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

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

  1. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Sorry that I was unclear. Lemme try again.

    These are the assumptions we proceeded under for the ATLAS, and that no one at LFL has ever said are incorrect:

    The planet with white-sand deserts and cube cities that we see in CW is Mandalore. This is the same Mandalore seen in the Marvel comics, the Traviss novels, etc. It was devastated in the c. 730 BBY war with the Jedi, but still has some areas of varied terrain. That's a retcon for its other appearances and why it's classified as Terrestrial in the Atlas. But it's the same planet. When folks in any CW or EU story refer to a planet called Mandalore, they mean this world.

    We have never seen Kalevala. It's Satine's homeworld. The fact that its classification as a toxic desert seems to fit the CW depiction of Mandalore is a coincidence.
     
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  2. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2009
    So why did the Mandalorians go from a diverse group of people/aliens based around a philosphy...to the rather monochrome incarnation we see in tv series?
     
  3. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Thanks for clarifying.

    And thats basically what I've always figured the end result would be, and yet it requires more canonical flexibility than having say two Mandalores. The primary problem being the wealth of characters IU in both the Traviss novels and TCW series who are making statements, as well as narratives offered in the same sources.

    For instance Almec and Satine are both sure that the warrior clans died out generations ago, iirc. If then we have a significant settlement of warrior Mandalorians on the far side of the planet, I find it difficult to fathom that both the New Mandalorians and the Republic would be ignorant of their presense(especially considering that the Jedi Order knows Mandalorian warriors are in the employ of the GAR).

    Its just difficult for me to ignore the varied POV's and narratives(as well as the descriptions) from both in the novels and show and come to the conclusion that the planets are the same one.

    Granted it does strike me as something of a no win situation, retcon wise, I just would have prefered something a little different.
     
  4. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    The short answer of course is because George said so.:p

    I actually don't have huge issues with the Mandalorian pacifists, I just wish it worked better with eveything else we've seen to date.
     
  5. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    To be fair we'd had a lot of confusion there. Boba Fett was a Mandalorian, Boba Fett was a Journeyman Protector, Mandalorians were resurrected by Spar but previously extinct, Mandalorians existed in the Death Watch, Mandalorian culture is ALL ABOUT WAR and NEVER died out, Mandalorians are pacifists.

    I think the case is helped by the fact Satine is obviously lying when she says Jango Fett is just a bounty hunter and that the old clans didn't exist.
     
  6. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    I'd prefer her to be sheltered and ignorant over lying.
     
  7. QuangoFett

    QuangoFett Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 11, 2011
    The clarification is appreciated, Jason Fry. However, I can't say I'm satisfied by the official line...

    The second episode of the arc establishes that there was a particularly bloody civil war (for which Padawan Obi-Wan was present) which motivated Satine to become a devoted pacifist, which might contradict the idea that the warrior clans died out many generations before the Clone Wars. In the 40s BBY, there are enough armed Mandalorians to kill off half the Mandalorian people (IIRC).

    I don't recall the particular quote from the episode where Almec or Satine says that the warrior clans went extinct generations before. They still feel the need to tell Obi-Wan about something he should be aware of if he was on a Mandalorian-related mission 20 years before.

    However, I otherwise agree with you. Even if Traviss' novels are retconned to take place on Concordia rather than on the dark side of Mandalore (with her clans being the ones the government in Sundari mistakenly thought extinct), that's still puzzling. In that case, the Jedi Council would not need to send anyone to investigate rumours of Mandalorian militancy as the GAR already has some very militant Mandos on its payroll. The armoured saboteur attacking the Republic ship could be considered yet another mercenary, but he's cause for an investigation into Mandalorian politics.

    The problem seems to be that there are two very different, almost mutually exclusive groups of "Mandalorians" at the time of the Clone Wars - TCW's and Traviss'. Both are intriguing, but both can't be considered the true Mandalorians at the same time. The TCW lot most closely resemble the true Mandalorian group (the ones recognised by the Republic and CIS, discussed by the Senate and the Jedi Council as "Mandalorians", represent the Mandalorian citizenry, etc.) but IIRC the Republic Commando series shows a variety of people being aware of the Mandalorian warrior clans.
     
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  8. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Kinda paraphrasing, its Almec that says that all of Mandalore's warriors were exiled to the moon of Concordia and died out generations ago in The Mandalore Plot. Satine I shouldn't have mentioned because she is clearly aware of the Death Watch.

    The civil war mentioned in Voyage of Temptation is even confusing, as it talks about how the war rendered Satine's homeworld unihabitable, but also gives the impression that Mandalore is her homeworld.

    The civil war mentioned might not include traditional Mandalorian warriors, or if it does then it makes Almecs statement very odd.
     
  9. QuangoFett

    QuangoFett Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 11, 2011
    I also distinctly remembered something about "generations ago", but I just watched the scene in question and Almec actually says, "they died out years ago."

    Also, Obi-Wan implies that Mandalorian pacifism is a fairly recent development when he says, "Your peaceful ways have paid off. Mandalore has prospered since the last time I was here."

    Similarly, the new Death Watch only begin to agitate for militarism during the Clone Wars, and their armour is uniform and monochromatic like Jango Fett's (?!). I personally don't think they resemble traditional Mandalorian warriors (as we know them from the Republic Commando series). They're essentially ultranationalist terrorists in Mandalorian armour. They can't be all that different from the soldiers who fought in the civil war during Satine's lifetime.

    However, that's just my interpretation.

