Discuss BP with Kathy -- Spoilers Welcome

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Shmi52, Oct 31, 2000.

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  1. Gandalf the Grey

    Gandalf the Grey Jedi Knight star 6

    May 14, 2000
    I just finished the book about an hour ago, on the bus ride home from university. Wow. Luke was great, Mara was fantastic, and Jacen was... wow.

    Jacen is my favorite of the Solo kids, and I love his part in the book. I'd been sort of hoping he would turn to the Dark side, but what he did... I'm happy =) =) =)

    And even Anakin, who I normally find extremely annoying, was fun to read. Of course, now that Jacen seems to have chosen Light, I'm hopping Anakin slips over, but that?s just me.

    And I never would have thought I'd feel sympathy for a Hutt. Poor Randa :( By the last quarter of the book, I was hoping he might be a reoccurring character. ~sniff, sniff~ :(

    The baby? I can?t thank you enough for that. Thank you!

    Anyways, really, really, really fantastic job. Thank you so much for writing this book.

  2. Talon_Karrde_

    Talon_Karrde_ Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 13, 2000
    I just bought mine from B. Dalton for $25, but I found out that SOMEHOW, I don't really know how, but I haven't read Jedi Eclipse yet! *Bangs head on table* Ohh well, looks like a couple days of STRAIGHT reading, no school work, and forget trick or treating!

    Ok, are we discussing the story yet? or am I safe from spoilers for now?
  3. Penthesilea

    Penthesilea Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Aug 7, 2000

    Just as the quality of Star Wars novels starts to plummet, along comes this author that actually makes me hunger for more! I wasn't too sure about the revival of Star Wars that occured with the Dark Empire comics or the Zahn series till "Truce at Bakura" was released. That book kept my fandom aloft. And for years I had to put up with the odd short story by Kathy till BP! Finally!

    You are (in my miniscule opinion) the best SW author.

    But as an avid reader, I would love to know what your current reads are.
  4. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    I found it at my local bookstore too! It's probably silly for me to be so excited, but there's just something about seeing your own book on the shelves that is still SOOOOO neat.

    Okay, here goes.

    Scott -- Interesting that you picked up Mara's sensing her unborn child as a person, sex and all, so soon after his conception, as a somewhat pro-life statement. As C.S. Lewis said, "What you [as an author] are will come through in your writing whether or not you try to put it there." (There's a great CSL quote for most occasions, isn't there?)

    Taramidala -- Why a boy? It wasn't an easy call. Giving Luke a son to carry on the Skywalker name might have been "predictable" twenty years ago, but I feel the pendulum has swung so far toward "strong female characters" that I actually thought a daughter would be even easier to predict. I really was torn, so in the end I prayed about it. This seemed right.

    Charlemagne -- Thanks! I too think Mara could be a dynamite mom. I wouldn't want to get caught with one hand in the cookie jar in HER house, though!
    1) Was "what" really Anakin? I'm confused.
    2) My personal favorite of my SW works? BP. I finally got to write my favorite SW character as a happily married man.
    3) I honestly don't know if Leia will now decide to become a full-fledged Jedi. She keeps surprising me. Maybe, if she faces a long recovery, she'll use some of that "down time" to study with her brother (or even her daughter? Wouldn't THAT be interesting?). But as you can see, I really don't know what's planned for her.

    ThePhantomMaster -- Since Luke is so tender hearted (IMO), my first thought was that he'd love to have a little red-haired daughter. But maybe he simply didn't dare hope for a son, at least not aloud? That's one of the great things about "show-don't-tell" writing -- if you aren't inside a character's viewpoint at that moment, sometimes you don't honestly know what they're thinking. ;)

    Thanks, Rebecca191. I'm so glad you thought it was worth the wait. When Shelly & Sue told me this was to be Jacen's book, my first reaction was to wail, "But I don't KNOW Jacen." So I read what I could, studied the NJO story line, and tried to fill in the blanks. I'm inordinately pleased that so far the reactions are running pretty positive.

    Jedi Ben -- Excellent parallel between Duro's fall and Srebenica's, although I didn't do it deliberately. Sadly, history tends to repeat itself -- because sentient beings tend to be greedy and self-serving.

    You also asked if I had movie scrolling text in mind when I wrote the summary. Actually, I didn't write the summary -- (if you're referring to the cover copy) but I did critique DR's first effort and ask for changes, which they made. I love your mental image though.

    depechemaul -- Groan!! Of all places in the world where you'd think you could find the new SW title, it would be southern CA. Did you try any independent bookstores such as Dangerous Visions? Maybe the chain stores experienced a shortage through their distributor or something.

