Author Topic: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna  (Read 4306 times)

Offline Darth Delicious

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2005, 11:09 PM »
I haven't read Labyrinth yet, but plan to. I just finished Jedi Trial and Dark Rendevous. Dark Rendevous was good, except the author referred to "earth" creatures far to much in describing things...but Yoda confronting Dooku while Dooku tried to tempt him to the Dark Side was amazing.

I think you should show us (down the line, of course) the moment where Grievous punks Nute and puts him in his place.

-DD
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2005, 11:39 PM »
I've been meaning to buy and read that book...

Do you know any specifics about when Grievous tears into Nute?  I like your suggestion, but want to kind of know a bit more about it when I try to show that scene.

BTW, the Clone Wars at this time are only supposed to be about 3 months into the war.  That still leaves about 3 years of hell to create in the photonovles.  I'm thinking about 12-15 more Clone Wars stories.

 :P

Offline Darth Delicious

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2005, 12:02 AM »
I'd write one if I didn't think it'd be hell for you to try to put into photonovel form... ;D

I don't know the specifics (not sure there are any as yet) about the confrontation, but I know it had to do with Nute referring the Grievous as a droid...and ordering him like one.

-DD
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2005, 12:27 PM »
We could write a story together - I think that sounds cool.

Anyways, over at RS.com - Lance Quazar wrote a huge piece about this story -

Chewie,

This was without a doubt the most visually stunning chapter to date and easily one of the best looking photonovels Iíve ever seen. I loved the opening space battle, LOVED, the scene of the bombardment and ADORED the scene of the troopers in the river. You clearly spent many hours of intense labor on this and it shows. This chapter is a visual feast.

However, I have to be honest, in spite of that, this chapter really didnít do much for me.

From a storytelling perspective, this chapter is, unfortunately, a bit forgettable. Ultimately, nothing of real significance happens during this chapter and I was left with the feeling that, if I had somehow missed this chapter, it wouldnít matter in the slightest. You could go from Chapter 9 to Chapter 11 and not missing anything.

This was a throw-away adventure which didnít hold anything of significance in terms of plot, character or theme. Even though you are writing a serial, each chapter needs to be a self-contained and satisfying story in its own right, while also contributing to the greater whole. Itís sort of why I never cared for "UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE" Ė that story involved Ryrkof sitting on the sidelines in someone elseís story. This one, while at least giving Rykrof something to do, is still fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Think about it like this Ė at the end of the chapter, what has changed? What have we learned about the story or the characters? Have the characters themselves undergone any significant growth? Have they learned anything new? Has the story deepened in complexity or been taken to the next level?

Sadly, the answers to most of these questions seems to be "no". While thereís nothing inherently wrong with the occasional stand-alone adventure, this particular chapter has so little in terms of conflict, danger and stakes that it feels largely unnecessary.

Now I completely respect your decision not to have Ryrkrof participate in hugely significant galactic events in every chapter, or to just barely escape by the skin of his teeth each time. Youíre right, that would make the series feel "fake" and repetitive.

However, in this particular story, the greatest and most significant threat that Rykrof faces is from a pair of wild nexu. Now, itís certainly fine to enhance a story with additional dangers and obstacles, but a random and impersonal threat like the nexu shouldnít be the climax of your entire story, even if it is just one chapter.

Later, Rykrof and his team are able to disable the generator with amazing ease, at least partly due to the fact that the "incompetent" Geonosian is late in his patrol. You should NEVER allow a hero to succeed because of the incompetence or stupidity of his adversary. Itís just sloppy drama. How can our protagonist be a hero if he only faces against tardy imbeciles who arenít doing their jobs? Villains should be dangerous and threatening at all times. Sadly, even Lucas dropped the ball on this one by making the Neimodians such boobs. Think of how much better TPM would have been if Nute Gunray was actually a bad [censored], instead of a stuttering twerp. By extension, it would have made Sidious and Maul look even more dangerous, since they were even more powerful.

In the beginning of the story, we are told that destroying this factory would be a significant victory for the Republic. But later, Grievous dismisses the victory by saying the factory was just one out of "hundreds." If the villain isnít concerned about our heroís victory, then it really isnít much of a victory, is it? Why did we bother following Rykrof on this adventure, when there was very little real import to it and almost no real danger?

Once again, I respect your decision not to have Rykrof single-handedly save the galaxy each time out of the gate. But thereís a happy medium to be found between that and going on a minor mission with no real danger and no lasting consequences.

Or, if youíre not going to make the plot the focus of the episode, give us some meaty character development to anchor and drive the episode. It was great to finally see the $EXY Alyssa Enloe unmasked, but you should have moved their conversation to the beginning of the episode to underscore the danger Rykrof was facing. Now itís not just his life on the line, but he has responsibilities to his wife and unborn kid. This would have made the dangerous he faces have extra weight. Instead, he only talks to his wife after he is out of danger.

