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Novel Fatigue?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
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.)


There ar some DMs' i have met over the years, who DO feel the RPG should be akin to a film/story, so the DM is "obligated" to fudge rolls for the "heroes of the story", to give them effective script immunity though..
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ReverendKeaton
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Whill on Ackbar. Ackbar sets up and leads the decisive battle for the rebellion. I loved the characters from the movies. I always felt the EU did a poor job of showing Ackbar and Madine. So for me Ackbar's importance is derived directed from the films. I like Whill have seen ever Star Wars movie in the theater on its first run since 1977.

The "It's a trap!" line is the thing most people remember him for but I like Whill loved the exchange with Lando over the course of the space battle. And when they took out the Executor it was relief you saw from him.

I think comparing Ackbar's death aboard the Raddius to Chewbacca's death in Vector Prime is quite accurate. Chewie's death and the manner in which Salvatore portrayed it to me was a bit meaningless. I understand a lot of people do not agree with that outlook and I may be in the minority of people that feel that way. But it has tarnished 41 years of fandom from me. And I am at the age and point of financial stability where I can spend money on things that I enjoy. With the way they have been treating the franchise I can look elsewhere to spend my money.

The fact is the EU or Legends was always erratic with what they did as far as stories. The Luke/Mara scenario set up by Zahn, in a set of books commisioned by Lucasfilm as the official canon continuation, was not followed through by the other writers. Instead we got Callisto or whatever her name was in a few of the other books. We had Mara thrown into a romance with Lando. There were more horrible stories than I believe there were good ones.

I for one was only disappointed when three books were thrown out of the canon and they wiped the slate clean. And for me that was the Zahn Trilogy (HttE,DFR and TLC). And that was because I did enjoy Thrawn. But when Rebels reintroduced him I was satisfied. I thought it was an interesting way to introduce a very popular character.

But as far as the new canon I should not have to pick up a book to explain the movies. With the last two movies there is so much I do not know because I am not willing to take the time investing in the new canon books to learn it. From the original trilogy I learned what I needed to know about the characters on screen. Boba Fett, the ultimate fanbooy character, was a bounty hunter in really cool armor. Did I need to reed five thousand things to learn everything about his background? No. I loved that he was supposed to be dangerous and unknown. The whole mando backstory to me was over kill as was about anything with him in the EU.

I just don't see a very bright future as far as the movies or the books at this time. I enjoyed Solo as a movie for more than I enjoyed TFA or TLJ. Was it because it was Han and Chewie? Not so much. I enjoyed it because it was a look inside something would be in my games. It had the gritty one shot I wanted. I am not excited for Episode IX. I am definitely not looking forward to see the new Rian Johnson trilogy. I am curious to see what comes of the Game of Thrones guys doing their films. But for the time being I may just stick to my rpg and what I already have that I like on the shelf.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReverendKeaton wrote:
Chewie's death and the manner in which Salvatore portrayed it to me was a bit meaningless. I understand a lot of people do not agree with that outlook and I may be in the minority of people that feel that way. .


Chewie though
A) died saving Han's son
B) had to take a MOON to kill him though..
So i can't see how it was considered meaningless.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Chewie's death was ever meaningless or even handled badly. As Garhkal pointed out he died saving little Anakin and the Vong dropped a moon on his head to do the job. Pretty heroic stuff.

It's strange that there was so much outcry at the time with the poor author receiving actual death threats. Did we mutiny when Ben Kenobi died? How about Yoda? Nope, because it continued the story, just like Chewbacca's demise on Sernpidal. I didn't like that Chewie died, but I thought the book handled it well and that persuaded me to give NJO a chance. My biggest complaint about that series was that entire novels were published in which nothing materially changed from start to finish.

Does the recent movies' habit of old Rebel heroes dropping like Tauntauns in the Dune Sea actually advance the story? Well, we're not sure yet, but I'd like to think so.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly.. The outrage i saw towards Stackpole in particular, and SW in general over Chewie's death was a lot more venemous, than we ever heard over Han's death in TFA..
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
I don't think Chewie's death was ever meaningless or even handled badly. As Garhkal pointed out he died saving little Anakin and the Vong dropped a moon on his head to do the job. Pretty heroic stuff.

