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Mandalorian is a really nice show because it's fun and breezy.  I think it's essentially everything that I wanted from the sequel trilogy but didn't get.  Even as the Mandalorian's story gets more complicated and more tangled in the bigger Star Wars universe, it doesn't have the same level of burden that you get with the movies.  It all feels like A New Hope, and I think that's very fun.

Minor spoilers but I assume everyone knows about the Mandalorian season 2 finale by now:


There are people who are upset about the Luke appearance.  I don't get it.  It made me so happy.  It's funny - I've consumed a lot of Star Wars content and I guess I like it more than I thought, but I've never considered myself a big fan.  But I absolutely love Luke Skywalker.  One night before The Last Jedi, I couldn't sleep because I was worried Luke would be evil.  And to see him finally get a huge fun heroic moment of dominance was so satisfying.

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I've barely seen any who are upset that Hamill "appeared," though some like me have been critical of the CGI.  I felt the appearance had the appropriate grandeur and suspense, though it's unfortunate it was done on a streaming series and not a film. 

One thing I'm kind of confused about is this over-emotional sentiment, which got a Lucasfilm exec in trouble for poking fun at a fan crying after watching.  I'm a massive Star Wars fan, and Luke was Star Wars for me.  I was not that upset with his arc in the sequel films like many others.  That said, I truly do not understand how a brief appearance in this finale "fixes that?"  Many friends were like, there you see, you see!!!  This is the Luke we all wanted.  This is who he was supposed to be after ROTJ.  I'm like, well, okay, yes, that's how he was written in a multitude of Expanded Universe material 20-30 years ago. 

I will say that Filoni/Favreau did it the RIGHT way.  They kept it quiet, and it did not feel like fan service.  That is really I think the biggest threat to what the franchise will do going forward.  Like I think this idea of bringing back all the Spider-Man actors for the next movie is completely absurd.  What kind of disaster will that be?  Oh wait, it's Marvel, the script is irrelevant.

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I agree.  I think season two had a decent amount of fan service, but I think it made sense for the plot.  Boba Fett is absolutely fan service, but he's wearing Mandalorian armor so it makes sense that Mando would run into him.  Same with Bo-Katan.  And Bo-Katan would reasonably lead him to Ahsoka.  And Ahsoka leading him to a Jedi relic that sent out a signal across the universe would certainly come to the attention of Luke.

I think it all made reasonable sense, even all happening in one season.  I do worry about watering down the quality of the shows with *so many* spinoffs.  It makes me think of the dropoff from Family Guy spinoffs or the decrease in the quality of the Arrowverse.  But I assume they'll all be 8 episode seasons so instead of 100+ episodes a year, we're only talking 20-40 a year maybe?  Possibly less if they stagger the episodes.  I think Filoni can manage that fairly easily and there should be enough writers to make it work.

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Netflix shows are infamous for overstretching insufficient material to fill in time because more episodes means more revenue. Did you feel this happened on Disney+?

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If you can't write enough for 8-10 Netflix episodes you shouldn't have a show.  I think Lucasfilm on D+ will be fine.  You're going to have shows which are part of this mini-Mando universe, and shows which are not (like Obi-Wan).  I don't think there's too many spins-off, and frankly you need to have several new seasons a year to justify having the service.  Each series will be 10 or less, likely 8 or less, with some rumor Boba-Fett may only be 4.  Even with the use of that new set technology they have, which allows for quicker, less costly work (few location shots), each show is costly.  Building sets, costumes, etc, can be reused, but I think the streaming model has always been about shorter, quicker arcs.

Here again, I wouldn't be against a post-ROTJ Skywalker mini-series, but I don't think the technology is good enough, nor that Hamill would do it, but who knows?  I know they've tried to get him for a Luke animated series several years ago. 

PS: I encourage all to watch the Disney Gallery for Mando S1, it's extraordinary.

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I've been reading a ton of Star Wars comics recently.  I think they're a lot of fun, and I've enjoyed essentially every one that I've read.

The problem is that I struggle with these stories as anything other than non-canon (ireactions shudders....this is one of those conversations).  But it's just hard to imagine that, in between hiding out from the Empire, all these characters had these extraordinary side missions and met all these extraordinary characters.  There's all those scenes with Anakin and Obi-Wan in the prequels where they reference these fun adventures that we never got to see.  But in the original trilogy, I don't get the sense that they've had countless adventures.  It feels like what we saw is what we got.

