Legacy of the Force VIII - Revelation
2.7 / 4
2 / 4
2.9 / 4
During this savage civil war, all efforts to end Jacen Solo's tyranny of the Galactic Alliance have failed. Now, with Jacen approaching the height of his dark powers, no-one--not even the Solos and the Skywalkers--knows if anything can stop the Sith Lord before his plan to save the Galaxy ends up destroying it.
This is the eight novel in the nine-book "Legacy of the Force" sequence, and the third and final contribution to that series by Karen Traviss. Overall, I thought that it was a good read--much more fun than I anticipated.
As you may know, early spoilers for this book have highlighted some continuity issues. I'll discuss these later on in the review, but let me say this up front: when I read the book, I felt that these problems were offset by some excellent characterization moments and backstory references, and by the author's usual tight writing and strong focus on character-psychology. I found myself carried forward briskly from page to page, even when the characters spent half the novel simply manoeuvring around each other, and some of them seemed to have forgotten their backstory.
I can't deny that some elements of this novel did disappoint me--again, more on that later; but while these things reduced my overall enthusiasm for the book, I still think that there were enough good things here to make it definitely worth the read.
For one thing, Karen Traviss writes very well indeed.
Here's Ben Skywalker, returning to Kavan, the planet where his mother was killed:
It was a lot less desolate than Ben recalled. The seasons had moved on, and he ground was covered in different plants, tussocks of tiny star-shaped red flowers with amber spikes for leaves.
This isn't just an eloquent and economical description of the scene: the forensic clarity of this brief passage captures Ben's precise, observant mindset, and the phrasing manages to subtly counterpoint the linear trends of human memory and the rhythmic cycles of life. It circles around the fact of Mara Skywalker's death, without touching it, but nonetheless serves as a reflective and appropriate response.
There are also sharp reflections of passages in previous Star Wars novels, the sort of things that tie together the extended storyline into a convincing continuity. When a character asks Jacen Solo "Are you a Sith?", it's hard not to see an ironic echo of his own fearful question to Vergere in Traitor. When we're told that the Moffs of the Galactic Empire crave more territory, it's a clear reprise of the analysis of their intentions offered in Destiny's Way. The continuity in this novel isn't perfect--I'll come to the criticisms below--but there were still a lot of good, enjoyable details like this.
And then there are the deft touches that simply add to the richness of the novel itself, particularly with regard to human and alien responses to each other's body language.
One thing that particularly stood out in this novel for me was the characterization of Tahiri Veila, the renegade Jedi Knight now serving as the enforcer for the Sith Lord Darth Caedus. She isn't part of the select group of characters through whose eyes the novel is told, and at first I wasn't quite sure what was going on. Her portrayal appeared unsettled and slippery, shifting between a naive and artless attitude and hints that she was much sharper and sneakier than she seemed on the surface, without any clear definition of what the real truth was.
About three hundred pages in--just after a major plot-twist--I had a flash of insight, and I think I understood what the author was trying to do. I suspect that we're looking at the interplay between two aspects of Tahiri's psyche, the easy-going and sometimes gauche personality she presents to the Galaxy, and the more ruthless and aggressive aspect of her identity lurking in the background, which previously expressed itself as a Yuuzhan Vong alter ego, Riina Kwaad.
I wouldn't say that this depiction was perfectly in tune with how the character's been portrayed in other recent novels--and if the underlying attitudes had been more overt, the distinctions might have seemed too sharply drawn; but played in this way, it was impressive and attention-grabbing writing nonetheless.
The same slipperiness that I felt in Tahiri's characterization also extends through many other aspects of the novel as well. Up to a point, this is very effective. I assume that the differences between the opinions of different characters are deliberate, and this is a good way to present topics like the effectiveness of starfighters against space battleships, and the legality of the Empire grabbing some new planets: there is no absolute right answer here.
However, the ambiguousness in this book is sometimes pushed too far for my taste. It's perhaps a little overused as a stylistic motif, and it sometimes makes it hard to know what's a deliberate subtlety and what's a flaw--especially when the same character's opinions veer around.
The abrupt shifts in Darth Caedus' attitude are presumably meant to show that the character is slipping into madness, but I'm not quite sure what to make of the complexities in the point of view of Admiral Niathal, Jacen's rival for power.
