Yuuzhan Vong getting incredibly old

Discussion in 'Literature' started by neimoidian_85, Aug 7, 2001.

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  1. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

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

    Maybe I should be surprised that a Star Wars fan will probably end up disliking four out of six Star Wars films, but somehow, in your case, I'm not.

    My favorite entertainment consists of those books, movies, plays, and comic books that move me, regardless of the source. Those books, comics, movies, and plays that are darker in tone are those that are more likely to stick with me because they bring out the characters much more strongly.

    For example, I love both Shakespeare's plays and his tragedies, but the pathos of MacBeth or King Lear sticks with me longer than the comedy of Twelfth Night or As You Like It.

    In a similar vein, the grim atmosphere of The Lord of the Rings (easily, in my opinion, the best fantasy novel of the last century) remains in my memory far longer than the lighter tone of The Belgariad.

    As much as I enjoyed Star Wars: A New Hope, the movie that really drew me in was The Empire Strikes Back. That movie defined the characters of Luke, Leia, Han, and Vader far more than Episode IV, and gave them greater dimension.

    What I'm not looking for is bedtime stories for adults, where everyone must always live happily ever after at the end of the story. I'm glad the bubble is broken, and I won't abandon Star Wars novels if a favorite character, like Anakin, dies.

    I enjoy the New Jedi Order because of the scope, the risks faced by the characters, the dark, gritty tone of the series, and the character-driven nature of the drama. Indeed, I enjoy the Star Wars movies for much the same reasons...which is why I look forward to Episodes II and III, along with the novelizations and all the bridge novels.

    You say...

    The classic battle of good over evil (both on a personal and galactic level) has been lost in a morass of barbarism and carnage.

    ...and I haven't got a clue what you're talking about.

    In every novel, characters have struggled both with the subjective evil of the Yuuzhan Vong and their "friends," while struggling with personal demons--pride, anger, hatred--that could tip them to the dark side. And while the tone has, at times, been bleak (just like the movies), the characters have always had hope and acted on that hope. Even when defeated, they do just as they did in Empire--come back and try again.

    Oh yeah. I also enjoy the humor. Like most Star Wars material, the NJO is rife with laughs. I've rarely laughed more reading Star Wars than I have when I read Hero's Trial, Conquest, and Rebirth. Truly classy Star Wars material...

    With regard to the Yuuzhan Vong, the only clichés are the predictable denigration of the main foes by a reader who hasn't taken to the YV. Intelligent and discerning readers, on the other hand, might be able to tell that the YV are based in part on warrior cultures of Earth, such as the Aztecs, and that they gain greater depth with every book.

    Moreover, discerning science-fiction fans may see that, ironically, the YV give Star Wars a stronger SF flavor than this space fantasy series usually has. Biotech may not be classic SF, but it abounds in modern SF...and however generic a few readers may find the YV, certainly I can't recall seeing their like in any SF or fantasy.

    And if you think the teens don't have faults, then you certainly have not been reading closely...Anakin's recklessness keeps bringing him to the brink of death, Jacen's pride and ego could be his undoing, and Tahiri's torture at the hand of the Vong makes her thirst for vengeance. Jaina's anger is a problem for her. Her character needs further development, but that's the reason to look forward to Dark Journey...
  2. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    AniSS:"My favorite entertainment consists of those books, movies, plays, and comic books that move me, regardless of the source."

    Ani, I'm not sure whether I should be happy for you that your life is so calm and easy going that you have to go to fiction to be moved or whether I should worry that you need to reassess what is important in your life.

    My life has enough emotional highs and lows in to that I don't need to look to fantasy for the deeper meaning of life.

    As I have said numerous times on this forum, I read to escape real life. I used to be able to leave the world and its troubles behind and retreat (briefly) to a Galaxy Far, Far Away. This has been taken away from me by the NJO.

    And I'm mad about it.

    If you like all this doom and gloom, fine, enjoy it! But let me express my dislike of it without your constant censure.


    And please, do not lecture me about SciFi. I've been reading SciFi for nearly 40 years. Believe me I've seen big bad gooey alien villians like the YV before. They weren't particularly interesting the first time I cam across them nearly 40 years ago, nor have they been any time since. Very rarely have I read a good, interesting SciFi story with big bad boogeyman villains. Only the very best SciFi writers can make this overbearing type of villain a worthy opponent. And at the moment, the best SciFi writers are NOT writing Star Wars.
  3. Booster-1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    AniSS wrote, in part:
    And if you think the teens don't have faults, then you certainly have not been reading closely...Anakin's recklessness keeps bringing him to the brink of death, Jacen's pride and ego could be his undoing, and Tahiri's torture at the hand of the Vong makes her thirst for vengeance. Jaina's anger is a problem for her. Her character needs further development, but that's the reason to look forward to Dark Journey...
    I strongly disagree with your interpretation. It seems to me that you have transferred the trials the adults face(d) to the teenagers. The problem I have with all that is that the kids are not mature enough and their characters robust enough to carry it off.