But the idea that Leia had this secret mission to rescue Alderaanians and Luke was tracking down Jedi artifacts just doesn't feel genuine to me. I do like the Darth Vader stuff because it does feel like his story is incomplete.  And stories like Doctor Aphra make sense, although she also crosses over with Luke and Leia a lot.

It also made me think about how little I care about the sequel trilogy gap.  I've been thinking about what I'd do differently, but the gap between Episode III and Episode IV seems important because so many things changed.  The Empire took over, the Jedi are now gone, and the galaxy feels different.  Between Episode VI and Episode VII....the universe feels the same.  So anything that happened doesn't really matter, in my head.  I'm sure there are fun stories they could tell, but none of it really mattered.  And it makes it feel like the original trilogy didn't matter.  And Luke in Episode VIII makes so much sense.

Have y'all read much of the post-Disney Marvel comics?  I'm going to read all the First Run ones that I can, and I'll probably wait to read the Second Run ones.

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I have really only read the Mark Waid Princess Leia comic book series and the DARK EMPIRE comics. In terms of canon, STAR WARS originally took the view that all novels, comics, video games and trading cards were canon, but right from the start, there were serious contradictions. The novels HEIR TO THE EMPIRE, DARK FORCE RISING and THE LAST COMMAND had the New Republic/Rebels successfully establishing a new government after RETURN OF THE JEDI; the DARK EMPIRE comics showed the Rebels' new government collapsing almost right away after RETURN OF THE JEDI. Yet, both were declared canon despite the DARK EMPIRE author confessing he hadn't known anything about the novels.

Some awkward continuity patches were implemented with the initial novels repositioned to just before DARK EMPIRE and the latter novels re-rebuilding the government right after DARK EMPIRE, and constant patching was needed and then THE FORCE AWAKENS threw out all this content anyway in favour of a new Expanded Universe that is supposedly canon but likely has just as many problems.

The main issue is attempting to fit so much material directly into the post-RETURN OF THE JEDI time period -- and this is also common when trying to fit novels, comics, video games, audio dramas and other tie-ins between live action installments of a film or TV series. Unless there is a massive change between installments, tie in stories can't really do *anything* that doesn't put the pieces back where they found them. And, of course, there's the space constraint that tie-ins can either address or ignore.

In the STAR TREK novel, AVENGER, by William Shatner, a character remarks that for all of Captain Kirk's supposed adventures to fit into the original five year mission, it would have had to be a 100 year mission, a hilarious reference to all the novels and comics.

The key would be, I think, to seize on how Luke, Leia and Han are very different in EMPIRE than they were in STAR WARS, and how Luke is very different in RETURN OF THE JEDI than he was in EMPIRE. STAR WARS' Luke didn't have too much depth and seemed certain to always win; EMPIRE's Luke is a far more insecure and fallible character who's clearly had a lot of setbacks and failures; RETURN's Luke is so much more mature than he was in EMPIRE. STAR WARS feels a bit like a children's movie version of space opera whereas EMPIRE is Serious Drama with some jokes.

I think that in comic book publishing, the wish is to keep publishing Luke, Han and Leia's adventures infinitely and indefinitely without worrying about actors aging or dying to keep their characters perpetually at their prime and at the same ages where they originally debuted. Comics themselves are prone to time expansion where there is no sensible way for Spider-Man and Iron Man's adventures to have all taken place without Peter Parker and Tony Stark having been superheroes for 40 - 50 years while only aging 5 - 10 at most. And STAR WARS comics would be no different.

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I'm reading the Grand Admiral Thrawn original trilogy in comic book form.  I've heard my whole life how great these books are and how great the character is.  Now that I've seen/read all the Disney Canon Thrawn stuff, I decided to read the original.

I'm 1/3 done.  It's boring and slow and doing nothing for me.  Is it the conversion to comic book form?  Does it get better?  Or is this very overrated?

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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I'm reading the Grand Admiral Thrawn original trilogy in comic book form.  I've heard my whole life how great these books are and how great the character is.  Now that I've seen/read all the Disney Canon Thrawn stuff, I decided to read the original.

