Discussion in 'Literature' started by Revanfan1, Sep 15, 2013.
Well Ben should be a supporting character to Luke, not the next star.
I would say that, as Jedi, Anakin and Luke are pretty distinct. Anakin wore his heart on his sleeve and would do anything for a friend. He also tended to view things dualistically. Luke is more pacifistic, as it were, with a desire to avoid bloodshed, and thus less dualistic than Anakin. He's much more like Obi-Wan, but even more compassionate than Obi-Wan.
What is Ben? I'm not seeing Ben fighting Gavar Khai as this huge character moment that you are seeing.
The thing is that Ben is the son of Luke Skywalker so he's a figure who is already living on borrowed glory. Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker are only needed to be related to establish how their particular adventures reflected one another. Cade Skywalker, as much as I dislike him as a character, also reflected on that trio.
A character who doesn't reflect on the legacy yet is solely a member of the legacy because it's expected is kind of annoying.
Even so, Ben can't be as awesome as Luke because he's a figure who derives his awesome FROM Luke.
It's why he'll never be as cool as Revan or Starkiller or other ones who win their own oats.
So Luke's going to be the protagonist until he's a decrepit old man who uses a cane like Yoda's and cackles like a senile old man because he's earned it, blast it all! In his day, you had to go to the Jedi Academy on foot in the snow, uphill both ways, and fight Yuuzhan Vong and Sith on the way!
No, the focus needs to shift to Ben, Jaina, and Allana (and it should've shifted to Jaina long ago) soon, and Ben and Allana need to be written as the main characters so we can see their real potential.
Also, as a sidenote, why does Ben have to be as interesting as Luke? Or at least, as interesting for the same reasons? Why can't he be interesting as a Jedi for different reasons than his dad is? I'd argue that, as long as he's a good Jedi, light side, sense of humor, with GAG training and an eidetic memory, then he has his own traits that differentiate him from Luke–and those traits have the potential to make the best Jedi protagonist since Edge of Victory's Anakin Solo, if they use him right. I'd love to see Stover or Keyes write a Ben Skywalker book just to see how they'd handle him.
But Ben could be as awesome if he wasn't a Jedi. It's a pretty typical character arc, where a character seeking to escape his father's shadow does so through rejecting his legacy and choosing his own path.
Ben is a perfectly awesome character on his own.
If he was Theron Shan, he wouldn't be any cooler, though.
He could be. But I think he has the potential to be just as awesome as a Jedi–if they pull him out of his dad's shadow. From what I'm getting, you don't like Ben as a Jedi because he never actually does anything to prove himself as a Jedi, he's just Luke Skywalker's son so everyone assumes he's a great Jedi. Well, to an extent, I understand that. There have been a few things he's done as a Jedi that have set him apart–redeeming Tahiri, taking on multiple Sith (at age 17, no less)–but I do agree that possibly my favorite Ben moments were Ben-as-an-investigator in Revelation. Now...what if, say, Ben did something as a Jedi that totally set him apart from Luke–something totally unexpected that would without a doubt prove his worthiness of being a Jedi not just because of being Luke's son, but because of being Ben? Is that what you want to see? If so...me too.
Ben can't get out of his father's shadow because his father has saved the universe twice.
Jacen got out of his father's shadow (rather remarkably by doing what I said). And Luke's shadow.
Yes, but I actually like it that Ben would be a middle of the road Jedi.
Successful but he doesn't HAVE to be better than Dad.
I don't think many would say Jacen was better than Luke. I'm going purely by NJO Jacen when he was a hero and written to be a hero.
The problem is Ben is still wearing training wheels while daddy saves the galaxy, e.g. fights Abeloth.
No one wants to read books about middle of the road Jedi, so are we going to be still reading about Luke when he looks like Yoda, or do we get another character to take up the mantle, like say, Jacen? I suppose folks would say Jaina now, but I don't think she's particularly benefited from the past twenty-five books either.
Exactly. Ben needs his own Edge of Victory or Traitor or Crosscurrent; something to establish him as a Jedi, not "the son of Luke Skywalker." If this had been NJO, Ben would've kriffing well saved the galaxy by now, gotten the girl (whether Vestara or Seha or someone else), and made a snarky joke about his dad besides. If this had been the Bantam era with Ben as the main character, Ben would've kriffing well saved the galaxy thirty-plus times by now. I think Ben would've benefited from his own personal YJK series, with Mom and Dad as supporting characters, but with Ben and his friends (which he doesn't seem to have) being the main characters and defining themselves as their own people. Think of the possibilities. Kyle and Jan's son. Kam and Tionne's daughter. If Mara hadn't died, maybe even a younger brother or sister for Ben–after all, he was only two years old by the end of NJO, and Mara was still late-forties, which in the SW galaxy isn't very old. She could've had another kid.
It's a balance, I think, because Star Wars novels will never be able to create something as awesome or as amazing as the Original Trilogy. I hope the new movies won't be beholden to the idea that the new protagonists have to be members of the Holy Bloodline.
However, in order to be AS BIG as Luke Skywalker it'll be very difficult. Yes, Jacen Solo was the Big Hero of the NJO and got out of their shadow but not everything has to be about establishing themselves as more than supporting cast. I'm all for a Ben Skywalker novel or Kids Series.
