Star Wars Novels Discussion

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Thread: Star Wars Novels Discussion

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    Edit : Yeah, splitted the thread with this as teh new opening.

    But if you care one bit for "preserving continuity", don't touch, even with a billions feet pole, Vector Prime. It's not Salvatore's fault quite so much as his editor who forgot to check that this fit in with the rest of the stories - and even with basic data from the SW universe.

    Story-wise it's not so bad. It's just that the editors did a crap job (ie, "communicators" and the like).

    But otherwise, I have to agree that there are many great SW novels out there, most especially the Zhan ones.
    Last edited by Evil Figment; 20th January 2003 at 07:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    Any Star Wars book by R.A. Salvatore should be given a thorough look, too. Did you hate "Star Wars Episode II" ? Read the novelization by Salvatore. I swear, it was better than the movie!
    Not yet, but I loved Vector Prime.

    But if you care one bit for "preserving continuity", don't touch, even with a billions feet pole, Vector Prime. It's not Salvatore's fault quite so much as his editor who forgot to check that this fit in with the rest of the stories - and even with basic data from the SW universe.
    Actually, there's a main group of editors from Lucasarts and Del Rey that approve every book before it's published, and they came up with the whole New Jedi Order saga (and EVERYTHING has to go through Lucas first). The entire thing's been more or less planned out, just not all written...yet. And while the many main character deaths (don't worry, I won't say who) were depressing, the overall story is an amazing thing when you read them in succession. And it does fit with regular continuity, that's why it's set so far after the last books written, so as NOT to interfere with continuity. And in fact, if you read Rogue Planet, you'll notice a VERY interesting similarity in "technologies." Personally, I don't see how it DOESN'T fit with regular continuity.

    But I agree with you guys, Zhan's work is good...although, and I know this sounds blasphemous, it's not my fav work. Personally, I'm a HUGE fan of Kevin Anderson, and an even bigger fan of Michael A. Stackpole, ESPECIALLY I, Jedi, the ONLY first person Star Wars novel.

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    I was more thinking on plenty of little screwed up details that either

    A)had to be explained away by some fast work by the OTHER authors (or have yet to be explained), ie the NR suddenly reverting back to X-Wings after using the newer and improved E-Wings for years, Lando suddently reverting back to his Empire Strikes Back near-double-crossing self that sacrifices his friends, etc.

    Or all the wonderful "newly discovered linking techniques for fighting together" from the kids...when Mara and Luke were doing it already back in the last Zhan book.

    or

    B)Were crap mistake, ie, "communicators" instead of "Comlinks" for example.

    The story, and the death of characters, I'm all for. They're doing a great job with that. My problem is specifically with all the little continuity problems their were for moving from one series directly to the other.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    Actually, those things can be explained.

    1. Comlinks being called communicators is like calling a telephone a phone. If you read every one of the books, I GUARANTEE YOU you'll find other uses of the word communicator instead of comlink.

    2. Reverting "back" to X-Wings isn't quite right. They've ALWAYS used X-Wings. It's like them still using Y-Wings, when they have the B and K-Wings. It's the fact that they still work, and pilots still like them. And could you REALLY see Luke or Wedge flying anything BUT an X-Wing?

    3. Lando's "betrayal" isn't what you think. It's either in that book, or later on when he reveals that he did that to help them. Or something like that. It's been a while since I read them. But if you also look back you'll notice that that was the first time he got to run a huge location since Bespin, and just like then, he didn't do it to betray his friends, he did it to save the lives of everyone in the area that he's managing.

    4.
    Or all the wonderful "newly discovered linking techniques for fighting together" from the kids...when Mara and Luke were doing it already back in the last Zhan book
    Proving how long it's been since I read that book (and the Zhan books), I have no idea what you're referring to.

    But when you talk about not liking them because of continuity problems, I complete understand because that's why I don't read comics anymore, simply because the new stuff has screwed up continuity in my opinion.

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    I've read all the Star Wars books (even the abysmal Planet of Twilight trilogy), and I think that Traitor might be the best of them all - the first 2/3rds at least are nothing like other Star Wars novels and go into all kinds of philosophical debates. I loved teh Zahn books, and teh X-Wing books are good too (I prefer Allston to Stackpole, because he makes funnier and more realistic characters - he does some good satire of the whole "Rouge Squadron are superbeings" idea). I really enjoyed NJO at first, but I feel that it is starting to lose its way. Vector Prime was a great start, but new authors keep on throwing away promising ideas introduced by the previous authors, so we lose some of the best plotlines - I can understand why, but it is a pity.

