Friday, June 29, 2007

Inferno Back Cover

I have an essay up over on TheForce.Net, entitled Looking Back and Thinking Forward. It's a glimpse over the Del Rey EU, and my thoughts on the next book contract, which should be awarded soon. I bring it up, because some of my thoughts, have a direct bearing on the topic of today's post.

Now on with my regularly scheduled broadcast.

The back cover to the novel Inferno, the next in the LotF series, is now up over at the Official Site. - WARNING: It has Sacrifice spoilers.

Since, it happens to be a paperback, that means there's a blurb up on the site. A blurb that was embargoed for quite a bit of time, due to it containing spoilers for the last hardcover release, Sacrifice.

So be warned: there be spoilers here.

... I think I've watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl on the television too many times

Anyways, on to the blurb (highlight to see the spoilers):

Luke Skywalker wanted to unify the Jedi order and bring peace to the universe. Instead his wife Mara lies dead at the hands of an unknown assassin, his wayward nephew has seized control of the Galactic Alliance, and the galaxy has exploded in all-out civil war.

With Luke consumed by grief, Jacen Solo works quickly to consolidate his power and jumpstart his plan to take over the Jedi. Convinced he's the only one who can save the galaxy, Jacen will do whatever it takes, even ambush his own parents.

With the Rebel confederacy driving deep into the Core to attack Coruscant and the Jedi under siege, Luke must reassert his position. Only he can lead the Jedi through this crisis, but it means solving the toughest problem Luke's ever faced. Does he fight alongside his nephew Jacen, a tyrant who's taken over the GA, or does he join the rebels to smash the Galactic Alliance he helped create.

Well. Ain't that interesting.

A couple thoughts worked through here. First, this is just further proof that Legacy of the Force is nothing but a shallow rehash of the Prequels. Consider. Rebellious Confederacy. Sith Lord seizing power of the government. The Jedi under siege. The Jedi playing a major part in the war effort.

Why, oh why, can't we have a new story line? I would rather go back to the Warlord of the Week model from the Bantam era than this.

My second thought, is why exactly is this a hard decision for Luke?

Luke has always fought for the tenets of the Rebel Alliance. He wanted a Republic, it's what he fought and bled for throughout his twenties and thirties. Why would not fighting for the shell of the GA be such a hard decision?

Frankly, it confuses me, but that's okay, well at least I hope it's okay and that they have a plan for it.

It's at this point in time, if my wife had read the entire series, and cared, that she would point out that I have a tendency to hope for pointless things which have little chance of bearing fruit.

A character flaw, especially when, as she would continue pointing out, I'm so pessimistic about things that actually can, and do, happen.

That's what she would have said, if she had read all of the Star Wars EU, up until this point, and cared about it. Since she hadn't and she doesn't, that means I have to say it to myself for her, because what she will really say when she reads this entry is: "Freak."

Back on topic, I can admit that I am looking forward to Inferno. It's a habit of mine, I constantly, and consistently look forward to the next entry in the Saga. Yet, for once, I find myself really hoping that the back-cover blurb here is, well not wrong per se, but rather, misguiding in the way it is presenting the plot.

I hope, that the story isn't quite a knock off of the Prequels. I hope that Luke isn't back to his wishy-washy, "I can't make this type of decision, despite the fact that I've made similar decisions my entire adult life" self.

Then, there is the way the story itself is presented. The Confederacy is not being presented in a good light, despite the fact that they are the side which I think is in the right.

My politics are small government, personal responsibility and a strong belief in the free market. IMO, the Confederacy are the ones espousing such things, despite the fact that they're labeled terrorists, and show doing despicable things. Of course the big government folks of the Alliance aren't doing much better things.

In the end, I can't help but wonder just what type of political statement they're bringing into play with how they display the two governments here, and I would appreciate some other opinions on things.


RJ said...

I'm not familiar with the inner workings of plotting in the EU, so I have this question about the importance of Del Rey as the publisher.

Does the publisher drive the plotting more than Lucas Books (or whatever Lucas entity is in control of this)? For instance, does Lucas Books operate more with veto power than legislative power?

If so, I guess the publisher is more important than I guessed.

I come from a different perspective regarding the EU, I guess. There are certainly areas of Del Rey's novels that I haven't enjoyed. (For instance, I agree that the death of Anakin Solo was a mistake.) But largely I enjoy them so much more than the Bantam books.

Right now I'm reading Champions of the Force and it just pales compared to the Legacy books, for me at least. The Bantam books just have a very different feel to me and I like the Del Rey feel more.

That being said, I agree that the NJO was overly morbid (at least what I've read of it so far). Star by Star was my least favorite EU book so far, mostly due to the horrific tone of the thing.

Overall I think you're a much more thoughtful reader (and I mean that as a compliment) than I am. From what I can tell from this blog, you are a voracious reader. Reading your comments I find myself agreeing with many of them. But then I'll go and read the next Legacy book and be thoroughly entertained even if it's somewhat inconsistent and very Prequel-derivative.

On a tangential note, I'd really like to see more books that are not part of the major galactic sweep of things. I enjoy the side stories that are a little more self-contained and don't involve some level of galactic chaos or Jedi schisms.

Stephen Wrighton said...

From my understanding of things, the publisher has an outline of things they think would sell decently. For example: a trilogy rebooting the Jedi's view of the Force and a nine-book series dealing with Jacen turning Sith. This is outline is the basis for the contract being awarded. Then it is broken down a little further, and built into specifics story plots with the help of the author, publisher and LFL.

That's not to say that things can't, and won't, change during the course of the contract. We've seen plenty of examples of that (such as the missing Plagueis novel, the POD sequel, and the new Luke book).

And of course, I could be utterly wrong, and misremembering how that whole process works. *shrugs*

Anyways, I did enjoy specific instances of the books, and most of the time, I actually enjoy the book while reading it. It's usually the overarching storyline that I disagree with.

Additionally, I can admit that some of the Bantam stuff was utter tripe. Yet, that tripe, was usually FUN. Crystal Star was a horrendous book, but it was still amusing and a fun story.

As for being a thoughtful reader, I kind of force myself to be. It's part of the reason I set up the blog, was to force myself to actively think things through, as an exercise in critical thinking. As I get older, I find myself wanting to just sit back and stop thinking more and more, so the blog is an effort to fight that, both in ensuring that I think critically while reading, as well as to improve my writing.

Now, dropping down to your tangential note, I agree with that whole heartedly. I'd love to see more books similar to I, Jedi or even the Rogue Squadron series.

RJ said...

You do a great job of critical thinking on this blog. Better than I ever have.

The Rogue Squadron books are a good examples of books outside the main thrust of the GFFA that are great. Two of my favorites are the Medstar books. I know lots of people don't like those, but I loved the story and the characters and that it was this "tiny" story within the overall Clone Wars. In some ways, it's just nice to read books that aren't Solo/Skywalker focused.

Thrawn said...

Nice article; well done.

Why, oh why, can't we have a new story line?

While I'm liking the LoTF series so far, I am tired of the in-book comparisions between the Old Republic/GFFA, Anakin Skywalker/Jacen Solo, etc.

Stephen Wrighton said...

RJ: Thanks! Oh yeah, the Medstar duology was great as well.

Thrawn: Thanks!

And like I said, I find myself liking the individual books that make up LotF - it tends to be the overarching plot handed down by editorial fiat that usually annoys me. And yes, those in-book comparisons are definitely annoying.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin