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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Its not a "everone else are idiots", it was more of a "everyone else was made dependant on a a supernatural force without their consent". I think this is more about the shortcomings of dependence of supernatural powers over the professionalism and skill of your underlings.

    The point is made that the Imperial Navy was too good a navy and thus shouldnt have lost Endor. But they did because the Emperor, in his arrogance, made himself the Keystone of the entire armed forces.

    And the Imperial.Navy never even realized it.
    This. The comparison is not between Thrawn and the other officers of the Imperial Navy, who come across as competent in the Zahn novels. The comparison is between Thrawn's leadership and Vader's/ The Emperor's.

    Specifically, Thrawn is a rational leader with specific, rational goals that he wants to achieve. To do this he takes a professional military outlook and a degree of innate genius. While he later develops a reputation as an infallible mastermind , no one is more aware than he himself that this is not true. I believe he cultivates that reputation as a psychological weapon, so that his enemies will jump at shadows and react to him as if he was an invincible genius, rather than simply a very very good officer. Which is what he is.

    The problem with the Imperial Navy was not with the Navy. The problem was that the political leadership of the Empire were power-mad Sith Lords who weren't exactly sane. And since the Emperor and Vader were the ones choosing and promoting officers, the entire edifice rotted from the head down. You can't expect much from any organization when the people running the show pick someone like Isaard or Ozzel to be in charge, for example.

    Not to mention, neither the Emperor nor Vader were waging their war on a rational basis. They were running their war based on their insight in the Force. They didn't see things the way someone like Thrawn does. They can see through the Force that Luke Skywalker poses a greater threat to the Empire then the entire rest of the rebel force on Hoth together, for example, which is why Vader would pull the Death Squadron off of chasing the rest of the Rebels and send the entire force into an asteroid field after the Falcon, suffering high casualties in the process.

    To non-force sensitive eyes, it was an act of purest madness, and thus something someone like Thrawn would never do.

    Respectfully,

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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Just to put in another random aside, speaking of "Doylist vs. Watsonian", Thrawn is pretty deliberately modeled on Sherlock Holmes, albeit with a fixation on achieving military victory rather than on solving complex criminal mysteries and some subsequent alterations to priorities (such as Thrawn being less incredibly personally overbearing than Holmes because Holmes isn't running a large organization).

    I bring this up to point out the similarities in his style of constantly playing little Socratic strategy dialogs with Pellaeon and Holmes's doing something similar with Watson whenever they're on a case, and I think in both cases it's meant to be a teaching tool. Also the occasional moment of apparent insanity because Thrawn knows something that hasn't been revealed to the reader, probably the #1 most-used stylistic device in the entire Holmes canon, at least if you listen to 20th century mystery authors complain about it.
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post

    I bring this up to point out the similarities in his style of constantly playing little Socratic strategy dialogs with Pellaeon and Holmes's doing something similar with Watson whenever they're on a case, and I think in both cases it's meant to be a teaching tool.
    Very much a teaching tool I think. As time goes on Pallaeon becomes a lot more important and is really my favorite character in the whole EU. Specifically he goes on to greater leadership in the Imperial Remnant as a viewpoint character and is the guy who finally pulls the plug and proffers it's surrender and stays around as an important figure. I certainly think Thrawn saw his potential.
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonus45 View Post
    stuff
    Yo, spoilers?

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    Yo, spoilers?
    It's not a relevant spoiler for the Thrawn books, but for sequels far deeper into the EU canon. So it's technically a spoiler, but not one relevant to the thread's topic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    It's not a relevant spoiler for the Thrawn books, but for sequels far deeper into the EU canon. So it's technically a spoiler, but not one relevant to the thread's topic.
    And we are talking deep. Thats years after this series. Hell thats years after the Daala stuff. I really need to read the book that he does that in cuz i love Pellaeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Specifically, Thrawn is a rational leader with specific, rational goals that he wants to achieve. To do this he takes a professional military outlook and a degree of innate genius. While he later develops a reputation as an infallible mastermind , no one is more aware than he himself that this is not true. I believe he cultivates that reputation as a psychological weapon, so that his enemies will jump at shadows and react to him as if he was an invincible genius, rather than simply a very very good officer. Which is what he is.
    Well, Thrawn was established as having tactical skills that are vastly superior to most of his contemporaries in both the Imperial and New Republic navies. The latter, critically, included many of the better Imperial Naval officers due to the way defections worked out. The whole point of the Elohim task force example that opens Heir to the Empire is that Thrawn is able to turn an engagement that by rights should be a defeat - Pellaeon, a competent veteran officer assesses it accordingly - into an overwhelming victory. He's not invincible, but he is better than almost everyone else.

