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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Jacen Solo (`ware spoilers!) (Page 7)

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Author Topic: Jacen Solo (`ware spoilers!)
Rakeesh
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The problem, neo-dragon, is that the first stop in the 'planet-of-the-week' (if that's what they do) taught us very little about Jacen, had a very stupid crisis, and the means for saving the day was dumb too.


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SPOILER


The chief 'villain' of this crisis turned out to be quite stupid and inept. He was more a caricature. On a scale of villains, zero being an ill-tempered Ewok and ten being the love-child of Thrawn and Palpatine, this guy rated like a two and a half.

Even when what he was saying was right, the heroes just sloughed it off like it was nothing. Here's the spoiler: he warned Luke and Ben that, if tensions aren't addressed and resolved, the conflict between the government and the Jedi would escalate, one example being tracking devices implanted in all Jedi.

The heroes disregarded that as crazy paranoia. I remember reading and thinking, "No it's not, you idiot."

And of course later it was shown that it wasn't. One of the cops in the story, upset at constant Jedi shenanigans, mentions that the next step will be implanted tracking devices. But from the story's perspective, the chief bad guy for Luke and Ben remains a paranoid recluse.


SPOILER

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neo-dragon
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SPOILERS


IIRC, in the end, Luke did acknowledge that the crazy nutcase might not be entirely wrong about what was going on with the jedi and the government. I know that he was sort of inept, but I kind of enjoyed seeing Luke and Ben deal with something... I don't know... simple? It was more about seeing how they interacted and how Ben has matured rather than seeing them have to struggle against a powerful adversary.


END SPOILERS

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Rakeesh
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To me, neo-dragon, that acknowledgment was more like a brush-off.

"Eh, things might get rough, but that guy's nuts."

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
My situation was the reverse of that, Kwea:) I like Stover, and the only stuff of his I've read has been (some of) his SW books.

You should try some of his other stuff then. I'll probably check out his SW stuff now that I have made the connection...
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Selran
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Omen hits stores Tuesday (6/23/09). I'm curious where they will take this series.
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neo-dragon
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Minor, Non-specific "Omen" Spoilers follow:


Anyone else get around to reading "Omen" yet? I found it to be rather lackluster. If ever there was a book that should have been a paperback it's this one. At only 236 pages, and barely any development in the overall plot I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to shell out the price of a hardcover. I'm also getting the feeling that the authors are struggling to find reasons to use Han, Leia, and Allana. Seriously, their role in "Omen" amounts to running into trouble during a family trip to the zoo. Luke and Ben's journey continues to have a "planet-of-the-week" feel, which I don't actually mind. This time they study flow-walking with the Aing-Tii Monks while trying to help them solve a religious dilemma. However, towards the end a seemingly unrelated subplot about a lost tribe of Sith promises to intercept with the Skywalkers' journey probably as soon as the next novel. Speaking of which, I kind of wish there would stop being so many sith and jedi survivors from times when they were supposed to be whipped out. The sith were supposed to have died with Palpatine, but wait... then there's Lumiya... and the "One Sith" hiding on Korriban... and now a whole colony that's been out of touch with the galaxy for 5000 years. It's a good thing the chosen one came along to destroy the Sith forever. Ah well. They have yet to come up with better adversaries for the jedi.

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Rakeesh
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I did too, and my reaction was the same, lackluster.
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Selran
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I just finished Abyss. I enjoyed it a lot more than the other two. I won't go into details yet to keep spoilers out for now, but if nothing else this book has a good lightsaber battle.
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neo-dragon
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I'm about 80 pages into it. I hope I can find the time to finish it within the next week or so. Denning's books are usually good, although I sometimes find his action sequences hard to follow. Maybe it's just me. Oh, and he tends to refer back to his own books too often. In 80 pages there's already been at least a dozen references to the Killik crisis. And in his other recent books every other paragraph mentions the Myrkr mission.
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Selran
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I didn't realize he was the one who wrote those. But now that you mention it, yeah he does that a lot.
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Rakeesh
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I read it recently as well, and did enjoy it more than the previous installment.

Boy, Jacen Solo sure gets a crappier deal than, say, Anakin Skywalker who after a lifetime of almost constant atrocity and evil gets his blue shiny ghost on with Yoda and Obi-Wan. However, that's more a complaint of Anakin getting off way too light as opposed to Jacen getting off too harsh.

Those afterlife encounters were fun, for all they were so short-but I guess that's necessary from a storytelling standpoint.

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neo-dragon
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Abyss was okay. Certainly better than Omen, but maybe not as entertaining for me as Outcast.

So far the Fate of the Jedi series isn't knocking my socks off. I think I'm starting to grow tired of these lengthy series. It takes too long for the story to progress. The Legacy of the Force could have been a really amazing trilogy. Look at the story that Zahn was able to tell in 3 books. The NJO could have been a stellar 7 or 8 books rather than 19. My biggest problem with Abyss is the problem that I've had with a number of books since the NJO. It's over 300 pages of text and I could sum up the important plot developments in just a few sentences. And dear goodness, why do Mandalorians have to be brought into the story again? I had enough of the Mandos in the last series.

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Lyrhawn
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The next one of these comes out in April. I plan to start buying them when they hit paperback, which should hopefully be in the next month or two.

I've read such mixed reviews I'm not sure what I'll find. Part of me wishes we could have something of a carefree return to the X-Wing series, where we focus on a small band of heroes, and the focus is a lot more on character interaction than on halfway believable plot elements. But I'm interested to see where Jacen was during his five year absence, so I'll suffer along with these books for awhile. I do like Aaron Allston however, so I'm hoping some of them are surprisingly good.

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Rakeesh
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That's the hook that got me, Lyrhawn-that and his kid. But mixed in with it is a bunch of other stuff I find it difficult to care about, which is frustrating because I can tell that if, say, a Zahn were writing it, I'd be neck-deep in interest. Or maybe an Allston for that matter, if they let that one author have a continuous go at it.
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Lyrhawn
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That's the problem with having such a large arc with so many authors. Each author has their own pet side story, which is why the Fett/Mandalorian storyline only got attention when what's her name had a turn at the helm.

Part of me thinks that, they can have a larger arc if they want it, but they should go back to assigning individual authors a trilogy of novels at a time for the sake of more continuity, and perhaps luring some of the best authors back to Star Wars, like Zahn, Stackpole, and more Allston, to name a few. I thought Walter Jon Williams was one of the best NJO authors outside of Stackpole and Allston. I loved Destiny's Way.

Every author has their own pet side story, characters, etc. that they like personally, and that they focus on. The effect can from time to time be very interesting if the author in question is particularly good, but on the whole it's jarring and distracting.

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neo-dragon
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Fate of the Jedi book 4: Backlash is out. I have it, but haven't actually started reading it just yet. But since this is the thread for general Star Wars Expanded Universe discussion I thought I'd give a little shout-out to this.

Most of us EU fans have fond memories of Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy. What you may or may not know is that during the 90s each of the books was adapted into a six issue comic series. This recently published "Thrawn Trilogy" is a collection of all three comic series in a single very nice looking and convenient hardcover volume. I recently acquired a copy and am very glad that I did. It's an awesome way to revisit the cornerstone of modern EU.

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Rakeesh
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They should've just given it all to Zahn, letting him write new stories at his own friggin' pace. Him and a few others. Had to keep that money machine chugging though, I s'pose.
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neo-dragon
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I don't know about that. Zahn is good, arguably the best, but his books still have their flaws, and the multitude of authors brings variety to the table. Multiple authors within one series has its problems though.
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ricree101
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quote:
Originally posted by neo-dragon:
I don't know about that. Zahn is good, arguably the best, but his books still have their flaws, and the multitude of authors brings variety to the table. Multiple authors within one series has its problems though.

His work with Stackpole always seemed to go well. The X-Wing books definitely added their own particular flavor to the series, and they actually took note of each others work and even though they did their own thing, they actually did a great job tying it all together.

If they could have gotten one or two other authors who could have that sort of working relationship with one another, and then let them loose, I think things would have turned out better.

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Lyrhawn
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Spent the last few hours reading Outcast and Omen. I have to say, I really liked Outcast. Omen felt like 200 and some odd pages of setting up the NEXT story, which I think could be good.

I don't mind the planet-of-the-week format for Luke and Ben. I think we knew that retracing Jacen's steps was always going to involve this kind of planet hopping adventure, and I'm curious as to what happened with Jacen, so I think it's interesting.

I sort of agree that the Han/Leia/Allana storyline is more forced, especially in Omen, but in Outcast they served at least one useful purpose - to use Allana to foreshadow the bad guys in the Maw. I thought she was referring to the moon above Kessel at first, but now it's obviously the Maw, where something bad is going down and is likely related to the illness that the Jedi from Sanctuary are suffering.

I guess what bugs me a little is that it's all pretty easy to guess. Daala is going to use the illness that the Jedi youth are suffering as an excuse to push them further and further from power, and then about five books in, the Sith are going to explode onto the scene and the Jedi will be needed but hampered. All the while, Luke will figure out what happened to Jacen and the whole thing will end with him being reinstalled as Grand Master, but with some necessary reforms that bring the Jedi more closely in line with the rule of law.

Despite that, I still like this series more than the last one. Though, what they are doing to the Horn family (Jysella too!?) is utterly unforgivable! My hope is that they'll at least make the journey interesting, even if the destination seems very easy to figure out. They went a little heavy on the foreshadowing in the first book.

I also agree with what others have said about allowing a single author to do more. All series and trilogies in the beginning were from a single author. It wasn't until NJO that they started rotating like this, but even then they did a lot of duologies. I think FotJ would have been a lot better off if Allston had penned the first three to get things going. I think it would have been even better off if it was a 9 novel series, with Stackpole, Allston and Zahn each getting a trilogy.

The biggest problem is that all these authors have their own agendas. None of them want to write what essentially feels like fanfic, so they all either spend too much time creating their own characters, who are often throwaways ignored by other authors, or they focus almost exclusively on characters they've previously created, which is why you never see the names Kell Tainer or Tyria Sarkin unless Allston is writing it. Or perhaps the most notably glaring example from the LotF series was when what's her name couldn't stop talking about the Mandalorians despite the fact that keeping them relevantly involved in the ongoing plot took a herculean effort that was a failure because none of the other authors kept it up, and it was ridiculously out of place.

Anyway, I plan to continue reading FotJ as they come out on paperback, and hopefully things will be good.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I guess what bugs me a little is that it's all pretty easy to guess. Daala is going to use the illness that the Jedi youth are suffering as an excuse to push them further and further from power, and then about five books in, the Sith are going to explode onto the scene and the Jedi will be needed but hampered. All the while, Luke will figure out what happened to Jacen and the whole thing will end with him being reinstalled as Grand Master, but with some necessary reforms that bring the Jedi more closely in line with the rule of law.
I dunno. If they're trying to set up the Legacy comic book series, evil needs to win pretty resoundingly in this one.
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neo-dragon
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I'm glad someone bumped this thread. I'm almost finished book 5: Allies. I guess I can't really discuss much though since I don't think anyone else here is that far yet. Anyway...

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I guess what bugs me a little is that it's all pretty easy to guess. Daala is going to use the illness that the Jedi youth are suffering as an excuse to push them further and further from power, and then about five books in, the Sith are going to explode onto the scene and the Jedi will be needed but hampered. All the while, Luke will figure out what happened to Jacen and the whole thing will end with him being reinstalled as Grand Master, but with some necessary reforms that bring the Jedi more closely in line with the rule of law.
I dunno. If they're trying to set up the Legacy comic book series, evil needs to win pretty resoundingly in this one.
I'm not sure what you mean by evil needing to win. Legacy takes place something like 90 years later, and when it begins (or just prior to it's start, actually), the jedi are as strong as ever. The galactic alliance is still in power, but doesn't seem to control or restrict the jedi any more than previous governments did. Perhaps even less so since the Jedi appear to be based primarily on Ossus rather than Coruscant. The bad guys in Legacy (a group of sith unrelated to the Lost Tribe in FotJ and part of the Empire) pretty much come out of nowhere just a few years before the start of the series. So evil winning actually doesn't make much sense given that the good guys are still running things more than 80 years later.
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Lyrhawn
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How good is the Legacy comic book series? It sounds interesting. I've never been a huge fan of graphic novels though.
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Selran
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I just added Allies to my Audible cart. I'll get it as soon as I get my credits.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How good is the Legacy comic book series? It sounds interesting. I've never been a huge fan of graphic novels though.

It's hard to say if Legacy would be your cup of tea or not. I enjoy graphic novels but usually prefer regular novels a whole lot more due to their greater depth.

I started off just downloading issues of Legacy because I was intrigued by the premise, but then went back and started purchasing it from the start when the sci-fi book club started offering 3-volume box sets. It only goes to show all those people who complain about internet piracy that it actually helps promote work and gets people to end up buying something which they may not have thought was worth it otherwise.

Anyway, my point is that I would suggest maybe reading the first volume (download, library, read it in the store) and decide for yourself if it's worthwhile. It was recently announced that the 50th issue which I believe comes out in July will be the last. So if you read or collect the series in graphic novel (trade paperback) format it should be about 10 volumes when all is said in done.

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Lyrhawn
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Anyone keeping up with these? I think I'm a couple behind, but I'm considering jumping back into it.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by neo-dragon:
I don't know about that. Zahn is good, arguably the best, but his books still have their flaws, and the multitude of authors brings variety to the table. Multiple authors within one series has its problems though.

What SHOULD have happened is instead of making the books sequential, the different authors could focus on a narrower range of characters and develop their individual stories within the context of the broader conflict; e.g. Traviss could play with Boba Fett, Denning could focus on Han and Leia or something, and Alston could focus on Ben and Luke. If they could have got him on board, Matthew Stover could have told the story from Jacen's point of view, and have that serve as the backbone of the galactic conflict that the others develop into more individualized stories.

What actually happened was that each book had to continue what the previous book did, and developed every character who was given a role in the story thus far. Things just got more and more complicated, and the books lost focus. They had to weave everything all the authors had together in ostensibly one story, so each book was basically "this is what happened to everyone at this stage in this new galactic war" instead of "this is the story of Characters X and Y set in this stage of this new galactic war." It became about the war, not the characters. These books could have been great if they told more personal stories; it would have been less convoluted.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Anyone keeping up with these? I think I'm a couple behind, but I'm considering jumping back into it.

I've been keeping up. I'm not quite sure where I stand with this series as a whole. It seems sort of pointless and the most recent volume in particular was bogged down with politics.

I've been getting a more enjoyable Star Wars experience by reading the Darth Bane novels.

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Lyrhawn
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That's Old Republic stuff right? I never really enjoyed that.

On the other hand, Luke Skywalker's Planet of the Week wacky family travels aren't really doing it for me either. I was hoping it got better so I could jump back into it.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
That's Old Republic stuff right? I never really enjoyed that.


Me neither, but I was pleasantly surprised.
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