I'm 1/3 done.  It's boring and slow and doing nothing for me.  Is it the conversion to comic book form?  Does it get better?

Of course not.

Although it's strange to me that you're only now reading the Timothy Zahn Thrawn stories when you have previously made mention of the Luuke clone that features in the conclusion of the Thrawn trilogy.

I think I was 10 when I read the Thrawn STAR WARS trilogy. And despite being a speed-reader, it took me like a month to read all three. It was dense. It was thick. It was slow. It was Serious Military Science Fiction Literature. This was not George Lucas' STAR WARS, a lighthearted, slambang action thrill ride that sought to capture the high adventure of FLASH GORDON with the thoughtful mysticism of a Japanese samurai movie.

Instead, TIMOTHY ZAHN'S STAR WARS was -- I'm guessing -- an attempt to write STAR WARS like a war novel akin to Norman Mailer's THE NAKED AND THE DEAD (a 1948 WWII set novel). Combined with the military science fiction stylings (but not the values) of Robert Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS and its counterpoint, THE FOREVER WAR by Joe Haiderman. And with the mythic self-importance of LORD OF THE RINGS novels (which are grimdark misery after the first 50 pages of the first one).

There was a market at the time for thick, dense, hyperdetailed, Serious Military Science Fiction Literature in the early 90s. The Thrawn trilogy, coming out from 1991 to 1993, was an Adult Hardcover Novel for the people who enjoyed STAR WARS movies as children who were now Grown Adults who would appreciate STAR WARS as an Adult Product.

I've never dared admit this to anybody, but while I respected and appreciated the craft and skill of the trilogy and the concluding duology by Timothy Zahn -- it was quite boring. And when I got to the end of it, I felt like I had read an Important Science Fiction Novel, but it wasn't fun. It was like eating unflavoured protein powder by spoon.

In contrast, the first STAR WARS movie had been a pretty great bacon cheeseburger from an indie burger restaurant, the second one had been an unexpected gourmet prime rib, and the third had been a satisfactory fast food Big Mac.

There were points of interest like Mara Jade and Luke's relationship and the twisted lessons of C'Baoth, but Zahn's prose is so serious, so muted, so avoidant of strong emotion and drama that it isn't that inspiring.

Zahn's favourite character is clearly the cold, academic, aloof, mysterious Grand Admiral Thrawn and Zahn's great at writing distant, unknowable characters and less great at writing more earnest, heart-on-their-sleeve characters like Luke and Han and Leia.

I have a lot of respect for how Zahn repackaged STAR WARS as Serious Literature with the publishers maintaining that brand identity for very long periods between 2001 - 2014. Of course, there were plenty of STAR WARS novels that were just weak media tie-in merchandise, but there were plenty that were good and fun and exciting and comedic and closer to the movies, and there were also a bunch that followed the Zahn model of Seriousness. Seriousness was in vogue in 1991. There was a big market at the time for Zahn's books..

Probably doesn't read well today.

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ireactions wrote:

Although it's strange to me that you're only now reading the Timothy Zahn Thrawn stories when you have previously made mention of the Luuke clone that features in the conclusion of the Thrawn trilogy.

That's just something I picked up from the pop culture ether, I guess.

Glad to know I'm not crazy, though.  I'm reading TMNT comics and Superior Spider-Man at the same time, and I kinda groan when I have to switch over to Thrawn.  Which sucks because I was interested in the Disney era character and assumed the original would be better.

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Well, 'better' is subjective. I am not a fan of Zahn's STAR WARS, but I do respect it.

From 1954 to 1955, J.R.R. Tolkien made a massive splash with LORD OF THE RINGS, a massive book that was so big that the publishers had to split it across three volumes just so they could afford to print and bind it. He seemed to create an entire publishing industry for multi-volume fantasy novels.

LORD OF THE RINGS was still selling in huge numbers in the 90s and Zahn's writing, I would guess, was an effort to bring STAR WARS into this highly lucrative publishing market. His Serious writing and Serious tone and Serious military science fiction trilogy were perfect for producing STAR WARS novels on shelves adjacent to LORD OF THE RINGS, DUNE, Asimov's FOUNDATION and Stephen King's DARK TOWER in bookstores while presenting STAR WARS in terms of military science fiction like THE FOREVER WAR and STARSHIP TROOPERS and straightforward military fiction like Tom Clancy's THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and PATRIOT GAMES.

