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EU Roundtable #1.3


Whew; almost didn’t get this one in on time. Next week’s Roundtable is going to be a bit of a departure from formula, and deals with more serious (and dry, to be honest) subject matter, so I wanted to get a nice and pleasant one in beforehand. That said, this chat is noteworthy for two reasons in particular: it contains two absolutely perfect topic transitions, and it includes one of the series’ more spirited (albeit brief) debates. As usual, AIM offered up its share of technical problems, which necessitated some editing to preserve the flow of the conversation. In the Crossfi—sorry, the Roundtable, tonight are:

  • Andrew Liptak, staffer for The Unofficial Clone Wars Site, a rising star in the online news community, with all you need to know and more about LucasBooks’ current publishing program.

  • Billy Buehler, also known as The2ndQuest, JC Literature/games moderator (and forumer pretty much everywhere else).

  • Erik Blythe, former TFN staffer.

That just leaves me, Mike Cooper, because it wouldn’t be a Roundtable™ without me (though that theory may be tested soon…).


You have just entered room "EU Roundtable."

Mike Cooper: There's been a lot of debate lately about the upcoming nine-book series, which was moved from the Old Republic era to years after the NJO. Some are enraged, some are thrilled. Which would you rather see?

Erik Blythe: Personally, I'd rather see post-NJO.

Andrew Liptak: There was a lot of confusion earlier about this. There was word that there would be a nine book series in the Old Republic era, which got me excited.

Andrew Liptak: But when they moved it to the NJO era, I wasn't very happy with it

Erik Blythe: Why's that?

Andrew Liptak: Well, I wasn't a real big fan of the NJO. I've read all the books, enjoyed quite a few of them, but I didn't feel that they captured the feeling of Star Wars like some of the older books did

Mike Cooper: i was excited about the old republic possibilities, but i can understand why they'd want to ease into that era instead

Andrew Liptak: as a history major, I view the chronology as a history, and there's a huge gap in the Old Republic
Billy Buehler: Hard for me say- such a large series in a new, unestablished era would have been incredibly bold, but at the same time, I want SW to still continue forward into the future
Billy Buehler: ...now i get the lag great

Erik Blythe: True. There's definitely a very different feel to the NJO setting. Still, I'm afraid of them dumping too much into the Old Republic all at once.

Mike Cooper: heh

Andrew Liptak: it would take a ton of books to work backwards, and there are some old republic things out there

Erik Blythe: I'd rather see the Old Republic a bit more established first. Maybe I'll feel differently after RotS comes out. I don't know.

Andrew Liptak: like the Tales of the Jedi comics for example... not the greatest, but still fun to read

Mike Cooper: look at it this way; one of the two books they're planning now in that era could end up being horrible. what if that premise is the one that would've been turned into the 9-book series?

Andrew Liptak: very true

Andrew Liptak: but I would imagine that they'd entrust a series like that to an established Star Wars author
Billy Buehler: the NJO hit me as a grand climax to the bantam era of publication, so now this new series gets to launch the next great era
Billy Buehler: yeah, I think they're playing it safer by testing the waters of the Sith era first, and use that to launch future books

Erik Blythe: I think it's dangerous to commit to a nine-book series in the middle of any continuity. Tacking it on at the end of an existing continuity is fine, but nine books is a pretty big duration to commit to all at once for a time period that's still actively being defined.

Andrew Liptak: i always felt that the NJO was a little too big, with too many threads left dangling...

Mike Cooper: i'm not that excited about going back to the solo kids so soon, but the bigger problem with the post-NJO era for me is that i think the Luke and co should be left the hell alone for a while...they've been through so much

Andrew Liptak: heh, kind of like the Firefly series... it ended and they bring in a movie to wrap it up
Billy Buehler: well, I like that it didn't wrap everything up- this way Dark Nest and the 9 book series won't seem tacked-on, but rather a continuation

Erik Blythe: I agree. If they continue past NJO, they need to concentrate on the newer characters and leave Han, Luke, and Leia alone.

