Star Wars: Expanded Universe

Beyond the Films

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Oh man...

The good: I really liked Ben's bits, though the 'CSI Coruscant' angle was a bit much. As with Sacrifice, the later bits with Ben and Luke paid off any earlier unevenness nicely.

The bad: Daala? Really? Some things are best left in Bantam's junk drawer, and she'd be pretty high on my list. I also had a hard time buying her as this super-awesome commander, because... She's Admiral Daala. But who am I to stand in the way of the almighty retcon? :P

The ugly: What with Jaina hanging out on Mandalore, the emphasis on the Awesome Mando Way was a bit relentless, and I'm just not buying it. And it really devalued all of Jaina's experience. She hasn't exactly been spending the last 15 years sitting around meditating, you know? It's nice to see the Mandos finally pay into the A-plot and Jaina finally get her page time, but overall... Not impressed.

And Mara's Force Ghost... huh?

Traviss has her moments and does occasionally deliver when it comes to Jedi, but I can't help but think she might have been better off writing a standalone Mando/Fett novel. It's clear that's where her bias is, and that's fine, but it's not really what I come to Star Wars for.

Edited at 2008-03-03 07:31 am (UTC)

I'm halfway through chapter sixteen and have skimmed the rest of the book, so I feel safe in voting.

I agree with everything you've said, Dunc. I'd add:

- I really don't buy Tahiri's characterization. I think that's more Denning's doing than Traviss's, but still. This just isn't working for me.

- Luke and Ben's interaction made me kind of ridiculously happy. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for me to be thankful to read something where I finally think they're both mostly in character.

- The Force ghost thing - oy. Just - no. Not like that. *facepalm* I'm to the point where I'm almost glad Mara's dead so no one can manhandle her characterization any more.

- Surprisingly, I'm really okay with Pellaeon's fate. It bugs me that it hinges on what I feel is bad characterization of Tahiri, but in general, I think Pellaeon himself would be more pleased with it than otherwise, and I think it was fitting.

- Too . . . many . . . ellipses . . . please . . . God . . . no . . . more . . .

- Same for the italics.

- Glad to see the Chimaera again, even if it was part of a sad deus ex machina maneuver.

- I noticed spelling errors, formatting errors, punctuation errors, continuity errors, and familial errors (Sal-Solo was not Jaina's uncle). Not that the book is utterly riddled with mistakes or anything, but I think that if an amateur sees mistakes in all those categories in a published book, the editors were kind of slacking.

- Please, enough with the Fett love. Everyone keeps talking about how no one can escape the horrendous wrath of Fett, but if that's the case, why is everyone he supposedly hates still doing just fine? I am so very tired of hearing about him.

I think this is a more readable book than Bloodlines or Sacrifice, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. And yes, Traviss's biases are clearly evident. There's a little less Jedi contempt in this book than her previous two, I think, but her great GFFA love is obviously the Mandalorians and the Fett bloodline, and she doesn't seem able to let that take a backseat even when the plot would be far better served by such an action. Let her write all the Mando books she wants, and she and her fans will have fun. But overall SW? I'd prefer not.

The Good: Jaina is finally really doing something. It was really angering me how much she has been pushed to the side in the Legacy books.

The Bad: The Mando stuff. I have no interest in Boba Fett or the Mandalorians at all, so this part just bored me.

The Ugly: Karen Traviss's biases come across pretty clearly. All the anti-Jedi and Sith/pro-Mando stuff really annoyed me. I don't care what her feelings are, they shouldn't effect what she writes this much. It was pretty obvious, especially given that she killed off Fett's anti-Mando daughter and brought in a pro-Mando granddaughter, that Traviss is obsessed and wants everyone do love the Mandos.

Jaina is a kick ass jedi who is strong enough to stand up to her brother. She doesn't need "special" Mando training. This whole bias of Traviss' really gets on my nerves. I'm just not interested.

Edited at 2008-03-04 03:08 am (UTC)

Interesting commentary. I like seeing what other folks take from a story.

I'm certainly no huge fan of Fett either, but I've enjoyed the way Traviss has opened up the Mandalorian culture to me. Sure, I find it obvious this is where her interest and bias lies. But it hasn't proven too much for me. Also doesn't mean I agree with all the Mando philosophy or with everything they do. But I've enjoyed this trip into their perspective of things.

The Force ghost thing didn't bother me either. In fact, I liked it. Perhaps because I wasn't expecting it? I suppose if nothing else I was pleased that both Ben and Luke got some kind of opportunity to say "goodbye". Especially Luke. I'd felt a bit cheated about his final contact with her being that moment while he was flying through hyperspace, all of a sudden realzing she was gone.

I noticed the editing flaws as well. They weren't all over the place, but when there are enough that you start making a mental note about editors doing a poor job it's a bad sign.

The Good- Ben Skywalker. I just love the kid. It was amazing to see how calm and collected he was while gathering evidence to prove that Jacen killed his Mom. And the development of the relationship between Ben and Luke was great. I'm not sure why they did it but I'm glad Mara's Force Ghost showed up because I wanted Luke to get to see her and talk to her again even if it's only one time. And I loved the bit about Luke keeping the note from Sacrifice stored in one of her lockets.

The Bad- Tahiri, I seriously want to wring her neck because she's even stupider than Jacen and for what she did to Paelleon. I also could have lived without Daala showing up. And I really hope Fett and his Mando's don't turn over the beskar to Daala to capture Jedi with.

I was once again indifferent to the Mando bits except when Jaina showed up. Although I do have visions of Jaina taking some of the beskar with her and capturing Jacen then letting everyone take a swipe or two at him so he gets a long, slow, painful death.

I liked the Imperial Remnant bits for seeing the Chimera again. Ben's hunt was interesting, but I got bored pretty quick. I'm glad they got rid of Alema in the last one, but I really hoped Tahiri would bite the bullet this time around. I'm not irritated that she killed Pellaeon--the man was in his nineties, he'd lived a long life and it had to happen sooner or later. No, I'm more irritated that *she's* the one that actually did it, that she's been left in the storyline this long.

This one didn't have as much in it to keep me really preoccupied and entertained, but I still enjoyed it.

I want to read this series and yet I don't... why Jacen? WHY?

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