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STAR WARS and bad writers...


Captain_Zone's Avatar


Captain_Zone
07.08.2012 , 08:46 PM | #31
Quote: Originally Posted by ProfessorWalsh View Post
Kinda.

That only worked because Bane had released all of the inmates at Arkham and Batman was exhausted by fighting them. Also that didn't happen in the Batcave. Also it didn't stick for long, Batman was back in action after he got his back magically healed within 6 months (Of course Bruce apparently knew about a magical healer who could fix severed spines but never thought to mention it to poor Babs... The jerk.) and defeated Bane in a one on one conflict.

Superman on the other hand was killed by Doomsday and was dead for a full 18 months. (Which is a darn long time.)

Bad writing exists everywhere. Comic books nor novels are exceptions. Star Wars actually has only a small number of bad writers.

Karen Traviss and to a lesser extend Aaron Allston.
Ummm... as far as Superman goes, he never actually "died". He was placed in a Kryptonian regeneration chamber while his body healed. And as far as Comics time goes, he was only "dead" for about 6 months. Doomsday stayed "dead" only slightly longer before waking up as he was about to be launched into space chained to an asteroid. lol (yes, I still have the "Death of Superman" first edition print with the layout of Lois holding his broken and bleeding body. I cheered, since I'm not a big Superman fan.)

But seriously, it was pretty epic how he "died".

Too bad Hal Jordan beat him as far as Best Death Scene goes. (Ultimate redemption in The Final Night)
. OPOD
The New Jedi Code: "Keep Calm & Carry a Lightsaber"

Zaxuku's Avatar


Zaxuku
07.09.2012 , 12:43 AM | #32
I feel the need to bring up a quote of Lucas himself here, albeit delivered badly, since it's a while since I heard him say it - "in the original trilogy we saw what was left of the Jedi and the force-users - an old jedi fighting an old Vader, a young boy fighting an old man, there are no proper Jedi in this time, which is why in Menace we wanted to explore..."

That's about as relevant as that paragraph was, and I have the same qualms with the prequel trilogy that all the rest of the true-blooded Star Wars fans do, but I do love this point that George brought up, and it's very right. The awe about watching Luke harness the Force was partially, I believe, that we were only seeing the tip of the ice-berg. Even when I was little, things that Vader and Obi-Wan and Yoda said gave me that impression - that there was so, so much more outside what Luke was capable of at that time, most of it lost to the age before and needing to be reclaimed in the future.That was what excited me and sparked my imagination and fuled my pretend-games the most, the face that the concept of the Force, and what the Jedi used to be, could be expanded on so greatly.

Most of the time, I feel that the EU expanded on it in the most loving way possible. I don't mean to use a religious comparison, but I fele it's quite relevant if you look at it this way: If George is 'god' of the SW universe, then the writers of the EU wrote the bible. There are bits we don't agree with and some bits we have, but most of it takes the original trilogy like a seed and nurtures it into a bootiful flower. There, two analogies in one paragraph.

I do get what you mean with some bad plots and over-powered characters, in some cases. I have a feeling you're not a fan of Starkiller, either (although I could argue for many, many pages on why he's an exception). One of my main thoughts about Nihilus was 'well, why hasn't he gobbled up the entire Force yet if he's that frightfully unstoppable?' So don't worry, I do understand where you are coming from, it does seem like there is a lot of unnecessary superhero heroics flying around here and there, and a lot of people falling to the Dark Side, considered a massive and rare taboo in the younger days of Star Wars, then waddling back over to the Light with their tales between their legs.
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AlyxDinas's Avatar


AlyxDinas
07.09.2012 , 01:08 AM | #33
Quote: Originally Posted by ProfessorWalsh View Post
...Vergere was the Mary Sue of that one.
Every time you use that term wrong, a Fan Fic gets its wings.

Quote:
Star Wars actually has only a small number of bad writers..
Denning, Traviss, Davids and Davids, Golden, McIntyre, Anderson, Williams, Kube-McDowell, Allen, Tyers, Rusch, Whitney-Robinson, et all. Honestly, it'd be faster to name writers of quality than to list all those generally lacking.
'Jeos Dinas'-Ebon Hawk
Manager, The Ebon Hawk Bounty Board
"Perception Problem."

