Tired of NJO

Discussion in 'Literature' started by rogue9, Apr 24, 2001.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    Ani,Ani, Ani...you are still not reading what I'm writing.
    I have no problem with Ikrit being in Conquest. Keyes is right that this character should not be ignored. The problem is he was ignored in all the previous six books.


    When did the Committee decide that an Anakin book was to be written? If it was a spur of the moment decision, then I can understand why Stack and Luceno and KT wouldn't have put Ikrit in their books.
    But DR has been telling us since the beginning of the NJO that things would be different, the novels would be connected, it would be all one big story. No more continuity screw ups like Bantam let happen.

    The NJO is supposedly planned, thought out in advance.
    SO either all this planning talk is a sham or the planners didn't think the JJK was very important.
    Which is it?
  2. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    Dewlanna--

    Ani,Ani, Ani...you are still not reading what I'm writing.

    Once more, Dewlanna. I am reading what you are writing. I understand your point. Now try once again to understand mine. Go back and read my message of 5/21 dated 7:38. You'll find your standard among the ten that I list:

    2. No characters should be included from sources other than adult novels, without prior mention in the NJO. So-called "young adults" are kids too.

    And to repeat what I said at the end of that post:

    All of these standards raise valid points. And all of them are arbitrary, to one degree or another, because they largely reflect what some individual believes (or might believe) to be important. In other words, they are subjective, not objective, standards.

    Not one of these standards matches LucasFilm policy, which treats all of the EU as equally valid, and hence, "fair game" to one extent or another. This was, of course, my fourth point.


    Dewlanna, you have developed a standard that sets different guidelines for introducing characters into the NJO based upon the origin of those characters. To put it another way, the guidelines are different for the introduction of Corran Horn or Roa than for the introduction of Ikrit or Tahiri. I do not believe that such an uneven standard lends itself to good storytelling.

    I have no problem with Ikrit being in Conquest.

    No, your problem concerns how he was introduced. I understand that, and I didn't say that you had a problem with Ikrit being in Conquest.

    When did the Committee decide that an Anakin book was to be written? If it was a spur of the moment decision, then I can understand why Stack and Luceno and KT wouldn't have put Ikrit in their books.

    The decision regarding the Anakin novel came early. The decision to include Ikrit and Tahiri was Greg Keyes'. They are separate decisions. "Anakin novel" doesn't automatically equate with "Ikrit and Tahiri," any more than "Jacen novel" (Balance Point) automatically equates with "Tenel Ka, Zekk, and Lowbacca."

    But DR has been telling us since the beginning of the NJO that things would be different, the novels would be connected, it would be all one big story. No more continuity screw ups like Bantam let happen.

    Exactly how does the non-inclusion of Ikrit or Tahiri in the earlier books represent a "continuity screwup"?

    The NJO is supposedly planned, thought out in advance.

    General story arcs, framework, sure. All the internal content, no. The NJO isn't being mircomanaged. Authors still have great freedom to tell the stories they want to tell, and more to the point, including some characters of their own choice.
  3. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    We've heard that Del Rey is keeping a tighter reign on things. However, the authors seem to be able to decide which characters to use, as is their right. When doing his research, Keyes felt Ikrit was needed. What about the Del Rey editors? Did they know that Ikrit would be/should be included? If so, and they are keeping tight reign on things, telling Stackpole or Luceno to work in a quick scene between Ikrit and Anakin would have been easy. Or is Del Rey or LFL not as in control of the overall plan as we were led to believe? Playing Devil's Advocate on myself here, I suppose Ikrit might have played a role in the cancelled Knightfall trilogy, at which point this discussion would be moot.

    On to other things. Speaking just for myself here, I think the best way to introduce characters (or re-introduce) characters who will play an important role in the series, or in the life of a main character in the series, is to slowly build them up. Take the Wurth Skidder example (yes, I know you created him RAS). RAS introduced him as a hotshot Jedi. MAS made him part of the Kyp-faction of proactive Jedi. JL had him play a main role in Jedi Eclipse. The readers got to know him, and when he died, they could sympathize with his death. If Luceno introduced a new character in Jedi Eclipse in Wurth's place, the death of the character would have less of an impact.

