Thursday, September 16, 2004

Star Wars New Jedi Order

The New Jedi Order has come to end and was it any good? Muh. Ok so it came to an end quite a while ago but I’ve only just got round to reading the last book so nurr. Personally I think that the whole thing was hit and miss.

A bit of a confession first. In general conversation I always blame the prequels for my fall (or should that be rise?) from hard core Star Wars fan to almost normal levels but to be honest it’s the prequels and the New Jedi Order books. My problems with it, well I just got really sick of a lot of what the series was basing itself around. Planets that were important to Star Wars as a whole were getting wiped off the map, I appreciate that this had to be done to show how bad the Yuuzhan Vong were, just don’t agree to the extent it was done. Coruscant I believe needed to happen, as much as it saddens me they did that to such an important part of Star Wars mythology it did need to happen. But ALL the other planets? I think they went a bit overboard.

I actually stopped reading the books just before Anakin’s death (Star by Star). They’d built him up so much and was easily the most interesting character during the whole thing to date I just got so annoyed and stopped dead. For about a year. I finally did pick up Star by Star and Anakin’s death blew me away, I’m not sure if I’ve read a better death. This nicely brings me onto one of the good things the series accomplished. The growth of the new generation. Like I just said it really looked like the only person who was growing was Anakin (Kyp Durron looked like he’d had a total personality reversal to me), upon his death everybody else got meaning, Kyp swung round, Jania went on a dark journey (buh-dum-ch), Jacen stopped being a whiney little git and Tahiri went through a shed-load and that was damn interesting.

Corran’s return bugged me though. I love the character but the only people who can write him properly are his creator Michael A. Stackpole and his buddy Timothy Zahn. Stackpole wrote him out in a very good way. I felt his reappearance later on just didn’t feel right.

The Yuuzhan Vong. Too many cooks spoil the broth. It took forever for these guys to actually mean something. For the first half I got no real feeling who they were or about, just sadistic bastards who liked mutilating themselves and enjoyed killing things, especially droids. Once again it was halfway through that it got good. Finally we got a sense why they were like they were, we understood why they were invading. By the very end I actually really enjoying the Yuuzhan Vong.

From where New Jedi Order started and where it ended what do we have? Well a shit load of property damage to the Star Wars universe, major growth of the Solo twins, and the Jedi Order finally comes to mean something in the post movie world. The amount of planets bug me, but looking back on it now I realise that I expected this saga to make the Jedi’s mean something and actually develop the new generation. That was done, even though it still was Luke, Leia and Han save the galaxy a bit, it’s getting less so.

All done, I like where the series ended up, took too long to get going though. However I don’t like where Star Wars books are now. With this and Clone Wars it looks like they’re going to be huge sagas spanning many books, I hope it doesn’t become the norm. New Jedi Order also gets the unfortunate honour of me no longer buying every Star Wars book anymore because of it. As it stands now I’m not getting any Star Wars books unless they have Michael A. Stackpole, Timothy Zahn or Aaron Allston as authors. Which of course gives me a problem because Allston is writing parts 4-6 in a series of 9. Ahh whom I’m kidding I’ll get all nine parts.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Star Wars Special Editions

I loved the special editions when they first came out. LOVED them! I was majorly into the whole Star Wars universe and all they did was enhance it. It took me a few years to look at it objectionably and realise what a fucking cock up Lucas had made. The end celebrations were much better with just Ewoks. Greedo shooting first? For fuck’s sake let’s just totally destroy Han’s character development, totally destroy his uber cool moment and make him an idiot. I mean did Lucas actually think it was believable for someone the distance Greedo was to miss?

Now we have even newer versions coming out. One’s that Lucas claims are even better than before. So what travesties await us this time? Well first off we have Naboo joining the celebrations at the end of Jedi. Hayden Christensen replacing Sebastian Shaw as Anakin as well. And most criminally of all bloody redubbing Boba Fett to sound like his damn “did”.

But of the not really bothered, hard core fans are crying about it ruining the charm, is the once more improved effects. Most notable is the improvement to A New Hope’s Special Edition Jabba which so needed it.

Good stuff though? Surely not. Actually it seems so. The first thing I heard about was Ian McDiarmid replacing the ‘fake’ Emperor in Empire. This one is a stroke of genius. It was one of those annoying things that couldn’t be helped while developing a movie series. Best of all though? Apparently Greedo no longer shoots first and Han gets to mutter “Yes, I bet you have” again.

I’m almost tempted. At the very least I’ll get rid of the original Special Editions from a few years ago.