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Lit The Definitive Sinre Poll Series: Was Vergere as a Sith a good retcon?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Sinrebirth , Sep 28, 2023.

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Was Vergere as a Sith a good retcon?

  1. Yes

    11 vote(s)
    16.9%
  2. No

    54 vote(s)
    83.1%
  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    It's rare for an un-retcon to happen, but they do occasionally happen. The DS2 being un-retconned back to 160km in Death Star Owner's Workshop Manual after it was retconned into being 900km in Complete Locations is the most notable example I can think of in Star Wars Legends.
     
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  2. Darth Droid

    Darth Droid Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2013
    I've recently been re-reading old EU novels, but the way I decided to do it was to do Dark Nest-LOTF-FOTJ first, and basically treat it as its own story that has the general background of the previous stories but isn't necessarily meant to be direct sequels to them. A soft-reboot if you will. I'm finding this makes it easier to swallow, and then I can go back and read Bantam-NJO and feel like that is a satisfying story itself.

    LOTF was the first EU I read back when I was a teen, so I have slightly warmer views on it than most, but I do think the "Vergere was a Sith" retcon only works if you just assume Lumiya was lying about it. Whether or not it makes sense in universe, I agree that it just destroys the point of the NJO series completely and that's the big problem. I'm on Exile right now of LOTF and my main thoughts on this re-read is that the idea of Jacen trying to be "a benevelent sith" etc is kinda inherently interesting, you just would have needed someone like Stover or Luceno maybe guiding the story arc in a much stronger fashion than you got from the LOTF authors. That idea requires character discipline, and the way people are written post NJO just isn't consistent enough for the whole thing to work.

    If Jacen had eventually found out Lumiya had misled him about a lot of things, and it was more clear that she was just doing this all to get back at Luke (which the actual text at some points implies) I think the story still could've functioned.

    Overall, the post NJO just failed in the simple task of focusing 70% or more of the action on the younger generation. You'd be shocked how little Jaina for example actually appears in DNT and LOTF. I was upon this re-read. It's crazy how little screentime she and her contemporaries get, Tahiri was a major secondary character in NJO, and she only appears on like four pages of the first four LOTF books.

    But to go back to the original question, if you take the retcon at Lumiya's word, it's dumb. I agree with Havac, it just totally misrepresents what NJO was about. But the issue is so much more broad than that because Luke and Jacen themselves both totally misrepresent what it was about starting in DNT. That's why it's best to view the last three series as their own thing, because it makes the story work better.

    There's basically two post Bantam worlds:

    Universe A:
    The Vong War led the Jedi to a deeper understanding of the Force and themselves, and they embraced an even more open and loving position than previous iterations of Jedi, allowing them to realize there is no mystical evil dark side, but the inherent darkness in us all, and it is a Jedi's duty to embrace that, understand it, but not let it control him, and find the good even in the darkest of times and people. TLDR: the ending of the NJO is just a more complicated version of Luke's choice in Return of the Jedi. I am certain this was very intentional and it feels in line with the point of the six films.

    Universe B:
    The Vong War led the Jedi to adopt an "ends justifies the means" mentality, embracing both light and dark sides in a misguided and ego-centric manner. While this helped them to defeat the Vong, it opened the door to Jedi thinking of themselves as above reproach, and able to justify anything in the name "peace." Jacen of course is the leader of this school of thought, and falls to the dark side as he attempts to control more and more of the future and justifies more and more horrific actions in the name of "ends justifies the means."

    These two worlds can't really co-exist. But if you just treat DNT as a soft-reboot like a new version of Batman or something, it's at least somewhat readable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2023
  3. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    As Ben said, it was a way back thing for me :p

    More seriously, I've never been huge into the giant philisophical debates around the deeper meaning of the Force or how it's used.

    Havoc gives an excellent breakdown outlining a point of view opposite from my own.