Andrew Liptak: the titles aren't that good either IMO

Andrew Liptak: true

Erik Blythe: No. They're not. :P

Mike Cooper: yeah, but it's denning

Erik Blythe: Of course, I've still got a bad taste in my mouth about "Attack of the Clones." Bad titles are something we're just going to have to live with.
Billy Buehler: yeah, Dark Nest and it's subtitles are unusually "scifi-y" for a SW book

Mike Cooper: i trust him

Andrew Liptak: unforunently, we're also not fighting imperials any more, which is what I loved to read

Mike Cooper: i'm just hoping they'll get jacen and danni together eventually

Erik Blythe: As long as they do it right, yeah.

Andrew Liptak: that's the main thing that's driving me nuts on the boards... all these threads about who's going to hook up with who... it's like a gorram soap opera now
Billy Buehler: I'm looking forward to seeing who the next great supporting, original, characters will be, in relation to the eventual new main characters of the solo kids, etc
Billy Buehler: (ie: who will be the next Corran, Mara, etc)

Andrew Liptak: I agree with you Billy

Andrew Liptak: I felt that some of the characters, like Corran, really changed too much for their own good during the NJO

Erik Blythe: I agree. I've got to admit, the "core" characters are the ones I enjoy the least. I prefer the Horns, Karrdes, Jades, etc.

Andrew Liptak: i'd like to see some new characters, but not copies
Billy Buehler: We can't just have the "young jedi knights" as our sole new characters, afterall- someones gonna come up with someone who is gonna stick around after they make a solid fan impression

Erik Blythe: I think Corran, specifically, changed too much without much explanation.

Andrew Liptak: yeah

Andrew Liptak: and he was my favorite character in the Bantam era

Andrew Liptak: grrr...

Mike Cooper: i'm just worried they'll be afraid to leave the big three behind
Billy Buehler: someone like what Quinlan is for the prequel era

Erik Blythe: I'm just afraid any future stories are going to become "The Solo Kids."

Andrew Liptak: haha

Andrew Liptak: yeah
Billy Buehler: or,even Nym for that matter

Mike Cooper: i'd say corran was the quin the the NR era

Andrew Liptak: hm
Billy Buehler: heck- they should bring Nym into the post-NJO, since age doesn't have to be that much of a factor for an alien

Andrew Liptak: not really, i think that Quinlan's story arc was a lot darker

Erik Blythe: True.
Billy Buehler: well, QUin and Corran don;t compare story-arc wise, but they both represent the "major" EU character for their respective eras

Andrew Liptak: I mean, did anyone read Republic 68? he was dark, really dark

Andrew Liptak: well, in that case, yeah, true

Mike Cooper: well, i mean he's sort of the era's flagship non-movie character

Erik Blythe: Well, both characters were written well. That's what we need more of -- authors who can bring in new blood, make them relevant to the SW universe, and give them depth.
Billy Buehler: I don't think we're suggesting we should have a character that has a dark arc mirroring Quinlans, just that we need new characters to be introduced to take up the mantle of fan favorites

Billy Buehler: (for a specific era, that is)

Mike Cooper: #68 ruled

Erik Blythe: Agreed.

Andrew Liptak: Personally, I like that Allston character, the Intelligence Agent

Andrew Liptak: yes it did

Andrew Liptak: Joram Kithe, that's his name

Andrew Liptak: i want more of him
Billy Buehler: in a way, this same diea is what the Empire series has slowly been trying to find, I think- a new character that sticks that they can run with

Erik Blythe: Allston's a great author. They need to keep him around.

Mike Cooper: while we're talking about recurring EU characters, let's hit the next topic...

Andrew Liptak: I heard from him that he's up for another story in insider
Billy Buehler: (be it Boshek, that guy from To the Last Man or that chick from "Alone Together", etc)

Andrew Liptak: but no word yet

Mike Cooper: The recently-released Empire #23 returns at long last to the story of BoShek, rock-a-billy smuggler, Chalmun's Cantina extra, and WEG Force convert. Dark Horse reps have hinted that he might become one of Empire's ongoing characters. How's he doing so far?

