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2014-05-21: Great Day For Devil Tech
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khan



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

25k imp star destroyers is a truly vast number (each was a small city), especially since the rebellion until after the Curbstomping of Hoth had almost no modern capitalships. Each star destroyer would have ~3 escort frigates alone, and obviously many more smaller but still significant warships. Meh, i just think post Battle of Endor would require lots more cleanup than is implied. Rebellion didnt control many planets, just what the imps didnt want.

About cough syrup, we should never forget the Great Granparent, laudanum, a truly pervasive addiction in its time. We get the tale of Xanadu, Kublai Khans partycitythingy. It was strong spirits with as much opium as could be dissolved in it. This huge in the west. Codein would be the main intoxicant in the opium that can be eaten for effect.

Conflict isnt exclusively a patriarchal concept. In do admit though that most stories following the 'heroic' template are patriarchal. But the 'protagonist' based story (ie tale about what he/she does, or accomplishes) is really the basis of all western storytelling, for as long as we have surviving evidence. Most other cultures have this too, regardless of how patriarchal they are.

One up based collective storytelling can end well, see Thieves' World (i read 1 to 12, and a couple non-Sanctuary novels). It didnt seem fake or forced, and it definately ended on a moment of hope, despite lots of unpleasant people winning. The Matriarchy was funny though. Shocked
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only book out of the EU I ever read involved Han Solo getting some kind of smelly pet to foist on someone he hated. I think there was some kind of battle thing after that - but I stopped reading because holy shit was it boring. Then I never picked up another one because I became aware of the size of additional materials beyond the films.

I'm with Samsally. Fluff is good. Fluff can be a lot of fun. But I also think that war and battle and all doesn't have to be the default drama in stories.

Some other things I think are overdone:

- Taking characters from an established canon and showing what they were all like in college, high school or a training academy. Especially when they all just happen to have all attended school together. It's okay once in awhile, and sometimes it is interesting - but it's such bullshit to resort to it so often. (The only one I've ever wanted to see was that Batman series someone came up with where Harvey Dent was running for class president. That would have been gold.)

- Love triangles where everyone is way fucking high strung about monogamy. It's important to some people, but holy shit is that boring when it's like every romance-related film ever made. (This is why I stopped listening to musicals; Someone turned "The Secret Garden" into a love triangle, and while the music was good, omfg I can't stand that this is a go to plot device.)

- Love infinite-sided-geometric-shapes where everyone is angry because, surprise! everyone is cheating on everyone else, moving on to new lovers, and then breaking those relationships. These things don't have to be bad, but it gets old when that's all the story is about, and when the characters act the same each time - always shocked, always said, crying and acting like they haven't done the same thing. Holy fuck. (This is one of the major reasons I don't watch TV series)

- Stories where everyone is completely unable to communicate in a healthy way. Poor communication skills can be fun and useful to explore. But seriously - everyone has poor communication skills? EVERYONE? I am pretty sure there are some functional human beings out there, unless the ones I've met weren't human.

- Law enforcement action adventures. (I would not care as much, but people keep telling me about them, and I'm all, "Well, yeah, the characters may be interesting, but you could take those good characters and put them in a situation that is actually interesting.)

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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

War and battle gets old pretty quick. I mean obviously it can be done astonishingly well sometimes, but boy howdy I agree, it gets soooo boring after a while.

(I'm also totally in agreement over your sick-of-it trope list, too. I'd like to add 'shoe-horned love interests with no chemistry' and 'literally everything ever set in a hospital' to the list.)
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Heretical Rants



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, yeah, of course war is boring
a proper war involves too many characters for you to really care about any of them


oh look another hundred people died
hmm


I bet several orders of magnitude more people cried at Vader's redemption than at Alderaan's destruction
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Midnight Tea



Joined: 15 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This reminds me of how sick and tired I am of video games that take place in fantasy settings and every single character is defined by their combat capabilities. Your character class isn't about who you are or what you do, it's how you kill things. I didn't mind that so much for the first 25-ish years of my life but there's a whole ocean of possibilities out there and it's maddening to be stuck in the kiddie pool.

