Star Wars Books Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars' started by Mr Light, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Koric

    Koric Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    JD Im not putting down the YA authors at all. But with that hack Wendig, that's a whole another story. His trilogy STUNK. Who wanted to spend $45 on three ebooks for a pointless plot with teases of a Sith witch cult, old bounty hunters, and Gallus Rax that explained absolute ZERO from ROTJ to the TFA?
    It was a scam. By the way. The publishers dropped the first ebook to $2.99 and then stopped.

    Wendig just makes Star Wars look bad period.
    -Koric
     
  2. Koric

    Koric Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    @fireproof78 I agree. Except look at what people were reviewing on Amazon about Brian Daley about his Han Solo trilogy. His books are great, but to put an author down for what he knew or could do at the time, isnt fair, especially since it was written in 1979.

    Im saying that why should great book like Darth Plagueis be labeled as maybe this happened or not, maybe its a legend. What was it about that book is open to legend? If anything it strengthened the Prequel Trilogy for me and actually I started to like it. Why would anyone want to read a book because its a legend? That is what is disrespectful and insulting. It seems self defeating to those books and the author. Why would people read the books then?

    I agree with you. There has to be a future, but why throw away the past period. I'm also saying the were some great novels in the past, and there should be some great standards that's all.
    -Koric
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  3. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The reason they decided to decanonize the EU had nothing to do with disrespecting them or having some kind of a problem with them, they simply did it so that they the people making the movies and now TV shows would have a clean slate to do whatever they wanted without having to worry about what happened in the books and comics.
     
  4. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    I recommend studying mythology of any kind and then you might have an answer as to why people would read legends.
     
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  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Because it's a story they're interested in reading? Even after the EU was nullified and all its material was re-branded Legends, those novels still do strong sales, often matching those of the new canon tie-ins. Hell, the old Thrawn trilogy actually surpasses the new stuff in sales. If this is disrespecting the authors of the EU, then may we all be disrespected so spectacularly.
     
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  6. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As they say, "There is some truth in Legends".
     
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  7. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, it makes more sense to me to have such things in legendary material. Every culture has their legends, and those legends can, in turn, create other legends. Why not have the same in the SW universe? Some stories are "true" (canon, if you will) and others are fun exploration and imagination.

    How bad is that?
     
  8. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Imagine, if you will, that a lot of the old EU stories are legends of Luke Skywalker. These get told or retold over time. Maybe they happened, maybe they didn't. Maybe they didn't even happen to Luke, maybe the event happened, but it was with Ezra Bridger, or even from the Clone Wars or before, just the tale get retold at some point with Luke Skywalker as the central Jedi character.

    But than, maybe it did happen, just as the legends say.
     
  9. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Received my copy today of Industrial Light & Magic Presents the Making of Solo A Star Wars Story. While it has some really nice behind the scenes photos and will be a nice coffee table book, there's not a lot of meat to it. Guess I've just been spoiled by Rinzler's excellent original trilogy "making of" books.
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Even though they aren't canon anymore, they are still taking a few things from the books and comics in the canon, so I can see promoting as a way to see where that stuff originally came from. Didn't they even release brand new editions of the first Thrawn trilogy with new cover art after he showed up on Rebels?
     
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  11. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm still buying Legends books. I'm almost buying canon books.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    They sure did. Also a lot of the worldbuilding done in the EU has been incorporated into the new canon too.
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's kind of ironic really. The EU was never canon to begin with (just ask Zahn) and when Lucas was running things, more often than not his material would overwrite whole swaths of it, but apparently that was OK because: "retcon".

    Now that Disney is running things, they're actively incorporating more EU material into canon than Lucas ever did, but people complain...because they stopped continuing a tired, increasingly hackneyed series of novels that have been running on the spot for decades and getting basically nowhere.

    I mean what's so awful about a mostly coherent continuity across all forms of media? Hell, at this point it's already way more well put together than the EU ever was.

    Certain people seem to have a very rose tinted view of it now, but the reality was that the EU was a mess. I mean go read the Thrawn trilogy, then Dark Empire, then the Academy trilogy.
    In theory those are supposed to be back-to-back-to-back stories but if you pay attention to the tone, content and characterisations they may as well have been each in it's own separate universe. Major characters in one story, effectively vanish in the next. Character arcs from previous stores are utterly ignored or even retrod to no good purpose. Only a few token mentions connect them at all and all are utterly disposable.