Andrew Liptak: hm... maybe

Andrew Liptak: I think that I would like that one

Andrew Liptak: the nice thing about the EU, i've always said is to flesh out these backround characters

Andrew Liptak: that's why I loved the Tales of.... books
Billy Buehler: 23 has made amajor splash in fan reaction it seems, and I agree that this issue sets him up as a character we could definitely start seeing alot more of in the future

Mike Cooper: wow, i think that's my first perfect topic transition

Andrew Liptak: yeah, it was left fairly open ended
Billy Buehler: ::applauds::

Andrew Liptak: although I'd love to see more with that girl

Erik Blythe: Good job. ;-)
Billy Buehler: 23, while not ground breakingly original, executed it's concept very very well, and gave us at least two characters worthy fo a followup

Andrew Liptak: or see an infinities comic where she and Quinlan Vos's chick hook up

Mike Cooper: i must've read his tales from story a good 6 years ago, and i've been waiting for more ever since
Billy Buehler: JT- I think we saw quite a bit of that girl in this issue... ;;-)

Andrew Liptak: lol

Andrew Liptak: very, very true

Erik Blythe: I've always wondered why they didn't do more with BoShek. I'm glad to see they're finally using him.
Billy Buehler: though, granted, we could always upgrade to metal bikini

Andrew Liptak: that artwork was really good though... Brandon Badeaux is an excellent artist

Mike Cooper: he's the new ching

Andrew Liptak: expecially his work in Republic 61 and 67
Billy Buehler: it's been so long since I've rad TFTMEC, i didn't remember much from his story in it, so I'm gonna have to go back and reread it before he shows up in Empire again

Andrew Liptak: i think so

Erik Blythe: I may do that too.

Mike Cooper: wow...TFTMEC...first time i've seen that one anagrammed

Andrew Liptak: DHC is doing better with coninuity

Andrew Liptak: haha
Billy Buehler: well, i don;'t think they ever had much of a problem with continuity, outside of Darklighter's transgressions

Mike Cooper: i mostly just remember the great moment where he's hiding amongst a bunch of street preachers, and he starts spouting out stuff about "the Force", and the guys around him are like "dude...shut up"
Billy Buehler: Randy just pushed alot of fanboy buttons back then for fun, hehe

Mike Cooper: i don't think anything in darklighter was really that bad
Billy Buehler: well, actually, come tot hink of it- he still pushes alot of fanboy buttons...
Billy Buehler: like Nuke ;;-)

Andrew Liptak: no, but I just picked up some of the earlier ones [Empire], and there's some major issues

Andrew Liptak: no, Darklighter was really good

Andrew Liptak: as was that trilogy, with that guy on that planet doing the stuff

Mike Cooper: yeah, but they have it coming

Andrew Liptak: but some of the earlier ones, like with leia on the diplomatic mission, that had some errors i think

Mike Cooper: ...and that's THREE roundtables nuke's been mentioned in now

Mike Cooper: maybe i really should get him in here

Andrew Liptak: oh god...
Billy Buehler: (hey, can't break the tradition of mentioning him once in each of these "Moffrences" ;;-)

Mike Cooper: hey, i didn't say yes yet

Andrew Liptak: get Randy in here at the same time...

Mike Cooper: if i were ever to get randy interested in doing one of these i'd stay as far away from nuke as possible

Mike Cooper: he's got enough issues with TFN already
Billy Buehler: that would be worse than the aftermath of a Saxtonian battle
Billy Buehler: I don't think the Leia two-parter did much with continuity
Billy Buehler: the only thing it changed was having Leia have a sidetrip on her way back to Prestor...er..Bail

Mike Cooper: yeah, but it wasn't terribly interesting either

Mike Cooper: i think empire should generally leave the big characters alone
Billy Buehler: no, but I give props for giving us an adaptation of at least some of the Radio Drama sequences

Mike Cooper: the best stuff has been tangential...to the last man, boshek, etc
Billy Buehler: I kinda wish they had done the whole Radio Drama- woulda made a great Empire arc, handling the death star plan capture and showing Devastator chasing the Tantive

Billy Buehler: It's actually kinda funny- people rag on Empire for some of the earlier arcs, but if you go back and check out the reactions in the discussion threads, they were pretty positiove back then

Andrew Liptak: i like the series
Billy Buehler: it wasn't until the Darklighter stuff that people started to complain because of the delays

Mike Cooper: at one point i was hoping empire would do a derra iv story, but now that zahn's got that book coming up in that time period, who knows

Andrew Liptak: Republic is the good arc one... Empire I can pick and choose

Andrew Liptak: YES! DERRA IV!!! I would love that one!

