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dominosfleet

Grimdark in the Star Wars Universe

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In the most recent "What other factions" post that was made someone pointed out that the mouse killed the Vong and wouldn't be bringing them back. We talked a little about why that was true, i suggested because of grimdark in a disney (sued) environment, someone else suggested because of more fantasy / less sci fi nature of star wars itself (I agree that the vong are very alien, but I think they might have a fantasy counterpart in maybe the drow, or mordor orcs). 

Anyway, my question: What room do you think there is for Grimdark in the modern star wars context. I would consider Knights to have gotten pretty grimdark: Malak kills every man, woman, and child in a city by shelling(lasering?) it from orbit, the mandalorians start a war specifically attacking civilian targets to get the Jedi into the fight, Lol you can literally use a wookie to kill some of your cohorts (in both games). I'm curious if this universe has any room for that type of story telling anymore, and if people would want it. Would the fanbase even like it if there were stories that were more 40k and less "put hope in the script 37 times per page". 

Personally, I'm torn. I like 40k lore more than star wars lore, but I think there's room for both. Just curious others opinions. 

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8 minutes ago, dominosfleet said:

I honestly don't know nearly enough about them, what was so bad about them?

I liked the whole idea and story of the vong. I found their culture and technology really interesting, and I liked the dark story arc where very important characters could die at any time. In my opinion it was something completely different of all other Star Wars stuff (at least from the stories I know) and maybe that's why many people don't like them.

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43 minutes ago, dominosfleet said:

What room do you think there is for Grimdark in the modern star wars context.

I think it has room for some dark moments, I don't know about "grim dark" but dark nonetheless. The problem with "grim dark" is it's always borderline edgelord crap. That's what the vong were. It was a cool idea, poorly executed and written to appeal to kids who think darkness and edgy violence is cool. 

Star Wars has a few dark moments, but I appreciate that they're more subtle. I mean, some of them not even that subtle. Rogue One was basically a PG-13 snuff film/ who can die the coolest death contest. And while it didn't show more than a few moments of Anakin killing children, revenge of the Sith did show it....

 




It looks like the mandalorian show has some potential for a grittier perhaps darker perspective. 

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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28 minutes ago, dominosfleet said:

I honestly don't know nearly enough about them, what was so bad about them?

They were very different.

They had to be overpowered (to be an existential threat to the Republic), and they had some very weird cultural things that weren't always consistent.

They also broke some existing rules of the Star Wars universe, and not always in a way that made sense.

Some people didn't like that.

I don't think they'd work very well in Armada because there's very little variety between ships of different classes (they mostly look the same), while there is a lot of variety between ships of the same class (even more so than Mon Cal ships, which are all supposed to be a little different). It would be difficult to make their different ships distinctive. Plus not enough people are familiar with them that to most people they'll look confusing/weird or out of place.

As for dark fantasy, Star Wars has always blurred the line between bright, futuristic sci-fi and grim, gritty fantasy. Clone Wars got pretty dark at places, and I wonder if the Mandalorian TV series will take that further.

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8 hours ago, dominosfleet said:

I honestly don't know nearly enough about them, what was so bad about them?

I hated the Vong for how much of a departure they were from Star Wars in both tone and substance.

First of all, they really seemed to grab the Villain Sue ball and run with it. Let's see - they have armour and weapons that are resistant or immune to lightsabers, they have no presence in the Force and are undetectable by Jedi, they have living starships that are also super-resistant to conventional weaponry, they have this weird, magical living planet that can travel through hyperspace, and all-in-all they're just this superpowerful mega alien force that was somehow unknown for Galactic History, yet emerged strong enough to take on every other force in the galaxy put together and win... ugh. If you take any one or two of those traits, you'd have a compelling villain - ALL of them just made the Vong feel ridiculously over the top.

Not to mention, the tone of their stories was excessively grimdark for Star Wars. I felt like I'd picked up a Warhammer 40k book when I first started reading the Vong books and rapidly lost interest from there. To be certain, there's nothing wrong with a grimdark story - I love the 40k EU and it does a mostly good job, in spite of being over-the-top dark - but it's not Star Wars.