    And this continued throughout. KoTOR had next to nothing to do with TotJ. The supposedly galaxy altering events of the NJO books were undone in the next arc like it had never happened, as it's were in the next and so on. On paper, Kyle Katarn was second only to Luke Skywalker himself to the legacy of the old Jedi and yet is barely mentioned outside of the games. The idea of the EU as this one big coherent and consistent body of work is a joke.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  14. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    My personal hypothesis and observation are because it was Lucas. Lucas, despite all the PT bashing and the, is still Lucas, and considered infallible in terms of SW, when it suits the narrative. Right now, the narrative is Disney=bad, Kennedy=bad, Johnson=bad, Abrams=bad. So, anything Lucas did or had done in the past is now highly rose tinted so long as it is anti-Disney.

    This is an oversimplification, but that seems to be the recurring theme.
     
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  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Seems pretty spot on to me.
     
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  16. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Dawson's book in question is Black Spire. While that article didn't mention it (my bad, I mixed it up with another article), it has been confirmed that Phasma character Vi Moradi is going to be the lead.

    Which kid's book authors? All the ones in question wrote GA material for the franchise.

    Too late, I already did and there's nothing ridiculous about it. A contracted author is a contracted author.

    Del Rey, not Disney, produces most of them (Disney-owned presses do do a lot of the YA books and children's books, if that's what you mean). Also, I wouldn't judge tie-in fiction in comparison to stuff like classic literature, but by its own standards and the standards of that kind of material.

    Forest for the trees. The point is that summaries skip details, so while you may get the gist, a lot of the nuances, context, etc. is missing. It's the reason you don't review something you never read or saw.

    That so?

    No, I'm saying that some of your claims, like the assessments of the characters, are the exact opposite of how it is written. For example, by the end of the book, the characters that you have dismissed as being blind ideologues have in fact engaged in activities like disobeying Imperial orders, wanting pardons for Rebels, and a few things like that. So you will forgive me for not finding you a credible witness, since your case is not only based on hearsay, but, more importantly, disproven by the text itself.

    Except I don't (see above as a case in point).

    I agree that, in retrospect, the Legends being canon thing feels like it was only given lip service. In fact, reading between the lines of the old Essential Reader's Guide, I get the impression that the official way of looking at it was that there was the films/Clone Wars canon (the one Disney is now adding to) and the EU canon of films + tie-ins, something different then what we were lead to believe.

    I think the fact that Lucas asked people to not touch the prequel era for years until he started making the movies helped create the illusion that all was canon; while the prequels did step on the toes of some stuff, most of the Legends worldbuilding was set years after ROTJ, making retcons and fixes much less intrusive. Had Del Rey and Bantam been allowed to go hog wild and do everything, I think we would've realized just how little weight Legends had; it would've been like trying to fit TFA into the Legends continuity.

    One think I do like about the new tie-ins is the better levels of interconnectivity then we got with Legends. That said, I think that the old stories do mean a lot to some people, which is something I don't think you can really put a price on. I've also seen readers who feel that the new stuff is playing it safe and not creating stuff of impact, while Legends books could do big stories that changed the course of the franchise (within its own sphere of influence). While I do think Legends ran out of gas by the end, it did have a pretty good run overall and did create a pretty intricate universe, even if there was stuff that needed to be papered over now and then.

    I do agree not all of it has aged that well and it is pretty messy, even taking into account the retcons and fixes invented to keep it together as best as possible. Honestly, I take it more for its stories then I do it as an alternate Star Wars universe.

    As stories I think the Thrawn books still hold up, the Academy ones I don't think ever did once they were stripped of their canon status (although the I, Jedi mid-quel is pretty good), and I never read Dark Empire, but understand that after the first story arc, it went completely downhill and ended in a whimper.

    My understanding is that Thrawn and Dark Empire got really shuffled around. Dark Empire was originally supposed to take place right after ROTJ, but Zahn didn't want to deal with it in his book, set five years later. So, the comic was given some extra exposition to move it forward in time to just after the Thrawn stuff. The Jedi books were being written while Zahn was finishing his Thrawn ones, which I think helped create some problems (in the Jedi trilogy, written before the last Thrawn book, Han and co. have trouble trusting Mara Jade, while the last Thawn book shows her more then earning their trust).

    Honestly, it's kinda amazing that they don't mess each other up more then they already do.