(Additionally, the dialogue with Rykrof and his wife felt just a tad cornyÖ)

And then the story ends on a wholly unrelated note with Gunray and Grievous. This scene didnít do much for me at all (though I liked your Dooku dialogue, I think you do a very good job with this character.)

Now, I havenít read any of the Clone Wars EU material, and I certainly appreciate your desire to put in subplots and touch upon other aspects and characters in the SW universe. I loved the introduction to Grievous, for example, in your earlier chapter.

But this conflict feels pointless. Frankly, Gunray is a lame character who you shouldnít spend too much time on. Iíd rather see you developing your own characters like Trigg Fuda.

And finally I didnít feel that the scene with Palpatine was necessary at all. It feels a bit unrealistic that Palps would have the time to personally congratulate Ryrkrof on the success of just one mission. (After all, heís got a very full schedule, what with running both sides of the war.) Weíve seen Palps before, but heís always been necessary to the plot. Here, it feels gratuitous.

Chewie, I know I have been very critical, but it is only because I am such an admirer of your efforts. I love your work and I thought the visuals here were your best yet. The "garage" on Coruscant, the other visuals here are absolutely first rate!

But, most of the time, your stories have weight and significant and excitement and tension and this chapter just felt like it was going through the motions. Again, at the end of the day, if I had skipped this episode, I wouldnít have missed anything in terms of your larger story or character arcs. And thatís a shame. I wouldnít have written all this, though, if I wasnít such a big fan and if I didnít think you had the potential to do better. I certainly did enjoy this story, but I have to place it on the lower rungs of your photonovel ladder.

Darth Delicious also gave some feedback -

Now THAT is constructive criticism.

That's a lot of food for thought, Lance...and you know, from a story perspective, I found myself agreeing with you.

I haven't viewed these with a critical eye because I'm so caught up in Chewie's talent in presenting a visual feast for the eyes...but as an editor and a writer myself, that's something I should have been saying.

I will say though, I disagree in part with the fact that every mission should be a major struggle...I liked that this one was fairly simple. Not every installation is going to have good security, and a team with skill could slip in and out the Rykrof's unit did...it adds an element of luck, which, let's face it, is very prevalent in Star Wars and life in general. Not every situation goes to hell in a handbasket before it's over.

However, since the mission was easy, I do agree we could have seen more character development in it's place.

Still, I tend to give these things the benefit of the doubt, because Chewie has a way of taking things that seemed unimportant in one story and weaving them into another.

Great feedback, though! I'm sure Chewie will have a lot to think about on this one.

-DD


 :P

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2005, 12:28 PM »
Guys - I really appreciate all of the feedback. I really, really do. That's what makes me enjoy doing these.

Lance, your comments are very well noted. I really enjoy reading your comments, and I agree I could have had some more drama in this story. I simply chose not too, and wanted instead to just show a routine mission that Rykrof was on.

As for Palpatine's conversation with Rykrof - these are actually going to be very important as Rykrof's character progresses. Somewhere down the road, Rykrof will face a choice - is Palpatine good for the Republic? Also, note the subtle hint that Palpatine threw in there about how "Jedi weren't necessary for the success of the mission."
Palpatine sees Rykrof as a growing influence in the non-Clone members of the Republic military. That is why he is making time to speak with Rykrof.

As for Grievous - the loss on Cholnagga is significant - he just doesn't want to admit that to Nute Gunray, who he is beginning to despise. I know some may not like the Viceroy, but personally I love this character. I am going to take the opportunity to explore more on Gunray and use him in the stories. Trigg Fuuda will be making a comeback though - no worries there. But Trigg Fuuda will prove why he is a leader of a terrorist organization, and not an elite member of the Separatists.

Overall, again, I didn't want to make this a story where there was character development... I was going for a visual story, and I think that's what I achieved with this one. With as many stories I am doing, I can't have them all be dramatic, with a huge inner character story to each one. It would get old fast I think.

So, there will be some stories that just detail an event in the war like this one did, and there will be others that are more in depth as far as character development. This one was definitely more or less an account of an event in the war, and not one where personal sacrifices or huge decisions were made. More of those will come though, trust me.

DD - thanks also for your input. This story will definitely weave into another, especially in the sense of what is happening with Palpatine trying to influence Rykrof, as well as the confrontation between Grievous and Gunray.

 :P

Offline Dimetrodon

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2005, 04:15 PM »
I like the commando aspect of this story, really adds to the flavors we've been getting from you Justin. And I like how Gunray challenged Grievous. As big a wussy as he is, he actually showed some sort of balls on that one. haha.
And then Count Dooku, the father of the confederacy scolds his children. hehe.


I have an idea for you also. At the begining of each episode, you should have something saying when it takes places. however many months or so into the war.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2005, 05:40 PM »
Thanks for the comments Dimetrodon.  After Lance's feedback, I was beginning to lose a bit of confidence in myself.  But Lance's comments are definitely well thought out and will help me out.

