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Why the post-ROTJ era sucks!


Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
04.18.2013 , 09:02 PM | #11
This is very interesting to read, since most of these reasons are what initially got me writing my fanfic. I was irritated by the motivations behind Jacen Solo, the strange pointlessness of the Second Galactic Civil War, etc.

I think that having Jacen become a Sith Lord was just rather awkwardly done. Having Lumiya pop out and convince him to kill his own aunt? Far more believable were his later motivations in the series, where he saw himself as making hard choices to keep the Alliance intact.

I think that one of the interesting things about the era is that you can have individual characters who are clearly defined as good and evil, but the factions they serve cannot always make the clear cut moral decisions that they would like to.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell

Spartanik's Avatar


Spartanik
04.19.2013 , 03:32 AM | #12
To put it bluntly as literature is concerned, considering the genre it falls in to, si-fy fantasy. yeah it is pretty bad.
There is no way arround it, that there is tons of stuff way better then those star wars books.
sad but true. Can be guilty pleasure, but its not realy of great quality fantasy/si-fy literature.

However i think star wars franchise is much more sucessfull in comics. And probably a better fit in that artistic current.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Also
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HK47: Statement: You are like a delightful random cruelty generator, master, poisoning all you touch with your presence. You are a testament to all organic meatbags everywhere.

AlexDougherty's Avatar


AlexDougherty
04.19.2013 , 04:47 AM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
And that is the lack of that construct inherent to Star Wars – good and evil.

Some of the most successful and popular Star Wars productions are those that draw on this construct. The Original Trilogy is the most iconic of these, with Luke Skywalker and his band of rebels representing ‘good’ and Emperor Palpatine, Vader and the Galactic Empire representing ‘evil’ - clearly defined through the notion of ‘light’ and ‘dark’ sides of the Force. The Prequel Trilogy and the Clone Wars series continues this, they all exist within the clearly defined bounds of good and evil.
A slight oversimplification, Han was a smuggler with connections to the criminal underworld, he was smuggling spice for Jabba just before episode IV, he wasn't evil but he wasn't good. Spice is a very addictive drug with no legitimate use, smuggling it is obvertly evil, but Han also freed Chew-bacca from slavery, an act that wrecked his military career(a very promising career prior to that). The fight between the Rebellion and the Empire colours things but the distinction between good and evil isn't as clear cut as people remember.
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The Old Republic era is perhaps most successful because is so effectively translates this into its own works. Darth Malak is a clear villain whereas Revan as his companions represent light and good. Of course, you can choose to eschew that by pursuing the path of the dark side. Knights of the Old Republic II seems to exist more in the realm of the prequels, it’s filled with darkness and nobody quite seems ‘good’. Sion and Nihilus are clear representatives of evil and the story itself seems more about a rediscovery of good. SWTOR has a clear definition between good and evil, the Republic and the Empire, with the criminal underworld in between, that is how Star Wars should be done.
Could be argued either way, yes there is a clear good versus evil theme, but there is also a huge number of instances were it's less clear, like in Manaan were you investigate a suspect in a murder trial, you can get him executed, freed, or imprisoned, all by deciding whether to reveal information or not, not because you know if he's innocent but by how much evidence you present.