    Some stuff fits together better then others and I do think the abrupt loss of confidence in passing the baton to the next generation to keep the OT movie characters as the leads was a mistake that factored into Legends decline in the final days, with the tired plots and whatnot.
     
  17. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had to go on wikipedia to even figure out who "Vi Moradi" is. I'd bet that most people that read Phasma all the way through wouldn't even know that name off the top of their head, since the character is such a generic Rebel/resistence cliche. Anyway, like I said, of course the crap author is going to reuse characters they created, especially since they're probably the only one who remembers them.

    Ben Acker and ben blacker pretty much only write kids books, not counting two comics and a story in an anthology.

    authors hired for an anthology don't count. An anthology is a mixed bag of authors by design, unless every single author in it has written a good amount of SW before, their inclusion doesn't point to the book division hiring good writers, it means the writers in question were willing to do a short story for one anthology. There is a difference between that and writing a full length novel.

    Who cares about "classical literature", something being old doesn't make it better. As an example of my opinion on that stuff, Karven Traviss' Republic Commando books are my favorite books of all time. I like them more then even the "classic" genre books I enjoy, like LoTR and the Dune series. Just because the books aren't 50+ years old don't effect their quality. Classical Literature isn't inherently superior to any other type of literature, and honestly a lot of "classical literature" tends to be overrated shit. I'd rather read even the worst SW books then to attempt to read anything by people like Arthur C Clarke or Asimov again, now there is some unreadable junk that is considered "classical" genre literature. If we go past the SciFi and Fantasy genres, then I have even more disdain for what book snobs consider "classical literature".

    There is no need to consider tie in material as lower then anything else. It is not inherently inferior just because its based off a pre existing, non book franchise, and its older books that should be judged by lower standards if anything has to be.

    I'll review a lot of stuff I never read or saw. I could review shit like Twilight or The Hunger games right now, and it would be the exact same reviews as if I suffered through that shit.

    Also, skipping details can only improve garbage like Inferno Squad or Phasma.


    That's BS. The characters are the exact same at the end of Inferno Squad as they are at the beginning. You can't make a one dimensional pile of shit into an actual character, and the main idiot's actions never waiver.

    But, who cares. The most one dimensional Imperial character in the history of the SW franchise begins a book being shit and ends the book being shit. The book itself is the second worst novel with the SW name slapped on it, only losing the crown to Lost Stars. I'd like to go back to ignoring its very existence, which isn't hard because its not even relevant to the game its supposed to tie into, much less the overall SW Universe.
     
  18. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Quite an assumption, given that we don't know how Dawson got the job in the first place, much less if reusing the character was her idea or something requested by the Powers That Be.

    And the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast. Did forget they wrote the kids' Adventures in Wild Space series (pretty good for kid's chapter books, IMHO; ten-year-old me envies today's young Star Wars fans). However, the point remains that they can write "adult"-level content and do it well. (Also, before you tell me that kid's book writers cannot write good stuff for older readers, please review the careers of Oxford professors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.)

    That's not how writing works. Take it from me; I got a degree in the blasted craft and actually know a thing or two about it, unlike certain armchair critics.

    Straw man.

    Fair enough if you like them. As far as being among the best books ever written, I think that can be debated big time, but that's just me. (IMHO, I'd put Kenobi ahead of them in terms of being well-written genre books of its type, or even the old Star Trek novel Final Reflection.)

    Replace "classics" with "well-written books that have proven to have staying power," if that makes you feel better (also note that not everything is to everyone's tastes, even with so-called classics). Heck, I love comics, so I'm nobody's snob. That said, non-tie in writing does tend to allow for more freedom of expression from the writer and more options to experiment, with no restrictions to be "on brand," and all that.

    The point I was making is that it's not fair to compare apples and oranges. For example, the '80s TMNT cartoon is considered a classic, but would it be given a fair shake if we used the same standards for it that one would the '90s Batman (or even Adam West Batman with more serious takes on the character)?

    Beyond being dishonest, all you can do with that is parrot what others have said, since, without reading the book, you can't analyze why it's bad and not worth anyone's time, or even work out why some of these "bad" books (or movies) strike a chord with readers even if the actual craftsmanship leaves a lot to be desired. (Did read the first Hunger Games book. Not a classic, but better then similar genre books I've seen. First-person present tense was a good artistic choice too that really worked for the plot and creating the mood.)

    I'm not the one dishing out crap here, since I'm the only one of us who read the damn thing. You want me to quote and cite it page by page or something? I can do that, although I seriously doubt you'd listen, even if it literally said "the characters changed because of XYZ."

