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shmitty

THRAWN!!!!

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Great so they jettisoned the EU that I'd invested some considerable time in so that they might give us the EU. The animated shows are terrific and I think Thrawn is a great character so I'm not terribly bent out of shape about this. Yet, it feels like this neat news comes with a rock in your shoe. 

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They said from the start that they were shelving the EU so they could cherry-pick back what they considered was the "best" of it...

 

 

Now, not what I consider best, what you consider best, but what they consider best...


If you're a lover or hater of any of it, its always going to be mixed news.......  :D

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They said from the start that they were shelving the EU so they could cherry-pick back what they considered was the "best" of it...

 

 

Now, not what I consider best, what you consider best, but what they consider best...

If you're a lover or hater of any of it, its always going to be mixed news.......   :D

My crankiness stems from their having just cut the throat of the storylines I'd been following for twenty years so they could re-make "A New Hope." That news was greeted largely with cheers cause "EU blows" is about as reflexive a response as "Prequels blow." Yet whenever one turns around they're as you say cherry-picking it. There is just something that puts me off about the whole thing that I can't pin down. 

 

As a fan of comic books I'm used to characters changing hands and getting retconned and "re-booted" and being the subject of "Elseworlds" tales. I also enjoy the animated shows. There is just something different with this whole thing regarding "new canon" and the EU. 

 

Maybe it is just reinforcement of the cinema by focus group feel everything has these days.  :unsure:

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::shrug::  I can't really comment on half of your statement, having not seen TFA yet...  But I mean, when you want to tell a unified story, then getting control of that story has to be a priority...

 

Maybe it doesn't hit me as badly because I was cherry-picking my EU interactions, anyway...  There was a lot that I just did not enjoy the start of, or was so far disconnected from the Star Wars that I knew (in timeline) that it made little sense to jump to without trying to somehow follow the entire timeline...

 

So for me, its easier.  But perhaps thats just because less was cut.

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The more I think about it, the more Star Wars resembles a religion, complete with schisms and heresies. People really get bent out of shape about them.

 

Now, I say that as someone who has done so as well.

 

For me, I got cranky about the 'shelving' of the EU because if meant that they might do things willy-nilly with the SWU and upend a lot of the way that I/we understood about the structure of the world. I'd seen that happen before with another IP that I loved; Warhammer Fantasy, which got a reboot in the early 90s. It sucked.

 

So far, however, it seems to me that the Lucasfilm Story Group is really trying to piece the things that most of us love back together into a more coherent whole. Are there changes? Yes - there is a lot more emphasis on diversity, which has some people bent out of shape. (Personally, I think that's great, but that's also my political persuasion.)

 

At the same time, they're keeping certain things vague, like where things take place. As a lover of the Essential Atlas, I'm a real enthusiast for understanding the spatial relationships between the places where the adventures take place. There are a number of things there that don't seem to make sense (to me). What they say is that they don't want to prevent the creators from telling good stories by too much attention to details that most people will consider irrelevant. I frequently fear that they're just trying to save the creators the burden of having to do research, or fitting the puzzle pieces together 'just so' so as to keep the thing seamless.

 

Anyway, by shelving a lot of the EU they're just making their jobs easier in that respect.

 

And if you miss the Sun Crusher, then you're clearly a Shi'a StarWarsite, and you deserve what you have coming to you. :P

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While we've had word that the blue one was coming back for quite some time, it is nice to see that he retains some modicum of his calculating self and the gravitas that I enjoyed in a 'villain'.  And there is Y-wings, YT2400's, and other exploding space stuff.  Vykes is excite, yez!  

 

I find is sorta funny that Lord Hasselstein's comments resemble my own thoughts in almost every way, except for one small, key difference: I'm one gaming generation later :P  WFB for me only got good after that 90's reboot, but damned if the new 'big shift' didn't kill it.  Darned kids!  It's not the only franchise I could say that about. 

 

Long story short, I'm happy that the EU got shelved so they could piece back together all the good elements without feeling over-encumbered by the sheer mass of previous EU publications.  I'm good with the clean slate approach, even if there's a lot of ideas that I personally like which are sacrificed for the thematic greater good.  So, other publications such as Rebels, the novels, the main series and side series, etc can take from it whatever they need and can modify it to fit their plot (even if it's appealing to a diverse focus group, which I also politically approve of).  Thrawn seems to be a good choice, and I'm thrilled to have him back in what appears to be a commanding role.  That's good for the franchise, and it's good for the games we enjoy. 

 

The religions of Star Wars: what have we got? Euzahnism, OThodox, Lucasites, Abramic.  

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I think the shelving of the EU makes sense. There was too much there. It was too out of control. By the end, it felt like no one connected to Lucas was even scanning over what people were writing. And on top of it, it was decades of Luke, Leia and Han being the same exact characters they were at the end of RotJ. They never really evolved. Now don't get me wrong, I read so many of those books and loved many of them (particularly those written by Zahn or Anderson). We met a lot of great, new characters, and had a lot more exposure to minor film characters (Wedge in particular). But it was kind of a lawless wasteland. Now they can throw out what was truly junk and have the freedom to make it anew while bringing the good back in.