It's strange that there was so much outcry at the time with the poor author receiving actual death threats. Did we mutiny when Ben Kenobi died? How about Yoda? Nope, because it continued the story, just like Chewbacca's demise on Sernpidal. I didn't like that Chewie died, but I thought the book handled it well and that persuaded me to give NJO a chance. My biggest complaint about that series was that entire novels were published in which nothing materially changed from start to finish.

I had bought the first NJO book but didn't get to reading it before I was spoiled by Star Wars Insider on Chewie dying. Then I was like, nope. So I can't speak from experience in reading the book, but to me it just didn't make sense to kill off Chewie and I couldn't imagine how it could serve the storyline of the EU. Later I read that it was because he was a hard character to write for, as if anyone knows the correct spelling for, "Aaaaahhhn." If he is a hard character to write for, then you get better at writing for him to compensate. Don't take the coward's way out and and kill him off to get out doing a hard thing. I was thinking they should have instead killed Anakin Solo because he was an abomination continuity from The Dark Empire which contradicted Zahn's view of Star Wars, and I heard that they later killed him off too. But Chewie was gone and that is when I stopped reading post-RotJ novels.
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ReverendKeaton
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

I had bought the first NJO book but didn't get to reading it before I was spoiled by Star Wars Insider on Chewie dying. Then I was like, nope. So I can't speak from experience in reading the book, but to me it just didn't make sense to kill off Chewie and I couldn't imagine how it could serve the storyline of the EU. Later I read that it was because he was a hard character to write for, as if anyone knows the correct spelling for, "Aaaaahhhn." If he is a hard character to write for, then you get better at writing for him to compensate. Don't take the coward's way out and and kill him off to get out doing a hard thing. I was thinking they should have instead killed Anakin Solo because he was an abomination continuity from The Dark Empire which contradicted Zahn's view of Star Wars, and I heard that they later killed him off too. But Chewie was gone and that is when I stopped reading post-RotJ novels.


I thought Anakin's death would have served the story better as well. But it wasn't to happen. As it is I have dim outlook of anything past the Zahn Hand of Thrawn books. It seemed to me he tried to rectify the god awful mess between his first series and his last. But with things so muddled up having so many different authors writing things from so many different perspectives it did not surprise me all old canon was wiped clean.

Myself I would like to see someone come into Lucasfilm that has an over all story arc and plan like Kevin Feige has done for Marvel and the MCU. The comics are the comics but the best stuff gets plucked for the movies. And outside of two bad misfires (Iron Fist and Inhumans) everything has pretty much worked well. If Star Wars had some kind of ten or twenty year plan it would be great. This is what we see in the movies here. Exclamation This is what we can do with the novels here. Exclamation Then if they want to do comics do them. But set a line like Lucas did to begin with when he laid down what he truly saw as canon.

Movies take precedence.
Radio dramas are secondary.
Scripts and novelizations of the movies come in third.
Every thing else (comics, books, EU stuff).

But until someone actually does that I believe we will be hand cranked things that are substandard and not enough to hold our attention. I just now am attempting to read Darth Plegueis. It is the first Star Wars novel I have picked up in years. Time will tell if it holds my interest like some of the other books I have read in recent days. So far I haven't gotten more than a few pages in and I already find myself putting it down to do other things. That was something I didn't do with the Heir to the Empire. I couldn't put it down.

So I am definitely suffering novel fatigue. Is it the fact I just do not feel like keeping up with all the stories that are being slung at me? Possibly. It could be that I am older now and have other things to keep my attention. It could be I am burnt out on the whole Star Wars thing coming at me from Disney and prefer to focus on writing adventures for my players that suit my view of what Star Wars means to me. Who knows.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Don't take the coward's way out and and kill him off to get out doing a hard thing. I was thinking they should have instead killed Anakin Solo because he was an abomination continuity from The Dark Empire which contradicted Zahn's view of Star Wars, and I heard that they later killed him off too. But Chewie was gone and that is when I stopped reading post-RotJ novels.


