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Just wrapped up "Dark Lord"


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#41 Rust

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:09 PM

So I've consumed yet another SW novel. Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, written by the same gent who penned Darth Plagueius.

It was a good read, all things considered. It didn't "work" quite as well as Plagueius, but that's mainly because Anakin's motives for going to the Dark Side were shaky at best. As it stands, the guy does a decent job of getting into Vader's head and how he became the man he was in the Original Trilogy.

The Jedi characters introduced in the book are all good reads, and the author does a great job pointing out that for a order that preaches no attachments, the majority of them really were attached to the Order and what it stood for - and how they couldn't stand to lose it.

Chewbacca and the Wookies even show up in a way that makes sense, and we see the fall of their homeworld to Imperial aggression.


If Zahn "gets" the character dialogue, then this gentlemen "gets" the setting. While some of the dialogue (especially from Vader) comes across as clunky, the pacing and action are all very familiar. I'm seriously considering making Labyrinth of Evil as my next purchase. I like this guy's writing style and he's very subdued when it comes to the over the top Force abilities.

Plus no Blue Skinned Mary Sues. Always a plus. (I'm sorry, Outbound Flight just ruined Thrawn and the Chiss in general for me.)
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#42 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:48 PM

Hey, I happen to be reading that very book right now. icon-hotrod.gif

#43 Scavgraphics

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:05 PM

QUOTE(Vestras @ Jan 20 2012, 03:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone read the Legacy era comics? I've caught little snippets while researching for SWTOR, and I'm thinking I might go try and find the trades next time I get some time off to go to my FLGS.


Legacy is, I think, bar none, the best Star Wars Comics that Dark Horse has done*. If Zahn gets characters and Plageus/Vader writer gets the setting, the Ostrander/Duursema combo get everything. It was so good, Lucas had the series killed to stop making the clone wars stuff look bad (unconfirmed)



*or perhaps HAD done, as starting this month, the Ostrander/Duursema team leave the future of Star Wars to go back to the very beginning to tell the story of THE DAWN OF THE JEDI. I've only read the 0 issue setting book so far, and it just wows!

(Ostrander also has a Rebellion era series called Agent of the Empire, which is basically the story of the Empire's James Bond...worth checking out).

#44 Rust

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

Interesting.

I wonder if they'll incorporate Bioware's contributions into how the Jedi were formed. Ever since learning of the history of Kaleth in The Old Republic - not to mention the first hand look you get if you play as a Jedi Consular - I've been interested to know the history behind the Force Wars. Especially since Ragavari (The first Dark Jedi/"Sith") is not a villain in your classic sense of the word.

HIGHLIGHT to view:
I mean, his Force Ghost still lingers in the Forge Ruins because he's determined to see the Jedi put back on the "proper" path and genuinely shows remorse for twisting the Nallen's mind.
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We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. –Plato

#45 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:55 PM


In a related note: I devoured the Heir to the Empire trilogy when it first came out, because NEW Star Wars was amazing at the time. And they were good sci fi books, but they never, even then really felt like Star Wars to me. I stoped reading Star Wars books after a few years because I realized that none of it felt like Star Wars to me.

Star Wars had a very particular mix of swash-buckling adventure, engaging humor, fun, likeable characters, sci-fi, space opera, Fantasy, and Joeseph Campbel-style Myth. The books all felt like they maybe got one of those things or two at the best, but none of them had them all and without them all it wasn't really Star Wars in any way I wanted to read.

I'll be honest, the ONLY Star Wars fiction I've felt got it 100% right since the Original Trilogy is the first "Knights of the Old Republic" game. That was REAL Star Wars right up there with Empire. Nothing, including the prequels, has hit it right since.

Anyone read any Star Wars that they really felt had all those facets that made the original beloved?


-ZacWilliam, the lack of engaging humor and mythic shape were mostly what killed the novels for me. The lack of likeable characters what killed the prequels.
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#46 HellCat

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:41 PM

I think a big problem is the various writers can't agree on just what Star Wars is supposed to be. Most fans generally see it as a fairy tale happening in a sci-fi setting but the writers seem to just see the sci-fi setting which leads to the 'Everything the Skywalkers went through was for nothing' setting of the later books. Because apparently sci-fi HAS to be depressing and grim or you aren't doing it right. Doesn't help that Lucasfilm seem to let the writers do certain things and then handwave with "It fits because we're the license holder and we say so". I think you collected some writers who really got the spirit of Star Wars and wanted to tell good stories that expanded on the movies you'd be on to a real winner. Instead, it's like the clusterhug of various people crying "MY original character is more relevant to the developing mythos!"

#47 Rust

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

QUOTE(HellCat @ Feb 25 2012, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you collected some writers who really got the spirit of Star Wars and wanted to tell good stories that expanded on the movies you'd be on to a real winner.


Why do you think I "retreated" to the Movie Timeline after Outbound Flight?

I enjoy books that expand on what was seen on the screen/fill in the gaps. I'm not exactly brimming with enthusiasm to plunge headlong into the EU Quagmire that results in what appears to be the Deaths of Everyone and Anyone not directly associated with said movies (Chewbacca being a notable exception), Super Weapons more powerful then the Death Star floating about the cosmos, and a new Galactic Spanning Threat around every Star System.
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#48 Daith

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE(Rust @ Feb 25 2012, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(HellCat @ Feb 25 2012, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you collected some writers who really got the spirit of Star Wars and wanted to tell good stories that expanded on the movies you'd be on to a real winner.


Why do you think I "retreated" to the Movie Timeline after Outbound Flight?

