Lit The 181st Imperial Discussion Group: Specter Of The Past!

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Grey1, May 1, 2013.

  1. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    Yeah, I was absolutely interested in the Pellaeon plot. He was one of my favourite EU characters by the time I got to Hand of Thrawn. Although I will disagree, Rob, with the assertion that the fate of the galaxy wasn't really at play, when half of the New Republic had warships over Bothawui ready to attack the warships of the other half at the slightest provocation. That the NR's hold on the galaxy was so precarious was a central theme of both books. Had Artoo not found the Caamas Document on Nirauan, there probably wouldn't have been anyone to sign a peace treaty with Pellaeon.

    The Mara-chasing-the-mysterious-alien-ships subplot was definitely the most intriguing one, yeah. A lot of suspense, and what a payoff! Although we'll get to that next month.

    I don't think the other storylines would have worked if they had relied primarily on mystery, though. Disra, Tierce, and Flim would have been pretty terrible characters if they hadn't had any scenes; that the reader is able to follow their plans and schemes as they're hatched and executed is what makes them effective villains. And even if the reader knows how the bad guys intend for the battles and schemes to play out, she still doesn't know how they actually will play out. The Battle of Bothawui in Vision is a pretty good example --- the reader anticipates it for nearly a thousand pages, but then a bunch of unexpected factors come into play and it proceeds differently than anyone believed it would.

    I also disagree that there's no suspense in Zahn's approach --- the leadup to the Battle of Bothawui is suspenseful precisely because the reader knows how various factions are predicting it will play out, and when the first shots are finally fired, it's the payoff of a thousand pages of hushed anticipation. Just what is going to happen now?
  2. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, I would agree that the audience is given a lot of reasons to care about the Empire. Pellaeon is a well-known figure already, our honorable window into the Imperial side throughout TTT and less of a window but still an anchor in Darksaber. And now he, as the leader of the Empire, wants to establish peace with the New Republic. Yet Disra's trying to sabotage it. There's immediate interest there -- the entire survival of the Empire and the form it takes in the future is at stake. Will Pellaeon be successful, or will he be outmaneuvered? Will the Empire make peace with the New Republic? That's a huge question, and we're in a position where anything could happen. What will happen to Pellaeon? Win, lose, die, defect? It's fascinating stuff, and I love having that kind of look inside the Empire, really seeing what their state is and how things are run there and what maneuverings are going on there. You can only watch Luke and Leia and Han run around for so long -- it's a big treat to get a look at what's going on in the rest of the galaxy, too, and Zahn is one of the few authors who really gets that.

    The survival and form of both the New Republic and the Empire are at stake, as well as their relationship with each other. That's fantastic stuff. The fact that we see what Disra's up to doesn't undercut that -- it enhances it, because we know what the stakes are and we know that the characters don't even realize it yet. If it were an unseen conspiracy, it would be lame. Instead, we see just what the heroes are up against, but Zahn always knows how to hold just enough back so that we don't have the whole story, and in any case we're on tenterhooks to see what actually happens. How do the heroes get out of this, how will things change? We know how what happens, but at the time this was coming out, there were huge stakes, huge potential to break up the status quo. And HOT did. This is top-notch stuff, and I can't agree at all that it wouldn't hold interest.
    Arawn_Fenn, Zeta1127 and Robimus like this.
  3. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Without fully retracting my statement I'd agree with this. I think what I would say I had difficulty with was the thought that Zahn would ever have the New Republic actually come to blows and fall apart as a part of the story.

    It may be the exact same way Grey feels about the Imperial aspects of the book just in reverse, but I really did feel like the New Republic would win, figure out the plot and stop the war. What I found myself completely unsure of was the fate of the Empire. It felt small enough that pretty much anything could have happened. It could have gone completely opposite of how it went, with say Disra remaining in command and Pellaeon exiled, and come across still as a completely plausible and natural part of the story.

    One thing Zahn does excel at is making these intelligent villians work really well. Disra does have a master plan, a smart plan, one that had more potential than most villians we've gotten to see since. He didn't have the firepower to smash his enemies, he had no magical powers, heck he didn't even have the full support of his own side, but he's still made to appear as a decent threat. It is a pretty decent feat to make that character as good as he was.

