Star Wars EU books: downers

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by jediscout, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. jediscout

    jediscout Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Expanded Universe books are depressing.

    I was looking through old reference pics of Luke's lightsaber from ANH--and realized that what started with such awe and wonder--sort of ends up terribly. Not that the death of Kenobi, Luke's adoptive family--Leia's entire planet--aren't terrible, they are.

    But dern. These heroes never actually get a break, or a happy ending. Kids die--a lot. Mara dies. Chewbacca dies--still very unhappy about this decision.

    I think about the OT--and that Anakin/Luke are supposed to bring balance to the force--and yet, after the OT movies, the Skywalker & Solo families sure seem to make a lot of dark jedi, Luke seems to train an awful lot of jedi-hopefuls who turn bad, wars keep breaking out--it's a pretty sad, dark world our young heroes grow up & become aged in. Luke's new order is mistrusted, similarly to how the prequel Jedi were...if anything it just seems to repeat problems, not balance anything out.

    If I were Luke, I'd long for simpler days on Tatooine & I'd have to wonder if the Universe was any better off--or if it had simply germinated new versions of old evils.
     
  2. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I suppose, but partying with the Ewoks was totally worth it in itself.

    Aside from the Timothy Zahn books I haven't read any expanded stuff. In my universe Chewie is alive and well thank you! :)
     
  3. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    I read them up until a few years ago just to get my fix, but yeah the whole "neverending war" nonsense kinda sucks the wind out of the actual films, if you subscribe to the EU. One more superweapon, invasion, Jedi tempted and turned, blah blah blah. What did ROTJ really matter?

    Of course, that could be an interesting existential debate, but since about half the EU novels seem to be written with the competence of a homeless man being handed a laptop and a handle of off-brand vodka, I'm guessing there was no conscious plan to develop anything particularly "meaningful."
     
  4. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    To be fair, the series is called "Star Wars". Wouldn't make sense without a war! ;)
     
  5. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    The EU is horrible.

    We don't need to know when or how Chewbacca died. Those people just need things to fill there books and sell them.

    Youshin-vong? HORRIBLE.

    Xisor? HORRIBLE.

    Evil Luke? Clone emporer? DOUBLE HORRIBLE.

    The ONLY book I have cared about or consider half cannon is the bounty hunter books. They shed light on background characters instead of RUINING the main characters however they see fit.
     
  6. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Did you really use the word, "dern"? :lol
    I thought only I did that!
     
  7. jediscout

    jediscout Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :lol

    I like dern.
     
  8. KorrickUSCM

    KorrickUSCM Active Member

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    +1! The only EU books I have enjoined have been the ones that deal with the past such as the Darth Bane books and the Old Republic. Don't really care to know how the original star wars characters end up!
     
  9. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have never read any of the books and I doubt I ever will.

    I like the movies, I like the characters in the movies, and I really don't care what happened before EP 1 or after EP 6. In my world, whatever goes on in those books has no bearing on Star Wars at all.

    If it didn't happen on screen, it didn't happen.
     
  10. Dave Porter

    Dave Porter Sr Member

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    Someone say my name?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. jcoffman99

    jcoffman99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've really been enjoying the novels that take place in the Old Republic. The Darth Bane books are fantastic. The author really captured the feel of Star Wars.
     
  12. KorrickUSCM

    KorrickUSCM Active Member

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    I think he is writing the Darth Revan book as well. Might have to read that!
     
  13. jcoffman99

    jcoffman99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yep. It's out now. I'm about half way through. So far so good. Not quite as good as the Bane books but still very good.
     
  14. Egon Spengler

    Egon Spengler Sr Member

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    90% EU should be completely forgotten about.
     
  15. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    I agree with all of those examples, but not all of the books are horrible. I think there are waaaay too many Jedi who go to the Dark Side. In the Prequels we know that only 20 Jedi ever left the Order and they didn't go to the Dark Side. So from that we know it's almost never happened.

    Some great series:
    Republic Commando (and the NJO novels that deal with Fett that had info about the fate of the clones from those books)
    X-Wing (Rogue and Wraith Squadrons)
    The Darth Bane books
    Outbound Flight (and the sequel Survivor's Quest) by Zahn
    Choices of One (and sequel, forgot the name) by Zahn

    There's a bunch of others that are good that I can't think of. Just don't count them all as crap.

    The new book Shadow Games is pretty good. It has Dash Rendar and some Han Solo, but it's completely different than the usual stuff. It deals with Black Sun and Dash being a bodyguard. The Revan book was disappointing. It might be better if it has a sequel.

