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Lit Why all the LOTF hate?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Supreme Chancellor, Jun 2, 2013.

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  1. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 31, 2009


    Again because Padwans are simply left to their own devices with no observation, which she was. vergere was a freshly minted knight deployed one her very first mission in Rogue planet. Lumyia and denning using her as a cipher is talking out of their collective bums.
     
  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord 9X Hangman Winner & 4X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Actually we see Vergere, as a Knight, in Cloak of Deception, immediately before The Phantom Menace.

    The first out of universe source to confirm Vergere as a Sith, according to Wookieepedia, was a WoTC web enhancement: Behind the Threat: The Sith, Part 1: Portrayal.
     
  3. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 31, 2009


    That is what in the comics biz is called Retroactive Continuity, Its what writers do when they either eff up continuity. Vergere as of Rouge planet the planet the first book she is alluded to and the book she disappears in is a freshly minted knight on her very first mission. It is also not a one shot movie tie in but a book ment to have long term consequences.

    Vergere is a sith simply because she was Retconed into being a sith, mostly because Denning writes the same story over and over and lacks either the talent or will for more complex writing. Out of universe corroborate the same way and reason every hack under Joe Quesada say there were too many mutants despite rarely leaving the X-book corner of the marvel universe, if you repeat a falsehood enough times it becomes the precived truth.
     
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  4. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord 9X Hangman Winner & 4X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Cloak of Deception was published way back in May 2001- shortly before Star By Star even.

    Also I can't find anything in Rogue Planet or Destiny's Way that stated the mission to Zonama Sekot was her first ever mission as a Knight.
     
  5. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

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    Nov 15, 2004
    Nor can I remember Thracia stating as much.
     
  6. Likewater

    Likewater Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 31, 2009

    Vergere was introduced as a character in the Han Solo dulogy, not Star By Star, Which might I add occured between vector prime and Balance point, long before Star By Star.
     
  7. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

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    Nov 15, 2004
    That wasn't his point. You noted Rogue Planet is the first book she is alluded too, so he mentioned CoD? Unless I'm misunderstanding?
     
  8. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord 9X Hangman Winner & 4X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    The point I was making was- Vergere being a Knight, on missions before Rogue Planet- had nothing to do with Legacy of the Force. Since Cloak of Deception was published so early in the NJO era.
     
  9. Sable_Hart

    Sable_Hart Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 28, 2009
    The principal weakness of LOTF (and FOTJ, really) is the total lack of a compelling, formidable Big Bad. Only in parts of Inferno, Fury, and Invincible does Caedus remotely register as a threatening presence. I'm all for Jacen succumbing to darkness; let's face it, in Star Wars, characters who shirk authority or question the status quo tend to slip invariably toward the dark side (a not unjustified theme, I confess), so Jacen was set up for the big plunge admirably.

    But [good] Star Wars always has a dangerous Big Bad, no exceptions. Caedus came off too incompetent and frail for my liking; as does Abeloth, despite her station. So I deduct it a lot of points for that critical weakness.

    On the flip side, I'm one of the few who enjoyed seeing Luke brought low in LOTF. An all-powerful, morally-infallible protagonist is a product of hack writing, no exceptions. If I'm gonna read a book knowing Luke's going to be featured, I wanna know that the Big Bad has a solid chance of outwitting him, besting him in a fight, and/or crushing him spiritually. I want to know Luke Skywalker can still receive a good ol' flogging.
     
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  10. Allana_Rey

    Allana_Rey Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 2, 2012
    I don't think LOTF is as bad as some people make it out to be. Sure some of the books were pretty bad *cough* Tempest *couch* and that awful Inferno which I could hardly make it through reading. But there were also some really good books in the series such as Bloodlines, Exile, Sacrfice and Invincible. A lot of people don't seem to like it because they see Jacen's arc in the series to be a rehash of Anakin's in the PT. Overall, LOTF is a mediocre series, but not to bad except for a few entries. I do slightly prefer FOTJ though.
     
