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  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Lit Reading NJO...Again

Discussion in 'Literature' started by spicewood, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Irredeemable Fanboy

    Irredeemable Fanboy Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 27, 2020
    Indeed, however i never got the sentiment some people shared of hating Kylo for his actions being too dark, that killing Han made Kylo irredeemable and he deserved to die, given that the narrative obviously hinted at the opposite direction, that Han's death showed why he is not irredeemable.

    However i can understand the hate if it comes more from the grounds of being angered over your favorite character dying (this definetly affected both Han and Mara's cases) even if i don't share it at all, i rarely hate a character for killing my favorites, at most i would get angry at the writers if it's a bad death.

    I suppose the people that hated Jacen for killing Mara got their preferred ending for the solo brat, while the ones who hated Kylo for Han really didin't.
     
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  2. Sudooku

    Sudooku Jedi Master star 4

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    May 31, 2014
    .. and the ones who didn't hate Kylo for Han or for other things either. ;(
     
  3. AusStig

    AusStig Force Ghost star 5

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    Feb 3, 2010
    I mean Kylo murdered Han while Han was talking to him, trying to save him.

    Jacen meanwhile, defended himself from Mara's attempted murder.

    Kylo's is WAY more evil than Jacens.
     
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  4. Irredeemable Fanboy

    Irredeemable Fanboy Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 27, 2020
    Perhaps was this specific difference in circumstances that made Kylo regret the action afterwards, maybe if Mara actually tried to reason with him Jacen wouldn't have fallen further into darkness after killing her and maybe he could return to the Light.

    Also speaking of redemption, i always got the sense that Nom Anor had a chance to redeem himself during Force Heretic I when he started to live among the Shamed Ones, especially due to the influence of Niiriit Esh, but i feel like her death only served to make him fall back in his treacherous ways, ending up using the Shamed Ones instead of helping them.

    Or maybe he survives his apparent death in TUF and found a new life, who knows...

    I felt like there were a lot of hints in the NJO of Nom having many chances of changing his ways later on, but he rejected every single one of them, the biggest one being when he was at Zonama Sekot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2024
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  5. Sudooku

    Sudooku Jedi Master star 4

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    May 31, 2014
    When I have read LotF I can say more to the first point. Nom Anor's way throughout NJO was a way of tragedy. I agree, that together with Niiriit Esh, he would have made it to the light side, because the love for her made him care also more about others (including the other Shame Ones) than he was inclined to do before. Ngaaluh meanwhile was just a useful tool for him. He teased her, placated her, to get what he wanted, but he had no real feeling for her, until the very end when she was dead and he regretted not to have cared more about her - that's when you either find out what you've lost, or he just mesmerized her while gone because she couldn't unnerve him anymore with idealistic thoughts.

    And there was one chance for him, when he explicitely asked for redemption: When Vergere took Jacen with her at the very end of "Traitor", and Vergere refused to take him with them on his hidden ship. I still miss the scene, when he is found by his fellow people in the Dhuryam cave and has to answer questions. That was also the time, when he hadn't killed too much people, didn't fight Tahiri and fooled them all at Zonama Sekot. But then he never would have met Niiriit to find a love - but maybe he could have find another love.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2024
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  6. AusStig

    AusStig Force Ghost star 5

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    Feb 3, 2010
    Yeah in that case Jacen did nothing wrong.

    Pretty much, I don't think he could every be good, but maybe not bad.
     
  7. Pacified_llama

    Pacified_llama Jedi Master star 3

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    Sep 15, 2017
    I think much of the satisfaction/dissatisfaction with these events and deaths comes back to the philosophy you mentioned previously, and especially the opposition to Hegel. We expect a tidy history of a character, an arc of redemption, or of consistent good deeds, bad deeds. But with Kylo and Jacen, there are sudden flashpoints and moments of decision that interrupt that gradual flow of history towards a conclusion. In these moments, characters are forced to determine a morality of their own, and the way in which they act is dependent on a wide assortment of influences, traits etc.

    As an aside, the LotF takes the philosophical nunance of a deep-feeling Jacen and tends to return it to the Jedi trope of "too many feelings are a bad idea", which is not necessarily wrong, but does distinguish from the dynamics with Kylo, where a certain angst and grappling with emotions is integral for his Redemption, not the other way around.
     
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  8. Irredeemable Fanboy

    Irredeemable Fanboy Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 27, 2020
    I fully agree that Niiriit was changing Nom Anor to a better person, she was transmitting some sort of honor to him, I'pan was also a good influence on him, but primarily Niiriit for Nom's feelings for her, in fact i feel like he is the type of person to rarely fall in love, keeping to himself, distrusting everyone, but her upfront nature contrasted with this and made him put down his usual emotional barriers (also the fact that he desperately needed support when they found him).