I cannot for the life of me understand what people see in Game of Thrones. I mean, I'm sure it has interesting drama and complexity and all that, but isn't life shitty enough without us wanting all our fantasy world escapism to be even more unbelievably shitty?
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are aspects of war I can find interesting - like what's going on in the home countries, how are the economics being affected, food shortages, what things is the government not talking about. And that sometimes shows up - but usualy it's al about "I'M GONNA TAKE YOU OUT NO I'M GONNA TAKE YOU OUT WEAPONS BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM WOW FIGHTING!" And then a little sliver of life that is a lot like other war movies, just to make the heroes 'relatable.' Then "PREPARE TO DIE WE ARE MARCHING OFF TO WAR I'M GOING TO BREAK BUILDINGS AND SHIT I SURE DO LIKE SHOOTING THIS GUN."

Samsally wrote:
War and battle gets old pretty quick. I mean obviously it can be done astonishingly well sometimes, but boy howdy I agree, it gets soooo boring after a while.

(I'm also totally in agreement over your sick-of-it trope list, too. I'd like to add 'shoe-horned love interests with no chemistry' and 'literally everything ever set in a hospital' to the list.)


Yes yes yes! The hospital dramas to me are the same as police/investigation dramas, and both are terribly boring. I think part of it is that it is the easy route. Life and death are dramatic, so if you get an audience that doesn't care that much, then hey! Just pick a place where life and death happen to coincide. But the only way to make that super duper good for TV is to cram HOLY CRAP PLOT THINGS into every single episode. It's not just unrealistic, it's just too much stuff and I really can't care that much about fake people when I have to stumble through so much crap to get to their stories.

Adding to the list - characters who are So! Flawed! But! Quirky! You! Have! To! Love! Them! When really they are just assholes designed to be assholes, but who have something about a decent person slapped on at the end. I can enjoy a good asshole as much as anyone, but there has to be some depth to them, and I don't want to find them everywhere in my entertainment. Also, to have them continue being 'loveable assholes,' the writers can't have them actually develop. So they never really progress in any direction, and therefore there is no payoff unless you want to watch a jerk be a jerk to people for no reason.
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khan wrote:
25k imp star destroyers is a truly vast number (each was a small city), especially since the rebellion until after the Curbstomping of Hoth had almost no modern capitalships. Each star destroyer would have ~3 escort frigates alone, and obviously many more smaller but still significant warships. Meh, i just think post Battle of Endor would require lots more cleanup than is implied. Rebellion didnt control many planets, just what the imps didnt want.


it's worth noting that the EU does have a nearly endless array of warships that are also part of the Imperial fleet, so it doesn't necessarily have to be just 25,000 Star Destroyers

but what this really indicates is that for a universe at the scale of Star Wars, you probably shouldn't bother trying to put hard and fast numbers on much of anything, really. the scale is too gigantic to really grasp.
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OklahomanSun



Joined: 16 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
one of Traviss' major contributions to the EU was putting Daala in charge of the galaxy and getting the Mandalorians to persecute the Jedi, which came along with Jaina's Mandalorian character derailment. her work is primarily a backlash to one of the central elements of Star Wars, the Jedi; it's not just that she focuses on people who aren't Jedi, it's that she denigrates the ones who are Jedi. hence why she left Star Wars in the first place; the Clone Wars showrunners pointed out that her conception of the Mandalorians were still villainous by any other name, in part because they were the ones persecuting the Jedi, and one of the fundamental pieces of Star Wars' foundation is that the Jedi are the good guys.

and it's related to authors one-upping each other because her work, including having the Mandalorians persecuting the Jedi and Daala exiling Luke because reasons and an entire plotline in which the Jedi are contrived to be a menace to the galaxy so someone else can look heroic in stopping them, both rebukes previous authors (who had the Jedi be the heroes), and itself is rebuked by later authors (because the Jedi eventually overthrow Daala and take over the Alliance).


