Monday, 12 September 2011

Star Wars Extended Universe (Books, Only)

I have got some unresolved completionist issues. I was going to link some of the words in that last sentence to specific posts in this blog, but then I realised, actually, that I'd have to link to everything I'd written so far, as well as every one of a potentially infinite number of future posts (if you take a many worlds* theory to heart, which says that every time I write a post a (possibly infinite) number of possible worlds branch off, each containing a possible post that I didn't write that time) that I haven't yet written. I suppose I could have made every letter a separate hyperlink, but that would have been unwieldy, ugly, and still wouldn't have taken future posts into account.

These issues are why I won't let myself play CCGs anymore, or MMORPGs ever. The idea of a game that never ends; that you can just keep improving in; that expands faster than it is possible for a single player to fill[?], is a sort of delicious hell. I would become a self-damned Danaid, were I to let myself. And monetary ruin at the hands of Wizards of the Coast, or the domination of my waking hours by Azeroth would probably seem to the Ancient Greeks a just punishment for for being such a slack human being, but we won't get into their ideas about appropriate use of leisure time or resources.

Now, for a more nightmarish vision of cosmic expansion, a world that as soon as you think you have explored it in its entirety will have doubled in size, we come to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. If you haven't come across the EU before, then imagine a giant game of consequences, played out over novels and trilogies rather than single sentences or body parts. It isn't going anywhere, it has no overarching narrative arc anymore, it's sole purpose is its own proliferation. It could almost be a synecdoche for the real world, if the real world were incredibly badly written.

There was a time, some time mid 1997 by my calculation, when I believed that I had read almost every Star Wars book written - that was just about when I gave up on the task, as I realised they were putting out exponentially more each year. Incidentally, the point where I realised I couldn't read any more of the books was when they find the planet of the rancors, and fight TIE fighters while riding on the rancor queen's back.

Researching this post, I have come to realise that my belief fell woefully short of the reality, as it only included those books written after the Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy and didn't include the Young Adult books. This I did at least concede at the time. But, there are also a fair few books on this list that I don't recognise.

And the worst thing? I can't really remember 1997. I think I spent a lot of it playing the Star Wars CCG, and reading Star Wars books. And playing Warhammer as well, I imagine. And Dungeons and Dragons. But what do I have to show for it? I know who Mara Jade is. But that's about it, and other than that my knowledge of the EU is like that of an ant that lives next to the beach but only knows a grain of sand.

That's a really shit simile.

*If you were thinking that the potentially infinite number of posts was a product of the possibility of us achieving immortality within my lifetime, and that I might spend that immortality blogging about failure, then good try, but all evidence currently points to cosmic expansion, which eventually results in the heat death** of the universe, a most definite end.

** Those of you who are thinking that even a finite amount of time can be filled infinitely by regression towards the infinitesimal - good game! But, the calculus of blogging is I think slightly more granular than the ordinary, mathematical one.

No comments:

Post a Comment