    I always felt Vergere's motivations were questionable and even flawed. Perhaps her mind was even warped by her time with the Vong, where she developed some syndrome that made her associate more with their interests than those of the galaxy from which she came.

    I have no issue with the idea that Vergere might have learned Sith teachings, or even considered herself "Sith" for a time. More, I think she was Vergere - a mashup of Force teachings and tricky manipulations - someone who was able to steer certain individuals on a path they may have never chosen if not for her influence.

    She may have felt that the Jedi, the Sith, the Vong, were all essential parts of the galaxy regardless of the consequences in maintaining that balance.

    But again, I was never fond of the character or believed she was a dogooder on any level. So I dumb down my overall views to "chicken with a pain fetish".
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2023
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  4. Biel Ductavis

    Biel Ductavis Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 17, 2015
    Think she actually originally was meant to be good. Otherwise her fate wouldn't have been to become a force ghost.

    Even more than Yoda she reminded me of those old Zen masters, who sometimes did crazy and cruel things to help their disciples to reach enlightenment.


    Gesendet von meinem Nokia G22 mit Tapatalk
     
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  5. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    I believe Vergere was a Sith dabbler. I believe that, like Count Dooku and Sora Bulq and Anakin Skywalker, she was interested in exploring areas of the Force beyond that of Jedi teachings. I think she studied Master Dooku after he left the Order and was able to trace some threads to Darth Sidious. The discovery of those meager threads of the Grand Plan alerted Sidious to her presence and he swiftly moved to eliminate her. Vergere took the assignment to Zonama Sekot to escape the Dark Lord.

    While on that living world, Vergere discovered the existence of the Potentium, another Force-using sect that believed in a third way, a path beyond Light and Dark. This fascinated the curious Fosh and soon after meeting the Magister, she encountered the Yuuzhan Vong. A species whose entire existence lay outside the Force. Vergere proceeded to spend fifty years with these Far Outsiders, learning their ways and conspiring with like-minded allies within their race to overthrow their calcified society.

    After returning to the galaxy with the vanguard of the invasion force, Vergere met another apostate Jedi.

    A’Sharad Hett.

    Another Jedi who believed in the unorthodox and had become fascinated with the power of the dark side. Having learned all of the events of the past half century, Vergere chose to continue to speak with the captive Hett. But when he spoke of his decision to create an entire Order of Sith Lords, Vergere decided to leave him be. She remembered the old tales of Lord Kaan and his squabbling Brotherhood. An Order of Sith Lords would be bound to fail.

    Vergere continued to work with the Yuuzhan Vong and aided her ally, Elan, in an attempt to assassinate the Jedi. In truth, Vergere encouraged Elan to take this assignment so as to get her away from the Vong. She had a plan to reshape these aliens and return them to the Force. But to do so, she needed help.

    To aid the Jedi and bring a new Skywalker into existence, Vergere gave Han Solo the tears to cure Mara Skywalker. Soon after escaping Solo, however, Vergere was found by an even more unlikely ally. A Sith aspirant named Lumiya. We don’t know exactly what Lumiya and Vergere discussed, but we know she was absent from the Yuuzhan Vong for months, nearly a year. When she finally returned, she spent her time at Warmaster Tsavong Lah’s side, with the sole intent to capture Jacen Solo.

    Months later, she succeeded and began to work with her alien allies to break the grandson of Anakin Skywalker. We don’t know whether this was her plan alone or if she and Lumiya had conspired in it together. What we do know is that Jacen Solo was tortured and broken and made to embrace the dark side before being set free. We know Lumiya and Vergere did in fact meet, as their alliance was known to the One Sith as well. Eventually, Vergere sabotaged a bioweapon meant to kill the Yuuzhan Vong and sacrificed her own life to save her wayward student.

