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Novel Fatigue?
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
garhkal wrote:
I always wished, if they WERE to have done a sequel trilogy, these three novels would have been taken from print to the big screen..

The ultimate EU fan lament. I would have taken even an animated adaptations with the original actors performing their characters' voices (well it is unlikely Harrison Ford would have done that but they could have gotten the rest).



I'd settle for Perry King doing Han Solo in a Thrawn Trilogy adaptation. I enjoyed him in the radio series. Granted, he did his own Solo, and not an impersonation of Ford's.
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ReverendKeaton
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheshire wrote:


I'd settle for Perry King doing Han Solo in a Thrawn Trilogy adaptation. I enjoyed him in the radio series. Granted, he did his own Solo, and not an impersonation of Ford's.


Perry King did a good job as Solo in the radio series. I remember listening to the original broadcast on NPR. Even my step dad made sure to tune it in even if we were in the car. I was so hyped. It gave such a wonderful backstory to how the plans were obtained.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daley’s Han Solo (Stars, Revenge, Legacy)
Zahn’s Luke Skywalker (Heir, Force, Command, Specter, Vision)
Stackpole’s Corran Horn (Rogue, Gamble, Trap, Bacta, Jedi, Isard)
Allston’s Wedge Antilles (Wraith, Fist, Command, Starfighters)

Though I have always been much more into books than movies, I have always loved the OT. So, reading the best-of-the-best novels which revolve around the OT — its “characters and situations”, if you will — was a win-win for me. When it gets too far afield from that either by time period or genre or focus — it just doesn’t interest me any more. And I’m a snob for good quality, because there’s plenty else I could be reading that’s not Star Wars. Nothing with “Darth” in the title appeals to me. I thought TFA by and large nailed the OT feel that I love, but I don’t think there are any related novels that appeal to me (the TFA novelization is terrible, and Bloodline, well, it’s described as a political thriller).
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read the Star Wars novels as they were published, from Zahn's trilogy up through the Black Fleet Crisis. Zahn's trilogy was the highlight and it never got better than that. For that matter, it almost never even matched those heights. While the Crystal Star/Children of the Jedi/Darksaber books were the absolute worst, the Black Flee Crisis basically destroyed my desire to ever read another Star Wars novel.

Then I hard they dropped a moon on Chewbacca and brought in the biological equivalent of the Borg crossed with Slaanesh worshippers from Warhammer 40K and I knew I wouldn't be back.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
I read the Star Wars novels as they were published, from Zahn's trilogy up through the Black Fleet Crisis. Zahn's trilogy was the highlight and it never got better than that. For that matter, it almost never even matched those heights. While the Crystal Star/Children of the Jedi/Darksaber books were the absolute worst, the Black Flee Crisis basically destroyed my desire to ever read another Star Wars novel.

Then I hard they dropped a moon on Chewbacca and brought in the biological equivalent of the Borg crossed with Slaanesh worshippers from Warhammer 40K and I knew I wouldn't be back.


I remember guys at work telling me how great the NJO series was and I had to read it. Vector Prime is awesome they said. I should have taken into account they were also Forgotten Realms fans (I was also more of a home brew or Greyhawk fan myself) and loved Drizzt. I never did get into the R.A. Salvatore series of books so I should have known what was coming.

The only other character death that I can relate to Chewbacca in Vector Prime is Admiral Ackbar in TLJ. A great character that people invested so much into and they didn't have the common decency to give them an death worthy of heros. They just dumped them away.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReverendKeaton wrote:
Solo4114 wrote:
I read the Star Wars novels as they were published, from Zahn's trilogy up through the Black Fleet Crisis. Zahn's trilogy was the highlight and it never got better than that. For that matter, it almost never even matched those heights. While the Crystal Star/Children of the Jedi/Darksaber books were the absolute worst, the Black Flee Crisis basically destroyed my desire to ever read another Star Wars novel.

Then I hard they dropped a moon on Chewbacca and brought in the biological equivalent of the Borg crossed with Slaanesh worshippers from Warhammer 40K and I knew I wouldn't be back.


I remember guys at work telling me how great the NJO series was and I had to read it. Vector Prime is awesome they said. I should have taken into account they were also Forgotten Realms fans (I was also more of a home brew or Greyhawk fan myself) and loved Drizzt. I never did get into the R.A. Salvatore series of books so I should have known what was coming.

