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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. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 3, 2005
    Yes, this is a most excellent suggestion. ;)

    I'll reinforce the need for a Cal Omas entry, not just because there's no picture of him, but because he's so important.

    Along these lines, in terms of important characters who haven't really been covered much, I'd say Paltr Carvin as well. Another one would be Adas, and of course Xim.

    Tremayne, by this point, could be justified as well, I think.

    Basically, I'd also like to see the three flight sim leads: Keyan Farlander, Maarek Stele, and Ace Azzameen.

  2. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2010

    I always thought he was more like Cain, a never say die solider who kept fighting a war after others said it was hopeless. I am talking about the original Cain, not the new one who has prisoners raped, cause that is the best way to get informantion :rolleyes:
  3. Zorkel567

    Zorkel567 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 20, 2010
    Lord Voldermort. ;)

    Okay, but seriously, Cad Bane, Saes, Ahsoka Tano, and Finn. Throw in Captain Rex and Abeloth for good measure.
  4. Cull_Tremayne

    Cull_Tremayne Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 27, 2005
    Too bad all the people you want to see are also people who are not very relevant. If that were the case, I'd really like to see entries for recurring characters from the Adventure Journal, the main characters from Galaxy of Fear, prominent Ewok/Droids characters like Gaff, Koong, Morag, Logray, etc. Though if we're judging by the progression from the original EGtC where GoDV characters showed up, that's unlikely.

    If we're looking for a good resource for prominent characters that have shown up since the last one was published, it should be pretty obvious. At least a couple characters for each new storyline. Maybe one main character from each of the one shot novels?

    Book series:
    Cal Omas
    Ben Skywalker
    Jagged Fel

    Last of the Jedi:
    Ferus Olin
    Trever Flume

    Republic Commando
    Kal Skirata
    Etain Tur-Mukan
    Omega Squad members?

    Darth Bane:
    Darth Bane is already there
    Darth Zannah

    Coruscant Nights:
    Jax Pavan
    Haninum Tyk Rhinann

    Death Star:
    Villian Dance


    Zayne Carrick

    Cade Skywalker
    Roan Fel
    Darth Krayt

    Finn Galfridian

    Dark Times:
    Bomo Greenbark
    Dass Jennir

    Video Games:

    KotoR II
    Jedi Council members?

    Republic Commando:
    Delta Squad members?

    Galen Marek
    Juno Eclipse
    Rahm Kota?
    Maris Brood?

    Cad Bane?
    Hondo Ohnaka?

    Besides characters that have been introduced since the last EG, I think it would be really useful to include some entries on characters that have been reintroduced due to reprintings like the Marvel comics and the DVD releases of Droids and Ewoks.

    For Marvel:
    Fenn Shysa
    Den Siva?

    Jann Tosh
    Mon Julpa
    Jessica Meade
    Thall Joben and Jord Dusat?
    Fromm Gang?
  5. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007

    Please, haven't they already done enough damage to him?
  6. Dan Wallace

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

    Aug 17, 1998
    So, to sum up, release the Essential Guide to Cal Omas and call it a day? ;)

    I love the suggestions so far -- keep it up. But Zorrixor brings up a good point, which is that Wookieepedia is already pretty popular as a straight reference source. What would prompt you to buy a copy of a book like this if you were on the fence (and poor)? Original content? In-universe, story-style entries?

  7. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 2006
    I think that Garm Bel Iblis is the leading candidate. Despite having been around since 1992, he didn't get an entry in either previous guide, and as one of the three founders of the Rebellion, he's a pretty important dude in the grand scheme of Galactic history. Plus, he was in The Force Unleashed, so there's appeal for gamers as well.

    If you want a throwback to Droids, then I highly recommend Mungo Baobab. Cooler and more important than Jann Tosh or Thall Joben, and if you're including bts info, the Ben Burtt connection would be neat. There's newer info from Idiot's Array concerning him, as well (he was in it!).

    Finally, Saba Sebatyne. She's been very prominent in the post-ROTJ world since Star By Star, is a leading member of the Jedi Council, and as a hunter who loves stalking prey, she's distinct enough from other less interesting NJO Jedi. She has quite an interesting biography, too, like helping Danni Quee uncover the secret of the Yammosk, dueling Welk, training Leia (which continued for four years after The Swarm War! Tempest confirms this), giving Mara's euology... by the time of Invincible, she's basically a member of the SkySolo family.