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I did read the entire series involving the Vong. There were many really good parts. There were also many really obvious attempts to make things so dire and hopeless, that it became almost depressing to read. The aim was to essentially reset the universe and allow for a new story arc to evolve outside of the Empire vs New Republic. Trouble is it still flows better then whatever the **** is happening in Episode 8 lol

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^indeed, the political system in ep7+ makes no sense, the exiled ex empire remnant have all the weapons & the galaxy wide government has hardly any military it appears & relies on a ‘resistance’ 🤔🤪

Just a poorly executed way for the good guys to remain the plucky band of rebels fighting the good fight against a tyrannical government. Except they aren’t. 

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1 hour ago, Wes Janson said:

Trouble is it still flows better then whatever the **** is happening in Episode 8 lol

I agree with this 100%. I love almost anything within the Star Wars universe, but perhaps the way took in episodes 7 and 8 are what I like the less because it's practically a remake of Empire vs Rebels. I mean, even there's a new "Death Star"!!!! What I liked most of the Vong arc, is that it was so completely different from all other Star Wars stuff and still really interesting (at least in my opinion)

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1 hour ago, ISD Avenger said:

the political system in ep7+ makes no sense, the exiled ex empire remnant have all the weapons & the galaxy wide government has hardly any military it appears & relies on a ‘resistance’

It makes perfect sense. It just requires three extra books, a lot of the cut or skipped content from Ep 7, and a bit of understanding of the themes for it to make sense.

Episodes 4-6 work without any background or much context because they're really straightforward, they're new, and they're really well written and edited (in terms of squeezing in little one-liners that give us all the context we need).

Episodes 1-3 change this by providing so much background and context - so much exposition, so many Jedi Council meetings or Senate meetings where everyone sits around and tells you what's going on. Which is nice if you like the background stuff, but is different.

Episode 7 then tries to go back to the 4-6 way of doing things; minimal context, leaving it for the audience to fill in the gaps. Except we already have episodes 1-6, so we're more invested in knowing what's happened to our characters to get us from there to here. We're used to the Episode 1-3 style of making everything explicit, and the writing/editing isn't quite as neat (so the little one-liners we need to fill in the blanks don't quite work or are missing).

The opening scene of Episode 7 was originally General Leia discussing the political situation - why the Resistance was needed, why the Republic wasn't doing enough to stop the rise of the First Order, why she was a random resistance fighter not a senior politician and so on. But it got cut because it messes up the pacing to start with a long exposition scene, and it spoils the General Leia reveal later on. Episode 4 had some extra scenes early on - particularly some with Luke, fleshing out is character and background - and those were also cut to improve the film's pacing and keep them simple. It works for Episode 4 because we don't need that information; until we meet Luke we don't know anything about him, and once we do we learn pretty much all we need to know. But in Episode 7 we do need those scenes because we do know about the Empire and the Republic, we do know who Leia is, we want to know how we got from the end of Episode 6 to this.

Which is a shame, because with the added context Episodes 7-8 are quite good (sure they have some rough parts and are no Episodes 4-6, but they're at least as good as, if not better than Episodes 1-2 imho). And without Episodes 1-6 they work fairly well (because, again, you don't want to know all this background stuff that confuses everyone else).

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A little part of me dies anytime I see an existing franchise receive a "dark and gritty" makeover! That doesn't mean I dislike dark and gritty stories- far from it; I just feel it's being done too often and to franchises that (in my view) really don't support a harder tone. "Dark and gritty" does not automatically equal "better", as some writers/execs/fans seem to think.

Star Wars has always had dark moments. In Episode IV, you are treated to a view of the incinerated remains of Luke's aunt and uncle, not to mention the obliteration of an entire planet and the deaths of numerous minor (and a few major) characters. At its heart, it's a war film and war is pretty dark! But grimdark? I don't think Star Wars should or needs to go there. The whole point of grimdark, versus dark, is that it turns that darkness up to eleven...and then plugs in a few extra speakers for good measure. For me at least, that would feel out of place with Star Wars' fairly clean-cut "good versus evil" fantasy feel.

So...in my opinion, no I don't think Star Wars has much room for true grimdark.

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