    The problem with the Imperial Navy was not with the Navy. The problem was that the political leadership of the Empire were power-mad Sith Lords who weren't exactly sane. And since the Emperor and Vader were the ones choosing and promoting officers, the entire edifice rotted from the head down. You can't expect much from any organization when the people running the show pick someone like Isaard or Ozzel to be in charge, for example.
    Beyond the Sith Lord issue there's also the problem that the Empire was simply a corrupt dictatorship and promoted people for ideological reasons and based on their political connections rather than due to competence. As a result many of the more competent officers were either assigned to backwater commands - something that happened to Thrawn specifically - or defected to the Rebel Alliance (the Wookieepedia page of 'Imperial Defectors' is pretty much a duplicate for 'every important Rebel military officer').
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Spoilers for books over a decade old for books that are no longer cannon that op outright stated they didn't care about?
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    As a result many of the more competent officers were either assigned to backwater commands - something that happened to Thrawn specifically - or defected to the Rebel Alliance (the Wookieepedia page of 'Imperial Defectors' is pretty much a duplicate for 'every important Rebel military officer').
    Though it is sort of mandatory for Rebel military officers to be ex-Imperial, since there's nowhere else for them to be from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    And we are talking deep. Thats years after this series. Hell thats years after the Daala stuff. I really need to read the book that he does that in cuz i love Pellaeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Though it is sort of mandatory for Rebel military officers to be ex-Imperial, since there's nowhere else for them to be from.
    Well, except Bothuwai. Or Toprawa. Hapes Cluster. Mandalore. And probably others, it's late and I can't think of any others off the top of my head. But quite a few places had planetary militias or special forces training that would allow members to fit in on a command track. Galactic Empire does have the most by far, so it makes sense most of their officers are ex-imperial.
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    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Mandalore likely wouldn't be interested; their warriors typically took on Jedi at full power to test themselves. As for others like Janna or other Butts that may have been interested, by now they've surely mentioned the whole "security through obscurity" bit. You may not like it, but it's not terribly difficult with billions of planets for things to be on, and one of the most prominent groups in the Republic wanting to keep a tight lid on it would likely be able to.
    Out of curiosity, why Mandalore even established at this point? I know the name comes from an old unused idea from Empire Strikes Back. But as far as I'm aware, the Mandos being established as the super anti-Jedi culture entirely made of warriors that somehow have better technology than just about everyone else for some reason wasn't a thing until Traviss got her hands on them several years later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Out of curiosity, why Mandalore even established at this point? I know the name comes from an old unused idea from Empire Strikes Back. But as far as I'm aware, the Mandos being established as the super anti-Jedi culture entirely made of warriors that somehow have better technology than just about everyone else for some reason wasn't a thing until Traviss got her hands on them several years later.
    I think there might have been a reference in one of the 'Tales of the...' books to Fett's 'Mandalorian Battle Armor', but he himself wasn't Mandalorian until the Clone Wars retconned a good chunk of EU stuff.

    I never read the Traviss books so I don't know about the rest of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter Noventa View Post
    I think there might have been a reference in one of the 'Tales of the...' books to Fett's 'Mandalorian Battle Armor', but he himself wasn't Mandalorian until the Clone Wars retconned a good chunk of EU stuff.

    I never read the Traviss books so I don't know about the rest of it.
    Yeah I remember that. Used to own the book back when Fett was actually Jaster Mereel. However I checked and that was written after the Thrawn Trilogy.

    You're not missing much. She fanwanks Fett and the Mandalorians more than anyone fanwanks anything else in Star Wars. She tried to make Mandos as overpowered as Thrawn fans try to make Thrawn. Only difference is Zahn himself was very aware of Thrawns limitations. And she just isn't a particularly good writer.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2017-10-09 at 08:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Yeah I remember that. Used to own the book back when Fett was actually Jaster Mereel. However I checked and that was written after the Thrawn Trilogy.