The only other character death that I can relate to Chewbacca in Vector Prime is Admiral Ackbar in TLJ. A great character that people invested so much into and they didn't have the common decency to give them an death worthy of heros. They just dumped them away.


I actually distinguish between Ackbar and Chewie. Chewie is a main character for 4 films (and has at least an appearance in 5 total, prior to Solo). Ackbar appeared in a single film for a couple of scenes. He's remembered today more because of the "IT'S A TRAP!" meme.

Now, it's true that the super-hard-core fans who read the novels, played the RPG, etc. know a lot more about Ackbar. And he also appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon. But at the end of the day, for general audiences, Ackbar is a very minor character, and giving him an "heroic" death would probably have added an unnecessary tangent to the story in TLJ. I didn't even really realize he was in it, and nobody else would either, if they didn't have someone say "That Mon Cal in the background? That was Ackbar." Like, there's a Sullustan at the end of TLJ talking to someone. I gather some people assume that's Nien Nunb, but since he didn't have any lines and nobody referred to him by name, I have no reason to assume that's who he is. And frankly, if that character ended up dying, I really wouldn't care because, other than speaking Tagalog to Lando and showing up in the Star Wars Battlefront videogame, he's basically nobody.

One of the things worth remembering is that, in spite of the "Everyone gets an heroic background, even Ice Cream Maker Guy," drive from Wookieepedia and the makers of collectible card games and action figures, there's really zero reason for general audiences to care about the vast bulk of Star Wars characters. And I find that tendency to want to over-explain the lives of background characters ends up turning everyone into a hero and simultaneously creating a fishbowl universe where everyone is connected to some hugely important event in the stories and is playing Six Degrees of Luke Skywalker with everyone else.

But yeah, the whole NJO thing...zero interest for me once I heard what it was about. I get that they were trying to insert "consequences" into the stories and make them "darker" but it just strikes me as a really ham-fisted approach to a series -- especially the novel series -- that had been nothing of the sort for a long time.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:

One of the things worth remembering is that, in spite of the "Everyone gets an heroic background, even Ice Cream Maker Guy," drive from Wookieepedia and the makers of collectible card games and action figures, there's really zero reason for general audiences to care about the vast bulk of Star Wars characters. And I find that tendency to want to over-explain the lives of background characters ends up turning everyone into a hero and simultaneously creating a fishbowl universe where everyone is connected to some hugely important event in the stories and is playing Six Degrees of Luke Skywalker with everyone else.

But yeah, the whole NJO thing...zero interest for me once I heard what it was about. I get that they were trying to insert "consequences" into the stories and make them "darker" but it just strikes me as a really ham-fisted approach to a series -- especially the novel series -- that had been nothing of the sort for a long time.


I feel the same. I've never understood the push to give 'everyone, a heroic death'.. Ackbar, Mon-mothma, Nien nub, those are not minor characters, but neither are they major-hero level characters..
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this quote from Timothy Zahn:

Quote:
Star Wars, to me, is an old-fashioned tale of Good v. Evil, with the heroes stepping up to an overwhelming challenge, working through it with sweat and courage and sacrifice, and ultimately winning the day. Part of that is that the chief good guys are alive at the end in order to see their victory.

I often hear the argument that having major characters die is more realistic than having them always come through unscathed. Of course it is. But I personally don’t want my fiction to necessarily be ”realistic” – I want my fiction to be entertaining. For me, that means watching engaging characters I care about get into and out of dangerous predicaments, working and thinking together in order to defeat the bad guys. While some authors (and readers) like the tension of wondering who will live and who will die, I prefer the tension of seeing how the heroes are going to think or work their ways out of each difficult or impossible situation they find themselves in. If I want realism and the deaths of people I care about, I can turn on the news. (source)

As for Ackbar, well, people do care a lot about the character, and I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to tell them they are wrong to do so. I didn’t see the point in his unceremonious discarding in the new canon.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to explain it.

The first thing to realize -- which admittedly is likely difficult for many -- is that the ENTIRETY of the EU doesn't mean squat. It never happened. That includes background info on Ackbar being Tarkin's personal Mon Cal slave, it includes Project Shantipole, it includes everything in the EU novels, etc., etc., etc. Those things never happened.

The thing is, most of Ackbar's importance is derived from that material. He does a lot more in that material than he does on film, and it's arguably that material that gives folks a connection to him. Otherwise, he's just a 1983 action figure who can't hold a blaster or turn his head.

