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Mar 22 12 10:48 PM
Mar 23 12 6:21 PM
Now that I have finished the book (and this series), I am going to list my pros and cons.
Jedi Master Jaina Solo. I liked her in this book. Her promotion seemed a bit off when I heard it, but the struggles she had with Luke and Coran redeemed her.The One Sith Appearance. Krayt showing up was a bit wierd, but I enjoyed his showing up at the final battle. I do not like what they did with the tribe, more on that below.The Vestara/Ben relationship. I thought I was going to hate this, but I ended up enjoying the resolution. Vestara turned a corner by actually acting like a Sith, and Ben truly acted how a teenaged boy would.Bazel Warv. Finally a Jedi dies and the Falcon was damaged. Great scene and really impactful.Jacen Solo. I am actually much more pleased with his evolution, and I wish that this was originally apart of the Caedus turn. Alanna standing with Krayt as the heads of a Sith Empire. It actually does explain much of his actions, it was a persistant thought that the Empire at its height would have repelled the Vong, who knows what another would do against the One Sith. The evolution of Caedus also slightly mirrors Revan/Malak and their efforts reforming the Republic with another Sith Empire in the background as well. His attitude toward Luke is also telling, in that he know he messed up and the hostility toward Luke emphasized his anger at himself.Cons:The Lost Tribe. I am bit confused with their ultimate fate. The Coruscant survivors are just a rabble of disorganized chaos? What? Are you serious? And Kesh is now a neutered world of oh 5k Sith? Are they at odds with the One Sith, or are they allies? I always thought of the reason why the One Sith went unnoticed was because the Lost Tribe preoccupied things. Krayt's little day trip and Vestara's plans kind of make that null and moot.Jag and Tahiri. What the **** was the point of this? They include Daala and Jag to basically say "Jag quits and Tahiri is pardoned and Daala is disgraced." Did we really need sections of the books dedicated to that? Especially once Jag appoints Tahiri as his hand (obvious dovetail to imperial knights lost) and then everything is given up? Also, what did Jag do with the Droch serum?!Abeloth and the Ones. I really don't know what to think about this, but I felt that Humans existed way before and the Celestials/The Ones but the Kiliks carved them as so? And still that abeloth is a compliment to war felt a bit too odd. I also don't like how Flowwalking was stated to be the reason why Abeloth escaped, what about Jacen's war that resulted in Centerpoint's destruction? Didn't that have anything to do with it?Daala. She was simply a joke, I don't know why they included her at all.The foreshadowing of future events was also very nice.
Mar 23 12 7:33 PM
Mar 26 12 1:09 AM
Mar 28 12 6:25 AM
Another thing that I wanted to add was one of my biggest cons: the supernatural type stuff and the tie-ins to Clone Wars books.
Apr 1 12 11:45 AM
Apr 7 12 7:09 AM
Apr 7 12 1:52 PM
CorelliasDream wrote:From an in-universe point of view, Allana hardly seems like a child now. I wonder when the poor girl last had the chance to actually just play with someone her own age ? She spends all her time with adults and droids. Just send her away to the Academy with the other younglings, like her mother was.
May 3 12 2:21 PM
I haven't yet read the book, but I skipped and read the parts I'm most interested in...how Jacen was portrayed. I'm having a very hard time reconciling the Jacen in NJOE/DN/LOTF (and even the beginning of FOTJ) with the Jacen in this book. He didn't read the same.But the part that is bothering me the most, is his motivation for this whole mess and why he didn't tell Luke and then work together. I'm sure Denning thought it would be some powerful moment, but instead it came across as lazy without much thought about what’s been written in the past. I've spent the past couple days trying to come to terms with this premise and just can't.I can buy that a dad’s overwhelming love for a child can cause him to do something drastic. Taken at the surface, I can see “wow, Jacen did it for Allana.” After all, we saw that with Mara and we know Jacen loved Allana. But stepping back, here is why I reject this premise:- Jacen had 10+ years to react. It wasn’t an emotional reaction like it was for Mara (or Luke).- Jacen had no connection to Allana when he saw the vision. While he could have figured out who it was, he had no emotional bond with his to-be-born child yet. Why not tell someone like Luke? If anything, I think he would have tried preventing her birth. At the very least, he would have had a strong reaction when he learned of her birth. (“Uh oh, here comes that vision!”)- Jacen spent most of LOTF convinced he had to kill Allana. Not once during those internal monologues did Jacen think about how that would be the easy way out of the vision: “Kill her, change the vision. But the dark man would still exist, so what good is it to change half the vision, especially the part I care about?”- In Betrayal, Jacen clearly chose the Sith path to stop some event where he had to kill Luke, not to save Allana.If you understand why this makes sense, please let me know…. Why did Jacen think not telling Luke would save Allana? Do you think that the actions in DN and LOTF support the idea that Jacen saw Allana in his vision?