    You're not missing much. She fanwanks Fett and the Mandalorians more than anyone fanwanks anything else in Star Wars. She tried to make Mandos as overpowered as Thrawn fans try to make Thrawn. Only difference is Zahn himself was very aware of Thrawns limitations. And she just isn't a particularly good writer.
    There is a reason I hadn't read those books, they have...quite the reputation. Though to be honest I don't think I read much of anything new after Vector Prime, including stuff set well before it.

    Feels like the only books worth paying attention to now are the Thrawn Trilogy and the X-Wing novels. Though 'Death Star' was a decent enough read.
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Death Star was surprisingly good for a book whose sole purpose was to explain two words of dialogue in Episode IV.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter Noventa View Post
    I think there might have been a reference in one of the 'Tales of the...' books to Fett's 'Mandalorian Battle Armor', but he himself wasn't Mandalorian until the Clone Wars retconned a good chunk of EU stuff.

    I never read the Traviss books so I don't know about the rest of it.
    Actually, her Republic Commando series is very readable, very solid military and counterinsurgency SF, especially Triple Zero (the coordinates for Coruscant, where most of the action takes place).

    Happily, the Jedi make almost no appearance in the books , so the fanwanking isn't terribly noticeable.

    Respectfully,

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  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    She also tended to insert a lot of 2000's American politics into her books as allegory, which...doesn't work very well. At all.

    George Lucas himself at least kept his metaphors so vague he could have been doing an allegory for any dictator back to Julius Caesar, although some of the Trade Federation leadership's names are a bit of a giveaway anyway...
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter Noventa View Post
    I think there might have been a reference in one of the 'Tales of the...' books to Fett's 'Mandalorian Battle Armor', but he himself wasn't Mandalorian until the Clone Wars retconned a good chunk of EU stuff.
    Fett was Mandalorian long before Clone Wars.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    You're not missing much. She fanwanks Fett and the Mandalorians more than anyone fanwanks anything else in Star Wars. She tried to make Mandos as overpowered as Thrawn fans try to make Thrawn. Only difference is Zahn himself was very aware of Thrawns limitations. And she just isn't a particularly good writer.
    She's a far sight better than Vonda McIntyre or Barbara Hambly. When you try to read damn near all the Star War books, that's something to be thankful for, her ridiculous drooling over Mandalorians aside.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter Noventa View Post
    Feels like the only books worth paying attention to now are the Thrawn Trilogy and the X-Wing novels. Though 'Death Star' was a decent enough read.
    Thrawn Duology was great, IMO. Though I'm a sucker for Zahn's stuff. Also, the Han Solo trilogy (the A. A. Crispin one, not the unrelated and disjointed stories one) was pretty solid. But as far as Death Star goes....
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Death Star was surprisingly good for a book whose sole purpose was to explain two words of dialogue in Episode IV.
    That is entirely true. However, "surprisingly good for X" can still be pretty bad, it seems. Nowhere near Children of the Jedi bad, but I wouldn't put it in the top half of my EU book rankings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    George Lucas himself at least kept his metaphors so vague he could have been doing an allegory for any dictator back to Julius Caesar, although some of the Trade Federation leadership's names are a bit of a giveaway anyway...
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    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-10-09 at 01:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Which two words?

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethologica View Post
    Which two words?
    "Standing by." In ANH, the main gunner repeats himself before and after Tarkin gives the order to fire on Yavin IV. One of Death Stars viewpoint characters is that gunner, traumatized by how he personally murdered billions of Alderanneans. So when he is ordered to do it again, he hesitates in hope that the few extra seconds of delay will be enough for the Rebels to win. Spoiler alert: it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Spoilers for books over a decade old for books that are no longer cannon that op outright stated they didn't care about?]
    I said I hadn't read them, not that I didn't care. And it's still a spoiler for this book insofar as I now know Pellaeon survives. So please don't do that again.

    Mandalore likely wouldn't be interested; their warriors typically took on Jedi at full power to test themselves. As for others like Janna or other Butts that may have been interested, by now they've surely mentioned the whole "security through obscurity" bit. You may not like it, but it's not terribly difficult with billions of planets for things to be on, and one of the most prominent groups in the Republic wanting to keep a tight lid on it would likely be able to.