    There's so much ambiguity that any interpretation could fly. It probably serves the purpose of giving future TCW and Live-Action Series writers a blank slate to work on, but that means we'll most likely only have an answer to these questions by about 2020...

    Voyage of Temptation is confusing in general, probably because it was grafted into a Mandalorian story arc late in production, but it is what it is and what it is is canon.
     
  10. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    There's no doubt the various retcons are imperfect, and of course Mandalorian continuity is still fluid. It's kind of funny to reflect that Mandalorian continuity has been problematic since our very first glimpse of the planet, way back in Marvel #68. The more things change....

    Anyway, I hope I was at least able to make the geography more clear.
     
  11. Genghis12

    Genghis12 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 1999
    Jason,

    One aspect of the "non-fiction" reference books, which I've always found interesting is the need vs. balance of restating previously published material versus the occasional new continuity that manages to sneak its way in.

    Part of me feels that the original sources ought to remain the primary sources for these types of books; for the most part, nearly all of the books whether they be novels or game guides or what, do a good job already including the brief enough encyclopedic information to paraphrase. Summarize it, then include the bibliography, similar to what the original "Essential Guide to..." and "Guide to the Star Wars Universe" did.

    But, at what point -- what does it take -- for you to say to yourself, "Screw it, if we could just create this, it will solve all the problems." Were there specific things, you've always wanted to see, so it was "snuck" in. Or for the most part is it exhausting ways to shoe-horn in what's come before, so you just add some new elements to make it work better?
     
  12. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    I think what your saying works well for the show making sense within itself, as strange as that sounds.

    Its nice to hear something that helps sift through some of the mystery, thanks. I am eagery awaiting to see what you come up with for the Guide to Warfare on the Mandalorian front.
     
  13. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Good question -- and as you note, it's really a philosophical one. There are reference books that are really just guides to what's already established, and reference books that are really frameworks for looking at Star Wars a certain way, and so present a mix of new material and existing stuff. Neither way is necessarily right or wrong.

    My thinking is that above all you have to be true to what the book is about. The ATLAS wasn't just a snapshot of the galaxy at a certain time, but a history/reference book organized around geography. WARFARE is somewhat the same, with the military and the history/practice of war as organizing principles. Books like that, it seems to me, are natural places for new material if it makes sense for the book. If I were writing, say, an updated WEAPONS AND TECHNOLOGY, I imagine I'd be much less likely to include a lot of new material there. I don't think that's what readers expect or want from a guide like that.

    Within that, I think the biggest thing is making sure new stuff is in context -- is it what the reader expects/wants, and is it anchored to existing material? So WARFARE, for instance, has new material on key conflicts that led to advances in military technology; background information on the academies and their histories; and how the OR/Ds are a remnant of the Pius Dea theocracy, to name a few things. I hope that's all logical, and well-anchored. If it isn't, you run the risk of boring/confusing the reader and of having created continuity that might be missed in the future. Sure, you can slip in little favorite bits here and there -- that's part of the fun of writing a book. But you've got to make sure each of those bits is worth the space. If your starting point is that you're going to solve Continuity Problem X, I'd argue you're probably already in danger of losing the reader. A better starting point, to me, is noting that since a book will address Topic A, there might be a chance as part of that section to quickly and easily iron out Continuity Problem X.

    Beyond that, hmm. Beware retcons that strain belief to the breaking point or demand so much arcane knowledge that they're of interest to about 25 people. Remember a book has to be accessible to a casual Star Wars fan who picks it up for a minute in a bookstore. And, pretty obviously, never try to sneak anything by the publisher or LFL. They've got enough to do without having to wonder if an author's working at cross purposes to them.
     
  14. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Yeah, but we are 25 special people :p

     
  15. kameron b

    kameron b Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2012
    just read her answer on why shes hates jedi. wow! relax lady haven't you seen the the movies or the clone wars where jedi care about the troops. and her comment about a "slave army" is absolutely ridiculous. it was part of a plot by palpatine was it not? im in the middle of triple zero right now and its extremely slow. but i loved hard contact. I just feel like she is taking the lore of star wars a bit too literally. jedi= nazis? what? I thought the empire was supposed to be the bad guy. oh well.
     
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  16. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
  17. Deputy Rick Grimes

    Deputy Rick Grimes Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2012
    I loved her Republic Commando novels, they were good
     
  18. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Hah, I forgot about Havac's usage of "turduckening". Priceless. [face_laugh]
     
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  19. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I liked most of Traviss' works. Triple Zero, True Colors, Bloodlines were her best. I liked that we got to see a different faction of the galaxy. Was her books to Mando happy and Biased against Jedi? Perhaps but I prefer her works to most of Denning's works.
     
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  20. RC-1991

    RC-1991 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2009
    I was a Traviss fan, once upon a time. Hence my username. Interestingly enough, I joined up here just as my KT fandom was starting to wane. IC: 501st made me completely reexamine my Traviss fandom, and it was downhill from there. I'm still a fan of Hard Contact- heck, I still enjoy parts of Triple Zero. I can't help but notice how the series moved away from actual commandoing from True Colors onwards, which gave Traviss way too much time to get up on a soapbox. When she actually remembered to include action in her books, they were exciting.

    And for the record, I was annoyed with her Spar retcon even when I still liked Order 66.
     
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  21. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Other than the way Spar and the Numbers were handled, I like the Republic Commando series, but won't touch the Denningverse.
     
  22. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 16, 2007
     
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  23. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2007
  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    More like sixtieth.
     
  25. Esg

    Esg Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012