Discussion in 'Literature' started by Charlemagne19, Oct 22, 2012.
They also happen to have one of the bigger merchant fleets in the galaxy.
The thread also inspired me to write a Mandalorian essay.
But yes, my main issue with Cade Skywalker, is his transformation into a Jedi seems remarkably abrupt. He's been told everything before and has seen the consequences of his actions. The only thing he's done genuinely evil (aside from turning over a Jedi) is steal from people he "rescued" from Pirates then erase their memory. Nothing in War seems like it would have caused a Road to Damascus Moment and I'm actually entirely comfortable with the idea Cade is unsuited to a Jedi Knight.
Let the guy off the hook.
It's just I wish we could follow a hero more like Luke Skywalker who embodies what a Jedi Knight SHOULD be.
The Jedi of the Legacy era were just kind of meh on that regard.
Good article, though I have to be nitpicky and point out that the Mandalorians actually fought with the Jdi in the New Sith Wars. Well, at least, the only mention of them in the time period that I can remember has them on that side.
Thanks for the correction.
There are others just not as prominent. Ailon society for example is much more extreme, where they went fanatically fantasy Spartan (and have as much as a Billion warriors at times), or Gamorr society, which is remarkably honor bound and medieval.
Äh... he is
A nice contrast here is actually Spar, who would only contract out to victimless merc work.
As on Traviss, I deeply enjoyed Hard Contact, but never felt it was really strong enough to warrant a sequel, especially one that went into an utterly different direction (where she imho just went utterly insane, especially in her NJO short story and LOTF work), plus the main problem with Traviss Mandos is that you cannot really fit them into how Mandos behave in every other incarnation of them, unless it is really is just the dozen or so Mandos that show up in her book directly.
With Mandos having died out and all, or as Aliens in the Empire quotes “As a trained and organized soldiery, the Mandalorians were now all but extinct” or that the Imperials were able to round up pretty much all Mandos in a few months, whilst the History of the Mando article makes it clear that they sold each other into Imperial slavery. She tried to make them something they just aren’t with a society that sticks together no matter what, whilst the most consistent thing they did for more than 3000 years is beat each other up. She should really just have made up a different race, instead of trying to rewrite Mandos into something they were not.
Nope. Spar never did anything of the sort. During his time as Mand'alor, Spar only led the Mandalorian Protectors in battles against the Republic on the side of the CIS, stepping down following the Protectors' near destruction at Norvall II. Fenn Shysa was the one who was the beneficent Mand'alor, and it was his iteration of the Protectors that would only take for-hire mercenary work if innocents weren't harmed, and even then only with Shysa's personal blessing.
Unless you have some ridiculous desire not to, you absolutely can fit the Mandalorians as Traviss defined them into the scope of larger canon, especially as they appear as the logical evolution of many traits seen by the Mandalorians under Canderous Ordo in KotOR II, which have taken shape over the intermittent millennia. Everyone else in the business seems to have had no problem integrating Traviss' additions to the culture, from JJ Miller and Jason Fry to John Ostrander during their brief appearance in Legacy.
Once upon a time the Cathar were extinct. Except they weren't...and then they were again. But then only some of them were extinct, or was it then most of them? But they're alive later!
These things happen. Mandalorians weren't the first, and they won't be the last.
Yes it was Shysa sorry, all start to sound the same as time goes on.
Only if you are desperate or marginalize them, because more Mandos that show up than not behave nothing like it, just making it clearer what a fractionalized Society they are, as the Atlas is also very good at explaining.
You mean like when in TOR were the other Mandos kill off his followers?
Except for the part where they also don’t behave like it, each of them showing infighting on mass scale, Legacy comic is actually outright hilarious in this, where they get betrayed by one of their own so he can become Mandalore, at the cost of his fellow warriors.
Which is what makes it even more messed up what Traviss did.
ESB – Mando have disappeared and Boba only wears the armor.