    I don’t think it was Vergere’s intention to make Jacen Solo into a Sith Lord. I think, much like Dooku, she was using Lumiya and stringing her along. But her untimely death left her Sith ally alive and free to pursue her prized pupil with her own agenda. Like many other Dark Jedi, Vergere tried to dally with the dark side and ended up slipping into its penumbra. I think she would have been happy to see the Yuuzhan Vong reunited with their lost homeworld. I also think she would have been dismayed to see her cherished student abandon all reason and restraint and become a Sith Lord as brutal as Darth Sidious.

    Jacen Solo’s fall was not Vergere’s doing. Her capture and torture of him made him more susceptible to Lumiya’s teachings. But Jacen always had the seeds for darkness inside himself.

    Arrogance, selfishness, pride.

    These are dangerous qualities for any Jedi to possess. These coupled with extreme torture breaking his mind left Jacen in a fragile, vulnerable and, ultimately, gullible state. Lumiya was Darth Vader’s student and she was fascinated with his potential and that of his bloodline. She was always going to make a move to turn one of his descendants. Vergere’s mistake was in trusting a Sith Lady and thinking that a galactic war was enough to make them allies. The Sith always have their own agenda and Lumiya’s was to bring the Skywalker family legacy in full circle.
     
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  6. Trip

    Trip Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2003
    It's funny—it's been like fifteen years at this point and what they did with Jacen & Vergere still stings far worse than anything that's happened since. Worse than Filoni et al bulldozing the original Clone Wars like three years after it wrapped, worse than TOR paving over KotOR with a generic MMO sheen; worse than Legacy getting unexpectedly cancelled or the RepCom saga swerving hard right into crazytown or any of the nonsense that's happened under the Disney régime. I find I don't even want to discuss it, these days. It's too depressing. You'd think time and everything that's happened in between would dull it all but nah. The whole thing was just so stupid and pointless, especially with all the (not actually) new info that @xezene collated in this excellent post last year. It turns out it wasn't even a misguided sop to Vergere-and-NJO detractors, like many of us had sort of assumed for years; it was just random flailing for a storyline after the NJO wrapped and they had nine books to fill. Denning himself was apparently surprised the editors went for it. There were so many opportunities to swerve, and none of them were taken. Somehow the pointlessness makes it all even more heartbreaking.

    * * *

    I think it's pretty clear at this point that the EU-as-we-knew-it was living on borrowed time almost from its inception. It only survived past the turn of the millennium by the grace of Lucy Wilson and the efforts of the NJO's writers to use the Bantam continuity as a springboard—the cracks were showing shortly after Revenge of the Sith came out. Wilson's retirement and Lucas's increasing involvement in audiovisual media after the prequels wrapped meant that there was no way it could remain coherent, and indeed, it did not. While the full "reboot" didn't happen until the Disney purchase there's absolutely no way the original continuity would've survived the rise of streaming video, blockbuster bloat and the Content Era we now find ourselves in. It's a different world now than it was in 2005, two or three times over.

    And honestly, I'm basically okay with it, at this point. The twenty-odd years from the late 80s to the late 00s were an insanely impressive run and left us with a corpus of material that a person can pore over for a lifetime, probably. I have access to copies of basically every bit of it (more physical than I used to, but still largely electronic—RIP to those old starving Russian Ewoks) and I've only read read like... 10% of it? 20? And I've been into this nonsense since I was literally like six years old and my Easter basket yielded a crisp new paperback with Darth Vader's clenched glove on the cover. I'm still coming across stuff that it seems nobody's noticed before, neat little connections, little hooks that could be spun out into a game or a comic or a whole series of novels. So, you know: whatever. Things change; things end. Whenever I feel the tug to come back and do some Star Warsing the old EU's still there, sitting on my hard drive and in my back closet and the bottom of my bookshelf, cozy and frustrating and enthralling as ever.

    But phew. Caedus, man. At least Disney was a clean break. Legacy of the Force...