I enjoy books that expand on what was seen on the screen/fill in the gaps. I'm not exactly brimming with enthusiasm to plunge headlong into the EU Quagmire that results in what appears to be the Deaths of Everyone and Anyone not directly associated with said movies (Chewbacca being a notable exception), Super Weapons more powerful then the Death Star floating about the cosmos, and a new Galactic Spanning Threat around every Star System.


Actually I think the Sun Crusher was about the only one technical superweapon stronger than the Death Star. Every other one was some sort of derivative of the Death Star or something world destroying to a lesser degree. That's where the EU was getting stale for a while. It was always Empire warlord or such with some sort of death star wannabe and somehow Luke and Co. were expected to fix it. And really there are very few deaths really until the NJO and by that time it was about dang time. True the NJO just changed the face of the enemy and the superweapons but it made the characters vulnerable again.

I'm just pissed that none of the main characters have been killed yet. I know it sounds a bit harsh but we are currently sitting at about where Luke and Leia are about 63 and Han and Lando ought to be 70 or so. I know they are the classic characters everyone loves but with all the crud they have been through they need to pass the torch to the next gen already. Yes the different medical abilities of the world can sustain them longer than they could normally but anymore it seems like the novels are just prolonging the inevitable. I mean after Chewie Died in the beginning of the NJO, R.A. Salvatore got death threats for being the author of it, so I can see why people might be a bit hesitant. But I do want to see Jaina, Ben, Allanna and maybe Chance take up the roles someday.

Edited by Daith, 25 February 2012 - 05:36 PM.

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#49 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:48 PM

QUOTE(Daith @ Feb 25 2012, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm just pissed that none of the main characters have been killed yet. I know it sounds a bit harsh but we are currently sitting at about where Luke and Leia are about 63 and Han and Lando ought to be 70 or so. I know they are the classic characters everyone loves but with all the crud they have been through they need to pass the torch to the next gen already. Yes the different medical abilities of the world can sustain them longer than they could normally but anymore it seems like the novels are just prolonging the inevitable. I mean after Chewie Died in the beginning of the NJO, R.A. Salvatore got death threats for being the author of it, so I can see why people might be a bit hesitant. But I do want to see Jaina, Ben, Allanna and maybe Chance take up the roles someday.


That's the opposite of what I'd like to see.

I agree with Hellcat I want a Star Wars thats like the original trillogy, a fairy tale in a fun swashbuckling space costume. At the very least epic Fantasy in said dressing. These are not characters I ever want to see grow old or die.

What would it take to interest me in a Star Wars novel again? Throw out everything, EVERYTHING, after Return of the Jedi, get a good writer that really understands this sort of fantasy and then go back to telling the sort of fun, mythic-fairy tale swashbuckling sci-fi-fantasy that made the original movies great. If, after a bit, you want to jump to a future setting where the main characters are retired and their children are having said fun swashbuckling adventures for a couple books, sure, but mostly I want fiction that feels like Star Wars.


-ZacWilliam, rather than marginal liscensed sci fi dreck writen with Star Wars reference books.

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#50 HellCat

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:52 PM

Personally, I have zero interest in the 'new generation'. In my mind, Star Wars ends with that group shot on Endor. The EU has made SOME valid criticisms of that ending (the Empire by all rights should still own the galaxy) but none of the characters really spoke to me. Especially not after they started killing off the Solo kids.

#51 Daith

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:23 PM

I'm beginning to see the audience Quesada had Spider-Man go through for the One More Day/Brand New Day era. I don't mind seeing stories about the OT era but really none of that grips me as much anymore. I already know what happens eventually. Any stories then lead to the end of Return of the Jedi. It gives me more backstory true but eventually I want the story to move forward. Killing the Solo kids was a bit offputting but any fantasy story has a bit of death involved eventually for some of the main characters. I'll admit Han during the beginning to late mid point of the NJO was grating but it was new territory at least.

Despite what I said above I do enjoy the continuing adventure of the main cast but every story needs shaking at points. Chewies death in the NJO was one. While it put off a great deal of people it renewed my interest. Though frankly It is getting annoying with these multi-year story arcs as of the last decade. Hopefully they lay off after Fate of the Jedi
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#52 HellCat

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:17 PM

I think you're right, I'm just saying that personally the writers have done nothing to interest me in seeing these new characters take over. Pretty much every EU character for me exists in a state of 'They exist' and that's it. They keep pumping out books starring them but nothing they actually do makes me want to see them significantly step into the spotlight. Compare that to Clone Wars, which is alot of fun and actuall feels consistent with the tone of the movies. Really, that's one of my biggest problems with the books- they're supposed to be Star Wars For Adults, when the movies were always fun kid adventure films. I don't like them for the same reason I don't like the various twaddle getting comissioned by Sci-Fi Channel/Sy Fy. If I felt these stories were the legit next part of the tale I'd be interested. Instead, I just view them as poorly written cash grabs. I mean, does anyone bar geeks like us know about characters like Winter and if they do do they even care about them?

#53 Rust

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:50 PM

QUOTE(Daith @ Feb 25 2012, 05:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm beginning to see the audience Quesada had Spider-Man go through for the One More Day/Brand New Day era. I don't mind seeing stories about the OT era but really none of that grips me as much anymore.


Ironic, that. Since Queseda just wanted to restore Spidey to a earlier Status Quo then before.
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#54 SwiftEagle

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:25 PM

Happy to agree with a couple of the posters above - "my" Star Wars has always been a swashbuckling fantasy that doesn't take itself entirely seriously. Any time it ventures into hard sci-fi or goes all grim and gritty, it's just not SW to me.
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