Marvel – Mandos have died out as warriors with only 3 left and the world enslaved by the Empire
Insider background stuff – Mandos have died out as warriors and the rest of the people joined with the Imperials to enslave their own people and strip mine the world.
TCW – The warriors are insane marauding outcasts that take slaves and Mando society as a whole is not warrior based anymore.
Tales – Boba tried to reform a Mando merc army which he had to massively retrain from scrap so he can fight against the Republic for the Vong.
Open Season + Clone Wars– Jango was the last true warrior after they killed each other off and only his insane clone tried to get a few warriors back together for which he had to ask police officers to fight for him.
Traviss – There are millions and they all live happly together in an utopian society without restrictive government where they look out for each other and Boba Fett actually is a really nice guy who cares for his people, even though he never did for his whole life and of course he would not fight for the Vong, but his such a nice person that he infiltrates them save Mando society! Who are so awesome that they never really suffered under the Empire and the Vong didn’t just wipe them out like they did whole other worlds that fought them! In fact the Vong were so nice that they bombed open Super ore the Empire forgot to strip mine during 20 years of occupation when messing up the rest of the planet! Everyone also really fears them because they are the best warriors in the galaxy! All of them! Also the Jedi are all really evil because they don't like Mando and use the Clone army.
It literally all fits together except for the Traviss stuff.
I'm not a big fan of strict devotion to continuity. Traviss' Mandalorians, to me, do not HAVE to fit into the world of other Mandalorians as I think little Snafus can be explained away by big and little changes between groups and time periods.
Nah, Mandalorians needed a coherent narrative. My objections to Traviss' Mandalorians was that she made several writing choices I disagreed with that I think hurt the narrative. Portraying Order 66 as something that was completely glossed over as a tragedy for her Jedi and the changes made to Spar. I also felt the Legacy of the Force novel with Jaina amongst the Mandalorians was just plain...strange.
My only issue with the Mandalorians is that Traviss attempted to subvert the narrative of Star Wars with the Mandalorians. They work very well in Halo and probably whatever Gears of War novels she's doing. Less so in Star wars where war is explicitly something NOT to be rejoiced in.
So yeah, I think her novels would have been slightly more enjoyable with more obstacles in her way but I'm sorry we never got to see what happened with Darman, who went positively nuts in the last volume.
Don't forget the clones who think they're Mandos because Mandos are more awesome than they will ever be, so to be more awesome, they have to become Mandos. After all, it's in their blood, since cloned Mandos just mean more awesome to go around, and the clone army is infused with Mando blood.
Or, am I misinterpreting things?
Let's be fair to Traviss, her books illustrate only Skirata's boys had a Mandalorian identity.
As noted in the Ignorance is Bias thread, you can't come up with a single act by (non-Death Watch) Mandalorians of this era to reinforce this random idea of yours that Traviss' characters are a group of saints in a society of sinners.
Played TOR? Read any of the lore? Picked up the Encyclopedia? Because your hyperbole is quite different from the actual situation that's been presented.
JJ Miller did an excellent job of appropriating later developments in the culture, and retroactively applying them to the Crusader/Neo-Crusader era Mandalorians while balancing them out with the traits unique to the era. A superlative example being Clan Sornell from War. And for only a single issue, Ostrander put some noticeable effort on the cultural aspects and relationships between Hondo Karr and Vevec, and later Karr and Tes. Yaga Auchs' betrayal doesn't somehow invalidate all of that, it just continues to show that like all societies, there's always elements of good and evil.
Now see, I didn't get that "War is Glorious" vibe at all. I don't think war was ever really portrayed as something to be rejoiced in, but rather a hellish experience that one can get through by being tough. I saw a lot of unpleasant truths in the Republic Commando series when it came to what war is and the effects it has, ones that are so often skirted. Fi's head injury on Gaftikar, how his own government ceased to care for him when his existence became inconvenient, his slow road to recovery walked solely with and at the expense of friends and family... there didn't seem to a single thing glorious about that. In fact, it was sadly all too reminiscent of so many similar situations faced by soldiers in real life. The attack on the mess tent in Order 66 was another painful reminder just how terrible war is, as was Scorch's temporary break down, and the same could be said for many other scenes.