    On the other hand, Kunra represents the Nom Anor that he was: self-serving, short-sighted, caring only to rise higher in the social pyramid, treacherous, being around Kunra made Nom fall back into his old ways mostly out of self-preservation, when two natural betrayers meet each other, they up their game, this is also why he clashes with Vergere.

    That Vergere didin't offer Nom redemption is interesting when you consider that her ultimate goal was for the Yuuzhan Vong to be defeated through understanding, you'd think that someone like Nom Anor, who has a lot of knowledge of the inner workings of the goverment, and plenty of information on both lifestyles, could be a good asset to turn other Yuuzhan Vong to the Jedi's side (which in a way he still did, as the prophet), but still she rejects him, maybe this is because of the aformentioned distrust between two betrayers, or maybe she realized that Nom Anor would never help her in a way that wasn't just to suit his own needs.

    In a way they are very similar to each other, the Jedi who lived among the Yuuzhan Vong for decades, and the Vong who lived among the Galaxy away from his people for decades as well (11 ABY at the earliest, but probably earlier), they both betray everyone they know except some few people (in Vergere's case it's Jacen, in Nom, it's Niiriit and I'pan), but in the aspect that they differ completely is their core philosophy that makes them traitors in the first place, Vergere differs from everyone else because she is determined to love all life, with the contradictions, with the suffering, and seeks to save the Yuuzhan Vong people that she lived with for over 40 years, she seeks to understand and help the people that originally wanted to destroy her home, because she is ultimately someone who is focused on the bigger picture, who is acting as a guide to have what she sees as the best outcome for both peoples (the GFFA and the Vong), in doing so she betrays both the Yuuzhan Vong and the Galactic Alliance, as well as the Jedi and Sith, and ends up sacrificing herself for these ideals.

    Meanwhile Nom Anor doesn't love anybody, only himself, he does everything for his own status, his core ideology is to distrust, to treat everyone, even his companions and bosses, as enemies, he doesn't even seek to help his own people if it inconveniences him, that is the core difference, Vergere betrays because she wants to help everybody, Nom Anor betrays because he would have the galaxy destroyed for self-preservation.

    I feel this is because of the way their respective infiltrations affected them, Vergere infiltrated the Vong and came to understand them, Nom Anor on the other hand only learned to distrust everyone from his years as an agent, always being on the edge, and when he came back he couldn't even trust his own people, he was an outcast.

    So this may be why Vergere refuses to give him redemption, they are fundamentally different yet of similar nature, and Nom Anor isn't really a part of the Yuuzhan Vong people, not anymore.

    Perhaps, if Vergere is a Nietzschan, then Nom Anor is a Machiavellian by heart? Those ideologies are definetly incompatible in the core of their ideals, even if to some more "standard" moralities (like christian) they might look similar (particularly in the situations Vergere and Nom find themselves in).

    This might be also why they clashed so much when they were advising Tsavong, even if they didin't realize at the time.
    Interesting perspective, and yes you could read the "standard" Star Wars character arcs, especially the likes of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, in a Hegelian light, of history leading towards an inevitable endpoint, where the character's spirits become absolute and thus reach their conclusion (Luke's "i am a Jedi" moment is when he reaches the absolute end, Anakin's redemption is when he reaches his own), Jacen and Kylo on the other hand, aren't like this, at least not to the same degree, you could read Jacen and Jaina's fight in the Shadow Academy, the Yuuzhan Vong prophecy of the twins, and their final duel in LOTF as part of a similar Hegelian reading, where Jaina becomes absolute by fulfilling this destiny, by becoming the purest form of herself, however, it's not all there is to it, especially because NJO particularly rejects the twin duel destiny by ending with Jacen saving Jaina after achieving Oneness, and Shimrra (the one that supposedly was the ultimate leader of the Vong because he fulfilled the twin prophecy) was nothing but a puppet of Onimi, who is also someone who forges his own way and his own morals, that are different from every other Yuuzhan Vong character and makes you think how much the Vong would have changed had the war gone their way, with Onimi having free reign of changing the society to suit his needs.

    I feel Kylo has way less agency than Jacen in his story, which is primarily the fault of the Rise of Kylo Ren comic (for more information on my feelings of the matter, check here if you are willing to read me go on complaining about it for eons), but an interesting aspect of his character is his rejection of his original name because he felt like it wasn't "real", he was named as a man that he never knew, and his surname wasn't his father's actual surname (in Canon at least), so he makes up the name "Kylo", it is only "dark" for how it plays into Snoke's manipulations, but supposedly it is something Ben thought about as a kid, i think that, had Snoke never appeared, he would have still eventually named himself "Kylo" later on, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.

    The main difference between Jacen and Kylo in my opinion is that Jacen's tutors were honest, Vergere honestly wanted to bring up the best version of Jacen, true to himself and that forged his own morality, meanwhile Snoke simply used Kylo's frustrations by giving him the non-answer to imitate Vader.

