Lit Timothy Zahn making Darth Vader look a fool ! (spoilers for both books)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by fett 4, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Darth_Garak Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    What he meant was that it's a fix that allows the main character to escape being called an idiot.
  2. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Oh, I definitely agree the referred narrative doesn't hold to be looked at objectively. Ok, I haven't managed though BFCT yet, but all through Bantam and in JAT particularly, there is hairrising stuff. But I can't for my life see how any of this is explained by Luke being on the edge of the dark side!? Maybe the Gantoris example - if being affected by the DS would sort of draw him in... but howcome then didn't it affect his other actions in that story differently? How could forgiving Kyp be an act of the DS? I mean, I wish it had never happened, myself - but I can't see the DS explains it. In the point that the DS would give a clouded judgement in general? Delusions of grandeour? Is taht how the DS works?

    "You weren't thinking" Mara says to Luke in VOTF. "You were reacting , trying to save everyone and do everything." (p 222f paperback ed.) I think she's suppsoed to talk about DE, here, but then it could be mire generally too. Anyway, this claim of hers, (together with her pushing Luke to admit how hard and confusing the past ten years have been p. 221) works lightyears better as explanation IMO - yet it doesn't condemn the other authors works nearly as much - and it doesn't set a big fat questionmark at everything Luke's done the past ten years - which the DS explanation does? I mean, if he really was under influence of the DS - shouldn't first thing to do once they realize it, be to unravel everything he's done those years, in order to see if he's unwillingly acted in favor of set bad seeds that may grow later? Mara's medicine, is that Luke stoppes using the Force so much. But has he really used the Force so monstrously in the previous books? As I said, I still haven't read BFCT, but does that trilogy really tip everything? Sorry, but I can't see that either. I rather regret I can't - since I absolutely hate much of what's happening in the Bantams - but I still can't. Andf I still think declearing Luke semi-DS is adding one more pudu on an already huge pile.

    As for Mara falling for him - oh, they needed the argument allright. I'm also completely fine with Mara telling what she thinks is wrong and Luke agreeing he's done many mistakes - but Zahn takes it far too far IMO plus adds to the mess. He even has Luke reflecting that Callista's losing her Force and Gaeriels death would somehow be his fault?!? Because he was supposed influenced by the DS? Like how did that happen? o_O

    Quite another thing is aslo, that by bringing all that up, wihtout giving a explanation that doesn't rise a pile of new problems, Zahn brings even more focus on these stories that in no way can stand this objetive scrutiny. They're far too broken to be fixed - and VOTF makes them look even worse.

    I dunno. In general, nothing in SW stand a closer scrutiny - which is why I think you need to take everything with some huge mothfulls of salt :p But isn't it ok for Luke to do misatkes? Isn't it ok taht he was a novice when he started the New Order? It's not like there was anyone else who could do it.Well, now we know there was, but they were still hiding. Which is another SO STUPID thing - but that we accept. Complaining - but we accept it. Because we're fans. All it takes is a little good will. And that goo will is what I ask for in the works of the authors too.

    As I said, all it takes.. ah well... just forget it:p
  3. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    I find myself largely in agreement with Mech's commentary, with one caveat: when these novels were written, none of us, not the fans, not the authors, not even LFL, really KNEW what the dark side was. We knew that Vader was dark, and we knew that the Emperor was dark, but what else was dark? How'd they get there? Was influencing other's thoughts dark? Was using the force to alter your appearance dark? Was forgiving a person who had done horrible acts dark? Luke didn't know, so he experimented. Were some of them dumb? Naive? Yes to both.

    I think that Zahn was trying to show Luke in this naive light with his stories. Luke, and the authors, were largely making it up as he went along, so someone needed to step in and argue on the fan's behalf. I, for one, was left shaking my head at some of the things Luke was doing. This is what I think that Zahn was trying to do with Mara's accusations. Luke did some really dumb things and needed someone to step in and tell him, "Look, you are being an idiot. Stop."

    From her (and my) point of view, Luke had tremendous power and answered to nobody. That is always a dangerous combination, and she reminded him of that fact.
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  4. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    I agree all this. Except that I think bringing in the DS was making things worse instead of better. Plus by Luke eating it all raw, I think it crossed the line of being corrections from one characters POW to one athor schooling another author, which isn't nice. Ah, well... I've argued my point. Anyone want more, you can always PM me. :p
  5. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Didn't know that he dictated. Like you say its amazing he could say it aloud and still write it down afterwards :confused:

    If I was to be fair the JAT trilogy had some good potential story ideas in it.
    1) Luke finding new Jedi and setting up a new order.
    2) Vsiting the Spice mines of Kessel that had been talked about in the OT but not seen.
    3) Female villian, which had not really be done in Starwars then.
    4) Evil Sith force ghost, which again was an interesting as had not been done as we had only seen good ghosts.

    Of course it ended up being terrible (Darksaber was even worse) before he then went onto Dune and screwed that up too, but still there were some semi decent potential ideas there all the same.
  6. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    It's not, but a charachter thinking something is one thing, but then having another charachter act a fool (which is very out out of charachter for Vader) to prove his point is another matter.
    kataja likes this.
  7. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I liked JAT a lot. Darksaber was good as well. I can get into KJA's writing style quite easily.
    Todd the Jedi likes this.
  8. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    I did not know that, but hearing it now explains so much.

    I'm not saying Luke must be perfect, only that he can't be incompetent. His record from the end of Dark Empire up through Hand of Thrawn was best labelled as incompetent.