Regarding the Mandalorians hunting Jedi, that's something that had been going on for long before Traviss ever entered the EU, so I'm not sure putting it at her feet is really fair. She may have made some stylistic changes, but it's been going on since the KOTOR games became canon.

As for Daala, it's true that she introduced Daala in Revelations, the second to last book in the Legacy series, and she may have had some planning on the Fate of the Jedi series, but she stepped out of the EU universe before the Fate of the Jedi arc started, so she had very little to do with how Daala specifically acted in that series, since she wrote none of the books. For that reason, laying Daala's actions at her feet isn't really fair either.

As for the Jedi not being heroes, I think that's an issue of context. Sure, in their universe, parties have acted to put the Jedi out of favour, but the reader still knows they're the heroes, so I'm not sure that you can really say that. It's also a bit inaccurate to say that the Jedi have always been "straight edge" as it were. Luke has wavered several times, Kyp Durron blew up an entire solar system, the Rar sisters were questionable at times, even Corran pushed the limit in I, Jedi. Ganner was an ass and Raynar was an egotistical twat. There's room in the EU canon for the Jedi to act fallibly for sure, so I can't get behind a concept that whenever the writers take a more human approach to the Jedi that they're breaking faith with the other writers. Remember that Luke's new Jedi Order allows families and emotions in, and it's that choice that has been worked on in the novels to introduce a more human element to the Jedi. It's true that the Jedi are supposed to be the good guys, but another one of the elements in the Star Wars story that was played out in the movies is that there's a different perspective, a "certain point of view." In the Prequels, it gets played into Anakin's head that the actions of the Jedi are not as pure as they seem. Even Yoda and Mace worry about the war's effect on the Jedi. Read Shatterpoint. It's probably one of the best EU novels bar none, and there's a whole lot in there about how the Jedi aren't infallible pure beings of light, there's moral ambiguity to their actions.

As for Jaina's Mandalorian training being character derailment, I'd disagree. She's twins with Jacen, and you can look at it a couple ways. They've always written him as the more mental aspect of the Force and her as the more physical aspect of the Force. Much like he went off and learned other disciplines of the Force, so she goes off and learns other ways to fight. You can see this with her and Jag and Zekk training, and with her Mandalorian work.

You can also look at the common trope of "We trained together forever, so I've got to learn a new way to fight to beat him". Since Jacen is so intimately familiar with her fighting style, she went to learn from a warrior group that fights radically dissimilar to her style. I'm willing to buy into either or both of those concepts.


Ultimately, the authors all planned out all three of the major arcs. The New Jedi Order was planned out to an extent, the Legacy of the Force was planned out, and the Fate of the Jedi was planned out. The authors were given stylistic licence within the books but the pathing was understood.
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khan



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not 150% certain, but i remember references to the Mandalorians being Jedi's enemies before KOTOR, iirc, it was in reference to Boba Fetts armour, which was designed to fight Jedi.

It should be noted in SW cannon, Jedi werent always 'good', they are more correctly in D&D terms Lawful Neutral in terms of behaviour, being very much an establishment, and in anything old republic, they were very much a stagnating force. I loved the character of Bindo in Kotor, and was fond of Kreia until the lameass 'plot twist', surprise im evil! Thing.

Sith are generally pretty evil, but Jedi arent altogether good, unless youre 5 years old.

Shadowcell, pretty good point that scale makes numbers irrelevant, but SW was always a haven for nerdy-types that liked such details, especially since war is so key in most plots in eu.