    LOTF can be read as a rejection of Nietzschan morality, be it out of misunderstanding of said morality or genuine disapproval (i'm inclined towards the former if that's the case).

    However, Nietzschan morality is not the entirety of Jacen's, like i said you can also spot some Schopenhauer similarities, particularly on the aspect of true morality coming from a sense of empathy, it is no secret that Jacen, in his hunt for answers, lost his empathy along the way, you could potentially read LOTF, not as a rejection of Jacen's original morality from NJO, but as a sign that he lost the human element behind his self-made morality, he still stands for making his own morality, but it is now a warped view of one, it could be read as a cautionary tale of misunderstanding the Nietzschan model of morality, with Caedus representing the absolute decadence of such a model if it is misunderstood, rather than a misunderstanding of it in the story itself.

    Or at least that's how i see it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
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  9. Sudooku

    Sudooku Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 31, 2014
    Nom felt that Niiriit's inner strength and the sense of virtue she honed within herself, were authentic and also her caring about the group of Shamed Ones. That's why he trusted her, that's how he fell in love with her, because she was just following her own way - being genuine just as he was - and her affection and admiration for him were also things he desperately needed and wanted from a person like her - Niiriit in that time was the same what Onimi told him later in TUF bluntly in da face - his conscience.

    I'm not quite sure if it was really Kunra's presence to cause such a backlash in the morality developement in Nom Anor, or rather Niirii't's absence and the impact of their mishap, when Shimrra's troops purged the location they felt safe in.

    Do you have one example of Kunra being a natural betrayer? The only betrayal-like issue I see is, that he'd fled his military swarm/unity becoming a deserter, but else ... Kunra was it, who held the Shamed Ones together after Nom Anor abandoned the movement he had brought so far himself. And Kunra's discussion with Nom Anor as the latter deigned to come back to his Shamed One heard once again showed clearly IMHO, how pessimistic and opportunistic Nom Anor still was and who held up the banner of hope and salvation.

    In TUF it became true what Nom Anor told highly loyal Kunra in "FH III - Reunion" after the ex-warrior saved Nom Anor's life from Shoon-mii's treachory: "You would have made a better Prophet than Shoon-mi could have ever hoped to."

    During "Traitor" I had the feeling, the three of them had a kind of mutual bond - even if the bond between Vergere and Jacen was thicker by nature. At that time, this bond could have even been strong enough to guide Nom Anor's full transiton into a citizen of the New Republic - because that's how integration and assimilation does work - not by learning some law preambles of the supposed new homeland by heart but by some feeling people who do care about you when you are arriving.

    Vergere instead might have calculated, that Nom Anor would contribute better to the salvation of his people and the galaxy in sabotaging his own people, especially its upper echelons as he'd done before - much better in Vergere's view than being a lower citizen of the New Republic. The old school Jedi Vergere here was withstanding the temptation, that a defected Nom Anor would have dealt a massive moral blow to the Yuuzhan Vong. But for Nom Anor was despised by his people anyway, she might have judged this factor being of lesser importance.

    That togetherness with Vergere and Jacen was the only real chance of redemption for Nom Anor staying alive I see. - Later in TFP, we have a similar constellation on Zonama Sekot with Tahiri and Corran as the Jedi parts and Harrar and Nen Yim - but Nom Anor is already reasoning that Harrar has better chances than him to become a new leader for the Yuuzhan Vong in the new order - and Tahiri hates him because of Anakin's fate on Myrkr.

    With Nen Yim he hadn't any emotional bond as he had with Niiriit three tomes before. One can feel, that the chemistry between Nen Yim and Harrar is better at the beginning of their stay at Zonama Sekot, and just the moment when this begins to shift more in favor of Yu'shaa - this very morning when Nen Yim is really pleased to see him - Nom Anor decides that all this has no value for him at all anymore. That for me is also such a deep-rooted pessimism. You remember in "Remnants", when Kunra deplored that he was so close to become Niiriit's lover, before Nom Anor butted in. But in the end, none of the two got Niiriit, and maybe Nom Anor didn't want to have a similar disappointment with Nen Yim later, and so he decided to play safe.

    I think the latter changed a bit, after Nom Anor contributed to the re-cultivation of Duro. And when he took off his green prefect turban after Zonama Sekot's arrival above Coruscant - it was a clear indication for me, that he didn't want to fight a war against all odds against anyone anymore. He cared about that planet where he dwelled on so often, and he didn't want it to become another victim on the road of annihilation, Shimrra and Onimi had set for their people, after they did saved it from the endless travelling through The Void four years ago.

    If Nom Anor wasn't an outcast already before, and that's why he decided to go away and infiltrate the galaxy.

    As Vergere isn't really a part of the New Republic either. In the end both wanted the galaxy to live, but they both saw no place in the new order to become a willing part of it. While Vergere chose to convert her death into another blow at the enemy, Nom Anor chose to make is death a statement of affection to an already dead soulmate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2024