    One of the things I liked best about Vector Prime was that all the characters had a purpose in the story, but they made good use of new characters too. Then, they turn danni Quee from a strong character into a pretty pathetic supporting character. And a certain character's death, after a two book series which had established him as the most interesting character in teh franchise and given him the only budding romance (the locker room scene with Tahiri was genuinely touching), really annoyed me. I know that sometimes killing a character shakes up a franchise, like in Vector Prime, but said person's death was just a waste of great dramatic potential when there were other character's who could have been killed for the same effect. Plus he died for nothing - just to end a minor threat. Also, they keep on having to invent more and more ludicrous ways to get the movie characters, especially Han and Leia, to have some action, when it doesn't make a lot of logical sense. If I were Han or Leia I'd be teaching and instructing, not leading a geriatric commando squad.

    Ok, so that was a bit of a rant, and I do actually like the books on balance, but when you enjoy something, you feel quite opinionated about its flaws. On another note, if you want great Sci-fi books, I personally loved the Rama books by Arthur C. Clarke and Childhood's End, which really is a must read and I cannot recommend highly enough - it is probably Clarke's most astute look at where humanity might go next, a common theme in all his major works. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman is a fascinating look at an intergalactic war where relativity takes its toll, while Olaf Stapleton's two books Starmaker and Last and First Men are noting less than future histories of the universe and man respectively, told on a scale of billions of years. Finally, a lesser known series but one of my favourite Sci-fi reading experiences ever is The Gap pentology by Stephen Donaldson (I think the first books is called The Forbidden Knowledge). The Gap series is a epic story with a scope ranging from the intensely personal to intragalactic conflict, with an amazing cast of morally ambiguous characters. I really cannot recommend this series of books highly enough - IMO all sci-fi fans should read them.
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    Actually, don't you think that "his" death had a greater purpose? Similar to Obi-Wan's death (VERY similar)? Personally, I think he's going to come back in some way (again, similar to Obi-Wan). And I think his death was perfect for that point in time because it helped to darken the series. It took a situation from being crappy to being hell itself, and took the characters with it. And each book is shaped around a central plot line that's been established by the editors, so I have a feeling that Quee's going to make a come back you'll like.

    And Allston's books are great, especially Wraith Squadron, I don't know why I didn't mention him. I just with there were more X-Wing books. It's not like there would be continuity problems with the other books. And seeing how Darklighter became commander above all the other older guys that were originally around would be interesting.

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    Re Lando being on his first "big" deal since Bespin...

    Nomad City was a pretty big deal.
    And didn't he and Mara Jade take over Kessel toward the end of Jedi Academy?

    As for X-Wings ; they *did* revert back to them. It was stated multiple time in the later books that the fleet, except a few elite squadrons (the Rogues leap to mind) had gone on to the E-Wing, but in Vector Prime, you only see the traditional X-Wings. Annoying.

    And yes, I could see Luke or Wedge flying E-Wings (Luke did at one point; either in Jedi Academy or Black Fleet Crisis, not sure). It's just natural progress - few militaries are going to keep deploying the same primary frontline fighter for 25 years going. For example toward the end of the Vietnam war, the F-4 Phantom was the primary fighter deployed ; by 2000 it had been completely retired from active service, and it's replacement (the F-15) is now slowly being replaced by the newer F-22.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    Originally posted by Damian Silverblade
    Re Lando being on his first "big" deal since Bespin...

    Nomad City was a pretty big deal.
    And didn't he and Mara Jade take over Kessel toward the end of Jedi Academy?

    As for X-Wings ; they *did* revert back to them. It was stated multiple time in the later books that the fleet, except a few elite squadrons (the Rogues leap to mind) had gone on to the E-Wing, but in Vector Prime, you only see the traditional X-Wings. Annoying.

    And yes, I could see Luke or Wedge flying E-Wings (Luke did at one point; either in Jedi Academy or Black Fleet Crisis, not sure). It's just natural progress - few militaries are going to keep deploying the same primary frontline fighter for 25 years going. For example toward the end of the Vietnam war, the F-4 Phantom was the primary fighter deployed ; by 2000 it had been completely retired from active service, and it's replacement (the F-15) is now slowly being replaced by the newer F-22.
    Ok, I forgot about Nomad City (that was the one on the planet next to a sun that was built on old AT-ATs, right?) and Kessel, but keep in mind that in neither of those situations was he presented with the same problem as on Bespin and...I forget the name of the place in Vector Prime? Sure, Nomad City WAS attacked (if I remember right), but that was a different situation. And Kessel was eventually given over to...I forget his name, but his Sullustan copilot from RotJ.