    Finally, the children's books, young adult books, adult books, comic, gaming cross-over issue. By what standard? Don't assume that readers of adult novels read young adult books, children's books, comics, RPG stories, or play the videogames. Don't assume every reader is a completist. I don't think that's an unreasonable standard. Nor do I think the same standard is unreasonable for older Bantam or Del Rey characters. I think this standard lends itself to good storytelling as it puts the focus back on the characters.

    If you are introducing a character from a different medium (or different target audience), give enough background information. Personally, I think there was enough background information on Ikrit. However, I read JJK prior to VP in case it would be important (little did I know), so I am not really qualified to judge -- people who didn't know have said there wasn't enough info, so I'll take their word for it. Even though I already knew, I don't think the death of Ikrit had the emotional impact it was supposed to have. It certainly didn't for many who didn't know of his previous history.

    If you are name dropping, like Luceno did in Agents of Chaos, then the restriction doesn't matter. A name is a name. For long-time readers or completists it will mean something (that extra cherry on top of the dessert), for others it is just a name.

    In the 15 minutes I used to check the books yesterday morning, I found Kenth Hamner's name in JE. And here I thought Kathy introduced him. Cool! That's how it's done. Kathy created him, Luceno dropped in the name.

    Darnit, Dewlanna, don't you hate it when someone, anyone, takes an objection to how a character was portrayed, then immediately assumes that means you didn't want to see that character at all? Man, I kind of let this post get long. Alright, pick away at it.
  4. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    Jades Fire says...

    We've heard that Del Rey is keeping a tighter reign on things. However, the authors seem to be able to decide which characters to use, as is their right. When doing his research, Keyes felt Ikrit was needed. What about the Del Rey editors? Did they know that Ikrit would be/should be included? If so, and they are keeping tight reign on things, telling Stackpole or Luceno to work in a quick scene between Ikrit and Anakin would have been easy.

    Maybe. But I seriously doubt it. The time frame simply isn't right.

    Remember that originally Conquest (or, if you prefer, the Anakin novel) was supposed to be published this fall--20 months after Onslaught and 14 months after Jedi Eclipse.

    Suppose the sequence of events went like this:

    1. Onslaught is published.


    2. Final proofs of Jedi Eclipse are sent to the printer.


    3. Greg Keyes notifies DR/LFL of his decision to include Ikrit, Tahiri, and Uldir in Conquest.

    Even if #2 came before #3, since we only got word of Knightfall's cancellation at a rather late date (last summer, about the time JE would have been in the printer's shop), I'm dubious that JE could have been modified in time--even if DR/LFL thought that Ikrit's inclusion was essential (as opposed to simply being nice).

    In the 15 minutes I used to check the books yesterday morning, I found Kenth Hamner's name in JE. And here I thought Kathy introduced him. Cool! That's how it's done. Kathy created him, Luceno dropped in the name.

    And JE came out one month before Balance Point. Which underscores my point about the importance of the time frame for publication.

    On other points:

    True, Wurth is slowly developed before he plays a major role--and before he dies. But characters not central to the NJO, whose origin lie outside of the NJO, play major roles from first introduction. Such as Corran and Roa.

    Finally, the children's books, young adult books, adult books, comic, gaming cross-over issue. By what standard? Don't assume that readers of adult novels read young adult books, children's books, comics, RPG stories, or play the videogames. Don't assume every reader is a completist.

    By the same token, don't assume that every reader of the NJO has read the Bantam line, or even wants to do so. Not every reader is an "adult novel" completist. The NJO was partly about bringing new readers on board, including readers of juvenile books, comics, players of RPGs and computer games, and movie fans who had never had any exposure to the EU.

    So why develop standards for the inclusion of characters from outside the NJO that differ depending upon the medium (other than the movies) from which that character originated? Why hold the introduction of Corran Horn to a different standard than the introduction of Ikrit, Soontir Fel, or Kyle Katarn?

    Nor do I think the same standard is unreasonable for older Bantam or Del Rey characters. I think this standard lends itself to good storytelling as it puts the focus back on the characters.

