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 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    So... WEG, basically? :p
  2. Nobody145 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 5
    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.
  3. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    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.


  4. BC_SW_fan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2008
    star 1
    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:
    Princess Kneesaa
    King Gorneesh
    Thall Joben
    Jann Tosh
    Mungo Baobab
    Fromm Gang

    Even just having one of them in a new guide with art by Chris Trevas would make my day!
  5. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Don't forget the voluptuous thingy-tease Latara.



    And the greatest character of all... [link=]Umwak's nephew[/link].
  6. Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 8
    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...
  7. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    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.
  8. Zorrixor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    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.
  9. CeiranHarmony Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    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!
  10. HedecGa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2006
    star 4
  11. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6

    Heh... closest thing we could get to a Darth Plagueis novel.

    Hmmm... actually, Darth Plagueis isn't a bad idea...
  12. Jedimarine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    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.
  13. Plaristes Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2007
    star 3
    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.
  14. GGrievous Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    That would be similar to the CSWE.
  15. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    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.
  16. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
    So [link=]this[/link], essentially.
  17. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    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. :p 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. :)
  18. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    For every character shown? I'd suspect that's not nearly enough.
  19. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10


    Sorry. That was a dignified yell, honest.
  20. trianiigirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2002
    star 5
    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?
  21. Armchair_Admiral Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 4
    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. [face_batting]
  22. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    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. Padmé Naberrie Amidala
    4. Wedge Antilles
    10. C-3PO
    12. Lando Calrissian
    15. Chewbacca
    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
    68. R2-D2
    78. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
    79. Luke Skywalker
    82. Han Solo
    85. Leia Organa Solo
    88. Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin
    98. Mace Windu
    100. Yoda

    Movie characters with significant new info since the NEGTC, but aren't required:
    6. Jar Jar Binks
    7. Bossk
    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):
    19. Dengar
    20. General Jan Dodonna
    25. 4-LOM
    30. Bib Fortuna
    32. Greedo
    35. IG-88
    39. Jedi Council Members
    52. Lobot
    54. General Crix Madine
    58. Nien Nunb
    62. Captain Panaka
    65. Admiral Firmus Piett
    93. General Maximilian Veers
    96. Watto
    102. Zuckuss

    Movie characters who don't need another spot:
    40. Jedi from the Battle of Geonosis
    57. Boss Nass
    60. Ric Olié
    66. Podracer Pilots
    72. Sebulba
    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
    94. Vergere
    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
    22. Droma
    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
    41. Jerec
    53. Garik "Face" Loran
    59. Nym
    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:
    11. Callista
    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.
  23. ChildOfWinds Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 6
    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.
  24. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Precisely. I want that for a character guide.
  25. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    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?
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