Discussion in 'Literature' started by Jonah, Oct 31, 2001.
Its not on your list? Im shocked!
Yeah me too. Woo! I hate closure any way, I like to know that the next time I read another book that it won't be opening a new 'wound' by making a new conflict in a series. And yes, ESB was open at the end too. Wow, sure am glad Georgey didn't release ESB nowadays, people would've hated it.
I will definitely agree that Denning's style can be a little confusing. There were quite a few scenes I had to reread once or twice before I was finally certain exactly what happened.
About the open ending.....I'd call it one hell of a cliffhanger really. This is like the ESB of the original trilogy....so many things have happened, so many things are against the Jedi and the darkness has taken it's biggest step forward. We need to be left hanging at this point, so we can relfect on what has just happened.
Just my opinion, but there we go.
Actually, think about it. Lukes side on the run, a major hero lost.......Sbs IS the NJO's ESB!
Balance Point had an open ended cliffhanger too. How good was it that the following book didn't even pick up on anything left hanging from the that book? I know it was LFL decision to cancel the Knightfall Trilogy but that's a risk when writing a series of books and using cliffhangers. This series doesn't compare well with ESB also because ESB had ANH and ROTJ bookending it. This whole series has been like one ESB after another. I'm not happy with the death at all. I feel like they have beat up the Solo family way too much already.
Frankly the Solo's are doing worse than the Martins did in "THe Patriot" after all the hero in that movie had not one but two of his children die in his arms by the hand of the same man, had his house burned down, A town full of people that they were all very close to were burned alive, his new daughter in law was burned alive, his two yongest sons helped him slaughter a entire british movement, and after which one son who was only around 12 said "he liked it" and he was forced to leave the rest of his family behind for years at a time.
Solos are still doing worse but not by much, they seem to be the tragic family of this war story who are the ones who are meant to show the pain being endured by eveyone involved who can't be present at all times.(aka 100's of billions who've lost countless loved ones already)
Now personally i'm hopeing this is the low point and the New Allianhe can start to get some real victories fro here on out. Some have already pointed out the authors lined up to end the series specialize in dark stories but that doesn't mean some ground can't still be recovered. This book is the mid point and it's time to start to fight back. In following books i'm hoping to see the vong actually start to run into problems and start to doubt whether the invasion was the best idea. I'm not looking for a cake walk, battles can still be dark and brooding with many lost, but from now on have the book end, with some sort of major victory, it may cost alot but keep it a victory. Enough with these stories where the hero's think they win only to find out they've really lost badly.
as for the book i've skimmed it and it seems OK. I agree the mission into vong space seemed stupid and was a badly written excuse to kill off large nubers of jedi. Come on Dennings, having anotehr "death star" to destroy would have made more sence than this.
having been spoiled, hearing that sbs excerpt, and reading the whole scene with anakin's death immidiately upound buying the book, i must say i havent enjoyed it as much. he finally is gaining approval, and i should be really happy but i just feel really sad cuz i know he's about to die,a nd i find myself getting mad because tahiri follows him around and i dont think they even KISS in the book. not once. i am not quite done with it yet, but i havent seen any interaction yet. geeze.
to ya'll who have finished the book: to anakin and tahiri kiss in SbS????
yeah, they do
hey! what page?!?!?
be damend if I can remember. Look when I joined up. Old man, me. Forgetful
It is on Mykyr, after theyve left the colony
cheeses im in that chapter!
no, wait...wait im not on that chapter. do you ahve any CLUE what chapter its by???
why would I spoil it for you?
(rough translation: no )
I'll have more of an opinion when I'm through with the entire book, but up to this point, I think Denning's editor was out to lunch when this book went to the printers. There are over-used words, ramblings, repeated descriptions of characters, etcetera. And I won't even get into the POV changes that appear in places every other sentence. Oh, yeah - and plotline vagaries you can sail a Star Destroyer through. It advances the NJO saga, but that's about it.
explain these vagaracies
The vagaries I speak of are the "Jedi in peril without adequate preparation" ideas. Leia takes on trouble without adequate backup, the young Jedi go into an impossible situation, to name the two that come from the first 200 pages or so. Granted, we need these peaks and valleys to sustain interest in the reader, but it smacks of "Star Trek officer in red shirt" every time.
If they dont do something, they're all dead anyway.
After a little bit of thought, and a little bit of looking at the rough map drawn into both margins at the beginning and the end of SbS, I am still far from convinced why a "conventional" (but Jedi-led) attack wouldn't have worked against Myrkr. According to the map, Myrkr is virtually on the frontier between the NR and the YV. It certainly doesn't look like it is days or weeks behind the front lines, as is indicated in the novel. I am willing to grant that the map isn't correct, but still, why exactly couldn't military forces get there? Like someone already said, space is three-dimensional, and I doubt if anyone here (including me up until I started writing this) has thought about just how difficult it would be to block off a large section of space. Think about it logically... all the stars are light-years apart, and a fleet requires only a tiny opening (relative to the size of the frontier the enemy has to cover) to slip through completely unmolested.