ProfessorWalsh's Avatar


ProfessorWalsh
07.09.2012 , 02:11 AM | #34
Quote: Originally Posted by AlyxDinas View Post
Every time you use that term wrong, a Fan Fic gets its wings.
She meets most of the criteria.

Run her through any of the litmus tests. She fails. Hard.

1. One of a kind alien race?
Sure. She was a Fosh. A race nobody had ever heard of. In fact the only place the race ever appeared was in NJO.

2. Special super powers?
Yup. She has these too. Not only can she use the Force but she has, for lack of a better term, magical tears.

3. Outshining already established characters in their respective fields?
Yup. Our established Mon-Calamari Jedi Healer can't cure Mara Jade after apparently a very long period of study... This is the same Healer who once removed a targeted bio attack on Mon Mothma by the way... But Vergere can do it in a matter of minutes.

4. Tragic back story?
Oh yeah.

5. Tragic back story that doesn't actually hinder her in any way, shape, or form, in the course of the story?
Check. Vergere manages to retain her connection to the Force, not fall to the Dark Side (later revealed not to be true), and live with torture for years (as she manages to convince the Vong to keep her around for no particular reason) and suffers no forms of PTSD after the event.

6. Knows more than anyone in established continuity about almost everything?
Oh check here as well. She can strip people of the Force seemingly at will and with little effort. She knows more about the Force than Grandmaster Luke Skywalker. She is always right and every character eventually comes to agree with her. She knows about the Vong. She knows secrets of the Force that don't make any sense for her to know considering no other canonical Jedi Master believed as she did and the teaching she preached obviously were not part of traditional Jedi training.

7. She expresses views and opinions about things that are parallel to her creator?
Oh yes. Allston admitted this. He also said that when he wrote Vergere that he believed her words were completely true. He has expressed, on more than one occasion, a dislike for the more traditional understanding and interpretation of the Force.

8. Is never reprimanded when she does something that any other character would have been reprimanded for.
I am referring to her torture of Jacen Solo. If that had been done by anyone else there would have been massive backlash. That person would have been slapped down so harshly by one of the established characters that they would have made an impact crater. Nobody lays a hand on her, in fact, they end up thanking her. Anyone who disagrees with her eventually comes around to her way of thinking as well. She was also a spy for the Vong as well... Something she hides from Luke and the others even though she plans on betraying the Vong...

I'm sorry... Vergere can easily be considered a Mary Sue. She was, in my opinion, one of the worst Star Wars characters ever written and I think the best improvement they could have made they did when they made her a Sith.
"There is no room for compromise. We walk the path of the light side, or we fall into darkness. There is no gray area, Ben."
~ Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker (P. 187 FotJ, Book II: Omen)
Host of the Jedi Council stream also author of From the Journal of Val Starwind

Zaxuku's Avatar


Zaxuku
07.09.2012 , 02:41 AM | #35
Quote: Originally Posted by ProfessorWalsh View Post
She meets most of the criteria.

Run her through any of the litmus tests. She fails. Hard.

1. One of a kind alien race?
Sure. She was a Fosh. A race nobody had ever heard of. In fact the only place the race ever appeared was in NJO.

2. Special super powers?
Yup. She has these too. Not only can she use the Force but she has, for lack of a better term, magical tears.

3. Outshining already established characters in their respective fields?
Yup. Our established Mon-Calamari Jedi Healer can't cure Mara Jade after apparently a very long period of study... This is the same Healer who once removed a targeted bio attack on Mon Mothma by the way... But Vergere can do it in a matter of minutes.

4. Tragic back story?
Oh yeah.

5. Tragic back story that doesn't actually hinder her in any way, shape, or form, in the course of the story?
Check. Vergere manages to retain her connection to the Force, not fall to the Dark Side (later revealed not to be true), and live with torture for years (as she manages to convince the Vong to keep her around for no particular reason) and suffers no forms of PTSD after the event.

6. Knows more than anyone in established continuity about almost everything?
Oh check here as well. She can strip people of the Force seemingly at will and with little effort. She knows more about the Force than Grandmaster Luke Skywalker. She is always right and every character eventually comes to agree with her. She knows about the Vong. She knows secrets of the Force that don't make any sense for her to know considering no other canonical Jedi Master believed as she did and the teaching she preached obviously were not part of traditional Jedi training.