    One thing that could ruin the suspense to an extent here is if someone read this book after having read the NJO - when you would already have the answers to all the questions. Then some of the suspense would surely be less effective I'd imagine. (And of course I don't say this in relation to Grey's opinion of the book(s), just a thought that came to mind. Grey may well have read it right when it came out and still have the same opinion.)
    Last edited by Robimus, May 5, 2013
  4. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    Okay, I bite my tongue and take a hike to the Imperial version of Canossa, wherever that is. I might have been a bit... careless with my phrasing here, but please attribute that to the fact that great weather and bedtime interfered with my patience in writing what I wrote.

    Of course there's a lot of fans who are interested in the Empire. My point is, however, that the 'official' stance towards the Empire would be "how bad will they lose this time". The mainstream audience wouldn't hold their breath for New Republic and Empire holding hands and dancing through the fields - and that's probably where the story gets the biggest twist from. But just like the light side endings of videogames are the canon ones, Luke and his friends are the ones we 'should' root for. I know that mileage varies considerably for some, but can we settle on that being the default for Star Wars?

    The thing is, as much as we may love Good Ol' Pelly, that bumbling Watson in our most beloved of EU books, Thrawn and Pellaeon were still Imperials in TTT. They were still trying to bring down what Lucas set up as the good side with the ressources of what Lucas set up as the bad side. And as much as people love dressing up as stormtroopers, as much as they love Vader and TIEs and AT-ATs and the Imperial March, as much as they love Pellaeon's brand-new Empire and the Empire of the Hand and the Felpire, Pellaeon isn't really a good guy. At least he's not entering the story as one. The best thing he has going for himself is that he isn't a fanatic and therefore can even think of surrendering. But let's not forget how the book starts: with Pellaeon anticlimatically trying to have a computer emulate Thrawn and C'Baoth in order to hit out at the New Republic.

    Yes, I read this before the NJO; I'm so old I didn't notice there was anything wrong with Crystal Star when I first read it. ;) The thing is, I don't know if I didn't pay enough attention back then, but Bantam up to that point had been an assortment of bad guys failing to harm the New Republic. Mainly Thrawn, Daala, some guys from the Corellia trilogy, the Ssi-Ruuk, the Yevethans, some incompetent Hutt, an Imperial concubine, some mind-control bugs, some Dark Jedi, some other Dark Jedi, some Dark Jedi Witches, and a bunch of Imperials who were (I'm going to irritate people again with this) so low-key that they were dealt with by the X-Wing books and not even by the main characters. At this point, the Empire was a punching bag you took out of the closet when you didn't want to go for the Dark Jedi or Strange Alien trope. As some of you said, this book is really defining the Empire in its post-Thrawn state, and giving birth to that "Imperial Remnant" idea (thanks for clearing that bit up a bit for me, by the way). But going in, the Empire isn't all that memorable. Pellaeon as our anchor is behaving strangely non-Imperial with his honour and his sense, Disra is the usual old greedy ignorant hate guy, and Tierce is some kind of hidden strategy superweapon coming out of nowhere. Especially if we just look at SotP and see him as a former red guard who apparently took evening mastermind classes with Palpatine in his time off.


    So, that's where I'm coming from. There's interest in what happens, of course; but the strange thing that HoT does is play with some kind of... let me call it 'affection' for Pellaeon and the Empire. We shouldn't "care" for the Empire, they are the bad guys. If I had more time for nonsense, I'd photoshop a black carebear with an Imperial logo on his belly. [...] Yes, I actually just googled if a picture like that already exists.


    But all of this discussion perfectly leads into some more discussion points I had planned, those being:

    - Seeing how the New Republic is torn apart by old grudges, most of all because of the details of Palpatine's heinous assault on Caamas... isn't it a strange concept that Thrawn and the Empire might offer their help as good guys? I know that this isn't the way the story is written, but wouldn't there normally be a psychological effect of everyone rallying against mastermind Thrawn again if he's really seen as such a huge threat for the New Republic? Aren't Disra and Tierce doing the completely wrong thing here, or at least a misguided one (just speaking from common sense, not from how events in the second book take place)?