    There's this scene at the end of the Force Heretic trilogy—it's intercut kind of clunkily with the battle on Esfandia, and it comes at the end of a maybe overlong trilogy many people skip or skim, so I think it's often overlooked. In any case I don't see it discussed much. But I also think it might arguably be the actual climax of Jacen's arc—not the Well of the World Brain (when he decides to embrace the Universe with love), and not the duel with Onimi (when he triumphs by standing firm).

    What happens is this: Jacen, Luke, and the rest of the Jade Shadow's team have located Zonama Sekot, and the godlike intelligence that is Sekot has finally revealed herself. She's speaking to Luke and Jacen simultaneously and separately—they're some distance from each other—in the guise of young Anakin Skywalker to Luke, and to Jacen, in the guise of Vergere. She gently reproaches them for disturbing her peace, out there in the dark of the Unknown Regions: for bringing the war to her and the world that she guards (and is). Jacen responds that they've come in search of peace, not war, so she asks what she can do for them, then, in service of their goal. Jacen doesn't know, but she does: weapons. Vong technology, reverse engineered and improved. Superweapons, implicitly: "I am a force unlike anything you have come across before," she says, and when Jacen balks, she asks him and Luke simultaneously: would you really turn me down, were I to offer myself up as a weapon in your fight against the Yuuzhan Vong?

    Luke says no. He fears where such an offer might wind up for sure, the possible dark path down which it might lead Sekot—himself—but weighed against the enslavement of trillions—including his son—could he say anything else?


    Jacen says yes.


    * * *

    Anyway. I voted no.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2023
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  7. Riv_Shiel

    Riv_Shiel Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Thanks Sinre, for making this thread. This brings back a lot of good memories, and a few of the most enjoyable posts I've read on these forums in years.
    I've been doing this since 2006 (or so), and it's the only way I've kept my sanity (relatively).
     
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  8. Jedimarine

    Jedimarine Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2001
    While I did not agree with the plot around which the writers were using Vergere to steer the universe in NJO, that did not necessitate a complete capitulation back to "Jedi v Sith" so quickly and fully.

    I would've preferred "Vergere was wrong" to "Vergere was a Sith". They still could've even had Jacen go Sith...it just need not be preordained by Sith machinations by reverse engineering.
     
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  9. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    My biggest criticism(beyond the implications for Jacen's character) is the cliff jumps of increasing implausibility.

    Vergere is a Jedi apprentice under master Thracia Cho-Leem
    Vergere somehow approaches or comes to Palpatine's attention, while her Jedi master is still alive, is a "Sith candidate" without any suspicion-was she a knight already here? Because her movements being this un monitored seems odd.
    She apparently gets enough of Palpatine's character to decide to run the other direction.
    Conveniently she ends up on Zonama Sekot-just for the Vong to reach it, and get taken prisoner to spare the planet.
    She spends 50 years with the Vong.
    She encounters Lumiya during the Vong war-what an astounding coincidence.
    Now yes there are instances during the war where her location was unaccounted for. But okay things are getting increasingly unlikely.
    They discuss the Sith and the order's future, decide they have a shared ambition of a changed Sith Order while still being Banites(Vergere rejects Krayt)-but they agree more or less on everything else. Okay that's reaching.
    They discuss various apprentices-Luke, Leia, Jaina, Jacen, and I think Kyp? Mara may have been considered as well. Not Anakin despite him still being alive at the time and having great potential. There is no guarantee any of these people will survive the war. Or that they will be receptive to joining the Sith at some future time after it ends. Jacen could have easily died at many points during the war, Mara nearly died, Jaina nearly died, Anakin did die. Its not like Palpatine where he could occasionally pull strings to ensure Anakin's safety. They have zero control over this, until Vergere saves Jacen.
    Vergere dies, Lumiya apparently waits over a decade to approach or be approached by Jacen.

    What this adds up too, even accepting the back retcon is a house made of cards-becoming increasingly unbalanced as it gets higher. One or two or three columns maybe? But all of it in succession? It genuinely stretches my POD to its breaking point.
     