    As for Karrde, he's literally based on the planet. Whenever Thrawn figured it out, he would be there.
    Sure, but it seems like the book is trying to have it both ways, where it just so happens that Karrde rises to power at the exact moment that Thrawn needs him to know about the ysalamiri, it doesn't seem organic.

    Its not a "everone else are idiots", it was more of a "everyone else was made dependant on a a supernatural force without their consent". I think this is more about the shortcomings of dependence of supernatural powers over the professionalism and skill of your underlings.

    The point is made that the Imperial Navy was too good a navy and thus shouldnt have lost Endor. But they did because the Emperor, in his arrogance, made himself the Keystone of the entire armed forces.
    ...Except we already had a perfectly good explanation for that in that they had orders to hold back. This is a weaker explanation than what we already had. It doesn't even make sense, how did the Imperial Navy ever fight any battles that the Emperor wasn't present for?

    Its something he saw in RotJ. He saw the Imperial Navy as a group of bumbling military leaders who couldnt take on a vastly inferior Rebel fleet.

    He thus made an in-universe reason for it. And this ALSO doubled as a reason as to why the Imperial Navy is still something to be feared and respected in his novels, and all novels that occurer after. Otherwise, why should the New Republic ever worry about an Imperial Fleet they beat when it was outgunning them 5 to 1?
    Because it took three separate miracles to win at Endor, even with the Fleet having orders to hold back. They were never 'bumbling', they had orders not to engage, and even then it took concentrated fire from the entire fleet and a suicide run on the bridge to bring down the Executor. 'We won't last long against Imperial Star Destroyers at that range'.

    There was no need for the 'will of the Emperor' to patch any holes in ROTJ, the only thing it brings to the table is allowing Thrawn to take a shot at his predecessors.

    As for the rest of the Navy, allow me to briefly summarise every Thrawn/Pellaeon interaction so far.

    Pellaeon: I have an opinion.

    Thrawn: You're wrong.
    I dunno, I mean, I'm not very far into the book, there's still plenty of time for me to change my mind, but on the other hand, I'm not very far into the book, and there's already been plenty of unnecessary shots at non Thrawn imperial leadership.

    CH7:

    Luke is in the Tower of Law looking at a tapestry when he hears Leia's force call for help. He starts to run, and encounters seven aliens with mystery weapons. He's directed to slowly walk backwards into an out of the way room and complies.

    On the threshold, he sees one of the aliens accidentally point his weapon at his colleagues and triggers it with the Force, then flips back through the doorway before he can be shot.

    He rips down a tapestry and throws it, but the assailants dodge, and reveals that their weapons are essentially Spiderman style web shooters. Luke then realises he can't end things peacefully and regretfully cuts them all in half.

    In the marketplace, Han and Leia stage a shoplifting to get some cover from innocent bystanders, and then call in Chewbacca for air support. Luke ziplines down from the tower on webbing, and between that and the Falcon's guns, it's over quickly.

    Onboard, C3PO is wrapped in web, and nothing they have to hand can get rid of it. There's a brief argument over the merits of getting out of dodge and resuming negotiations, and it's interesting because they both have good points and I'm not sure who is right under these circumstances. By virtue of being the man flying the ship, Han wins.

    Leia is persuaded to take up lightsabre lessons, which Luke is nervous about as he doesn't want to accidentally turn her to the Dark Side by accident.

    Very actiony chapter, it's apparent that Luke has levelled up a bit and we're wondering how deep the Empire's connections run. This trip was a last minute schedule change if I remember right, so whoever planned the kidnappings either organised that or is very quick to adapt. It took a fair bit of maneuvering to organise this level of sabotage of a presumably well organised diplomatic event.

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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard
    Pellaeon: I have an opinion.

    Thrawn: You're wrong.
    It's a teacher-pupil relationship. Thrawn, as a Grand Admiral and moreover a nonhuman who fought his way up through the Empire's speciesist ranks, can be assumed to know something about being an Admiral that Pelleaon does not have.

    Yet.

    As others have said, Thrawn and Pelleon have a Holmes-Watson style relationship, so you can expect Pelleaon to be doing a lot of learning and being wrong -- at first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Sure, but it seems like the book is trying to have it both ways, where it just so happens that Karrde rises to power at the exact moment that Thrawn needs him to know about the ysalamiri, it doesn't seem organic.
    Ahh. Well, to not spoil anything, I'll just say I think you'll feel differently when you're done reading it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    As for the rest of the Navy, allow me to briefly summarise every Thrawn/Pellaeon interaction so far.

