I bid you Dark Greetings! And now for something completely different. And now: A knight who used to be a pilot who used to be a cop hits a discussion host on the head with a rubber chicken. And now: Hello and welcome everyone to another 181st Discussion. No, not just another one: Can you believe it? It's the fifth birthday of the 181st! In those five years, we have discussed a lot of classic novels and anthologies (and recently even audio plays and comic books) that might not get as much attention anymore. But we didn't shy away from the huge, universally acclaimed or infamously controversial stuff - former 181st host Beccatoria ended her run with a look at the Thrawn trilogy, the books that started modern EU as we know it; and with that out of the way, I added Traitor and Hard Contact to the list, books that could have caused riots because most if not all people have strong opinions about those. This month, we'll go back not to where EU started, but to the place where the 181st started. That's right, we're going back to Michael Stackpole's I, Jedi. Have a piece of cake and jump right into the next installment of our little 2013 Exar Kun Memorial Reading Spree. - I, Five years ago: First of all, are there any veterans who'd like to join the discussion? Who'd like not to tell the simple story of "where and when I first read the book", but how they read the book five years ago for the very first discussion? And how they think their appreciation for the novel might have changed, for better or worse or simply different? - I, Me: Former host Beccatoria asked back then how the readers thought about the first person narrator thing, and it's too good a question to pass up here. Stroke of genius or gimmick? Does the narration hold up after all those years? Does it feel more out of place now that it's not just a new idea, but a drop in an ocean of regular third person narrations? Where do we even find first person attempts in SW literature these days? - I, Avatar: You can't separate first person narration from the character that presents it. Now, Corran always used to be a bit special as a character because he rose to prominence in a sideshow series - X-Wing - where the movie characters didn't upstage the author's creations, not even Wedge, who'd been a natural focus for a more movie-based book. There, Corran could live the dream. Having the impropable background of being a street cop who turned out to be, more or less, one of the 12 best starfighter pilots in the world, he even had a Jedi heritage, holy grail of every fan fiction and RPG character - and not unlike what happened to Dark Forces agent Kyle Katarn in his second video game. With Corran obviously being Stackpole's avatar (but let's not get into that time when he was asked to portray Corran for photos even if he didn't particularly look like him), is first person narration the obvious choice for this novel? - I, Jedi Academy: It could also be seen as an obvious choice because Stackpole is giving the reader his own interpretation of KJA's Jedi Academy trilogy. How do you feel about that, Corran not only put into the narrative that already exists, but also claiming a part of bigger importance than the actual JAT gives him (obviously because he wasn't invented back then)? We should also note how I, Jedi uses only part of his page time to deal with the JAT events, having an entirely different plot for the other half of the book. Does the balance work? And can a reader truly understand the alusions to JAT events if he hasn't read JAT? - I, Down to earth: I, Jedi not only uses its new approach to the JAT to take a more secular look at how the Force works, how the Jedi should work, how an academy should be run - it is conceived because of these very ideas. X-Wing really came from this more technical, military look at the SW galaxy; I, Jedi forces stuff that's obviously been written with a different perspective into the trusted mold of the decidedly non-fantasy X-Wing books. How does that work? - I, Lampshade: Which brings me to Corran's most controversial function... famously or infamously calling out Luke Skywalker, the JAT setup, the handling of Kyp, and in effect KJA's entire work on those books. Does it help EU to "rewrite" elder books like that? Or does it damage EU because stuff undesired by one creative team gets discredited, lampshading stuff that critics of those works disliked instead of embracing it and working it in? - I, Midlife: A huge part of the book is about Corran finding out stuff about how his life should work, and how several things he obviously disliked before are suddenly worth a 180 degree turn: Having children. Trusting his wingmate like a true friend. Listening to his father's last message. How do you feel about Corran's maturation curve, especially since becoming a Jedi would normally involve turning wiser than before? This is, of course, just a basic idea of what we could talk about; and don't feel obliged to tackle all topics at once. As for next month - please check our headquarters to help finalize our decision on that.