How far should I go with the Star Wars novels?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I've decided to go back to the Star Wars books after not readin them for quite a while, and I was trying to decide how far I should go.
    I'm definitely planning on reading reading up to The NJO books, but I still haven't decided if I should go any farther after that.
    If it matters I did read and enjoy the Dark Nest trilogy a while back when I thought I was going to jump into the LoTF books.
     
  2. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked Dark Nest but still didn't enjoy Legacy of the Force. A lot of the individual LotF volumes are fairly good, but they don't really add up to anything worthwhile.
     
  3. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Looking back on it, towards a second read-through...

    I can barely motivate myself to read NJO again. It's just too long, too dark, too depressing. I'm looking forward to re-reading Dark Nest and LOTF though. Aside from the last two books I enjoyed the hell out of those.

    For the Bantam Era, I love to re-read the Zahn books, the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and the Origin of Han Solo Trilogy, but everything else is an absolute chore to go through a second time.
     
  4. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    There were some parts about LOTF that I liked, but there was also a lot that I didn't like. The series really should have been a trilogy, instead of nine books. I've only read the first book of FOTJ so far, and thought it was okay, but the reviews I've heard have been pretty mixed.

    I'm kind of to the point where I kind of feel like people can stop reading the books after NJO, then skip ahead to the Legacy comics (which were much, much better than LOTF).
     
  5. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I actually just read the Legacy comics and they're pretty good. Though the issues starring the side-characters and not Cade were vastly less interesting. I wish they just did those stories are sub-plots rather than devoting entire issues to them.

    LOTF wouldn't have worked as a trilogy because spoiler's turn to the dark side would have been WAY too rushed then. I thought they handled that character evolution really well. It was just in the last two books that everything fell apart.
     
  6. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For the most part, I enjoyed LOTF. I thought the fall of one of the main characters was handled well, and especially liked the political machinations that character gets into. There is one thread within the series that I felt took too long to come to an end and I was somewhat disappointed by some of the actions (or non-actions) that the Jedi Order as a whole took. Overall, though, I did have a good time with LOTF. As for FOTJ, I haven't yet started it despite owning all of the books released so far because I'm currently working on getting caught up on the DS9 Relaunch, so I can't offer any thoughts there.
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I must admit this has already been much more positive than I thought. I figured I'd get nothing but hate for the post NJO books. I must admit, I have been reading about the events of the LoTF and FotJ books on wookiepedia, and they do sound pretty interesting.

    What about the Bane books, and Crosscurrent?

    And didn't they announce that after FotJ they'll be going back to smaller trilogies and the like?
    EDIT: Just found the answer to me question, and it is yes. They announced it at CV.
     
  8. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    That's what the Dark Nest Trilogy was supposed to be for. They should have done a novel or two devoted solely to Jacen's wanderings across the galaxy, studying the various different Force sects out there, and exploring the change in his psyche. Dark Nest could have then been more about Jacen's descent, with LOTF as a much less bloated, (hopefully) more entertaining trilogy detailing Jacen's rise to power and his leading the war against Corellia.

    I also think they made a mistake in turning the conflict in LOTF into an all-out civil war. It should have just been a secession crisis between the three worlds of the Corellian system, and the Galactic Alliance.
     
  9. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    JD,

    I loved the Bane books. I thought they painted a pretty good, at times chilling portrait of a Sith Lord. I also liked Crosscurrent. In a way it bridges the events of LOTF and FOTJ without relying heavily on either series. You can read Crosscurrent without reading either series and still enjoy it. If you want a non-Skywalker novel, then both the Bane series and Crosscurrent should suffice.

    Though if you're into strong Jedi characters or Jedi as central characters, I would recommend Crosscurrent over the Bane books. In the Bane books, they are largely told from a Sith perspective. Though the most prominent Jedi characters are in the first Bane book, Path of Destruction. I believe this is so because the writer uses the characters from the graphic novel Jedi v. Sith which predated the Bane books.

    I had heard they were going back to trilogies after FOTJ. So, there shouldn't be any mega-series for a while.
     
  10. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    The Bane books were pretty interesting, though I felt each one was less important and less interesting than the one before it.

    Crosscurrent I didn't really care for. Starred a bunch of no-name characters (one starred in a video game) in a standalone story that had nothing to do with any larger story.

    Oh and the Coruscant Nights trilogy, from authors I usually like, was absolutely terrible!
     
  11. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Those sub plot issues exist to give the ongoing artist time to catch up. Your average comic book artist is not capable of sticking to a monthly schedule.
     
  12. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, with Crosscurrent I know it will at least get a sequel, Riptide. I got a feeling they are going to make a trilogy out of it. Because it starred no-name characters, that was appealing to some fans who were getting tired of Skywalker-Solo centric books. I thought the shift away from the Skywalker-Solos was good, IMO. And the potential fallout from what happened in Crosscurrent could have galatic repercussions if DelRay chose to go in that direction.

    I do think that the novel portion of the EU has been lacking in developing characters that can be interesting and stand on their own without the Big Three of Luke, Leia, or Han. The comics have done a much better job in this regard with heroes like Zayne Carrick, Quinlas Vos, Das Jennir, and even Cade Skywalker.

    I keep hearing bad things about Coruscant Nights. Dang, I bought the whole trilogy but haven't read it yet. I liked Darth Maul Shadow Hunter and was thinking it would pick up some characters, storyline from that book.
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    That's the problem. Coruscant Nights is a trilogy that is nothing more than a sequel to the little C list characters in Darth Maul and Med Star. And it has nothing to do with anything but what happens to them. And the story just isn't that interesting, or fast-moving, or relevant to a larger continuity. I don't know why it got three books. It was so padded.

