The Death of the Star Wars Expanded Universe

Be forewarned.  This shall from this point on be an extremely geeky entry.   Mostly because I’m putting on the role of Comic Book Guy, because I’ve got a serious bone to pick with the current batch of Star Wars Expanded Universe authors.

For well over a decade, the Star Wars universe has been quasi-officially elaborated upon by many talented authors.  Of course, the most of which is Timothy Zahn through his Thrawn Trilogy contribution.  There have been a number of others who have reached into the upper echelon, not only by telling great Star Wars stories, but great Sci Fi and Fiction in general.  The X-Wing novels and comics are a series that also immediately come to mind.  Even in recent years, Zahn gave us yet another gem when he gave us Outbound Flight, the Prequel era backstory novel to the Thrawn Trilogy.  Generally, since the EU Renaissance, quality has been the norm and crap has been the minority.

However, I am here today to tell you that in the past few years, Star Wars EU has sucked.  And it sucks bad.  Even to the point where it seems glaringly insulting to not only the fans, but past authors who were actually good within the sandbox.  Apart from Zahn’s work, the only series which has been worth looking into was New Jedi Order, which ended around five years ago.  If you’ve not read anything after that point, there be spoilers from here on out.  But trust me, you aren’t missing anything.

Aside from some ho-hum filler stories occurring chronologically shortly after the conclusion of New Jedi Order, the big storyline / series has been the one titled Legacy of the Force.  Essentially, it is telling the story of yet another emerging conflict within the New Republic (or whatever they call it these days), and the re-emergence of the Sith.  And get this.  Han and Leah’s son, Jacen, is the new Sith.  A Skywalker.

I can get past the sillyness of continuing political conflict, as it probably wouldn’t really be Star Wars without it.  But bringing back the Sith, and more specifically making a Skywalker family member the main one, spits in the face of the films and prior EU.  It may sound like a fanboy nag, admittedly.  But maybe a more modern parallel can explain my frustration better.  What if ten years from now, another author other than J.K. Rowling decided to add to the Harry Potter universe by bringing back the Death Eaters and making Ron one of them?  Completely pointless and contradictory.  Same deal with the current Star Wars storylines.   And I’ve not even mentioned how they’ve managed to kill off big named and popular characters.  We won’t even go there.  To me, that either screams of a desperate cry for attention, or a lame move by an author who knows that we know they suck and is just doing it all out of spite.

If there would be anything I wanted to say concerning it all, I’d want to say it to both the current writers and casual fans who may look into the series.  To the first, stop.  Just pretend you never dreamed this crap up, and we may forgive you.  To the latter, avoid these pieces of crap by all means necessary.


3 responses to “The Death of the Star Wars Expanded Universe

  • Guiguioh

    I beg to differ. Legacy of the Force is the best book series in years in the EU in my opinion.

    Anakin, Luke (in Dark Empire) all became Sith Lord, so why not Jacen. It is in line with the previous storyline.

    Killing characters is a good move, because the sense of danger is back.

    So you have the right to hate the current EU, but don’t tell other to not check it out and let them make their opinion for themself.

    And besides, I’m not alone in my opinion. The latest Legacy of the Force was at number 1 in the New York best selling list, witch never happen before for a Star Wars novel.

  • Jace Terrik

    Yeah, I have to agree with you. Legacy of the Force was basically the Prequels Redux, though somewhat better written. Which isn’t saying much.

    The problem is that the writers aren’t that bad – except for maybe Christie Golden, who is basically Stephanie Mayer Lite – but that there is so little to do.

    With such a long-running franchise and having a despot like George Lucas hamstring any creative thoughts, it’s hard to come up with new ideas that can get past the censors at LucasFilm. Until we get back some good writers and editors who will take risks – killing characters isn’t taking risks, it’s short-term shock marketing – well, Star Wars will keep getting stale.

    In the meantime, we can enjoy small, good stories like “Death Troopers”.

  • GodotIsWaiting4U

    Not the EU as a whole. Just stuff post-NJO in the chronology. The Legacy comics are awful too.

    But look at how beautifully the KOTOR era is blossoming. THAT’S where the good shit is.

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