    If I understand you correctly--I agree. Have the same standard for every character, not counting the movie characters. That's why I object to a standard that treats juvenile novel, comic book, or gaming-literature characters differently than adult novel characters.
  5. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5
    Mr. Salvatore wrote: MariahJade2: "I'd like to see the Jedi use the Force more often too."

    Actually, I think I was the one that was guilty of saying that, but MariahJade2 seems to agree with me. :) I liked her response to your assertion that if Jedi could sense one another, Ben should have sensed the trash compactor problem. She said, "Perhaps he did, but he might also have sensed that they would get out of it and his help was not needed. He was a bit far away to be much physical help anyway."

    Good answer! To this I would also add another possibility: If Ben didn't sense that they were in trouble, perhaps it was because he wasn't related to Luke and therefore didn't share the same kind of special bond that Mara and Luke do. Then too, Luke was not a trained Jedi at this point, so it might have been harder for Ben to sense him from a great distance. That Death Star was the size of a small moon, after all!

    Luke and Vader were able to sense one another's presence, and Vader could sense Ben's presence in the films. Mara and Luke sensed one another's presence when Luke entered the cave on Nirauan in VOTF, and Luke was able to follow Mara's progress as she moved through the Fortress by using the Force until her presence disappeared when she entered the Ysalimiri bubble.

    When the Diamala didn't want Luke to attend the meeting in SOTP, Luke told Han, "I should be able to follow your presence from wherever they put us. That way I can get there right away if you need me." In HTTE, Luke was astonished that he hadn't sensed the men who had stunned him from behind, but he later discovered that those men had been carrying ysalimiri, which had cut him off from the Force and had prevented him from sensing them.

    As I said, Jedi did talk to one another through the Force across short distances in the films, and I distinctly remember Han Solo complaining once about Luke and Leia talking to each other through the Force, which meant that he was only in on part of the 'conversation' in one of the novels.

    Personally, I don't think that sensing others or talking to other Jedi through the Force makes a Jedi too powerful. Hiding a planet through the Force seems like a more impressive skill than that to me. With the Yuuzhan Vong and all of their fantastic biological technology now present in the galaxy, I think it's going to take very powerful and intelligent Jedi to win this war. Right now though, I would just like the Jedi to do SOMETHING useful. It's very frustrating to see them do nothing in book after book while the galaxy crumbles around them.

    MariahJade wrote:
    "Sometimes I think people forget that even though the Jedi have wonderful powers that they are also human. They can make mistakes, be tired or distracted, or be overwhelmed by too many to handle. I have faith that the authors can be creative enough to make better traps. This, I think is the solution to keeping the tension. I would rather not see the force weakened. "

    I agree. The Force and the Jedi make 'Star Wars' unique. I'd like to see both used more in the NJO universe.

    Speaking of which, what's with Leia? At the end of VOTF, I thought it had finally been 'written in carbonite' that Leia was indeed a Jedi Knight. Didn't Luke even declare her one during the Corellian trilogy when he presented her with the lightsaber he had made for her? (She even beat him in a practice duel with that saber, I recall.) Yet, at the beginning of the NJO series, we find that she doesn't consider herself a Jedi and doesn't even wear her lightsaber. What happened between VOTF and the NJO?
  6. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    Childofwinds...
    "Speaking of which, what's with Leia? At the end of VOTF, I thought it had finally been 'written in carbonite' that Leia was indeed a Jedi Knight."

    Actually it was written in "carbonite" in 1991's Dark Empire that Leia was indeed a Jedi. The wrong question to ask is what happened between VotF and VP, the right one to ask is what happened between Dark Empire and nearly all of Bantam's books after it.

    Basically, she has focused more on her non-Jedi skills than her Jedi ones, but that makes her no less a Jedi.
  7. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5
    Ghengis12: "Actually it was written in "carbonite" in 1991's Dark Empire that Leia was indeed a Jedi."

