Lit The 181st Imperial Discussion Group: Splinter of the Mind's Eye!

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

  1. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    I can’t actually think of any place were Leia comes off as particularly compassionate, especially when it comes to the Empire, which is not really surprising as she was raised by Bail Organa, having her home blown up by a Moff just as a demonstration and to spite her, after getting tortured by the Empire certainly would not help her in caring for the Empire. Though there are several examples where she is easily willing to forgive Imperials that abandon the Empire to join the Rebellion. Also Stormtroopers are notoriously loyal to the Emperor, way more so than other of his minions, so it could easily see that there is a lot less hope of them ever getting “redeemed”.

    Oh ANH certainly has it, Obi-Wan just casually hacks of someone’s arm even though he could as easily have gone for the Blaster and he is meant to be an enlightened teacher and the last member of an order of honorable, holy knights. Also check out the wounds caused by Blasters in original ANH version, you can see burning gaping holes in several of the Imperials.

    Even Dennings Luke is surprisingly tolerant and forgiving in many places, adapting a certain grim determination only when he has to.
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  2. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Well, now that you mention it... could it really be that I've only got this impression of Leia because I want it to be there? Or because she sung such a beautiful song about life on Chewie's birthday? Of course they killed enemies in combat, but they also took prisoners at the Endor bunker instead of just mowing everyone down. And didn't she always feel happy to find a balance between her own beliefs and cultural necessities of the parties she worked with?

    I mean, I always had this impression that Leia's ideas for the galaxy weren't at odds with Luke's Jedi principles, but that changing the galaxy for the better was more or less a team effort for them.

    I don't think that the burn holes were all that gory. I know that these are a huge problem for some people and that one scene was snipped off a bit in the SE, but I don't really see a problem with it unless you show a close up of scarred flesh or anything beyond that. The hacked arm - I'll give you that one, but it was also pretty stylized. It's in there to show what the lightsaber can do - it could really be just a fancy flash light at that point - and even though there is blood, something you don't see a lot when lightsabers are used later on (only Maul's defeat and maybe Dooku's beheading come to mind), it's also an alien arm, so it's removed from the audience's reality. Poking a human being's eye out with a stick is, well, something else. And why even put the Yuzzem carnage in there? It doesn't even have a point, and the protagonists aren't watching anyway, so why is it in there?

    My point is that he is surprisingly intolerant and unforgiving in the remaining places ;)
    Last edited by Grey1, Mar 20, 2013
  3. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    There was an interesting Marvel strip where Leia comes face to face with an Alderaanian stormtrooper- who blames the Rebellion more than the Empire for what happened. She's pretty angry at him at the start- but by the end, much less so. Especially since he realises just how dishonorable the Empire is.
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  4. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Of course Rebels favor taking prisoners if they can. Intel alone makes it worthwhile, though in the case of the Endor bunker that might actually just have been convenience, as they would not really want to alert the rest of the base by gunning everyone down, after all they more or less snuck in.
    Of course as long as one party is not the Empire. ;)

    Oh they properly have similar ideals, Leia just seems to have a burning dislike of the Empire and what it stands for and by extend its unwavering minions. Imperials that aren’t just goons or "evil for the lolz" though seem to have her sympathy.

    Of course they are just quick cuts where you can only see the severe impact of Blaster weapons if you freeze frame it, though I still find it interesting that Lucas went to the trouble of making the effect, though it would certainly have been cheaper for the camera to just conveniently cut away.

