Discussion in 'Literature' started by Dan Wallace, Apr 5, 2010.
So... WEG, basically?
Well, mainly it comes down to two things- quality writing and beautiful artwork. I bought stuff like the KotOR and Legacy Era Campaign Guides as they had plenty of nice pictures and a good deal of new info. I also bought the Essential Atlas, when I hadn't bothered to buy anything from the Essential line since... the Essential Chronology (the first one!), because, well, it was just that good, with plenty of well-written summaries, good retcons (in that it cleared up things rather than just causing more headaches), and excellent artwork. So if there are plenty of nice character portraits (if this does happen, hope you can get back whoever did the art for the Atlas), maybe add some iconic moments (Duel on the Death Star I or II, Palpatine's return, the end of the Galactic Civil War, Fall of Coruscant, etc.), like what the Atlas had (like the first and only Niathal picture, I think?), then it'd be a must-buy.
That, and I add the umpteenth call for a picture of Cal Omas! And hopefully a sorta sympathetic biography too (dying without having one picture of him). And it'd be nice to know whatever happened to Bel Iblis (retired? Died quietly? Off on a secret mission? It'd be nice to hear from him again).
A Zayne and Gryph, or even Jarael bio would be awesome. Even better, with the KotOR comics finished, there's no need to be vague with their biographies, unlike with active characters like Cade or Princess Marasiah. Having entries on people like Dass Jennir would be nice, but not sure he'd be major enough- though A'Sharad Hett/Darth Krayt probably would be important enough to warrant a two-page bio. Although how many pages would Luke, Han and Leia's lives be by now? Heck, might as well dedicate a section to their lives and legacies.
Although bits of humor would be nice too. Maybe not just random iconic quotes (despite the temptation to use "may the Force be with you" for every Jedi), but original quotes too (I think the Essential Guide to Weapons and Vehicles had a few original quotes). Or the YVH war droid's "we're machines and better than the Vong!" war cry. Did that originate with the EG to Droids, or not? But humorous quotes like that improve a book a lot, in my opinion.
The EGTTF featured some beautiful artwork as well.
...well... 50% of it, anyway.
And it had a Duel on the Death Star II drawing by Chris Trevas.
I would buy this for the same reason that I bought the Essential Guide to the Force: excellent writing and must have art. Wookieepedia can't match having a good reference like this in hand. I really hope that a new edition will be made.
Like some of the others who have responded here, I would like to see some of the modern Clone Wars characters, but even more than that I would love to see some of the prominent characters from the EU of the 70's and 80's. Here's some of my choices:
Even just having one of them in a new guide with art by Chris Trevas would make my day!
Don't forget the voluptuous thingy-tease Latara.
And the greatest character of all... [link=http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Umwak%27s_nephew]Umwak's nephew[/link].
There may not be much support for this, but I think we're due a Lomi Plo picture. The Sith who abandoned Anakin Solo, duelled Luke Skywalker three times as the arch villain of a trilogy, and created Alema Rar, a key player in the Darth Caedus arc. She deserves an entry more than Kueller...
Backgrounds on some of the comics and new book characters would be awesome, but I'd love just a backstory on Shmi, if it's possible.
Actually, there's quite a story to be told about Lomi, so I think that could be really good. She'd be a prime candidate for, say, a micro story about her joining the One Sith, or something along those lines? Or, if we didn't want lots of new info about Lomi in particular, maybe to a "group" entry about "Joiners" and it document UnuThul, the Unseen Queen and the (two) Night Herald(s)?
I know we've already got a (IMO naff) image of UnuThul, but I'd quite enjoy shots of all four of them once they were bugified, and there's still a lot of blank pieces of history about the Colony's build up that could easily be elaborated on as they're unlikely to be things that any future novel is going to go back and flesh out. (A novel all about them crashing and becoming Joiners? Don't see that ever happening. That's really just biography material, not something that I expect there to be much of a story about.)
Actually, while on the topic of the Star by Star cast... I, um, really hesitate to say this one but... Vergere?
I know, too big a can of worms but... I dunno... if it was done tastefully (i.e. in respect of Traitor instead of being like that Jacen Skywalker article) then I wouldn't mind a decently worded account that tried to finally tie up the Sith "retcon" in a way that satisfied both camps' points-of-view. Vergere's just another of those characters like Exar Kun or Naga Sadow whose story has been altered so much in the years since the NEGTC that it'd be interesting to see what a modern take on it could be like.
hmm... WHAT IF...
we do a new essential guide in the style of the what's the story contest from HYPERSPACE?
