Star Wars Expanded Universe

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Posted by DG_Cal_Wright ( on July 03, 2002 at 02:39:16:

I must have got the ball rolling when I declared that the Expanded Universe sucks. Well, frankly it does and a lot of people seem to think that this is merely an opinion. Heh. Basically what it comes down to is this. First off the top, there is not just one writer, there are many. Also there is not just the writers, but consultants and officials that supposedly keep the 'continuity' of the Star Wars Universe. Look at the saga. One man does that. He has advisors and people who aide him. He's had people help him write a script, and direct the films. However, it hardly deviates from George Lucas' 'vision'. That's the huge point of the Expanded Universe. That is why Lucas does not even care about the EU. It's not his 'vision' of SW, just the interpretation of many people who don't follow how the story goes, how they think it might go. Have any of you written a story, even Star Wars fan fics, short stories? When you write, do you try to get all the facts of the EU and the saga and then start making it perfect. Does it end up like Star Trek drivel? Why? Because it starts getting far too techinical and doesn't follow how Star Wars acts. Star Wars flows, literally. You will know when it is Star Wars and it is not.

Someone has already posted that if you use the bad apples of the EU to judge it's quality than you need to look at the obvious. Alright, I'll look at the epitome of a great story. The Thrawn Trilogy. This series was the first books out, and not only that, but by an author who people think can do no wrong. Dreadnaughts, Interdictors, things that can block the force? Sorry kids, hate to shit in your cereal but this is almost ludicrous. Let's take a look at these things in order.

First Dreadnaughts, with the light of the prequels the Dreadnaughts seem questionable. They are a solid idea, a great ship to use I believe, however, alone they are weak and pathetic. Acclamators are strong and powerful. The characters think it is absurd that a Dreadnaught would be worth the trouble, unless you happened to have 200 of them? If they all ganged up that would be something. However, three of these things versus an Imperial Star Destroyer is not going to phase that bastard in the least bit. Maybe three Acclamators would.

Interdictors have got the be a great invention for the Star Wars universe, they actually serve a true purpose and as Thrawn showed can be quite strategic. They really do the part of creating the 'no way out' situation where everyone has to put it on the line. But why are they so weak, and small? Come one, those things should be almost the size of an ISD.

These ships and others like them are all derived from West End Games which I am sure all of you are aware seems like they never took the time to even watch the films, much less research them. This is a shame too, because in interviews with Stackpole and other EU authors when they are commisioned to right a Star Wars novel, they get a 'kit' that consists of mainly, you guessed it, WEG material. Here's one for you, after an intense battle between to great space armada's an ISD gets a dual proton torp strike right on what is sometimes considered the sheild globe on the bridge of an ISD. (you will need widescreen for that shot kids). According to everything EU, the ISD sheilds should not have even lasted this long, much less repel such an attack. One thing that the EU manages to lose that the movies always have held is size. Sometimes it feels, like when on Tatooine, or Hoth, that the SWU is small, but when battles heat up and the action starts cooking you realize just how large in scale this thing is. Now sure, when they were looking for the Death Star plans or Vader's Death Squadron arrived it was an exception to what was being tossed around. However, think of this also, if the Rebels were really so insignificant and they were only looking for TWO droids, why would you need three ISDs? How come engagements and entrapments always occur with maybe 1 ISD at the most and maybe a lancer or a carrack cruiser to catch what, only the most feared squadron and it's support ships? Give me a break. Either way, let's move on.

The Force is created by all living things. It surrounds us, binds us, luminous beings we are, not this crude matter. The Force is so powerful, the damned thing frightens authors like a writing block. Zahn's answer? That's right, something that blocks the Force. Why? Supposedly it's a defense mechanism. Nice try. How about it can mask itself in the Force. Then the creatures just don't sense it. Now, why would I want to read about ordinary people walking through a jungle? Hello! McFly! Anybody in there? Survivor sucks. Survivor with a lightsabre and a droid with rabid animals, still sucks. Survivor with a Jedi Knight, Stormtroopers and hella Force powers kicks ass. Do you see a pattern? Sorta like those 3D picutres, you know the ones you stare at and you'll see a picture. The only problem is until you learn how to do it, you have to work to see what's there. That's too much trouble though, let's just go around that. The only time I read Star Wars and don't care about the Force is when I'm reading the X-Wing books. However, the man I once praised for masterful scripting actually comes up short once you re-read the books a few times. He seems to drill just way too much information into a single paragraph. Right now I am re reading Wedge's Gamble (Hey Poe if your reading this, Chris would have shit fit if I posted what was reality and what was not about that last argument). Kirtan Loor is thinking about his immenint meeting with Isard. He thinks, 'Loor was heading to Isard's main offices' something like that, I can provide quotes if you want. 'Where she lives' then kirtan thinks ' she doesnt live there she lairs.' now out of context this seems weak and pointless, However after reading what nine books written by him, it's constantly dredged out, and the characters all think and come to conclusions the same way, yet they are different people. It's lame. He did a good job with I, Jedi I must admit. For the record though, Ysalamari, Luke with a broke leg so he can't concentrate, the Yuzhan Vong, that just spits in Lucas's face and proves the EU and it's associates think they can write a better Star Wars. News Flash, even as bad as what people think Episode I was, they could never write a Star Wars story half as good. Also, Cortis Ore, Paddlebeamers, and what nots that can stop or even shut down lightsabres, give me a break. Can we finally get real here? No? Now what? Oh, that's right the Yuzhan Vong's vondum crab armor. Why would a lightsabre be effective? I don't know myself. Here's another one for you, the Correllian trilogy. It would take how long for ships in subspace to cross that solar system? Here it comes, wait for it, wait for it, okay, now. GET REAL!!! Watch the movies guys before you write a book. It helps. For the record, I will not, I repeat touch the subjects of KJA novels. That's just absurd thinking that they can slap the name Star Wars on that. Tarkin this, Tarkin that. Get an original idea. Mold into a story, try it sometimes, it works. Why has the EU gone wrong? I'll tell you why. You can look at the acknowledgements page and see authors praising KJA for such wonderful work and a wealth of source for the SWU. I'll tell you right now, two things that could be done away with and would make the EU a better place. WEG and KJA. Oops, we already got rid of one. Now the other, and just redo the whole thing. I already fear how the prequel EU will start turning out. Shadow Hunter anyone?

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