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Anyone think that the EU has lost its way?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
Anyone think that the EU has lost its way?

priest's Avatar


priest
02.02.2012 , 06:34 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Toonimator View Post
It all started to go wrong back in the '90s, with Dark Empire. Heir to the Empire kicked off the 'modern' EU (post-Marvel, post-Han/Lando books), and then Dark Empire began. "Heir" showed us that 5 years after the films, the Republic was still building up, the Empire was all but defeated until Thrawn swooped in, and there you go. "DE" then told us that A YEAR AFTER the Thrawn Trilogy we'd just started reading, Coruscant was back in the hands of the Empire, the Republic was destroyed and back to being a Rebellion, and everything went to crap. So, tho Thrawn ultimately failed, the Republic still lost, due to the Emperor having a bunch of clones AND having a gigantic starfleet amassing around Byss that nobody else knew about (not even Thrawn!).

For awhile, I just ignored DE. I loved the art, I liked some of the covers, I even enjoyed the concept (until DE2 and Empire's End came along). But it didn't fit with the story I was thoroughly enjoying over in the books. But when the Jedi Academy Trilogy came along, I realized the comics and books WERE meant to be connected. I also realized that KJA was like an internet fanboy given leave to publish his fanfic. "Ooo! I'ma make a superweapon that doesn't just destroy a planet, but destroys a STAR! AAAAAAND I'ma put another Death Star in there, too! And a kid who's even more powerful than Luke! And a Jedi Testing Contraption! And a 6-foot-long saber blade! And revisit Bespin, cuz why not?" To be fair, I loved the idea of a Jedi Academy, and setting it on Yavin IV at the old Rebel base. But so much else in that trilogy came off as rabid fanboy let loose in George's toybox.

My biggest problem, however, with Bantam's era of the EU is the patchwork nature. Here a trilogy, there a oneshot... and they didn't progress in an orderly fashion. We start several years after the film, then get a book starting the day after Return of the Jedi, and then Bantam just jumps around the timeline, finding and gap where the OT heroes could be resting on their laurels and throwing another galactic crisis at them. Authors had their babies like Mara Jade who were often misused in other authors' books (hence Zahn's retcon of why Mara & Lando appeared to be an item at one point). There was no set plan, just "tell a Star Wars story, don't reference the Clone Wars too much, don't have Luke find out anything major about the old Jedi Order or his mother, and maybe have Leia train as a Jedi a bit." It seems like Leia became a Jedi Knight 8 times during the Bantam era, only to be 'reset' down to 'politician with a bit of Force training' in the next chronological book. They didn't need a gigantic storyarc like Del Rey's 3 big tales, but some steady progression would've been nice, with better oversight on how the characters were used (so Mara & Luke wouldn't have to wait 10 years to suddenly realize they were perfect for each other, Leia wouldn't constantly put off her training only to become Super Jedi for a week, then back to being just a politician, etc)
I'm more with you than I'm not. TOTALLY about the DE. The thing I like about the piecemeal Bantam stuff was the fact that each author had a mitigated ability to impact the Starwars Universe. With the new model...it's all a huge arc with decisions made from the top down. I liked the episodic nature of the trilogy, it told a story in a palatable length and it allowed you to 'forget' the bad ones for the most part.

Actually, I wouldn't mind ONE person directing the entire EU...so long as it was Timothy Zahn. He knows how to write Star Wars. He paces his books well...and he keeps the 'iconic starwarsy' memes and themes. Plus he writes Han Solo excellently. I love the beginning of Alliance, where Han and Luke are trying to get off Teardrop station and Han says to Luke,

"Keep firing on the big one, I'm going to try something cute."

He's got it down.
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PeepsMcJuggs's Avatar


PeepsMcJuggs
02.02.2012 , 07:07 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by priest View Post
The thing I like about the piecemeal Bantam stuff was the fact that each author had a mitigated ability to impact the Starwars Universe.
Word. The Crystal Star, anyone?




*shudder*
"Making the internet a happier place, one infraction at a time."

DarkMorlin's Avatar


DarkMorlin
02.02.2012 , 07:10 PM | #13
Most people make the mistake of thinking that anything after Zahn is canon of any level. It's not EU-Expanded Universe....it AU-Alternate Universe. There were some good stories after Zahn, but most of it is garbage.