7. She expresses views and opinions about things that are parallel to her creator?
Oh yes. Allston admitted this. He also said that when he wrote Vergere that he believed her words were completely true. He has expressed, on more than one occasion, a dislike for the more traditional understanding and interpretation of the Force.

8. Is never reprimanded when she does something that any other character would have been reprimanded for.
I am referring to her torture of Jacen Solo. If that had been done by anyone else there would have been massive backlash. That person would have been slapped down so harshly by one of the established characters that they would have made an impact crater. Nobody lays a hand on her, in fact, they end up thanking her. Anyone who disagrees with her eventually comes around to her way of thinking as well. She was also a spy for the Vong as well... Something she hides from Luke and the others even though she plans on betraying the Vong...

I'm sorry... Vergere can easily be considered a Mary Sue. She was, in my opinion, one of the worst Star Wars characters ever written and I think the best improvement they could have made they did when they made her a Sith.
O_o who the freaking heck is this character and what do I need to read to see her epic Sue-fail?
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AlyxDinas's Avatar


AlyxDinas
07.09.2012 , 09:54 AM | #36
Zaxuku, I wouldn't take Walsh at his word on this matter. Or any particular matter ever. Ignoring that the notion of a standardized test of a concept says nothing for the execution of concept and how it might fit within the lore, he's not particularly correct in much of what he's saying.

She is, indeed, reprimanded for her actions and held in particular contempt by Luke. Her philosophy is not embraced by everyone, despite his insistence and the downright moronic future insistent of Troy Denning (who, for the record, cannot correctly identify her philosophy). Indeed, Jacen's development does not even vindicate her philosophy but constitutes the creation of one which is subtly but crucially different than her's and constitutes a pretty large case in which she is shown to not be completely correct. She doesn't even appear in a book written by Allston. At least not in a speaking role ever. That distinction belongs to Matt Stover, Greg Keyes, Walter Jon Williams, Troy Denning, James Luceno, and John Ostrander. So, Walsh can't even get that part correct. You know, the literal, factual stuff that isn't necessarily based in subjectivity. Yeah, he doesn't even manage to get that stuff right.

He's actually wrong all over the place (or at the bare minimum, omitting crucial details, which is a common practice for him). For instance, Cilghal learns some of Vergere's techniques...therefore they are not unique. This is just one of another places in which he is false but I could continue. The important thing to note is that not only is he just flat out using the term incorrectly, he's bending over so hard to fit her through his supposed criteria that I would not be shocked to learn that he now needs a wheelchair from the spinal damage.

Besides, this criticism also comes from a man whose own writings included a chapter in which his authorial avatar killed the fictional representation of someone he's expressed unsettling, violent sentiments about before on these forums as well as more than one occasion where they got to kill with impunity. Indeed, these particular examples were so egregious that they earned considerable comment by peers and readers. Comments about Mary Sues tend to wane heavily if you've read what constitutes a hero for the good Professor. Or, even, what constitutes a Jedi.
'Jeos Dinas'-Ebon Hawk
Manager, The Ebon Hawk Bounty Board
"Perception Problem."

Wolfninjajedi's Avatar


Wolfninjajedi
07.09.2012 , 11:18 AM | #37
Quote: Originally Posted by Darth_Dae View Post
Yeah completely disagree here.

Living for thousands of years isn't anything spectacular? Can you explain please because I'm rather lost as to how that isn't spectacular.....

And there are many many ways to make a game rich with story and life without having to overload on CGI. The Force Unleashed has a relatively decent story but overall it was just a CGI based game, "look at this and look how great and awesome that looked". I found that half of the things in that game could of been avoided and maybe more time spent on a story.
Compared to some comic book characters who have lived since forever? Some of them being actual gods, living for a couple thousand years isn't all that great. (Which whose idea was it to take gods and make them superheroes? I feel that always downgraded the status of them.)
"There is one lesson you've yet to learn. How to become one with the Force!"
―Cin Drallig to Darth Vader

Maucs the Tauntaun King, former SWG player.