Mike Cooper: and once again, a perfect segway...

Andrew Liptak: ooh, right you are, that recently announced Zahn book...

Mike Cooper: It was recently announced (oh, about four hours ago) that one of the books in Del Rey's new contract will be a Hardcover set between ANH and ESB, written by Timothy Zahn. We all know there's no shortage of stories he could potentially be planning, but many fans aren't exactly pleased with him these days. Should the talented but headstrong Zahn be allowed back into the fold?
Billy Buehler: I dunno- there's not much room to expand upon for Derra IV

Andrew Liptak: yes there is

Andrew Liptak: the Rebel side of the story hasn't reallybeen told
Billy Buehler: the battle at Derra IV was all of 1 minute and 30 seconds long, by the radio drama

Andrew Liptak: but the stories in Side Trip and the Radio Drama could be expanded

Andrew Liptak: look what they did with Darklighter
Billy Buehler: the only room to expand upon it was the aftermath in the Fel flashbacks where we see Thrawn's involvement

Mike Cooper: *coughnewtopiccough*

Andrew Liptak: it would be the perfect arc to introduce new characters and have the battle at the end
Billy Buehler: but is it really wise to build a story around or build up to a battle we already no the very-very short result of?

Andrew Liptak: however, it Zahn does it, I'm sure that we'll have something like that

Andrew Liptak: again, I point to Darklighter...

Erik Blythe: I definitely think Zahn should be kept around. I think his short stories are mediocre at best, but his novels are definitely some of the better books in the EU.
Billy Buehler: Zahn should be let back in, certainl;y

Andrew Liptak: I wasn't as impressed with Survivor's Quest

Andrew Liptak: I want a Clone Wars novel out of him

Mike Cooper: so none of you are too riled up about all the chak/davin stuff?
Billy Buehler: he is sometimes aloose cannon (I think Survivor's Quest would have made a better post-NJO book, avoiding that Empire of the Hand and Chiss government problems that cropped up

Mike Cooper: i'm dying to read outbound flight

Erik Blythe: Same here.

Andrew Liptak: ah, yes

Andrew Liptak: I was annoyed that there were so many questions left out of the picture in this one
Billy Buehler: But, I can't see him doing something like that in the classic era

Andrew Liptak: but they will hopefully be answered in the next one
Billy Buehler: He obviously loves writing about the Empire

Andrew Liptak: yeah

Erik Blythe: He's good at it.
Billy Buehler: so, he'll be smack in the middle of their height

Andrew Liptak: as for Chak and Devin, I don't really care

Erik Blythe: Of all the EU authors, I think he writes the Empire better than anyone.

Andrew Liptak: I would like another story about Thrawn though
Billy Buehler: cause the Empire of the Hand stuff was obviously a way for him to call back to the golden points of the EMpire, reagrdless of timeline placement

Andrew Liptak: Yeah, although Stackpole is a veeeery close second

Mike Cooper: chak/davin is one of those things where it's not that big of a problem, but people are upset just because of the perceived arrogance of it
Billy Buehler: Stackpole does the "rebels" better

Erik Blythe: Heh, Stackpole's just good at EVERYTHING.

Andrew Liptak: yeah, and we got a really good book duo with it

Andrew Liptak: Stackpole does good imps

Andrew Liptak: good military side, brings realism to the star wars universe

Erik Blythe: And Stackpole's one of the few authors who can write space battles well. There are a couple of others, but Stackpole is consistently the best.

Andrew Liptak: yes

Mike Cooper: while zahn's busy with this and outbound flight, i'd like to see stackpole do a katana fleet novel

Andrew Liptak: hm

Andrew Liptak: that's already being explained in part by that Comic trilogy

Mike Cooper: what?
Billy Buehler: hmm...I think I'd rather have Stackpole focus on something else..Katan Fleet should be left to Zahn

Erik Blythe: My ultimate EU project would be having Stackpole write for the Rogue Squadron TV series.