    Very few of the books not starring the primary characters are good for me, but I think it's more the fault of the writers than the lack of the movie characters. I thought the Darth Bane books were good. I liked "Death Troopers" and that starred nobody.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, the fact that Jaden Korr is the main character of Crosscurrent is the main reason I'm interested in it. I absolutely love Jedi Academy, and I was very curious to see what Jaden was like in the books. Same goes for Kyle in the LotF and FotJ books.

    I'm actually a hug SW fan, I've played tones of the games, a few comics and quite a few of the books, I've read all of the pre-TV series Clone Wars book except Jedi Trial, the first 5 NJO books (2x in the case of Vector Prime, the second time I never ended up reading past it even though I planned to) Dark Nest, and the Thrawn, Jedi Academy, and Children of the Jedi novels. Of those the only one I remember not liking is Children of Jedi. I tried it twice, and both times I couldn't get past the 2nd or 3rd chapter.
     
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Children of the Jedi was absolutely horrid. The only one worse than that is Planet of the Twilight or whatever it was called. Those are actually my all time least favorite SW books.
     
  16. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    JD,

    FYI, Kyle Katarn only plays a minor role in LOTF and Jaden Korr is not present at all in LOTF from what I recall. If he does show up, its a mention. Crosscurrent gives you more of what Korr was doing during the events of LOTF than the actual series, though even that is probably a page at the most of recollection/reflection. However, that page explains a lot of his motivation in Crosscurrent.

    Katarn plays even less of a role in the first five books of FOTJ. Korr only got one brief scene in FOTJ so far. So, I wouldn't get too amped about either series if you expect to see a lot of Katarn or Korr.

    In fact one of my major criticisms of both LOTF and FOTJ is the poor use of the Jedi Council and other Jedi besides the Skywalker-Solos. The Jedi Council dithers way too much in both series.
     
  17. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I think my least favorite thing about the Post-ROTJ novels is how pacifist and do-nothing all the Jedi are. Obviously this decision was made way before the Prequels came out and now they're stuck with it. But the Prequels showed the Jedi to be war generals while the NJO Jedi had a long tiresome debate about whether they should be fighting an extragalactic invasion because it might turn them to the dark side :wtf:

    Much as I love Luke in the Post-ROTJ novels, his reluctance to take action is really annoying.
     
  18. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    ^That really kinda agrivates me. Of the books I've read so far most have had some really cool supporting characters, and I was really hoping as time went on they would take a bigger role. Especially the younger characters, after all the big three are getting up there, hell even Jaina must be getting into her thirties by now. This isn't enough to change my mind about the books, but it definitly does lower my anticipation a tiny bit.
     
  19. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be honest that's the debate I wish they had had in the Clone Wars. Perhaps not onscreen but in a novel or comic, or it could have been more of a long-running theme running throughout the PT. I think it popped up every now and then, but I think the Jedi took to being generals a bit too fast. I mean, there seemed to be that at least some planets had militaries, and many of the ships were staffed by clones and other officers, so it stands to reason that there were trained military officers out there. I think there should've been some debate at least about if the Jedi were the best choice to be military commanders when there were other trained officers out there. It would seem like the Jedi would be mediating the war, not leading it, from how they were described in TPM.

    Granted the comics which predated it showed all manner of Jedi warriors, but the movies supercede them in terms of canon. If they had bought the Jedi in as generals after the failure of Republic forces, or maybe the CW had led to a schism among the Jedi, with some fighting, some abstaining, similar to how things went down in the Knights of the Old Republic comic, I think that would've made more sense to me.

    I never quite bought the Jedi jumping forward to lead this army created for mysterious purposes, which was just conveniently produced in time to counter the Separatists. It seemed like some Jedi at least would be suspicious of that.

    As for Luke's reluctance, to some extent I disagree. Luke has taken the field in every major book series I've read. Now, the problem is that they've made him so powerful that the battles might become lopsided or they have to make the threat so powerful that it's ridiculous. Or they have to make up some excuse to have Luke hold back or to avoid fighting, or going all out, like he's afraid of going to the dark side or something. The desire to make Luke the greatest Jedi (notwithstanding the PT making Anakin the 'most powerful Jedi ever'), has limited them a little regarding story. Though I think Del Ray has done a good job producing some villains like the Yuuzhan Vong and situations that at least test or strain Luke's abilities sometimes. They present obstacles that couldn't always be solved with a simple lightsaber stroke. Some of their villains, unfortunately, like in LOTF, never live up to the hype, but NJO and FOTJ offered some pretty worthy adversaries.
     
  20. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree that the SW novel writers have squandered a lot of cool characters. At the force.net website there was a debate, probably still ongoing, about how continued focus on the Big Three is hurting the SW EU. There's pro and con arguments. Though I think the focus is to some extent. And it doesn't need to be because there are good characters out there, they just aren't getting the development and exposure needed so that Del Ray or Lucasfilm or whoever can feel unafraid enough to hand off the reins to them.

    The comics don't have this problem and have created some pretty memorable protagonists who, while they will never be as popular as the Big Three, seem to sell books and create fans. I just with the novels would take more chances in this arena and start putting the Big Three in the background and letting a new generation emerge to carry the books forward.