    Bubba -- Whoa, thanks! And send a "bravo" to editor Shelly Shapiro, who had me rewrite and rewrite my proposed outline until I nearly despaired of having enough time to write the book itself before was due.

    Gorkos, I'll get to you next. I've still got groceries to put away.

  5. aleja

    aleja Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 23, 1999
    depechemaul --

    Don't know where you are in SoCal, but Brentano's in the greater LA area has it (and I would assume Waldens would have it as well as they are sister chains). I found mine on an endcap (the displays on the ends of display shelves) in the Science Fiction section, although I got a scare when it wasn't out front in the new hardcovers display. And it's 25% off! :)
  6. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    Gorkus --
    1) regarding Kyp: I don't know his future. some other author will decide.
    2) It was wonderful to come back to the SW universe. In fact, it was better in some ways -- the EU has grown richer and more complex -- but that also made it more intimidating. Lacking Jim Luceno's monster memory for details, I did a lot of re-reading and took pages of notes.
    3) Yes, the Friedman trilogy has been canceled.
    4) Del Rey gave me a list of events to cover -- the fall of a major world, the reunion of H/L in a refugee situation, and Jacen's return to using the Force in order to save [it was originally "his family," but later we settled on "a family member."]. I have the nagging feeling I'm forgetting something else they asked for --

    Junio -- How rotten. Have patience and avoid all spoilers, I guess, if you can. Today I envy your "always summer".

    Yarua -- I was involved in "the selection of Kalarba/Hosk to be destroyed" (that sounds so cold-hearted), but it was one of the choices made by several people, giving the Yuuzhan Vong a reasonable military strategy. I had to show them operating in a particular area of the map, and from the Galaxy Guide I spotted a technology-covered moon that they would utterly despise . . . so the deed was done. I'm sorry.

    Jedi_Liz -- You're correct. Malinza is only mentioned. I couldn't give her a walk-on role without putting her in danger; if Luke could keep her safely ensconced at Bakura, I'm sure that would be his choice.

    Gandolf -- You felt sympathy for a Hutt? Halleluia! Thank you for telling me so -- he was an enjoyable character to write. He came so . . . close . . . to becoming a good person. He had some character strengths but tragic weaknesses. If he couldn't become a recurring character, were you fairly satisfied with my giving him a noble death?

    Thanks so much for your kind words.

    Talon_Karrde -- spoilers are flying. Stick around at your peril.

    Penthesilea -- (I miss the smilies -- I want to show a furious blush). My current reads are TRANSGRESSION, a time-travel novel by Randall Ingermanson, LETTERS TO MALCOLM: CHIEFLY ON PRAYER by C.S. Lewis, and I'm hoping to reread LORD OF THE RINGS in the near future. As Bilbo tried to tell Gollum, "Time! I need time -- "

  7. Yarua Of Kashyyyk

    Yarua Of Kashyyyk Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 1, 2000
    Thanks for the answer Kathy...I see you point about the Vong hating Hosk.

    BTW, I noticed that you included Druckenwell in the same passage - yay!
  8. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 27, 1999
    LOL! I understand you, Kathy. I love it here. I love summer, and I love the beach!

    I will have patience, of course I will. Patience is a Jedi skill, and I consider myself a good Jedi. LOL... And I will avoid most of the spoilers I can. I already know some things, but not all. And I want it to remain like that.
  9. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    To quote a favorite SW character:

    "Impressive...most impressive."

    At the beginning of the book I wanted to reach though the veil of time, space, and Reality Itself to smack the papooky out of Jacen! Then, I reminded myself that he bears a strking resemblance to an "All-Knowing" and angst-filled species that resides here on Earth, a species known as the "teenager" <<as an aside, (I may have missed it b/c I flew though the book so fast) but a parallel could have been drawn between Jaina losing a natural ability (sight) and Jacen choosing not to use one of his (talent for the Force). Such a realization on Jacen's part might've gone far towards his enlightenment>>

    I'm glad to see that Luke talked some sense into him w/o talking sense into him. (that whole bit about pride) I'm still firmly of the belief that he needs to spend some time training under Aunt Mara for a different perspective, though.

    YAY!!! Finally someone to carry on the "Skywalker" name!!! 8-D

    Exxxxcellent cliffhanger:

    Gimme all your Jedi, and the rest of you live!