I suspect that Niathal's portrayal was meant to be more positive than Jacen's: the message seems to be that power does corrupt, but honest self-criticism and military professionalism can hold back the darkness in a way that Darth Caedus simply can't match. The reflective regret of her final scene in the novel really did work for me.
The problem was, I couldn't stop seeing a deep-rooted and irrational hatred of another sentient being at the back of Niathal's motivations. I don't think the author was deliberately undercutting the character's self-image, but I can't be entirely sure: whatever the intention, the Admiral seemed to be driven by an unhealthy fixation on destroying her rival, and that meant I found it hard to sympathise fully with her actions.
It wasn't just that Niathal was passively indulging in her dark emotions: her outlook on the Galaxy seemed to lack something fundamental. As I said originally in my Bloodlines review and re-iterated in my comments on Sacrifice, it feels like an essential part of Star Wars is missing:
... the sense of possibility... the view of the intangible horizon and the clear, infinite night sky.
Niathal didn't feel like she could look beyond herself to see alternatives to hostility with those who disagreed with her. When she looked at Jacen, she felt an "otherness" that she wanted to destroy--and whatever the author's reason for characterizing her that way, it made it hard for me as a reader to feel much more than pity for her.
I had similar problems with the other characters who I think the reader was supposed to root for here, notably the ex-Imperial warlord Admiral Daala, and the masked bounty hunter Boba Fett. While I regard Daala as a very sympathetic and human character, I don't think she's ever done anything to deserve the respect as a military leader that other characters gave her here. I think the intention was to show her as loyal to those she cared about, and as a good person to have on your side in a fight, but for me, it all just struck a false note. As for Fett, he's part of a wider problem with this book, the one that's probably excited the most comment in early reactions to this book--the Mandalorians.
The Mandalorians are the warrior-nomad civilization to which Boba Fett belongs, and Karen Traviss has played a key role in developing them as a part of the Star Wars mythos. However, this book isn't going to provoke any re-evaluation from those fans who wonder if she loves them a little too much.
Ostensibly, the Mandalorians were here to help out Jaina Solo--Han and Leia's daughter, twin sister of Darth Caedus. She wanted to learn new tricks that would enable her to surprise and defeat her brother.
The first problem with this is that the basic logic of her decision felt flawed. Jaina's spent the previous four books of the series teamed up with two bounty hunters to track down and defeat a Dark Jedi. She doesn't need to look to Boba Fett to learn unconventional, non-Jedi ways of dealing with the bad guys.
The second problem is that Jaina is made into a very conventional Jedi Knight. The girl who spent a significant part of Yuuzhan Vong war playing the role of an alien Goddess, and spurned the entire Jedi Order to live inside the Killik Nest for half a trilogy, is presented as being unable to think outside the Jedi box.
Now, maybe this was psychological subtlety, and if it was, it was really good. Jacen remembers Jaina's "Goddess" role, even if Jaina doesn't. But this is another of those "slippery" characterization points--it lost much of the impact that it might have had if it was deiberate, because it wasn't clear if we were meant to take Jaina at face value or not.
The third problem, and perhaps the most serious, is that Jaina isn't given much to do except be impressed at the Mandalorians. She's shown as lacking their sense of community and their commando training, and even their swords and snubfighters are portrayed as being better than X-wings and lightsabers.
Not all the Mandalorian problems in this novel are to do with Jaina, though. The one that's provoked the most discussion has been the decision to radically rewrite their entire recent history. Their actions in the Clone Wars, the core motivations that drove Boba Fett to embark on his bounty-hunting career, and the events surrounding Fett's eventual accession as the leader of his people--all that has been changed, apparently on Karen Traviss's personal initiative, and most fans can't see any reason why.
Reading this novel, I didn't find this actually bothered me much. For one thing, the various bits of backstory in question were scattered through the novel, and they didn't directly affect the main plot. Also, all this had already been discussed very thoroughly around the fandom before I even got hold of the book, so I'd had my gut reactions to it in advance, and was braced against it when I read the novel. But it's still a striking precedent in a franchise that's prided itself on its storyline continuity over the years, and an issue that I plan to discuss in-depth in a separate article here in the next few days.
And last but not least, there's that question of attitude. As this novel reminds us, the Mandalorians define a coward as someone who looks out for himself, not for his family and friends--but there's no sense of a higher purpose here, no sense that anyone can look beyond their own prejudices and their own tribe, to a wider humanity shared by all sentient beings.