    Too bad the book does not support that claim.

    Funny, main reasons I like them were because of the themes and character development, things I actually found a bit lacking in Traviss work by comparison. But I'm weird.

    Not saying you have to become a fan or anything. However, using misinformation to prove something isn't how to do it. You could make a fair case against the book without having to stoop to false claims like "the characters are flat and never grow," "I don't have to read something to review it," and your other weird misconceptions on the writing craft.
     
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  19. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The way I see it, fans (certain ones, at least) mostly lead themselves to believe it, mostly because they wanted to. From what i read and heard over the years, Lucasfilm was always up-front about the expanded materials being a side-thing. Supplemental to the works of George Lucas, not of equal standing.

    This is not unique to Star Wars of course. I've seen fans of other genre properties pitch a fit if someone suggests some third party licenced RPG source book isn't canonical responding with "well then what's the point of me owning it then?!"
    It's the same mentality I've found that applies a value judgement to canonical status, where really, it should be neither a positive or negative and even then, only secondary to the objective and subjective quality of a given product.

    And nobody is trying to. As I said, whether a story is canon or not only matters in how in contents of the texts relates to other canon works. That's it. That's all that word means. "Apocryphal" after all, is not a synonym for "bad".

    It's still early days yet with the new stuff and there are still saga movies being made, so out of necessity they're having to keep mostly to the margins. Once tRoS is released and the plans for the next wave of content it laid out, I suspect they'll be given more latitude and start to take longer strides.

    The EU/Legends has the benefit of being around for *decades*. So of course the body of work is going to be fare more substantial and varied, so it's really not af fair comparison.

    As you should.

    One of the things that often frustrated me while looking up EU related stuff that I hadn't read on places like wookipedia is that the people that wrote the articles had the irritating habit of incorporating retcons into the narrative without bothering to point out what said retcons were. Some of the older and more arcane stuff was especially difficult to get clear information on since it was filtered through multiple later works that elaborated, contradicted and re-contextualised the material to suit the ever changing current version of "EU Canon".
    This comes back to fans convincing themselves that it's all meant to be canon, using that damned tier system that was only really meant for internal use by Lucasfilm's licencing people and using it as a means to sort and judge story content.

    First off: I really wouldn't call 'I,Jedi' a "mid-quell" as that implies it's meant to be a part of the same story. In reality, it's more of a denouncement and criticism of those books as viewed through the eyes of a character who's main story is entirely separate and just so happens to be around for those events.

    'Dark Empire' was a cool premise with nowhere to go and really, should have been the Star Wars equivalent of an Elseworlds tale. Indeed, I could say the same for a lot of the material from that time and others.

    The Thrawn books hold up mostly from a character perspective, but the world building and scope of them somehow managed to feel insular and and low stakes. Part of the problem is that Zahn and most other EU authors treated Star Wars as a sci-fi property. Almost nobody managed to touch on the mythological and spiritual themes & influences that are truly at the bedrock of the franchise. It left a lot of the stories feeling stale and the characters mere imitations of themselves.

    Stakepole was probably the only one to get away with it precisely because he chose to tell a particular type of story that actually suited that approach.

    And this approach was more the rule that the exception and continued until the NJO shake-up, but that only lead to a different kind of problem: the larger arcs were more coordinated but the quality and focus was all over the damn place.

    Again, this wasn't a one-off thing but a persistent pattern. A lot of the early post RotJ materials was clearly aimed and moving on for the younger generation to come into their own...except they never committed. Jaina should have been the lead character of the franchise for most of the EU's last decade, but they just couldn't bring themselves to do it. Probably because nobody really wanted to write about EU characters that they didn't personally create.
    That's why Mara Jade suddenly becomes braindead the second she shows up in any story not written by Zahn and lets not get into the five different directions authors would pull secondary characters like Wedge & Lando in because they all had their own ideas as to what to do with them.

    Hell, even Han was left in a weird limbo post RotJ. Yet, the new canon stories managed to do a better job with him almost straight out of the gate: he became a professional race team owner and a paton & mentor to younger pilots. Compare that to the EU where he was simultaneously the First Gentleman of the Republic..and still a smuggler...who didn't actually smuggle anything any more...I mean, what did Han do again?!
     
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  20. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    It's so tempting to be a bit nihilistic to such a question and state that their is no point ;)
     
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