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Lit A question on Karen Traviss and her work(s)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Pyrotek, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Someone is making me remember that Matrix Reloaded exists. WHY AREN'T YOU MODS DOING SOMETHING?! :_|
     
  2. imiller

    imiller Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2004
    I'm kinda with you, RC. I still think the first two-fourish Republic Commando books are great - they helped fill the void the X-Wing series left (until the X-Wing series came back, of course...and may it continue!). However, the Legacy of the Force novels are just...problematic. Despite the fact that I admire how she handled the brief of Sacrifice, I don't think I'll be able to read that book again. And Revelation just bothers me on so many levels - not on a "I loathe and foam about it" (that's actually Sacrifice, but more an editorial/committee decision level than a construction level) level, but a "really, the fact that she's never actually read any other Star Wars book really shows" level.

    I hope, if she does come back (as the comments about IC 2 at NYCC sorta indicate might possibly happen...unless they're considering giving it to another author), it will be back to action, and less soapboxing and thinly veiled political analogies. Cause those were really poorly done.
     
  3. Whuffa

    Whuffa Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Imperial Command was the only SW book I tried finishing TWICE and wasn't able to. I got half way through both times and it was just so incredibly dull and self-indulgent that I couldn't read another sentence of it. I didn't have anything against Mandalorians before that, now I'm kinda convinced they're pompous *******s who can't see past themselves or their annoying macho culture. I kinda hope a bunch of Hapan pageant queens blow them out of existence. Blah.
     
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  4. Darth_Calgmoth

    Darth_Calgmoth Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2006
    I never read Traviss's Republic or Imperial Commando novels, but I still don't understand what Boba Fett's aging and his family issues should have been a part of the LOTF series. This story had nothing to do with the story this series was supposed to tell.

    As to the moral issues about the Jedi using the clones and fighting the war:

    This indeed makes little sense, but not because of the reasons mentioned above. It's because AOTC is scripted very, very bad.

    1. It makes no sense why Supreme Chancellor Palpatine should be voted Emergency Powers in AOTC by a member of the Opposition to the Military Creation Act. The whole thing could have worked just as smoothly if the Jar Jar had merely made a proposition to create a Grand Army of the Republic. Padmé's allies against the army would have followed suit, just as they did voting Palpatine emergency powers. So voting Palpatine emergency powers makes not that much sense at this point because it's not really the only option the Senate has left (and the Jedi Council members present during the discussion leading to this decision should realize that!).

    2. Story and script gave the Jedi more than enough hints - even proof - to conclude that the evil plot of the Sith was to create a war between the Republic and the Confederacy, not just to conquer the Republic with the Confederate droid armies. The Jedi knew that a Jedi erased Kamino from the Archive memory. The Jedi knew that the bounty hunter dispatched to assassinate the leader of the opposition to the Military Creation Act was working for the Head of State of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and they knew that this very man was also the template for the clone army.

    The connection between Dooku and Jango Fett along with the information the Jedi should have gotten/extracted from the Geonosians should make it evident that fighting this artificial war is the worst thing they could do. In fact, the thing they should have done is report all they have learned to the Republic and the Confederate Senate at once to make sure that all its members realized that somebody wanted to trick them into fighting a war.

    It makes no sense to consider the connection between Dooku and Jango Fett as a mere coincidence. If the Confederacy really intended to conquer or coerce the Republic into doing its bidding, one should assume that Dooku would have prevented the Kaminoans from creating an army for the Republic. And no can possibly tell me that the Jedi would actually believe that Dooku would not know what a bounty hunter in his employ does 'on the sidelines'. Especially since the assassination of Padmé would be against Dooku's best interests if he intended to take over the Republic by force.

    Traviss just created issues in a mess which doesn't make much sense without/before her intervention. The Jedi fighting the Clone Wars are completely stupid. The fact that it may be also wrong/stupid/not in accordance with the job description of a Jedi to lead beings into battle which were only created to die in battle is just a minor issue compared to the fact that Obi-Wan and Yoda actually went along and thought fighting the Clone War was the right thing to do to save the Republic or defeat the Sith!
     
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  5. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    That's why I'm hoping for a Mando/Hapan war sometime in the future
     
  6. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Has she actually said that she's never read a Star Wars book that's not her own? You'd think she'd at least read the Thrawn trilogy if she's killing the breakout character from those books...
     
  7. imiller

    imiller Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2004
    No, I'm pretty sure she explicitly said she hadn't read any of the books. She possibly read Karen Miller's books, but that was because they were collaborating. I don't know if she was even able to read her partner's books in LotF - but that was deadlines. As for the others, she said that she doesn't find reading entertaining or worthwhile when she has psych profiles and guides prepped by LFL, so she doesn't read them.
     
  8. Master_Keralys

    Master_Keralys VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Who thought resurrecting this was a good idea? WHO? I call for his head! (Not on a platter, or anything gruesome like that, but at least to get a very poor haircut that will make everyone point and laugh at him for weeks.)
     
  9. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Maybe summarizing the reasons people complain about her works- and assessing which of those are just and which unjust, might minimize the amount of times the thread repeats?