  11. MasterGhandalf

    MasterGhandalf Jedi Master star 3

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    Oct 25, 2009
    ^^I think a big part of the problem with Abeloth was that she was billed as this uber-powerful chaos entity, but was essentially played as just a really powerful darksider with some nasty tricks (like body-hopping). I think it would have worked in FOTJ's favor to portray her like the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson plays it's Big Bad, Ruin. For those unfamiliar with the series, Ruin is mostly presented as a subtle force influencing events on a global scale, occasionally a spooky voice that may or may not be a figment of a character's iamgination whispering in their ear. His existence is only confirmed at the end of the second book, and he doesn't really enter the story as a discreet character until the final third of the final book, but in hindsight his presence across the trilogy is unmistakable, and everyone- heroes and villains both- was to greater or lesser degrees dancing on his strings. He's certainly not someone you could end by walking up and sticking a sharp object into, even temporarily, because he's not a person, he's a force of nature with a personality and will of its own. That's what I think Abeloth should have been like.
     
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  12. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 4, 2012
    Pretty dumb move. The smart thing would have been to rat him out to the Council. I'm sure they would have spared her for revealing Palpatines plot.
     
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  13. DarthJenari

    DarthJenari Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 17, 2011
    I think the point stands though that logically there's no way for Luke to know for certain Vergere was a Sith, and specifically citing her as an infiltrator is a little clunky on the writers part.
     
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  14. ChildOfWinds

    ChildOfWinds Chosen One star 6

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    Apr 7, 2001
    Sable-Hart:
    The sad part is that this happens far too often with Luke! He's been outwitted, bested in a fight, and crushed spiritually over and over. I think it's time for another character to be picked on for a while. Leia, for example, seems to get a "free pass" all the time in every way.
     
  15. Sable_Hart

    Sable_Hart Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 28, 2009
    It's really not about "picking on" anyone. It's about storytelling 101: proper drama and compelling stories require tension. Knowing that Luke Skywalker gonna swoop in and save the day, all day, any day without consequence or struggle utterly deflates the story.

    Leia has been nothing but narrative window dressing for decades, shoehorned into prominent roles solely because of her iconic status. Luke, on the other hand, as the central hero of Star Wars and an extremely powerful Jedi Master is still relevant even in his twilight years. And if he's gonna play a major heroic role, I wanna know the Big Bad can beat him in either a battle of wits, wills, or fists. That makes the inevitable victory all the more sweet if it is grueling and hard-fought.

    If the writers cannot or are not willing to show a victorious Luke standing bloodied and bruised over his enemy, then it's time to retire the character. Period.
     
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  16. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Here's the thing, though: infallible protagonists are indeed often a product of hack writing. But grossly mischaracterizing a character for no other purpose than "knock them down a few notches" is also a product of hack writing.

    This is something that's done all the time with Superman. The notion that Superman is too powerful to write interesting stories about is just ridiculous. Alan Moore certainly didn't seem to have a problem. And sure, maybe Superman is too powerful if you can't summon enough creative inspiration to challenge him in a way that doesn't just have him boxing with another powerful foe. You can write stories that explore his humanity while still displaying his power, something that is and forever shall be an enormously important part of the character. The answer isn't to lessen Superman to better suit his challenges, but to amplify the challenges to better suit Superman.

    So it is with Luke Skywalker. When writing tie-in fiction, above all, the author needs to stay true to the characters that they are writing. The fact that these characters were not created by them makes this all the more imperative. The fact of the matter is, Luke being the most powerful Force user, at least that we've seen, is established canon. He's also established as about the farthest you can get from incompetent, cold and uncaring (it should be noted that on the last two I am speaking from second hand knowledge of the series). But powerful does not mean infallible. It's just another facet of the character that should be incorporated. If one doesn't want to include this element of the character, than the author simply shouldn't be including Luke Skywalker in their story. In the same way that we shouldn't get stories about Vader getting his ass kicked by Ahsoka, we really shouldn't be getting stories where the authors seem to make a game of beating up Luke for no other reason to add the illusion of drama, even if that drama is artificial and doesn't line up with universe's internal logic.

