As Simple and as Complicated as All That

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Fanfiction
Title: As Simple and as Complicated as All That
Author(s): Xia Sang Li.
Date(s): 1996-1998
Length: "Let's just say when it comes to length Ben Hur pales in comparison.""[1]
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars
External Links:
Wayback machine link
As Simple and as Complicated as All That (PDF), Archived version

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As Simple and As Complicated As All That is a Star Wars Expanded Universe fanfic saga by Xia Sang Li featuring the Luke/Mara pairing.

From the author's Livejournal:

As Simple and As Complicated As All That (NC-17) (2006 version) - four part series ~~ (Consider these stories to be AU of Gomi, Kasu, Kuzu and Hogo.)

Book I: Enkousokugetsu (31 chapters - complete
Interlude 1/1 (ASAACAAT satellite story - complete)
Book II - Kenninfubatsu (5 chapters posted - WIP)
Book III - title and story impending
Book IV -title and story impending[2]
illustrated by Katja Schmitt

One Fan's Epic Journey To Resurrect The Series

Gather around, children. I’m about to tell you a story of ye olde fandom. (Real life fandom friends, I’m sorry. You’ve heard this story a thousand times, I know.)

Long before Disney bought Star Wars, long before the new trilogy, before even the prequels, and themselves predating the “remastered” versions of the original trilogy, Star Wars experienced it’s second renaissance in novel form. And comic book form. Skim the pages of the dozens upon dozens of Expanded Universe (”EU”) novels and you’ll find lots of foundations for the things you see on screen these days. Ben Solo, for sure, has his origins there.

But it was also a different era for the fandom. The 90′s saw the transition from fanzine culture to online fan fiction archives. The programming ability and computing power you needed to make a fan fiction archive that the authors could edit themselves did not yet exist in an accessible way. Series based archives popped up, mostly hand curated by webmasters posting .txt files of chapters and stories that they’d received from authors via email. Or usenet. Or mailinglists. I spent many of my teen years on Gossamer, the X-Files archive, and Fanfix.com, my favorite Star Wars archive. I remember haunting a Babylon 5 archive at the time, too, but it’s lost to history.

I read everything. Everything. But, by far my favorite fan fiction of all time was, and I will always remember this, “As Simple and as Complicated as All That” by Xia Sang Li. It was epic. Four novels. NOVELS. Dozens of chapters. Hundreds and hundreds of pages. It follows Luke Skywalker’s decision to finally throw caution to the wind and fall into bed, and in love, with Mara Jade. Written in the sweet spot after her character was introduced and explored, but before permission was given to the licensed authors to marry Luke off, it was an amazing indulgence. And, it was epic in scale and scope. The great plot twist in book one was that, spoiler alert, when Gaeriel Captison died, leaving Luke to look after her orphaned daughter, she didn’t tell the whole story. You see, Luke and Mara had indulged each other before, had a secret love child, and this brief period of time was erased or minimized in their memories. Slowly, the two come to realize, through their haze of lust and passion, that something is conspiring to keep them apart, and that this little girl isn’t who she seemed. Themes of family, and duty, and passion, and trauma. Force visions, original characters, and sex sex sex. It was amazing.

Epic right??? Right?? Wanna read it??

Originally posted by gothamfox

It’s impossible. The Fanfix.com archive zipped the textfiles, so the Wayback Machine hasn’t archived them. The Geocities page went down before the Geocities archive was published after its closure. And, the original author’s blog, not updated in a decade, features only a few chapters of a rewrite, an AU of her original epic.

But it’s not dead.

Starting in 1998, my teenage self printed the whole fucking epic. I did one chapter at a time. It took more than a year. I had it all saved, too, on a 3 ½ inch floppy that got destroyed. Beyond the author’s own hard drive somewhere on this green earth, I think this might be the only copy.

Every few years, when nostalgia overtakes me, I reread it, from front to back. The gender politics are very different. The interpretation of Luke, too, vastly different from modern fandom’s take. Sometimes I wish I could find the author, buy her dinner, and tell her how important her work was to me. But, that’s probably impossible. Sometimes I think about re-digitizing it and, like a different kind of pirate, putting it back into circulation. But, that’s just a wish. A whimsical dream. The notebook is at least 3 inches thick, with front to back printed pages of text. It would take… years. Certainly it took years to write. But, it was part of the floating world of fandom. And, it faded away. Stuff like this should never fade away.

Fan fic authors… I implore you. Never delete your work.

You can’t know the impact you make. You might think it not good, embarrassing, or irrelevant. It’s not. Not to someone. Not to me. [3]

References

  1. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20021008160511/http://www.iacnet.ne.jp:80/~tomeji/jaded.html
  2. ^ Xia Sang Li's Monogatari, Archived version
  3. ^ Wild Mushrooomland (turntechxgnostic: transformativeworks:...), Archived version