Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Temis the Vorta, Aug 31, 2010.
If that's the good news I'd hate to see the bad news.
I agree. Every time he showed up, the energy just seemed to drain away. Fortunately, for part of the time his scenes are opposite Thrawn, which helps to redeem them somewhat. And it helps that Thrawn's opinion of C'baoth pretty much mirrors that of the reader. (i.e., crazy, useless freak of nature )
Shrug. I've never had major complaints. I also believe she regularly posts on the StarWars.com forums, which I tend to take as a positive sign.
Cool! Which ones in particular?
So this C'boath guy is the Jar-Jar Binks of the Thrawn Trilogy?
More like the Emperor, only significantly more ego-centric and less mentally stable.
I don't need cheerleading. I need an editor with the ability to catch brutal, headdesk-class mistakes in page proofs before the book goes out and at least a passing familiarity with the prequel timeline ( which is helpfully printed in each and every one of the books ).
Oh, like my boss then.
It's too bad if Star Wars writers shy away from writing about Anakin. What was wrong with the guy was basically the interpretation of the character, the details of how he was written and acted. But there's plenty of leeway to take the character and canonically write him so that he's an impressive, heroic Jedi with the fatal flaw of hubris as well as impatience with following burdensome rules, and those things - not his stupidity (groan) or love for Padme (blech) - are the implied weaknesses leading to his downfall.
Another big problem was the lack of chemistry between him and Obi-Wan, and no I don't mean slash. I didn't buy those two guys being friends. Also in retrospect I don't think Ewan McGregor really captured that impish quality that Alec Guiness gave Obi-Wan, that sense that he's sort of laughing at the cosmos. Or maybe that was just him going a little nuts after 20 years living in a cave surrounded by smelly jawas. But anyway, those are other things that novels could correct.
^ See Star Wars: Clone Wars (the Genndy Tartakovsky 2003 micro-series) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the 2008 tv series) for more mature takes on Anakin, including ones that utilize the Padmé relationship in a much better manner. Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, however, was decidedly... bad.
Leia's hatred for Vader? Uh, all of them really! I think it's forefront in the Thrawn Trilogy.
As for public hatred for Jedi, again it's a recurring theme in most of the books, but it particularly crops up in the more recent series (New Jedi Order - Legacy of the Force - Fate of the Jedi).
He's featured heavily in some of the books. The Approaching Storm and Jedi Trial, for two. However, those books just weren't that great.
They're like anything else. Some good, some bad, some mediocre.
The New Jedi Order series is a special case. Nineteen books. Yep, you heard me nineteen. It started out good enough, but then dragged on forever. I typically read an entire book in three to four days. This series should have taken what...four months at most (I'm lousy at math, failed it every time I took it)? It took me three years. I've been hesitant to read a multi-book Star Wars series since. There was no good reason for nineteen books. The story could have been told in half or even a third of that.
That being said, there have been several good ones. The Thrawn trilogy, the follow-up duology, and a few others.
yur doin it rong.
man, i read my entire collection of 50 SW novels in nine months. and that was from TPM to The Unifying Force and included eleven days off reading three other books...
all six movie novelisations
the first two RC novels
Shadows of Empire
Courtship of Princess Leia
Jedi Academy trilogy
Hand of Thrawn duology
all 19 NJO books.
(that was 2006/07, have since got the other 2 RC books and Imperial Commando: 501st)
Yep, three years. It was a painful read.
And I assume that second comment was an intentional misspelling?
I took a while to get through Dark Tide 1+2 and Agents of Chaos 1+2. However, once I hit Edge of Victory it really felt like the NJO had found its stride, and I was pretty much cruising along after that.
The natural place to start is the Timothy Zahn Thrawn trilogy - which have been mentioned by many posters already.
They are basically the "starting point" from which the whole post-ROTJ Expanded Universe spawns.
And they are indeed quite good. I'm not a big fan of Star Wars novels and gave up long ago, but these really do feel big and epic. It all feels new, a feeling which pretty much disappears from most all other SW novels. Several of the "new" characters have become iconic SW characters w/o appearing in any movies (Thrawn and Mara Jade)
This list right here is pretty much what I'd consider the "essential" post-ROTJ EU books leading up to Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi if one were looking to understand the galactic landscape and some of the newer players in LOTF and FOTJ (not including the Dark Nest Trilogy, of course, for understanding of characters like Alema Rar). Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy, the Callista Trilogy, The Crystal Star, and The New Rebellion would all (in my opinion) Bantam-era books worth skipping.
