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Karen Traviss


DrunkenGundark's Avatar


DrunkenGundark
01.30.2012 , 01:38 PM | #11
Largely what others in the thread have already said.

The game, SW: Republic Commando is a terrific game, in my opinion. And for someone who loves military sci fi and who loves Star Wars, this was the "You got chocolate in my peanut butter!" / "You got peanut butter in my chocolate!" moment I'd been waiting for since forever.

So when they released a novel tie-in, I was all over it. And yes, Hard Contact was grand.

Traviss writes good military sci fi. But she has a serious hatred of all things Jedi, and it really starts to show in the later novels in the series.

I'm not one of those folks who considers canon sacred, but when you're working in a shared universe, i.e. one that's not yours, you can't just start tearing everything down because you don't like the scenery. And that's largely what she started doing. So while I think she crafted some terrific characters, and she knows how to write a good firefight, just be aware of the other angles at work, here.

Jmannseelo's Avatar


Jmannseelo
01.30.2012 , 01:45 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by JaxinRiens View Post
If i need to defeat an extremely strong force user who do i go to a geriatric boba fett or Luke Skywalker, who by the way has already defeated this force user before.
Actually, I think this points to a larger EU flaw not at all unique to Traviss. Namely: Luke Leia, Han, Lando, Boba, etc must all be like, what, 70-plus years old by now? Yet they're all still running around and having adventures as if they're in their 30s. Luke I can almost buy because he's a big Jedi Master and all, but one would think the biggest adventures the others could have is changing their Space-Depends.

PeepsMcJuggs's Avatar


PeepsMcJuggs
01.30.2012 , 01:49 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Jmannseelo View Post
Actually, I think this points to a larger EU flaw not at all unique to Traviss. Namely: Luke Leia, Han, Lando, Boba, etc must all be like, what, 70-plus years old by now? Yet they're all still running around and having adventures as if they're in their 30s. Luke I can almost buy because he's a big Jedi Master and all, but one would think the biggest adventures the others could have is changing their Space-Depends.
Having a firmly-established timeline is one of the worst decisions they ever made. When you firmly affix X years to Y event, you quickly eliminate the opportunity for any "classic" Star Wars tales when these characters were in their prime.

Damn you, Shadows of the Empire!
"Making the internet a happier place, one infraction at a time."

WolfOfOdin's Avatar


WolfOfOdin
01.30.2012 , 01:51 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Jmannseelo View Post
Actually, I think this points to a larger EU flaw not at all unique to Traviss. Namely: Luke Leia, Han, Lando, Boba, etc must all be like, what, 70-plus years old by now? Yet they're all still running around and having adventures as if they're in their 30s. Luke I can almost buy because he's a big Jedi Master and all, but one would think the biggest adventures the others could have is changing their Space-Depends.
The answer to any question asking 'who do we call to beat x' is always Kyle Katarn.

greycobalt's Avatar


greycobalt
01.30.2012 , 01:52 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by Jmannseelo View Post
Actually, I think this points to a larger EU flaw not at all unique to Traviss. Namely: Luke Leia, Han, Lando, Boba, etc must all be like, what, 70-plus years old by now? Yet they're all still running around and having adventures as if they're in their 30s. Luke I can almost buy because he's a big Jedi Master and all, but one would think the biggest adventures the others could have is changing their Space-Depends.
I believe in the latest books he's in his mid-60s. At times it can be a bit much, but they reference often the age and how they don't work like they used to. That, and (at least for Luke) Force users can stay pretty virile forever (i.e. Dooku, Sidious, Yoda).

Anyway, I always wanted to hear definitively what happened to her. I knew there was a huge war between her die-hard fans and the people that couldn't stand her work. I was somewhere in the middle, leaning more towards not liking it so much. During the LotF series whenever it was her book I kind of had to eye-roll through it. She had a HUGE fetish for Mandalorians and everything about them, and it was super obvious. She also liked to point out and invent new flaws for any Jedi she came across. It seemed fairly childish after a while.

The only rumor I've heard is that she got an early look at what they were planning to do with the Mandalorians on the Clone Wars series (either because she was penning a new Mando book or because she had friends, I don't know). Allegedly she was incensed at what she saw, and wanted it changed to fit what had been established (mostly by her) or she was going to quit writing them. They didn't change it, so she quit.

I will admit, I do enjoy her vision of the Mandalorians far more than what they became on Clone Wars (faaaaar more). But I don't know if throwing a hissy fit was the right way to go about it.

Jmannseelo's Avatar


Jmannseelo
01.30.2012 , 01:56 PM | #16
I love how on the book covers the only concession to their very-advancing age is a slight streak of grey in their hair.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy the books immensely, and am happy to suspend my disbelief in the interest of a good story. But still, belief must really be suspended.

WolfOfOdin's Avatar


WolfOfOdin
01.30.2012 , 01:56 PM | #17
I honestly like what TCW did with the Mandalorians. It reduced them from being a Planet of Hats (Hat being mercs/warriors) into a more nuanced culture that had internal disagreements.