On film, Ackbar does about as much as Admiral Raddus does. But nobody really cares about what became of Admiral Raddus, do they? Nobody is saying "Hey, how come Rogue One didn't take time to show Admiral Raddus' heroic death? What, his ship gets taken over and we're suppose to assume he's just unceremoniously executed? WTF? He's a hero! He deserved better!"

Narratively speaking, though, each fish guy is basically interchangeable. The only difference is that people have had 30+ years to rewatch ROTJ and watch scenes of Admiral Ackbar saying IT'S A TRAP!!!! But that's about it.

Once you take out all the extraneous EU material, once you jettison that stuff, Ackbar's just another fish admiral dude, and isn't really the focus of the story. Having a moment to hold a funeral for him, or for all of the bridge crew or whathaveyou would've been incredibly jarring no matter where you put it in TLJ. It would have stopped the film dead in its tracks for a moment of random reflection about poor admiral fish dude and Bearded Commander Guy and Other Random Background Character who died when Kylo Ren's wingmate blew up the bridge.

At best, I think you might get another ship christened the Ackbar, but where/when else would you put in a funeral?

I know some people would've liked to have seen Holdo replaced with Ackbar, but at the end of the day, I think that'd amount to little more than fan service for an incredibly narrow range of fans (narrow by comparison with general audiences). Plus, I think Holdo is kind of meant to be...jarring and maybe a little off-putting to viewers. You're supposed to not really like her or feel at ease around her. I think that's by design to put you in Poe's shoes and make you sympathize with him just so that you can experience the kind of growth he undergoes in the film. (Whether it worked for you is a different matter, but I think that's the intent with her.)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming back around to this...

I made the OP one day after I had purchased the Thrawn: Alliances ebook off Amazon. Thrawn has always fascinated me, and I've been looking forward to this book for some time.

And yet, when the book was finally released, it simply could not hold my attention. It took me almost two weeks to complete it. Granted, I've got stuff going on in my personal life now, but that's not really an excuse; books have always been my escape, and a Star Wars book with Thrawn as one of the main characters should have sucked me in forced me to finish it.

After reading over several of the replies, I've come to realize that I just don't care about the characters any more. Part of it is that, for pretty much any novel set in the classic era (and much like Solo), so many of the fates of these characters are already fixed. We know who makes it and who doesn't. Even Thrawn has become something of a one-trick pony (although it is still a d@mned good trick), a Holmesian character who will piece together a myriad of seeming unrelated clues to draw forth the correct answer, to the point where it is dependable. You expect it, because it's just what he does. There's nothing there to surprise you about it anymore. The fascination of watching his mind work in the HttE series has long since dried up.

For all of its flaws (and there were plenty of them), the Legends EU novels had that advantage of still moving forward into the unknown. Even pre-NJO, and the death of Chewbacca, we could never quite be certain whether all the characters would make it out alive. Now, with the new trilogy, we know of a certainty as to which characters made it that far and which ones we still aren't sure of (but, TBH, if a character was sufficiently minor as to not be included in the TFA/TLJ era, how much did we care about them anyway?)

I recall reading a fan fiction once where the author had reshuffled the original plot so that everything that wrong for the characters in the original work went right instead. End result? It was boring. There was no suspense, nothing to hold your interest, because you just knew the story was just going to slide along to the predictable happy ending, flawless and unexciting. The sheer unreality of a life that goes flawlessly and perfectly just couldn't help but shine through, and it ruined the story, because there was nothing there to grab and hold the reader's attention. There was nothing there to care about.

Same thing with Star Wars as it exists today. It saddens me to say that there is nothing in the current iteration of the EU that really, truly grabs onto me and makes me care about it...
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Pel
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hence why we keep obsessing over our old beloved books. Maybe it's nostalgia, but a lot of the EU material was done quite well and the new stuff paints everything and everyone as disposable. As fans that can also make us feel disposable and no one should find that entertaining.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
I actually distinguish between Ackbar and Chewie. Chewie is a main character for 4 films (and has at least an appearance in 5 total, prior to Solo). Ackbar appeared in a single film for a couple of scenes. He's remembered today more because of the "IT'S A TRAP!" meme.