    "She failed to retcon the 1.2 million clones figure- instead she extrapolated to 3 million Grand Army clones in the war (possibly based on an assumption of 1 million a year)" - a little unjust. As has been said before- Matt Stover, Steven Barnes, James Luceno- all used the "clone unit=clone warrior" assumption- on LFL's instructions. The AoTC novel also has Obi-Wan and Mace discussing it- Mace: "A million clone warriors?" Obi-Wan: "Yes."

    "She retconned the quintillions/quadrillions of droids figure, in Republic Commando: Odds." - if you're stuck with 1.2 million clones for the first few months of the war- you need a smaller droid army for it to be feasible at all.

    "She portrayed the Jedi as villains for making use of the clone army" a bit unjust- she wasn't the only one who noted that it was morally problematic- just the most emphatic.

    "She portrayed Mandalorians as vastly more competent than there is precedent for." - a bit unjust, Jango in Open Seasons does very well against Jedi at Galiidran.

    "She portrayed Legacy Era Jedi as villains" probably most just- her version of Luke is very atypical.

    These are the first that spring to mind from her writing- I'm leaving out her attitude to the fandom for the moment.
     
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  10. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Didn't one of her characters conclude the Republic was corrupt after shooting a guy in the head? Not to mention putting Jusik and Eithan on a pedestal because they loved the clones/Mandos while every other Jedi is suddenly a dirty scoundrel
     
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  11. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    It's been a while since I've read her books.

    Concerning the marriage thing- it has in fact come up in one prequel-era novel- Rogue Planet. Thracia Cho Leem, Jedi Master, points out that she has married- and Anakin thinks he'll marry in future "though Jedi do not often marry"

    So it's not like the Callista trilogy was the only precedent.
     
  12. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I still remember this

    She ignores the fact that the Jedi fought the war to protect the Republic and it's people and didn't want it to break out in the first place.
     
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  13. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Someone opened the trap door!



    As for Traviss, it's simple for me: She never equalled Hard Contact.
     
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  14. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I love feeding the flames
     
  15. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Some people just like to watch the world burn!
     
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  16. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    The idea that "using Force powers as weapons in war profanes them" does seem a bit silly- the Force is supposed to be used for knowledge and defence".
     
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  17. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    I rather enjoyed Sacrifice and Revelations, when I ignored the head-turning comments about Mando's randomly from Ben or Luke.
     
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  18. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Same. Sacrifice was actually the first LoTF novel I read thoroughly (due to it being the only one at the library at the time) and I liked it- even if it did kill off a character I liked a lot.

    I think Traviss's attitudes were evolving- in Inferno (the interview) she states that while detachment might have been a problem for the Old Republic Jedi- they still shouldn't have families- because attachment is more dangerous for the rest of the galaxy as a whole.

    In No Prisoners families for Jedi are treated as a good thing- as long as they don't cross the line from "healthy attachment" into obsession.
     
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  19. Master_Keralys

    Master_Keralys VIP star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Jedi Ben – what. was. that?
     
  20. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Ordo, who is a very scary character aside, was the Republic not corrupt?
     
  21. beccatoria

    beccatoria Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2006
    You don't know Trap Door?! AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A PARENT, SIR!

    "Spongie! Come back spongie, I was only playing!"
     
  22. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    A TV programme from my childhood Keralys - and Becc's too by the looks of things! It seemed most appropriate for this thread!
     
  23. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Interesting, I suppose, and maybe illuminating to find she writes for a universe she doesn't find entertaining.
     
  24. beccatoria

    beccatoria Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2006
    On topic, Sacrifice is a decent novel, in terms of plotting and prose and even, largely, characterisation. A lot of my issues with it stemmed more from assumptions about the undertones given her other work and the context it provided than the novel itself. The main issue I had with the novel was, well, yes, the head-turning random Mando comments, but on a substantive level, the fact that Mara's death, while set up reasonably within the text - a tragic confluence of events, of Mara's decision not to include Luke, Luke's indecision, Lumiya's opportunism, Ben's vulnerability and Jacen's bizarre, deluded opinion that this was his Sith sacrifice - metatextually felt very awkward, mainly because the series seemed to support Jacen's perspective. Made the whole thing feel much more like an excuse to kill a major character than something organic to the story. Essentially, I found that, much like the unnecessary Mando comments, it broke the fourth wall for me. The payoff wasn't worth the cost. But it's certainly the best of her LOTF novels.

    Revelations, on the other hand, I abhorred utterly and very nearly couldn't bring myself to finish. Even setting aside the fact that I felt the decision to go train with Fett felt extremely forced, the way Jaina and the Mandos were written just...dear lord. It's not worth going into again here, because, well, I'm already engaging in the resurrection of a demonthread when I should know better, so I'll just say that was the novel that did me in.

    Though really, a lot of my decision not to continue supporting her financially stemmed from comments she made in the real world that I found to be offensive and that made me feel less comfortable about the tone of some of her work, rather than just thinking she was a poor choice for writing Star Wars novels.

    Really I guess it's a moot point now since she's moved on. I imagine she's a far better fit in the Gears of War universe anyway, so good luck to her.
     
  25. beccatoria

    beccatoria Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2006
    It's not Star Wars she doesn't find entertaining, it's reading in general. She writes, but she just doesn't read a lot of anything, so it's not Star Wars-specific.