Lit Why all the LOTF hate?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Supreme Chancellor, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    I want to know why Legacy of the Force is viewed in such a negative light by so many people online. I for one enjoyed it, it was my first foray into SW novels and remains my fave series. From there I kind of moved backwards and read NJO and DNT because Jacen's character fascinated me.

    Some of the things I really enjoyed were:

    -The growth in Ben's character
    -The up-close life and planning of a Sith Lord, which we have never really experienced before
    -political scheming between the GA and the Corellians.
    -Jacen's power isn't derived from the dark-side but from his studies of every aspect of the Force.
    -Jacen's manipulation of Tahiri was disgusting enough to evoke some emotion from me
    -I enjoyed the cameo from the One Sith, but unlike FOTJ it leaves them a mystery and out of the main story.

    Minor things I didn't enjoy:
    -Everything with Jaina
    -Luke's indecisiveness about facing Jacen
    -Jacen's death was very anti-climactic
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  2. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    Well probably because its based on a Disregard for every NJO book between Destinies way and Unified Force.

    that a, Jacen was a sith lord in the same way as soe one who calls themselves a "Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Hindu" but doesn't follow the teachings, study the scripture, practice the rites of such religions/ philosophies, creating the modern sith as an A-hole with a red lightsaber.

    How is Jacen's power come from his studies of every aspect of the force, as he is clearly either channeling Palpatine or Vader or a trekkian transporter amalgamation of both. And that's his entire character arch. As For Tahiri she dealt with her demons, she was used because the literally hand no one else because the entire story was poorly plotted.

    the only good thing about LOTF is watching 3 writers trying to polish the turd story of the prequals and fail doing so.
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  3. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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  4. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4


    I have Loooooooong lost my passion for LOTF, if your expecting a show you might as well pop in Shyaamylans Last Airbender movie.
  5. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4
    Partly because it continues along the strawman that Denning built in Dark Nest: namely, that Vergere taught Jacen that he could just do what he wanted with the Force and that there was no Dark Side. It's not remotely close to what was being taught and while you can make justification that it is was Jacen learned, it's pretty bad considering the end of TUF.

    LOTF started off well enough but then it became a mess. There's a lot of moments where characters completely forget relevant information so that an author can make a point. Then there's the inverse, characters suddenly knowing things they can't. It ends up being very clunky and for a series with only three writers, that starts to become less acceptable than if, say, it was written by ten or twelve.

    We also have a more pressing matter though: it's basically a retread of the prequel trilogy. Which is not to say that a story about a civil war and one man's fall to darkness in attempts to do what he sees as correct is not compelling. Initially, it was. There was an interesting backdrop. But if I'm sitting back and trying to recall things, I can barely tell you anything relevant about the Confederation.

    I admit that I enjoy Ben's "growth" in terms of his relationship with Lon Shevu but it never seems to become an important part of his character after the series. This is to say nothing of the fact that Ben's been part of canon since 2001 and he still feels poorly defined. I don't know who his friends are, his personality feels skin deep at best. LOTF had a chance to really take advantage of the fact that there was a very contentious conflict where Ben could thrive alongside new Jedi students and it doesn't deliver.

    People will bring up Mara's death, but I'll actually admit that I don't mind her dying. The way it was done just lacked properly heavy gravitas, considering how much Mara embodies aspects of the EU.

    These are all secondary concerns. The main issue is Jacen. The characterization is never consistent and it's only during Invincible that I sat back and felt he was a good villain. Shoddy characterization aside, the major issue that will likely dominate the discussion, as it always does, is his death. Not necessarily the fact that he was killed, although some people will object that fact only...but instead how little his family and friends bothered to try to redeem him or save him.

    At the end of the day, the final fight of the series is between a brother and a sister but it didn't carry the type of Cain and Abel sincerity that it should have. It basically boils down to Luke tasking his niece to assassinate his nephew. And there's no hesitation, not really. They barely even talk when they meet, if I am correct in my recollection. Obi Wan v. Anakin's this big, epic battle between a teacher and his student, brother against brother, friend against friend, surrogate father to son. For how terrible Lucas can be with dialog, that fight in ROTS is loaded with emotion and when Vader rests at Obi Wan's feet, there's immense emotional pain as well. Obi Wan didn't go to Mustafar wanting to kill him. He tried to talk him down, turn him back.

    Jaina? She shows up with the full intention to kill him and the full belief that he is unable to be redeemed and immediately stabs him in the gut. I might be wrong but then exchange about two or three sentences at most. It strains credulity even for pulp shlock like Star Wars.