 

As to TFA, I think there are a couple of things that made it an incredible film. First, J.J. Abrams got brilliant acting out of new and old characters alike, something that every Lucas-directed SW film lacked (and this isn't a knock on Lucas, he's an incredible writer and world-builder, and unparalleled when it comes to special effects, but you can't be good at everything and he just isn't good at directing humans). And yes, it's the same old story, but that's the point. One thing that Lucas is really into is parallel storytelling. Look at Episodes I and IV. They're the same exact film. Super-powerful, untrained Force sensitive meets old, wise mentor (on Tatooine, no less). Old, wise mentor dies before training super-powerful kid. Super-powerful kid ends up inside a space ship he's never flown before and somehow manages to destroy the Big Space Thing and save the day. Actually, Episode VII kind of breaks the mold. Rey is the super-powerful Force sensitive person, but her mentor (Han) isn't a Jedi (unlike Qui-gon and Obi Wan), and she's not the one to blow up the Big Space Thing (Starkiller Base). We also have some great, fresh characters mixed with the old ones, and a lot more questions than answers. And I think someone else made a great point that they had to establish trust after the Prequel Debacle. They had to say, "Here. Here's Star Wars. It feels just like the Star Wars you love. Enjoy. Because we're probably going to screw with your head in the future." And honestly, Episode VII felt like Star Wars, moreso than any of the prequels did. I mean, I was enjoying the movie, but when the X-Wings come flying in over the water and start blowing up TIEs. . .it was like Star Wars was finally back.

 

As to Thrawn, super pumped. He was such a great character. I don't know how they're going to incorporate him into the game. Maybe like Director Isard, but you get to look at multiple enemy dials? It would tie in to his ability to, y'know, look at a piece of artwork and know exactly what you would do on the battlefield.

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While we've had word that the blue one was coming back for quite some time, it is nice to see that he retains some modicum of his calculating self and the gravitas that I enjoyed in a 'villain'.  And there is Y-wings, YT2400's, and other exploding space stuff.  Vykes is excite, yez!  

 

I find is sorta funny that Lord Hasselstein's comments resemble my own thoughts in almost every way, except for one small, key difference: I'm one gaming generation later :P  WFB for me only got good after that 90's reboot, but damned if the new 'big shift' didn't kill it.  Darned kids!  It's not the only franchise I could say that about. 

 

Long story short, I'm happy that the EU got shelved so they could piece back together all the good elements without feeling over-encumbered by the sheer mass of previous EU publications.  I'm good with the clean slate approach, even if there's a lot of ideas that I personally like which are sacrificed for the thematic greater good.  So, other publications such as Rebels, the novels, the main series and side series, etc can take from it whatever they need and can modify it to fit their plot (even if it's appealing to a diverse focus group, which I also politically approve of).  Thrawn seems to be a good choice, and I'm thrilled to have him back in what appears to be a commanding role.  That's good for the franchise, and it's good for the games we enjoy. 

 

The religions of Star Wars: what have we got? Euzahnism, OThodox, Lucasites, Abramic.  

 

 

I'm also glad.  they've been brilliantly picking the diamonds out of the rough for several years now, stuff like the Night Sisters of Dathomir  , the Interdictor, even Han and Leia having a kid turn to the Dark Side (oh, I'm sorry did I just spoil that?).

Here's a great article IO9 did on arguably the worst book in the EU:

 

http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-dumbest-thing-the-star-wars-expanded-universe-did-t-1740235732

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Not going to click the link right now, but is it the "Telepathic Sex Bug" Trilogy?  Because that was a hilariously bad series.

 

Hell, the EU / Legends would be better off if the whole Vong war never happened, much less what happened after that (though Aaron Alliston's books were always okay to good).

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Happy to see Thrawn in 'Rebels', no doubt.

 

Kinda bummed his debut is as a Grand Admiral in command of a Imperial-class Star Destroyer, though.  It really would have been a good opportunity to show some future potential for the character by just having him a regular Admiral, and the key point, it would have FINALLY been a good opportunity to get the Victory-class Star Destroyers into screen-canon.

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Now if I can just get Mara Jade back...

 

Mara is effectively gone, and is likely to never return.  Mara Jade was written as the primary love interest for Luke Skywalker (oops, more spoilers for a 30 year old book) clear back in Heir to the Empire.  Disney wouldn't lock them into an EU character, in fact I'm 90% sure she and the Solo kids were the reason they canned the whole thing.

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And y'know, with these concurrent announcements, its entirely possible that a Thrawn Card exists in the Corellean Conflict Expansion....

 

 

I mean, if you're going to Generate Alternates, might as well bet here :D

 

It's actually the most logical place to include him.  He's the perfect villain for an Imperial campaign.

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And y'know, with these concurrent announcements, its entirely possible that a Thrawn Card exists in the Corellean Conflict Expansion....

 

 

I mean, if you're going to Generate Alternates, might as well bet here :D

 

It's actually the most logical place to include him.  He's the perfect villain for an Imperial campaign.

 

Villain...?

 

I don't understand.

