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New Jedi Order discussion thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Legends' started by Darth Wardawg, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    So I'm starting to read this series of 21 books, and I'm stoked. I just started Vector Prime last night, and I thought I'd start a thread that discusses these books. If you want, feel free to read along. Or you could just join the conversation if you already read them.

    So far I am one chapter in, and I have to say I'm hooked. I love the Jaina character and I love seeing Leia as a mother. Mara is intriguing (I remember her from reading the early EU novels in the mid 1990s but it's been so long that she feels fresh and new).
     
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  2. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    I've never read these books, but I have loads of nostalgia for this era of Legends. When I was a kid, that's the stuff that was being written, and it just seemed like this huge world that filled my imagination.

    I had an issue of Star Wars Insider where there was a gallery of every member of Rogue Squadron, and Jaina Solo was on the list from the New Jedi Order era. Something about that has just stuck in my mind as one of the coolest things ever. I really want to get the black series figure of Jaina in pilot uniform.
     
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  3. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    I've never read them either, and R.A. Salvatore is one of my favorite authors, so I'm sure I'm at least going to like the first book. I love his Drizzt books, so hopefully this will be just as good.

    Just based on what I've read thus far, I would recommend this series.
     
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  4. Darth_Nobunaga

    Darth_Nobunaga Rebel Official

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    I'm reading through this series for the first time, currently on Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial. There are so many things, big and small, that this series does right with the characters and universe. I think the depiction of the Solo Children, and their personal trials and tribulations, is what makes this series so effective in the short time I've spent with it.

    Side Note: One thing I enjoy is that because of Jaina's Jedi Status, everyone else in Rogue Squadron calls her "Sticks" (in reference to her lightsaber). Reminds me of how Anakin calls Ahsoka "Snips" throughout The Clone Wars.
     
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  5. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Just finished Chapter Three. Oh man, I'm hooked. Chapter two, where we get Yomin Carr.... Fantastic. Chapter three and the politics of the New Republic.... Wow. This is so much better than the hot mess Chuck Wendig served up in Aftermath, it's almost sad.
     
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  6. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Okay, question: Is the story group trying to set up the introduction of the Yuuzhan Vong in the nu-cannon? Is that the "dark presence" Palpatine felt in the outer part of the galaxy, beyond "known space?" I seem to remember Thrawn saying something about the Chiss Ascendency being threatened.
     
  7. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Okay, just passed the chapter where Chewie dies saving Anakin.

    I can see why Chewbacca dying would be controversial, but I remember people making it sound really stupid. "Chewie had a moon fall on him and died." Put that way it sounds dumb. But Salvatore did a good job. I can't complain at all. He died saving his best friends kid. Like wow. That's a worthy death for a loyal friend like Chewie.

    I'm what, 75% of the way through this book and it is good. Really good.
     
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  8. Darth_Nobunaga

    Darth_Nobunaga Rebel Official

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    I read that scene listening to Khaza Dun from the LOTR Soundtrack, and Jesus Christ did it hit me with overwhelming emotions on my first-time read.
     
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  9. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Been kind of busy the last few days but I'm starting book two today. :):):)


    (duel)
     
  10. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    Just finished Vector Prime. I really dig it. I sometimes found myself a little thrown off by the writing style sometimes, but I love how it dives into the characters.

    I can't fault anyone for disliking this book. It's definitely more Sci-Fi than the traditional Star Wars story, by far. The Danni Quee story thread almost feels like an Alien/Star Wars crossover. Personally I love it, but it's definitely different.

    Hey, since it looks like several of us are just starting this series, maybe we could use spoiler tags in this thread?
     
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  11. KesselRunner

    KesselRunner Rebel General

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    This was a great series. It's been a number of years since I read them. I remember thoroughly enjoying James Luceno's books, though. I envy you guys, seeing it all for the first time. It's quite a ride. ;)
     
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  12. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    Just finished Dark Tide I. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    But boy, it really highlights how different the EU books feel from the movies. The movies are a space fantasy adventure with a dash of politics. Stackpole's book is straight-up hard sci-fi. It's a lot of fun, but I can see why Lucasfilm would want to reboot canon to keep things more in tone with the films.

    In a strange way, the end of the EU makes these books more enjoyable to me. Before the new Canon, the EU felt like this big ungainly thing I couldn't get a hold of, and even if I did, I would never catch up. Having the whole EU in a static, completed form makes it feel more accessible to me. I can jump into the New Jedi Order books without feeling like I'm grasping at this giant moving thing.
     