Fans get a list of characters and send in entries. professional authors like Dan and Gang then sort through them and can either take some, alter some or incorporate some ideas into their own articles for the characters. That'd rock, hype the fans for the new guide and guarantee a good mix of new and old stuff, retcons and still leaves the major part with the official authors and editors.
It worked for the databank and why not elsewhere, too? that'd rock!
Heh... closest thing we could get to a Darth Plagueis novel.
Hmmm... actually, Darth Plagueis isn't a bad idea...
I guess the answer is...every character.
I suggest multiple editions rather then one giant tome. Original Trilogy Edition, Clone Wars Era Edition, New Jedi Order Era Edition, Legacy Era Edition, Old Republic Era Edition.
You include a disc packaged inside the cover that has a digital copy as well as provides access to an "Encyclopedia Update" website that will either be a source itself or update the digital version you have installed.
Update the ENTIRE TOS databank with abstracts based on the Encyclopedia Articles, so everything is updated.
Essentially, as nice as the books are, they can't keep up with changes that digital version would be able to.
Until something like this happens, Wookiepedia will be the better source...usually.
I would definitely love for the book to be more a collection of short fiction, like EGttF than just some encyclopedia entries. And it would be great for it to be a mix of different kinds of fiction, like WEG-style short stories; Abel-style police reports a la "Aliens in the Empire"; messages like the Death Troopers letters (the messages in the UK Star Wars Annual 2009 made it fun to read despite being a rehash of the films' events); holocron recordings; journal articles like "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji"; and so on. A book full of this kind of stuff would be a joy to read even if most of it is info we already know.
That would be similar to the CSWE.
Yeah, you know what? I want one with every character ever shown. All of them get a two-page entry with new art. New facts.
So [link=http://images03.olx.com.ph/ui/4/21/87/69931487_1-Pictures-of-1994-Encyclopedia-Britannica-2nd-hand-for-sale.jpg]this[/link], essentially.
Yes. That's what I liked about WEG, and that's what I liked about the Atlas. Give us WEG.
As for characters--Imperials. Any shape and form, from the Legacy Fels to main story villains. Given that an Essential Guide isn't necessarily going to focus on obscure characters, I can't see Tagges or the like warranting individual entries--but if it could happen, that'd be great. Something a little different is in order: with Wookieepedia and the internet, the use of these guides as reference material is waning but their value as vehicles for new content is higher than ever.
I didn't read much of the NEGTC, but I absolutely enjoyed the art--and I think a lot of people did too. Just look at all the people clamoring for Omas art. But another great feature was that appendix in the back that contained snippets about minor characters and some portraits as well. Interspersing that kind of content would be great, and also WEG-y.
Also, when I say Imperials, I mean First Empire or Second Empire--not the Remnant. But I think everyone knows that. I don't expect an Essential Guide to Imperial Characters, and I expect to see far more Force users and other fan favorites, but even a little bit is good. Thanks for asking.
For every character shown? I'd suspect that's not nearly enough.
ALSO SYAL AND MYRI ANTILLES. DO IT.
Sorry. That was a dignified yell, honest.
Re: art I'd love to see family-portrait style pictures done. Like, one of all the Solo/Skywalkers at the beginning of whatever book series they're doing now. Or post-NJO or mid-LOTF or whenever, just... family portrait.
Do one of the extended Antilles/Fel clan, and/or the Horns.
Or Rogue/Wraith/Twin Suns/etc forever Squadrons through the years.
Seriously. Group shots of characters. Killing multiple birds with a small number of stones, yes?
Heck.... instead of a revised Characters guide, how about an Essential Guide to the Galactic Empire? Pack it full with entires about the Empire's (and possibly the Galactic Republic under Chancellor Palpatine) history, politics, organization, key individuals, starships, ground vehicles, exploitation of the Dark Side, and other such info. If the Essential Guide to the Galactic Empire does well enough, make other guides for the Rebel Alliance, Confederacy of Independant Systems, criminal underworld, Old Republic (ie. everything before 1000 BBY), and so on. I say if you can't milk a cow anymore because you don't wanna overwork it, then find new cows to milk.