From what i heard about Stackpole, he was not the one who designed it to kill chewie. IIRC the exec's at lucas films, when he sent his stuff in for approval, supposedly told him to kill one of the core characters off. BUT they listed 2 who couldn't be killed.. So iirc Han and Chewie were the only 2 on the table...
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he meant Salvatore.
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ReverendKeaton
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:

From what i heard about Stackpole, he was not the one who designed it to kill chewie. IIRC the exec's at lucas films, when he sent his stuff in for approval, supposedly told him to kill one of the core characters off. BUT they listed 2 who couldn't be killed.. So iirc Han and Chewie were the only 2 on the table...


My understanding was Salvatore requested to kill off a main character and the only one that was off limits was Luke. And that was because Lucas still had plans to make 7, 8 and 9 and wanted Luke to be the center of the stories.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salvatore didn’t want to kill off anyone. He didn’t want to be forever known as the jerk who killed Chewie.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReverendKeaton wrote:
Myself I would like to see someone come into Lucasfilm that has an over all story arc and plan like Kevin Feige has done for Marvel and the MCU. The comics are the comics but the best stuff gets plucked for the movies. And outside of two bad misfires (Iron Fist and Inhumans) everything has pretty much worked well. If Star Wars had some kind of ten or twenty year plan it would be great. This is what we see in the movies here. Exclamation This is what we can do with the novels here. Exclamation Then if they want to do comics do them. But set a line like Lucas did to begin with when he laid down what he truly saw as canon.

Outside of the Sequel Trilogy episodes being big budget chain writing stories, I think they probably do have a 10-20 year overarching plan because they have said they have no further plans for Episodes or extending Rey's story beyond Episode IX at this time. The story of Rian Johnson's trilogy is being planned out in advance, as is the GoT guys' film series. They have a live action and a new animated series in development that both take place in between the classic and sequel trilogies. There are a lot of Marvel projects in development right now but the MCU doesn't currently have any announced release dates beyond the Spider-Man sequel next July. The lack of concrete details available to the public doesn't mean they don't have a master plan.

ReverendKeaton wrote:
Movies take precedence.
Radio dramas are secondary.
Scripts and novelizations of the movies come in third.
Every thing else (comics, books, EU stuff).

But until someone actually does that I believe we will be hand cranked things that are substandard and not enough to hold our attention. I just now am attempting to read Darth Plegueis. It is the first Star Wars novel I have picked up in years. Time will tell if it holds my interest like some of the other books I have read in recent days. So far I haven't gotten more than a few pages in and I already find myself putting it down to do other things. That was something I didn't do with the Heir to the Empire. I couldn't put it down.

So I am definitely suffering novel fatigue. Is it the fact I just do not feel like keeping up with all the stories that are being slung at me? Possibly. It could be that I am older now and have other things to keep my attention. It could be I am burnt out on the whole Star Wars thing coming at me from Disney and prefer to focus on writing adventures for my players that suit my view of what Star Wars means to me. Who knows.

Darth Plagueis is EU not DU, FYI. DP is pretty good overall, but not always really exciting. A much more recommended EU novel is Labyrinth of Evil by the same author. It is a lot of fun and stays focused on supporting the films.

ReverendKeaton wrote:
My understanding was Salvatore requested to kill off a main character and the only one that was off limits was Luke. And that was because Lucas still had plans to make 7, 8 and 9 and wanted Luke to be the center of the stories.

I don't think so. The Making of The Return of the Jedi (which was of a trilogy of books that notably dug deep into actual history and didn't stay within Lucas's present day version of history) makes it clear that Lucas's pipe dream of three or possibly even four trilogies was given up early in pre-production of RotJ, thus the summer or fall of 1980. Before that, RotJ was still going to have a final confrontation with Vader, but the Emperor wasn't going to die (he wasn't even going to be in the movie much if at all). Leia wasn't the "other" Yoda had spoken of - Luke's long lost sister was going to be a character perhaps only hinted at more who was going to become more important in a sequel trilogy. But before 1980 was over, he made the decision to just tie up the story in RotJ which is why Leia was made the other (which also conveniently resolved the Han/love/triangle plot), and the Emperor was in it and died. Since the release of RotJ when Lucas was bombarded with questions of future movies, the prequels were still a possibility but Lucas was fairly consistent in saying there are no plans for sequel trilogies.