On their own, these lopsided perspectives were something that I observed while reading, rather than reacting strongly against; but in the end, they also meant that the climax of the novel fell flat for me. Daala's secret fleet, armed with superweapons, appears out of nowhere and drives the forces of Jacen and his Imperial allies into full retreat. Meanwhile twenty Mandalorian supercommandos tear through a Star Destroyer and the ranks of defending Imperial troopers, with no apparent indication of any casualties on their own side.
These events might have played better if I'd been emotionally behind Daala and the Mandalorians, but as it was, the main thing that I saw was the one-sided nature of the fight. Superweapons are still superweapons, even when they're carried in capital-ship emplacements rather than mounted on Death Stars--or even when they're blaster-proof armour that allows one side in a firefight to avoid taking real hits.
In amongst all this, the solo mission Darth Caedus makes to save Tahiri was the only thing that felt truly heroic. Not for the first time in this series, I wanted the new Sith Lord to grow past his madness, and win the war. I'm pretty sure that wasn't what the author of this novel intended, but even if I was reading against the text, I did enjoy this part.
I was less impressed by the seventy pages of aftermath that followed the climax. Fully fifty of these pages were spent with the Mandalorians and Daala. Now, admittedly, some of these scenes are focused on Jaina, but as I already said, I didn't get much sense that she had a real, constructive role here. She seemed to just be there to be impressed.
And if you're wondering where Han, Luke and Leia are, the answer is'not in this book very much. Luke has a couple of solid scenes to serve as a foil for Ben and to repair the damage to their father-son relationship, and pulls a couple of powerful Force-tricks against Jacen from somewhere close to off-stage. Han has a brief discussion with Jaina before she goes off to the Mandalorians at the start, and Leia was brought in at the end with the rest of the Jedi to see Ben present his evidence against Darth Caedus--but without checking the book, I can't remember if she even had any dialogue in that scene.
I don't think the main movie cast have been so absent from a Star Wars novel since Traitor back in 2002, and unlike that story, this one didn't have the deliriously tight focus that gained real strength from their exclusion.
But, to reiterate what I said at the start, these issues didn't manage to undo this novel for me. I didn't ever get the strongly negative reaction that I felt towards the end of Traviss's first book in this series, Bloodlines, or even the sense of frustration that I had with her second instalment, Sacrifice.
Of course, it may be that I've simply become resigned to some issues that might have otherwise annoyed me here--but even if that's the case, it makes it easier for me to appreciate and analyse the things I found positive about this book. All in all, I think this is a good novel, slightly diminished but not destroyed by some persistent details that prevent me from feeling wholly enthusiastic about it.
I've given this book a score of 2.7 out of 4, which is just short of the 70% that means I think a book's strong an all fronts. This is actually slightly lower than the scores I gave for Karen Traviss's previous two novels in the "Legacy of the Force" series, but the breakdown here works slightly differently than it did with those two books. Whereas Bloodlines and Sacrifice were books I thoroughly respected but didn't really have fun reading, I genuinely enjoyed most of this novel.
The main thing that lowers the score here is my sense that the Mandalorians and a few other pet characters are being portrayed as effortlessly better than everyone else. The handling of continuity was much better here than previously, with some really good points, but there were still problems, and I feel I have to take that into account as well.
Of course, I know my reactions won't be shared by all of the people who read this book. The continuity and characterization issues may prevent some of you from seeing the same good things I found in here, but if so, I think you're missing something.
And I suspect some other readers will manage to overlook these factors completely, or even feel intense satisfaction at the outcome. If you can do that, then I suspect you'll enjoy this even more than I did.
This review is about book eight of the nine-part Legacy of the Force (LotF)
series, entitled Revelation
9780345477576). It was written by Karen Traviss and clocked in at 410
pages. A wonderful length for a novel, especially one that is the penultimate
issue of a multi-year, multi-novel story such as LotF. While I enjoyed this
novel, there were definitely some things that it contained that gave me pause,
and required that I re-read the book multiple times.
