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Lit Third Essential Guide to Characters (formerly "Who would you want to see . . . ?")

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Dan Wallace, Apr 5, 2010.

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  1. Dan Wallace

    Dan Wallace Author: Essential Atlas, Essential Guides, RPG star 3 VIP

    Aug 17, 1998
    Guys this is hypothetical, first and foremost. But I'm interested in your feedback on what would make the New Essential Guide to Characters (released in 2002) a better resource if we had the opportunity to update it in some form.

    Obviously lots of characters didn't exist at the time of the last edition's release, like General Grievous. And some candidates seem to suggest themselves from comics (Zayne Carrick, Cade Skywalker), books (Ben Skywalker, Lumiya), games (Starkiller), and the animated series (Ahsoka Tano, Cad Bane). I'd love feedback on the obvious "missed opportunities" as well as characters you feel are important but overlooked.

    Here's the old lineup for reference. Some of these, like Durga the Hutt or Kueller, have (in my opinion) become less important over time and would be candidates for replacement if space were an issue.

    1. Admiral Ackbar
    2. Padmé Naberrie Amidala
    3. Nom Anor
    4. Wedge Antilles
    5. Darth Bane
    6. Jar Jar Binks
    7. Bossk
    8. Brakiss
    9. Shira Brie
    10. C-3PO
    11. Callista
    12. Lando Calrissian
    13. Gaeriel Captison
    14. Tycho Celchu
    15. Chewbacca
    16. Admiral Daala
    17. Jori and Gav Daragon
    18. Gavin Darklighter
    19. Dengar
    20. General Jan Dodonna
    21. Count Dooku
    22. Droma
    23. Durga the Hutt
    24. Kyp Durron
    25. 4-LOM
    26. Baron Fel
    27. Boba Fett
    28. Jango Fett
    29. Borsk Fey'lya
    30. Bib Fortuna
    31. Rokur Gepta
    32. Greedo
    33. Nute Gunray
    34. Corran Horn
    35. IG-88
    36. Ysanne Isard
    37. Prince Isolder
    38. Jabba the Hutt
    39. Jedi Council Members
    40. Jedi from the Battle of Geonosis
    41. Jerec
    42. Qui-Gon Jinn
    43. Kir Kanos
    44. Talon Karrde
    45. Kyle Katarn
    46. Obi-Wan Kenobi
    47. Kueller
    48. Exar Kun
    49. Warmaster Tsavong Lah
    50. Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun Lars
    51. Bevel Lemelisk
    52. Lobot
    53. Garik "Face" Loran
    54. General Crix Madine
    55. Darth Maul
    56. Mon Mothma
    57. Boss Nass
    58. Nien Nunb
    59. Nym
    60. Ric Olié
    61. Emperor Palpatine
    62. Captain Panaka
    63. Admiral Gilad Pellaeon
    64. Sate Pestage
    65. Admiral Firmus Piett
    66. Podracer Pilots
    67. Ulic Qel-Droma
    68. R2-D2
    69. Dash Rendar
    70. Naga Sadow
    71. Thrackan Sal-Solo
    72. Sebulba
    73. Executor Sedriss
    74. Senator Viqi Shesh
    75. Darth Sidious
    76. Raith Sienar
    77. Aurra Sing
    78. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
    79. Luke Skywalker
    80. Mara Jade Skywalker
    81. Anakin Solo
    82. Han Solo
    83. Jacen Solo
    84. Jaina Solo
    85. Leia Organa Solo
    86. Kam Solusar
    87. Nil Spaar
    88. Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin
    89. Booster Terrik
    90. Bria Tharen
    91. Grand Admiral Thrawn
    92. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
    93. General Maximilian Veers
    94. Vergere
    95. Quinlan Vos
    96. Watto
    97. Zam Wesell
    98. Mace Windu
    99. Prince Xizor
    100. Yoda
    101. Warlord Zsinj
    102. Zuckuss

  2. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 28, 2003
    Cal Omas! For the love of God, give us a picture of Cal Omas. :p

    Oh, and if Legacy comics are included, I would die to see Gar Stazi. Stazi is the kickass "Bill Adama" of the Star Wars galaxy. :D