    - With all my babbling about Imperial Caring above, and the knowledge that we 'care' about what happens with the Empire in this book... can we care about the New Republic? In fact, who is the New Republic in this book? What is our position on the alien races who have different ethical codes to our (human) heroes, and no ethical problems in using the Caamas outrage in fighting their own little wars?
    Last edited by Grey1, May 6, 2013
  5. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    @Grey1, I am so young that I didn't notice anything wrong with The Crystal Star when I first read it, and I am still not sure, seeing as how I first read it was through the library years after it was published and loving so many other books more. Of course, reading books years after they were published yet not having been spoiled on the plot is basically the same as reading something when its published.
  6. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Well, Borsk Fey'lya has to have his fans as well.

    To me it is really far from the default even though I'm of course rooting for Luke, Han, Leia & Lando in the novels in general. Rooting for Pellaeon doesn't equal not rooting for Luke, nor is it presented that way in these books. Rooting for the Empire to survive is not the same thing as rooting for the New Republic to fail. They can both win.

    I don't honestly know that I ever viewed Pellaeon as a villain towards the heroes anyway. Villain is such a black and white term. Some characters(Disra for instance) are clearly mustache twirling villains, and meant to be such through & through.

    Pellaeon, he falls more into an opponent type category. He is the enemy, he is fighting a war - the New Republic is fighting a war. Who started it becomes irrelevant to the rank and file who are following orders. I don't know that he was ever, even in his TTT presentation, really shown as a villain in a pure sense.

    Honestly it was a brilliant move by Zahn to take the Empire the route he did. I realize my opinion is a minority one but to me it's just not Star Wars without the Empire there in some form or another. It is one of the main reasons I've never really been able to get into the KotOR stuff, despite having read a fair amount of it at this point. And at the same time it is the reason why I feel that a book like Legacy beats expectations for me.

    They can be villains, they can be heroes, they can be indifferent. But if they aren't there a key ingredient is missing for me. I can certainly still enjoy books without them, but it still always feels like something is missing.
  7. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    I understand what you mean regarding villains and opponents, but honestly I never saw a difference there. Maybe my definition of villain is more forgiving, or more general. On the other hand, Pellaeon isn't just fighting for the existence of SW staples as TIEs and Star Destroyers, he's fighting for the galaxy to be ruled by the Empire; and that rule has been established, by the movies as oppressive. Which is kind of villainous for me.

    By the way, if KOTOR is missing a key ingredient for you, what do you think about the prequel era and the "formation" of the Empire out of the Republic?
  8. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Prequel era follows the story of the rise of the Empire so I had no real trouble jumping onboard with that. That said a lot of the stories set pre Episode 1 are of little interest to me even if they are relatively close in the timeline. Once the stories get into Palpatine, Tarkin, C'baoth, Thrawn so on, then I'm good to go. Even Anakin considering who he became.

    When I mention Borsk Fey'lya the whole difference between opponent & villain is kinda what I'm thinking about. Did you consider Fey'lya a villain for trying to give the heroes a hard time? Or was he just an opponent of Luke and crew?
    Last edited by Robimus, May 7, 2013
  9. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I'd say that in Dark Force Rising his attempt to get Rogue Squadron killed, along with his "all who are not with me are my enemies" speech, pushed him into Villain territory, for that scene at least.
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  10. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    I must admit that I didn't really differentiate with him, either. For me, an opponent is a villain (in a story) and vice versa, even if it's a really tame kind of villainy due to the story's properties (for example a rival treasure hunter). I think competitor could be a good word for an opposing character that's pretty harmless. Basically, I think we might have this discussion only because I'm not a native speaker, and therefore developed a... creative way of phrasing in this case. ;)

    Borsk Fey'lya - he's opposing the good guys so much that he becomes a bad guy, thus a villain. Keeping him as a politician after the stuff he pulled in TTT - at least in my opinion - simply served as a way to keep an established character (good, or maybe lazy), and to create instant drama by having an opposing force built into the New Republic's structures. Which is an obvious OOU approach. But hey, having him as chancellor/president in Vector Prime was kind of a Daala moment, showing you that the NR was meant to be on the decline in this series (and so it was).

    He did redeem himself, kind of, by his "honorable" go-down-with-the-ship, kill-as-many-as.possible moment (although he's still basically "the enemy of my enemy" who's not necessarily my friend). Which ties into what I see as a kind of IU/OOU reason to keep him in office: giving him the chance to atone for his political mistakes. But cynical as EU and all of us are, it's obvious that it's rather about nasty people clinging to power, and managing to do so longer than we'd like them too.