    So, in short:



  8. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    I think releasing The Essential Single, Clear Image of Cal Omas would probably do the job. ;-)

    For me, I think a judicious mix of good continuity spackle and the unexpected will do the trick. Your NEGtD is probably a perfect example; you hit all the must-haves and covered their main points, but you also included several unexpected choices, and used all the entries - expected and unexpected - to tie the SW galaxy a little bit closer together.

    In other words, do what Dan Wallace does best, and my money will follow.
  9. Rogue_Follower

    Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 12, 2003
    Original content is what makes me buy an Essential Guide. I loved the volume of new information in the Essential Atlas and I like reference books that are dedicated to fleshing out the universe, rather than just regurgitating stuff from other sources. New stuff is value added, in my eyes. Realistically, however, I concede there has to be a balance between old and new info. A marketable reference book needs to be useful for, well, reference and also accessible to newbies. But you already know all this.

    So, back to the topic... I don't think I'd buy a new character guide, unless it had substantial new information or unique content. If I'm looking for something about a well-established character's backstory, chances are I'll look to Wookieepedia. This probably indicates that in order to target hardcore fans, a reference book should seek to complement the Wook, rather than (very temporarily) supplant it. Thus, original content.

    For suggestions, I'd say WEG-style anecdotes and short stories would be one nice addition to the format. In-universe is always appreciated, as are good retcons and good continuity. Also, lots of cool art is always a plus (though most of it ends up on the Wook eventually...) I wouldn't make any drastic changes to the format, though. The past few guides have been pretty good.
  10. HedecGa

    HedecGa Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2006

    I'd really like some new info. Something I can't get anywhere else. It's been said before that the Guide would have to be careful not to bind the hands of future writers, and I can totally understand that, but it'd be nice to have SOMETHING new. Especially for the characters that we haven't heard from in forever. With so many loose ends floating around, it'd be nice to have a little update (rather than a full "conclusion") or maybe an Abel Pena/Rich Handley "Aliens in the Empire" kind of bio. If we can't reveal the future, maybe go back into their past a little more--like Aliens/Empire did by hinting at Triclops' origins. Some kind of fresh way at looking at "stale" characters. Lots of obscure continuity tie-ins, retcons, that kind of thing.

    Plus, the wonderful art that's been supplied in the Atlas and Chronology would be a welcome addition to an Essential Characters Guide. ;)

  11. ChildOfWinds

    ChildOfWinds Chosen One star 6

    Apr 7, 2001

    Dan Wallace : What would prompt you to buy a copy of a book like this if you were on the fence (and poor)? Original content? In-universe, story-style entries?

    Yes! I would be more willing to purchase a copy of a revised Characters Guide if it had original content and story-style entries. I prefer that to encyclopedia-style entries. I don't really see how all the obscure characters in the SW universe could be included and really do this justice though. So I would prefer that minor characters be left out so that the rest of the characters could be done well and could have a fairly lengthy entry. I still think that such a book would need to be a lot larger than the past Character Guides to pull this off. It will take an awful lot of creative work too to include original content and write them in story format. I think this can be a really awesome product though.

  12. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Feb 15, 2008
    Hypothetical? Yeah, sure... Seriously though, the New New Essential Guide to Characters book could become bigger than the Atlas. Seriously, awesomeness like this is why I?ve been an EU buff for years now? Anyways, here's some ideas I thought might be good:
    1) Make several differently sized character sections. The New Essential Guide to Characters had the majority of space devoted to character entries and a full page portrait, along with smaller images in the large entries, and a back section of small paragraph-length entries for minor characters.

    For the New New Essential Chronology, make 3 sections: Major characters (film characters like the Big Three, Chewie, Palpatine, ect, and the most prominent EU characters such as Thrawn, Pellaeon, Jacen, Jaina, ect). This main section should only cover characters that have had truly profound and long-lasting impacts upon the GFFA. The next section could be a Secondary Important Characters section, which would have the relatively important film characters and leading characters from the EU. Examples of such would be Wedge Antilles, Kir Kanos, Revan, Zayne Carrick, Sate Pestage, Kyle Katarn, ect. The final section could replicate the final section from the NEC, with characters just enough significance getting a brief text description without a portrait.

    2) Do a few entries for groups of characters, along with group portraits identifying the individual members. The obvious example would be the Imperial Ruling Council (along with identifications for all 6 of the Advisors from ROTJ at long last?), but the Select Committee of COMPNOR, the Ubiqtorate, The Moffs from the Jedi Prince series, the Moff Council of the Remnant or during the Second Galactic Civil War, the GFFA Senate, prominent Supreme Chancellors, the leaders of the One Sith, the Exiles who founded the Sith Empire, The Grey Cadre, ect, ect, would all be great possible group portraits and entries about the organizations.