I know that wasn't the intention when capthalhoun typed his post, but this is a list worth taking note of, Temis, for a "one-stop shopping" list of the post-ROTJ novels worth reading. Zahn's Survivor's Quest could fit in there, too, after the Hand duology for the sake of finishing the Thrawn story once and for all, but I haven't read it myself.
I guess a timeline of "essential" novels, at least in my opinion, could go something like this:
Rogue Planet by Greg Bear (not my favorite EU novel, but it's kind of a prequel to the NJO series)
Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn
Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover (not really essential, but the subject plays a role later, plus it's just an awesome book)
Allegiance by Timothy Zahn
Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry (I personally don't think it's essential, but others do, and it's a decent book)
The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers (not great, but it directly follows ROTJ and has a few important character moments)
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover
X-wing, Series One by Michael A. Stackpole
-The Krytos Trap
-The Bacta War
X-wing, Series Two by Aaron Allston
The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton
Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning
The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
-Heir to the Empire
-Dark Force Rising
-The Last Command
X-wing: Isard's Revenge by Michael A. Stackpole
The Dark Empire Trilogy by Tom Veitch (comic)
-Dark Empire II
The Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson
-Champions of the Force
I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole
X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar by Aaron Allston
The Corellian Trilogy by Roger MacBride Allen
-Ambush at Corellia
-Assault at Selonia
-Showdown at Centerpoint
The Hand of Thrawn Duology by Timothy Zahn
-Specter of the Past
-Vision of the Future
Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn
Young Jedi Knights Books 1-6 by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (young adult)
-Heirs of the Force
-The Lost Ones
-Jedi Under Siege
The New Jedi Order by various authors
The Dark Nest Trilogy by Troy Denning
-The Joiner King
-The Unseen Queen
-The Swarm War
Legacy of the Force by Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss, and Troy Denning
Fate of the Jedi by Aaron Allston, Christie Golden, and Troy Denning
Legacy by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema (comic)
Although I personally prefer to kind of ignore almost everything that takes place after NJO, and just imagine that the storyline jumps from NJO to Legacy, one hundred years later.
I tried watching one Clone Wars episode - I think it was the first one, Yoda leading the clones into battle - and frankly it bored me to tears. I found the characters stiff and unlikable, maybe not as bad in the movies, but still not interesting, and I can't relate to battlebattlebattle. If it's a war like DS9, okay - the battle sequences underscore the characters and become meaningful because of the characters.
I also find the notion that the stormtroopers are all clones to be disturbing - breeding cannon fodder is what the bad guys should be doing! - and the notion that they're all clones of Boba Fett's dad is way too fanboyish for me. Every time one of them talks, it just reminds me of that, and I get annoyed all over again.
It is possible for me to just watch some Clone Wars episodes that focus more on the characters (Padme, Obi-Wan, Anakin)?
EDIT: I just looked at the Clone Wars thread in this forum to see if I could get some clues but they're arguing about someone called Baby Poopsie and it scared me away!
Though many have answered these questions probably better than I can, I'll give you my two cents as well.
1. Overall, how do the novels stack up against either the OT or the PT movies?
As others have said, some of the novels are pretty good and sit right up there with the OT and PT, while others are not that good or terrible. I think the New Jedi Order (NJO) is an epic that can rank up there with the films. I've only read one of the Thrawn trilogy books, but it had the Star Wars feel, though I don't think Thrawn walks on water. I would also recommend you checking out some of the comics. The Dark Empire graphic novel series (also including Dark Empire II and Empire's End) is a nice follow up to ROTJ that helps lay the groundwork for the Thrawn novels. Crimson Empire, and to a lesser extent Crimson Empire II, is a kickass story of an Imperial Guard out for revenge, and takes place after the Dark Empire series. It has loose ties to the NJO and the Legacy of the Force (LOTF), via a retcon. I loved NJO and jumped into reading it without reading the Bantam books before it, like the Young Jedi Series, etc. I've also read most of the following books. They have all, NJO included, created some controversy among fans, but I thought NJO was pretty good (I read half of it), the follow-on Dark Nest trilogy (only read two books) wasn't bad, while LOTF was disappointing, and the current Fate of the Jedi (FOTJ) series has been hit-or-miss.