Now, it's true that the super-hard-core fans who read the novels, played the RPG, etc. know a lot more about Ackbar. And he also appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon. But at the end of the day, for general audiences, Ackbar is a very minor character, and giving him an "heroic" death would probably have added an unnecessary tangent to the story in TLJ. I didn't even really realize he was in it, and nobody else would either, if they didn't have someone say "That Mon Cal in the background? That was Ackbar." Like, there's a Sullustan at the end of TLJ talking to someone. I gather some people assume that's Nien Nunb, but since he didn't have any lines and nobody referred to him by name, I have no reason to assume that's who he is. And frankly, if that character ended up dying, I really wouldn't care because, other than speaking Tagalog to Lando and showing up in the Star Wars Battlefront videogame, he's basically nobody.

One of the things worth remembering is that, in spite of the "Everyone gets an heroic background, even Ice Cream Maker Guy," drive from Wookieepedia and the makers of collectible card games and action figures, there's really zero reason for general audiences to care about the vast bulk of Star Wars characters. And I find that tendency to want to over-explain the lives of background characters ends up turning everyone into a hero and simultaneously creating a fishbowl universe where everyone is connected to some hugely important event in the stories and is playing Six Degrees of Luke Skywalker with everyone else.

Falconer wrote:
As for Ackbar, well, people do care a lot about the character, and I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to tell them they are wrong to do so. I didn’t see the point in his unceremonious discarding in the new canon.

Solo4114 wrote:
The first thing to realize -- which admittedly is likely difficult for many -- is that the ENTIRETY of the EU doesn't mean squat. It never happened. That includes background info on Ackbar being Tarkin's personal Mon Cal slave, it includes Project Shantipole, it includes everything in the EU novels, etc., etc., etc. Those things never happened.

The thing is, most of Ackbar's importance is derived from that material. He does a lot more in that material than he does on film, and it's arguably that material that gives folks a connection to him. Otherwise, he's just a 1983 action figure who can't hold a blaster or turn his head.

On film, Ackbar does about as much as Admiral Raddus does. But nobody really cares about what became of Admiral Raddus, do they? Nobody is saying "Hey, how come Rogue One didn't take time to show Admiral Raddus' heroic death? What, his ship gets taken over and we're suppose to assume he's just unceremoniously executed? WTF? He's a hero! He deserved better!"

Narratively speaking, though, each fish guy is basically interchangeable. The only difference is that people have had 30+ years to rewatch ROTJ and watch scenes of Admiral Ackbar saying IT'S A TRAP!!!! But that's about it.

Once you take out all the extraneous EU material, once you jettison that stuff, Ackbar's just another fish admiral dude, and isn't really the focus of the story. Having a moment to hold a funeral for him, or for all of the bridge crew or whathaveyou would've been incredibly jarring no matter where you put it in TLJ. It would have stopped the film dead in its tracks for a moment of random reflection about poor admiral fish dude and Bearded Commander Guy and Other Random Background Character who died when Kylo Ren's wingmate blew up the bridge.

At best, I think you might get another ship christened the Ackbar, but where/when else would you put in a funeral?

I know some people would've liked to have seen Holdo replaced with Ackbar, but at the end of the day, I think that'd amount to little more than fan service for an incredibly narrow range of fans (narrow by comparison with general audiences). Plus, I think Holdo is kind of meant to be...jarring and maybe a little off-putting to viewers. You're supposed to not really like her or feel at ease around her. I think that's by design to put you in Poe's shoes and make you sympathize with him just so that you can experience the kind of growth he undergoes in the film. (Whether it worked for you is a different matter, but I think that's the intent with her.)

You know I venerate the films over the EU (and the DU), but I still disagree with a lot of what you posted.

I am a first gen Star Wars fan who saw the classic trilogy films one time each in the theater in 77, 80 and 83. The original Star Wars film was broadcast on network TV in 84 so I saw that one a second time. In early 87, my best friend got the Star Wars trilogy on VHS and I watched all three of them again. I saved up money from my high school job to buy my own copies. Between his copies and mine, I watched the trilogy on VHS a dozen times before I got the WEG RPG and Sb that Fall and read Ackbar's background. And 1987 was still over 20 years before I ever saw an internet meme! I object to your sentiment that Ackbar is hardly more than a meme.

Ackbar is not a background character in RotJ. Ackbar and Chewbacca are both supporting protagonists, but granted Chewie is more significant being a sidekick to a main protagonist. However Admiral Ackbar is the commander of the Rebel Fleet in the final climactic battle. In the film, Ackbar is largely there to have urgent tactical discussions with Lando in thick of all the space action. I always felt that Ackbar, a muppet, had a much more significant role in the film than Mon Mothma who appears in one scene with one speech in the first act and she's gone.