These story treatments for a third trilogy that Lucas included in the Disney sale? There is no possible way that was his original ideas for sequels because in those versions, the Emperor was not dead and Leia was not Luke's sister. In the interest of making new movies being a selling point, Lucas may have dusted those notes off and rewrote them to include the changes RotJ made to the story, but the evidence stands against the con job he tried to pull on Disney that those were the intended sequels that he just decided not to make. When the sale first went through and Episode VII was announced, they were going to go with his treatments and Lucas was actually going to have an "Executive Creative Consultant" credit, but after getting JJ they scrapped that and went in a different direction which pushed Lucas completely out. As big of a fan as I am of Lucas, I think that was probably for the best since his sequel treatments were partially just afterthoughts and not really an integral part of any cohesive master plan.

Back to the NJO, Lucas said that he didn't forbid killing off Luke out of any plans to make future films about him. He stated it was because he thought it was a bad business decision. This is consistent with Lucas's other statements about the EU and handling of the franchise. Lucas views his films primarily as art (although they are undeniably commercial products too). However the EU was strictly business to him. Luke Skywalker sells, and it probably was a wise business decision to not kill him off.
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ReverendKeaton
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
Salvatore didn’t want to kill off anyone. He didn’t want to be forever known as the jerk who killed Chewie.


The story I heard back in the day was different. But alas the deed was done......and undone by the wiping of the books away from canon. Still ruined the whole idea of the series for me. And I believe was the beginning of my novel fatigue. I don't even know that it was so much his death as much as the way it was written. Just something about it never sat right.

I just find it hard to get back into the Star Wars novels now days. It is like there is still so much saturation out there from so many different places.. It was like like my original statement about some of the stories that came out of the EU. Kevin J. Anderson was one of the worst. The Jedi Academy had great potential but was ruined for me by the over the top powers of Kyp Durron, the power of the Suncrusher and Tarkin's protege/lover Daala. It would have been a fine comic but in print it let me down.

So many bad novels overshadowing the good ones. The only thing I can say good about them is it allowed me to pick and chose stuff for my games. I stole what I liked (characters, ships, scenarios) and discarded the rest. Same with the comics and other materials. Out of every bad book something can be salvaged. Something small here, something small there.

And one thing I can say is I never discouraged others from the NJO. I was just always up front that I didn't enjoy it. But not everyone is going to enjoy every single thing that is put out. I actually had a friend (I say had, he passed away almost 10 years ago) that loved The Crystal Star. He thought it was the absolute best Star Wars novel written. I never got around to asking him how he felt about the NJO. On a side note I am glad he never got to read And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer. He was such a big HGTG fan I think that may have killed him.
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ReverendKeaton
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

Darth Plagueis is EU not DU, FYI. DP is pretty good overall, but not always really exciting. A much more recommended EU novel is Labyrinth of Evil by the same author. It is a lot of fun and stays focused on supporting the films.


I know. I am more attempting to read it so I can rip off some stuff for adventure ideas. I am trying to put together a two year game arc for my group and am looking at making some odd things thread through the period. Fact is I really am not finding myself getting into it. I have been trying to break the habit of starting novels and dropping them after 50 pages. I just don't think this one is going to make it either.

The way it is looking it will be Christmas before I get the next novel I know I will read from cover to cover. Outside of things that have been on my reading list a while with most of them being books 50 to 100 years old now. Outside of coming up with adventures for my players to run through I just do not see myself delving to far into Star Wars for the foreseeable future.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReverendKeaton wrote:
But alas the deed was done......and undone by the wiping of the books away from canon.

The EU wasn't wiped away. In 2008 Lucas himself said that there was a Star Wars multiverse which had his world of the films, the EU, and each fan's world. The new Canon is now just Lucas' original world which is now owned by and expanded by Disney. The new canon always existed, and the EU still exists. The EU may officially be called "Legends" now, but it is actually still expanding, albeit much more slowly that it was before. Nothing was wiped away. It was always a multiverse and all universes still exist.
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