Mike Cooper: but if zah did it it'd be in, like, 2008

Mike Cooper: *zahn

Erik Blythe: Now we just need to get ourselves a Rogue Squadron TV series...

Andrew Liptak: There's a trio of comics that have something to do with the Katana fleet
Billy Buehler: EU TV show? ::shameless plug!:: ;;D

Andrew Liptak: haha

Mike Cooper: i'd love to see a carefully-done rogue series, but there's HUGE potential for it to screw stuff up
Billy Buehler: JT, Dreadanughts of Rendili will have nothing to do with Katan Fleet
Billy Buehler: Katana

Andrew Liptak: oh really? my bad then...

Mike Cooper: oh, i was wondering what you were talking about

Andrew Liptak: i thought that I read Katana in there somewhere...

Erik Blythe: That's true. But then, there's a great deal of potential to screw up just about ANYTHING Star Wars related when it comes to television.
Billy Buehler: it was speculated , but Ostrander said it wasn't

Mike Cooper: besides, katana probably happened around TPM

Andrew Liptak: ah

Andrew Liptak: okay, that clears that up

Andrew Liptak: TV shows are iffy

Erik Blythe: True.

Andrew Liptak: look at the clone wars one

Erik Blythe: Clone Wars was good.

Andrew Liptak: crappy art, okay story

Erik Blythe: For being animated, and for being three minutes a piece, it was pretty good.

Mike Cooper: sometimes i think i'm the only one who likes tartakovsky's style

Andrew Liptak: .... sorry, i'm spoiled on Jan Duursema's artwork...
Billy Buehler: I'd prefer live action (recast characters if you gotta), but realistic CGI ala Final Flight of the Osiris would be an acceptable fallback option, thoguh it'd probably cost more to do it that way than live action

Andrew Liptak: YES

Erik Blythe: I don't mind his style. It's "not my thing," but he does what he does well, so it's hard to complain.
Mike Cooper: that's a good way of putting it

Billy Buehler: I liked the Clone Wars animation style, but i wouldn't want to see every SW toon in that style

Erik Blythe: Agreed.

Andrew Liptak: that would be cool, or ge tthe guy that did Dark Fury to do one, minus the bright weird colors

Andrew Liptak: it's livable

Andrew Liptak: but the comic digest... don't talk to me about that...

Mike Cooper: dark fury?
Billy Buehler: but that style does bring a certain amount of sheer artistic value to things..some of his Samurai Jack work has mind blowinglt awesome artistic moments

Erik Blythe: Animated sequel to Pitch Black. About 30 minutes long. Great animation.

Andrew Liptak: it was an animated sequel to PITCH BLACK, in preperation for The Chronicles of Riddick

Mike Cooper: ah, right

Andrew Liptak: yeah, awesome scenes in it

Mike Cooper: bah. anime.

Erik Blythe: Has kind of an "Aeon Flux" feel to it.

Erik Blythe: Yet a bit better.

Andrew Liptak: i'm not an anime fan at all, but this stuff wasn't that bad
Billy Buehler: Dark Fury was good- but I'm not really in love with that animation style...I hate the "we have no bones" exxagerated limbs and motion CHung uses
Billy Buehler: HATE it

Mike Cooper: i've heard good things, but i'm not gonna go out of my way to see it

Andrew Liptak: it had a sort of American cartoon feel to it

Erik Blythe: That's the problem with animation -- so much of it is subject to people's stylistic preferences that it'll turn people off before they give it a chance.

Andrew Liptak: yeah

Mike Cooper: okay, the original topic is dead and buried, so let's move on

Andrew Liptak: lol

Mike Cooper: Mini-topic #1: What would you say is the best Expanded Universe story ever told, in any format?
Billy Buehler: but he toned it down enough in Dark Fury for it to be passable, but that exxageration was still there on occasion and was distracting

Andrew Liptak: best story...

Andrew Liptak: oh god

Erik Blythe: Hmm. That's tough....

Mike Cooper: crystal star!

Erik Blythe: UGH.

Andrew Liptak: BANG BANG

Andrew Liptak: BOOM

Mike Cooper: ::dies::

Andrew Liptak: Um... i have a couple ties....