What do people think of technology in SW?? I was not impressed that the tech in kotor was in fact interchangeable with rotj level... blaster rifles ffs?!? This wouldnt have bothered me so much if so MANY sw plots werent about 'advancing technology', and 'experimental tech', despite 0 changes ever. Except bigger ships. Hell, if you extrapolate backwards from Xwing to Z95 and so on, your back to the propeller driven biplanes very quickly. If you arent able to think up zany new (and old) techs constantly, use the concept of a technological plateau.
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OklahomanSun



Joined: 16 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khan wrote:
Not 150% certain, but i remember references to the Mandalorians being Jedi's enemies before KOTOR, iirc, it was in reference to Boba Fetts armour, which was designed to fight Jedi.

It should be noted in SW cannon, Jedi werent always 'good', they are more correctly in D&D terms Lawful Neutral in terms of behaviour, being very much an establishment, and in anything old republic, they were very much a stagnating force. I loved the character of Bindo in Kotor, and was fond of Kreia until the lameass 'plot twist', surprise im evil! Thing.

Sith are generally pretty evil, but Jedi arent altogether good, unless youre 5 years old.

Shadowcell, pretty good point that scale makes numbers irrelevant, but SW was always a haven for nerdy-types that liked such details, especially since war is so key in most plots in eu.

What do people think of technology in SW?? I was not impressed that the tech in kotor was in fact interchangeable with rotj level... blaster rifles ffs?!? This wouldnt have bothered me so much if so MANY sw plots werent about 'advancing technology', and 'experimental tech', despite 0 changes ever. Except bigger ships. Hell, if you extrapolate backwards from Xwing to Z95 and so on, your back to the propeller driven biplanes very quickly. If you arent able to think up zany new (and old) techs constantly, use the concept of a technological plateau.


I hear you on the tech level, but I think some of that was a bit of "whatcha gonna do". There isn't much they can do considering that when they wanted to make the game, they were really stuck making it so far in the past so as not to impact other canon, but still have space travel and other things.

The only thing I would say is that some of the SW plot isn't necessarily about new tech, but old tech scaled up. The Sun Crusher, that's definitely new tech, but a lot of the Empire's superweapons are just normal weapons on a really really big scale. The Death Star was basically just a giant turbolaser with a moon built to house the reactor and the troops and ships protecting it.

Ultimately though, I think you're right and they were just stuck. If you asked an author, they'd probably say that technology "peaked" at some point and there were only minor improvements on things like blasters and lasers. I do recall that the first gen lightsabers were run off a battery pack, but that was even older than KOTOR by several thousand years.
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khan



Joined: 10 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if you are nerdy enough to have some of the Technology handbooks (i have vehicle one and devices/weapons), they already had some guidelines for the Xzar Kun era, and yesh, even pre-republic tech (...which included mass drivers in space, and heatsink armour, also beam-tubes) and history that kotor shat on. Damn lax and lazy!

Actually, not 100% related, but there is massive tech complications on scaling up. Structures get much harder to build, since your materials dont inherently lighter or stronger. Confused Building a VSD vs an SSD is a very different prospect. Hence MOO requiring tech for the Titan and Doomstar (copywrite dodge ftw) i guess.

The problem i see is they couldnt delve too much into the nittygritty, since it gets boring for most, but you can, like Tolkien do it and use it without beating us silly with an Elvish dictionary.

There are also 'experimental' ships, like Xixor's Virago iirc, and if you played Xwing, the powercreep on snubfighters was substantial. Rolling Eyes the game followed the lore gor those ships actually, so its relevant. A Tie Avenger was several magnitudes better than a Tie Fighter, but is supposed to be much more expensive. But if you reverse this progresdion, it gets stupid quickly.
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OklahomanSun



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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following on with the discussion, where I always found the tech problem to be most glaring was in the snubfighters.

There's very little improvement in the fighters from KOTOR time period all the way up to the current time period. Sure, they get some new models here and there but there's very little done other than maybe packing on some more weapons here or more speed there or more shields on another.

