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

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

  1. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Rumor Naysayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
  2. Darth_Zandalor

    Darth_Zandalor Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 2, 2009
    ^You know, expecting a flame war is only going to escalate things.

    Her works were rather hit and miss, though I enjoyed most of them. Much of the controversy came from her abrasive approach to critics, and her very specific view of how things should work in the GFFA.
  3. Cammy_White

    Cammy_White Jedi Youngling star 2

    Mar 16, 2010
    Overall story criticisms aside I thought she wrote Bloodlines and Sacrifice well. I think Revelation was one of the worst EU works though. It's been a while but I think she had a knack for writing politics decently(for star wars at least).
  4. GenAntilles

    GenAntilles Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 24, 2007
    Karen Traviss was one of my favorite Star Wars authors and I really hated to see her go. I think her views of the Jedi were what fans disliked most, to put it bluntly Admiral Daala has about the same belief about Jedi as Karen Traviss, which admittedly makes me wish she could have wrote for this current series since it's covering an issue right up her alley.
  5. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Because Endor never happened.
    RC-1991 likes this.
  6. eddie1969

    eddie1969 Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 3, 2005
    I loved Karen's fresh approach to the Star Wars Universe... And her Clone books are among the best and detailed Star Wars books ever written!!! But then, that's my opinion...
  7. Lightsnake

    Lightsnake Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 10, 2005
    And have Daala portrayed as right in blatant oppression?
  8. DarthRevan211

    DarthRevan211 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 17, 2008
    Call me crazy but I liked the Boba Fett parts of LotF the best. I loved Jacen from Book 1-3ish, but after that it was all about Mirta and Boba for me.
  9. GenAntilles

    GenAntilles Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 24, 2007
    Yeah, I would prefer the reader to make their own judgement about which side is right. Is Daala right for wanting to put the Jedi under government control or are the Jedi right for wanting the Jedi to remain only under Jedi control? I wish star wars story's could have someone who opposes the Jedi and doesn't turn into a raving evil dictator though. But I can hope that whoever takes over the GA will be Anti-Jedi but still hold repulbican principles and respect democracy and liberty, that would make for interesting stories.
  10. Malachi108

    Malachi108 Jedi Master star 3

    Aug 8, 2009
    I loved each and every or her SW books to a ridiculous degree: IMO they are perhaps the closest SWEU gets to "adult" fiction besides obviously Matthew Stover. So I can't really answer your question, sorry.
  11. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Oct 23, 2004
    @ Clone army

    She didn?t actually the second prequel movie itself and its novelization already made the clone army tiny. ;) Other sources also point this out and have militia and mass conscription for defending the galaxy, and on both sides, since the droid forces where being beaten so badly that Seps had to go with mercs and living troops to keep ground (Clone wars campaign guide).

    @ Traviss books

    On a personal side not I dislike Traviss work rather a lot, because of her over glorification of the Mandos. They have been a race of raiders, slavers and mercs that got beaten into submission in just about every war they fought in and whose glory had long passed by the time of the Clone Wars (which Open Season made absolutely clear), but for some reason she had to resurrect them, with supposedly millions of Mando warriors out there that believe in some great warrior codex, which no Mando before actual was show to have. And which again makes no sense with later sources where Mandalor has a 2 warriors and a few enslaved farmers to form an insurrection force from against the Empire.

    "They will die a death that will last millennia, until all that remains is their code, their history, and in the end, the shell of their armor upon the shell of a man, too easily slain by Jedi." Just holds way to true, to ever make sense of the Traviss Mando Resurgence.

    If she wanted a race with a longer and actually more vainglorious and successful history that could still muster forces and where taken serious go for Hutts, which have literally succeed at everything the Mandos failed in.

    Then there is this whole super ore suddenly found again on Mandalore thing, after the Empire slave mined the place for some 20 years and the strongest metal in the galaxy being hand crafted into stuff....

    Also her treatment of female characters is rather disturbing showing a constant trend of them not caring for personal goals or interests and only wanting to get it on with a clone trooper or Mando as sudden purpose in live, along with the unfortunate implication that in Mando culture any children they have would be forces into a live of warrior culture, no matter what they would actually want to do.