    And the thing with the lack of E-Wings could have to do with the fact that they were still rather new, and may not have been mass produced enough yet. And didn't one of the books reveal a problem with the E-Wing? I know the New Rebellion had a problem with the new model of X-Wing, but I swear one revealed a problem with the E-Wing (maybe I'm imagining that). But I swear there was some logical flaw with the E-Wing that kept a lot of pilots from using it. But maybe I'm wrong. And keep in mind that the F-4 Phantom was a replacement for a plane that had been used since WWII. That's about 20 years. And keep in mind that the Empire was sent packing to a small little corner, and with the Ssi-Ruuk in THEIR corner, who was going to challenge them in big enough numbers to warrant a large scale replacement of fighters?

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    I always liked the E-wings since their advent in Dark Empire, but it isn't much of a surprise from a real-world point of view as to why they want to keep the iconic X-Wing as the main starfighter (inventing the "XJ"-wings), much as they still try to keep Han and Leia in the midst of the action. As for "his" death, I read on theforce.net a few months ago a SW writer's convention panel transcript, where they explain that "he" was killed because Lucasfilm didn't want two major characters with the same first name in their novels universe in case it caused confusion. That is about the most stupid reason ever. I thought that he would return, exspecially after the fus they made over retrieving his body, and even after it was burnt, the beginning of Rebel Stand seemed like it might feature him, but that turned out to be Lord Nyax (who was IMO an utterly rediculous and superfluous character, who did nothing more than make Star Wars like Dragonball Z).

    On another note - I think we might be monopolising this thread a bit, and should maybe start a new one.
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    Oh, I know why they did it OOC.

    The problem I have is that it's ridiculous that after the E-Wing has been deployed for over ten years, suddenly VP revert back to X-Wing as a primary frontline fighter.

    It's all that stuff that gets on my nerves in Vector Prime...it just seems like they said "Oh, since we're starting with a new publisher, let's act as if the previous books didn't matter". The authors after Salvatore were left with lots of stuff to explain away, or places where they had to slight either VP or the rest of the series.

    It just pissed me off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    I agree with Adam, we are kinda monopolizing this thread, so I'll just say a couple more things about the subject. All of them in this post:

    1. Del Rey's actually the original Star Wars publisher (I know that that means nothing, but it's an interesting little fact which could explain the possible egoticity of the new editors).

    2. Damian, you have a problem with the E-Wings being switched for the X-Wings and rightly so, but when was the last time they mentioned the K-Wing (my favorite of the bombers)? New Rebellion (which was also the FIRST appearance)? Personally, the E-Wing situation could be explained by who the manufacturers of the X- and E-Wings are, or by cost, or by part supply. Or the publishers just want that nostaligia factor. Who knows? I mean, they have the main Star Destroyer manufacturer within their ranks and yet never produce a single Super Star Destroyer. Or any regular Star Destroyers (or at least not on a mass scale).

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    I thought the K-Wing (though their first and only apprearance was actually the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy) was pretty cool too, and I agree with you Damien that in the sense of the Star Wars universe, the whole fighter situation is really annoying, and is symptomatic of my major gripe with the NJO books, even if it does make sense OOC. I don't remember there being any major problems with the E-Wings. There was the bomb plot in the New Rebeillion, though that too applied to X-Wings mainly, and luke had an E-Wing for a bit in New Rebellion, but I think he destroyed it because he didn't like it. I got the old star Wars guide to Vehicles, as I like the Star Wars mecha a lot, and it doesn['t mention anything about a widespread flaw in the E-wings which would give a valid reason for their separation.

    I guess part of the problem with the Star Wars universe is the idea that "too many cooks spoil to broth" - there are now a lot of new authors coming into the franchise, and while I think some of their efforts have been great (Traitor and the Agents of Chaos series), it has also meant that a lot of the little details that make the previous books so interesting are ignored, in favour of a new set of little details and changes in characters direction development, even if the major trends are cohesive. Still writer's have done similar things before - I was pretty annoyed that in Starfighters' of Adumar they wrote out Qui Xux, who had been in a serious relationship with Wedge in Kevin Anderson's trilogy, in favour of Iella Wessiri, and I wasn't too thrilled with some of the aspects of the I, Jedi which re-told the Jedi Academy trilogy portions so that Corran Horn was instumental in the defeat of Exar Kun, though to be honest I have always though that Corran was a bit too "superman" for my liking, as opposed to the more conflicted characters like Kyp Durron. Going off on another tangent, the way they reverted Kyp's character in NJO from the reformed Jedi of the previous books into and arrogant smartass in need of reforming again annoyed me, as I think that Kyp has had his ordeal - at the least they could have shown his point of view reasonably without making him out to be a warmongering idiot.