The New Mandalorians kinda had a point too, considering the Mando way of warfare was "Start strong, lose horribly once the Jedi come".

PeepsMcJuggs's Avatar


PeepsMcJuggs
01.30.2012 , 02:00 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by Jmannseelo View Post
I love how on the book covers the only concession to their very-advancing age is a slight streak of grey in their hair.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy the books immensely, and am happy to suspend my disbelief in the interest of a good story. But still, belief must really be suspended.
Heheh, yeah, I love how much better Leia has aged vs Carrie Fisher.
"Making the internet a happier place, one infraction at a time."

BlackLotus's Avatar


BlackLotus
01.30.2012 , 02:42 PM | #19
I love the RC novel but I love Timothy Zhan(sp?) Work better, I mean Grand admiral Thrawn is one of my favorite along Mara Jade. The only i started to hate Karen Traviss bias toward the Jedi is when in the RC book were the ARC start to mock Obi wan Kenobi, I could understand trashing Quilan Vos, but not Yoda or Obi Wan. I love Mandalorian i mean Canderous and Rohlan Dyr are my favorite and I kinda like the TCW take on it since it could still exist alone the pacifist mando view of Satine.
"Alone a Jedi is strong. But together we are stronger." ―Master Sazen

Marani:Torment

AceRogue's Avatar


AceRogue
01.30.2012 , 06:45 PM | #20
In my opinion:

The Republic Commando books were pretty good reads, even though they did make the Mandalorians out to be ******es. But isn’t this why a Mandalorian would’ve been chosen to be the template for a clone army to begin with? And what’s wrong with a group of people in these books to look at Jedi like they were heartless scum? Is it so outlandish for a group or culture to look at another group or culture and have prejudices against them? The Mandalorians, and especially the clones, had reasons to view the Jedi this way. Over the top and irrational? Maybe. But since when is prejudice rational? They hate Kaminoans as well, but nobody seems to bring that up and it’s essentially the same thing.

I do agree, however, that in the Legacy of the Jedi books, Traviss wrote Boba Fett and the Mandalorians into a story that didn’t need them and had nothing to do with them. Seriously, Boba Fett has to be like 70 by then. Come on. Retire these old characters already and let the newer, younger characters shine. But she added this whole subplot *SPOILER ALERT FOR THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH* of the Mandalorians and trying to get someone to lead them and their discovery of new Beskar mines (that magical, lightsaber-resistant metal), and their production of their new superships, Boba Fett’s granddaughter hunting him down to kill him but then helping him find a cure for his disease and then finding Boba’s wife in a slab of carbonite… that was all filler junk and had nothing to do with the main story. The only relevant part of the story was Jaina Solo getting special training from Boba Fett. Which really could’ve been substituted by any other ****** character in the star wars galaxy.

As to the reason Karen stopped writing star wars books… a lot of people here are speculating. Some are close to the mark. But from what I’ve read (including from her online blog, if I recall correctly) is that basically, when she was writing her last novel -- the sequel to Imperial Commando, which followed the story and characters started in Republic Commando -- the Clone Wars cartoon started messing around with the Mandalorians’ planet and history and culture. She basically had the story and characters and everything laid out (much of the groundwork was done in the first IC book) but then they changed a bunch of stuff in the cartoon and so a lot of her story just wasn’t going to fit. It wouldn’t make sense. At that point she had three options:

1) She could just finish her story as it was. The problem with this is that she’d have to ignore the changes to the Mandalorian culture they made in the Clone Wars cartoon, so her story would be going against canon. So basically, it wouldn’t be approved by licensing or whatever. So this wasn’t really an option at all.

2) She could change her story to fit the new direction they were taking the Mandalorians in. To do this, she would basically have to write the new book in a way that took new continuity into account and would have to disregard anything that was no longer canon, which included a bunch of stuff she had already established in the previous 4 or 5 books. And in the Legacy of the Jedi books. It would be a lot of work and somebody reading that book would suddenly find themselves going, “What the hell happened? I thought that was like this? Did I miss a book in between that explained all this stuff?” And there was no way to bridge any gaps to compromise and explain a bunch of stuff away, since the Clone Wars cartoon and the Republic Commando books all take place during that same tiny three year period that is the clone wars, and they would have to somehow realign so that it would all still make sense in the “future” during the Legacy of the Jedi books, which were already written based off of what was established in the Commando books. Basically, it was an impossible task.

3) She could just not finish writing that last book.

She went with 3. And in doing so, I’m sure the publishers didn’t like it very much. But she couldn’t do what she wanted, couldn’t do what they wanted, and she had no guarantee that whatever she did moving forward wouldn’t get changed again on a whim from the cartoon’s producers.

So, yes, the Republic Commando books were good. They’re worth reading and come to a decent conclusion. But don’t start reading the Imperial Commando book. Sure, it’s the continuation of RC, but it started a bunch of new plots and threads that are never going to become realized.