ProfessorWalsh's Avatar


ProfessorWalsh
07.09.2012 , 11:34 AM | #38
Quote: Originally Posted by Zaxuku View Post
O_o who the freaking heck is this character and what do I need to read to see her epic Sue-fail?
Some Vergere fans try to act like those things I mentioned didn't happen. A common one being that people learned Vergere's techniques which don't make them unique.

The problem is Vergere isn't a dedicated healer. Cilghal was a dedicated healer. Vergere coming in out of nowhere and basically overshadowing her was bad writing. As to possible claims that she was reprimanded... She wasn't. Luke even endorsed her philosophy in NJO. It wasn't until the Dark Nest Trilogy that Denning fixed that mess.

If anyone else had done what she did they would have likely ended up dead at the end of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber or at the very least begging the Jedi for forgiveness and admitting that they were wrong. Vergere never did. She was a horrible character, badly written, and a text book Mary Sue. The only thing that they did that even remotely redeemed her was by making her a Sith which explains a lot of her deceptive ways, snide undermining comments, and cold demeanor.
"There is no room for compromise. We walk the path of the light side, or we fall into darkness. There is no gray area, Ben."
~ Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker (P. 187 FotJ, Book II: Omen)
Host of the Jedi Council stream also author of From the Journal of Val Starwind

AlyxDinas's Avatar


AlyxDinas
07.09.2012 , 11:37 AM | #39
Because I would like to continue discussing the topic's actual purpose:

Star Wars has never particularly benefited from an overabundance of subtlety, except perhaps in terms of philosophical content and even that is relatively rare within its catalog of work. This is largely because the IP finds the majority of its roots in the trite, pulp science fiction and adventure film serials of the 1950s and even earlier. Star Wars has never been subtle and by and large has never been host to writers who wield immensely technical or narrative craftsmanship. Although, admittedly, there are a handful of true exceptions to this.

However, by and large, it might be said that Star Wars retains a lot of it staying power because of this. The honest embracing of its pulp nature shouldn't necessarily be to its detriment (although it sometimes can lead to certain problems). Often, though, acknowledging the straight out blemishes allows the underlying themes the IP expresses to seem, if possible, more compelling at times. Or at least, more sincere.

In regards to the discussion about Vergere, I would merely like to add that...

Quote: Originally Posted by ProfessorWalsh View Post
Luke even endorsed her philosophy in NJO.
This never happens.
'Jeos Dinas'-Ebon Hawk
Manager, The Ebon Hawk Bounty Board
"Perception Problem."

ProfessorWalsh's Avatar


ProfessorWalsh
07.09.2012 , 11:53 AM | #40
Star Wars is not a setting for deep philosophy. It was intended to be campy pulp action in the style of the old movie serials. It is only "artists" (and I use the term loosely here) who insist that it has to be darkened up, made more ambiguous, and who try to make it more thought provoking by adding shades of gray everywhere. The problem with doing that, of course, is that it isn't supposed to be dark, ambiguous, and thought provoking.

It is like... Getting spicy chicken when you ordered original recipe. It isn't a bad thing, it can taste good, but it isn't what you ordered and it doesn't taste like it is supposed to.

It is a tale of high adventure. Space wizards and space cowboys.

The Light Side is good the Dark Side is bad. The gray areas are superficial at best and even when the villains win there is always an undertone of hope. That is what Star Wars is supposed to be.

NJO tried to change that and, in my opinion, wounded the IP greatly. The crap with Vergere was unforgivable. The "Anyone can die!" theme of the NJO was out of place.

Basically... The entire Star Wars: New Jedi Order series was out of place. It just didn't feel like Star Wars. It was a radical departure from the themes of the universe.

Was it good? On its own? Possibly. I wouldn't have disliked it much if it wasn't Star Wars. It, however, was terrible for a Star Wars series.

I am not alone, or even close to alone, in my views on the NJO. It was the most controversial Star Wars series. A lot of Star Wars fans hated it. So much so that much of the last three series worked to retcon events and interpretations presented to us in the NJO books.

It didn't help either that the writers couldn't keep the storylines coherent and kept dropping sub plots left and right.
"There is no room for compromise. We walk the path of the light side, or we fall into darkness. There is no gray area, Ben."
~ Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker (P. 187 FotJ, Book II: Omen)
Host of the Jedi Council stream also author of From the Journal of Val Starwind