    The same effect though could actually have been archived by Obi-Wan just cleaving the weapon in half.
    Personal opinion – to see the bad guys suffer; some authors like to project.
    LOTFJ/FOTJ maybe, that whole novel series is a disjointed blur of bad memories for me. Dark Nest and Star by Star though have him be almost too pleasant at times. ;)
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Mar 20, 2013
  5. Havac Former Moderator

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    Sep 29, 2005
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    Leia seems to have streaks of both idealism and realism in her. She's definitely a political idealist, a believer in noble values. But she's also someone from a pacifist planet who's made the decision to go to war, someone who's been willing to fight from a very young age, and someone who's seen war and terrible cruelty and doesn't have a lot of illusions about the world. She's had to live in the world of politics and war, and I think that's made her something of a pragmatist. I would say she is compassionate, but she's less forgiving than Luke. Her compassion goes to the Empire's victims, and she has a harder time forgiving those who have done evil. Luke may be the pure idealist who wants to protect even the fallen enemy, but Leia is the realist who may agree that slaughtering the fallen enemy is wrong, but they can't stop it and it's more valuable to let their allies express their frustration and their cultural values than to make a fuss over a point of principle they may not even understand. And she's got better people to shed tears over. So I'd say she holds to basically the same values as Luke, but is more of a realist in applying them to the galaxy as it is.
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  6. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Hm... I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I guess I'd have to go back through all of Bantam and see how I'd evaluate Leia's character again. There's a point where idealism and realism just don't work together. Leia is really cold in SotME in that regard. There's too little "I don't like it" in there, and too much "stupid boy, you can't change the way things are". Foster's portrayal of her character is under the suspicion of losing the "I want to create a better world" element. Which leaves just two motivations: revenge for all the evil stuff they've done (especially to her), and some vague idea of a power struggle that could just be some conflict between the two royal families of Organa and Palpatine, with her wanting her galaxy back.

    The thing is, I always liked SW as much as I did because I could identify certain values in it that I can support. It's about giving second chances, and at its core it's against revenge. I know that the audience can project anything into it, and there's always scenes that I'm not happy with (for example Obi-Wan being all war-happy when Anakin has a good idea for destroying enemy ships on Geonosis). But it's a far cry from stuff like Tarantino does where you just celebrate revenge and violence. Wouldn't it be great if we could just smash everything to bits that we don't like? And have those who make us suffer suffer more so we can believe that we come out on top?

    Basically, I feel like ANH and this book are operating in different frameworks regarding morals and story structure. When stormtroopers get gunned down in ANH, it's impersonal. Now, talking morals, I know that this is a problem in itself, but it's basically paintball. In the book, we suddenly have them as suffering individuals, which might be better, if it weren't for the fact that it's made acceptable, realistic, normal, and from a certain point of view (Leia's revenge angle) desirable that they suffer.

    But could Leia be much more pragmatic/realistic than I always gave her credit for? Since I recently realized how fascist Sheridan and Delenn are in Babylon 5, I must admit wouldn't be surprised if there's more fiction I consumed with my eyes closed in my youth... [face_cow]
  7. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I never got around to get back to that... can I convince you to elaborate on that? :) Which plotholes are the worst for you, and why do you think did Foster commit them?
  8. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Vader knows Luke's name, and that he's a farmboy from Tatooine. Yet in the ESB (revised) movie his reaction to the Emperor telling him Luke is his son is "How is that possible?!" and in The Rise & Fall of Darth Vader, it's made clear that his surprise is not faked.
  9. krtmd Force Ghost

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    Mostly I was thinking of Halla, and how it's never very clear why she's been seeking the crystal for so long. Also, why were Luke and Leia traveling separately before the crash? And then, in the end, they seem to forget why they agreed to help Halla in the first place.

    TBH, it's been FOREVER since I've read it, but those are my off the cuff memories of some "huh?" moments.
  10. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I think there's a bunch of books and comics that aren't quite clear on the question when Vader knew what. But as you say, the biggest change came in the revised version of ESB. Which clearly goes against what EU believed to be true about the sequence of events. Seeing this as Anakin's story, I must admit that it's somewhat interesting to have Vader find out onscreen that this pilot could be his son, or at least pretend that this is the first time he hears about this (he's still obsessed with finding him in the opening crawl, and he's still inexplicably drawn to Hoth). The original version had all of this happen offscreen, with Vader already knowing about the identity of Luke and obviously already having a plan to bring him into the fold - when the Emperor mentions that Luke Skywalker, Vader isn't surprised, but wants to protect the boy. But it's not a big difference in the end; it's just whether audiences are there with Vader when he "finds out" or not.

