Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What if... ( a rant about Star wars books)

@Tosche_Station (twitter) asked the twitterverse what #SWEU books would we love to see. You can check out the page with some of the answers here: https://t.co/vCEsTCnS 

But it got me thinking about Star Wars books in general. First off I have to admit that I stopped reading most SW novels after I finished the NJO. It sucked. Sorry to all who loved that series but I didn't. In fact with the exception of 1 book (Matthew Stover's Traitor )I don't even remember most of what was written although I do recall wanting to toss at least one of the books in the series out the hotel window I was staying at when I was reading it, I couldn't actually tell you which book that was now. My biggest problem with it all, I think, was that it was essentially a huge rehash of the original movie stories with a larger than life set of bad dudes and a whole bunch of lightsaber waving. I'll probably have to re read it because everything deserves a 2nd chance.

I'm a hellishly picky reader. I LOVE to read but I find that I get bounced out of books easily when author intrusion or just bad writing ensues. If I read a book and find myself going...eh hang on a sec that's not right.... then for me this is NOT a well written book and in the star wars universe of books this happens A LOT.

I don't really care much for the Jedi of today. When Star wars first came out they were mysterious and magical, they had powers but were not supermen/ women in bathrobes. Now we have it all explained, the force is actually microscopic beings that invade  symbiotically live inside a person's body. Midichlorians . When this tidbit of info was dished out during The Phantom Menace I remember sitting there going wtf? Really? To this day I do not really get why we needed an explanation at all. People believe in a form of God every day and as far as I know there's still no actual proof he /she/it /they exist but we still believe. But I guess George felt an explanation was important so we got one. meh.

(where was I ...oh yeah jedi...and books)

This universe, this Star Wars universe is vast and full of very cool characters most of which get bit parts and maybe one or two lines then exit stage left or worse get offed so that the holy three and their offspring get to live another day. ( Unless your name is Anakin then you're screwed)  Yet repeatedly we see the same characters doing the same things over and over again. I read the reviews of the new books that come out and I am glad I don't spend any more money on them. One of the few ( I thought) cool stand alone books that came out, Tatooine Ghost was referred to by the author as chick lit, why? Because it was a predominantly Leia oriented story, charcter driven, not so much warfare and shooting and had more than just a hit of romance in it.  My mind kind of boggled at this. Club Jade does a nice write up here about the whole thing and says it better than what I can about how I feel about the whole deal.

Really if a SW book features a mostly female and or character oriented story it's chick lit? How dismissive and narrow minded. As a woman, I don't need a book full of "I love yous" although George did see fit to put a bunch of this soppy puppy love BS in the prequel films, but I get insanely tired of war, conflict, lightsaber waving super jedi. And don't get me started on the whole giant bug theme. Tell me a story do not give me a giant blow by blow narrative on war.

What I wanted in Star Wars books I could not find ( so I wrote my own - a whole other blog that is). I wanted well rounded, meaningful stories about people. Real people. I wanted to see all sides of the galaxy not just the all Imperials are stupid, evil or maniacal mustachio twirlers ( Thrawn being mostly the exception). I want to read about non jedi characters and their lives and how they entwine through the already established galaxy. Give me a full on book about Soontir Fel and Syal Antilles.  What an amazing love story that is, what an amazing war story that is as well. combine it in a well written, thoughtful manner I'd buy it in a heart beat.

I am so tired of all the clich├ęs. Watching all 4 seasons of TCW back to back is a form of hell. Really who the fuck writes this stuff? The stories are on occasion okay but the dialogue is PAINFUL.  My husband's theory is that it's actually a computer programmed with all the movie dialogues and it just randomly spits out a script on a weekly basis using only these lines. Now, when we watch it, we play a drinking game with having to take a drink every time a character utters a line from the original films. Thank god we are drinking water or else we'd be in a hospital suffering from alcohol poisoning.

So yes I have more than a few ideas about what I'd love to read / see in the star wars world of books etc... I want character driven stories that are well written and make sense.  I want strong female leads that don't wind up marrying or becoming a jedi only to be killed off because they are expendable.

Some of the best stories are actually to be found in the comics, along with some of the coolest characters as well. I'm trying to track down the Omnibus collections now since that seems to be one of the best ways to collect them all. And as for the books well, I'll borrow them from friends I guess, because I'm loath to support something I think has been turned into nothing more than a money making machine with no thought towards what the fans really want.

So my last words to all the Lucas Arts peeps out there if you are listening is dare to be different. Take a chance on new authors and new stories that break the mold. Step away from the same old- same old, cast of thousands, super jedi waving light sabers muttering about their bad feelings.

I'm looking forward to see what Timothy Zahn does with his new stand alone Han Solo novel but as for the rest...it doesn't look promising but as a die hard Star Wars fan I keep hoping.







2 comments:

  1. I so agree. The round of StarWars books that merely repeated the same themes of the movies was a complete turnoff. I am lucky in that the local library carries most of the SW collection, so at least I don't have to waste $ buying trash (I do buy copies of the SW books I like, I feel it's important to financially support good authors, if you have the $ to do so). I agree with your husband: some books seem to be "let's use the same plot but fill-in-new-names.... It worked before!".

    I also like to see characters learn from their mistakes, and this concept seems to be alien to most starwars authors.

    I wish you luck in changing the SW author galaxy. I'd spend the $ for new books that followed the criteria you specified.

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  2. I think sometimes that the whole Star Wars industry has gotten stuck in a rut. It wants to capitalize on previous successes but it forgets that sometimes to gain one has to step out of the box a little bit. When it comes to the books, especially the novels, I'm very disillusioned. A lot of mediocre writing at best with worn out plots and terrible dialogue. It's not believable, and by that I mean i don't dive into the story, I'm not sucked into this world and transported out of mine, I am aware I'm reading a story about a subject I love passionately and this story is not engaging my passion.

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