    --Adm. Nick
  3. Tyber

    Tyber Jedi Knight

    Mar 12, 2009
    Cal Omas! Definitely! But don't miss The Gryph, Jarael and Demagol!
  4. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Jul 8, 1999
    The thing I'd most like to see is the removal of minor movie characters who are only included because they are movie characters - Sebulba? 4-LOM? Ric Olie? If the intent is to supplement the previous guide, do we really need more profiles of these people? Same deal as Durga and Kueller, really.
    darthbarracuda likes this.
  5. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

    Oct 29, 2005
    Zaarin. The guy almost overthrew the Emperor, was a Grand Admiral, and Thrawn's primary nemesis. (I know that's a long shot, considering he hasn't really appeared outside the TIE Fighter game...)
    Cal Omas, definitely. Although I request that a picture not be provided, and instead have a reference that Omas looks almost eeriely identical to another character - Revan. :p
    Yularen should get a full entry now.
  6. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
    There are too many characters I could name, so I'm going to say something more theoretical instead:

    I'd quite like to see it include a combination of old and new information.

    New information, I hear people say?! Yes, you heard me right. NEW.

    I'm thinking in terms of along the lines of what the Essential Atlas did, i.e. 90% of it would be biographical of what we already know, but there would be enough nuggets of genuinely new stuff to make it worth buying. I mean, sure, I will buy it anyway, as I buy anything with the Star Wars logo like a good little fanboy. But for a large number of people I imagine Wookieepedia gives them all they need (and probably more), making some of these older Essential Guides largely redundant.

    The Essential Guide to the Force and the Atlas evidently both realised this problem so presented themselves in a slightly more original way than the original EGs and NEGs. So on that basis (both for our benefit and for LFL's benefit, as I expect it'd up the sale potential) I'd like there to be more reasons than just the artwork (which we all know will make its way onto the Wookiee within a few days of launch) but for there to actually be some truly interesting nuggets of new information that the Wookiee can't really codify in as satisfactory a way as owning it for ourselves.

    Suggestions in that vein? At the very least, I'd say perhaps include some of the lesser known characters who could use some background. For example, maybe flesh out the Dark Underlord or Darth Ruin, not the whole story (it'd be nice to still have a reason to buy a novel one day!), but more than we currently know; in effect, enough of a teaser to make people want stories about these characters more, the way the Chronology first kickstarted the Lord Shadowspawn fanfare that eventually led to Shadows of Mindor. (Mentioning that, Blackhole/Cronal would be a very welcome addition!)

    Anyway, my interest in some bonus "new" characters like that aisde (obviously I'm not suggesting the whole guide be like that: I fully accept these sourcebooks are always going to include Luke's history again, and, really, I'm only suggesting that there be maybe three or four entirely unexplored characters like Ruin in it), there are also other characters that we've seen before but who have been retconned up the ying yang so much that simply telling us their story again would actually be tantamount to almost giving us an entirely new character history.

    Possible examples in that vein include Exar Kun or Naga Sadow: we had them both before in the NEC, but both Sith Wars have been elaborated on so much in numerous different sources since 2002 that it'd be interesting to get a modern take on exactly what these characters got up to. I'm not talking outright retcons as I don't think that's the premise for reference books which are there to, well, reference what's happened; but what I mean is where the retcons have already happened (e.g. humans in the Great Hyperspace War, or the Great Sith War lasting longer than it first seemed) it'd be nice to see these characters' biographies again to see how all the pieces of the puzzle now officially slot together.

    So, to summarise:

    1. Two or three almost entirely "unexplored" but major lore characters, e.g. Ruin, Xendor, Xim, Karness Muur, Ajunta Pall, that sort of thing.
    2. Retellings of some of the heavily retconned characters such that they almost would be new stories nowadays, e.g. Ragnos, Sadow, Kun, etc.
    3. Even in someone like Luke's profile, include some teasers about what he may have got up to in the blank years between NJO and DN. For a character like Jacen, some ambiguous name drops there would be pure gold dust, as things like that alone would make it worth buying.

    I think what made things like the EGTTF and the Atlas so fulfilling was they were worth just sitting down and reading through just for the pleasure of reading them. In the older guides, that wasn't as much the case, as they came across more as pure reference books, which is something that th
  7. GrandMasterKatarn

    GrandMasterKatarn Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 8, 2008
    Jaden Korr should get one, as well as Cal Omas.
  8. Lord_Hydronium

    Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 11, 2002
    Some New Sith Wars would be good, like Farfalla or Hoth, if it didn't interfere with Knight Errant. In more well-known areas, the KOTOR games oughtn't be forgotten; they probably have enough main characters to fill a book themselves, but a few of the bigger ones would be interesting. The NEGTC did a few groups, so the Sith Triumvirate could be a really good entry.