    ***An Open Plea to ANY EU Author***

    okies, I'm done ranting now... 8-]
  10. Darth420

    Darth420 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 14, 2000
    I am only four chapters in, but so far, I love it!
    Unfortunately, now I have to go to work.
  11. Nav Usa

    Nav Usa Jedi Youngling star 3

    Nov 14, 1999
    Ok I had to go to a funeral today, and celebrate the passing of my great grandmother to God's kingdom and her birth of eternal life, but I finally made it to a bookstore.

    I still don't know how we all missed their being a baby on the backcover? We have seen that cover for months and nobody noticed. Nice work.

    Kathy, how do you respond to the critiscism of the lost Jedi taking a backseat in the story? Was the purpose for the plot of Balance Point, or to further the series?

  12. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 15, 1999
    Thanks Kathy.

    I was asking if the visitation Jacen got was with the old spirit of his grandpappy.

    Anakin Skywalker the First.

  13. Jedi-Jade

    Jedi-Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 21, 1999
    Great great great job!!!!!! What's in store for Jaina? And where is Jagged Fel during all of this? Once again, beautiful work!
  14. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    ps: Don't take this the wrong way, but isn't this story arc supposed to be the New Jedi Order, not the Vong Booty-Stomp Order? Or will we begin to focus more closely upon the Jedi finding their role in the galaxy further down the line, in the aftermath of the VBSO?
  15. Bubba

    Bubba Jedi Knight star 5

    Sep 10, 2000
    Hey, Mrs. Tyers, do you have any information--since you orchestrated it--if the Pitareezes survived the destruction of Kalarba? Where they on the planet at the time? Is this something you cannot answer...maybe the Pitareezes fates are still locked within LFL, but I doubt it. What do you think, public?
  16. JadesHand

    JadesHand Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 1, 2000
    Okay, Kathy, I just finished it.

    It was absolutely marvelous! The characters were spot-on.

    And those scenes between Luke and Mara were simply breathtaking. Finally, an SW author who sees them as the fans see them. And the banter?
    So wonderful to see it back! I literally laughed out loud! It was glorious. It was such a relief to be in Mara's mind again, to see things from her point of view. She is such a marvelous character.

    And Leia, precious Leia. I remember you said something one time about not recognizing Luke in some of the SW books. "Who this man masquerading as Luke Skywalker?" I've felt that way about Luke, also, but even more so, about Leia. And you brought the real Leia back, that tiny little woman with the backbone of steel and the enormous heart.

    Thank you so much, Kathy. This book had the feel of the OT down pat. Our heroes, the ones we adore so much, Luke/Mara - Han/Leia and the kids.
    They are back!

    Thanks so much again, Kathy, and thank everyone at DelRey for allowing it to happen!
  17. Thrawn McEwok

    Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare star 6 VIP

    May 9, 2000
    Kathy. Fantastic. Thanks.

    Just a couple of questions to tingle the implant -

    1. Whose was the voice in Jacen's vision? Anakin Skywalker? The Force? A cameo by someone who's never appeared in SW before?-)

    2. is there a 'one Jedi must die, one NR planet must fall, one of Nom Anor's plans must half-fail' quota per NJO novel?

    3. Was Mon Calamari being cut off your decision, or does it have a bearing on the future plot?

    - The Imperial Ewok
  18. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    Thanks for the bookstore tip, Aleja.

    Yarua -- Yes, Druckenwell was there.

    Jedi Merkurian -- Ah, Jacen the teenager. I've been there myself, and I haven't forgotten. I like your idea of a parallel.

    The cliffhanger was Shelly's idea. Great, isn't it?

    Darth 420 -- Thanks so far!

    Nav Usa -- my deepest sympathies. She's in glory and you're left to face the rest of your life here without her. I know how desolate that can feel.

    I think the critics are right -- the "lost Jedi" subplot kindof fizzled. Two reasons, equally true: I didn't want to wander too far from my assigned story lines, and I didn't have enough time to figure out how to tie it more tightly to one of the main plots. Mea culpa.

    Charlemagne -- Gotcha. I don't know if it was Anakin Senior. I honestly don't.

    Jedi-Jade -- Jagged Fel appeared in my early drafts of the prologue, but I was asked to take him out. He's obviously fighting on another front now.

    Jedi Merkurian -- re "New Jedi Order" -- it's beginning to form up, right before your eyes. Don't mistake a subtle beginning for a lack of motion. More than that I cannot say. ;)

    Bubba -- I must admit ignorance regarding the Pitareezes' fate. I'll echo your question to the rest of the folks -- any idea?

    Jades Hand -- Maybe now that Leia and I are of an age, I understand her a little better. Thanks so much.

