Star Wars Books Thread

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

  1. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    As a rule, I generally don't put a lot of stock in pen & paper RPG tie-in books since their function is largely about handing a player to tools to tell their own story in-game, not to tell a narrative of it's own. As a result, a lot of the lore that comes out of such books comes directly from whatever game company bought the licence with next to no imput from the creatives behind the actual franchise.

    That's not to say there's no value to be found there at all. After all, a lof of the early EU authors used the old Star Wars West End Games books as a resource for world building .Zahn in particular used a number of vehicles and the like IIRC, and more currently it seems several of the LFSG are also fans of the early WEG material and have been subtly dropping elements into canon....but it's almost always background details that they would have just pulled out of thin air for the visual dictionaries anyway, so why not?
     
    publiusr, fireproof78 and WebLurker like this.
  2. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Republic of California
    Star Wars: Rebels is almost a direct to TV version of a old WEG Star Wars group. Six player characters and a ship. The GM increases the scope of the adventure over time. The groups gets new skills and gear from time to time.

    The Shadowcaster was even one if the LFSG's old RP ships repurposed as a bounty hunter's ship.
     
    Reverend and WebLurker like this.
  3. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Yeah, I think the answer is kinda complicated. I mean, I have seen people pull quotes to argue that the EU was non-canon to it was as canon as tie-ins can be (some I think get taken out of context and it's really easy to just use the ones the support your opinions, not the ones that came later and so represent the final decisions on the subject). Some of these are cases not made by the "Give Us Legends" people but people who've explored the question pretty rationally (look up Nathan Butler on YouTube; the guy is really good at this stuff).

    IMHO, I think what it all comes down to is that Legends was canon back in the day, but the movies could overrule them at any time, but that happened so little before Disney restarted things that we kinda got used to seeing them as being hard and fast. (I do kinda feel that the Legends canon question is kind of a moot point; I mean, whatever it was, the reboot rendered it non-canon now and even if it was never "real," it arguably existed in a continuity all of its own, so can be taken as being real onto itself if that matters to you.)

    Since RPGs are designed to allow people to enact their own stories, the idea of a "canon RPG" is really silly; the campaigns you create are non-canon and the fluff in the books can be revised to fit the needs of the players. I can get wanting the fluff to be canon compliant, but the the point of the game is not to be an encyclopedia (besides, whenever my Star Trek and Star Wars RPG books don't match current canon, I just revise that in m head when putting together the scenarios).

    That can happen.

    True, although I do suspect that the movies being the primary form of storytelling these days while Legends existed during times when there were no more plans for movies and the tie-ins were the only form of storytelling going forward, also impact things.

    I see both sides of the issue in that there is stuff that got so retconned that the original versions can get lost (e.g. the pre-CGI Clone Wars timeline), but I do also like being able to see how everything was pieced together in the overall Legends timeline.

    Okay. I do think that the Thrawn books hold up better when just taken in the context of the original movies and itself and not trying to factor the other books into the mix; something about it doesn't quite click with picturing other adventures between it.

    Yeah, it was those mulit-story books where I found the least enjoyment; the stand alones did it better for me.

    Yeah, that was one downside of the piecemeal assembly.
     
    Reverend likes this.
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    I'm afraid that this right here, is an inherently flawed concept.
    "Canon" by sheer definition is a binary state. It either is, or it is not. There's no room for "ifs", "buts" or "maybes". That's the whole point of the concept as it explicitly determines what's in and what's out.

    It's not enough for something to be consistent with canon, it's need to be reciprocal. It's not enough that Mara Jade exists in a world with Luke Skywalker in it, Luke Skywalker must exist in that world with Mara Jade. He does not and never did. But by contrast, Rey does indeed exist in a world with Ahsoka Tano, Ezra Bridger, and Qi'ra, because as far as the movies are concerned, these people exist and the events in their stories happened.

    With the EU it was more a case of "if the movies havene't touched that yet, you you can pretend it's canon if you like, no harm in that!"
    But pretending isn't the same as being and that things got deliberately contradicted is all the proof you should need of that.
     
