Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 26, 2013.
Yeah, I really don't see the similarities to the SWEU, either.
I'm at a loss as to imagine what in post-A Time to... isn't a logical progression from the ends of DSN, VOY, and TNG.
It's a logical progression that the Enterprise-E would have new staff to replace those lost at the end of NEM.
It's a logical progression to see the adventures of the USS Titan established in NEM.
It's a logical progression to see Voyager return to the Delta Quadrant as an exploratory force.
What, exactly, is so implausible a progression?
I really have no idea what you're talking about here. The Star Wars E.U. is essentially one giant exercise in either telling the same basic story over and over again (rise of an evil empire controlled by the Sith, the Jedi beat them back and establish a good democracy again), or in re-writing the Star Wars canon so it's not complete shit (e.g., the novels set between the P.T. and the novelizations).
The Star Trek E.U. is neither of these things.
Well, TrekLit did have its share of plot-hole-spackling (Lost Era, to some extent Christopher's Rise of the Federation, etc). Those were all great stories in their own right, and Trek I think did a better job at using strange apparent contradictions in canon to lead to good stories rather than just creating stories for the sole purpose of fixing them, but at a certain level the motivation was pretty similar.
I agree with you about telling the same basic story over and over again, though. That's what ultimately drove me away. Philosophically, I simply disagree with how the Star Wars EU has developed; some things are cyclical in history, but the world also progresses. Star Wars, by this point, has painted a portrait of a universe in which, functionally, nothing has changed in 5,000 years except the durations of the spaces between the repeats of the same goddamn war.
And, like, just think of how many random innocent people the Skywalker family specifically has ended up causing to die. If I were the new galactic leader, whatever the title happens to be most recently, I'd strongly consider exiling or banning the Jedi myself. They're obviously far more trouble than they're worth! Great if they're on your side, but odds are at least one of them is going to go evil and destroy a few entire planets before the rest of them stop him/her. How is that worthwhile?
The universe just doesn't make sense anymore.
Chief of State Daala actually tried to do this. It... didn't work out well for her.
Spoiler: Fate of the Jedi
Luke Skywalker willingly went into self-imposed exile, during which time Daala kept pushing against the Jedi Order. She sent Mandalorian commandos to attack the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. When that failed, she decided to order the GA military to eliminate the Jedi, which led to Grand Master Saba Sebatyne leading a coup to overthrow Daala and establishing a triumvirate - the Jedi Grand Master, a prominent member of the Senate, and the head of the military.
After Luke's return, he led the Order against the Lost Tribe of the Sith, freeing Coruscant and the GA government from control by the Sith and an ancient evil creature called Abeloth. In the aftermath, the Galactic Alliance issued a Neutrality Act that severed all ties between the government and the Jedi Order, and required the Order to leave Coruscant.
It's pretty subjective.
To take the recent examples - Data & Janeway. I felt Data was brought back well & Janeway was not. However even if Data had been brought back poorly, I would have generally been in favour of it, and even if Janeway had been brought back fantastically I wouldn't have cared for it and would have stopped reading Voyager books. Because I felt Data should have come back because Nemesis was a trainwreck and he shouldn't have died there, and I felt Janeway was a horrible character (Tuvix, Endgame, etc) and was happy with the events that transpired in Before Dishonour.
Also, frigging lol at the garbage that Star Wars has become. I greatly miss the pre-yuuzhan vong era when Zahn & Stackpole were writing. Who knew that the dark force that Palpatine and Thrawn were preparing for was 15 years of horrible books.
I suppose they're kind of trapped by their own title, though. They're pretty much obligated to tell stories about interstellar war, so that limits their options.
Which partially explains my problems, but doesn't make them any less true
I know, but you'd at least bother to invent new wars instead of essentially using the same war over and over and over again!
They were doing that in the nineties. The decline of the empire, warlords, the Ssi-Ruuk, the war with the Yevetha, the Corellian secession, bounty hunter intrigue.... :/
I even liked the Yuuzhan Vong, actually. The first few books were rocky but from the second hardcover on, that series was awesome.
But after that: same... uh, stuff, different series.