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I don't think I'd miss Mara. While I've read a couple of Thrawn books I haven't read enough of the now-legends books to get an attachment to her. Luke's son Ben was interesting to read about in Wookiepedia, and the timeline-distant Legacies era was interesting to read, but I don't think I'll miss both of them more than I'm happy that the Vong is gone, along with some of the strangeness of galactic politics with Daala being the president of the universe and other things.

 

Thrawn is an interesting antagonist, but I still hope he's used kind of sparingly. He's popular but I would like to see new characters shine as well, and some of the old ones (like Tagge) have a bigger presence in the saga of Star Wars than they did before in Legends.

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I could see Mara being part of Luke's story in Episode 8. But I wouldn't put money on it.

I liked the books as a kid, and I've long forgotten a lot of it. But the more they manage to bring back, even if not absolutely identical, is a good nod to those foaming at the mouth fans.

And it makes it more believable than some of the books.

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I'm not going to quote everything that was said, but only show out my biggest concerns:

 

1) TFA was nothing but ANH all over again, form point to point. Just everything must be bigger. Star destroyers, superweapons, you name it.

2) Old characters are literally only there to fill up the screen. Han Solo acts nothing like Han Solo, their interaction with Leia is beyond ridiculous. Threepio has NOT SINGLE significant line in the whole movie! If he could have been cut off and you wouldn't notice it.

3) Luke. OMG where to start. I've read the books from the new timeline and I still can't find justified how can he turn his back on Yoda and Obi-Wan like that. His mission from the very beginning was to rebuild the Jedi Order, and at the first bump he says "The hell with it, I'm going to be a hermit!" In the original timeline he was struggling for decades and through many crises to keep the order together!
4) How Rey masters the Force. I know she's supposed to be super strong and the reincarnation of the Chosen One (WTF by the way?!), but come on! She learns about the Force and a few hours later she's a master of mind control. Jedi Knight learned in the Jedi Temple for decades and she can master it in a few hours with nobody to instruct her? L O L! Not to mention knowing how to use a lightsaber effectively. A lightsaber is by definition differs from anything she ever used because the blade has no weight! And she picks it up and beats Ren.

5) And Kylo Ren.... My god what a crybaby. He declares that family doesn't mean anything to him and then cries to "Grandfather" to give him power... Such a pathetic loser. I just can't take him seriously...

6) Speaking about Kylo, the line "Vader's blood flows in his veins" is unforgivable. The whole plot of RotJ, especially enhanced by the prequel trilogy is that your destiny is not written in stone. Your choices makes you good or bad and even Darth Vader could be redeemed. And now Solo simplifies Ren's turning to the dark side by some stupid genes...

7) Fynn. So... A stormtrooper. A professionally trained killing machine snaps on the first engagement and defects. He can't take pressure at all. And this never came up on any of his evaluations? Not to mention his weird bromance with Poe. They met only twice for maybe 20 minutes during the time frame of the film but they are BFFs already?!

8) The whole Empire-First Order vs. Republic-Resistance is just stupid, unnecessary and ridiculous. They just wanted to bring back the Empire vs Rebellion theme all over again so they had to figure out this twisted idea which makes no sense at all.

9) And finally, what couldn't be forgiven at all is that they could have preserved 99% of the original timeline if they wanted to. All they would have to change in the plot was  to rename Rey to Jaina and keep Han and Leia together.

 

In my opinion the whole movie was extremely poorly written with ridiculous dialogs, no original ideas and shamefully copying everything from ANH, and it desecrates lots of things that were lovable in Star Wars before...

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Norell, I think a lot of the criticisms you made are correct and I am agree with them. One you didn't mention is that the story arcs for the Big Three don't build off of the characters' development in the original trilogy. Han goes back to being his ANH self, as does Leia, and Luke is turned into a combination of Obi Wan/Yoda. I understand that Han's rogueish side is what made him so appealing at first, but undoing his character development and not doing anything new with the character was unsatisfying for me. His arc in TFA is basically the same as it was in Episodes IV-VI. I liked how in Heir to the Empire, Han becoming respectable in ROTJ caused trouble for him later on when he tried to reconnect with the Star Wars underworld. The way that Zahn built on the characters' development instead of reverting them to the beginning of the OT was one of my favorite parts of that series. The decision to turn Luke into a hermit is also problematic because he had basically succeeded where Yoda and Obi Wan failed so to turn him into an exile like them seems a cruel fate. Apparently JJ defended this by saying Luke would have stolen every scene he was in and they needed to build up the new characters, but why include Han then who essentially stole every scene he was in but the new characters still had room to grow? I think the easiest answer is JJ liked Han's character better and so left Luke hanging for the next director to deal with.

 

But, in the end, I think it's important that people are happier with Star Wars again than they were after the prequels. That should mitigate, I think, some of our displeasure with the way TFA copied ANH with some ESB/ROTJ highlights thrown in. As for my final opinion of TFA, it really depends on what they do with Episodes 8 and 9, but there's definitely room for some more original story telling going forward. Now that they are sprinkling the best bits of the EU back in in new ways, I think their doing their best to try to keep everyone happy.

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