    WebLurker likes this.
  5. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Is that from Last Shot? I hadn't come across any of that information yet.
    As for the Legends, the way I tend to think of it is, the books, comics, games, ect. were "canon" to each other, but not "canon" to the movies or TV shows.
    StarWars.com has posted an interview with author Claudia Gray about Master & Apprentice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  6. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    I don't know; canon materials can revise themselves and some, like comics, have a pretty loose structure. Can't say I have a problem with that.

    I see the point and it is a good one. However, you do have stuff like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They have multiple incarnations, many of which don't fit together (although Transformers does include everything as a multiverse and TMNT has a couple of mutually exclusive multiverses built out of its installments). However, you wouldn't consider the Transformers movies to not be canon because they don't with the '80s cartoon. So, I kinda see Legends that way. It's not the current film universe, but some of the films did happen there. So, while the original Luke Skywalker may not exist in Legends, a counterpart with the same OT experiences does, and that's good enough for that continuity, IMHO.

    Could be. Guess the idea of a level of canon where stuff can be changed doesn't bother me for some reason.
     
  7. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Location:
    Morrowind
    Nope, it's the truth.

    Utter meaningless nonsense.
     
  8. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Location:
    I'm here. Where are you?
    I think it was Bloodline, actually
     
    WebLurker likes this.
  9. Koric

    Koric Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2018
    Hey all. I think I should clarify something. I'm a Star Wars fan as is we all are. I guess I should apologize to Fireproof and Reverend. Im not here to offend anyone or make enemies.

    But, having said that Im not defending the EU. Some good old authors of the old Star Wars series are gone, and had no choice or input in this LEGENDS label. For example, Brian Daley and Ann Crispin. Interestingly one from the Del Rey era and another from the Bantam era.

    Not to be disparaging to anyone, but specifically the Corellian series about the Han Solo family was a jumbled mess and a waste. The Black Fleet Crisis was junk. None of those books had any impact.

    Sadly the amazing Star Trek writers were GREAT Star Trek writers but poor Star Wars writers. Anyone know why? What when wrong with the Crystal Star?

    Is it just the way I see it but are the newest Star Wars books since 2014 aimed more as a theme about being self contained and about one character or incident? Asking?

    Its weird we criticize the past, but to be honest if Zahn's first Thrawn series hadnt succeeded in 1991 wouldnt the books be in a different place?

    Seeing the Heir to the Empire hardcover on a shelf in Waldenbooks was such a shock for me and no even seeing or hearing anything about it was an INCREDIBLE moment as a Star Wars fan. I couldnt buy it and read it fast enough. I wished the Thrawn trilogy wasnt redone. The new covers look cheap. But Luuke was a mistake and cringe worthy.

    Seeing an article in Starlog about Dark Empire in 1991 was amazing too. It truly felt like a Star Wars wave. But I was afraid of Star Wars books being to diluted like Star Trek. Go into any book store in 1995 the Star trek section was enormous, but Star Wars was few in number.

    To let everyone know, it wasnt until 1996 with the West End RPG Star Wars Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook, that had a huge disclaimer on the copyright page that said paraphrasing "If George Lucas decides to do any future stories after ROTJ that it would be independent of any author or story printed." I think then certain stories and books went downhill even more, because authors realized that they no impact on the movies or saga whatsoever. I'm torn on if that disclaimer should have been done at all.

    All the best to everyone here, and I respect all of your opinions. :)
    -Koric
     
    Turtletrekker likes this.
  10. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    I think you're confusing the word canon with "continuity". They're not interchangeable. The latter can be loose and flexible, the former cannot be. The latter deals with minutia, small details. While the former refers mostly to complete chunks of material as a whole.

    For example, the trailer for the upcoming final season of The Clone Wars shows Ahsoka with her old lightsabers but now with blue blades instead of their usual green. The previously published novel 'Ahsoka' features a flashback to what's presumably the immediate aftermath of the above depicted events and the sabers are explicitly described as being green. So which is canon? They both are, it's just that production realities have introduced a minor continuity error. It doesn't matter to the plot, narrative or trajectory of character arcs, so the story as a whole is unaffected. That's not flexible canon, it's rigid canon, with flexible continuity, just as if you see a boom mic shadow in one shot or minor props appear to teleport in and out of existence between shot because the editor used takes from different days of filming. It's minutia, thus not an matter of canon.