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And then, we have the post-ROTJ era, which seems very much to have lost its way. In the New Republic era we have Luke Skywalker and the rest of the heroes liberating the galaxy from the evil Empire, oh but wait, it doesn’t quite go like that because the Empire, without Sidious, isn’t that evil anymore. Thrawn, Isaard, Paellon – are they really evil? Or perhaps just morally misguided, or perhaps simply leaders of another faction fighting for different ideals. And without the Sith, is the Galactic Empire really that bad? No it’s not a democracy, but the primary focus of Star Wars was never politics, it was far more mythical than that. And yet throughout the post-ROTJ era we find ourselves thrust into the quagmire of politics reminiscent of The Phantom Menace’s famous senatorial scenes. From this we are given a brief reprieve when the Emperor returns but this is negated by the fact that well, the Emperor returns.
You need to remember the quote by ben kenobi's ghost about "a lot of the truths we cling to depend upon our perspective". The focus of the original trilogy is a civil war, that war is winding down, so the focus of the story needs to shift, otherwise you end up with books about military trivia (fictional military trivia at that). The politics only intruded when political matters would intrude, it would be painfully false to have no politics, or to avoid Leia because she's a politician. Also the imperial leaders were usually evil, Thrawn for example had exterminated entire species because he couldn't conquor them. I actually loved these books.
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But moving swiftly on, behold! The New Jedi Order era! Finally were going to get back to the roots of Star Wars right? Back to that epic conflict between good and evil? Right? Wrong. Instead of the dark side we get a Zerg rush of creepy aliens, the Yuuzhan Vong, who literally go around the galaxy trashing just about everything. And these guys simply don’t fall into the category of evil, but rather parasite, plague and virus. But anyway the result of this the formation of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, an amalgamation of God knows what and who. Indeed the excessive number of factions fighting over the galaxy makes the situation even worse, the Imperial Remnant, the Chiss Ascendancy, the New Republic, none of these factions seem either good or evil.
I agree about the Yuuzhan Vong, but the idea that is has to be good versus evil, that's problematic. Good and Evil are defined by a culture's morality, and morality is usually defined by religion, this means that various people are going to have widely differing views on good and evil. It's contraversal even within a single culture, there are various topics people avoid so as not to start an arguement, these are topics that people hold strong views on but don't necessarily agree on, and once people start fighting over these views good and evil are nearly impossible to define
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And the confusion continues into the Legacy era, where innumerable factions continues to fight over the galaxy, with no clear definition of who is good and who is evil. The Galactic Alliance becomes split in two and the Jedi Order ping-pong between both sides, the Sith have a brief resurgence, lending a deal of good and evil back to the franchise, but we still have the Imperial Remnant running about and the Confederation proving equally difficult to pin down on the moral compass. Altogether the outcome off the Second Galactic Civil War is... well I really have no idea. But 100 years later the Sith are ruling the galaxy but wait no, they’re not quite, but some sort of revision of the Imperial Remnant this time with a non-Force sensitive Emperor called Fel who has a cadre of grey Force sensitive knights, who all get overthrown by Darth Krayt and his lackeys. Oh and meanwhile the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances is doing... something. Don’t even ask me who’s meant to be good and evil in that mess, because I have no idea.
You are not meant to know who is good or evil, the point is for you to be constantly reevaluating your basic assumptions, getting to understand that good and evil are not simple terms, and you shouldn't assume that they are, ever.
Peace can be found, above all passions. Through passion, I may gain strength.
Through strength, I may gain power. Through power, I may gain victory.
But for every enemy fallen, a new foe rises.
For every chain broken, new chains bind me. Only the Force can set me free.

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
04.19.2013 , 10:50 AM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by AlexDougherty View Post
*snip*
Let me be clear here, I don't think everything in Star Wars should be clear cut between good and evil. Variations and blurrings are good, if not necessary. But despite this those objective standards must still exist. For example, Darth Sidious is pure evil, no disputing that. Yet Darth Vader has a glimmer of good in him, not everyone in the Empire is evil etc. etc. The same applies for the Republic, Luke Skywalker is good, but Han Solo is a bit of shifty character. And the Republic, Obi-Wan Kenobi is good, but many other Jedi have lost their way, and the Republic has become mired in corruption. Nor do I think that in reality, such distinctions can be made. But this is essentially fantasy, and in fantasy good and evil are vital for a successful story. In reality, nobody is as evil as Darth Sidious are there is no such thing as 'the light side of the Force.'

But this isn't to say the theme has to be pervading, but it must be present. Also, like I said to Aurbere. I'm not necessarily saying that from the perspective of literature, post-ROTJ works are poor. But from the perspective of Star Wars, they miss the target. Because good and evil are vital to achieve the mysticism so inherent to the franchise, and I find the mythical aspects of Star Wars severely lacking in the post-ROTJ.

P.S. Different strokes for different folks yes, but Star Wars can only be done one way. And if you don't like it, your looking at the wrong universe. (That is not at all directed at you are anyone else in these forums, just a general observation.)