    There is also this rather wtf scene from the novel where the Mandos and there trainer break into a hotel, intimidate the owner and for all intends and purposes enslave one of his female employees?.

    And better don't even get me started on her last LOTF book? way to much plane "stupid" stuff in that one..
    Lady_Misty and Esg like this.
  12. Lord_Riven

    Lord_Riven Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 13, 2001
    The main problems with Karen Traviss especially in post-ROTJ works:

    1. Shoehorning in the unnecessary Mando storyline in LOTF. That was the weakest part of the story. But it sort of felt like reading a story that was totally separate.

    2. The glorification of Mando's and put down of Jedi - post-ROTJ this is simply not acceptable philosophy to take in writing Luke's Order.
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  13. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007
    Still on denial, eh?

    Anger's next. Looking forward to that.
    GrimdarkRose likes this.
  14. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    On top of everything, I think her writing is just terribly simple, akin to Kevin J Anderson, the master of telling everything and showing nothing.

    Reading their stuff is like reading a summary of events rather than experiencing it.
  15. Brett_Bass

    Brett_Bass Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 22, 2003
    I'm apparently in the distinct minority, but I found Karen Traviss' work to be a remarkable change of pace from most of the standard fare. It's been several years since I've read through Legacy of the Force, and I really ought to re-read it, but I distinctly recall admiring her ability to get me to like the Mandalorians. I've always been weary of them as characters, and her ability to flesh them out impressed me. Same goes for Boba Fett, whom I've also never much enjoyed. Also, as a Marine, it was readily apparent that she had at least some first-hand knowledge about the workings of military organizations (which I confirmed when I read her biography).

    So I like her work, anyway. I'd need to re-read Legacy of the Force again to go into more detail as to why, but there you have it.
  16. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007
    She made Mandalorians lamestream.
    Gamiel and Gorefiend like this.
  17. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Disagree. Being anti-Jedi is a perfectly acceptable position and there's plenty to criticize them: consider their meddling in elections, unaccountability under the law, and their sheltering of mass-murdering war criminals.

    The problem is when someone brings in unrelated personal politics into it, instead of criticizing them on valid grounds: and it's one thing to criticize, and it's another to tar and feather everyone/i] indiscriminately.
    Master_Keralys likes this.
  18. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 31, 2009

    I agree with Jello, if Traviss actually called the jedi out on the wrongs the perpetrated that would be a valid argument, but she did not do that.

    Traviss simply preached "magic sux" over add nausea.

    I read her in LOTF, I did not see the mandalorians using, forethought, planning, science, or tactics to combat the Jedi and the force, She just used the "Jobber aura" that pops up in comic book crossovers.

    Traviss writing reminded me a lot of season one Star Trek: The Next Generation, preachy, self-satisfied and full of itself. Ironically I found it made the Mandalorians seem exactly like she was trying to portray the Jedi as.
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  19. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    Haven't read much by her, but from what I have read (shorts only), I hated her prose.

    It really showed that she was a journalist.

    Oh, no, nothing's worse than Anderson's prose. I mean, the books of him that I've read are superbly plotted, I literally could not put them down -- I read the Jedi Academy trilogy in something like five days -- but his prose is painful. Painful. And I say this as a compliment.
  20. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    I don't think this forum was the worst, but there was some flaming. I met her once at a book signing, we went out for coffee and talked afterwards. I asked her about the fans and I was shocked at some of the flaming and horrible things that have been done. One fan made a fanboy snuff film with an actress portraying her. I really don't blame her for not wanting to be around most fans.

    She spent time in the military, so she enjoys writing about the clones and the clone wars. I think she does a fairly good job with that era.

