Star Wars/Star Trek "Must See/Read" list

For reviews and close examination of sources - episode reviews, book reviews, raves and rants about short stories, et cetera.
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Airlocke_Jedi_Knight
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Post by Airlocke_Jedi_Knight » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:26 am

I thought it was riotously funny.

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Post by ILikeDeathNote » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:13 am

I think the crew acted drunk because the best way to view the episode was while drunk :p

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Post by Praeothmin » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:19 pm

l33telboi wrote:But, they both also lacked something. For some very strange reason I just can't get turned on by the fight-scenes in Star Wars. They don't translate well into text.
Depends on who's writing.
Two novels where the fight scenes are extremelly well depictied are the AotC novelisation, and Vector Prime, both by R.A. Salvatore (creator of Drizz't Do'Urden in the Forgotten realms).
His fight scenes are always imaginative, and franckly, the way he describes the fight scenes between Dooku and Obi-Wan and Anakin is the way it should have been shown on film: not the flashy sword-twirling like we saw, but Dooku should have been shown as a master fencer (Christopher Lee is repudedly a fine swordsman himself) facing two "blaster-bolt deflectors".
Dooku should have moved with an economy of movements the other two couldn't match.
Anyways, the fights are really good in these novels... ;)

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Post by l33telboi » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:28 pm

Praeothmin wrote:Depends on who's writing.
Two novels where the fight scenes are extremelly well depictied are the AotC novelisation, and Vector Prime, both by R.A. Salvatore (creator of Drizz't Do'Urden in the Forgotten realms).
His fight scenes are always imaginative, and franckly, the way he describes the fight scenes between Dooku and Obi-Wan and Anakin is the way it should have been shown on film: not the flashy sword-twirling like we saw, but Dooku should have been shown as a master fencer (Christopher Lee is repudedly a fine swordsman himself) facing two "blaster-bolt deflectors".
Dooku should have moved with an economy of movements the other two couldn't match.
Anyways, the fights are really good in these novels... ;)
Bah! I've read all those. Even the Forgotten Realms novels (would you believe it if I said I've read more fantasy novels then sci-fi ones?). But same thing applies to both the SW novels there. The fighting... everything... just seems like it's missing something when you can't see it.

See, here's the thing, let's take two token battles from two different franchises, a Star Wars fight is usually described like this:

"Bleeblop Blupper fired his blaster at his enemy, and so Blipper Bleppor fell to the ground, dead."

(The fact that people in SW novels always have weird names doesn't help either.) Now let's compare that to a franchise which actually has interesting battles, say WH40K:

"Captain Loken drew his mighty bolter and aimed it at Little-Horus Axiamand. There was no mercy in his eyes as he pressed down on the trigger. The weapon roared to life, hurling exploding bolts of death towards the betrayer. Horus's body exploded in a massive orgy of blood and gore as his soul was torn from his heretical body."

See. There's just something about Star Wars that doesn't work on paper. The weapons are just... bland and uninteresting. There's no real way to describe a weapon that goes *pew* *pew* *pew* and shoots bolts of red 'lasers' in a compelling way. It needs more Dakka. In visual material it still looks somewhat cool though.

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Post by Flectarn » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:55 pm

Jedi Master Spock wrote: How Much for Just the Planet,
That's the only Trek novel I've read (came from a yard sale), and I agree definitely good for a laugh... even the covers funny.

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Post by ILikeDeathNote » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:56 pm

Praeothmin wrote:
l33telboi wrote:But, they both also lacked something. For some very strange reason I just can't get turned on by the fight-scenes in Star Wars. They don't translate well into text.
Depends on who's writing.
Two novels where the fight scenes are extremelly well depictied are the AotC novelisation, and Vector Prime, both by R.A. Salvatore (creator of Drizz't Do'Urden in the Forgotten realms).
Since it's very much on subject, I'll also mention that, if I'm not mistaken, he wrote the novelization to "Relics" and "All Good Things" (as well as a number of SW EU books).
l33telboi wrote:
See, here's the thing, let's take two token battles from two different franchises, a Star Wars fight is usually described like this:

"Bleeblop Blupper fired his blaster at his enemy, and so Blipper Bleppor fell to the ground, dead."