May 3 12 7:13 PM
May 4 12 9:44 PM
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Jun 30 12 9:25 AM
Meeps wrote:i haven't been this disappointed in a Star Wars novel since Darksaber. not that it was particularly poorly written, but there was no sense of resolution or closure whatsoever. this may have been inentional, if what others have said about Mr. Denning is true, but this one felt pretty empty as the culmination of a nine book series.
Jun 30 12 11:47 AM
I have to throw in my two cents and firstly agree with VileZero that the ending was certainly intentionally leaving the readership wanting more, and the future authors with lots of options. That being said, I really enjoyed the entire FotJ arc. I thought it was interestingly plotted, had lots of huge moments (i.e. moments which changed lots of things all at once), and had a nice, quick pace that sent me tearing through the pages.
Also, I've heard grumblings that the arc was funnelling the galaxy towards the legacy era comics and it didn't seem organic as a result, but as someone who has not read those comics, I never had moments where I said, "This action doesn't make sense given the characters history and the descisions they are making right now." Certainly, the whole Jacen Solo/Caedus actual motivation thing is a little foggy, but that's just good old fashioned Ret-Conning, by and large, as you know they probably hadn't thought the plot of Jacen's demise as far ahead as FotJ. I'm not trying to make excuses for the authors so much as say they did a great job at coming up with a new story which didn't directly disrupt any of the continuity, and in fact tried to be sensative and true to it, while further developing a character who died several books back, in a way that makes him more round and interesting. And the stories themselves were enjoyable, well thought out, and internally cohesive.
If we view this through the "each book should stand on its own" lens, expanding it to consider that series such as this are really one extended work spread out into installments, I think that this series stands the test of having everything you need to be immersed in the story, as well as the sort of pay off's and mysteries you'd want out of a work which has the ability to be continued elsewhere.
If they had wrapped everything in a neat bow at the end, it would've felt... flat. Unreal. Life doesn't work that way. With ever more material in the SW universe, we can see the conventional cause-effect relationship becoming ever more complex, but still there. This is what makes fiction different from real life. In real life, not everything is significant and can be traced back to some other event with concrete certainty. But think of how the events of this book here, and this other book 10 years later can have an interaction leading to events in another book 20 years after that, and we can still see that cause and effect, but muted by the enormity of the total information being presented: just like in life.
I think that verisimilitude is one of the coolest things about the current SW universe, personally, so I'm glad for the lack of a pretty bow, and questions being answered with both answers and more questions.
Aug 19 12 9:01 AM
Well I finally got around to finishing Apocalypse the other day. To be fair it was a much better ending than I was expecting given how bad Invincible was, and I’d even go so far as to say it was maybe even Denning’s best novel since Star by Star (though still no where near that level). Sure there were a few things I didn’t like, like how anti-climatic the defeat of Abeloth felt, blaming everything on Jacen (does Denning really hate the guy that much that his character butchery in LOTF wasn’t enough?) and saying Anakin DIDN’T bring Balance to the Force (invalidating the end of NJO wasn’t enough that he had to go against the movies too?!), but overall it was very solid and probably one of the better books in FOTJ. Certainly far more satisfying than Invincible and I didn’t feel the urge to sling the book across the room this time... well maybe once with the Anakin thing but that’s much better than last time!