    And if we're talking images, it's high time Boba got a face.
  9. MaceWinducannotdie

    MaceWinducannotdie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 31, 2001
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. Greedo is another character we don't need. He's just not that important, and now that the EU has gotten so big we don't need to fill a page with a retelling of a minor encounter in the Mos Eisley Cantina and the contents of a short story.

    Sedriss and Rokur Gepta also just don't strike me as that important or interesting, though at least we have the excuse of them being artifacts of a distinctive period in EU fiction.
  10. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    Cal Omas (without a picture :p)
    Gar Stasi
    main TOR MMORPG characters!
    Grand Admiral Zaarin
    Jaden Korr
    Vestara Khai
    Vergere (and no more lies about her... stick to her true self as in Traitor)
    Valin & Jysella Horn
    Myri und Syal Jr. Antilles
    Allana Solo
    Taryn & Trista Zel
    Nom Anor
    Tahiri Veila
    Tenel Ka needs expansion again

    Anni Capstan
    Seha Dorvald
    Nelani Djinn
    Danni Quee
    Malinza Thanas
    Mirta Gev
    Wynnsa Fel
    Danielle Kieran
    Eryl Besa
    Tash Arranda
    Klin-Fa Gi
    Aleema Rar
    Numa Rar
    Kaye Galfridian
    Sanola Ti
    Aeron Azzameen
    Alexandra Winger
    Pink 5 Stacey
    Ailyn Vel
    Deena Shan
    Ryoo Naberrie
    Pooja Naberrie
    Corla Metonae
    Lieda Mothma
    Kimmi Chyler
    Ru Murleen
    Leia's Handmaidens: Alana & Mira
    Dark Woman
    Kahleen Hintz
    Ahsoka Tano
    Duchess Satine Kryz
    "Scout" Talisibeth Ewandung Esterhazy
    Riyo Chuchi
    Maris Brood
    Teckla Minnau
    Beru Whitesun
    Shmi Skywalker Lars
    Barris Offee
    Ros Lai
    Serra Keto
    Etain Tur-Murkan
    Komari Vosa
    Asajj Ventress
    Queen Apailana
    Queen Kylantha
    Empress Teta
    Jori Daragon
    Nomi Sunrider
    Vima Sunrider
    Bastila Shan
    Mission Vao
    Visas Marr
    Darth Traya
    Satele Shan
    Talia Kira
    Darth Zannah
    Vici Ramunee
    Marasiah Fel
    Ahnah Rawk
    Nyna Callixte/Morrigan Corde
    Azlyn Rae
    Rogue Organa
    Tia Organa
    Celly Organa
    Breha Antilles Organa
    Kir Kanos whereabouts

    and basically everything Zor said ;)
    We need a section for "older" characters of lesser screen time in modern EU works to detail their fate or what they were up to in the recent eras without repeating their whole bio. Like a short overview with one small paragraph for each
  11. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Jul 8, 1999
    They'd never do this, at least not extensively. It'd tie too many people's hands and lead to more contradictions in any future appearances.
  12. IllogicalRogue2

    IllogicalRogue2 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Oct 28, 2003
    K'krunk (sp)

    More SITH!!!!

  13. Malachi108

    Malachi108 Jedi Master star 3

    Aug 8, 2009
    From Episode III: Grievous, Bail Organa, Gregar Typho. Also, put in Ozzel and Wicket (with Ewoks info!)

    From the Clone Wars and The Clone Wars: Asajj Ventress, Durge, Ahsoka Tano, Aurra Sing, Rex (actually a section to cover all notable clone commanders from the Episode 3 + Rex would be more appropriate)

    Also, the beings who could earlier be described simply as " Jedi Council Members" and "Jedi from the Battle of Geonosis" are now mostly fleshed-out, popular characters with a significant fanbase. Kit Fisto, Aayla Secura, Saesee Tiin, Luminara Unduli, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Shaak Ti, Plo Koon... how could you possibly fit them all in?

    From the video games: Darth Revan and Darth Malak, Bastila Shan and Carth Onasi, Sith Triumvirate (Kreia, Sion and Nihilus), Jedi Exile, Brianna, Atton Rand, Visas, Canderous Ordo and HK-47, Galen Marek, Jaden Korr.