    One of the best things about LOTF, given the treatment in both the build up and the execution of Jacen's death, is that Ben managed to save Tahiri.

    I'm sure I'm getting things wrong and that other people can do this better than I can..
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  6. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Not surprising that you don't see the major complaints that people have regarding LOTF cosidering that it is the first series you read, because most of those complaints arise because the series disregards previous series' and people don't like that.

    To be honest reading LOTF is one of my favourite series, it's generally well written and the only parts I don't like are some of the Karen Traviss parts, and a bit of a silly ending to Invincible.
  7. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    For you, as a new reader, LotF might have been decent, but for long time readers it was horrible. The tragic comedy of Jacen's fall ripped off a lot of elements from Anakin Skywalker's fall, and wasn't done as well. Anakin was converted by Palpatine, one of the most powerful Sith Lords in history. Jacen fell for Lumiya's story, which we still have no way of knowing whether it was real or not. And its not like the prequels were that popular, yet the novels felt they had to make their own version, but unlike Anakin Skywalker who eventually redeemed himself, Jacen never did.

    1) Such a waste. At the end of the NJO, Jacen was positioned to eventually inherit Luke's role as the senior Jedi, future leader, something. Instead come DNT, the first post-NJO books, he's already going way down that slippery slope, lobotomizing Tenel Ka's grandmother, tricking Jaina into attacking the Sith, etc. And on top of Jacen's death, we also lost Mara and Pellaeon, both major characters, and even Isolder as a recurring character. And while NJO also had plenty of character deaths, at least NJO had a happy ending and had a large cast of recurring characters. LotF? I still can barely acknowledge an ending where people are clapping for Chief of State Daala (which came completely out of nowhere).

    2) Bad writing and pet characters. All the authors had their own pet characters and sub-plots, which led to a disjointed experience. Whether it was the Mandos, Bwua'tu, a certain Ewok, or even the X-wing characters, quite often they didn't really add anything to the plot. And Sacrifice read like two separate books thrown together, and Jacen was just not an impressive villain, and Luke was sidelined way too long until they came up with another excuse for why he couldn't fight Jacen (Mara's death).

    3) Also Jaina, despite being Jacen's twin and sort of having a leading role during the NJO, mostly had sub-plots up until Revelation when Luke was officially sidelined from the final battle and it came down to a twin battle. And personally, I hate the idea that Jaina had to kill her own twin brother, and without anything to show for it really. Sure, Allana joins the family, but it was Jacen's own fault he never told anyone he had a kid with Tenel Ka.

    There are plenty more other reasons, but NJO achieved something, LotF undid a lot of the NJO's achievements and its left some of us... bitter. The ending in particular is still a sore point, that carries over into FotJ (and still hasn't been fixed since).
    Last edited by Nobody145, Jun 3, 2013
  8. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I flatly refuse to read, let alone accept the post-NJO, and had completely different expectations for what would happen, namely that the torch should have finally been passed to a new generation of the heroes, the Solo twins and Ben. I would argue that the character from the post-NJO is someone completely different called Darth Vader II, my nickname for Darth Caedus. Assuming they had come up with a believable reason for Jacen to fall (sorry, but Vergere wasn't a Sith and that sure as hell wasn't what she taught him, etc.), the complete and total lack of redemption of Jacen goes against everything that is Star Wars. There was also no reason whatsoever to kill so many characters, especially Mara Jade. Daala as Chief of State was a complete insult to us fans of the EU. I could go on on about how wrong the post-NJO feels.
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  9. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    Over the years i've managed to sum my problems with LOTF with 7 key points:

    1. Character derailment- Jacen, Vergere, Tahiri
    2. Poor Planning.
    3. Disregard for previous series.
    4. Pet Characters ramped up to 11.
    5. Lack of development for Ben Skywalker.
    6. Lack of emotional writing.
    7. Daala becoming Chief of State when all is said and done. (Yes this is a big enough issue in itself to be on the list.)
    Last edited by DarthJenari, Jun 3, 2013
  10. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    I won't get into a point by point list of problems with LOTF. It had some bright spots, especially when Luke really took Jacen to school in Inferno. Ultimately it lacked a great deal. And to top it off, the finale just left me feeling empty and sad. Almost sick to my stomach. I took a pretty long break from Star Wars because of it... and I came back for Fate of the Jedi... and it's sort of dampened my interest too.