But one thing really struck me at the end. Just how similar the ending was to The Unifying Force. I don’t mean in terms of quality (TUF wins hands down) or story, but in terms of where it leaves the characters.
Think about it for a moment;
Unifying Force - Luke injured by the venom from Shimraa’s amphistaff, believes he may never be fully healedApocalypse - Luke injured by Abeloth, feels the wound will stay with him the rest of his life
Unifying Force - Han and Leia heading for the Corporate Sector (Luke and Mara to travel with them before rejoining the Jedi on Ossus)Apocalypse - Han and Leia leave Coruscant with Luke and the Jedi
Unifying Force - Jedi no longer going to police the galaxy, guardians of peace and justice but not the GA, moving to Ossus, Apocalypse - Jedi leave the GA and go to Shedu Maad
Unifying Force - Coruscant will take years to recoverApocalypse - Coruscant will take years to recover
Unifying Force - The Jedi had a new, deeper understanding of the ForceApocalypse - The Jedi are back to the traditional light/dark view of the Force
Unifying Force - Jacen was the ideal Jedi and the personification of the new view of the ForceApocalypse - Ben is the ideal Jedi Knight (traditional view)
Unifying Force - Jacen going to travel the galaxy, learn from other Force culturesApocalypse - 10 Jedi Knights set out on a quest to find the Mortis Monolith
Unifying Force - Jaina in a relationship with Jag, would like to be a Council member one dayApocalypse - Jaina married to Jag and a Council member
So, ignoring side stories like Riptide and Millennium Falcon, we had 21 novels (12 of them hardbacks) and at the end of it all Luke, Han, Leia, the Jedi Order, even Coruscant are all pretty much in the same place (having gone through a lot more tragedy), Jaina has matured, we’ve switched Jacen for Ben as the ideal Jedi and returned to the traditional light/dark view of Force.
Did we really need 21 books to achieve this?
Think about the stories we’ve had;
Dark Nest - at its core dealt with the survivors of Myrkr, could have been done in 1 (and lets face it, 1 full book of Killiks is more than enough!)
The Second Civil War/The Fall of Jacen Solo - Given the Second Civil War pretty much fizzled out and the real story of LOTF was the fall of Jacen, the whole purposed seemed to be retelling the PT (not needed) and erase the philosophy of NJO (personally I feel this was a big mistake but your milage may vary on that). Traitor proved a philosophy change can be done in 1 good book - a book about Jacen’s travels could have done this nicely, making him a Qui-Gon type Jedi but still bringing back the more traditional view of the Force. Personally I think most people would have preferred that to the 9 book mess that we got and cost us both Jacen and Mara. If the civil war had to be included (or, probably better, be told on its own), a trilogy would have done the job just fine.
Fate of the Jedi - Luke and Ben’s journey/Lost Tribe/Abeloth would have been an amazing trilogy, over 9 books it was dragged out. I honestly feel Ben got the best character development over LOTF/FOTJ, but it could also have been done in a young reader series like JJK/YJK which would mean we’d have a full cast of next generation characters like we got with the Solo kids.
So that’s what? 8 books and maybe a young reader series that could have accomplished the same and probably been better in the telling. And we could still have Jacen and Mara! Or they could have been killed off in better (more in character) ways if needed. The slavery subplot (which like the Second Civil War just kind of fizzled out with no solid conclusion) could have been a good stand alone novel telling a full story.
Maybe I’m just feeling a bit let down. 21 books to get back to pretty much where we were at the end of TUF? But at the end of TUF we had a happy ending (the perfect ending for the EU in hindsight), we still had Jacen and Mara and the future seemed bright and optimistic, limited only by authors’ imaginations. Now Jacen and Mara are gone, everyone else is in pretty much the same place (Jacen’s role as the main hero of the next generation filled by Ben), but the galaxy seems far darker, less optimistic, we have 2 planets full of Sith out there and the implication from Apocalypse is that the future will be more of the same Jedi Vs. Sith we now seem to be getting in every era.
I still think there’s great stories to be told, but they need to let the next generation take the lead in this era now and they need to get some new creative blood fast.
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