But part of my dislike for Cade was that they had to concoct the galaxy NEEDING to be saved to establish his identity. I would have much preferred Cade Skywalker as star of a smuggling series.
Weird, I know.
I think the NJO succeeded in being something comparable to the film saga in a different medium -- but I know others would disagree.
I think it was too.
And so do I. It seems we're the only three people involved in this conversation...or any conversation here tonight, BTW.
The NJO's flaws not withstanding, namely a weak and ineffective New Republic, relying a little too much on the films for things like ships when Bantam added plenty of new stuff while still accommodating the film ships, and a ridiculous Lucas mandate over a name, it worked very well, only for Del Rey to screw up so badly afterward that I hardly have any interest in what came afterward. I am an X-wing fan who is completely torn over whether to get Mercy Kill, simply because it happens to be related to that osik and feeling like I would be condoning that said osik if I bought anything that is related in any way, shape, or form. Which is also the reason why I haven't gotten TEA and TEGtW, and won't even really consider getting TERC.
Continuity cuts both ways. The weak and ineffectual New Republic is right out of the Hand of Thrawn playbook, along with Luke's passive approach to the war. I was, however, disappointed by the lack of E-Wings (but The New Rebellion introduced new X-Wings, so it was drawing from the premise that new X-Wing models were being developed).
Keep in mind with Lucas' suggestion that the story was substantially different -- namely, that a prophesied one named Anakin would defeat the Sith invaders. If the story had been adjusted to the Yuuzhan Vong and eliminated the prophecy subplot before Lucas was sent it for approval, Anakin may still have been the protagonist.
But ultimately it doesn't make any difference, because if it was Anakin, then he'd be the naval gazer and everyone would be mourning Jacen.
No its not right out of the Hand of Thrawn playbook, it was a crisis that reignited old hostilities and didn't blow up in the New Republic's face, unlike the NJO and a New Republic that had inept leadership and was, therefore, caught completely flatfooted, which didn't happen in the HoTD or the entire Bantam era. Of course, the post-NJO GA makes the Yuuzhan Vong War NR and GA look real good.
That, of course, was the desire to have recognizable vehicles, but I guess if something works you don't throw it out. The X-Wings worked against TIEs and E-Wings...did they ever do anything? Ever?
They were DIFFERENT and NEW.
The NR leadership in NJO were the leaders behind the ignition of old hostilities. Hand of Thrawn showed how quick the individual planetary and sector interests were quick to look out for themselves when they thought it expedient, which is precisely what happened in the NJO when they started selling each other and the Jedi out.
When we last saw Ben in Apocalypse, he was what? 16 or so? Ben is going to have plenty of time to be a hero. I'd say that he has already done some heroic things. He's a teenager, and he's already killed a fair number of SITH!!!! He's redeemed Tahiri, and he's investigated his mother's murder, to name just a few things. He also remained in the Light despite being an apprentice to Jacen/Caedus and involved in GAG. I think that's pretty impressive!
Someone said that he should have rejected his Jedi heritage and been at odds with his father. We already got that too. Remember that Ben didn't use the Force for about the first 8 years of his life, and he spent his early teen years estranged from his father. (Though I never really understood why. I always thought that Luke would have a wonderful relationship with any child he had because he had missed having his own father in his life.)
I also agree with Revanfan1 that one of the biggest reasons that we don't know as much about Ben as we would like, and that we didn't get as much development as we should have, is that Ben was never given a young Jedi knight series like Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin had where we could get to really know his character and his strengths and weaknesses. Because he didn't have a young Jedi series, Ben also didn't get a group of people his own age to interact with and have adventures with. Poor Ben is truly deprived in the friend/comrade category. He literally has no one his own age to interact with. Even his cousins were/are much older.
I agree. However, even in Betrayal at age 13, Ben went on that mission with Jacen and conducted himself well.
I think Ben would've benefited from his own personal YJK series, with Mom and Dad as supporting characters, but with Ben and his friends (which he doesn't seem to have) being the main characters and defining themselves as their own people.
And to respond to the OP, I have no idea what happened to Daala or Lecercen. I would still like to know whatever happened to Gavrisom????
The last thing you named was a GAG, not Jedi, feat, but it's still a Ben Skywalker feat. And yes, he was 17 in Apocalypse–18.5 years old in Crucible. And when you think of the fact that except for the Sith thing, every one of his feats was at age 14, you realize how wasted FOTJ was.
The same place every plot element Denning no longer needs to drive his selected story goes in one of his finales: Sloppywritingsville.
I disagree. Ben's got his GAG training, which is a legitimate difference and informs his existence as a Jedi, wherever it comes from. He's got a smartass, irreverent sense of humor that distinguishes him from most Jedi. He blends a sort of sunny optimism with pragmatism and a very real awareness of suffering and loss, something very distinct from young Luke that can drive him in a different direction. Luke's character is informed by a sort of generosity of spirit and innocence; he did the right thing because it was what came naturally, and didn't have to think too hard about it. Ben has made his mistakes, he has the specter of his evil Master hanging over him, and his drive to do the right thing isn't a product of his nature so much as of determination. He's thoughtful and driven to figure out the right thing analytically and then do it.
He's not as different as Jacen, but he's more different than Anakin Solo, I'd argue.