Official STAR WARS Thread

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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:38 pm

Currently reading Death Star by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry. It's really well written, a vast cast of interesting characters but their only unifying feature at this point is their location. It's not my favourite, I'm just not really connecting with it. Which is a shame because Darth Maul and Shadows of the Empire are two of my favourites!
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:03 pm

Gray Riders wrote:If Cnet is right, the Russian troll thing got overplayed by a lot of news sources.
https://www.cnet.com/news/actually-half ... an-trolls/
The important quote:

Of the 206 negative comments, 61 were real people reported to have a political agenda, 11 were bots and only 33 appeared to be trolls. Of those 33, just 16 appeared to possess characteristics consistent with Russian troll accounts. In reality, less than one in 10 tweets were from Russian trolls -- nowhere near the 50 percent being widely reported.



Thanks, I stand corrected.
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:19 pm

I'm still working my way through the EU. I have to say I'm becoming a little resentful that we've lost the X-Wing novels from cannon and we won't see any more additions to many of the story lines that were ongoing. But also as much as I enjoy looking at other parts of the history I'm excited to get back to Luke, Han and Leia. The books about them (like Shadows, \truce and of course the Zahn trilogy) are still my favourite elements of the series!
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Gray Riders » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:27 pm

I finished Heir to the Empire this evening. Spoiler review below. :)

I enjoyed Shadows of the Empire, but I liked Heir even better. Timothy Zahn did a great job at making the film characters feel right, and a great job at introducing quality new characters. Thrawn is a very different villain from Vader or Palpatine or even Tarkin.
What I like about Thrawn is he feels properly intelligent--often smart characters in fiction don't come across as smart, the author just tells us they are and their plans work despite being poor or relying too much on luck. Thrawn's plans seem logical--using raids to force the Republic to pool ships (but not manpower) in one area so he can attempt to steal ships makes sense, and he was smart enough to realize when the plan is failing and withdraw to avoid wasting resources. He's a great villain.

C'baoth is the other main villain introduced here. He's more typical for a major SW villain as a Master of the Force, but his motivation still feels sufficiently different from the film villains--as outlined early on, he doesn't care about ruling the galaxy like Palpatine, he doesn't want to "fix things" and form a stable empire like Vader--he just wants to own people in a personal way. He also clearly has a lot of bitterness over the Jedi being destroyed, and no small amount of instability. I suspect working with him will end up being a major mistake on Thrawn's part.

I haven't made me mind up about Mara Jade quite yet. Will be interesting to see how she goes.

Talon Karrde was interesting to see as someone who doesn't want to pick sides but not only is he forced to do so, he doesn't even have much in the way of choice about which side he picks in the end. Of course, smugglers have a precedence in SW for helping the good guys. :P

I already knew a decent amount about the trilogy because of how widely discussed it is, but Ackbar's arrest was a surprise that has me anticipating getting to Dark Force Rising soon!

The commentary from Timothy Zahn and Betsy Mitchell was interesting, exploring the creation of the novel, some of the thought process behind the writing (I particularly enjoyed his discussion on how interesting conflicts work like a chess match), and some of the reaction from fans at the time.

One thing that occurred to me is a comparison and contract between Thrawn, Palpatine, and Vader. Basically, Vader is a warrior--he's not stupid but his terror comes from his combat prowess and mastery of the Force. If Vader wasn't force sensitive he wouldn't really be that scary, I think.
Palpatine would be dangerous even if he had the same Force potential as Chewie--he was shown to be a schemer in Return of the Jedi and the prequels drove it home even more--he didn't seem to need his powers to become Chancellor. In that was he's a bit more similar to Thrawn, but Palpatine is more of a political manipulator than a tactical mastermind. Palpatine led the rebels into a trap, but it was one that relied on the Empire's massive resource advantage to force the rebellion into something desperate--Thrawn's forces seem closer to parity with the republic.


I've put some thought into other Legends books to look into after the Thrawn trilogy. I've heard great things about the X-Wing series (and with less specifics than Thrawn so I'll be more surprised :lol: ) and Truce at Bakura sounds interesting.
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:07 am

Yes mate! You're in for life now! :D

Timothy Zahn is the stand out king for Star Wars novels in my opinion. I do like the X-Wing Novels and Truce at Bakura but also consider the Hand of Thrawn duology that Zahn wrote as a follow up to the Heir trilogy!

Yes, Thrawn is my favourite bit of the EU. He is just such a charismatic, enigmatic character that is written so well!

I really like Mara Jade too but I can see why you're not so sure after book 1.

Talon Karrade is a really great character, you can see the similarities between him and Lando/Han but he is significantly different too!


I'm currently reading Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning which I'm loving. Basically Leia is on Tatooine and he does a fantastic job of uniting the sometimes very separate worlds of the Prequels and the originals, Anakin and Darth Vader. Definitely one to consider, but probably a deeper cut. I think you need to have read Courtship of Princess Leia to really appreciate it!
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Gray Riders » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:04 pm

I was not expecting this, but new Legends material has been announced:
https://comicbook.com/starwars/2019/02/ ... n-valance/

Just one thing but if it does well I think there's a chance we might see more in the future.

Also: Nearly finished Dark Force rising, reading was slowed down by illness over the weekend. Will write up a review when I'm done.
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:16 pm

:lol:

Since my last post I've read the Timothy Zahn trilogy, I Jedi, X-Wing: Isard's Revenge, Darksaber, The Crystal Star and the first in the Correlian trilogy.