    Pellaeon: I have an opinion
    Thrawn: You are wrong
    Pellaeon is tied for my favorite character in the old EU with Car'das. As others have said, Thrawn is trying to teach Pellaeon, not show him up.
    Spoiler: You already know Pellaeon survives, so I don't think this really spoils anything else. But just in case you don't want to see it, I'm still poppin it in here
    Show
    And it shows later on. Pellaeon takes his time with Thrawn to heart, he does learn from it, and he applies it in his own command.

    Thrawn is great because he's a once-in-a-lifetime genius, like Einstein or Newton or Tesla. Pellaeon is great because he's a normal person who the once-in-a-lifetime genius sees as someone who has potential to be more than he is. Thrawn is the head honcho in the Empire. He could have chosen any Star Destroyer as his flagship. He chose the Chimaera because of Pellaeon, and what he could be.
    It's been a while since I've read the trilogy, but I think Thrawn almost always explains himself to Pellaeon, which is not a courtesy he grants those who he doesn't think will be able to learn from explanations. Thrawn isn't trying to show everyone how great and awesome he is, he's trying to whip the Empire into shape and forge them into the best functioning military he can make them into. His views of this differ from the Emperor's, and differ from other Imperial leaders as well. But when he has the reins to the Empire, his opinion is the one that matters.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-10-09 at 02:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Out of curiosity, why Mandalore even established at this point? I know the name comes from an old unused idea from Empire Strikes Back. But as far as I'm aware, the Mandos being established as the super anti-Jedi culture entirely made of warriors that somehow have better technology than just about everyone else for some reason wasn't a thing until Traviss got her hands on them several years later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter Noventa View Post
    I think there might have been a reference in one of the 'Tales of the...' books to Fett's 'Mandalorian Battle Armor', but he himself wasn't Mandalorian until the Clone Wars retconned a good chunk of EU stuff.

    I never read the Traviss books so I don't know about the rest of it.
    Actually, you can thank Bantha Tracks in 1979 for giving the first information on Mandalorians. Then Boba and Fenn Shysa appeared in 1983 Marvel comics as super-commando protectors of Mandalore. Then West End Games got ahold of the Mandalorians, and expanded them even further. Multiple ret-cons occurred scattered through what was then the Expanded Universe throughout the 1990s. Then the Prequels came out, and a firm timeline was established, and another series of re-cons occured- driven by the Republic Commando video games and Traviss' books. But then the Clone Wars animated series came out, and threw much of Traviss' work out the window.

    Disney finally killed all the EU, and most of Traviss' work, by declaring everything except the movies and the Clone Wars TV series as official.
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    Default Re: Reading Heir to the Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by lt_murgen View Post
    Actually, you can thank Bantha Tracks in 1979 for giving the first information on Mandalorians. Then Boba and Fenn Shysa appeared in 1983 Marvel comics as super-commando protectors of Mandalore. Then West End Games got ahold of the Mandalorians, and expanded them even further. Multiple ret-cons occurred scattered through what was then the Expanded Universe throughout the 1990s. Then the Prequels came out, and a firm timeline was established, and another series of re-cons occured- driven by the Republic Commando video games and Traviss' books. But then the Clone Wars animated series came out, and threw much of Traviss' work out the window.

    Disney finally killed all the EU, and most of Traviss' work, by declaring everything except the movies and the Clone Wars TV series as official.
    They've been steadily reviving some bits of the old EU, though, on a case-by-case basis. I believe Thrawn is now officially canon again.

    It would be totally cool with me if Disney decided to re-canonize the Zahn novels -- at least those parts that don't contradict their new canon -- while ignoring the rest of the old EU, which frankly I do not miss.

    Respectfully,

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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    They've been steadily reviving some bits of the old EU, though, on a case-by-case basis. I believe Thrawn is now officially canon again.
    Well, with the Thrawn novel, I would certainly hope so.