    And Damien, if you agree that we are taking over this thread, you could probably use your mod-powers to split it up into a Star Wars thread and the book-club thread.
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    Seeing that someone (I'm guessing Damian) renamed, or separated the threads, I'll keep talking since this is a good and healthy debate.

    First off, I could have SWORN that the K-Wing was in the VERY beginning of New Rebellion where there was a squadron doing a bombing run (maybe I'm wrong, I don't doubt that).

    And maybe I was just thinking of the XJ flaw from New Rebellion and trying to spread it to other craft.

    You mentioned Qui Xux, which is a good point, but I disagree with you on what they did with her. Personally, I thought her character was FAR too shallow a character with no real depth (sure she had her memory wiped, but even before that there didn't seem to be much, if any, depth to her character). And Iella Wessiri seemed to be a much more fleshed out character, and also offered someone for Wedge to play off of like Han and Leia do.

    When it comes to Corran Horn, that's something I'm VERY impartial in, since he's my second fav character in the ENTIRE series of books (second only to Elegos). And the reason it was written to have him as the main hero was because it was HIS book. But I forget who it actually was that was key to the defeat of Kun (aside from Jacen). But there's a short story in Tales from the Empire (I think) that has him working with his dad on a case (I think it's the one where his dad's killed) and it really shows him off as being a conflicted character. Although I always saw him as a combination of Luke and Han (whether you see that as a good thing or a bad is a matter of personal opinion) and the fact that he ended up marrying the daughter of his dad's greatest adversary was a great way of adding conflict to his life.

    Finally, Kyp Durron. What can I say? He was GREAT in the Jedi Academy trilogy. But to me, he always seemed like a Luke rip off. I liked him, but...it never sat right with me. And the new direction he went made perfect sense to me since he never did seem to get along completely with Luke. Having them go at it brought some much needed depth to a Jedi order that had become as boring as the old one.

    Ok, I may have done a LOT of rambling in that big post, so sorry.

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    That bombing run is in the beginning of Before the Storm, the first book of the Black Fleet Crisis trology (my bookcase is right next to my PC, so I double-checked).

    As for your point about Qui Xux, I never particularly cared for her as a character, I just disagreed with the fact that one author changed teh spirit if not the letter of the SW chronology just so a character from their series of books got more prominence (personally, I didn't like Starfighters of Adumar that much, as it lacked the "average soldier" feel of Wraith Squadron and to a lesser extent Rouge Squadron, and was basically Wedge and pals showing off - I didn't dislike it, it just sin't my favourite of the X-Wing books).

    I admit that I quite like Corran at some points, but I have a strange predjudice against him that I don't really understand. I thought that I,Jedi was good overall, I just didn't like the way that "heroic Corran Horn uses his X-Wing to destroy temple of Exar Kun while other Jedi are related to second place status" when in the original trilogy the encounter is presented as a bit of teamwork.

    As for Kyp, I think that he is intentionally similar to Luke, he is the "what could have been" - a Luke who has grown up in a darker environment and has come out darker as a result. But Kyp does prove himself and find redemption, and in the eariler books of the NJO at least, he is basically presented as a triggerhappy idiot, which was never the case with Kyp. If they wanted to make Kyp a good counterpoint to Luke then they could have at least developed his point of view.
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    I have to agree with you on Starfighters of Adumar. In fact, that entire series went down hill after they defeated Isard (with the exception of the Wraith run).

    Your comment about I, Jedi is the reason when I write, I NEVER do 1st person, simply because you lose the chance to see how the other characters see things, and thus make your character seem like God. And because of that, I can see your point about not liking it.

    Personally, I don't see Kyp how you see him in the new series. I see him more of the rogue agent who believes he's right and no one else is. I don't see him as trigger happy so much as I see him as hotheaded (which is EXACTLY how he was when he first appeared, cause if he wasn't he wouldn't have become a dark Jedi).

    And my bookcase is right next to my computer too, but there's stuff in front of the books, and stuff stacked in front of the bookcase, and well...it's just a mess.

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