This looked like the only future for STAR WARS at the time. RETURN OF THE JEDI had come and gone from the theatre eight years previous. In 1991, STAR WARS' ongoing saga was not going to be in film or TV or, it seemed, anywhere but novels. STAR TREK novels, while having a strong audience, were generally regarded as something that only spoke to STAR TREK diehards.

In contrast, Zahn's writing had the benefit of being accessible to a casual audience who'd only needed to watch three movies that had been a globally enjoyed cinematic experience. And from what I can tell, TIMOTHY ZHAN'S STAR WARS resounded with an audience who wanted Serious Military Science Fiction Literature and appreciated STAR WARS shifting into this genre and format. The readership at the time were fine with TIMOTHY ZAHN'S STAR WARS having little of the 1977 movie's high adventure or humour and being more like a novelization of a Stanley Kubrick-directed STAR WARS movie. It seemed to inspire an entire publishing line of STAR WARS novels that were sequels or prequels to Zahn's writing as well as video games and comic books that all used Zahn's trilogy as a starting point.

Timothy Zahn's writing may not have aged well. I'm not a fan. You're not a fan. Subjectively, Zahn's vision of STAR WARS leaves me really cold. But objectively, the massive sales and long-term sequelizing indicates that Zahn's writing style was the right choice for that specific book market at that specific moment in the STAR WARS franchise. Zahn's writing got the world at large to take STAR WARS novels Seriously as Serious Literature when media tie-ins are usually regarded as little more than branded fanfic.

I guess we had to be there to like it if we were ever going to like it.

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Not a comics guy, but I read most of the Zahn novels as well as the super old 1980's expanded universe stuff, enjoying all of them.  It's been over TWO DECADES since I've read most of them so they are but a fleeting memory and back then I mainly just wanted content since Lucas himself had ditched the OT time period when he started the prequels.

However, never really cared beyond that.  Yes I loved seeing Thrawn in the video games, and then on Rebels.  Would like to see him in live action.  Then again, I would have preferred Luke's romance with Mara Jade to have been developed on screen, too.

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I have to honestly say: what romance? :-P

By that, I mean Mara Jade spent most of the Thrawn trilogy trying to kill Luke or being at a cautious distance while grudgingly working with him. She briefly showed up to rescue Luke during a Jedi Temple situation. She had a platonic partnership in some adventures with Luke while Luke was dating someone else. Three years after Zahn's final installment of the Thrawn trilogy, Zahn wrote a two part sequel and the first installment, "Spectre of the Past," features Mara Jade and Luke in separate plotlines. They only meet and work together in second volume "Vision of the Future" where Zahn abruptly starts describing Luke as having romantic feelings for Mara (a plot that has gone almost totally unaddressed before this) and then Luke proposes marriage at the end.

People seem to really like it, but I genuinely don't get it. There are a lot of books with Luke and Mara as a married couple and Zahn wrote none of them.

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Didn't Mara and Juke eventually marry and have children?  idk what series that happened in, but I vaguely remember that.  LOL as I said, it's been a long, long, long time.  Heck I read the Shadows of the Empire stuff too when the video game came out!

PS: I find Boba Fett show incredibly dull.

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I mean there was no period where Luke and Mara were dating or even hanging out that much. They had the three books in the first Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn where they were at odds, uneasily working together and then apart. Other writers took over the STAR WARS series and there were maybe three to four books where they were peripherally in the same room while some crisis was unfolding.

Then, when Lucasfilm shifted the novel license from Bantam Books to Del Ray, author Timothy Zahn returned to write the Hand of Thrawn duology as a finale to the Bantam era. Luke and Mara spent the first book apart and the second book on a quest during which they decide they're in love and that they are getting married. The entire period of getting to know each other, dating, seeing if they can stand to spend the night together, working out if they would be good together long term -- all that was skipped. They met and worked together, then didn't see each other for ages, then over the course of a couple days, decided they were getting married. And then, the Del Ray era novels (NEW JEDI ORDER and onward) had them as a happily married couple.