AlyxDinas's Avatar


AlyxDinas
04.19.2013 , 11:24 AM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Different strokes for different folks yes, but Star Wars can only be done one way.
Who decides what that one way is? Because there's plenty post ROTJ, even in something as "dark" as NJO or Legacy, which I find to be thematically and morally consistent with the films. If there was only one way for things to be done, a lot of stories wouldn't exist.

Now if the statement is "There only one way from Star Wars to be done well..", then you might be on to something but you still into the problem of what it means for it to be done well.
'Jeos Dinas'-Ebon Hawk
Manager, The Ebon Hawk Bounty Board
"Perception Problem."

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
04.19.2013 , 11:29 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by AlyxDinas View Post
Who decides what that one way is? Because there's plenty post ROTJ, even in something as "dark" as NJO or Legacy, which I find to be thematically and morally consistent with the films. If there was only one way for things to be done, a lot of stories wouldn't exist.

Now if the statement is "There only one way from Star Wars to be done well..", then you might be on to something but you still into the problem of what it means for it to be done well.
George Lucas, the definition of fantasy, the history of mythology - to name a few. I do believe that there is a certain way that Star Wars should be done, its not simply a universe where writers can make anything happen, given its firm roots in mythology and traditional themes.

However this doesn't mean there is no room for flexibility, the KOTOR series among many others have displayed this is not the case. And yes, a lot of stories wouldn't exist, namely a large portion of the post-ROTJ.

Seireeni's Avatar


Seireeni
04.19.2013 , 12:10 PM | #17
The most boring thing I can think of is character who's so evil that he can do evil things just because he's soooooo evil. I hate it when stuff is made all black-and-white. To me, all characters should be logical. They should make the decisions that they make because it makes sense to them, not because the act is evil and they are evil so they should do it. If they have some pieces of personality that can be considered evil, there should be a good, reasonable explonation why it's like that. I.e. I have an OC sith lord who's pretty evil, she might kill first person she sees just because she was bored and wanted something to do. The reason for this is that she have been pretty much brainwashed from a child to believe that if she can hurt someone, she has all the rights to do so.

However, many, many "pure evil" guys don't have any good and logic explanation for their evil deeds. They're being evil just because they are evil, and if they didn't, they probably wouldn't be pure evil anymore. They would actually be human. So, I absolutely love it that it isn't good vs. evil, it's just people vs. people. So it actually was before already, a few bad leaders just "excused" the slaughter of millions of good people because "they were following the evil leader and obviously were evil too!".

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
04.19.2013 , 01:27 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by Seireeni View Post
The most boring thing I can think of is character who's so evil that he can do evil things just because he's soooooo evil. I hate it when stuff is made all black-and-white. To me, all characters should be logical. They should make the decisions that they make because it makes sense to them, not because the act is evil and they are evil so they should do it. If they have some pieces of personality that can be considered evil, there should be a good, reasonable explonation why it's like that. I.e. I have an OC sith lord who's pretty evil, she might kill first person she sees just because she was bored and wanted something to do. The reason for this is that she have been pretty much brainwashed from a child to believe that if she can hurt someone, she has all the rights to do so.

However, many, many "pure evil" guys don't have any good and logic explanation for their evil deeds. They're being evil just because they are evil, and if they didn't, they probably wouldn't be pure evil anymore. They would actually be human. So, I absolutely love it that it isn't good vs. evil, it's just people vs. people. So it actually was before already, a few bad leaders just "excused" the slaughter of millions of good people because "they were following the evil leader and obviously were evil too!".
I'm ever so slightly inclined to agree with you. But of course this is all opinion. I for one, am a massive fan of Sidious, I think he's got a lot of character, and a lot or presence and he brings the mythical aspect needed in Star Wars. Is he evil for evil's sake? I wouldn't say so. In fact no one is, Sidious is simply power hungry, and he's a Sith and everything that comes with that.

Not to say that 'evil' can't be logical and interesting. Darth Marr and Darth Malgus are examples of this, for sure they represent evil. But you get the feeling they aren't power hungry megalomaniacs, they have logical justifications for their actions and believe they are doing right. In fact, Sidious is something of an anomaly, even Vader wasn't evil to his level. And he was a very interesting and very complex character. So I believe there is room for both.