    You talk, for example, of Tahiri's possible "thirst for vengeance". While that may be, a 14 year old has a limited frame of reference to really assess the harm done to her. Compare her experience to that of Luke or even Corran Horn (in I, Jedi). Yes, Tahiri has been brainwashed. Yes, Tahiri has been physically tortured. But how does her harm compare to ALL that Luke has faced?

    You talk of Anakin's recklessness. How does that compare to Luke rushing off to try to save his friends against the express warnings of Yoda ... and then losing his hand in the process? Does this not count as reckless? Is it not his pride or ego?

    And Jacen ... let's not get started on Jacen. What seemed realistic at the outset --- teenage angst and all that --- has become as tedious as the Vong. Enough already. As one who has two delightful children now in their mid-twenties, I know from where I speak. That kid needs a good swift kick up the backside.

    What I find interesting is the rationalization. You have a compelling case for the issues --- IF THERE WAS NO PRIOR HISTORY. If there were no stories about Luke and Leia and Mara and Han and Talon and Shada and Lando and Wedge and even C3P0 and R2D2, your assessment might (I say might) be acceptable.

    But to ignore all the back history and use the NJO as a pathetic attempt to slide the Bantam characters out of the story and replace them with a new set if Jedi for a new set of readers, well, I have to say STOP. I like reading about the trials of the young ones, but for God's sake, come on now. How have the Vong turned all of them into simpering idiots? Please let me know. I say this because if the rumors are true that SbS will be the exit of the old and the dawn of the new, it will ALSO be the end of my association with SW books.
  4. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    "And please, do not lecture me about SciFi. I've been reading SciFi for nearly 40 years. Believe me I've seen big bad gooey alien villians like the YV before. They weren't particularly interesting the first time I cam across them nearly 40 years ago, nor have they been any time since. Very rarely have I read a good, interesting SciFi story with big bad boogeyman villains. Only the very best SciFi writers can make this overbearing type of villain a worthy opponent. And at the moment, the best SciFi writers are NOT writing Star Wars."

    why is it you feel like you have to bring up your age to prove points? do you feel like it imparts on you more maturity? Or do you think Old Age always imparts more wisdom on you part? Or is you ego inflated, you think everyone younger than you is some kind of immature buffoon?

    Let's just say I've seen older people that were hardly mature, and older people who hardly were wiser. People often times mistake "old wifes tales" for Wisdom and spout it off as if they were wisened, that doesn't make them anymore the wise. I've also know younger people who were wiser than there years, and other young people who were complety foolish, and people who confuse Knowledge with wisdom.

    Hell, if I wanted to bring up age, I'd bring up my Father, who is almost 70. He's got bits of wisdom, and yet he's got beliefs that are incorrect in this day and age as well. He's a star wars fan as well, and while he isn't a big reader of EU, He loves Dark Empire(the audio dramas), along with many of the other audio drama's and books on tape, He loves the movies, he loves alot of the old time serials, and pulp movies, star trek, and other franchise, many of which Lucas(who is most likely your elder, i'm suspecting) also loves.

    But my dad also loves classics, High Brow stories(something star wars won't ever be classified as.), of historical, true-life or literary nature. But the important thing, I respect him for is he never ever brings up his age, and tries to be pompous about how old he is, and that he is better than other people or knows more than other people.

    Infact he believes that people who feel like they have to bring up there age to drive in a point are most likely insecure about there existance in life. Don't get me wrong he knows he's aging and not going to be around on this earth much longer(in comparison to how long he's lived), but he doesn't see a need to use that to manipulate people's oppinions, bash his beliefs on someones head, or use semi-derrogtory remarks on people's educational levels. He's much more refined than that.
  5. Booster-1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    Valiento I think you've missed the point of Dewlanna's missive. This is part of an on-going (dare I say) dialogue between AniSS and many of us who dislike the NJO for many reasons. The issue has to do with the way the older characters are being treated and the maturity and wisdom being exhibited by the teenagers. It is almost as if the adults had contracted mass senility at once.

    The other more critical point is the unbearable tediousness of the Vong and the (to some of us at least) cardboard nature of the plots. I, too, have been reading for 40+ years and I, too, have read both the classics and the pulps. And I like them both. The reason Dewlanna brings this "age" thing up is to show that the extent of her (and others') experience is more than just a few years or a few books. So chill out and read the entire thread ... and then go read the NJO Critics Club thread at the EU Board. This is not a place for personal insults and what seems to me to be knee-jerk reaction defensiveness. Mind you, if the shoe fits ...