The plot revolves itself into three distinct components: Jaina and the
Mandalorians, Police Officer Ben and Dictator-for-life Jacen. For a majority of
the novel the three plot lines remain blissfully ignorant of one another, and as
a compromise between Bloodlines
two of the three combine at the end. Frankly, things like that are something of
a large stumbling block for me. Yes, all three plots are resolved, but it just
doesn't feel right for everything to not tie up into a single nice little
package by the end of the book--but maybe that's just me.
Additionally, while the training plot line is an interesting exercise, I am left
tells her this in so many words) in
order to stop this latest in a long line of Sith? Additionally, the ?
Being a good Jedi was good enough to redeem Kyp, Luke and Vader, as well as
destroy Desaan, the Emperor reborn (twice!), Lomi, Welk, Brakiss and his entire
Shadow Academy, stop Raynar and that's just the antagonists that I could
remember right off the top of my head. Why is being a good Jedi suddenly not
enough to stop Jacen? Sure, Jaina has spent many novels doing the whole
emo-angst things over her boy toys, and obscene amounts of time in the flight
simulator, but she's supposedly over that and now has the time to dedicate to
becoming a stronger Jedi Knight. Why is it so important to stop being a Jedi
(and BobaMando's are teaching her an "Ends Justify the Means" approach to doing
things. They flat out tell her that she can worry about the state of her
soul after she's stopped the bad guy--isn't doing just that what got Jacen where
he's at? Yet that's neither here nor there at this point: we'll have to have the
entire LotF in our hands before we'll be able to say if that was a good or bad
story decision or not.
But with discussion on the plot out of the way, let's talk characters. As is
usual for a Traviss novel, we have a number of tight POV characters which allows
us to find out an extreme number of details about what the POV character is
thinking and feeling, while ignoring the motives of everyone else that pops up
in the story. Personally, I prefer a single POV if an author is going to go in
so deep, and if so, I'd rather it be in First-Person--but again, that's just me.
Back on topic, here we do get a decent number of characters to bounce between.
These are Jacen, Boba, Jaina, Ben, Pallaeon and Niathal. Sadly, the voice which
she worked so hard to actually get right in Sacrifice
suffered slightly here. I felt that there were effectively four POV
characters with these being: generic Jedi, Sith, military/political person and
While most of their individual actions are fairly consistent with previous
incarnations, we do get one major change in characterization: Jaina Solo. She
acts so in awe of the Mandos and their culture that I even noticed it while
reading under the influence of pain medication after dental surgery. In fact
this meek, awe-filled Jaina is what caught me so off guard that I felt the need
to re-read this novel not just one extra time, but twice. I found it infinitely
odd that she acted so... amazed by the Mando tactics, despite the fact that
she's a nearly thirty year old Jedi, who had fought the Yuuzhan Vong in
one-on-one situations multiple times. Let's make this quite clear: she fought
Vong, she created and engineered techniques and devices for the sole purpose of
tricking the Vong and fighting them better; yet she is in awe that Bevin can
turn off his emotions and swing a shaft of metal at her. I know it's been a bit
over a decade since the Vong War for her--but she shouldn't have forgotten
everything she learned in the interim; that's just silly.
And speaking of silly, I've got to continue pointing out the utter idiocy of
choosing Tahiri as Jacen's replacement for Ben. I know I've harped on this over
the past few books, yet she continues to act out of character, and happily doing
Jacen's bidding. A far cry from the Tahiri that was found in the second half of
the NJO and in the Dark Nest Trilogy. In my opinion, this is not Karen's fault
per se, as she didn't "create" the scenario, and what she has written is a
logical extrapolation based upon Tahiri's recent character... development from
. I just don't like where things are
going for her, and wish at least one of the POV characters was her so that we
could get a decent handle on what the character is thinking.
My digression aside, as is usual for Traviss' novel, the Mandalorians have a
large part to play. Unlike her earlier entries, we now have a reason for at
least some of their appearance. Yet despite the fact that said reason has been
supplied, it's still not a fully-thought out or well defined reason. The Mandos
are there for the sole purpose of training Jaina Solo and providing yet another
Prequel tie-in with a Jedi killing a family member of Boba Fett. This whole
reliance of plots from the Prequels has been one of my major complaints about
LotF and this falls happily into that category of needless prequel nods.
Additionally, large portions of the Boba Fett storyline just don't need to be
there, and once again affect the ways that people view Star Wars. Especially
with all the discussions in the past few years about how Star Wars is not a
story vehicle that is designed to bring dead people back to life. An oddly
ironic statement to make in Boba Fett's storyline, but the fundamental thing
here is that we get yet another resurrection in LotF; frankly I've lost count
(so much for resurrections causing Star Wars to "jump the shark").