    Thrawn McEwok --
    1) I don't know who the voice was!
    2) No, there aren't quotas in NJO novels. But if plot equals characters in conflict, then in SW there are certain conflicts that tend to recur.
    3) Mon Cal's increasing isolation was something I noticed when looking at the map and our proposed invasion route. Maybe the next novels will pick it up as a plot point -- I don't know that, either.

  19. Art_Core

    Art_Core Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 18, 2000
    You people are giving everything away in BP, and I could care less. I have done this with every new book and still find it surprising.
  20. ThePhantomMaster

    ThePhantomMaster Jedi Youngling

    Oct 27, 1999
    You say Luke is your favorite character. (Mine too, except maybe for Mara. :) ) Can you tell us what you liked about him in the movies, how you see him fundamentally changed or not changed twenty-five years after ANH, and what qualities you thought were important to bring out in BP? (In other words, how did you write him differently here than you did in TAB?) And by the way, why is it called "Balance Point"? (I can think of lots of reasons, but I want the official explanation. :) )

    Once again, we all love you for taking the time to talk to us.

  21. set271

    set271 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 11, 2000
    Kathy, I can't find enough superlatives. I just finished reading and am trying to collect my thoughts...

    Two questions: Your references to "The Fight" between Han and Leia were intriguing. Did you actually write the scene, or was it always intended to be referred to and not shown? Do you know if it will be addressed again in the future?

    Again, thank you for contributing your time and talent to Star Wars and to all of us.
  22. Yarua Of Kashyyyk

    Yarua Of Kashyyyk Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 1, 2000
    Re: the Pitareezes - I hope they survived. I'm assuming that Nak's grandfather and parents have already passed away - it IS a long time C-3PO and R2-D2 were there. Nak Pitareeze may even be on Coruscant - he's probably pretty rich by now...
  23. Gandalf the Grey

    Gandalf the Grey Jedi Knight star 6

    May 14, 2000
    If Randa couldn't live, a noble death is better than a treacherous one any day. ~sniff, sniff~

    I didn't notice these questions yet, so:

    About Jacen and Tsavong Lah, is there any chance this is going to become a grudge that lasts the rest of the series? I really liked the Vong warmaster, and would like to see a rematch between them.

    And about Mara's disease, were you not allowed to cure her, or did chose not to cure her? Is this something that she's going to have hanging over head for a while yet?

    And finally, what about Danni Quee? I only remember one reference to her. I had thought after Vector Prime that she would become a reoccuring charactor, but she's faded away. Any chance we'll see her again?
  24. General Cargin

    General Cargin Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 15, 1999
    Well, if everything I've read pans out, I know I'm going to enjoy this book. And I'm going to promptly forget every little spoiler I've read the moment I start to read.

    Anyway, I'll say great job Kathy. It may be rather forward of me to say that, but I've enjoyed all of your other SW work (where I've been able to find it - there may be a short story I've missed somewhere), so I know I'm going to love Balance Point.

    I've two questions -

    1). Was the title entirely your idea? The title is something I could almost imagine being the title of one of the six SW films if they were all unnamed. It just evokes a certain.... je ne sais quoi.

    2). Well, not much point asking this one, since it's already been answered in a round about sort of way, so I'll just shut up now and wait until Friday.
  25. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    TPM -- That looks like a senior-level essay question (is the class Luke Studies 421?). I've always liked his earnest sincerity, his determination to do right at any cost, his loyalty to friends, his determination to wield the incredible power in him -- but wield it only for the good -- and his hopefulness. I don't think he has fundamentally changed, but matured. You probably know the term, "sadder but wiser." Age does that to us -- it nibbles away our naive hopes, blasts our illusions, and (we hope) teaches us what's truly valuable when those have gone. Luke has done all that. He has seen the New Republic, for which he & Han & Leia & Chewie fought so hard, decline into bureaucracy. He has lost friends, married a former enemy, seen lives end and gained unexpected allies. He has anchored himself in the light and forsaken the darkness. But he has never lost that earnest sincerity, nor the ability to hope. Thank the Maker.

    I have an easier answer to your other question -- it's called BALANCE POINT because that's the title LFL picked off the (third, I think) list I brainstormed! This novel shows the balancing point, the crux, the focusing moment of Jacen's struggle to face his heritage.

    set 271 -- Thanks so much. When you refer to "the fight" (H/L), do you mean the series of unsympathetic exchanges that each one recalls when looking back on the events of JE? I don't know what will be done with this in future books.

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