataja likes this.
  22. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Still, wouldn't he be satisfied with that? A mature person doesn't seek fame, but simply a good reputation. Ben woulnd't get famous - but if he'd continue the good work, he'd be as happy with that. And if his life span was quieter, maybe he'd have more time for (and a decent chance of) simple joys - somethig his father had too little of.
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  23. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Exactly. Who says he needs to be the Super Everyone Loves Him Girls Swoon Over His Picture in Their Bedroom and He Kisses Little Babies on Their Heads as He Walks By Jedi?
    kataja likes this.
  24. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    Not quite sure I remember if FotJ ever said Ben was being groomed to be Grandmaster, but in Apocalypse when he's kidnapped by Abeloth, and they're speculating she's trying to start up a new version of the Mortis family, everyone starts talking like Ben is or will be super-powerful, being the son of Luke Skywalker and another powerful Force user in Mara Jade, and that's why he was kidnapped by Abeloth.

    Which I hated, as it just seemed to reduce the question of Force power/ability to genetics, when it isn't that simple where the Force is concerned. But then most of FotJ elevated Ben to near Luke's level, even if it was as an accessory to Luke, and downplayed the contributions of almost every other Jedi (by having them stuck in the Jedi Temple forever).

    It would be nice to see Ben interact with more Jedi other than just his father, to see how the order thinks of him, or treats him, or whether they already act like he'll be the next king of the Jedi (since Luke has sort of abdicated at the moment) or what. Instead Outcast started by putting Luke and Ben on a bus... just that instead of them disappearing, the story shifted to give them more development instead of everyone else back home.
  25. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    SOB is a great acronym.

    Besides we can't have 2 threads called SOS, people'll get confused!

    As to the title, DR started much earlier on screwing over Ben, from his turn as killik-lover in DN to Teen Nazi in LOTF - those are some pretty major hits.