    It's interesting the way Leia's Jedi skills seem to ebb and flow throughout the SW literature, isn't it? I thought she was FAR too powerful and skillful in DE for the minimal amount of training she had received by LAST COMMAND, which supposedly took place just prior to the events of DE. Then she appears to have lost many of those Jedi talents throughout most of the Bantam books until regaining some in THE CORELLIAN TRILOGY. Finally, in VOTF, she was accepted by others as a Jedi and she seemed to believe that she truly was one. I thought this had been resolved once and for all, and was surprised to find that once again Leia didn't consider herself a Jedi six years later in VP.

    Ghengis: "Basically, she has focused more on her non-Jedi skills than her Jedi ones."

    That's pretty much what Mon Mothma said in ASSAULT AT CORELLIA, and that made sense then, as Leia had served for so many years as Chief of State, was the mother of three young children, and was still involved in a war. She didn't have much time to devote to Jedi training. It's more problematic in the NJO universe, when Leia no longer holds that office; her children are older; and the war has been over for six years.
  8. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    "actually I think I was the one who said that."

    Lol, Child of winds. I can't belive I didn't check if I actually said what he quoted. Sorry, it sounded like something I might say.

    Your not some long lost relative are you?

    I would like to see Leia show a bit more skill in the future as a Jedi myself. Also,
    maybe some of the Han/Leia plotline could be salvaged if all their issues have not been resolved yet and they still have things to work out in a future book.

  9. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5
    I decided to resurrect this old thread.

    One of the things that I really dislike about the NJO is the way in which the adult characters have been portrayed. In my opinion, Luke Skywalker has been handled the most poorly of all. While I can understand not wanting to make a character omniscient, Del Rey and most of the NJO authors have gone completely in the opposite direction and have made Luke totally powerless, clueless, and useless. Since VP, he has accomplished nothing and has done almost nothing right.

    Yesterday I read a response from a Del Rey editor that someone posted on one of the boards. Apparently the reader had complained about Luke's horrible characterization, and in a written response to that reader, the editor claimed that they (those involved in writing and editing the NJO books) were 'working from the preexisting Luke'. In other words, they were placing the blame for the weak, indecisive, pacifist, do-nothing Luke on Bantam.

    I happen to disagree with that. I might not have liked all of Luke's characterizations in the Bantam books, but at least he could make responsible decisions, and he was smart, courageous, and resourceful. He was a DOER, not an observer or full-time philosopher. He accepted his responsibilities and duties. He fought in many battles. He accomplished things.

    Even the Luke Skywalker of VECTOR PRIME contradicts that Del Rey statement. The Luke in VP was different from the Luke in most of the other NJO books. He didn't sit around. He was out in the galaxy searching for answers, investigating Belkadan, planning strategy, working as a scientist. He was willing to risk himself and Mara in the Merry Miner in a dangerous journey to Helska before the Solo twins took that mission out of their hands. He was even part of the ATTACK force when they went to that ice world to try to stop the Vong. He also destroyed plenty of Corralskippers. He didn't seem to worry about being a warrior when a warrior was needed.

    In fact, he even said to Han on p.337 of that book when they learned that Jaina and Jacen had left for Helska: "You're raising Jedi Knights, " Luke said to him in all seriousness. "WARRIORS, (emphasis mine) explorers. They can't turn away from the duty that is before them just for our peace of mind." Notice that Luke himself used the word 'warriors' as a synonym for 'Jedi knights'.

    What happened to him in the other NJO books? How and why did he become so weak and useless? When did he become a pacifist? The fact that Luke changed so much AFTER VECTOR PRIME proves that wimpy Luke wasn't the Luke that Del Rey inherited from Bantam.

    I would like to challenge those who like the 'new' Luke Skywalker that we see in most of the NEW JEDI ORDER to explain why they like this portrayal of the Jedi Master and why they like the characterizations of the other adults in the NJO universe. What specificially do you like about the way that Luke, Mara, Leia, and Han have been written, and why?

    Thanks!

  10. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    Yes they based luke off of the luke created by zahn in the HOT duology. Vector prime based it off of luke we saw in TTT, cause that is pretty much all RAS had been awhare of and had not been allowed to read HOT.