Yet, the undead aside, the characterization in terms of this book are fine.
Sure, there were constant drops in characterization, and one or two times when
the POV got confusing, but it's not nearly as bad as what was produced in
Now for the theme. The title, Revelation
ties into the Jedi learning for certain that Jacen has become a Sith Lord.
Something that should have been painfully obvious after he decided to burn the
Wookiee's home world. Yet reading deeper into the subtext of the novel, I got
the feeling that more than that is trying to be revealed here. Frankly, there
are certain things that when one reads the text, become startlingly self-evident
(at least in view of the text):
Mandalorians are the best at everything
Jedi are evil Fundamentalists!
How can I claim this? Let's look at things one point at a time.
First up is the Mandalorians. Most of our interactions with the Mandos are
through Jaina Solo, our erstwhile Jedi Knight. Our first glimpse at the
awesomeness of the Mando is the fact that she's there at all. In the words of
the text, Boba Fett has hunted down and killed more Jedi than any one else
alive. Aurra Sing aside, once Jaina arrives at Mandalore, she spends the rest of
the novel in her 'awe' mode; letting us know just how great and wonderful every
action a Mando takes is. A Mando can indiscriminately beat Jaina Solo with a
stick, why? Because he's a Mando! A Mando can take a Jedi in a fight, why?
Because she's a Mando!
Now, I know that the Mandalorians are Karen Traviss' pet characters (one would
have to not read this book to find out that fact), yet at some point, one must
step back and say, "hey, that's enough; the Jedi are supposed to be the good
guys here." Someone needs to be reminded that the current crop of Jedi spent
fighting against an enemy that didn't exist
in the Force, who used melee weapons, and constantly used weapons which stopped
lightsabers and blasters. None of this stuff is new to Jedi, yet if this were
the first EU novel someone read, you'd never know that certain Jedi have
extensive experience with amphistaffs and Vonduun crab armor.
Speaking of Jedi, on the 'evil' side of the "who rocks your world" equation is
where we find them. Now, the text is as clear on the fact that the Jedi are not
good, as it is clear that the Mandalorians rock. Outside of Jaina's awe, this is
subtly handled especially in the Ben-as-cop plot. For the relevant text, we head
over to page 42 of the book:
--but at that moment it made him realize that Dad would want Shevu to help, to
be a spy in Jacen's inner circle. And Shevu would agree to it, because he
couldn't get justice from the GA for the foreseeable future, and he was too
decent and honest to turn to the Confederation.
Notice how staying with the GA is the decent and honest thing to do; now think
back to what the Jedi did a few novels ago. Namely fled the GA, and are working
closely with the Confederation. Yet, it gets better from there. We also get
Pellaeon and Boba Fett at different times discussing how bad Jedi are at leading
things--and both basically state that the Jedi are a religion that needs to be
closed off and done away with. In fact, one Mando-ex-Jedi (I wonder if he'd be
considered a Sith) goes so far as to state that the only thing that can save a
Force user from basically becoming a blight on civilization (unlike, say... a
Mandalorian) is rigid self-control by way of not using the Force at all.
The point is that the Jedi are being consistently compared to bad things. This
is done in both a subtle manner (such as the quote above) as well as flat-out
dialogue from Boba Fett and others. All of which adds up to a single revelation
that the Jedi are not good for the galaxy, and are definitely not as good as the
saintly Mandalorians. Additionally, these two forces are in direct competition
with one another. You can either be a saintly Mandalorian (i.e. a good guy) or a
Force-forsaken Jedi (or Sith, as they're just "fallen" Jedi). Which is the whole
point of Jaina's training--she's becoming something else. Something that's not a
Jedi. Something good enough to defeat Jacen, because you know, a Jedi just can't
Continuing on, I'm just going to ignore the continuity errors that are sprinkled
throughout this novel--most are minor things, but they're odd. First, and most
odd, there are some contradictions even within the text of the story (check on
how often Jacen thinks about Jaina, look specifically at pages 154 & 325).