    The one series I REALLY don't like the concept of are the Legacy comics that have the Jedi practically destroyed again just 100 years after Luke builds the Order again. That's just stupid.
     
  16. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    EU is pretty stupid, but I do like the fact it took throwing a planet at Chewey to kill him. It took an entire ****ing PLANET to kill that walking carpet! :lol

    And don't forget that it's practically canon that Chewey was alive and well on Earth as a sasquatch protecting the crashed ruins of the Millenium Falcon, found by Indiana Jones!
     
  17. Darth Mawr

    Darth Mawr Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I just might would watch this movie.:lol
     
  18. neosporing

    neosporing Sr Member

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    i remember being 11 and getting a copy of foster's splinter of the mind's eye thinking i was reading the sequel in advance and getting excited about y-wing's and underwater saber action, luke and leia romance and force origins... then empire came out.. and i never read another EU book...
     
  19. jediscout

    jediscout Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I liked Splinter--almost forgot about it.

    It's the post ROTJ EU books that just seem to wreck/repeat everything our heroes worked to achieve.

    I mean, with so many Jedi peeling off for the Dark Side, it seems like Luke really doesn't have a grip on what he's teaching--or how, because in a relatively short amount of time he's made quite a revolving door of Dark Jedi.

    Although, I suppose if Chewie had to die, the fact that it did take a whole planet--as was pointed out to me--to kill him, well, that's a death to be proud of.

    Did the writers see the movies? They did hear that part about bringing Balance to the Force, right?
     
  20. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    I really enjoyed Dark Empire because it felt like a very natural and plausible sequel to ROTJ. And generally speaking I forgive the comics more than the novels. But it feels like this cash cow's been milked dry with a 70 year old Han and so on. I'd take more Clone Wars comics like the Karen Trav. ones though. And I loved the Tales of the Jedi. I wouldn't mind seeing a prequel with the early adventures of Ulic, Tott, and Cay.
     
  21. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I was a fan of the Zahn books but after a while the EU stuff just felt kind of forced and recycled.
     
  22. firesprite

    firesprite Master Member

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    Well, I hate to point this out, but without conflict, the books would be really, really boring. Do we want our heroes to have a happily ever after? Sure... but that doesn't make for very entertaining reading.
     
  23. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    What I liked about some of the EU books was that the Empire was like ancient Rome in that even after it fell apart entire areas didn't know about it yet so they kept on as if nothing had happened.
     
  24. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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  25. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Ultimately, at the end, yes. I do. I like that the Harry Potter series ends with the simple fact that Voldemort is dead and never coming back again. That's not to say that they won't have issues in the future after that, but after all that struggle and loss, yes, I want a happy ending damnit.
     
  26. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    Bruce! Thank GOD you're here to make the EU stuff better!



    I have to agree. XD I think at some point Luke, Han, Leia? yeah they all need to be left in the distant past and some few hundred years should be skipped over in which we learn that they all died running a peaceful galaxy so a new threat can come to a new generation of heroes. I gave up reading EU stuff years ago. The Heir to the Empire books were good and a few others were interesting but man, when the writers started coming up with stories for EVERY minor background character like the Elvis haired black dude with the ice cream maker from ESB or that one guy Obi Wan very VERY briefly spoke to in the bar in Mos Eisley as if they ALL needed to have an epic story that just happened to play into the main events of the main characters...I checked out. it seems to me that a lot of writers missed the point of the stories and really started cluttering things up. George was already good at doing that I don't think he needed any help XD
     
  27. Paul Andrew

    Paul Andrew Sr Member

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    I read them religiously until about the second book of the Fate of the Jedi series. Just frustrated that it doesn't matter how much the good guys accomplish things just seem to get worse on a galactic scale. It would be different if I felt like there was something to hope for on the horizon, but after almost 20 years of EU, I'm starting to wonder.
     
  28. 0neiros

    0neiros Master Member

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    I Liked the Zahn Books, and the X-Wing books kicked *, love Wedge Antilles. The rest is good for an Emergency Toilet Paper supply.
     
  29. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    You do get it's called Star WARS. Right?!?1

    If they didn't have wars all they would do is explore.

    That would make it Star TREK.
     
  30. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  31. neosporing

    neosporing Sr Member

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    i never realized this, but do all of these different EU books and authors all follow the same storyline? i.e. who married who... who died.. new characters...who is good and bad...ysalamari salami (whatever they were called)

    is it only one person is allowed to write an EU book at a time and everyone has to agree to 'take the baton' from the last author? or do different authors storylines conflict with others?...
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  32. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    LFL looks them over for anything deemed objectionable to Lucas.

    He sets whatever limits there are, probably on just a brief.

    But he okayed the snuffing of Chewbacca. But what can Chewie really say in a book.

    AAWARRRRGHSAWOOOLLLL!!
     
  33. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    I read a bunch of EU stuff in the early to mid 90s. Past that, I stopped caring.


    From what I read, the only books worth reading are:

    - The original Thrawn trilogy
    - The Jedi Academy trilogy
    - The X-wing/Rogue/Wraith squadron books.
    - The Han Solo omnibus (the ones written by Brian Daley)

    Everything else was either meh or crap. Most of them crap.

    I think it's generally a safe bet to read stuff by Timothy Zahn, since (to me) he seems to capture the spirit of the films the best. Kevin J. Anderson is pretty good too. And Brian Daley adapted the scripts for the radio dramas. Other than that? Screw 'em. There really ain't much else there.

    The universe itself is interesting, but continuing to explore these characters instead of just at some point saying "And they lived happily ever after" is kinda goofy.

    In my book universe, the Vong don't exist, the NJO never happened (outside of some generalities about the Jedi order after the Jedi Academy series), and our heroes all died peacefully in their beds, surrounded by their loved ones, including their children who are all alive and not evil.

    You want more Star Wars action? Go waaaay back into the past, or fast forward waaaaay into the future.



    They've been generally pretty good re: continuity, as I recall. The worst breaks from "continuity" actually came from the prequel films. The stuff that was written in the early 90s (the original Thrawn trilogy) alluded to stuff that happened during the Clone Wars era, which probably required some post-film "adjustments" to EU books to make it all fit.
     
  34. firesprite

    firesprite Master Member

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    For me, the best EU writers are Tim Zahn, Mike Stackpole, and Karen Traviss. I'm still sad that they're taking all the hard work Karen put in and chucking it out. All three of these writers have awesome characters and some great storylines that are worth reading.
     
  35. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Well a) just don't write the * novels. Story's over. But since that's bad business, how about b) making the "further adventures of" stories smaller, more personal, so the increasing galactic dangers don't dwarf the accomplishments of ROTJ. I mean, the books make taking down a Death Star look like a skirmish. But ongoing, episodic adventures (like the old Marvel series, which ruled :p) I could see, and some of the books have done that very well. Heck, look at Splinter of the Mind's Eye as an example of this smaller scale conflict working.
     
  36. jcoffman99

    jcoffman99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is why I really like the Old Republic books. They deal mainly with the sith, and it's usually a one on one story. The Darth Bane books should be made into films. I'm halfway through Revan now and it's pretty cool. More about Revan remembering his past than about big battles.
     
  37. firesprite

    firesprite Master Member

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    I don't necessarily disagree, but let's be honest... I don't think there are many people who don't realize by now that Lucas will milk the Star Wars franchise for all it's worth. But here's the thing, LucasFilm has some of the most stringent guidelines for being allowed to write in that universe of any of the franchises and even so, some of them are extremely hit or miss.

    After I read Stackpole's X-Wing books, the Thrawn series, and Karen Traviss' stuff, I've pretty much sworn off Star Wars EU novels. I really think the only thing that could lure me to buy a new one these days was if Mike came back to write a new trilogy or something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  38. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    KJA is recognized by most fans to have written the worst of the SW novels. You should rethink the EU, well at least the ones people mentioned. That's why he's never written another SW book since I think, Darksaber.


    I think Karen Traviss just got p*ssed off they were changing her stuff. Even though, going in, writers know they are playing in someone else's sandbox, she took it really personally. The only thing that really changed her stuff was that Lucas said Mandalore is peaceful. I still think they could have retconned that and said something like the "true Mandalorians", like Boba Fett (and the crew from the RC novels), disagreed with the government and moved to another planet which they renamed Mandalore. Since she said there was no way to fix things, I can only assume Lucas vetoed anything like that. It sucks because her version was so much better! :unsure
     
  39. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    I get that, but you can still write about the characters within that universe without having huge looming galactic threats constantly and immediately after ROTJ. Additionally there are periods in the history with LONG stretches of peace that aren't written about. Just say that there was another few hundred years of peace after ROTJ and move the story further forward with new characters and you're all set. Having a geriatric set of characters continuously fight essentially in the same story over and over again gets boring, hence the reason why most people feel the EU stories kinda blow.
     

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