I think, if anything, Traviss' work isn't guilty of glorifying war, but soldiers. The regular people. Characters make jokes about it, make light of their fights, and treat death irreverently. It's a commonplace thing in the military, however. Laugh, or you cry. And that's part of why the Republic Commando series has had such a resonating fanbase among military personnel. Military men and women were able to see themselves and their struggles in the characters; I read one blog where an injured serviceman had been reduced to re-occurring tears while reading Fi's struggle, and formed a close email-based friendship with Traviss thereafter. It was hard work, skill, and tech over innate superpowers. I've loved Jedi since I first saw Empire Strikes Back, but I can't help but agree with that sentiment as well. War is bad, and I don't think it was ever treated as anything but.
The small portion of the overall clone army who identify with Mandalorians do so because it's the environment they had been brought up within. Other clones took to the cultures and ideals of their own, non-Mandalorian trainers. The commandos of Galaar Squad were fervently Corellian in their identity, and Commander Bacara considered himself an honorary Journeyman Protector of Concord Dawn after training with a former officer.
The clones who continued to move toward that Mandalorian identity, did so because the Republic had effectively denied them any other. They weren't citizens, they didn't technically have a homeworld, and weren't even given legalized names. They became Mandalorian because they were essentially nothing, and as I noted above, several others took similar paths toward other cultures. To use an example personal to you, if Jango had recruited a Findsman to train a company of clones, there's a strong indication that they would have soaked up a number of Findsmen traditions, and attempt to emulate their Gand training sergeant.
Ah, I had a feeling I was misinterpreting something.
They aren’t saints, they are utterly f… up as I pointed out in the Traviss thread. Let’s see – they brainwash infants entrusted to them on mass and play mind games on them, break just about every law they can find, kill other Mandalorians, make clothing out of a living being, torture, robbery, blackmail, kidnapping etc.. If you consider them the Saints of Mando society, the others must really be messed up.
“Traviss era” Mando also went on to enslave each other on mass for the Imperials and the only people who fought against it are 2 people who actually had to train their own army for it, which I am sure Traviss would have rewritten into something else as well once she got around to it, but alas she quite in a hissing fit before that.
Yes I have played TOR and it has plain insane Mandos like Blood and those fellows on the Sith world who kill anyone who cross their path because they feel like it, in it. Also Cardera (who saw himself as inheritor of the Ordo way) and his followers opposed the Mandalore (appertly two of those in a row) and get hunted down for it.
Like forced conscription, mass slavery, wanton murder, lack of tactical planning (ok that actually keeps showing up in other eras) etc. ?
How are 5 people a Clan, or is this an even more arbitrary tag in Mando society than one should hope?
Sure he did, but in the same issue he also gave us Yaga Auchs who kills his fellow Mandos and his Mandalore just for power. Plus I am sorry but Hondo is so typical of a Traviss Mando he is a test book example of why no one IU can stand them. He cheats and betrays those around him, than endangered the mission he is sent on and then goes deserter for personal reasons.
Yes because they have a tradition of infighting, which is consistent just about everywhere, except for Traviss, where she tries to make it the exception.
The thing is she doesn’t, her characters are Clone Commandos that got brain washed by a few people from a society that is anything but the norm and those people that are not the norm. If she would have wanted to write about normal soldiers write about regular Clone Troopers, the poor grunts that fight for the Seps as conscripts or Republic conscripts, because those are around and really would deserve focus.
Except for the part where they didn’t, Jedi and officers encouraging them to take names and pick up hobbies pretty much from the get go, hell even the Kamino encouraged them to have a sense of pride and belonging together.
Oh I agree.
