in Empire Star, the poet Ni Ty Lee has experienced everything that everyone else in the galaxy has experienced. Because of the time traveling aspect of the story, and the way that many characters turn out to be the same person, are we meant to believe that in the end there is only one character, and Ni Ty Lee is his/her last incarnation? Is any explanation offered or implied? The book is so complicated, I'm worried that the answer to this was given and I just missed it.
I think that NTL is there as a hint that it's a big universe and the same things happen and the same stories are told with different people, see Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" for example. I'm not sure I'd like to say more without re-reading the story - it's been a while.