I like how Gunray challenged him too.  I really like Gunray's character a lot - and I hope he gets a bit of good screen time in ROTS.  If not, I'll have to make up for that in this series.

Good idea on explaining the timeline better.  I might chat with you a bit about the whole timeline in the Clone Wars as I think you have a pretty good idea of it.

 :P

Offline Ryan

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2005, 10:32 PM »
Visually stunning! And A decent episode. There wasn't a lot of excitement, which isn't a bad thing. It is good to see Rykrof not be at the center of everything and almost die in every mission. It does make it seem more realistic. The Jungle looked really cool, one of the best sets yet.  I really liked the Republic ship as well it is cool how it is starting to look more like the Empire's ships. :) Someone, I believe it was Lance said that you could skip chapter 10 and go straight from 9 to 11 and not miss anything. I kinda agree, not much happens here to significantly advance the plot and it doesn't seem like it will have much if any affect on the overall outcome of the story. But I think that this is a good thing to have from time to time. The audience needs a chance to catch their breath every once and awhile. I think that's what makes Stargate SG-1 such a great show (sorry going off on a tangent here :P) There are lots of action packed episodes with the main characters right at the brink of death and destruction  but every so often they throw in a comical or less exciting show that doesn't have much impact on the overall plot, which seems to be what you are doing. If this were to be a short series then you could get away with making every episode action packed but since we are in this for the long haul it is nice to have a little break as a reader. You do have to be careful not to make to many lighter episodes though, or it will take away from the sense of urgency and the CW won't seem as big. Keep in mind we can hold our breaths for awhile. ;) :)

Keep it up! I'm looking forward to the next installment! ;D
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2005, 11:01 PM »
SLC, you kinda hit the nail on the head at what I was aiming for in this installment - a mission that is definitely a positive one for the Republic - but not a main story in the overall plot. 

My main goal in this one was to show a basic mission where Rykrof does his duty as a soldier of the Republic - this one was not meant to be a cliff hanger, where Rykrof gets out by the skin of his teeth or an important character dies like Boracca did in #6 - "Assassins on Evil."

I did want to throw in the shot of the facilty getting bombarded to show that there actually was a large battle going on -



But fortunately for Rykrof, he was only involved in the undercover part of the attack - and for one of the few times lately, he was 100% successful in his mission.

Overall, remember that is is meant to be a huge, long series that will cover a lifetime of events.  Every episode won't be overly dramatic, some may be a tad boring, some will be better than others, etc.

A couple things to remember though - Palpatine speaking to Rykrof at the end is significant.  He is attempting to persuade an influetial non-clone member of the military that the Jedi are not the saviors of the Republic.  And having Rykrof succeed in a mission without Jedi help will only make the Jedi seem less necessary.

So, the series will continue.  There is going to be a major battle coming up soon in one photonovel that some people might recognize from the BATTLEFONT XBOX game.  That one will be mostly a documentation of one hell of a battle - but there will be some signifigance with Rykrof.  Hope it won't be one of those where people feel like they "wouldn't have missed anything" if they hadn't read it, or one they wouldn't have minded skipping over.

 :P

Offline DooMTrooper

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2005, 10:11 AM »
I can't remember if I commented on this back over in RS but your novels keep getting better CHEWIE, It was great to finally see Grevious in there and the jungle shots were fantastic. The alien beasts really added to it.
I can't wait to see your next :) and I hope theres some saber action.
(Did you not post a preview there of your next work? the far away shot of Clones and Tanks?)
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2005, 11:09 AM »
Thanks DooMTrooper.  I appreciate the feedback.  This photonovel was a big challenge for me.  There will definitely be some saber action in many upcoming stories.

The far away shot of Clones and tanks... do you mean the Rhen Var preview in the snow?

 :P

Offline DooMTrooper

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2005, 12:32 PM »
Ya, Rhen Var sorry.
I really should know that seeing the amount of BF I play ::)

I have a few screenshots of Rhen Var (Battlefront) in my webshots account if you need some inspiration, which I highly doubt you do :)

Edit: ^ scrap that comment, I have one shot of it and It's Imperial Vs. Rebel, Sorry I should check first.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2005, 12:35 PM by DooMTrooper »
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2005, 03:00 PM »
Yeah, I did post a Rhen Var preview over there too.  That is going to be a very hard photonovel to pull off.  But after next weekend, I am going to devote some time to getting it up and going.  Might throw in another chapter though before that one that is less challenging.

Feel free to send any pics my way, I could always use more ideas - pike1067@earthlink.net

 :P

Offline DooMTrooper

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2005, 08:35 AM »
Email sent† ;)

Any plans for Imperial era photonovels? Or maybe Vader's Jedi Purge set after EP3?
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: RE #10 - Depths of Cholganna
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2005, 11:56 AM »
Great work yet again Chewie.  Not only are the photos great, the story is very solid!  Can't wait to read the next installment.
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