    3) Leave the fates of characters wide open, but do provide more about their background. For example, the final fate of Kir Kanos should be left untold, but some new info from his days as a stormtrooper might be nice. This could probably be done for a whole bunch of characters, come to think of it.

    4) Perhaps group characters into sections dealing with their affiliations. A section on Rebel characters, one for Imperial characters, Jedi Characters, Sith characters, famous scientists, artists, smugglers, bounty hunters, ect. Better yet, the character entries in each of these sections could be chronological, thus allowing a narrative to be told from entry to entry. For example, a Sith Character section might start with an Adas entry, progress through entries on successors like Dathka Graush, the Exiles, and eventually work its way through towards the present day One Sith with an entry on Darth Krayt.

    5) Invite former authors to give conclusions to the stories of characters they created. For example, ask game developers or comic authors or old WEG authors for the basic facts (Dead/Alive, How, When, ect) which would allow for unresolved plots to be wrapped up while also leaving the specifics open for possible future stories/games/comics/scenarios/adventures, ect. Or heck, let the character?s creators guest write the actual entries if they want.

    6) Don?t be afraid of page limits. I don?t think a single fan would mind a book that?s a few hundred pages longer than the last?. (hey, one can only wish, right?). In fact, a bunch of extra pages might really be necessary given how much has been added to the Eu since the NEC was published.

    7) Perhaps leave about 10 or so character entries to be decided by a poll of fans on a certain prominent fan site, perhaps even along with fan art for the most popular picks. Fans are very, very likely to buy a book that they themselves helped contribute to in even the slightest regard.

    8) Besides the usual Endnotes posted online, an enhanced Online series of Updates consisting of entries on characters too obscure or too unimportant to merit being in the printed edition co
  13. Xicer

    Xicer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 21, 2008
    That's pretty much what I want in a nutshell. New information plus vignettes just like WEG used to put in their sourcebooks would be a dream come true in an EG.
  14. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 24, 2005
    Kyp sans hangover.
  15. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 3, 2005
    I don't know about story-style entries, but original content would be a major plus. I think what would be a really tempting thing for me, personally, would be some original stuff surrounding characters that have been abandoned due to the constraints of their original publishers. For instance, the Azzameens. X-Wing Alliance was obviously meant to have expansion packs that would have continued the story after the Battle of Endor, but we all know now that Lawrence Holland and Friends are never going to be able to do that.

    The same goes for Reti and a lot of the Starfighter crew. These sorts of setups that have gone nowhere.

    Another plus would be seeing the cleaning up of characters with completely muddled EU history. Which has been done before, obviously.

    Another thing I'd like would be to see a bit of... Atha Prime love, perhaps? :p (gotta be Shadowspawn. It fits like a glove.)
  16. Lord_Hydronium

    Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 11, 2002
    Yeah, I'll third this. The NEGTC and NEGTD had new info mixed in with standard biographies, which I think is a good mix. NEGTC was more spackle and retcons than straight up new biography, but characters are harder to just add whole new revelations about. Still, I think expansion could be done on areas that are a bit lacking in the existing bios; very few characters have a full birth-to-death story plotted out. Standard encyclopedia-style bios I think are still best for something like characters, but IU material and sidebars on top of that would be a good thing.

    The original NEGTC did two of these published in Insider. Unfortunately that was all they did, but it would be a nice idea to reprise.

    I like the idea of sorting groups and individuals separately, too. Maybe a bit more focus on groups than the couple the NEGTC had, like the new Council, Remnant Moffs, Deep Core warlords, things like that.
  17. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Jul 8, 1999
    Ooh! A trade-in program with the first two volumes! Like Cash for Clunkers. [face_mischief]

    Got it in one.

    Oh, and this. I will buy two copies of any SW book with the word "Azzameen" in it.
  18. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 2006
    I think there are a lot of creative ways to put together a Newer Essential Guide to Characters. Rather than the standard old character-profiles-by-the-alphabet format, what if it was kinda like a mixture between a character guide and a chronology?