I don't buy the "they mined their space" explanation... seems like a total cop-out to me. We're talking about unheard-of amounts of volume of space here. If light-years-cubed was our measure, it'd be thousands and thousands of cubic light-years. Nobody could picket that much three-dimensional space, never mind try to defend even a one-dimensional line that large. Not with the size of fleets we've seen in the EU.
Maybe I'm harping too much on what's meant to be a situation where we all suspend our disbelief and just go along with what the author says, but if the reasons given for why the Jedi go on the mission are supposed to be legitimate... I don't know. Like I said in the beginning, the whole situation was way too contrived for my tastes. It seems like such a minor thing, to come up with a believable situation (I came up with three ideas while writing this message) where seventeen young Jedi risk their lives in an acceptably desperate situation for a SW book, but I can't shake the fact that this is where the book started to stumble. In my eyes, it never recovered.
What people have said about SbS (and the NJO in general) being too dark also struck a chord in me, but I refrained from mentioning it initially because I always assumed SbS was intentionally dark and moody. ESB certainly was, and it's not like George Lucas invented the concept for a storyline to come to a low point in the middle. Here's to hoping the characters don't mope their way through the books following Dark Journey (wonder if that title is foreshadowing the tone of the book at all?). I don't *necessarily* have a problem with books being open-ended, but I did think SbS went a little far in that regard. It seemed to me that months elapsed between the end of BP and the beginning of Conquest, and I don't think Jacen is gonna make it that long in YV clutches. Lets hope they don't waste time in doing whatever they are going to do with his character. The end of SbS puts ESB to shame. Sure, Han was frozen in carbonite, but everyone else seemed to be at least getting by. In SbS its like someone took a checklist out and said "Anakin - dead. Jacen - in clutches of implacable enemy, torture and/or wholesale brain-altering in store. Jaina - dark side. New Republic - dead. *wipes hands* Well we took care of that now didn't we?"
P.S. Something else bugged me. It led to arguably the two funniest situations in the book: the image of C3PO wailing like a five-month-old baby and fooling the YV into jettisoning themselves in an escape pod, and Luke and Mara's exchange after they found out Lando saved Ben.
Mara: "Lando! I could kiss him!"
Luke: "I could let you."
That was funny, but did they *have* to let someone kidnap the kid? I hope we aren't starting a trend here, because that's one of the things I hated most about Bantam's later EU books. Uninspiring cookie-cutter plots where the twins are kidnapped and blah blah blah else happens. Lets not start that again, ok?
Edit: Just removed one little word that really doesn't belong on the forums.
I agree very much with most of what you said about character development. Which the Star Wars EU has seen very little of since Timothy Zahn's trilogy in 1991-1993. I think the NJO is a good start, and when it's all finished I'm sure fans will hold either a strong dislike or an emphatic herald of the storyline. Here is my opinion on the story arc itself, and you can make what you want out of it.
The New Jedi Order is essentially these five hardcovers: Vector Prime, Balance Point, Star by Star, Destiny's Road, and Hardcover #5. This makes it a five-act Shakespearean Drama. There are rules to Drama.
In the first act you introduce your characters and the situation. Act Two you introduce a subplot. Act Three supports the core of the action, where you put the characters into the worst possible situation you can create. Act Four begins the rise to the climax, or may include the climax. Act Five is either a denoument (afterthought or reflection on the events by the characters) or a conclusion to the plot and subplot.
So far the NJO has obeyed by the rules.
Umm... Is it customary for people here to post the exact same message in two different threads? Seems kinda weird to me.
Also, I think the "rules of drama" are far less hard and fast than you think they are. Plus, those "rules" are so general they don't really provide any insight into the books. By that rationale, BP was just "introducing a subplot", which of course it did, but that was hardly all it did. Every book, both hard and soft-cover, introduces subplots. I'm not sure if you just got out of a Shakespeare class or something, but that looks suspiciously like the general outline to a dramatic tragedy, or a really simplistic breakdown of any five-part plotline. I mean hell, everything from a random series of novels to an episode of ER holds more or less to that pattern.
It is a simplistic break down of a five part storyline. And that is exactly what the NJO is, a five part storyline. The paperbacks when you look at the overall arc have been more or less inconsequential to the plotline. The only books that really advance the story are these five core hardcovers.
Another thought that just occured to me....
SbS reads like the other books in the NJO series never happened. In other words, this is a book for someone who has never picked up a Star Wars book before. What I mean by that is everyone is described, we learn more of Leia's thoughts of the kids growing up and her and Han's "not being around," we hear again how Han has forgiven Anakin for Chewbacca's death, and a snippet of how Luke and Mara got together. AND a major character dies, which is no big deal for a reader who's brand new, but for us diehard NJO fans...need I say more.
Then we have a cliffhanger so a new reader will just have to run out and buy the next book! Hmmmm....veerrry inter - rest - ting.
WHen Jacen went to the council about using 3 SDs on a mission, it was rejected. Can you imagine trying to get a fleet and invasion force?
I'm a little over halfway through it, and so far i'm pleased. I've got no complaints as of yet.