    I don't think she should have killed Mara. I will never agree with that decision.

    newdawn12 likes this.
  21. SergeantDante

    SergeantDante Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 17, 2008
    Any evidence of the existence of said "brutal trolling" outside of the imaginations of her more overenthusiastic defenders? Reading back through the threads before she ragequit, I can't see a thing that could be considered such.
  22. godisawesome

    godisawesome Retired Mod of the Sequel Campaign star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 14, 2010
    Ms. Traviss is a mixed-bag for me. Like most of those Star Wars readers from early in the 2000s who read her first book, Hard Contact, I enjoyed it immensly. I picked up the book after hearing good things about it on these boards, and found that it was one of the better Star Wars books I'd read in a while. I greeted the announcemnet that she would be one of the three writers on Legacy of the Force with gusto. But then we get to the rest of her body of work, which doesn't so much anger or disgust me as much as it disappoints me.

    I liked Ms. Traviss style of writing, and I still think she is an excellent writer with good hands-on experience with the military and possesses a good deal of imagination. I just don't think she was the write person to employ to build castles in someone else's sandbox on any truly large scale, since I don't think she liked being held to anyone else's decisions or rules. In Hard Contact, it made sense for Etain, the main Jedi protagonist, to be in a world of trouble and in need of help due to her inexperience, self-doubts, and being in over her head. The villain, Ghez Hokan, was an awesome example of an evil Mandalorian, with a nice mix of cunning and combat prowess that made him a definite threat who you could see as dangerous enough to kill this squad of born warriors. And the overall feel of the novel was a nice mix of small-scale and epic, with the gritty action matching the feeling perfectly.

    But once she expnaded the Republic Commando series and started on Legacy of the Force, little foibles and flaws with the books in context with the rest of Star Wars began to show up. She rebelled against the usual portrayal of Jedi and Sith as the nearly unstoppable forces of black and white morality that they are and attempted to raise the Mandalorian faction to be on equal footing while simultaneously attempting to deconstruct the Jedi, Sith, and nature of the Dark Side and Light Side of the Force. Suddenly, we're introduced to this radically different, though fascinating, culture of Mandalorians that doesn't quite jive with their previous depictions and is very much a matter of moral ambiguity. I was hoping to see her draw a line between Mandalorians like Hokan and the Death Watch against Fett and the True Mandalorians, but instead, most of the Mandalorians we got read an awful lot like Hokan in world-view and personality, and we never really got to see any of the almost clear-cut goodness that we could have expected from Fenn Shysa's band of Protectors. I was hoping to see a schism between different Mandalorians comparable to the Jedi and Sith, but by the time we got that, her version of the Death Watch was just an angrier group of blood knights who somehow rub the other blood knights the wrong way. Once we've seen the protagonist clones justify the Jedi genocide and a lifestyle of constant, meaningless war, we'd better see something incredibly evil about the terrorist group that they want to kill on sight to make their self-righteousness clear. This wasn't that big of a deal for me in Legacy of the Force because those Mandalorians are led by Boba kriffin' Fett, and he makes a point to walk the line between anti-hero and anti-villain, but I found it a serious problem when the rest of the Republic Commando series failed to have any memeorable antagonists who challenged the heroes and served as foils for their behavior.

    And while she had no problem writing the story for the Mandalorians, she seemed to have problems with writing Jedi and Sith in the two series. Her writing of Jacen was adequate at first and did a nice job of capturing his slow degradation into villain, but she couldn't quite follow Allston's writing in Betrayal in regards to his self-delusion, but more on that in a moment. Her biggest missteps in her contribution to the series was the death of Mara Jade in Sacrifice and her finale in Revelation. Both had good build-up, with Jacen feeling he must kill Mara after she discovers his secrets and his actual use of Sith Battle Maditation, which I loved. Bu
  23. Dougie_Five

    Dougie_Five Jedi Youngling star 1

    Aug 6, 2003
  24. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    BTW, the Karen Traviss Clone Wars tie-in novel with Ahsoka was really enjoyable.
  25. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007
    That is a strange one although one of my favorite filmmakers of all time, the brilliant Robert Altman didn't watch movies yet his style was unmistakable and endlessly innovative. Anyway, KT could be a big reader of biographies or history.

    Yeah, both No Prisoners and TCW novelization were great fun. Leaps and bounds better than the movie to say the least.