    I repeat my earlier comment again ... if the NJO is heading for a changing of the guard and the adults are to be retired, then I also plan to retire ... from reading SW books. And that is the message DR ignores at its peril.
  6. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

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

    The reason Dewlanna brings this "age" thing up is to show that the extent of her (and others') experience is more than just a few years or a few books.

    Actually, since I'm forty years old and have 30+ years of experience reading and watching science fiction and fantasy, in this particular case, it IS a difference of only a "few years" and a "few books."

    Indeed, since I'm a rather voracious reader, I may well have read more broadly in SF and fantasy than Dewlanna or, for that matter, yourself.
  7. Mecca-Don Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2001
    star 2
    This post is going to be slightly off topic but since several of the previous posts are also I guess it doesn't matter.

    ChildOfWinds said:

    What's the point of buying and reading book after book after book that doesn't give the reader any pleasure, but instead makes him/her feel sad or discouraged?

    Believe it or not, I agree. What is the point? Those of you who are discouraged or simply don't like the NJO and haven't liked it up until this point should simply stop reading them now because you will not like the rest of them, either. The only thing you'll be doing by continuing to read books that you don't like is causing yourself undue stress and suffering. And once you stop reading the books, stop complaining about them as well. Once you've expressed your opinion, there's no need to keep repeating it over and over and over again.

    Booster-1986 said:

    but to ignore all the back history and use the NJO as a pathetic attempt to slide the Bantam characters out of the story and replace them with a new set of jedi for a new set of readers, well, I have to say STOP.

    What the hell are you talking about? The Bantam characters have not been put out of the NJO. Mara Jade, Corran Horn, Talon Karrde and Shada D'ukal have all played vital roles in the series. Other Bantam characters such as Prince Isholder have also appeared. There has been no attempt to slide characters out. Even if there was, Del Rey is under no obligation to use Bantam characters, pick up Bantam storylines or use any ideas by Bantam. If LFL had allowed it, Del Rey could have started from scratch and none of us could have done anything about it except stop buying the books. The fact that Del Rey didn't do that and chose to use Bantam characters and keep the continuty is to their credit.
  8. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

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

    Ani, I'm not sure whether I should be happy for you that your life is so calm and easy going that you have to go to fiction to be moved or whether I should worry that you need to reassess what is important in your life.

    Where the frig did that come from?

    I only said that the literature, movies, and plays that stick with me are those that move me. Sometimes they move me to laughter. Sometimes they move me to tears. Sometimes they move my imagination. Often, they do all three.

    What I take away from this entertainment is a broadening of my horizons--emotional, imaginative, and sometimes historical or cultural. I like to imagine that my response matches what the creators hope to achieve. Certainly, I cannot see why reacting emotionally to, say, the pathos of King Lear or The Lord of the Rings--or even Han's reaction to Chewbacca's loss--would have any bearing whatsoever on my own life.

    My life has enough emotional highs and lows in to that I don't need to look to fantasy for the deeper meaning of life.

    "Deeper meaning of life?" Again, where did that come from? I neither said nor implied that.

    If you like all this doom and gloom, fine, enjoy it! But let me express my dislike of it without your constant censure.

    LOL! I'm not censuring you one whit. I express my opinion just as you express yours, and I disagree with you as you disagree with me. Never have I censured you for simply expressing your opinion.

    And please, do not lecture me about SciFi.

    Then please stop with your own lectures. I might also suggest that you read Valiento's words of wisdom.
  9. Grand Admiral Wettengel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2000
    star 4
    Mecca

    Since you seem unable to understand our concerns about the adult characters being relegated to a character dustbin, I shall bring up some salient points to illustrate it.

    Luke Skywalker -- Isn't even prominently featured in each and every SW novel anymore. He played no role in Jedi Eclipse, Conquest , or Rebirth. There was a major event taking place in JE: the reactivation of Centerpoint. Luke was doing absolutely nothing of importance; he should have gone with Anakin and Jacen, especially given the fact of how confused Jacen was (and still is, unfortunately) confused about what it means to be a Jedi. Additionally, Luke could have told anakin to take the shot and for Jacen to shut the hell up. And that he, Luke, would take the moral responsibility, as a mature, responsible adult should do.

    Jacen, Anakin and Jaina are in unbelievable situations. The entire NR strategy at Dantooine was developed by Jaina--a mere lieutenant and one who has shown no understnading or appreciation of military tactics and strategy previously. Forget about Ganner being RS CO--Jaina should be since she deviced their strategy and tactics and Gavin pretty much just went "uh-huh".