    There are major differences. remember MAS is a good friend of zahn's and following after what zhan had tried to do to luke in HOT. Limit his use of the force, and let mara let luke have it with her own oppinions.
  11. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5
    Del Rey has a new little blurb about REBIRTH up. It still sounds a lot like same old, same old, unfortunately,  especially a line about the Jedi being hunted by the Yuuzhan Vong and 'unrest stirring within their own ranks'.    What do they mean "stirring"?  That 'unrest' has been included in every NJO book including VECTOR PRIME!  ::::SIGH:::  Well, at least Han and Leia are mentioned and the rumor about a certain event occurring in REBIRTH appears to be true. However, Anakin Solo seems to be a major player yet again. You can find the blurb here: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=0345446100#desc

    I wonder what happened to the new cover that the artist was supposed to have done for REBIRTH? I liked it a LOT better. The one pictured on the page with the blurb seems like the old one though. Did the folks at Del Rey change their minds yet again and decide to go with the original cover?

    Valiento, Luke decided to cut down a LITTLE on his active Force usage in favor of a little more passive use of the Force after a discussion with Mara in VOTF, not to avoid using it altogether. Nor did he refrain from being a warrior or suddenly become stupid, indecisive, useless, and weak in that book. He was active and accomplished many things. He continued to fight when necessary. He wasn't just a mindless philosopher. He didn't suddenly become a pacifist who refused to do battle. As a Jedi, he tried to avoid violence whenever possible, but he did what needed to be done when it wasn't.

     The NJO Luke sits quietly by watching as the galaxy and the Jedi fall apart around him and he does NOTHING. So, no, I don't agree that Del Rey inherited the Luke they've portrayed in the NJO from the Bantam books. There is also a huge consistency problem in the characterization of Luke in the NJO. There is a VAST and disconcerting difference between the Luke of VP and the Luke of most of the other NJO novels. It's like reading about two completely different individuals.

    The other adult characters in the NJO don't fair much better. Their characterizations often seem odd to me as well.

  12. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    "Valiento, Luke decided to cut down a LITTLE on his active Force usage in favor of a little more passive use of the Force after a discussion with Mara in VOTF, not to avoid using it altogether. Nor did he refrain from being a warrior or suddenly become stupid, indecisive, useless, and weak in that book. He was active and accomplished many things. He continued to fight when necessary. He wasn't just a mindless philosopher. He didn't suddenly become a pacifist who refused to do battle. As a Jedi, he tried to avoid violence whenever possible, but he did what needed to be done when it wasn't."

    The biggest problem comes from the fact that MAS is good friends with zhan, and has said in many interviews, he had correspondence with zahn and what to do with Mara and Lukes character. So what might be perceived as damage to lukes character was many ways contributed by Zahn and Mas correspondence. Other others had just followed after what had happened to luke in MAS work, and kept it going. Hopefully Rebirth will end Lukes Pacifism.

    Lot of this goes back alot further than you maybe awhare, Both zahn and MAS share same ideas, for instance believing that Yoda tired by lifting the x-wing when in actuality it was just a sigh of frustration. Even back in I' jedi MAS, through correspondence Zahn, had written in a Corran reprimanding luke scene, for abusing power. So yes you can blame the idea as originating back with bantam. It's just that MAS took it steps further, and it's affected the rest of the NJO. As I said before Hopefully rebirth marks a change in Luke.
  13. darth_hair Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2001
    star 5
    i dont agree with everthing in these books but my love for the stories and characters of this universe make me like these books . trust me in a few years we better all hope there are still enough of us left buying these books , or its going to be watching t.v. and reading lame ass star trek books . i hope it doesnt come to that !!!
  14. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    I thought the Luke in Onslaught was good. A nice balance between the thinking Jedi and the warrior. He seemed pretty much like the Luke of VotF and the better Bantam books.

    The only place I really noticed Luke getting tired was after messing around with black holes. A bit different than lifting an X-Wing (ANH)or moving a salt shaker (SotME). Both of these are essentially the same, dealing with black holes is something else altogether.

    Luke in Ruin is "off" but that whole book is strange.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.