Mike Cooper: sorry, evil twin
Billy Buehler: hmm..

Mike Cooper: for me, traitor

Andrew Liptak: The Thrawn Trilogy and X-Wing Series. Hands down, my favorite. Nothing thus far has topped any of them.

Erik Blythe: I'd have to say the first four Rogue Squadron books. The writing was great, the characters were awesome, and aside from Wedge, they were all new. You never knew who was going to live or die.

Mike Cooper: if you had to pick one book, Andrew?

Andrew Liptak: heh, i don't think that I can

Mike Cooper: ::slap:: do it!

Erik Blythe: Yeah. The best "stories" were almost never one-shots.
Billy Buehler: Tie between TOTJ: Redemption, Star By Star and Jedi: Shaak Ti

Andrew Liptak: :OW: I can narrow it down to Rogue Squadron or Heir to the Empire

Erik Blythe: The best one-shot comic or novel, in my opinion, may have been Traitor.

Erik Blythe: Well, my favorite single book. Maybe not the BEST book.

Mike Cooper: i think bacta war is by far the best in the x-wing series

Andrew Liptak: Comics: Republic 61, 68 I think

Mike Cooper: shaak ti? really? that's unexpected

Erik Blythe: Bacta War... that was the fourth, right?

Mike Cooper: yeah

Andrew Liptak: Short Stories: Pengalan Tradeoff

Mike Cooper: lusankya, birth of the errant venture, etc
Billy Buehler: Yeah, Jedi: Shaak Ti was my fvaorite of the Jedi issues

Andrew Liptak: but novels, that's very hard

Erik Blythe: Yup. TBW was awesome.

Andrew Liptak: I think I liked Aayla Secura better

Mike Cooper: for comics i'd say republic 68

Andrew Liptak: Yoda wasn't that good though

Mike Cooper: but it'll probably change in the next 9 months
Billy Buehler: Mace Windu was very good, I was a little mixed on Aayla and Dooku- though the latter, when combined with Republic #54 make a better arc

Erik Blythe: Short stories -- I liked the Zahn & Stackpole team-up where Thrawn was impersonating Jodo Kast.

Mike Cooper: yoda was fine except for the art

Andrew Liptak: yeah, Duursema's stuff and Ostrander's stuff keeps getting better
Billy Buehler: Shaak Ti had a great mix of characters, mission objectives and execution

Andrew Liptak: I just sent in my review for Yoda to TUCWS, where I work, and I made a note that the art was distracting

Mike Cooper: the biggest problem with prequel comics these days is too much talent, not enough books

Andrew Liptak: some of it wasn't bad, but the meshing was horrible

Andrew Liptak: lol

Mike Cooper: i think blackman, ostrander, duursema, stradley, ching, badeaux and barlow should all be doing ongoing SW work

Andrew Liptak: Blackman's best stuff was the Jabiim series

Mike Cooper: that's what...four titles?

Andrew Liptak: the Comic Digest sucked

Mike Cooper: yeah, but you don't like the art

Andrew Liptak: no

Andrew Liptak: the stories sucked too

Mike Cooper: bull
Billy Buehler: the Mace/Saesee one was fun

Andrew Liptak: nope, they were crappy

Andrew Liptak: IMO of course

Mike Cooper: they're insigficant, but they're well done

Andrew Liptak: eh.... no

Mike Cooper: exactly like each episode of the cartoon

Erik Blythe: <waits for the gloves to come off...>

Andrew Liptak: i found them immature and very insigficant

Andrew Liptak: the only one that was interesting was the one on Mon Calamari
Billy Buehler: that one was the oddest one

Mike Cooper: well they're not gonna be republic. they're aimed at cartoon viewers

Andrew Liptak: exactly
Billy Buehler: the Mcae/Saesee one had some good dialogue at least

Andrew Liptak: Republic Rules! *waves flag around*

Mike Cooper: so would you say everyone who enjoyed the cartoon is immature?

Andrew Liptak: no, i just found the stories that way
Billy Buehler: ::flings a superbattledroid:: "50 meters, 12 farther than yours" "this is not a competition, Master Tiin"

Andrew Liptak: throwing battle droids in a contest?