    From the novels: CAL OMAS, Shimrra, Tenel Ka, Ben Skywalker, Tahiri Veila, Alema Rar, Kal Skirata, Jax Pavan, Jagged Fel, Ferus Olin, Zekk, Gram Bel Iblis.

    From the comics: Freedon Nadd, Darth Krayt, Cade Skywalker, Gar Stazi, Zayne Carrick, Dass Jennir, Lucien Draay, K'Kruhk, Celeste Morne, Jarael, Darth Talon.

    Entries from NEGC that IMO can be safely dropped: Brakiss, Gaeriel Captison, Droma, Kueller, Lobot, Podracer Pilots, Sedriss.

    Personally, I have little interest in a new edition of the EGC. If it would be similar to the previous two, it will most likely be limited to brief, one-page descriptions. For the long-time continuity junkies, those will offer very little new info, some entries will barely have a paragraph of new content compared to NEGC (Nom Anor hasn't done much in EU recently). And for the newcomers to the EU I assume it would have to contain about a half of familiar faces with the other half of the new ones to introduce them to other stories, otherwise they would be confused by all those unfamiliar characters (I tried reading Essential Chronology back when my EU knowledge was limited to 9-12 novels. Wasn't impressed :p).

    Yet after looking at how much the EU has expanded since 2002, you would want to put at least all major galactic players in, so that the owners of the book could at least know the major players of all major series (let's drop the standalones). Can't see that happening without the book becoming almost twice the size of NECG. And for a book that big most of us would rather want a beauty compared to the Essential Guide to the Force or The Awesome Atlas. Both of those seemed to have enough movie-related content for the newcomers to grasp (can't tell for sure, was obsessed with EU for years by now): by focusing on a single aspect of the universe, both recent Essential Guides managed to tell the entire history of the galaxy and familiarize us with historical figures without repeating NEC or NEGC. That's the type of books I personally would like to see: give us Essential Guide to the Military, the Politics and what-else. As long as Chris Trevas provides an illustration of Cal Omas, we'll be happy.

    P.S. While I was typing it, I realized that I was talking from a EU-geek point of view. And yet Lucasfilm always seeks to introduce SW to newer audience (we just had a new animated series announced). By the time the Live-action kicks in, a new generation of Essential Guides would probably be a must. Could they be planning for that already?
  14. Xicer

    Xicer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 21, 2008
    I agree with everyone else that this time around, I'd like to see more new information than just a summary of what we already know. More akin to the Atlas if possible.

    Characters I'd like to see: Nomi Sunrider, Arca Jeth, Maarek Stele, Jaden Korr, Guri, Carnor Jax, Cal Omas, Cronal, and the obvious ones Dan mentioned.

    I also echo the sentiment to remove minor movie characters who are really only mentioned because they appeared in one of the movies.

    It might also be helpful to check out [link=]Wookieepedia's list of most popular articles[/link] just to see what people are reading about the most.
  15. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

    Oct 29, 2005
    Actually... maybe the guide can be split into categories? Time-based (KOTOR, PT, OT, NR, NJO, Legacy), or organizationally based (Jedi, Sith, Mandos, Vong, political, underworld, bounty hunters, droids)? For example: you could have a full entry for Grand Admiral Thrawn, with a follow-up entry for the rest of the Grand Admirals. The NEGC already had a few like that, with (IIRC) the podracers and minor Jedi Council members.
  16. Plaristes

    Plaristes Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 2, 2007
    I agree with many of the above suggestions, like dropping many of the minor movie characters, as well as many of the suggestions for additional characters to be covered (e.g., Cal Omas, Kal Skirata, Revan, Ewoks). And while I doubt it would happen in a book like this, I'd love to see CH's suggestion of adding Danielle Kieran come true.
    I also agree with much of what Zorixor said. If there were to be a new EGC, I wouldn't want it to be just another reference book. Instead, I'd love to see it in a format like JvS:TEGttF, which was full of short fiction. Making the book an in-universe document (or collection of documents) of some sort makes it so much more interesting.
  17. HedecGa

    HedecGa Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2006
    Nat Skywalker (though, I guess we don't know enough about him to have a whole entry yet :( )
    Delta Squad
    Xim the Despot!!