    Luke Skywalker is the marquee face of Star Wars, and in the movies, he is anything but incompetent (a bit naive, headstrong, and overzealous perhaps). Nor were author's in the EU portraying him as incompetent, but the outcomes of his actions were. That suggested something even worse, that Luke was so deluded he had no idea that damage he was doing. It wasn't 'heroic but flawed' it was flat out not-heroic, almost evil through negligence, and it wasn't working.

    And how is it not obvious that there are restrictions on how certain major movie characters are treated in the EU? This has always been the case. We've known that they can't die for decades. Once that's established the recognition that there are limits on their potential behavior in any product is natural. Luke can't turn wholly to the dark side and become the next Darth Vader either. Han can never completely go straight. Leia will always have a sense of the poltical moment regardless of how long since she's actively been in office. They are bound by who they were in the OT, and can only ever change so much, because if they become unrecognizable, then their draw is lost.

    Is this 'stupid' to some extent? Well yes, it's an arbitrary limitation placed on storytelling in Star Wars, so yeah, it hurts the universe to a degree. It's also par for the course among shared-world genres.

    That's fair. I don't agree with you on it, but I can see that point. I happen to think Zahn's solution was suitably practical, but I suppose a better one was possible. And I do think that, with regard to getting on KJA Zahn pushed the boundaries of professional shared world conduct to their limits. I admit that, considering myself an author, I'm surely giving Zahn the benefit of the doubt - had I been in his place, I wouldn't have been half so restrained.
    Last edited by Mechalich, Dec 11, 2012
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  9. Tim Battershell Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 5
    Stackpole (I, Jedi) had Mara tear a strip off Kun (which I thought caught her character well). And Corran also unloaded 'what was wrong' onto Luke a bit (IIRC)!
  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The Vader vs Maul comic (I think called Resurrection?) also has Maul (or his doppleganger) criticizing Vader rather severely as they duel. He still loses.

    Palpatine's clone sneers at Vader in Dark Empire "a sick old man in an iron mask ... whose heart was forever possessed by the impotent side of the Force."
  11. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    The issue, as it relates to Zahn, really isn't about Luke. Zahn shows Luke outsmarting Thrawn, for instance, on multiple occasions. If he was trying to make Luke look bad I'd suggest that would never happen.
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  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The OP comment was about Vader being portrayed as "worse" (stupider, or more impetuous, and so forth) in Zahn books than he is in the movies.
  13. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I understand, but Luke seems to be getting a lot of page time of late.
  14. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    During the ANH-ESB period there's a lot of Luke writing- Marvel Star Wars, the Newspaper Comics, the Alex Wheeler series, the Galaxy of Fear series, the Zahn novels, Splinter of the Minds Eye, the Rebellion & Empire comics- maybe some noticable themes could be identified? Is Zahn's Luke, for example, very different from Wheeler's?
  15. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Zahn's Luke in Allegiance and Choice of One comes across as a good deal less competent than he is in those other stories, it jumps out when you consider, as has been pointed out to me - Wrong Side of the War and Choices of One take place at the same time but their portraits of Luke are nigh irreconcilable!
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  16. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Character portrayals straddling the novel/comics line have often varied quite widely, regardless of author. Especially during the Bantam publishing period it was almost as if the two lines were parellel universes. HoT's mention of Luke facing the Reborn Emperor is one of the few acknowledgements that Dark Empire even occurred. I don't think Zahn is really outside the averages in this regard.
  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Yeah, but the example I've given is particularly acute!
  18. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    And some people say Palpatine doesn't believe in sides of the Force... thank you Veitch!
  19. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    He might have been mildly skeptical in Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, but have come to believe fully that the difference is fundamental, some time afterward.
  20. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    I dunno if we're outside or inside the subject here but I must add to this, that Luke's post-ANH and pre- ESB character portrayal in the comics (both the old Marvels and the new Dark Horse are relatively consistens with each other but also with Alex Wheeler's Rebel Force books. They're also (relatively) consistent with SotME - at least when it comes to drive and daring; in comparison Luke in CoO stands out as extremely hesitant and lacking initiative. I can go into details if anybody's interested, but I guess it's outside this thread.
  21. Jedipilot25 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Not to mention the fact that Zahn ignored a golden opportunity with Allegiance/Choices of One; he could have used them to elevate the good parts of the Marvel and Classic comics (the duels with Orman Tagge and Kharys for example) while retconning away the more....insane parts.
    kataja likes this.
  22. Jedifirefly5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 2

    I always hated what the bratty teenage parrot had to say, but that is also why I can't take it seriously. She's too blind to see anyone in an objective light because she's jealous competitive and ignorant. She knows nothing, and only "knows" what has been spoonfed to her since childhood, and at 21 she was still a child. She didn't know anything about Anakin and his history and at that time, neither did we. Mara thought a lot of wrong things, was not very good at self examination and was confused a lot of the time in TTT. She also had feelings for Luke she had kept to herself and said things to be hurtful too. She was jealous of Callista.
  23. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    I think it's the same sort of thing as with Karen Traviss' Republic/Imperial Commando books.
    Fans hate it because she seems very anti-Jedi, pro-Mandalorian etc, but to me it seems mainly just because that is the perspective her characters are taking. They see the Jedi as bad because of who they are, I don't think Karen Traviss is trying to say "jedi are bad". But a lot fans failed to understand that.
    (I don't really blame them though, as it's a bit strange that every single character in her books has the exact same views and ideas, which gets a bit tiresome).

    Zahn's Mara is the same sort of thing i guess. She thinks she is more important to palps, hence the narrative says so.
  24. Esg Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    How is someones opinion comparable with established fact?
  25. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Can you please explain further what you mean? Not sure I understand.