However what you are suggesting, simply people vs people, simply isn't Star Wars. Fight me if you like, call me opinionated, but this is how I feel. After all, if I'm wrong, then what's the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek? Other than differing technology? Take away those integral themes are their becomes none.

Seireeni's Avatar


Seireeni
04.19.2013 , 02:00 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
I'm ever so slightly inclined to agree with you. But of course this is all opinion. I for one, am a massive fan of Sidious, I think he's got a lot of character, and a lot or presence and he brings the mythical aspect needed in Star Wars. Is he evil for evil's sake? I wouldn't say so. In fact no one is, Sidious is simply power hungry, and he's a Sith and everything that comes with that.

Not to say that 'evil' can't be logical and interesting. Darth Marr and Darth Malgus are examples of this, for sure they represent evil. But you get the feeling they aren't power hungry megalomaniacs, they have logical justifications for their actions and believe they are doing right. In fact, Sidious is something of an anomaly, even Vader wasn't evil to his level. And he was a very interesting and very complex character. So I believe there is room for both.

However what you are suggesting, simply people vs people, simply isn't Star Wars. Fight me if you like, call me opinionated, but this is how I feel. After all, if I'm wrong, then what's the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek? Other than differing technology? Take away those integral themes are their becomes none.

SW is people vs. people. It has for a long time been people vs. people to me. The only diffenrence is that in SW, it's quite often tried to make look like good vs. evil. Sidious is evil, so it's okay that the good guys just killed those 100 poor officers trying to get money to feed their families. They were working for the bad guy! Well, actually, the boss of their boss is working for a guy who's working for a bad guy, but anyway, they are so bad!
Tbh, if this is the idea of "star wars like", I'm glad many authors aren't following it.

Tbh the "he's sith and that makes him evil"-explanation is just like saying "he's posessed by demons and that's why he's evil". It's a shortcut if you feel lazy about trying to come up with an actual motive. Though, I believe Sidious can be much more complex character than just that - I'm not an expert in this area. But saying that someone is evil just because he's sith and that's why he has to be hungry for power and so on doesn't actually explain anything, since it doesn't tell why would this guy become so hungry for power. "That's just how dark side goes" is another shortcut.

So, anyway, if there were 2 sides at a war, jedi leader on the other side and a sith leader on the other side, and the sith wouldn't so anything too dramatic i.e. slaughter his own people, what would even make him evil? I'm not expert in Malgus or Marr, either, but the little times I've met with Marr in the game, he doesn't actually feel that evil. Ruthless, sure, but evil? Nah. (Malgus I never liked anyway so I'm not gonna comment that one).

And I've never watched Star Trek nor I have any intentions to do that. It sounds boring and the little bits I've seen also look boring. Not my cup of tea.

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
04.19.2013 , 02:47 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Seireeni View Post
So, anyway, if there were 2 sides at a war, jedi leader on the other side and a sith leader on the other side, and the sith wouldn't so anything too dramatic i.e. slaughter his own people, what would even make him evil? I'm not expert in Malgus or Marr, either, but the little times I've met with Marr in the game, he doesn't actually feel that evil. Ruthless, sure, but evil? Nah. (Malgus I never liked anyway so I'm not gonna comment that one).

And I've never watched Star Trek nor I have any intentions to do that. It sounds boring and the little bits I've seen also look boring. Not my cup of tea.
Malgus and Marr aren't exactly 'evil', although in some senses they are. But they do represent the dark side, which represents some form of 'evil'. We can debate over what this 'evil' actually is, but it exists nonetheless.

Sidious is perhaps the only example of a villain in Star Wars without any strong motives, all others have and have been very successful because of that. Neither have the 'good guys' been paragons of light. Let me stress that as well, I'm not saying that Star Wars needs paragons of good and evil, but the spheres have to exist, there can be different gradients.

Nor does everyone have to fit into a category, there can simply just be 'persons' and often are. But those categories still have to exist somewhere and somehow for it to work.

And Star Trek is like Star Wars meets Eastenders, don't watch it.