I have heard there is a Leelandchee, some kind of canon device. The solution is simple, declare everything after the Thrawn trilogy to be AU-Alternate Universe, and start over.

Write out a MAIN story arc, that makes sense, which doesn't include the galactic government changing hands between the Empire, the Alliance, and magic aliens every few months.

Then, allow authors to write approved stories that do not damage the main arc. We don't need dozens of Death stars, system killers, planet eaters, ect. Let's say a new sith order arises, with dozens/hundreds of sith lords to combat Luke's new order of Jedi. A Star Wars story can be very interesting on a planetary scale, you don't have to alter the course of the galaxy in every paragraph.

Take the Batman stories for example. Batman mostly just does his thing in Gotham city. Sure, Superman is off fighting Galactic scale enemies, but does that make the story of Batman hunting down some psychotic murderer any less interesting or compelling? Let Luke be superman, surely there is enough room in the galaxy for a few Batmans?

PeepsMcJuggs's Avatar


PeepsMcJuggs
02.02.2012 , 07:16 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by DarkMorlin View Post
Most people make the mistake of thinking that anything after Zahn is canon of any level. It's not EU-Expanded Universe....it AU-Alternate Universe. There were some good stories after Zahn, but most of it is garbage.

I have heard there is a Leelandchee, some kind of canon device. The solution is simple, declare everything after the Thrawn trilogy to be AU-Alternate Universe, and start over.

Write out a MAIN story arc, that makes sense, which doesn't include the galactic government changing hands between the Empire, the Alliance, and magic aliens every few months.

Then, allow authors to write approved stories that do not damage the main arc. We don't need dozens of Death stars, system killers, planet eaters, ect. Let's say a new sith order arises, with dozens/hundreds of sith lords to combat Luke's new order of Jedi. A Star Wars story can be very interesting on a planetary scale, you don't have to alter the course of the galaxy in every paragraph.

Take the Batman stories for example. Batman mostly just does his thing in Gotham city. Sure, Superman is off fighting Galactic scale enemies, but does that make the story of Batman hunting down some psychotic murderer any less interesting or compelling? Let Luke be superman, surely there is enough room in the galaxy for a few Batmans?
Hahaha...genius! Though I wouldn't dismiss all the post-Thrawn stuff. Stackpole's X-Wing series was positively brilliant.
"Making the internet a happier place, one infraction at a time."

priest's Avatar


priest
02.02.2012 , 07:19 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by DarkMorlin View Post
Most people make the mistake of thinking that anything after Zahn is canon of any level. It's not EU-Expanded Universe....it AU-Alternate Universe. There were some good stories after Zahn, but most of it is garbage.

I have heard there is a Leelandchee, some kind of canon device. The solution is simple, declare everything after the Thrawn trilogy to be AU-Alternate Universe, and start over.

Write out a MAIN story arc, that makes sense, which doesn't include the galactic government changing hands between the Empire, the Alliance, and magic aliens every few months.

Then, allow authors to write approved stories that do not damage the main arc. We don't need dozens of Death stars, system killers, planet eaters, ect. Let's say a new sith order arises, with dozens/hundreds of sith lords to combat Luke's new order of Jedi. A Star Wars story can be very interesting on a planetary scale, you don't have to alter the course of the galaxy in every paragraph.

Take the Batman stories for example. Batman mostly just does his thing in Gotham city. Sure, Superman is off fighting Galactic scale enemies, but does that make the story of Batman hunting down some psychotic murderer any less interesting or compelling? Let Luke be superman, surely there is enough room in the galaxy for a few Batmans?
Are you J.J Abrams?
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Keihryon's Avatar


Keihryon
02.02.2012 , 07:47 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by PeepsMcJuggs View Post
Word. The Crystal Star, anyone?




*shudder*
Oh lord. That one...and New Rebellion, Darksaber, and Children of the Jedi..Black Fleet Crisis...There are a bunch that were crap

Shadows of the Empire was pretty good though. I liked the Academy trilogy for the most part...

Both X-Wing series, Rogue and Wraith were awesome because it showed you could have a good story even if the main characters from the movie had little to no involvement in it. Same for I, Jedi. You notice in these stories Horn never saved the galaxy, just did his job on a small scale. Tarvona was never a major player in galactic affairs. Isard..eh, just an Intelligence Op trying to hold on to her power.