2. Are there other novels set between ANH and ESB, or ESB and ROTJ? I've heard there's only that one that I read between ANH and ESB, and that seems like a wasted opportunity. As others have given you the novels, I would also recommend checking out some of the Dark Horse comics as well. I believe the series Empire and Rebellion cover the Galactic Civil War timeframe.
3. Is there a novel series that takes off right where ROTJ left off and if so, what is it? I think the novel Truce at Bakura takes place shortly after ROTJ, but I haven't read the novel so can't be certain how soon it takes place after the movie.
4. Are Luke, Leia and Han written so that you can recognize them? IMO, I think it depends on the writer. Del Ray has decided to age the characters so a lot of things have happened to them since ROTJ. In FOTJ both Luke and Leia are in their 60s and Han is in his 70s, but I think for the most part they still are written to be somewhat recognizable from the movies. References are thrown in. Plus, some familiar figures from the movies, like Lando sometimes show up.
5. Is Luke the stiff, humorous, oh-so-serious Jedi from ROTJ or do the novelists return some of the qualities that made him so charming - idealism, humility, innocence and boyish enthusiasm (why are those incompatible with being a Jedi!!!) I think your description of Luke is about right for LOTF and FOTJ. I think he has become something of a grim figure, though there remains a glimmer of idealism.
8. Are either Luke or Leia ever seriously threatened by going all Dark Side on us (I'd be astonished if this plot twist never came up)? As others hinted at, check Dark Empire. Also I think a fear of Luke going dark prevades LOTF...from a certain point of view.
10. Are there Clone Wars-era novels and are they any good? I've read several and I liked them well enough. I really liked Dark Rendezvous. I thought it was a good, fast paced read. I thought the Cestus Deception was enjoyable, but not as good as DR. I really liked Labyrinth of Evil and thought it did a good job setting up ROTS. It actually made me enjoy the film a little bit better. Though the Clone Wars material I enjoyed the most was the Republic comic book series, their Clone War books are all in trade paperback format now. The Republic Clone War books were written largely between AOTC and ROTS. Recently Dark Horse put a Clone Wars comic more in line with the new cartoon. There were 12 issues published, but I think they've gone to putting them out in trade form every quarter.
11. If so, is Anakin written like he should have been and not like a whiny little punk? From the Clone Wars novels I read, I don't think so. And I think the Republic series handles him pretty well.
12. Are there any novels that don't deal with the Skywalker family and are they still interesting anyway? There's a good number actually. Perhaps the most recent was Crosscurrent, focusing on Jedi Jaden Korr. It isn't completely devoid of the Skywalker influence, but Korr was definitely the main character. It takes place shortly after LOTF.
Also, there are the Darth Bane books that take place during the Old Republic. I thought they gave an interesting look into the mind of one of the most important Sith Lords in the SW universe. I liked all three books. I also liked Darth Maul Shadow Hunter, a prequel to TPM. The Coruscant Nights trilogy takes place after ROTS, and I believe is a follow on to Shadow Hunter to some extent. I haven't read these books yet, though I do own them. Dark Lord, which takes place almost immediately after ROTS, was another one I recommend. It gives you insight into Vader and the early days of the Dark Times.
Death Troopers, SW first horror novel to my knowledge, also didn't have much Skywalker influence, and I enjoyed that one as well.
I would also recommend checking out some more comics. Knights of the Old Republic, a prequel to the video games, is a great SW adventure, capturing or retaining some of the spirit and humor of SW that the novels sometimes lose.
Dark Times, takes place after ROTJS. For the most part I've enjoyed watching how the characters, including one Jedi who escaped Order 66, survive under the new Empire.
Legacy, takes place over 100 years after ANH. It definitely is not devoid of Skywalker influence but it presents a Skywalker unlike any you've seen before. The series also reorders the galaxy in interesting ways.
Invasion is a companion piece of sorts to NJO. It focuses on a young, new Jedi and his family as they fight against the main bad guys in the NJO series. I'm iffy on this one.
There are a couple newer comic series. A webcomic in conjunction with the Star Wars Old Republic game is free. But the first part, called "The Threat of Peace" has also been published. Also, one Old Republic novel, Fatal Embrace has been published with at least one more on the way. Knight Errant hasn't been released yet. It takes place before the Darth Bane novels.
Separate names with a comma.