    There are so many galaxy shattering developments in the wings right now, that I have a hard time mustering up the desire to bother with Star Wars. I have a slew of books waiting to be read that may or may not ever get read. I don't go crazy for merch anymore. It could be I'm getting older, or it could be that I'm starting to see Star Wars as a cash cow becoming increasingly devoid of the meaning it once had. Part of that is surely the evisceration of the EU both by shoddy plots and stories and by the willy nilly disregard of continuity on display in TCW, probably Rebels, and almost certainly in the Sequel Trilogy.
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  11. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    Y'know, it's funny. I'm currently re-reading LOTF. When I read it as it came out I remembered taking issue with the authors ignoring each other's story developments, thinking it was mostly Traviss who did so, but going back she was actually much better at following up from the other two. Denning was actually the worst offender in that regard, while Allston was pretty much an even keel.

    But yeah, in general LOTF was good, but when it was bad it was really bad. Traviss's Mando fetish crept in at Sacrifice and got worse at Revelation, Jacen's characterization was all over the place, especially Inferno onwards, the "Second Galactic Civil War" was a joke for the most part, etc., etc. And then the ending had all sorts of issues, most of which can probably be attributed to Denning, but probably to the entire creative team.

    Really, I think people attribute the entire planning process to Denning unfairly because of Dark Nest. He makes suggestions just like any tie-in author, but it's not all his final say. With both LOTF and FOTJ, he had only as much say as Allston, Traviss and Golden. It was different with the NJO and Luceno, since he wasn't originally even going to write any of the books, IIRC.
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  12. MasterGhandalf Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2009
    star 2
    You know, I could go on for a really, really long time about why I hate LOTF (and several of my reasons have already been given), but here's the short form.

    1. It tries to be both a sequel to the NJO and a rehash of the prequels, and fails at being both. It fails as a sequel to the NJO because though it uses the same characters and takes place later in the timeline, it pretty much ignores the Vong War as much as possible to turn the galaxy back into a more familiar form, regardless of how little sense that makes, and several characters' arcs (Jacen and Tahiri most obviously) are sent in ways that make no sense considering their prior characterization. It fails as a redux of the prequels because of how badly everything has to be twisted around in order to fit (Jacen was a totally different character from his grandfather, kark it!)

    2. Vergere's philosophy is dumbed down in order to be rejected and so she could be posthumously derailed into a Sith. As noted, Vergere rejected the idea of an external dark side but not the idea of good and evil, and though her ruthlessness was certainly Sith-like, certain of her other characteristics- particularly her willingness to sacrifice herself to stop Tsavong Lah- really, really don't jive with Sith philosophy. Vergere was an enigma, wildcard, and trickster mentor, and I'm firmly of the belief she should have remained such.

    3. The villain cast is pretty pathetic. I liked Lumiya and Alema, but they got killed off so that Jacen could become the Big Bad, but the way the character was written he filled the role pretty horribly, coming off more hopelessly deluded and borderline psychotic rather than a man who legitimately believed he was making hard choices for the greater good of the galaxy. Don't even get me started on Tahiri. But ultimately, I like my Star Wars villains with a little grandeur and mystique about them (Vader, Palpatine, Thrawn, the most important Vong leaders, etc) and Jacen and co. just didn't have it. Then there's the Confederacy, who were supposed to be the driving force behind much of the plot but ended up little more than background noise.

    4. The killing off of certain characters. Pellaeon I don't mind so much, actually (except for the circumstances of who did it), but Mara's death was pointless shock value and Jacen dying without a real chance for redemption felt unneccessarily depressing and thematically inappropriate.

    5. Mandos. I really, really don't care about Mandos, and I really could have done without every third book being partially an homage to how wonderful Boba Fett is. Yes, the other authors' pet characters were annoying too, but Fett especially so, mostly because I've never understood why people think he's so awesome.

    6. It's already been discussed here, but Jaina is ultimately supposed to be our main good guy, and she's barely in the series until Revelation and Invincible.