Actually I think they need to stop focusing on Han, Luke, and Leia...Not every book has to revolve around them.

Which is why I hope they kill Luke in the Fate of the Jedi arc.

PeepsMcJuggs's Avatar


PeepsMcJuggs
02.02.2012 , 07:49 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Keihryon View Post
Oh lord. That one...and New Rebellion, Darksaber, and Children of the Jedi..Black Fleet Crisis...There are a bunch that were crap

Shadows of the Empire was pretty good though. I liked the Academy trilogy for the most part...

Both X-Wing series, Rogue and Wraith were awesome because it showed you could have a good story even if the main characters from the movie had little to no involvement in it. Same for I, Jedi. You notice in these stories Horn never saved the galaxy, just did his job on a small scale. Tarvona was never a major player in galactic affairs. Isard..eh, just an Intelligence Op trying to hold on to her power.

Actually I think they need to stop focusing on Han, Luke, and Leia...Not every book has to revolve around them.

Which is why I hope they kill Luke in the Fate of the Jedi arc.
You'll have to let me know how that goes. I've literally given up on that series.
"Making the internet a happier place, one infraction at a time."

Restepor's Avatar


Restepor
02.02.2012 , 08:22 PM | #18
I've read my fair share of Star Wars books, I usually choose to stay out of anything post ROTJ. I've heard great things about some of the books, I'm probably going to break down and read the Thrawn trilogy anyway, I don't want the ending of the series to be ruined.

While I can understand the appeal of these books to some, the books just don't have the same feel for characters as the movies did. Sure, they could be some good one's here and there, but each one change the mythos in same shape or form. I just rather live in my own fantasy thinking that it all ended happily ever after.

Toonimator's Avatar


Toonimator
02.02.2012 , 09:45 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by DarkMorlin View Post
Most people make the mistake of thinking that anything after Zahn is canon of any level. It's not EU-Expanded Universe....it AU-Alternate Universe. There were some good stories after Zahn, but most of it is garbage.

I have heard there is a Leelandchee, some kind of canon device. The solution is simple, declare everything after the Thrawn trilogy to be AU-Alternate Universe, and start over.

Write out a MAIN story arc, that makes sense, which doesn't include the galactic government changing hands between the Empire, the Alliance, and magic aliens every few months.

Then, allow authors to write approved stories that do not damage the main arc. We don't need dozens of Death stars, system killers, planet eaters, ect. Let's say a new sith order arises, with dozens/hundreds of sith lords to combat Luke's new order of Jedi. A Star Wars story can be very interesting on a planetary scale, you don't have to alter the course of the galaxy in every paragraph.

Take the Batman stories for example. Batman mostly just does his thing in Gotham city. Sure, Superman is off fighting Galactic scale enemies, but does that make the story of Batman hunting down some psychotic murderer any less interesting or compelling? Let Luke be superman, surely there is enough room in the galaxy for a few Batmans?
The comics do that to some extent... LEGACY was pretty galaxy-altering, but KOTOR was focused more on a small group of characters while the galaxy entered into the Mandalorian Wars around them regardless of their actions. Not sure how Knight Errant is handling things, but Agent of the Empire seems small-scale so far (I only have #1), and the Rogue Squadron comics were usually focused on a single mission restricted to one system, not planet-hopping galaxy-saving from superweapons like DE and most of the post-Thrawn books had.

But I'd also kinda like a reboot of the post-Thrawn EU, too; get Mara & Luke together earlier, so Ben's not some baby when the Solo kids are practically adults; no Sith armies, at least not for awhile (LEGACY already has that covered, albeit with the annoying Maul-tat fetish), so the Skywalker victory over the Sith could have some lasting impact... but clashes with other cultures' beliefs in & uses of the Force, perhaps, while a fringe/lost Sith element slowly builds up. Some Jedi splinter groups similar to what Corran Horn encountered in "I, Jedi", maybe some that break off from Luke's order and do their own thing and clash with Luke's order and the Republic without necessarily going full-on 'dark side' and/or 'evil'.

Idunhavaname's Avatar


Idunhavaname
02.02.2012 , 10:45 PM | #20
Agree. No book has come close to being as good as Thrawn trilogy. Im not saying they're bad but it's always the same old OP force user.
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RIP orange pixel