    In SotP, he comes across as surprisingly neutral - based on this book, we may think that he learned his lesson but still has to pay for having been so arrogant in the past, as there's enough people who don't believe him when he insists that him and Bothawui would love to find those responsible. Tainted only by the fact that the Bothans did know something and chose to keep it silent because of what they declared best for the known universe (in other words, arrogance). But he might have needed a few more scenes to flesh this out - scenes that might be missing due to the fact that the book is a splinter of a 1000 page giant.
  11. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    I think I'll just point to those two again. You can all at least tell me that the questions are boring. ;)
  12. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    I wouldn't call Borsk evil, well... ever, really. Ambitious, power-hungry, not many morals, sure, but never quite what I'd call villainous. Even during the NJO, its not like he broke every single law or had a huge grudge against the Jedi, he just followed whatever the party line was at the moment. I can see him surviving, as basically he's a Bothan, and they did contribute a lot, and while he suffered a major political embarrassment in Dark Force Rising, he didn't break any laws either. He took advantage and tried to have Ackbar fired, but that was just rivalry.

    Its why I can see him as Chief of State eventually, he stayed in government, Mon Mothma retired and then died, Leia retired, many of the other Rebellion veterans were getting old and retired or died off, as they had earned their rest, so Borsk stayed in the government until he was in charge. It is NOTHING like Daala, where she wasn't even a part of the Galactic Alliance and was last seen attacking GA (or GA-aligned Imperials at least) ships (under Caedus' command, but still), and then without even winning the war, she's suddenly in charge? It'd be if like a Moff somehow ended up Chief of State of the New Republic five minutes after Endor. And even with considering this book and duology's flaws, Borsk still being high-ranking doesn't strike me as strange. Political careers are sometimes very odd, and after Dark Force Rising Borsk didn't cause that much trouble, relatively speaking. Although Bothan reputation took a big hit in this book, but still, with the saboteurs eventually put on trial that defused a lot of the tension, shifting the blame to them rather than the Bothan people in general.

    Sorry to snap, its just that while I don't like Borsk (does anyone?), I never viewed him as quite evil, or even loony, whereas Daala is just... laughable at best. And her reign was just ludicrous or a farce from beginning to end (even the Imperials didn't like her much). And comparing Specter/Vision/this duology to anything post-NJO is just... well, they're nowhere in the same league (and post-LotF is especially bottom of the barrel, especially its politics).

    I can see why the Bothans kept quiet. They knew enough to damn themselves, but they didn't know who exactly was responsible, which is why this was one of their worst nightmares for years. It wasn't right, but it is quite believable. Heck, in the wake of the prequels, there's probably a long list of species duped by Palpatine (most of the Confederacy for instance, Kamino, etc.). Looking back, I'm still somewhat amazed that Borsk's panicked reaction near the end of TLC (where he would have agreed to just about anything to make sure Mt. Tantiss was destroyed) sort of led to this plot. Zahn probably didn't have exactly this in mind (and we probably won't ever find out, unless an annotated version of the rest of the Thrawn trilogy is ever released, which seems more unlikely with every passing month, unfortunately), but still, its one of the great things about the EU, never know what loose threads will lead to (usually huge disasters, but still). Borsk does come across mostly neutral, although still somewhat self-serving, but then he also knows that short of the end of known civilization (that comes in another few years), this could be it for the Bothan people.

    I think there's still a gap between rival, antagonist, and outright villain. Usually in political stories there's always some dissent, depending on how depressing the story is, it ranges from arguments and debates and compromise to general corruption and incompetence, which is the approach the NJO plot took for example. For instance, there Borsk didn't really ever sell out to the Vong. Sometimes he was anti-Jedi, but that was mainly due to pressure, compared to Viqi who was just outright evil and vicious.

    The Empire, based on the OT, probably always will be the ultimate villain... but then the EU is too expansive to just have the Empire as pure evil. I don't mind the Empire as the villain, but by now, especially after the Legacy comics with the Fel Empire, a not-completely evil Empire works too. Not just with Imperial defectors, but we have quite a few stories (Crimson Empire for example) of mostly honorable people still serving the Empire. We have tons of stories of the maniacal Imperials getting killed off, and heck by Darksaber apparently even the rank and file was tired of the warlords just fighting it out amongst themselves rather than attacking the New Republic, which is why uniting the remnants was one of the few impressive things Daala did, and then Pellaeon, one of those honorable types, shaped the formation of the Remnant after that.