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  10. Darth Droid

    Darth Droid Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2013
    The NJO was really so special. Something like that will just never happen again in Star Wars publishing. The EU couldn't live up to it afterwards, and the new canon can't come close.
     
  11. xezene

    xezene Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2016
    For me, the answer is clearly no. It's cut and dry, really; by the time Destiny's Way ends -- hell, by the time Traitor ends, it's clear. No, of course not. Also, thanks to @Trip for the shout-out to my post on the LOTF creation story.

    Also, this blast from the past may be of interest to you all -- this poll was taken in early 2006, before LOTF was off the races in full. Fandom's take at the time:
    [​IMG]

    Only 9% thought she was a Sith (apparently, Denning, Traviss, Allston, and LOTF editors included).
     
  12. Dream-Thinker

    Dream-Thinker Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 20, 2020
    So she really was "misunderstood" then.
     
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  13. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    NJOE, now there's an acronym I haven't seen for a long time.
     
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  14. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    In light of what happened to Jacen after defeating Onimi, I wonder if Anakin Skywalker wasn't just telling his grandson to stand firm in the face of the Supreme Overlord, but rather to stand firm in the Light afterwards. Jacen standing firm before Onimi wasn't the challenge. Not really. The true test was standing firm as a Jedi after touching the Force in an unprecedented way.

    "Jacen continued to stand firm, righting the world. He had become so powerful as to be dangerous to his own galaxy,
    for he could see clearly the temptations of the dark side and the desire to force one's will on others-to so completely
    dominate that all life would kowtow to him. He purged his mind of all pride and evil intent and entered a moment of
    unadulterated bliss, where he seemed to have unlocked the very secrets of existence. He knew that he would never
    again be able to reach this exalted state, and at once that he would spend the rest of his life trying."

    This passage creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Jacen reaches a level of incredible power and awareness which makes him a danger to the entire galaxy. He even sees the temptation of the dark side and the desire to force his will upon others. He sees this and acknowledges it and then purges his mind of all pride and evil intent.

    For a moment.

    But mere weeks after this, his pride and selfishness returns and he decides to leave the task of rebuilding to others and goes off to explore the galaxy on his own. Because he already misses that exalted state and wants to achieve it again. This is the tragedy of Jacen Solo. A man who became one with the Force and saved the Galaxy from endless war and still couldn't be content after all that. Much like his grandfather, Jacen Solo wanted more. He couldn't be content living as a Jedi and a mere man. He wanted to achieve that god-like state again and eventually decided that his vision and his desires were more important than anyone else's. In doing so, he became the very danger to the galaxy that he had once foreseen.

    I once thought Jacen's fall was poorly written and extremely contrived. But in the decade and a half since, I've come to appreciate it for the poetic tragedy that it was.
     
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  15. Slater

    Slater Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Your ascribing a poetic tragedy that wasn't there, TUF doesnt frame it as not being content.

    Besides Denning never had the chops to try to write it that way anyway, he just straight up retconned Jacen's own thoughts to cram it in
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2023
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  16. iFrankenstein

    iFrankenstein Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2020
    What did people want her to be wrong about? I understand not liking the grimdark tone that NJO set, the deaths of established characters and destruction of beloved settings, but I never got how people thought Vergere and the NJO were trying to hijack or fundamentally change the philosophy of Star Wars or whatever.
     
  17. Jedimarine

    Jedimarine Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2001
    https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Unifying_Force
     
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  18. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    The loophole is in the last sentence of the above TUF quote. By itself it doesn't have to lead to the version we see in DN onwards, with junkie Jacen. That took some twisting.
     
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  19. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    I agree with this. The Jacen that left on his sojourn in 30 ABY wasn’t in a position to fall. But five years wandering the galaxy all alone, attaining ever greater power and losing his empathy, was what led us to the Jacen that declares to Akanah that he’s beyond light and dark.

    Beyond good and evil.

    Five years alone, learning more about the Force and being all alone was what eroded Jacen’s empathy and his optimism. Whether it was the injustice of being unable to use flow walking to save his brother or seeing the Dark Man in the Pool of Knowledge with Allana at his side, we don’t know.

    Luke and Ben’s odyssey didn’t fill in all the blanks. But we know that Jacen changed during those five years. Being all alone, exploring the depths of the Force, ruminating over his torture at the hands of Vergere. It all took a toll on him. The Jacen that returned to the Jedi Order in 35 ABY had changed. The ensuing crisis with the Killiks tested his new mettle and found him wanting.

    Where Jacen was once reluctant to use the Force and engage in battle, he was now willing to help escalate conflicts. He was willing to torture others the way Vergere once tortured him. He began to draw on the Force through his anger. As the conflict went on and Allana was born, Jacen began to put her safety above all others. He used his sister, betrayed his parents and manipulated his aunt, uncle and close friends.

    I find it believable that after watching five years of galactic war, Jacen was jaded and wary of another widespread conflict. Touching the Unifying Force the way he did left him with delusions of grandeur. He believed he was the wisest and strongest of all the Jedi. It was his vision, his power and his goals that mattered more.

    It’s not a given direction for his character after the Vong War, but I find the direction Jacen took to be very believable. Tragic and regrettable and somewhat disappointing. But it makes sense to me. His grandfather was Anakin Skywalker.

    Even before the Vong War began, Jacen wanted to wander the galaxy and search for his answers. He was never content with his life and his place in the galaxy. Even after touching the Unifying Force and wandering the galaxy for five years, Jacen still wanted answers. He only found a true sense of purpose when he met Lumiya and decided his destiny was to become a Sith Lord and rule the galaxy.

    This discontent resonates with me because it’s similar to the dissatisfaction that Anakin Skywalker felt with the Jedi. Both Jacen and Anakin eventually found the Jedi way to be insufficient. That ambivalence led them both to the path of the Sith. It’s not unprecedented for Jedi to seek fulfillment beyond the bounds of the Jedi Order.

    Dooku, Jerec, the Grand Inquisitor.

    All are examples of Jedi who found the Jedi Order to be constricting and unfulfilling. All three of them were drawn to the dark side and the Sith. The path of the Jedi is not for everyone and to walk it without being fully committed can lead one to stray and eventually fall.

    With that being said, I don’t think Vergere was a Sith. I think she was a fallen Jedi who has dabbled with some Sith teachings. Quinlan Vos, Jerec, and Asajj Ventress all did the same. But Vergere’s willingness to use torture to break Jacen rules her out as a true Jedi for me. No Jedi would torture someone like that. Luke and Cilghal’s brief torture of Alema Rar and Gorog is a lesser example of this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2023
  20. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    I still absolutely with all my heart believe the best justification for Jacen's fall is his intent to see Allana ruling the galaxy at any cost. Allana as a Messianic queen and savior on a White throne-was to Jacen worth every death, every act of torture, every lie and betrayal. Because that future was in his eyes so wonderful, so desirable and so good everything was worthy of being sacrificed for it.

    That combined with preventing her fall and ruling alongside the Dark Man made Jacen willing to walk into the dark willingly, consciously and without regret or guilt.

    Now if only if LOTF had chosen this motivation and developed the series around it in a consistent fashion.
     
  21. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    So the best explanation for Jacen's actions in LotF is that he was completely insane. And also that he apparently didn't learn anything from his experiences with Force visions in the NJO.
     
  22. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    I imagine Vergere did more damage to him than good, either way, and Lumiya used that.
     
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  23. Vialco

    Vialco Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    I honestly don’t think there’s any other explanation for his actions and behaviour after he returns from his sojourn.