    The solution, of course, is simply more creative challenges. Luke probably shouldn't be losing a straight fight with any other Force user. This isn't rabid fanboyism, this is simply being mindful and respectful of canon. But he can be tricked. He can be misled, he can be outwitted, hell, he may even be defeated in a fight, provided it's a well executed tactical strike that involves superior numbers. Personally, I'd love to see something like that. Instead, if he's defeated by a few nameless Sith, then not only does that make Luke look bad, it makes practically every other Force user look bad. After all, this guy is supposed to be better than Palpatine; that's not something that should be shoved under the rug for the sake of letting the authors write a more contrived story.

    I believe it's absolutely essential in tie-in fiction, and with practically any genre, to have the plot stem from the characters, and not have the characters molded by the plot. To go back to the comics example, think about Frank Miller's later work. He takes established characters (Superman, Green Lantern) and dumbs them down, making them barely more than incompetent thugs for the sole purpose of making Batman look better. He's manipulating the pre-existing world to tell a story that doesn't make sense in any kind of context beyond his own story. In the same way, the internal logic of Star Wars shouldn't be bent under the guise of "telling a better story": the characters shouldn't suddenly jump aboard the Daala bandwagon because the plot demands she be Chief of State, Jacen shouldn't be the next Vader just because, and Luke shouldn't be made into less than what he is.

    Failure, and a characters reaction to failure, often does add complexity to a character. But failure comes in many forms. I don't think failure has to be delivered while a character lies beaten in a pool of their own blood. That can be powerful, but that can just as often be gratuitous, and it can be an author trying desperately to convey depth and meaning when there isn't any there. There are numerous ways to challenge a character, and they don't all have to be physical. I'd like to see more challenges of that flavor directed at Luke. Let him take up teaching full time. Let him serve as a guide. Let him be the guy that only comes out when things are really bad. At this point, every story he plays a major part in seems to only dilute his character. If you ask me, it's past time where he stops being the character that all of the stories revolve around.
     
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  17. DarthJenari

    DarthJenari Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 17, 2011
    instantdeath I wish I could shake your hand right now. Well said, very well said!!

    Since we are indeed talking about the series, and it stems from the points I posted earlier, I thought the final confrontation between Jacen and Jaina (One that's been touched on way back in NJO) was one of the worst in the entire EU.
     
  18. Sable_Hart

    Sable_Hart Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 28, 2009
    @instantdeath

    Superman is the oft'-cited analog for Luke, but even Superman has his Kryptonite... and he was given that weakness for a very specific reason. Comparing Luke with a villain like Sidious is a bit misleading; as the villain, Sidious should generally be in a position of advantage over a hero like Luke to better service the story. Sidious, while still fallible, is more often presented as a figure of omnipotence relative to Luke simply because the paradigm of a stronger villain and weaker hero is classic Star Wars. One of my favorite quotes from a popular fanfic writer is: "If you give Frodo a lightsaber, you must give Sauron the Death Star."

    I'm not proposing that Luke be in danger of losing every fight. That, I agree, would defy established canonical facts about the character: namely that he is a prodigy and duelist par excellence. But while GADM Thrawn, for example, would be stomped six ways to Sunday by Luke in a fist fight... put them in command of opposing fleets and, barring some cosmic Force power, Thrawn would crush Luke utterly as a military strategist. LOTF presented a similar scenario with Lumiya, who couldn't match Luke in a fair fight, but she was an infinitely more cunning and strategic character who could play him like a fiddle.

    But I maintain my position. If Luke is given a prominent role in a Star Wars book or series, I want to know that whoever is opposing him can win. If it's a foregone conclusion that beating Luke Skywalker is impossible, then Luke Skywalker needs to go.
     
  19. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Oh, I absolutely agree Luke shouldn't be great at everything he does. Shouldn't have a maxed out skill list, in a manner of speaking. Actually, one of my biggest pet peeves of Star Wars is whenever the Jedi are implied to be better at everything than mundane people. Personally, I get a small thrill when a muggle beats a Jedi in a fist fight, or outflies them (I suspect Karen Traviss did, as well [face_devil]). I've never understood where the view of Jedi as Renaissance men came from. They study different areas of life, yes, and likely are provided with a larger than average skill set, but they're also very specialized beings. The Jedi are unmatched fencers, and no one throws crap around with their mind better than they do. But they shouldn't be the best at everything.