Regarding the whole page space idea, I decided to tally up Dan's list and see what could go and what should stay, basically going off what I think an average SW fan would care about. I'm trying to forgo my personal biases on favorites and just stick with the notion of what people would look for if they picked up something called an "Essential Guide to Characters".
For movie characters that are requirements:
1. Admiral Ackbar
2. PadmÃ© Naberrie Amidala
4. Wedge Antilles
12. Lando Calrissian
21. Count Dooku
27. Boba Fett
28. Jango Fett
33. Nute Gunray
38. Jabba the Hutt
42. Qui-Gon Jinn
46. Obi-Wan Kenobi
55. Darth Maul
56. Mon Mothma
61. Emperor Palpatine
78. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
79. Luke Skywalker
82. Han Solo
85. Leia Organa Solo
88. Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin
98. Mace Windu
Movie characters with significant new info since the NEGTC, but aren't required:
6. Jar Jar Binks
50. Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun Lars
77. Aurra Sing
92. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
Movie characters without new info, who could stay or go depending (all the ESB bounty hunters separately are overkill, though, and could easily be grouped together):
20. General Jan Dodonna
30. Bib Fortuna
39. Jedi Council Members
54. General Crix Madine
58. Nien Nunb
62. Captain Panaka
65. Admiral Firmus Piett
93. General Maximilian Veers
Movie characters who don't need another spot:
40. Jedi from the Battle of Geonosis
57. Boss Nass
60. Ric OliÃ©
66. Podracer Pilots
75. Darth Sidious (folded into Palpatine)
97. Zam Wesell
EU characters that are required:
3. Nom Anor
5. Darth Bane
9. Shira Brie
14. Tycho Celchu
16. Admiral Daala
24. Kyp Durron
29. Borsk Fey'lya
34. Corran Horn
36. Ysanne Isard
44. Talon Karrde
45. Kyle Katarn
48. Exar Kun
49. Warmaster Tsavong Lah
63. Admiral Gilad Pellaeon
64. Sate Pestage
67. Ulic Qel-Droma
80. Mara Jade Skywalker
81. Anakin Solo
83. Jacen Solo
84. Jaina Solo
91. Grand Admiral Thrawn
95. Quinlan Vos
99. Prince Xizor
That list is probably going to be the most subjective, but most I think are pretty self-explanatory. NEGTC came out right during the NJO, so there's a bit of front-loading of NJO characters in it, but I think the three included here are the most important in the long run.
EU characters with significant new info, who aren't necessarily required:
18. Gavin Darklighter
26. Baron Fel (the iffiest placement for me; his legacy's become really important, but I dunno if the character himself quite warrants absolute requirement)
37. Prince Isolder
53. Garik "Face" Loran
70. Naga Sadow
71. Thrackan Sal-Solo
86. Kam Solusar
89. Booster Terrik
EU characters with no significant new info, who can stay or go:
13. Gaeriel Captison
31. Rokur Gepta
43. Kir Kanos
51. Bevel Lemelisk
69. Dash Rendar
90. Bria Tharen
101. Warlord Zsinj
EU characters who can be given the boot:
17. Jori and Gav Daragon
23. Durga the Hutt
73. Executor Sedriss
74. Senator Viqi Shesh (my one exception to the "significant new info"; I just don't think she's that important in the long run to warrant a full entry)
76. Raith Sienar
87. Nil Spaar
So that's how I'd adjust the list of NEGTC characters, without regard to personal feelings towards characters. That's 13 free spots, and 23 more potential ones. There's some new ones that I think would be absolutely needed to add to this list, rather than just things I'd like to see, but I'll save those.
Lord Hydronium, I think you have a good list there. I would add Ben Skywalker though.
Whoops! Sorry! I see you were only using previous characters.
Precisely. I want that for a character guide.
I'd agree with Hydro, with perhaps the notable exception of Aurra Sing, who has become some what of an EU mainstay (for no good reason actually, but a mainstay nonetheless), and although as a film character she is decidedly useless, as an EU character I think she's pretty major, if only for her era- and medium-hopping.
If M. Wallace is still watching, though, I forgot the one character who absolutely and utterly must be picked up and given at least a ten-page entry.
Accept no substitutes. I'm ashamed that I didn't mention him in the first place. What's wrong with me?