    To give a different kind of example: in 'The Last Jedi' we see three contextually different version's of Luke's confrontation with Ben, but which is canon? Well, they're all part of the narrative so all of those accounts are canon. As to which one actually, objectively happened: it doesn't matter. This isn't a continuity problem, those accounts are all real because they matter to the person who's perspective it's being told from and those contradictions are in and of themselves part of the narrative and thus part of the canon.
     
  11. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Location:
    Morrowind
    It does matter. The third one is supposed to be the one that really happened.
     
  12. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    They’re all true, from a certain point of view.

    Kylo saw it one way, while Luke saw it from another. Both believe it to be true.

    Kylo never lied, he thought Luke was actually going to kill him. It’s the true version of events from his perspective.
     
    Reverend likes this.
  13. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Location:
    Morrowind
    There are two from Luke's point of view. The implication being that neither one of the first two that we see is entirely accurate. Luke eventually admits that he ignited his saber, but he didn't try to follow through.
     
    Tuskin38 likes this.
  14. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Fair enough. While I do think Legends was worth the while when it was around and still has material of value, I will be the first to agree that there were plenty bad things about it and not all of it has ages well.

    Personally, I thought the Corellian books were okay (and some of the stuff invented for them was integrated into future novels, Centerpoint Station being the big one). Never like Black Fleet myself, even if I liked the idea on paper.

    Back luck of the draw? Not sure about Crystal Star either, but I didn't like that one, either.

    That's a good rule of thumb. Some do build off each other, and there are characters who pop up a lot, but yeah, it's a lot of standalone stories and movie prequels.

    That was before my time, but those books were really good, IMHO, and did impact everything going forward in one way or another.

    I personally like the new covers better then the originals, but that's just me.

    I can see the point. I will concede that the cloning stuff in the books has not aged well from either a science or franchise perspective and that a lot of stuff with that character was needlessly silly.

    Funny, I thought the original print of Heir to the Empire had one, too (I don't have a copy of that and am going off hearsay). I'm not sure that the authors slacked off since they realized the books weren't going to impact the movies (they did in a few cases, for one and it is common sense going into the job anyways). Besides, there were those years where the tie-ins were the only driving narrative in the franchise, so they were, for all intents and purposes, shaping the franchise in those moments.

    As to whether those disclaimers should've been in the books in the first place, I personally wonder how the fanbase of them would've reacted to the reboot had all the books kept printing those at the beginning.

    Maybe?
     
  15. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Although the reverse doesn't seem to be true. John Jackson Miller wrote some great Star Wars stuff, and went on to write some great Star Trek stuff after that.
     
  16. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Location:
    Morrowind
    The paperback sure doesn't. In fact, it's labeled the "authorized continuation" of the saga.
     
  17. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Yes, and that is standard practice for tie-ins for an active franchise. As long as there are new movies and TV shows coming out, the books and comics are going to be secondary to the movies and shows, and will just be filling in the gaps around them. The comics have been telling bigger stories set between the OT movies, but even they aren't quite as big as the stories the movies and shows are telling.
    The movies and shows are the core parts of the franchise, so they will be the ones telling all of the big, important stories.
    The only reason the books and comics were able to tell such big, galaxy changing stories before 2014, is because for a while they were the only part of the franchise, with no new movies, or shows going on. Then once they started making movies and shows again, they were all set in prequel era, so the books and comics set after Return of the Jedi were still free to do their own thing. But now that we're getting movies and shows set after Return of the Jedi, they are going to going to be the main focus of the franchise, with everything else secondary.
    I actually like how things seem to be working out with the books and comics, with the comics telling the bigger stories, and books telling smaller more character focused stories. I think it really plays to their strengths, with the comics visuals letting them give us bigger action, while the books are able to give us more in depth character and world building.
     
    WebLurker likes this.
  18. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Speaking as an unapologetic fan of Marvel's original Star Wars run, I am equally overjoyed to see new comics with both Jaxxon and Valence the Hunter (Target Vader, Star Wars 108) in 2019.
     
  19. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    "Authorized" doesn't mean canon. The DS9 relaunch novels had a similar note on them and they sure's heck weren't canon. Authorized just means that the IP rights holders allowed the product in question to be made.
     
    Tuskin38 and fireproof78 like this.
  20. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA