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Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded uni

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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby dWhisper » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:21 am

My issue with Chewie's death wasn't that it was a death, it was pretty much what you said: the death was pointless and didn't reverberate. It was supposed to be some sort of ground-shaking development, but it ended up being a throwaway. And all of the writing that came after it, with Han basically sulking and wandering around alone, was pretty bad because of it.

I agree with you on Anakin, he was easily the most interesting character in there, and the one that developed the most. And while his death was huge and impactful, it didn't need to happen. Again, it was mostly for effect because the story itself wasn't reverberating where characters were. I would have much rather seen Jacen go, as it would have saved us the entire storyline that followed (and the whole Nest Trilogy especially), and the same effect could have been done. More than that, it could have made Jaina a far more interesting character, since she spent most of the NJO as pretty one-dimensional.

There were good parts of the story, and good writing in there (the last good, especially, was quite good). And when the Vong were focused, it worked well. But the whole trope of overwhelming force that just tears through is what bugged me (the superweapon vs. undepowered guys thing). And that the whole thing was happening from basically nowhere, outside the galaxy and from an unknown adversary, made them have less of a punch. Then again, it probably didn't help that all of the writing about Vong technology and weapons made me keep imagining Cobra-La.

Oh, and don't forget that we got like six books of C-3PO being even more whiny and useless than he was in the movies, because he was scared of being melted down.
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby TheBohrok » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:45 pm

One thing from the EU we know is too lucrative for Disney to keep from being canon: Boba Fett escapes.

I am interested and not too concerned to see what Disney keeps and throws away because I don't really have a vested interest in the EU. And like others have said, fans can decide what's canon for themselves.
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby CaptainFordo » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:27 am

Faefrost wrote:My take on what I expect?

The movies are obviously cannon. No two ways around that. Although we can pray that Mitochlorians are quietly dealt with in an embarrassed silence by all and never spoken of again.


Gotta say I've never understood the hate for Midi-cholorians. People say it stops the force being mystical and makes it more sciency but that's not the case at all. The Midi-cholorians don't CREATE the force, they are just the means to commune with it, in much the way white blood cells fight off infection.

The only reason they were introduced was as a way to indicate Anakin's force potential. They couldn't very well say "Anakin has like really high levels of Force in him, he's in the top percentile of Force users. He's got more Force than Yoda, he's the Forciest dude in the galaxy." Midi-cholorians were a clean way of saying "he has a high count of this thing that increases force sensitivity."

Was it necessary? Probably not, but it's not the violent destruction of the Force mythos 90% of SW fans seem to think it is.
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby Roarsack » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:10 pm

CaptainFordo wrote:They couldn't very well say "Anakin has like really high levels of Force in him, he's in the top percentile of Force users. He's got more Force than Yoda, he's the Forciest dude in the galaxy."

But that is basically what they said. The good ole "the Force is strong with him" would have done the job quite well. And if you go back and watch Empire, and listen to what Yoda teaches Luke, you know, the Force surrounds everything and all that jazz, it very much contradicts with the whole Midichlorian crap. Midichlorians make it sound like a trading card game: "Oooh! My Jedi is better than your Jedi, because my Jedi has over 9000 Midichlorian count while your Jedi only has 5000!"
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby rnsrobot » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:42 pm

The only story I would like to either be brought into canon, or revised, is the original Thrawn trilogy. If the new movies are set 10-15 years after ROTJ, you could leave it in. The rest can leave or go.

Bringing up Dark Empire as an example of the confusion is bang on. I didn't read the comics, so when I picked up the first book of Anderson's trilogy there, I had no idea what the hell was going on. They start up with Coruscant in ruins, with minimal explanation. I felt like I'd missed a book. Truth was, I *had*, but... yeesh.

Also that trilogy was terrible.

I think some of my favorite books remain Tales from Jabba's Palace and Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina. They get a bit hokey how much EVERY character has some giant backstory but I really enjoyed a lot of the takes.
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby dWhisper » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:46 pm

rnsrobot wrote:Also that trilogy was terrible.


Everything that Kevin J. Anderson writes is terrible.
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby lego the hutt » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:57 pm

Roarsack wrote:But that is basically what they said. The good ole "the Force is strong with him" would have done the job quite well. And if you go back and watch Empire, and listen to what Yoda teaches Luke, you know, the Force surrounds everything and all that jazz, it very much contradicts with the whole Midichlorian crap.


I can't completely accept this rationalization. "The force is strong with him" would have worked in the case of any force sensitive person, but that wouldn't have been enough to distinguish him as "the chosen one who will bring balance to the force" that is spoke of in the prophecy.

Also, there is the whole necessity of explaining Anakin's inception. He was conceived by the midichlorians so it was necessary to explain that they are living, microscopic organisms.

Yoda and Qui Gon are saying the same thing in different ways. I deciphered it as Yoda trying to keep it simple for Luke. Not to mention I'm sure we have all seen the extra footage about how Yoda mentions to Luke that Obiwan would have told Luke about his father long ago if Yoda would have let him. Yoda is known to only reveal as much information as he deems necessary. There was no reason for Yoda to go into specifics with Luke. Luke was already struggling with his training as it was without adding excess information that didn't pertain to him mastering his abilities. (not to mention Yoda didn't have the technology available to test Luke's blood even if he had wanted to)

There is a ...rather lengthy...write up about midichlorians that I think is pretty interesting here:
http://www.theforce.net/midichlorians/index.asp

Give it a read through if you have a few minutes.
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Re: Op-ed: Disney takes a chainsaw to the Star Wars expanded

Postby dWhisper » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:28 pm

Ultimately, it's the problem of over-explanation in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy setting, at least from a writing point of view. There is a place for explanation of "how" in fiction, but there also has to be room for "just because" and things that don't need it. It wasn't even giving it a name in midichlorions that was a problem... it was going on to explain what it was.

You see this in a lot of other Sci-Fi and Fantasy, especially Star Trek and Doctor Who. DW tends to straddle the line well, in throwing out some nonsense but never bothering to explain what it means ("I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow"). Star Trek, on the other hand, has whole drinking games about the lengths they go through to explain not just what but why (and often contradicting why multiple times). Voyager was especially bad at this (and DS9 especially good at avoiding it).

The reason it's a problem in Star Wars is because it takes some of the mystique away. A good story doesn't need to explain things like that, and you can turn the stuff like that in your way. The OT did it well, in basically just talking about hyperspace (even when using terms like parsecs incorrectly). There wasn't a need to explain it, and it didn't add anything to the story to do so (in fact, it diminished it).

Think about another beloved franchise out there in the Nerdverse... Firefly / Serenity. Did it ever make any difference to the plot that they never bothered to explain how they traveled faster than light, how River read minds, or how the guys on that ship got any work done (or the girls, for that matter)? The only time "the tech" came up was in direct relation to emphasizing a story point, and it was always lightly. The engine being broken meant you didn't get oxygen (and no need to explain why the engine made it). River was damaged because they basically shut off the protection mechanisms in her brain (which apparently also made her awesome). It was the stuff in the water that made the Reavers.

The easy explanation was "the force is strong with him" and that was all that was ever needed to move the story along. Everything after that is just a waste.
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