You say Ackbar is only known for the line, "It's a trap!" but that wasn't what I felt was his big line. From my very first viewing of RotJ as a preteen, I remember Ackbar for his big line not talking to Lando:

"We've got to give those fighters more time. Concentrate all fire on that super star destroyer!"

And they did, the ship was disabled, and it crashed into the Death Star, severely crippling it. Ackbar then sat back and put his head down in relief. There's a good amount of emotion being expressed in that scene - Not bad for a muppet!

The difference with Admiral Raddus is that he's a single character film and Rogue One is a prequel. We already knew Raddus would be gone from the Rebels one way or the other because he wasn't in the other films. (His chronologically subsequent absence would be filled in by Ackbar.) There was no expectation with Raddus because Raddus served his purpose in the film. And, Raddus's final fate is not shown in the film, so it wouldn't have to be an unheroic death like Ackbar got. If a fan wants to imagine a heroic death for Raddus, he is free to without it even being contradicted on film.

Ackbar had speaking lines in both TFA and TLJ. And by the way, that was Nein Nunb and he did have speaking lines too (albeit in Sullustan or whatever his language is).

Narratively, the whole purpose of Admiral Holdo was just to give Poe something to do in the second act. A lot of fans say that Finn's story in the second act was pointless, but the whole "side mission that failed" actually had the narrative purpose of bringing Finn to the point of committing to the Resistance cause as he proudly corrected Phasma, "Rebel scum." Poe's story is distrust of and rebellion against Holdo who was holding out on telling Poe the plan, but it is makes no sense for her to keep the plan secret in the first place. Just tell him the plan - There an old Rebel base in the system. The story could have been Poe disagreeing with the plan for some reason and it still could have played out as it did.

A new admiral was created instead of just using Ackbar in that role just so Oscar Issac would have a human actor to perform with instead of a muppet. But since it was a pointless character with a pointless subplot, there really is no reason that the admiral that sacrificed themselves not be Ackbar, an existing beloved hero of the classic film trilogy. It's not just that Ackbar had a pointless death in the story, it's also that he was killed off just to have a new admiral step in and be the hero that kamikazes the Mon Cal cruiser into the First Order flagship.

My wish for Admiral Ackbar to have a meaningful death has absolutely nothing to do with Ackbar being Grand Moff Tarkin's slave or Ackbar being involved with the creation of the B-wing fighter. Ackbar's WEG/EU background was never anywhere near as important to me as Ackbar's role as a Rebel leader in climactic battle of the classic film trilogy. Admiral Ackbar is a significant supporting film protagonist in RotJ and hero of the Rebellion.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
I love this quote from Timothy Zahn:

Quote:
Star Wars, to me, is an old-fashioned tale of Good v. Evil, with the heroes stepping up to an overwhelming challenge, working through it with sweat and courage and sacrifice, and ultimately winning the day. Part of that is that the chief good guys are alive at the end in order to see their victory.

I often hear the argument that having major characters die is more realistic than having them always come through unscathed. Of course it is. But I personally don’t want my fiction to necessarily be ”realistic” – I want my fiction to be entertaining. For me, that means watching engaging characters I care about get into and out of dangerous predicaments, working and thinking together in order to defeat the bad guys. While some authors (and readers) like the tension of wondering who will live and who will die, I prefer the tension of seeing how the heroes are going to think or work their ways out of each difficult or impossible situation they find themselves in. If I want realism and the deaths of people I care about, I can turn on the news. (source)


That's all good and well for novels or films. BUT makes no real sense in a RPG (IMO)..
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly, Whill. I’ve loved Ackbar for decades—thrilled at his scenes, imitated his voice, etc.—and I never got into the EU at all until 2016.

I think the “How Star Wars The Last Jedi Should Have Ended” video demonstrated how happy fans would have been to see Ackbar in a bigger and more heroic role.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
That's all good and well for novels or films. BUT makes no real sense in a RPG (IMO)..

Sure. When you’re plotting a novel or film, you decide who lives and who dies. I think Zahn was pushing back a bit against the PREVAILING notion that authors who don’t regularly kill off characters are “unrealistic”. But in a RPG you don’t have full control over who lives and who dies. (You’re not plotting a story; the story arises FROM the playout of the game.)
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