    7. And finally, the tone. People call the NJO dark, and it is, but it is ultimately a story about triumph in the face of a seeming armageddon. Ultimately, the day is saved not only for the GFFA, but for the Vong as well, who are redeemed from the culture of violence they plunged themselves into milennia ago and find a new way. The stakes are higher than they've ever been, but the end is a victory. LOTF just feels cynical and mean-spirited, ending in the brutal death of a beloved character derailed into a villain and with a psychotic Imperial terrorist running the Galactic Alliance. LOTF doesn't feel like Star Wars and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I feel like that's the worst condemnation I can make of it.
  13. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    A lot people seem upset by writers retroactively referring to Vergere as a Sith. From my reading she has only ever been called a Sith by Lumiya and Krayt, who we both know are completely capable of Sith lies. I think despite the EU trying to nudge her into Sith status we never truly know the truth about her and her character retains her mystique.
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  14. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 4, 2012
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    But the Jedi call her a Sith too, largely uncritically. It makes the Jedi look like a bunch of dogmatists if they're so quick to label someone with a challenging philosophy they disagree with an evil darkside poopyhead. Maybe Vergere's approach is wrong, sure. But do we really want the heroes to start acting like self-righteous ecclesiarchs who respond to ethical or spiritual arguments with accusations of HERESY?
    Last edited by Reveen, Jun 3, 2013
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  15. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    Dec 17, 2011
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    What's more, it's never confirmed or implied that Lumiya is wrong in her claim, or Krayt in his memories. While Lumiya had a good enough reason to lie, Krayt didn't, as he was speaking to Cade Skywalker of Vergere decades later. Jacen Solo, the person who knew her best, also accepts and goes along with this belief. The One Sith who Alema Rar met on Korriban also spoke of Lumiya and Vergere's alliance
    Last edited by DarthJenari, Jun 3, 2013
  16. Trip Force Ghost

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    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    i like how everyone still talks about vergere like it's 2001 and she's this mysterious cypher.
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  17. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    We still don't know much about her life.
  18. Trip Force Ghost

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    Dec 7, 2003
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    i thought you said you read the njo?
    Last edited by Trip, Jun 3, 2013
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  19. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    LOTF is pretty fun even though the plot is a PT ripoff. I am in the middle of a readthrough right now myself. Jacen is too similar to Anakin Skywalker from DNT and LOTF. Jacen shouldn't have fallen and have gone on to lead the Order. If he had to fall have train some people in ways of the other force sects and use those powers to confront the Corellians but Luke and Jaina don't like it and we get a new Jedi Civil War or something like that. Jacen should have lived and been redeemed or stayed evil. There shouldn't have been a Galactic Civil War. Small scale threats. trying to repair the galaxy, pirate attacks, assimilating the other force sects into the galaxy.
    Vergere might have wanted Jacen to learn Sithly powers but she seemed above all that Jedi and Sith stuff in Traitor. She wanted Jacen to be above all that stuff and learn everything about the Force. I can't believe Jacen let himself be swayed by Lumiya's arguments. A corrupted hero is worse than a dead hero.
    I love Ben Skywalker in the first couple books. I don't like that he is in the GAG but I do love detective Ben. Lon Shevu and Jori Lekauf are my favorite new characters introduced in this series. I hated that Alema came back at first but have grown to like it.
    I can't believe they destroyed Tahiri's character like they did. She was one of my favorite characters in the NJO and they destroyed such a great character arc. She should have gotten with someone new by now.
    Fett's story in Bloodlines was great fun.
  20. AlyxDinas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2010
    star 4

    Luke manages to get into the act during Vortex as well. At least I think it is in that book. Akanah goes to town to chew out the Jedi Order's ease into agression and Luke says something along the lines of "Those were the teachings of a Sith infilitrator". Which is information, one assumes, he shouldn't even have in universe.
  21. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
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    Which makes Luke look like a dogmatic zealot, the more denning latches on the the Vergere was a sith, the worse he makes Luke look. Irony or Poetic Justice I wonder.
  22. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    Frankly, not even the Catholic Church is crass enough to blame the Crusades on Satan.

    If they took this behavior to it's logical conclusion Jaina would probably find her ass tied to a stake if she tried to set up the Imperial Knights.

    Fun fact: Burning was (allegedly) considered a merciful execution by the church, because it gave the accused more time to repent. The Sith don't even that much.
    Last edited by Reveen, Jun 3, 2013
  23. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    In The Essential Guide to the Force- Tionne's notes appear to have been recorded shortly after Mara's death but before Jacen was confirmed as Sith- and she's speculating already on Vergere being a "failed Sith apprentice".

    Luke may have seen those speculations, and considered them confirmed after Jacen's Fall was proven.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jun 3, 2013
  24. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
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    And how would Vergere be a failed sith? Her stance on personal responsibility and not blaming the force for ones actions?
  25. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    "failed" in the sense that Palpatine identified a number of possible apprentice candidates, picked Dooku, and, for one reason or another, attempted to kill her instead of making long term use of her.

    Lumiya speculates that Vergere attempted to assassinate Palpatine, failed, and was forced to go on the run.
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