    Then thre's Jacen and Anakin at Centerpoint without any adult supervision. I would compare this to if FDR had left the decision of whether or not to use Fat Man and Little Boy to a panel of high school students.
  10. Booster-1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    AniSS said in a previous post that "I might also suggest that you read Valiento's words of wisdom. "

    I would be happy to do so if I could find them. All I see is a petulant attitude and a rather personal attack on another poster.

    If this thread is to avoid degenerating into personal invective and immature name-calling, we MUST avoid posts that do nothing to debate the issues.
  11. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

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

    My remark regarding "words of wisdom" concern what Valiento says about the irrelevance of a person's age or reading experience to these discussions. Read what he says about his father.

    On your earlier post:

    I strongly disagree with your interpretation. It seems to me that you have transferred the trials the adults face(d) to the teenagers.

    Nope. The trials the teens face are certainly similar to the trials the adults faced when they were teens and young adults, but that's hardly surprising. Star Wars tends to be a tad repetitive in that regard (Anakin/Luke, Padmé/Leia--Lucas intentionally makes their stories similar).

    The problem I have with all that is that the kids are not mature enough and their characters robust enough to carry it off.

    So? Was Luke mature enough to face his trials with Vader in Splinter or Empire? Was Anakin mature enough for his trials in Rogue Planet or Jedi Quest, or the trials we can guess he'll face in Episodes II and III?

    You talk, for example, of Tahiri's possible "thirst for vengeance". While that may be, a 14 year old has a limited frame of reference to really assess the harm done to her.

    I agree. That's the point. Like the former slaves Anakin (in Rogue Planet and Jedi Quest) and Kyp Durron (in the Jedi Academy Trilogy), Tahiri has the power and the ability, but not the maturity to assess the harm done to her in Conquest.

    There's a reason why the Jedi who are at risk for falling to the dark side tend to be young. They have the native ability in the Force, but lack the perspective on life that older Jedi Masters have gained through decades of experience that might help them control their darker impulses.

    You talk of Anakin's recklessness. How does that compare to Luke rushing off to try to save his friends against the express warnings of Yoda ... and then losing his hand in the process? Does this not count as reckless? Is it not his pride or ego?

    Of course it is. So Anakin resembles his uncle, as well his namesake, in this regard. Look what happened to his grandfather. Look how close Luke came to the dark side. Anakin's recklessness, combined with his guilt and his brash desire to protect everyone, places him at risk.

    What I find interesting is the rationalization. You have a compelling case for the issues ---IF THERE WAS NO PRIOR HISTORY.

    The rationalization for...what? The issues surrounding...what? I wasn't aware that I was making a case for ignoring Luke, Leia, Han, and Mara. I don't want to ignore them.

    But I also don't think that the internal struggle against darker emotions is as interesting in the older characters, particularly in Luke, whose struggle with the dark side was largely concluded with Vision of the Future--and probably should have been concluded long before then.

    I find the coming-of-age struggles of the teens interesting for the same reason I found/find the adolescent struggles of Luke and Anakin Skywalker compelling. To have Luke continue behaving like a Padawan who must struggle every day with the dark side is to deny him the maturity this character should have gained by now. His role is more akin to Mace Windu's, Ben's or even Yoda's. He should be allowed to play that part accordingly.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that characters can't find new reasons to face powerful internal struggles. Han struggled against a desire for revenge after Chewie died. Luke could conceivably "regress" as well, but it probably would take a major event, like Mara's death, to so completely shake the Jedi Master's resolve.

    For the rest, I simply don't agree that the older characters have been ignored in favor of the younger characters, or that they have been "turned into simpering idiots." I'll leave it at that for now.
  12. Nom Anor TFN Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2000
    star 4
    Although I don't agree with what a lot of you have to say about the NJO, your words have been eloquent. It is good to debate this issue, but don't let it become a battleground over "who has been reading sci-fi the longest," or "who is the oldest," or "who has read the most books." These criteria have no relevence to the topic. Just because one has read numerous books or is old doesn't make that person wise. I am only 17 years old, and I feel I have a pretty broad knowledge for someone my age. Although age does have bearing on some issues, it is not a factor in the quality of the NJO series. Please remember this as we continue to debate. Don't loose focus of the topic at hand.
  13. Blsharty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2001
    After every book in NJO, something new is added to the Yuuzhan Vong. For example, in Conquest, lambents, domuteks, shapers, shamed ones and more are introduced. We are just beginning to learn about their way of life.

    WARNING! WARNING! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!-------

    On one final note, we all were greeted with an incredibly huge cliffhanger at the end of Rebirth with Nen Yim. Thing are just heating up.

    ---------------------------------------------

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