    As for Disra starting up his Thrawn con now of all times, partially its just coincidental timing. He had spent years hacking into secret files and finding the right conman and having Tierce assigned to him, and with Pellaeon pushing for a peace treaty now (to end the war before the Imperial Remnant loses anything else), Disra has to start his scheme now or it'll be too late. While Thrawn could be a common foe for people to unite against, I forget if it was Specter or Vision, but I think "Thrawn's" rare personal appearances actually end up aggravating everyone even more. I think someone even notes that having Thrawn as a convenient common foe show up exactly now is really convenient for the Bothans, at which point the sorta pro-Bothan factions counter its not a lie, which just sets off more arguments... which all plays perfectly into Disra's plan for the New Republic to wreck itself while the Imperial Remnant starts to regain power. It never gets too far, fortunately, after some of the more recent stories, I'm really, really glad an attack on Coruscant was never even mentioned (for being the galactic capital world, sometimes it seems really easy for enemy fleets to just jump in and bombard it, and most of the those times the Republic head of state isn't even secretly a Sith, at least in TLC when Thrawn attacked the Empire was still a serious power), but if everyone was distracted enough, the Imperial Remnant could have regained territory. Heck by now the Imperial Remnant actually would be a Rim power (with Bastion in the Outer Rim), and the Outer Rim and Core Worlds rarely get along well, so that might appeal to some dissatisfied systems too.
    Jeff_Ferguson likes this.
  13. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Chapter 20 pretty much gives us all we need to know about the New Republic in this book. It is something of a shambling mess with a lot of different motivations in play. It is interesting how the book sets up Vision in that way. We get to see both the good and the bad of the New Republic, much like we are seeing the good and bad of the Empire in the same book.

    As much as Disra would love to see the New Republic destroyed there are those in the New Republic Senate that would love to see the Empire destroyed, some going so far as to blame the Empire for their own faults.
  14. Parnesius Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2012
    star 1
    Present.

    I think Borsk Fey'lya may be my favourite major Bantam-era EU-original character - the only other contenders I can think of are Black Fleet Crisis Drayson and Wraith trilogy Zsinj and Melvar. And by favourite, I don't mean 'love-to-hate'; I mean I-hope-he-wins-or-at-the-very-least-gets-a-good-innings. I admire his deviousness, patience, charisma, professionalism, ruthless pragmatism and utter devotion to his people, although I do regret his occasional lapses into anti-human rhetoric, understandable though they may be.

    For the record: in Dark Force Rising he acted entirely correctly, and Leia, while generally a well-meaning servant of the New Republic, was, and I don't say this lightly, quite frankly not playing the game. In the New Jedi Order, again, he acted responsibly using the intelligence and resources available.

    I just wish I could remember where the apostrophe goes.
  15. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    So, based on what we find out about the New Republic, and seeing how the Empire isn't really an alternative either with its corruption... does SotP fill us with a distrust of authorities, of governments? In that regard, are "good people" like Pellaeon and Karrde shown as individuals rather than authorities of their respective groups? Does SotP fill us with trust in such good people who somehow "do the right thing", with the weaknesses of their peer groups and organizations not really factoring into their actions? How about "the heroes" - Luke, Leia, Han - are they really representing their respective authorities, and if so, does that connection strengthen the group, or weaken the individual (Han acting as freelance diplomat comes to mind)?
  16. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    It's for sure noteworthy that Han isn't officially affiliated with the New Republic and that Leia has stepped down from the Chief of State position, but I don't think the governmental structure of the New Republic is negatively portrayed. Sure, its member systems are at each other's throats, but the people in power are working overtime to keep the galaxy together --- Gavrisom is a positive character, and Bel Iblis is willing to sacrifice his life in order to avert a collapse into galactic anarchy. Sure, there are jerkass senators here and there, but that's par for the course. Borsk actually has a pretty small role in the duology, too.
  17. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I'd have to read up on Karrde a little, but Pellaeon is still presented as the authority in the Empire - otherwise Disra & Flim wouldn't need to be sneaking around and worrying about people noticing that a couple Star Destroyers are mising from the Bastion Sector Fleet and how that might ruin their plans.

    I don't know that I would say either government is portrayed in a postive light. Without the heroes to fix stuff neither one would have survived the duology. It could be a commentary about government on Zahn's part.
  18. JediMatteus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2008
    star 4
    i greatly prefer VOTF over this novel, but it was fine. Things happened to Luke in this novel that needed to happen to make him a true master. He discovered the Unifying Force to a greater degree then ever
  19. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    With only a few days to go, I still want to discuss this one question: The New Republic - yay or nay?

    And since we're at it - what about all those crazy non-humans who just can't follow the basic ethics that human culture has accepted? Are some of the aliens in the New Republic portrayed in a less than flattering light, like the revenge principle with its eye-for-an-eye-mentality? Aren't some of the humans like Bel Iblis or Wedge astonishingly close to the Imperial way of thinking in that they know what's best for every lifeform in the universe (which is, of course, pretty similar to what the reader should probably think about the situation), even if they are more... moderate than the Imperials?

    Finally,on a more personal note... the way I understand the freighter blockade scene, Bel Iblis' identification of Terrik's smuggling freighter strikes me as a creative lie meant to give them an excuse to solve the situation. But he really identifies that freighter, doesn't he? Why would he do that and not Wedge or Corran?
  20. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    Um, let's see, checking the book. Bel Iblis can't quite legally do anything as its an intrasystem dispute, not interstellar yet, so nice use of that solar system vs. galactic government dynamic. Its a recurring theme in history, of the big government vs. local government, but the HoT duology touches on that too, with the New Republic struggling to keep things from blowing up. And at least most of the systems don't hate the New Republic (or at least not quite revolting against it), but many of them have old grudges with their neighbors and that's what they're eager to complete now that the war with the Empire is basically over. Even better that the blockade is officially non-violent at first rather than sabotaging ships (that comes later). Bel Iblis calls Rogue Squadron, asking if Booster has any interests in the sector, and if he does, if they would probably take on occasional legitimate jobs. Once Wedge and Corran get what Bel Iblis is aiming for, Corran identifies one of the blockaded freighters as probably one of Booster's ships, giving Bel Iblis an excuse to go "inspect" it, getting close enough to the blockade to spook them into firing the first shot.

    So while it might be a bit of a stretch for Bel Iblis to know of Booster, Corran's relationship with Booster might be somewhat famous already, which is why he has Corran identify a possible smuggler freighter for them to "inspect".
  21. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    Basically, I thought it was a clever (if unethical but not as unethical as what the "stupid aliens" do) ruse. "Hey, Horn, doesn't the Innocent Trader look a lot like the Shady Smuggler? It doesn't? Look again, because if it does, we have a reason to interfere." VotF then told me that I had had too much confidence in Bel Iblis' plan to be somewhat questionable and less tied to coincidence.

    Some more thoughts on this book... and please note that while I refer to mysteries that VotF clears up, I'd like to discuss them based only on what's in this first volume.

    - Mystery ships that know Thrawn's real name? How does that element work?

    - Luke and Mara feeling somewhat strange about each other? How does that come across?
  22. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Don't think it works well at all. If they are looking for Thrawn or even Mara as it's revealed in Vision why show up and use a garbled message with a bit of Thrawns name in then disapear. Its ridiclous from even a cursory glance. Why not simply have Fel or somone from that part of the galaxy and contact Mara direct.

    Which goes back to my earlier point that large portions of the book are basically filler that don't really add anything to the story (as well as leaving out Zahn saying how much cooler his OC's are to everyone else) which could have been condensed into a novella.

    The Luke Mara thing is fine, though it's harmed by the fact Zahn ignores 10 years of history and other EU books and it feels like just a year after Last Command not helped by everyone referencing his Trilogy like it had just been yestarday and rather pointlessly. "You remember when we walked in those woods when Thrawn was around" "Yeah Thrawn was such a genuies back when I was the Hand and I was the Hand you know he always did clever things not like that idiot Vader"

    Also in relation to the Borsk thing. To me he was the biggest strawman character in the EU at the time. Nothing more than a punch bag to show how cool the main characters were who rebelled against him and it just switched me off him.
  23. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    But...you're not supposed to like Borsk.
  24. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I thought the most common complaint was that Zahn referenced 10 years of EU history in an uncomplimentary fashion?
  25. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Which is the point