I've seen you wite this sentiment before, and I don't think this is at all true. Or fair. Isn't that like saying the only stories you could do with Star Trek would be about exploration or traveling somewhere? Obviously, not all Trek stories have been that.
Just because a story is set in the Star Wars universe does not require it to be a war story. Off the top of my head, you've got Spinter of the Mind's Eye, the Lando Calrissian novels, and any number of short stories that have been published that were not stories about the rebellion. Sure, it was there in the background, but the stories themselves were not "war stories" per se. The same way that not every episode of MASH was a "war story" despite having the Korean War as a backdrop.
There is a vast variety of stories that could be told in the SW universe, just as there are in the ST universe.
That being said - I think you could probably write some really good stuff set in the SW universe if you gave it a chance.
Individual stories, sure, but the topic here is the overall saga, the main historical arcs. In Trek, even series that aren't about space travel per se, like DS9 and Vanguard, still have starships and long journeys and exploration included in them, and they fit into the larger narrative of Starfleet and the Federation spreading outward to explore or make new alliances. What was stated above was that all the major story/historical arcs in the EU seem to be one war after another, and I'm just saying that when something is called Star Wars, I can kind of see why that would be the case. Not that it has to be that way, but it could help explain why so many creators keep returning to the same wells.
Speaking of changing the status quo, I assume the destruction of Romulus plays a big part in Treklit, especially with the Typhon Pact (I'm only up to book 4 in the Typhon Pact series, so please no major spoilers)
^The books haven't caught up to 2387 yet. The upcoming The Fall is in '85, I believe. So Romulus is still around.
Thanks. I look forward to seeing what you and the other writers come up with. The destruction of Romulus is going to have major implications throughout the alpha and beta quadrants.
Considering we are approaching 2387 rather faster than I was expecting, I really would expect much more focus on Spock and Romulan reunification in the next few years.
It would be good to see more of his relationships with Saavik (are children likely ?) and Valeris too.
The clock is ticking...
I'm definitley of the "as long as its done well" opinion. I never used to like trek books, because there was no growth or real character/plot development, as it had to reset at the end of the book so as not to contradict the tv shows.
Thats one of the reasons I liked New Frontier when it came out, it was a new setting so stuff could actually happen, characters could grow, there could be an ongoing narrative, etc.
I like the modern trek novels because they change the status quo.
The criteria for "Done well" varies with the type of story. A "Done well" first contact story has a much lower bar than one that brings back a character who was previously dead. There's been much more than enough of the "back from the dead" stories, both in the shows and the books, that it's pretty much an impossibly high bar for me. For the most part, they're a cheat, letting the writer get the emotional response to the death of a character while allowing them (or a later writer) to simply press the reset button and make it all better. Feh. That's not science fiction, that's fantasy. Trek is on the fringes of science fiction at the best of times I'd rather it move close to the science that further away from it when dealing with something as important as a character death.
What would the effect be on NuSpock be if we found out that Vulcan, and by extension everyone on it, was not destroyed by the black hole but simply shifted in time and space to the past? With time travel being a given he could go back and save everyone, thus undoing the need to destroy it in the first place.
There's a belief that that is why Kirk fired on Nero's ship in STXI, because Nero was simply going to travel further into the past again. Red Matter black holes may not actually destroy anything, the may simply be time portals.
If a death can be undone, does that not mean that everyone is now immortal as long as someone cares enough to go back and save them?
With Trek being a shared universe, whatever "rules" one person puts in place can just as easily be changed, deleted or simply ignored by another. It makes it difficult to believe the characters when they say "nothing can change" or "there was noting we could have done" when something horrible happens. As a result, it makes it much more difficult for me as a viewer or a reader to care about the supposed "big changes" when they do occur. It can all be undone with the snap of Q's fingers, a phased tetryon beam or an appearance by
"godlike alien race #27"".
I think 'too much' is in the eye of the beholder. While I'm firmly in favour of the current developments in Treklit, killing off major characters, disbanding The Federation or any other really game-changing events run the risk of taking things too far away from Trek, which is, after all, what we all seem to like. If it's 'done well' wouldn't change that.
We just have to trust the editors and authors. They're doing a great job so far...
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