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  13. Darth_Nobunaga

    Darth_Nobunaga Rebel Official

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    The variety of genres attempted by the EU, IMO, is what made it so good. There was high fantasy in things like KOTOR, political intrigue in things like Cloak of Deception and Plagueis, horror in Red Harvest or Dark Troopers, military sci-fi with Stackpole's X-Wing novels, and even pseudo dark fantasy with certain entries in NJO. And the comics went into even more directions.

    I don't know if I necessarily agree with the notion that the EU's variety of genres and its "incompatibility" with the tone of the films was the reason it was discontinued and rebooted. I don't think diverging from the tone and genre trappings of the film are an impossibility for supplementary material.

    The EU's actually a lot like how TCW used to juggle genres for different episodes back when it was on. That show would juggle war dramas, horror, political thriller, fantasy, crime investigation and villainous revenge odysseys, sometimes delving into dark or complicated territory that very much contrasted with the films.
     
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  14. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    That's an interesting take. I gave up around 1997 after I read the first Song of Ice and Fire book, A Game of Thrones. Everything else felt like crap in comparison. I never truly came back to the EU books until recently. I found myself parroting the talking points of the anti-EU people, and I hated that. So I decided to delve down and see what I had missed, if anything. To say I'm pleasantly surprised is putting it mildly. Plageuis is freaking great! the Thrawn trilogy was awesome back in the day and at some point I'm going to reread it. I enjoyed the book Revan. And two books into the New Jedi Order I realize they screwed up de canonizing the EU. I would have just had two time lines, and continued to put out product in both, thus appeasing both sides. Problem solved.
     
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  15. Darth_Nobunaga

    Darth_Nobunaga Rebel Official

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    This is the approach that would've afforded Disney/LFL the least amount of slack, IMO. You could have two groups of people work on the Canon and Legends material, continuing both continuities in the same way Marvel has the MCU and the multiple universes of its comics division (Earth-616, Ultimate, etc.). They could have EU veteran authors like James Luceno, Troy Denning,John Jackson Miller and so on work on EU material---and it's not like these authors are overly-preoccupied with books set in the Nu-Canon, considering their talents have either been relegated to one or two books in the entire continuity so far, or in the case of Denning, hasn't been tapped for a Nu-Canon book at all. It seems like Timothy Zahn, Claudia Grey, and E.K. Johnston are the authors being frequently tapped for current canon novels. So at least put the EU Veterans to some kind of work...don't squander their talents!

    Of course, if the Nu-Canon was satisfactory and creative enough, there wouldn't be any NEED for this, because I wouldn't be wishing for any kind of continuation of the EU in the first place.
     
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  16. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    To me it is just further evidence of the lack of thought given to what they were doing once LFL was no longer under the guidance of George Lucas.

    And you are right in that James Luceno, an author whom I love, has done what, one nu-cannon book? Okay, I just looked it up, apparently it is two. Which I liked, so why not tap him for more? Heck it isn't as if they are churning out the books is it? I purchased all of ONE nu-cannon books last year, the novelization for TLJ so I could see if the book was any better than the film. Wishful thinking on my part. I skipped the Solo book(s). I haven't read Phasma. I'm kind of hopeful about the upcoming Obi-Wan/Qui Gon book, although I'm worried they will screw the pooch on that one as well.

    As for the New Jedi Order, I just finished book 2. Wow. Totally enjoying this series and I really do love the characters who AREN'T the so-called Big 3. Heck, I really like Mara Jade, a character whom I didn't enjoy when I read the Thrawn trilogy back when it first came out in the early 1990s.

    What I really like is the development of the new characters. I was worried about Anakin. Like why would Leia name one of her kids after her father? I like the way they explained it there. I like the development of Jacen. And Jaina is awesome. So I'm staring book 3 tonight. Can't wait to get through it cause James Luceno is up next with books four and five.
     
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  17. Darth_Nobunaga

    Darth_Nobunaga Rebel Official

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    I mean, it's not even necessarily because of the lack of Lucas. Yes, he had more involvement in the Expanded Universe than most of the Nu-Canon anti-EU nay-sayers like to claim, but when it came to the planning of these large story arcs, it was the folks in charge of Planning and Development over at LucasFilm Publishing...which at the time included Lead Del Rey editor Shelly Shapiro, Lucasfilm Director of Publishing Lucy Autrey Wilson, and various authors like Michael Stackpole and R.A. Salvatore. They developed NJO over several round table meetings at Skywalker Ranch, and even developed a humongous series bible to plan out and detail every character's journey and growth, every major battle and turning point in the war, the species specifics about the Yuuzhan Vong and their religion, as well as who would live/die/be scarred by the end of the series. In other words, it was a cooperative effort of extensive planning and communication between authors (essentially the Sequel Trilogy on opposite day).