Andrew Liptak: i just didn't like that at all

Mike Cooper: i'd rather see a well-told one-page story that has nothing to do with the greater continuity than some big sucky epic

Andrew Liptak: even my campers at the time didn't like it. (I work at a summer camp in the summer)
Billy Buehler: damn, there goes my fanfic idea..
Billy Buehler: ;;D

Mike Cooper: Big Sucky Epic, billy?

Billy Buehler: yeah..and all my dreams, torn asunder

Mike Cooper: heh
Billy Buehler: ;;-)

Mike Cooper: i have no problem seeing mace and saesee doing that

Erik Blythe: Well, the demographic for the cartoon IS for a younger audience. But I think taking that into consideration, the stories were done well.

Andrew Liptak: yeah

Mike Cooper: it's not like they're pissed off at each other over it

Mike Cooper: JT, have you played jedi starfighter?

Andrew Liptak: no, i'm not much of a gamer. Halo's the only thing that I like
Billy Buehler: Jedi Starfighter had a fun story...Nym shines

Mike Cooper: well saesee has a big role in it, and his characterization in the digest is pretty much spot-on

Andrew Liptak: hm

Mike Cooper: teasingly competitive
Billy Buehler: which makes sense, since Blackman wrote both Clone Wars Adventures and Jedi Starfighter's script (or at least was involved in it's production)

Mike Cooper: even in that recent bounty hunter guild story i'd say that's the way he acted

Mike Cooper: okay, let's get to the last topic before we close...

Andrew Liptak: What happened to Blackman? he was doing a ton of things at once, but then seems to have vanished

Mike Cooper: he's writing obsession

Mike Cooper: Mini-topic #2: Other side of the coin: what would you say is the worst Expanded Universe story ever told, in any format?

Andrew Liptak: heh

Mike Cooper: i repeat: crystal star

Erik Blythe: Heh, does the entire Marvel comics line count? ;-)

Andrew Liptak: Crystal Star... Clone Wars Adventure #1
Billy Buehler: hehe

Mike Cooper: "ever told", "any format"

Erik Blythe: Crystal Star definitely ranks up there...

Andrew Liptak: yeah

Andrew Liptak: Numero Uno

Erik Blythe: I'm torn between Vector Prime and the Bounty Hunter Wars.
Billy Buehler: I was really cringing my way through the first two Marvel reprint TPB's

Mike Cooper: i'd say segments of the bounty hunter wars qualify, but there are a enough redeeming factors to keep it a notch above TCS

Andrew Liptak: BHW I couldn't get into, but TCS was just a load of trash
Billy Buehler: but those aren't a single story, so I'll rule them out

Mike Cooper: vector prime? really?

Erik Blythe: Bah. You wanna cringe, watch Bea Arthur dance with an alien in a cantina.
Billy Buehler: I haven't read BHW yet, so factor that in as you will...

Mike Cooper: heh

Erik Blythe: Yeah. The concept for VP was fine, but I thought the book was poorly laid out, poorly written, and confusing.

Mike Cooper: the holiday special doesn't count. lucas wrote it, so it ain't EU. it's g-level, baby!

Andrew Liptak: Vector Prime wasn't too bad, not the greatest either

Andrew Liptak: although I disliked most of teh books after Balance Point
Billy Buehler: Yeah, Vector Prime was a tad dull compared to the rest of the NJO (not counting Dark Journey and the third Force Heretic)

Erik Blythe: Interesting. BP is about the point most people started LIKING the NJO.

Erik Blythe: True. Those two were pretty slow. But they were MERELY slow. VP was BAD.

Andrew Liptak: I loved that book, but after that, all the crap with Anakin Solo and some other stuff

Mike Cooper: i think there was a big chunk of fandom that just couldn't get into the NJO

Erik Blythe: ....though I'll concede TCS may rank at the very top.

Andrew Liptak: Stackpole's Duo was fun

Andrew Liptak: Luceano's duo was fun
Billy Buehler: I didn't care for Balance POint much either, actually..thats where the "Vong secretly screw over a world they've infiltrated" cocnept clearly started becoming repetitive

Andrew Liptak: but afterwards... ick

Erik Blythe: Well, NJO was such a drastic departure from the norm. And the first half of the series was difficult to get through.