And I've never been able to fully suspend my disbelief about the basic TIE fighter. "Oh, you're not giving me shields because it's too expensive to mass produce? Strange, the Rebels seem to be able to afford shields, and missiles. Oh, their fleet is smaller? Maybe, boss, maybe, but they seem to be getting about 10 - 1 kill ratios so maybe we can rethink this????"
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Mandalorians have always been the Jedi's enemies; Traviss and her ilk elevated them to heroes, by sending Jaina off to join them because apparently she's not a good enough warrior anymore, by putting Daala in charge of the galaxy, by giving them the spot previously occupied by the Jedi as the ones with whom our sympathies should lie, by glorifying the clones that would ultimately become the Stormtroopers and infusing into the people who would ultimately kill the Jedi the same Mandalorian culture. that's why The Clone Wars were such a rebuke; it was a reminder that the Mandalorians were still a bunch of warlike conqueror assholes who hate the Jedi, and that pretty much inescapably makes them the villains.

of course, i never said the Jedi have to be 100% perfect at all times, so i'm not sure where you're getting that from. but one of the basic points of Star Wars is that the Jedi are the good guys, and the Jedi are the good guys because they're good people. not every individual lives up to that, but the movies are quite unmistakable about it; what gives Luke the right at the end of Return of the Jedi to call himself a Jedi is that he forgave his father and sought to redeem him, not that he kicked Vader's ass in a fight. and Vader's redemption is the climax of the whole story, and it--turning back to the side of good, doing the right thing, being a good person--is what destroys the Emperor. and it's a theme Zahn understood, because being better people than Thrawn is what allows the New Republic to gain the allegiance of Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and the Noghri, which are all necessary to defeating Thrawn.

the rest of the EU totally dispenses with that theme. if anything, its message is the opposite, and you have to conclude that being a good person like the Jedi is completely pointless and no good will come of it, or else you'll get slaughtered or turned into the pawn of someone's decades-long revenge scheme or watch all the good you did turn into the evil you thought you defeated. the Jedi and the original trilogy's heroes try to make the galaxy a better place and it all just winds up turning worse. it reached the point where Lucasfilm had to get up and remind Star Wars fans that the Jedi are actually supposed to be the good guys (and their way of doing it just caused more problems). the message of the EU is antithetical to the message of Star Wars.

and that, really, is why it was scrapping it and starting over.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowcell is completely right tbh. the EU was full of marvel-level contradictory canon wank overload that drowned any and all clear and romantic narrative and theme in the Star Wars universe. anyone trying to write new stories for it would have been forced to do so in a universe drowned in shitty wank that would have paralyzed any and every potential storytelling direction.

also I feel like everyone here who is discussing star wars should come join or offer questions, no matter how controversial, in my thread i made because i am a horrible nerd. ALREADY IN PROGRESS!

http://sinfest.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=7328

/e

Quote:
the Mandalorians have always been the Jedi's enemies


the mandalorians actually were allies of the jedi in multiple conflicts, and mandalore the preserver was also effectively an ally of the jedi re: canon surrounding the Exile

they were just much much more likely to be an evil force at any given point in time because of their whole overarching philosophy
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OklahomanSun



Joined: 16 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
shadowcell is completely right tbh. the EU was full of marvel-level contradictory canon wank overload that drowned any and all clear and romantic narrative and theme in the Star Wars universe. anyone trying to write new stories for it would have been forced to do so in a universe drowned in shitty wank that would have paralyzed any and every potential storytelling direction.

also I feel like everyone here who is discussing star wars should come join or offer questions, no matter how controversial, in my thread i made because i am a horrible nerd. ALREADY IN PROGRESS!

http://sinfest.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=7328

/e

Quote:
the Mandalorians have always been the Jedi's enemies


the mandalorians actually were allies of the jedi in multiple conflicts, and mandalore the preserver was also effectively an ally of the jedi re: canon surrounding the Exile

they were just much much more likely to be an evil force at any given point in time because of their whole overarching philosophy


Not exactly a ringing endorsement to talk Star Wars in your thread, mate. Not everyone considers the EU to be riddled with "shitty wank."
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