    So yeah, basically I'd agree that the book feels pretty outdated because it's obviously not aligned with even a single SW source except the first movie. Does that make it a worse story, though? Are we really talking about a plothole or rather about a retroactivecontinuityhole?

    I'm pretty sure the seperate travelling is only happening so that you could have used an old X-Wing and an old Y-Wing if you had made a movie out of it. Before I knew about the movie thing, I only assumed that it was limited author imagination - take the available toys, don't do anything too fancy. When the heroes look for Han in the Marvel comics, they also take an X-Wing, a Y-Wing and the Falcon. Which is funny, because the movies don't really make you assume that Leia and 3PO would ever fly a Y-Wing, but they do it quite often in early EU, and then you have 3PO take a Y-Wing in TCW.

    About Halla... doesn't she realize in the end that the crystal won't do her any good before they can talk to her about it? I thought that's an end to the discussion before the discussion even starts. Also, the combination of her being obsessed with the crystal in the beginning and then realizing that it won't magically alter her life for the better never felt like a holey plot for me. Just like a very underdeveloped one. And this book feels underdeveloped the entire time, starting with the fact that they didn't even get a proper team of characters and planets for it. And that the end feels rushed, having Vader fall down the pothole without me being able to figure out why that happened. In comparison, Halla's story was very clear to me.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    The Rise & Fall of Darth Vader manages to plug the hole, whichever kind it is, to a degree- with Vader doing the research- but unable or unwilling to put two and two together- assuming the connection, whatever it is- isn't father-son.
  12. jSarek VIP

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    Unless the Blu-ray release changed it and nobody told me, Vader still knows Luke's name in ESB before the conversation with the Emperor. ("That is the system. And I'm sure Skywalker is with them. Set your course for the Hoth System! General Veers, prepare your men!")
  13. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    True. Still- knowing Luke's background as well as his name, makes "Vader does not know Luke is his son" a little surprising.
  14. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    I think Lucas said that Skywalker is supposed to be like having the last name Smith...very common, not enough of a clue by itself.
    But then, the only Skywalkers we've ever come across are related to Luke in some way...
  15. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I've heard the Smith thing in relation to the Antilles name, since, you know, Episode 1 suddenly had this Bail Antilles character. This might either have been a genius idea diversifying the name and making sure Captain Antilles and Wedge Antilles wouldn't seem related. Or somebody messed up when they wanted to include Leia's adopted father... ;)

    I think there's no clue whatsoever for the audience that Skywalker could be a common name, so the concept that there might be just one single person in the universe called Skywalker that isn't related to Luke and Anakin seems like unnecessary wisecracking to me. ;) But really, the name is so striking, the audience would never assume Vader to not be absolutely paranoid about Luke being his son - age, abilities, maybe homeplanet and especially Padmé's favourite boy first name are too creepy a coincidence for this to be anyone else. I guess the dialogue change in ESB is more about Vader and Palpatine acknowledging that the audience knows as much about the Skywalker name as they do. Either that, or the original dialogue was written with the possibility in mind that the Emperor wouldn't know Vader's former name or something crazy like that.
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    When did Padme suggest that "Luke" was her choice for a boy name, to Anakin- was it in the RoTS novel? I haven't read it recently.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Mar 26, 2013
  17. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    Usually parents discuss this sort of thing....
  18. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Officially she didn't, but seeing how effortlessly she chose the names while occupied with giving birth and suffering from a broken heart, I prefer the idea that Luke and Leia were both their favourite names for a boy or girl, as discussed offscreen - and if they didn't know it would be twins, they probably didn't know the gender either.

    This might even work with the assumption that Anakin secretly preferred "Jinn".
  19. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Splinter of the Mind's Eye had one of the most sadistic Imperial villains in the entire book series. I forget his name. He rammed something into that guy's eye that once. Yeah, him.
  20. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Yes, yes there was, I have a issue of the Swedish translation of it somewhere