    ETA: Bytheway, a couple days ago Zahn announced a sequel is confirmed. So woot for me, and other Thrawn fans!
    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-10-09 at 02:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    There's that, and the fact that imperial naval doctrine was a mess of politics and accounting over effective tactics. Of course the Executor was alone and undefended, the empire insists it's destroyers are a line of battle unto themselves and equal to an entire arrangement of ships of the line, weaknesses be damned, because that's how you justify more destroyers being built. TIE fighters are held together by duct tape and prayer because the empire insists on mass tactics on cheaply made unshielded fighters backing impossibly large and expensive capital ships.

    So of course the Executor did what it did. It's designed to act without cover and so are all the ships around it. An arrangement that big had dozens of admirals of various rank competing for glory and no clear leader outside Vader and the Emperor, who were busy. Then when the Executor went down and the DS2 with it anyone who would immediately take charge was also gone. Combine that with the disruption of battle meditation and a loss of morale and it ably explains chaos allowing a rebel victory past that point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It's been a while since I've read the trilogy, but I think Thrawn almost always explains himself to Pellaeon, which is not a courtesy he grants those who he doesn't think will be able to learn from explanations. Thrawn isn't trying to show everyone how great and awesome he is, he's trying to whip the Empire into shape and forge them into the best functioning military he can make them into. His views of this differ from the Emperor's, and differ from other Imperial leaders as well. But when he has the reins to the Empire, his opinion is the one that matters.
    This is the most important thing to understand.

    And to expound, he's not just trying to whip them into shape. He has to undo all the damage done before hand. It's not just who can learn. It's who is salvageable. It'd actually be easier if he was starting from scratch.
    My current “Fantasy Fantasy” team (5 members allowed, only 1 from a world, series must be active): Jon Snow, Percy Jackson, Harry Dresden, Minmax, Belkar Bitterleaf. Back to 1/5ths Dinosaur mounted , dang it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    This is the most important thing to understand.

    And to expound, he's not just trying to whip them into shape. He has to undo all the damage done before hand. It's not just who can learn. It's who is salvageable. It'd actually be easier if he was starting from scratch.
    Spoiler: MAJOR spoiler for the trilogy
    Show
    Well, the whole "select the best operatives in missions and clone the crap out of them,
    so each specialty has the best we have to offer. But also vary it with several different people as templates for each specialty, so it's not monolithic and still allows for discourse and debate on how to best achieve the Empire's goals" sure as hell helped, and that can't be gotten starting from scratch.
    That was flat-out the most terrifying thing Thrawn did, really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Spoiler: MAJOR spoiler for the trilogy
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    Well, the whole "select the best operatives in missions and clone the crap out of them,
    so each specialty has the best we have to offer. But also vary it with several different people as templates for each specialty, so it's not monolithic and still allows for discourse and debate on how to best achieve the Empire's goals" sure as hell helped, and that can't be gotten starting from scratch.
    That was flat-out the most terrifying thing Thrawn did, really.
    Exactly, along with..

    Spoiler
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    Killing off the ones he think can't change/be saved, and rewarding ones who show creativity even when they fail. Probably my favorite two Thrawn moments...


    Spoiler: Quoted section Chapt 16 Heir to the Empire
    Show

    The bridge was uncommonly quiet as Thrawn led the way to the aft stairway and descended into the
    starboard crew pit. He walked past the crewers at their consoles, past the officers standing painfully erect behind
    them, and came to a halt at the control station for the starboard tractor beams. “Your name,” he said, his voice
    excruciatingly calm.

    “Cris Pieterson, sir,” the young man seated at the console answered, his eyes wary.

    “You were in charge of the tractor beam during our engagement with the starfighter.” It was a statement, not a
    question.

    “Yes, sir—but what happened wasn’t my fault.”

    Thrawn’s eyebrows arched, just a bit. “Explain.”

    Pieterson started to gesture to the side, changed his mind in midmotion. “The target did something with his
    acceleration compensator that killed his velocity vector—”

    “I’m aware of the facts,” Thrawn cut in. “I’m waiting to hear why his escape wasn’t your fault.”

    “I was never properly trained for such an occurrence, sir,” Pieterson said, a flicker of defiance touching his
    eyes. “The computer lost the lock, but seemed to pick it up again right away. There was no way for me to know it
    had really picked up something else until—”

    “Until the proton torpedoes detonated against the projector?”

    Pieterson held his gaze evenly. “Yes, sir.”

    For a long moment Thrawn studied him. “Who is your officer?” he asked at last.

    Pieterson’s eyes shifted to the right. “Ensign Colclazure, sir.”

