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Well, I did bestir myself to open up Vader's Mask long enough to… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Well, I did bestir myself to open up Vader's Mask long enough to leave a note saying that I'm alive and put up a new poll (What is the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin like?... vote if you have an opinion! It's right on the front page.

In celebration of doing so much arduous work on the site (Fern slaps self for being a lazy, bad sitekeeper), today's rec is on VM:

Outer Rim and its sequel, The Storm and the Lightning, are an alternate universe in which the Skywalker family has retreated to the safety of Tatooine rather than taking part in the great matters of the galaxy--Anakin, it appears, decided to take Uncle Owen's advice and stay on Tatooine, not getting involved.

But when you're the Chosen One, that's not really an option. If it's not you, it could be... someone else.

Outer Rim

Note: "Outer Rim" was written before AotC came out and is based in TPM assumptions (otherwise known as Amidala is Amidala, and Owen was Obi-Wan's brother, something I'm quite glad turned out not to be true, though the same is not true of Amidala's preferred name). I'd like to go back and have another whack at this, so feedback would be much appreciated.

Since I feel like I should actually say something worth answering at some point, and I've now mentioned at least four AUs here, I thought I'd share an observation.

I think it's my proclivity for writing (and reading) alternate universe stories that makes me so very impatient with inaccurate adaptations of books for the screen. The reason I believe this is the way I approach creating an AU--basically, the notion I start with is, "What happens if we pull 'x' or change 'y'? How different will that make the whole galaxy?"

In the case of "Outer Rim," "Coming Home," and "The True Order," the change was huge and fundamental, of course--Anakin chose to leave the Jedi Order and devote his full time to his family, in varying circumstances. In the "Lady Vader" stories, it's also a fundamental change--Amidala re-enters the storyline--though it's not one made through character choices, which I think gives it a different flavor: they're still dealing with the same set of circumstances, and the new addition skews the equation ever more with each new decision made. "Grace" starts out essentially in the ESB timeline, but by the time we get to "Ascension," the whole galaxy is radically different.

But what if it was something else? What if Jar Jar hadn't fallen in with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan? What if Shmi Skywalker had never been taken as a slave in the first place?

To switch fandoms, what if Harry had chosen to sit in a crowded compartment on the way to Hogwarts, thinking he could meet people? What if Trevor the Toad hadn't gotten lost on the way?

And so on.

This comes down to the first rumors I heard about Jackson's take on Tolkien... when I heard he was cutting Tom Bombadil's sequence, my first thought was "Whoa, in that case, Merry won't have the blade he needs to injure the Witch King, and Eowyn might fail... and what if the theory is right that it's actually Merry who killed him... I mean, I don't believe it, but..."

In other words, when I think about a change, my first instinct is to extrapolate it, to follow it to its logical conclusion. I find that interesting. Turn left instead of right, and get an entirely different universe from it. So when a movie makes a fairly radical change but just blithely arrives at the same spot, the circuits in my brain that do this start looking like a pinball machine on TILT. It's the treating of the changes as if they're not going to, well, change things that makes the nerves stand on end. Had Jackson done a study of what would have happened if the hobbits had bypassed Bombadil's, thus leaving Merry without the right weapon when it was needed, extrapolating it out to a failure against the Witch King... that, I would have been interested in. I mean, completely. But to just skip it and end up getting to the same place? That leaves me cold.

Anyway, I just think that's the way my AU brain is wired, and that it really plays into the way I view canon.
3 comments or Leave a comment
silverhill From: silverhill Date: March 22nd, 2004 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's true, and I love taking out those "what ifs" to their logical conclusion. I started a thread about that at the Harry Potter discussion board I frequent. I just find it a fascinating exercise.

On the other hand, though, you can consider that if something is meant to happen, it will find a way to happen regardless.

One of my all-time favorite books To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis addresses this theory.

Of course, in that case, you have to address how things fell into place in just the right way to create the same result. And if you don't, you're not being AU and are just ignoring canon.

BTW - You should read To Say Nothing of the Dog. It's a marvelous book.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 23rd, 2004 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Need to work on that. It's supposed to be one station, maybe a quarter the size of the Death Star, which is a control point for a net of remotes that are equipped with hyperdrive and appear whenever the sensors pick up motion.

Nothing (other than the Kenobi/Lars relationship) that needs to be changed to fit with canon?
angel_gidget From: angel_gidget Date: March 28th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
It make sense when you describe it for me. For moi, it's a matter of expectation. It only aggravates me if the movie adaption is an adaption of a book I've read *recently*.

For instance, I haven't read LOTR in ages, so the differences between it and the movie didn't bug me. I did find it annoying however, that in the 1st Harry Potter movie, Hagrid didn't mention to the wizards at the beginning of the film that Sirius had wanted to take Harry instead of letting Hagrid take him to Dumbledore.

But it doesn't annoy me when Hollywood messes with the worlds of the comic books, because the saga is so long, they have to change things. I don't expect them to be true to the story, only to the characters. And even then, they have plenty of leeway.
3 comments or Leave a comment