    Also, and I realize this sort of goes against the "Essential" aspect of it, but I'd like to see...
    Fenn Shysa
    Alex Winger

    And, of course, I'd like to see some What's the Story characters that might qualify.
    Janus Greejatus
    Tannon Praji

    I always enjoy reading the Essential Character guides and discovering people I haven't heard of before. So I think it'd be cool to see some more unconventional picks in order to introduce new EU readers to the faces of yesteryear.

  18. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003

    I'll try not to get my hopes up, but I'd LOVE a new character guide!:D

    My votes:

    1) The Separatists (anything and everything... particularly the main leaders, inc. Grievous, Gunray, San Hill, Shu Mai, Tambor, etc)

    2) Cal Omas

    3) Blackhole/Shadowspawn

    That is all. If I see just one of these, I'll sing you praises for all eternity.
  19. xoubara

    xoubara Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 4, 2003
    Well, I agree with those who say that there should be different guides for different eras: TOTJ until ANH, for one, and ANH until Legacy, for instance. I also agree that the guides shouldn't only resume what we already know, but also expand on the character's backstory.

    Regarding the last guide, I think the following characters should not be included anymore: Jar Jar Binks, Bossk, Brakiss, Gaeriel Captison, Dengar, Durga, 4-LOM, Bib Fortuna, Kueller, Owen and Beru, Bevel Lemelisk, Lobot, Ric Olié, Piett, Podracer pilots, sebulba, sedriss, Veers, watto and zuckuss.

    In exchange, I would add:

    From the KOTOR era: Revan, Malak, Zayne, Jarael, Gryph, the Sith Triumvirate (Sion, Nihilus and Traya) and Bastila.

    Post RotJ: Wedge, Corran, Kyp Durron, Kyle Katarn, Jaden Korr, Luke's first students (Kirana Ti, Streen, Dorsk 81 to 83, Tioone, Kam), Tycho, another for Rogue Squadron, Pash Cracken, Judder Page, Cal Omas, Jag Fel, Formbi, Kenth Hamner, Cilghal, Tekli, Zekk, Tenel Ka, Tahiri, Ben, Vestara, Abeloth, Shimrra, Onimi, Saba Sebatyne, Zaarin, Lecersen, Cal Omas. And I know I am forgettinhg a lot more.

    Legacy: Cade, Roan Fel, Kol and Nat, Jariah Syn, Deliah Blue, Gar Stazi, Nyna Calixte, Krayt, Nihl, Wyyrlok III... And not a lot more, actually.

  20. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    May 27, 2003
    I agree. Would love to see that extra space filled with more prominent EU characters.
  21. ancslove

    ancslove Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 27, 2006
    Jar Jar, Owen and Beru, and Bevel Lemelisk all seem pretty important periphery characters from the movie timeline. Shmi Skywalker is a pretty big miss from the movies, and I'd like to see Tionne and Cilghal from the post-ROTJ period. NJO through FOTJ, I second (third? fourth?) Ben (of course), Tahiri, Tenel Ka, and Jagged Fel.
  22. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    Tenel Ka, Zekk need to be included.
  23. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Jul 8, 1999
    [link=]Group[/link] [link=]entries[/link]. They'd be a great way to get depictions of lots of new characters without having to devote a page, or even a paragraph, of text to every one of them. Think of the possibilities of a FotJ-era Jedi Order picture, or a NJO-era Rogue/Twin Suns Squadron pic, or a Dark Times-era Whiplash pic.

    The Essential Guide to Groups, even. :D
  24. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    Honestly, I don't see how this can be done without one or more of the following things happening:

    1) Lucasfilm hands out a much-increased page count.

    2) The authors make tough choices that no one will like (least of all them) about who to leave out.

    3) The format and layout change substantially, making it more like the Encyclopedia than past editions. Characters don't get entire pages to themselves; at most, they get columns to themselves, but more likely, each entry will be immediately followed by the next. No one gets the big space-stealing infoboxes with full body shots; at best, everyone gets a headshot, and even that need not strictly be the case.

    While that would be my preference, too, I think it's quite unlikely. While everyone here of course wants more EU content, we're a small segment of the target audience. A bigger segment is going to want bios of people they're familiar with, which means movie and TV show characters.
  25. Kaje

    Kaje Jedi Master star 4

    May 29, 2005
    Carnor Jax
    Kir Kanos
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