My criticisms aren't that she treats war as a game or its AWESOME. It's with a specific mindset about isolationism and homestead defense.
Specifically, that Mandalorians are an anarchist military dictatorship (not as uncommon an idea as one may think) whose culture drapes itself in the ideals of family and the flag of the Mandalorians while obscuring the fact that it's a culture which believes itself to be perfect and refuses to consider any idea which threatens that perception.
We don't get to see much of this element because it's under the Republic (using the clonetroopers as disposable shocktroopers) and the Empire but the insular, warlike, and (honestly) xenophobic nature of the group is what's bothering me. Mandalorians are designed to be appealing with all of their wars being self-defense and distrust of outsiders justified but it's a culture completely lacking altruism and free-exchange of ideas.
It's a seductive idea but the Mandalorians under Traviss are not conquerors but survivors. Mandalore is the mythical "home" but it's a home where all of the Mandalorians want to go, not interact with anyone but other Mandalorians, and live their Mandalorian ways. It's a provinicial view that takes a extremist survivalist view similiar to (of all things) Tolkien's Hobbiton only with the bad boy/girl image of a warrior waving his rifle and letting them know how tough it is.
Traviss is a much better writer than many people give her credit for but while I think the Mary Sue accusations are ridiculous and the Mandalorians are not necessarily people who need to be vilified, I do think it's interesting to note Star Wars begins with Anakin/Luke in isolated communities wanting to escape into the broader galaxy and learning to take responsibility for everyone else. The Clone Troopers begin with responsibility for everyone else and want to escape to isolated places where they only will care for their immediate friends and family.
Think about it, really, does Skirata want anything from the rest of the universe? It's the case really of just the guys taking wives and retiring to Mandalore, hoping the rest of the galaxy leaves them alone. I think a lot of Traviss feelings are from Jedi fanboys (like myself) who got upset with her and people who dislike her handling of Stormtroopers being the victims instead of oppressors.
However, I think A LOT of people are unconsciously sensing the disconnect between a wider and smaller galaxy at the heart of the character's heroes journey.
Except for the part where main planetary income is supposed to be mercenary work and raiding. So literally the only thing they want from the outside is to get paid for /profit from killing people on the outside. Which just won’t make you popular. If they just wanted to stay there and do whatever people certainly wouldn't mind, the problem is they just don't.
I don’t think she is a bad writer style wise (unlike let’s say Anderson, or me ), the problem just is she took things a little too far, especially when she is meant to be playing in the same sand pit other authors are, not just ignoring them, which is something that actually amused me because Star Wars seems to have gone “back at you!” on her stuff.
Between the two of us, Vergere must have been having a good laugh at the cost of the Warmaster on that day, though I think Traviss was serious
There needs to be a Kol Skywalker book
Tsavong Lah must have wondered why the hell this weird pet thing was talking to him.
Also strange that Vergere would consider the Jedi's most formidible enemy to be a group that was extinct the last time she was in the galaxy.
At this point, do we really want any more books in the Legacy era no matter what the subject? I would rather take another comic series.
Personally, I want a successor series to Legacy Gorefiend and yeah, I'd like to know more of Kol - whether that is done as a book or comic - I'd go for either.
Eh, I'm not honestly that interested in Cole.
Crazy as it seems, I'd be interested in going to the "New New Jedi Order" where it's been awhile and the Skywalkers aren't important anymore.
I think I'd like that too. Something like Storyteller might be cool.
You know, personally, I would put the Hutts as the real third blade. They endure and prosper. Always.
There is no third side to a lightsaber....it's a cylinder.
A cylinder does have 3 sides; a top, bottom and outer face
Or was that sarcasm and I totally missed it?
It's more the case of a metaphor that got away from me.
Whatever the case I'd say that ANY good Star wars story has the Lightside, Darkside, and the regular people involved in both.
One of the big failures of Revenge of the Sith was the fact that the Rebellion wasn't shown being created.
Muggles had a place in the OT and poor Padme was their only representation.