The Crystal Star is possibly the worst book I've ever read, up there with Twilight. In fact much of the early EU stuff seems pretty naff. Growing up I only read had the stuff by Zahn, True and Shadows. Apart from Stackpole's X-Wing novels the older novels I'm discovering now seem really poor. It's a mixture of feeling out of kilter with the later direction of the EU (particularly the case for Darksaber and from what I've read the other books in the Castilla trilogy) and just genuinely being awful. I think The Crystal Star is possibly the worst book I've ever read, competing with Twilight for that sorry prize.

That's the problem with so many authors, the series can be so hit and miss. When you go from the awesomeness of Zahn and Luceno to picking up one of the other ones I've mentioned it just feels so jarring.

Once I finish my (limited) re-read, I think I'm gonna do a top 10 list of my favourite Star Wars entries form the 60 or so books I'll have read. Might also do a worst 5...

I really do hope we do get more Legends stuff though, I love this world!
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Gray Riders » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:46 am

Dark Force Rising review :)

Another very enjoyable story. Thrawn gains close to a complete victory here (compared to Heir to the Empire, which was close to a tie); they destroyed a Star Destroyer, but Thrawn has nearly two hundred Dreadnoughts and having found Palpatine's cloning cylinder (something which the prequels have made age poorly), he can quickly get the personnel to use them. Fey'lya may now be discredited among the military, which would be a silver lining on a rather dark cloud.
However, C’baoth is far more worrying to me. Thrawn’s second thoughts about him may be coming too late, as his Force powers seem to be growing steadily over time, and he’d demonstrated that the ysalamiri are not the protection they once seemed to be. It's tragic in many ways, since C'baoth's issues seem to stem from some form of "cloning insanity", though it sounds like the original C'baoth was far from flawless.

Mara Jade’s story is getting intriguing, as her loyalty to Karrde wrangles with her former loyalty (and what seems to be some form of Force mind control) to Palpatine.

Bel Iblis was an interesting character I was passingly familiar with. Introducing a never-mentioned third original leader of the rebellion felt slightly odd that’s only a minor issue, though, and the storyline around him was very enjoyable.

So, the Katana fleet is what made me think of mentioning this. One of the first times I really became aware of the EU was reading about the old Star Wars game, Rebellion (Supremacy in some regions) which featured many EU characters and ships. It was an interesting strategy game hurt by an awful UI. This novel makes me think of it because the Dreadnought class was featured in the game as an early-game ship both the Rebels and the Empire could build. Thrawn and Pellaeon and Senator Bel Iblis and many others characters from the Thrawn trilogy were also featured and is where I first learned about many of the EU characters.


I can start the Last Command sometime next week, hopefully.
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:37 am

That's cool! It sounds like you're well versed in Star Wars games, Gray Riders!

As much as I love Thrawn, Bel Iblis, Pellaeon etc I actually wonder if Fey'lya is the most important addition to the rest of the EU lore. He represents the worst elements of democracy and is a constant thorn in the side of our favourites.

You might have spotted something I haven't but what do you think the spaarti cylinders are contradicted by in the original trilogy? It seems to me the EU went out of their way to stop them being an issue with each other.

You can met the original C'baoth in the Zahn novel The Outbound Flight. Not my favourite of his books but anything by Zahn is easily in the top half of EU content. And yes you're right, the apple didn't drop to far from the tree in that jedi's case.

You weren't sure on Mara Jade at the end of Heir. Is that still the case?

I love Bel Iblis, I actually thought the use of the name of the Corellian Treaty to allow for a third member was very clever. That he is mentioned in the third movie/novel version I thought added weight to his inclusion.

No mention of the noghri and Princess Leia's relationship with them? That was another aspect of this trilogy that I loved!


I'm now on the Hand of Thrawn Duology which is as good as I remembered.
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Re: Official STAR WARS Thread

Unread postby Gray Riders » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:23 pm

Sun Fin wrote:That's cool! It sounds like you're well versed in Star Wars games, Gray Riders!

I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but Rebellion/Supremacy is notable for really introducing me to a lot of these EU elements. The game was a tiny bit like Koei's games in being very character focused and a lot of the characters and starships were taken from EU novels to give both sides a large roster.

As much as I love Thrawn, Bel Iblis, Pellaeon etc I actually wonder if Fey'lya is the most important addition to the rest of the EU lore. He represents the worst elements of democracy and is a constant thorn in the side of our favourites.

I've read that he remains a problem for a very long time.

You might have spotted something I haven't but what do you think the spaarti cylinders are contradicted by in the original trilogy? It seems to me the EU went out of their way to stop them being an issue with each other.

Nothing explicit, but the novel definitely seems to be giving the impression these were supposed to be related to the Clone Wars--Zahn's commentary for Heir to the Empire confirmed he was writing under the impression the republic fought against the Clones, with mentions as to how many of the clones they faced during the war were unstable. Later EU written post-prequels seems to have made it clear that they're separate methods from what the Kamino used.

You weren't sure on Mara Jade at the end of Heir. Is that still the case?

I'm 100% won over.

No mention of the noghri and Princess Leia's relationship with them? That was another aspect of this trilogy that I loved!

When I was reading the book I was thinking about what to write for Leia and the Noghri, and then I wrote the review late at night and forgot. :lol:
It's obviously hugely important. Leia's red anger when she realizes what was going on and revealing it to the noghri leadership was perfect.

When I find Last Command I'm going to have a lot more to say about the Noghri and Leia in my final summation!
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