    Slowly, deliberately, Thrawn turned to the tall man standing rigidly at attention with his back to the walkway.
    “You are in charge of this man?”

    Colclazure swallowed visibly. “Yes, sir,” he said.

    “Was his training also your responsibility?”

    “Yes, sir,” Colclazure said again.

    “Did you, during that training, run through any scenarios similar to what just happened?”

    “I . . . don’t remember, sir,” the ensign admitted. “The standard training package does include scenarios
    concerning loss of lock and subsequent reestablishment confirmation.”

    Thrawn threw a brief glance back down at Pieterson. “Did you recruit him as well, Ensign?”

    “No, sir. He was a conscript.”

    “Does that make him less worthy of your training time than a normal enlistee?”

    “No, sir.” Colclazure’s eyes flicked to Pieterson. “I’ve always tried to treat my subordinates equally.”

    “I see.” Thrawn considered a moment, then half turned to look past Pellaeon’s shoulder. “Rukh.”

    Pellaeon started as Rukh brushed silently past him; he hadn’t realized the Noghri had followed them down.

    Thrawn waited until Rukh was standing at his side, then turned back to Colclazure. “Do you know the
    difference between an error and a mistake, Ensign?”

    The entire bridge had gone deathly still. Colclazure swallowed again, his face starting to go pale. “No, sir.”

    “Anyone can make an error, Ensign. But that error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”

    He raised a finger— And, almost lazily, pointed. Pellaeon never even saw Rukh move. Pieterson certainly never had
    time to scream.

    From farther down the crew pit came the sound of someone trying valiantly not to be sick. Thrawn glanced over Pellaeon’s
    shoulder again and gestured, and the silence was further broken by the sound of a pair of stormtroopers coming forward.
    “Dispose of it,” the Grand Admiral ordered them, turning away from Pieterson’s crumpled body and pinning Colclazure with
    a stare. “The error, Ensign,” he told the other softly, “has now been corrected. You may begin training a replacement.”



    Spoiler: Spoiler: Quoted section from "The Last Command"
    Show
    “That does not mean, however,” Thrawn went on, “that the actions ofthe Chimaera’s crew should be
    ignored. Come with me, Captain.”

    Pellaeon got to his feet, the tightness returning. “Yes, sir.”

    Thrawn led the way to the aft stairway and descended to the starboard crew pit. He walked past the
    crewers at their consoles, past the officers standing stiffly behind them, and came to a halt at the control station
    for the starboard tractor beams. “Your name,” he said quietly to the young man standing at rigid attention there.

    “Ensign Mithel,” the other said, his face pale but composed. The expression of a man facing his death.

    “Tell me what happened, Ensign.”

    Mithel swallowed. “Sir, I had just established a positive lock on the freighter when it broke up into a cluster of
    trac-reflective particles. The targeting system tried to lock on all of them at once and went into a loop
    snarl.”

    “And what did you do?”

    “I—sir, I knew that if I waited for the particles to dissipate normally, the target starfighter would be out of
    range. So I tried to dissipate them myself by shifting the tractor beam into sheer-plane mode.”

    “It didn’t work.”

    A quiet sigh slipped through Mithel’s lips. “No, sir. The target-lock system couldn’t handle it. It froze up
    completely.”

    “Yes.” Thrawn cocked his head slightly. “You’ve had a few moments now to consider your actions, Ensign.
    Can you think of anything you should have done instead?”

    The young man’s lip twitched. “No, sir. I’m sorry, but I can’t. I don’t remember anything in the manual that
    covers this kind of situation.”

    Thrawn nodded. “Correct,” he agreed. “There isn’t anything. Several methods have been suggested over the
    past few decades for counteracting the covert shroud gambit, none of which has ever been made practical.
    Yours was one of the more innovative attempts, particularly given how little time you had to come up with it.
    The fact that it failed does not in any way diminish that.”

    A look of cautious disbelief was starting to edge into Mithel’s face. “Sir?”

    “The Empire needs quick and creative minds, Ensign,” Thrawn said. “You’re hereby promoted to
    lieutenant … and your first assignment is to find a way to break a covert shroud. After their success here,
    the Rebellion may try the gambit again.”


    One is salvageable. One isn't.
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    (And yes, I know I'm playing the long odds on some of these!)

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