Then there is the fact that when the author describes things that happened in
those things do not always
square up perfectly with the actual narrative--and we're talking major events
like the whole climatic battle involving Jacen. Though that could be chalked up
to unreliable narrators. That said, it's one thing to forget a factoid from a
Marvel Comic that was published in 1981, it's an entirely different thing to
forget a prime action scene in the author's own previous novel.
Let's be clear about something here though: I enjoyed this book.
I thought it was a decent read, and would have absolutely no complaints if it
were not a Star Wars novel. Unfortunately, since it is a Star Wars novel that
means that it must work nicely with everything that has come before it. In my
opinion, this is Karen Traviss' main failing with her post-RotJ novels (I've not
read the Republic Commando series so I can't comment on them). In the overall
scheme of things, such a failing is not that detrimental to a storyline; and
we've suffered such abuses of the characters before
(Planet of Twilight
anyone?). Overall, I
enjoyed the novel, and thought it a great story to read. Yet, there's not enough
cohesion between this book and earlier Star Wars novels, nor is there enough
differences between the various "voices" of the characters to give this a
perfect score. So, with those failings in mind, I'm having to give this book a
2.9 out of 4.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from buying Star Wars novels; it’s that the quality and/or length of the story very rarely correlates to the cost of the book. Jedi Trial was a hardcover. Dark Rendezvous was a paperback. Although it all evens out in the end, it can be frustrating to spend six dollars or more on a new paperback that clocks in at less than three hundred pages, or twenty dollars for a novel with a mediocre storyline.
Karen Traviss seems to understand this, and her novels are usually worth the price. At a hefty 410 pages, Revelation is no exception. We dig deeper into Boba Fett’s backstory. Traviss not only brings more insight into his character, she’s also helped flesh out the continuity fixes put forward by other authors to salvage Fett’s backstories from Tales of the Bounty Hunters and the Marvel comics. Admirable work. This book also sees the triumphant return of Admiral Daala (now with a first name!), who has been enjoying an unexpected resurgence lately. I particularly enjoyed the space battle at the end of the novel—by far the best example of clever Star Wars fleet combat I’ve read in the past couple years. And we’ve got a couple of subtle Gilbert and Sullivan references, which are always welcome.
Revelation does have a major flaw: much of the story is redundant. Ben Skywalker spends a lot of time trying to prove that Darth Caedus killed his mother. This would have been more interesting and relevant a book and a half ago. By now, we know that Caedus is bad news. We know he’s been in league with Lumiya and Alema Rar. Caedus has already tried to kill his own parents, and torture his cousin. At the very least he was involved in Mara Jade Skywalker’s death. In fact, Ben is convinced of Caedus’s guilt before he starts his CSI: Coruscant kick, but even his “by-the-book” investigation turns up nothing conclusive. It’s not until the end of the book that Caedus’s crime is revealed…but this has nothing to do with Ben’s painstaking investigation. If Caedus believed that his sacrifice was to be Ben’s adulation and loyalty, why not have Caedus explain what happened to Ben one book ago and be done with it? Legacy of the Force has constantly been bogged down by this kind of glacier-like plotting, without which the entire nine-book series could have been pared down to six or even three books without losing much.
A more minor nitpick involves characterization. As seen in Boba Fett’s ongoing story in her novels, Traviss understands better than most authors how life experiences affect the way a character behaves. The Jaina Solo we see here, however, seems to be pretty clueless—it’s as though she’d never fought the Shadow Academy warriors, met who she thought was Boba Fett, suffered in the Diversity Alliance mines, or masqueraded as a Vong goddess. At this point in the timeline, she’s slightly older than her father was in A New Hope—she may need to learn from Fett, but this isn’t her first rodeo.
This isn’t to be confused with Traviss’s interpretation of Pellaeon, which I particularly enjoyed. This charming ladies man persona isn’t at odds with the Pellaeon we’ve seen in other works, it’s just unlike what we’ve seen before. Let’s not forget that Pellaeon’s literary inspiration, Dr. Watson, had a way with women as well. There's also a particularly good scene at the very last part of the novel that is very well done...although again, it does leave one wondering why it couldn't have happened two books ago.
All in all, there’s more than enough to keep novel readers happy here, but the poor pacing and repetitious plotting tends to dull the excitement of some scenes and temper the shock of others. The novels allow more time to explore the Star Wars universe in depth, but it wouldn’t hurt to stick to the faster pace of the films once in a while.