(The fact that people in SW novels always have weird names doesn't help either.) Now let's compare that to a franchise which actually has interesting battles, say WH40K:

"Captain Loken drew his mighty bolter and aimed it at Little-Horus Axiamand. There was no mercy in his eyes as he pressed down on the trigger. The weapon roared to life, hurling exploding bolts of death towards the betrayer. Horus's body exploded in a massive orgy of blood and gore as his soul was torn from his heretical body."
"Bleeblop Blupper drew his might blaster and aimed it at Blipper Bleppor. There was no mercy in his eyes as he pressed down on the trigger. The weapon roared to life, hurling lightning bolts of death towards the Rebel/Imperial/whatever. Blipper's body exploded in a massive orgy of blood and gore as his soul was torn from his, um, sithspawn-loving body."
See. There's just something about Star Wars that doesn't work on paper. The weapons are just... bland and uninteresting. There's no real way to describe a weapon that goes *pew* *pew* *pew* and shoots bolts of red 'lasers' in a compelling way. It needs more Dakka. In visual material it still looks somewhat cool though.
Hehe, uh, woah. That's just way too much Dakka there, or rather, way too much blood. I'm sorry but it just doesn't really strike me as being "in the spirit" of a Rambo movie. The 80's movies sure had a lot of dakka (M60, anyone?) but it was a cheesy good kind of fun, the deaths were obviously fake but that was almost a part of the appeal. It was, well, typical action movie of the Reagan years fun.

But Rambo 4 seems like it was trying real hard to be a war epic with parts literally flying everywhere - Youtube had a pause at one point, and I swear a guy's arm was being shot off. Yeah, they were looking to make it look realistic for a 50-cal all right, but this level of realistic warfare I think is really best suited to a real war epic that really tries to show the vile destruction of warfare. A Rambo movie...not so much.

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Post by Praeothmin » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:28 am

l33telboi wrote:Even the Forgotten Realms novels (would you believe it if I said I've read more fantasy novels then sci-fi ones?). But same thing applies to both the SW novels there. The fighting... everything... just seems like it's missing something when you can't see it.
If you say so, but I find that his battle descriptions are among the best I've read in any novel...

And ILDN, to my knowledge, Salvatore has only written the two aforementioned books in the SW universe, and none in the ST universe (although I would love for him to do so).

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Post by ILikeDeathNote » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:14 am

Praeothmin wrote:And ILDN, to my knowledge, Salvatore has only written the two aforementioned books in the SW universe, and none in the ST universe (although I would love for him to do so).
You're right, I got confused with Michael J. Friedman for some reason.

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Post by Mike DiCenso » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:15 am

Speaking of the late, great John Michael Ford, one of my few favorites from the 1980's era Trek EU is "The Final Reflection". An interesting look at the Klingons before the TNG and movie Klingons established a different language and culture for them.
-Mike

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Post by ILikeDeathNote » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:21 am

Would it be appropriate if I requested for this topic to be stickied for future reference?

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Post by Airlocke_Jedi_Knight » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:37 am

I second that request.

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Re: Star Wars/Star Trek "Must See/Read" list

Post by Khas » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:55 am

For Star Trek:
Strangers From The Sky, by Margaret Wander Bonano

For Star Wars:
Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn

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Re: Star Wars/Star Trek "Must See/Read" list

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:50 am

What's so special about Survivor's Quest?

I reckon that Zahn was behind some of the best EU in its infancy (but his duology is fucking boring as hell), but in retrospect I find his style too elitist and feels like it's too influenced by God's hand. Thanks to Lucas and his prequels, it seems that the universe has shrunk even more in scope, knowing how the same clique of people and droids are behind the major changes of the galaxy, but the problem with his trilogy was typical of a the American sitcom, when characters would speak of someone of something in a relatively negative way, just for that thing, person or else, to happen. Like one guy saying to his girlfriend hey now we can enjoy the house for ourselves and only ourselves, my parents are off and they'll come back Monday, the girl agrees and says that at last, they can spend some time together at the dude's home, only for the dude's parents to open the door the following second --insert recorded laughter--.
That's the same stuff with Zahn. It's that phony and forced. Characters being at the exact place at the right time, etc.
It largely influence the rest of the EU, with most stories centered on the movie cast, always there at the right moment.
It elevated them to the rank of godlike Mary Sues.

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Re: Star Wars/Star Trek "Must See/Read" list

Post by Khas » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:07 pm

Well, of the SW novels I've read, Survivor's Quest is the best, along with Death Star and the Young Han Solo trilogy. Labyrinth of Evil was good, but left me feeling... I don't really know how it left me feeling. Yoda: Dark Rendezvous was mediocre, and my brother got me one of the Legacy of the Force novels when he was in Minnesota, and considering I'd been out of touch with the EU for a while, I was really trying to wrap my head around everything. It was hard trying to get it to make sense.

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Re: Star Wars/Star Trek "Must See/Read" list

Post by Mike DiCenso » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:57 pm

Well, when you think about it, Admiral Thrawn himself is a Mary Sue (Gary Stu), or in this case a Villian Sue. His whole ability to determine the best method of attack by studying art is very close to being the dumbest ability I've ever heard of. It's nothing more than a plot gimmick. When Thrawn works best is when he actually takes time to properly lead the soldiers under his command as well as when Zahn actually takes the time to work up real tactics and strategies for him to use against our heroes.
-Mike

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