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Old February 16 2011, 10:30 PM   #1
Mr Light
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Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

So I'm finally drawing to the close of my first re-read of the New Jedi Order. It's taken me a couple years to do it and I've stopped several times, but I'm half-way through "Unifying Force" and it's definitely picking up.

On the whole I enjoyed NJO but I definitely have a lot of substantial complaints about it. It's too long. The villains are too dark and sadistic and evil. It's too depressing. It's too dark. Luke isn't pro-active enough. Also, it's too long.

There's also several of the books which are just bad. Nothing much happens in them and it's just a lot of gratuitous fighting without any actual plot progression.

I think the series would have worked a lot better if it had been shorter, cutting out or curtailing the lamer books. Based on my recent re-read, here's my idea:

1. Vector Prime: you have to keep the opening
2/3. Dark Tide: well written and entertaining
4. Agents of Chaos: this is where the wheels started spinning to nowhere. Cut it down to one book.
(Balance Point is the epitome of a nothing happens book so I'm cutting it out totally. the fact that it was a hardcover made it so much worse!)
5. Edge of Victory: not bad but cut it down to one.
6. Star By Star: amazing. leave it as is. so brutal in a good way.

7. Traitor / Dark Journey: intercut Jacen's story with Jaina's which needed truncating.
8/9. Enemy Lines: great books, don't leave a thing out!
10. Destiny's Way: leave as is.
11. Force Heretic: this trilogy is just too much of nothing. Too many one-off stories contributing nothing. Just make it one book. Luke finds Zonama Sekot. The Empire joins the war. Period.
12. Final Prophecy: this is actually a good book, just leave it.
13. Unifying Force: excellent ending to an uneven story. Leave it as is.

So there you go, thirteen books instead of nineteen. Would have been much faster paced with a lot less dead weight. What do you think?
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Old February 16 2011, 10:34 PM   #2
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

James Luceno's books were among the best of the series. I would have cut the series in half personally. One of my main beefs is that I find the novel serials to be way too long. This is partially the reason why I've no interest in the current Legacy of the Force series right now.
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Old February 16 2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

Which books would you cut, which would you leave in?
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Old February 16 2011, 10:50 PM   #4
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

I'll have to think about this and get back to you...
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Old February 17 2011, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

I'd say about half as long as it was, maybe more. That was the only series that took me three YEARS to read, and I waited until the whole thing was out in paperback. 19 books is too long.

It's also why I've waited to read Legacy of the Force. I've read nine book series before, but NJO......

Geez.
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Old February 17 2011, 05:31 AM   #6
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

Its been years since I read the series, so the details are hazy. Length wasn't a sticking point for me, focus was.

1) The baddies were boring, and mostly faceless. Jedi hacking through hordes of battle droids or hordes of Vong is boring. Worse, any scene from the villains point of view was just a drag to read. Whereas in the past, some of the villains POVs were the most fun(Thrawn etc).

2) There was very little in the way of character-arcs or development. Everyone became a jaded badass soldier who had lost someone or something they loved. They were almost entirely interchangeable.

3) It just did not feel like Star Wars. Your mileage may vary, but it frankly felt like some other space opera universe in many of the books. Star By Star(my favorite book in the series) had a very Empire Strikes Back feel, ramped up to eleven that I loved, but most of the other books didn't feel right.
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Old February 17 2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

Id have dropped the whole Mando bits. All of em.
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Old February 17 2011, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

^^ The Mandalorians were in "Legacy of the Force", not "New Jedi Order". Though Boba Fett makes a one page cameo in the last book.
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Old February 17 2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

After thinking about it I like the route you've taken Mr. Light with the cuts made. I made a mistake about "Legacy of the Force" I meant the current series, these things are way too long now and the decision to make them all hardback is stupid in my opinion. I can't afford to get them no matter how cheap they price them. I much prefer paperback any ways.
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Old February 17 2011, 07:06 PM   #10
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

What's funny is that there were four books cancelled in the series. It could have been even more overblown. I read the first couple but lost interest. I'm interested in finishing it up sometime though.
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Old February 17 2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

Yeah I read that... the mind boggles. Particularly since the canceled trilogy was going to star a made up new Jedi character and Danni Quee
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Old February 17 2011, 08:17 PM   #12
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
After thinking about it I like the route you've taken Mr. Light with the cuts made. I made a mistake about "Legacy of the Force" I meant the current series, these things are way too long now and the decision to make them all hardback is stupid in my opinion. I can't afford to get them no matter how cheap they price them. I much prefer paperback any ways.
If you're referring to Fate of the Jedi, the first three books of that have been reprinted in paperback, and I imagine the rest will be too. just wait and buy those. That's what I'm doing. There's no law that says you have to have something the second it comes out, you know.
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Old February 17 2011, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

Once they went hardcover, I pretty much got them all from the library instead. being able to reserve books online is a pretty convenient system...
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Old February 17 2011, 11:33 PM   #14
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

I'm hesitant to merge Traitor with Dark Journey simply because Traitor is, arguably, the best book in the series. But I agree that Dark Journey was a whole lot of nothing, and it does make sense to present both Solo Twins' stories together in the same book. My ideas for condensing the series are mostly the same, with a few minor differences:

1. Vector Prime
2. Dark Tide (really only needs to be one book)
3. Agents of Chaos (also only needs to be one book)
4. Balance Point (I disagree that it's a nothing book, but it shouldn't have been hardcover)
5. Edge of Victory (again, only needed to be one book)
6. Star by Star (only difference being I wouldn't have had Anakin die)
8. Enemy Lines (great books, but didn't need to be split up)
9. Traitor (no Anakin death means no need for Dark Journey)
10. Destiny's Way
11. Force Heretic (condensed into one book, really didn't need to be a trilogy)
12. The Final Prophecy
13. The Unifying Force

After that, Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi could have both been done in one trilogy apiece. The only reason they were expanded to nine books each was simple greed.

Fortunately, after Fate of the Jedi, Del Rey is dropping the huge multi-book series and going back to trilogies, duologies, and single books.
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Old February 18 2011, 12:34 AM   #15
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Re: Star Wars New Jedi Order: How Long Should It Have Been?

I had no problems with Legacy of the Force, aside from Traviss' Mandolorian fan-wank. I guess you could have cut a novel or two out if you left that stuff out. But the actual meat of the story I loved... well, except for the extremely anti-climactic ending.

Fate of the Jedi I'm way behind on because my stupid library isn't getting them anymore. I recall the first book by Christie Golden was a total non-happening and only like 260 pages as well so that definitely shouldn't have been in there.
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