    So I agree, I don't want to see Luke as a tactical genius to end all other tactical geniuses, or a better pilot than Han Solo, or a better cook than Chewbacca (see the Jedi Prince series). That's not the character we met in A New Hope. Just let him do what he does very well. If you have a villain that's stupid enough to decide the best way of taking out Luke Skywalker is in a lightsaber fight, well, they're probably not a very good villain anyway.
     
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  20. Reveen

    Reveen Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Superman also has a distinction from Luke in that he a.) Does not kill people and b.) Doesn't tries to put his own authority above the law. The more a super powerful hero uses their abilities to hurt people (even enemies) and drive towards what they want (even against enemies) the more they look like a bully kicking around the mere mortals.

    Luke shouldn't be chucking around Starships because, well, it makes him look like he's willing to crush his adversaries like ants instead of looking for a more light-touch solution. Even when he's fighting Sith, seeing him cut up people who don't stand a slight chance against him isn't endearing to me.

    Also, I think they should address the poor decisions he made before the power levels are worried about. If he does something questionable, other characters should call him out on it. The way the characters in the post-NJO get away with acting like jackals makes them look more overpowered than their actual force powers.
     
  21. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 22, 2010
    I wasn't necessarily trying to draw a direct parallel between Luke and Superman; Superman is all but a God, where Luke is just superhuman. Rather, I was just using him to illustrate why I feel a characters power doesn't necessarily need to be an obstacle in good storytelling.

    Look at the Malazan series. I, and many others, consider that one of the most intriguing and well written fantasy series, and it stars numerous characters that can blow up cities on a whim. Those high-level encounters don't drag the work down, as they easily could, but instead are used in an interesting and unique way.

    Of course, you do have a point in Luke killing people. I haven't read the NJO and beyond yet, so I can't comment on this particular area, and for all I know they could be doing this well (though considering the SOS thread is still kicking, I'd guess not), but Luke really shouldn't be some force of nature that kills everything that looks at him the wrong eye. He should be attempting to spare and redeem enemies at every opportunity. No matter how much experience Luke gains, I don't feel he should ever lose that core naivete (naivete that turns out to be right at the end of the OT). Again, like Superman; big blue boyscout to the bone.
     
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  22. Reveen

    Reveen Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Yeah, Luke and Superman are pretty distant in terms of power level. But there are lot's of other character comparisons to be made.

    Example, Wolverine is pretty much unkillable so unless he's protecting someone who isn't, what damn business does he have running around slaughtering goons with guns, on a moral level? Likewise, if Luke is up against one Stormtrooper or bit-rate dark side acolyte that has no way of getting a shot in, does Luke really have any reason to kill the poor doomed schmuck? Luke isn't supposed to be a violent anti-hero like Wolverine either.

    If the writers don't take a serious look at what implications a hero's power have for the morality of their actions, they shouldn't be portraying him as uber-powerful in the first place, and I don't think even half the scrapes that have been happening lately have justified Luke being treated as a borderline force god.
     
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  23. FatSmel

    FatSmel Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 23, 2012
    I still refuse to believe that Vergere was a sith. It is just so stupid. It makes no sense at all when reading any of sources she appears in or is mentioned it pre-LOTF. Terrible, terrible retcon idea if it's official continuity.

    If not, then that's ok. It would make infinitely more sense for Lumiya to be lying to Jacen about Vergere being a sith, as a further trick.
     
  24. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord 9X Hangman Winner & 4X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Her behaviour in Traitor is somewhat problematic. She claims "there is no dark side". She encourages Jacen to stop feeling guilty about using Force Lightning. She claims that places that might seem "strong with the dark side of the Force" as per ESB, are just strong with "the Force".

    All these things may have triggered a "make her Sith" directive from Lucas when Legacy of the Force was in the works.
     
  25. FatSmel

    FatSmel Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 23, 2012
    Yes, I could see how they could trigger for someone to head down that path, if they had not read or understood Traitor or the entire arc from Traitor to The Unifying Force and how the new understanding of the force came about.
     
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