    It was the passion and drive to create a huge, interconnected narrative journey exlcusively for EU fans that enabled something like NJO. The lack of that drive and passion is precisely why the current novels lack anything as grand or ambitious in comparison.

    He did two Rogue One books (one of which being the novelization), and the Tarkin novel. That's about it.

    You have one of the greatest Star Wars storytellers, literally a phone call away, and instead of attaching him to some multi-novel story arc or long-running comic run, you have him writing disposable tie-in material for standalone films like Rogue One.

    But hey, these are the same people who relegated motion-capture guru Andy Serkis' talents to a testacle-faced enigma in a bathrobe whose sole contribution in Star Wars was remaining glued to a chair, so wasting the potential of talented people seems to be Disney/LFL's forte at this point.

    Ugh...you poor man. You have my condolences.

    I read that rag in the library, and wish to God I could erase all memory of doing so.

    Apparently, Phasma was a massive snooze fest, even according to the pro-ST folks who attempt to find the good in any material pertaining to that trilogy. So, that's encouraging.

    I mean, it's Claudia Grey writing it, so it'll likely be good. Although I'm not a fan of Grey's ideas for the New Republic in her Bloodlines novel.

    Mara Jade is actually my favorite Expanded Universe character, period. Her development and redemption characterize what the EU can be at the peak of its creative freedom.

    But according to most people, I'm sexist because of my contempt for the lack of any developmental or sophisticated writing in a 2-dimensional rube like Rey.

    I don't know if you've encountered this scene in the NJO books yet, but one of my favorite scenes is when Jacen and Anakin are having a sparring match of both lightsabers and ideals, talking about what the duties and obligations of the Jedi mean to them, and where the two of them butt heads.

    This continued disagreement on what the Jedi should be---a debate Jacen regularly has with Luke as well---is one of the most interesting aspects of NJO. It's that grey, philosophical questioning of a Jedi's duty that Rian Johnson tried and miserably failed to probe himself with The Last Jedi.

    But unlike Johnson, the NJO books follow up on that moral question with something of substance, instead of just a shallow attempt to make themselves sound deep.

    You won't be disappointed. I'm in the middle of book five as we speak, and Luceno gets to tackle more of the Vong culture, as well as a splendid character study of Han Solo---probably the best I've seen for the character outside of his origin story in A.C. Crispin's Han Solo trilogy.

    Funnily enough, James Luceno has a lot more involvement in NJO than most people realize. I mentioned earlier about how the Skywalker Ranch's Author Conferences would use a massive series bible? Well, James Luceno was the guy chiefly responsible for putting the bible together, as well as laying out many of the most impactful narrative elements of NJO. So the only reason he doesn't have more books in the series is because he was behind the scenes crafting the overarching narrative web of the series out of exhaustive dedication and creative commitment.

    NJO is just as much Luceno's baby as it is Del Rey's Shapiro or LF Publishing's Wilson. Without him, many of the best moments of NJO wouldn't exist.
     
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  18. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Right??? Why call in Chuck "wobbly wobbly" (or whatever that stupid line was) to do the AFTERMATH trilogy, arguably the most important set of nu-cannon books (even now) when you could have called in Luceno??? And yeah, I saw that he was the man who essentially acted as the "show runner" for the NJO series of books. That just boggles my freakin mind. Like what the hell were they thinking???? His book on Darth Plageius was amazing. The more I think about this the more I'm convinced Kiri Hart, pablo and the rest of the story group are incompetent.

    Its sad that the defenders of TLJ and the nu stuff feel the need to call us sexist and racists for not liking poorly written characters like Holdo, Rose and Rey. I'm like I have a freakin Ahsoka tattoo on my left arm. I love cool strong female characters. But the intellectually bankrupt garbage they are giving to us in the form of the nu-cannon characters isn't worth the paper it is written on.

    I can totally see Mara Jade becoming my favorite character by the end of book 3, book 4 at the latest.

    Claudia Grey is definitely a good writer. I liked Bloodline even though I didn't like what it did with the New Republic. So yeah I hope the new one is worth it.

    As for TLJ... yeah, the book was no better. I did a quick memory dump and won't give it another thought. Especially when there is plenty of good stuff in the old EU which I'd never read. Hopefully the books will improve soon, but if not, it'll take me a while to get through all of the EU material (if ever).
     
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