Mike Cooper: i think hero's trial is actually luceno's least popular work

Andrew Liptak: yeah, i know

Mike Cooper: agents of chaos, rather
Billy Buehler: I think the first half of the NJO is pretty easy to get into...

Erik Blythe: Agreed.

Andrew Liptak: i'm confused about that.... it had the Ryn

Andrew Liptak: Actually, i have to go back to our previous topic for a second

Andrew Liptak: the Medstar Duo- off to a great state

Mike Cooper: in some ways i liked the first half better; it was looser
Billy Buehler: VP is an early road bump, but Dark Tide and Enemy Lines were certainly on par with Bantam era pacing and feel, and I had no problems with Agents of Chaos either

Erik Blythe: Ehh... Most people I know had a hard time with the first half of NJO. And everyone I know who stayed on through the entire series mark either Balance Point or Star by Star as the turning point at which things got good.

Mike Cooper: you could feel the big stuff coming up, but things were still in flux

Andrew Liptak: i agree

Andrew Liptak: i liked the feel of the bantam era books

Andrew Liptak: Lucasbooks hasn't really captured that as well as i'd like

Andrew Liptak: but they have good stuff nonetheless

Mike Cooper: i liked them at the time, but it couldn't go on like that forever

Erik Blythe: If I may ask this -- it's SOMEWHAT on topic -- which ERA do you guys like best? Which has the most potential behind it?

Andrew Liptak: hm

Andrew Liptak: Tie again...

Andrew Liptak: wait

Mike Cooper: hey! i ask the questions around here!

Andrew Liptak: which era? publisher or in universe?

Mike Cooper: If I may ask this -- it's SOMEWHAT on topic -- which ERA do you guys like best? Which has the most potential behind it?

Erik Blythe: Are the NR and NJO eras burned out? I mean, I know Lucas is pushing Clone Wars era pretty strongly, but....

Mike Cooper: :-)

Erik Blythe: Sorry Mike! [blush]

Andrew Liptak: heh

Andrew Liptak: just say what he said

Erik Blythe: I couldn't resist. It's just so close to the topic....

Andrew Liptak: lol

Mike Cooper: with the NJO and beyond, it's less a matter of a burned-out time period than of burned-out characters

Andrew Liptak: The NR era and Clone Wars era
Billy Buehler: I wonder what the Despite my work on the Ultimate Clone Wars Timeline, I think my favorite era is the Rebellion era

Erik Blythe: I agree there. If they continue, they've GOT to concentrate on new or lesser-used characters.
Billy Buehler: (which I would define as, say, roughly 5 years prior to ANH to 5 years after ROTJ)\

Andrew Liptak: it's fun studying history and approaching this as a historical topic

Mike Cooper: i've been anxiously awaiting the Rise of the Empire era for years now...if Coruscant Nights shapes up to be what i think it's gonna, it could easily be my favorite EU yet
Billy Buehler: but while thats my favorite era, it's been used so much it doesn't have that much potential left, except with new characters

Andrew Liptak: it looks like it could be fun

Erik Blythe: I think I'd say Rebellion to early-NR.

Mike Cooper: the slow process of turning a republic into an empire, coupled with the ongoing hunting of the jedi, fascinates me
Billy Buehler: The Old Republic/Sith-era and post-NJO era are the two eras with the most poential at this point

Erik Blythe: There's still a sense of "rooting for the underdog" that isn't as present in the other eras.
Billy Buehler: they are the only two eras capable of telling large stories that we do not know the outcome of

Erik Blythe: I can see that. Though I think I'm more interested in what happens immediately after the Clone Wars than everything leading up to it.

Mike Cooper: alright, that’ll do. thanks guys

Erik Blythe: Thanks for having us! It was fun!

Andrew Liptak: Well, that was fun. Thanks!


Thanks to Andrew and Quest (I’d never get used to calling him “Billy”) for their participation, and without giving away the gory details, I particularly want to thank Erik Blythe for providing certain invaluable assistance in the post-production phase of this Roundtable. If you have an idea for a future topic, or any feedback for that matter, send it in.

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