    He throttles his own cousin. He deceives his twin sister. He sells out his own parents to the Chiss. He lies to his aunt and uncle. All of this happens before he even meets Lumiya.

    After he meets her and decides to become a Sith Lord, he gets even worse. He starts killing innocent civilians. He tortures prisoners to death. He tries to kill his parents. He kills his aunt. He orders the death of his own sister. He tortures his cousin.

    Jacen Solo betrays everyone and everything he’s ever known. He spares no one and turns his back on everything he ever believed in. I don’t think this makes sense unless you accept that being tortured by Vergere for so long loosened some of his brain-welds. Those five years alone only made the damage worse. The Jacen that returned to his family in 35 ABY was not the Jacen they’d known. It just took a while for that become evident. It’s often those who are closest that can’t see.

    Tesar and Lowbacca were the first ones to see just how dangerous and dark Jacen had become.

    Tesar put it best:

    “You are a fool to place your faith in Jacen! He is nothing but a shenbit in a snake’z skin. You trust him with your hatchling—”


    If only Luke had listened to him…
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2023
  24. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    There is, it's just not an in-universe one. The explanation is that somehow, even though he was part of the NJO team, Troy Denning ultimately didn't understand the assignment, and he mistook a shared fictional universe for his own personal fan fiction. His 20-odd-page "Vergere is totally a Sith" bible got the editors too excited to see past the fact that this particular retcon would end up demolishing what they spent 19 books trying to build with the NJO. Any attempt to justify or explain Jacen's actions within the context of LotF is obviously going to come back to insanity, because that's what it was. Trip and Havac and xezene and others have already done a fine job detailing why the retcon was misguided and unsatisfactory. Just because Denning found ways to distort the existing narrative to make Sith!Vergere fit, that doesn't mean he should have done it, or that the editors should have gone along with it. There are plenty of things that can work great in fan fiction "what ifs" that have absolutely no business being part of the official narrative, especially in a fandom that is as obsessed with "canon" as this one. The Vergere retcon is exactly that - a "what if" that should have stayed in Denning's imagination.
     
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  25. Jedimarine

    Jedimarine Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Well put...but I suspect the motivation may have been the reverse of what you suppose.

    I think TPTB wanted the pivot back to Jedi/sith after NJO.

    They knew they had gone far afield and there was discontent in the readership.

    They wanted to dial back the debates over philosophic ambiguities and get back to classic duels of good v evil.

    The assignment was passed to the writers, and we got the tale we got: a tragic fallen hero as history repeated itself (the prequels being recently finished at the time and fresh in the minds of new and old readership).

    It was an attempted "Ah Ha!" fool the audience device. Basically saying "You don't know what you think you know".

    "You thought we were taking SW to a complex, morally ambiguous, 'Dune-esque' place at the culmination of the NJO. FOOLED YOU! Had you going, didn't we?"

    It came across as contrived and patronizing, and lost them a lot of readers.

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    But before we wander too far afield...the question is not about the course of the narrative Post-NJO...the question is whether Vergere's motivations, methods, and identity were instrumental to that shift in the narrative.

    What it seems like to me is Vergere's revisioning was a convenient tool to stitch the NJO to the post NJO as a connected through arc.

    They wanted to be able to go back and say "Vergere was evil, and while she played the hard, but well-intentioned mentor, she really was crafting a wicked triumph well beyond the simple tool of the greatest threat the galaxy had ever faced in the Vong. They were just a furnace in which the darkness was forged."

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    In an effort to stitch the dissonant story paths together as a "logical and meticulously planned saga", they devalued previous work, and trivialized a nuanced and complicated character.

    I hated Vergere, but I thought the character was one of the better creations of the NJO.

    I did not like what she believed or taught, but that doesn't mean she had to be a Sith.

    Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them the archenemy of all you hold dear.

    It was a cheap bail out plan, instigated to apologize the NJO to the pivot back to the Sith as expeditiously as possible.


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