    Like... Part I: The Clone Wars. Have a few pages talking about the Clone Wars (with Chris Trevas and Tommy Lee Edwards illustrations :D), then do a buncha character profiles on major players from the war (Dooku, Ahsoka, Nute, and tons more). Then do one for the Dark Times, the Galactic Civil War, the NR Era, the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Second Galactic Civil War, the Legacy Era, the Sith War, the KOTOR Era, etc. Just a thought.

    In regards to characters --- I imagine that part of the target audience will be fans who have just recently gotten into the EU via The Clone Wars. They're probably interested in learning more about the war than just the cartoon can show them, and if it will get their interest piqued in the Legacy Era as well, then, well...

  19. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

    Oct 29, 2005
    For the same reason people bought the NEC and EA (and to a lesser extent, the CSWE).

    a) It's official. Kind of like the origins of the Guinness Book of Records, it settles the nerd equivalent of bar bets.
    b) New material. It's always welcome, and fun.
    c) Writing. The NEC and EA were well-written and enjoyable to read (especially bits like the operatic history of the Hydian Way).
  20. Jeff_Ferguson

    Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 2006
    Jagged Fel.

    Give us a bit more info on how the Fels joined the Chiss Ascendancy and the Empire of the Hand folded! :) As it stands, I don't think anyone else will cover it.

  21. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 3, 2005
    Orman Tagge is another one that comes to mind. Everyone should leap at the opportunity to draw those glasses.

    Basically, the only way this works is if there's an individual GTC dedicated to each publishing era. :p

    Or, if it's essentially the same size as the Encyclopedia.
  22. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
  23. Armchair_Admiral

    Armchair_Admiral Jedi Master star 4

    May 31, 2005
    1. How did General Rieekan not make it on the list when Dodonna and Madine did?
    2. I'd also like to nominate Admiral Screed, who was said in SW: Rebellion to have been the Emperor's "right-hand man" before Vader robbed him of that position. This would be a good chance to explain Screed's true position in the Imperial hierarchy, seeing that Palpatine has quite a few "right-hand men" to go around (not counting the Emperor's Hands of course).

    I'll post other thoughts later.
  24. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    Another idea: to feature many obscure or EU characters that otherwise would not get their own entries, how about an appendix listing character names that got not their own entries but are named/featured in others entries as cameo tied to their story? thus you can find them without their own entry and learn something at last.


    Mammoth Hoole ==> see Profile of Tash Arranda

    or whatever^^
  25. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
    Aliens in the Empire is exactly the kind of thing I would like to see, yeah. It's the reason I've always like most of Abel's articles. Look back at, say, Evil Never Dies; all it did was summarise what we already knew, however it still included enough spattering of new things like the info about King Adas, the nuggets about the Mecrosa Order, etc, to make it a very interesting summary of Sith history.

    As others have said, the NEGTD is another good example of "new and old" I think. Wasn't it the NEGTD that gave us quite a bit of "new" info about the Abominor and Silentium? (Like the Great Heap being an Abominor? Pretty sure that came from the NEGTD.)

    I like the "short story" (or perhaps they'd be more like "micro [one-page] stories"?) idea. I'm reminded of the format a lot of the Warhammer reference books used to do (not followed it in years, so no idea if they still do), where the old Codexes during the 90s used to be full of all the game stats to actually play with the miniatures, but they also included short stories here and there throughout the books as well.

    So, in some cases you'd read the character stat profile of Kharn the Betrayer, then the next double page might give a brief account about what he did during a particular battle that earned him the moniker "The Betrayer", etc. I suppose the best way to put it is that it was a "show don't tell" approach to character biographying, so to speak?

    Now, obviously we'd never be able to get things like this for every character in a new NEGTC, but even a handful would up its appeal.

    It's my old WEG sourcebook days coming back to me, but a quickly thought up example (which in five minutes I'll probably look back at and realise is actually lame) might be an "Order 66 Survivors" section; the basic idea would be that instead of an encyclopaedic summary, it'd be like going onto the FBI's website and reading a most wanted summary; you'd still get the life history of Quinlan Vos (fulfilling the reference requirement), but the "voice" of the narrator would have enough of an "He's an enemy of the Empire!" slant to make it read more creatively than a bland non-point-of-view Wookieepedia entry. Think the kind of approach in the EGTTF where everything was written from Tionne's POV? Or where we had the "Sith holocron accounts" with Palpatine talking about how a Sith Master without an apprentice was a master of nothing?

    There's just something strangely satisfying when you get the in universe historian saying "The records are unclear about what happened when..., with some accounts claiming ..., others ..." It's always a much funner way of presenting retcons and/or continuity errors. :p
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