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STAR WARS: Long Live The Legacy Universe!


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With the negativity surrounding early reviews of the latest crime against the fandom (JK, I haven't seen the movie. It could be totally amazeballs) and some pining for the (relative) consistency of the old Expanded Universe, I thought I'd make an appreciation thread for all the old stories a bunch of us seem to have cherished.

I remember reading the Yuuzanvong (spelling?) invasion during the New Jedi Order series in a fucked up building in the shittiest apartment in San Antonio. That is the peak of the Legacy Universe to me. Some point to Thrawn, or to the X-Wing series. And I totally get it. It's a personal choice, there was so much content of such varying tones and capabilities on display!

For Jace's money, the Hand of Thrawn series is probably the best narrative. I say that with acknowledgements that the original Thrawn series is cooler and as I said, I prefer the New Jedi Order series.

 

 

Okay, thread rules! Feel free to disregard them, I don't give a fuck. But here's a fun little template:

What's your favorite?

I love the Vong invasion of the New Jedi Order series. It's a damn shame that the successor series collapses just a few stories in, and that the Legacy Universe would be scrapped not long after. But that said, let me explain why the New Jedi Order series is innocent of the broader sins attributable to most Legacy EU stories/series.

It starts off rather clumsily, with the death of Chewbacca to display the 'seriousness' of the series by detaching an expendable asset that Lucas hadn't marked as invincible. But from there, it's pretty much all up-hill in a good way. None of the Main-3 are allowed to get hurt, but the New Jedi Order series does a remarkable job of forcing the oldies to hand off the reigns of rebellion to a generation of younger heroes with direct connections to the original cast.... It's not the writers of this series' fault that successors would destroy that foundation (although some of them would take part in said destruction, but not at all a majority).

In the New Jedi Order series we get to see the New Republic not only threatened, as it hadn't really been since Thrawn's first appearance, but utterly destroyed. We get to watch the best heroes of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (not just the movies) come together in a moment of supreme crisis, some ten or fifteen books in the making, to deliver peace to a galaxy partway conquered by an extra-galactic species that didn't even have a word for it. Heroes rose and fell during the course of the war, good guys had their own motivations questioned. While the bad guys gradually came to see that their way of life was a horrific and manipulative lie.

Y'know, like Star Wars.

Most important?

As stated, Jace loves Hand of Thrawn. She thinks it perfectly establishes an ability to transfer away from direct reproductions of the Holy Trilogy while forging a future exclusively on the back of pre-existing EU material. It's not perfect, and not even as good as its predecessor from the same writer. But Hand of Thrawn highlights an important opportunity in my mind for the EU to start taking its own path. Shame on writers who succeeded it for not taking proper advantage.

Most disappointing?

Not to give in to recency bias, but the Fate of the Jedi, while being among the last entries, was also one of the most disappointing. Every interesting concept established in its direct predecessor (The Legacy of the Force) series is scrapped in favor of doing the most generic and uninteresting DEVIL OF THE FORCE plotlines with a stupidly contrived Lost Tribe of the Sith. It's awful. Like I said, there's a Devil who is generating like dark side energy or something... I honestly don't know because I didn't finish the series. Before you decry me as a flippant, know that I have a disease that compels me to finish almost every series I've ever begun. It is a testament to the shittiness of the Fate of the Jedi series that I left several books unread. Just to give you a hint of why this series is absolute garbage, one must refer to the ending of the predecessor when Admiral Daala (yes, of the Empire) is named the president of the Galactic Alliance and then everyone gets surprised when she attempts to launch war on the Jedi at the outset of the series in question... so yeah, it's kinda like that.

Anyways, what do you got? Feel free to invent your own category or disregard entirely. Take a shit on one or more segments of the old Legacy Universe if you wish, let's just have some fun.

Obviously, spoilers. Get the fuck over yourself. If you didn't know what this thread was when you clicked it then drink bleach until your throat stops working.

And as always, have a Grade A Day!

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Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 had significant impact on me, playing them in my first two years of Varsity. I remember thinking that this is what Star Wars should be.

I confess that The Thrawn trilogy is the only one of the books I've read, and it was excellent. Actually advanced the world and introduced interesting characters, instead of just rehashing the original three movies with bland characters like Disney's fanservice trilogy did.

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1 hour ago, A True Kaniggit said:

What were the estimated number of dead in the Vong War?

17 trillion?

Now that’s a galaxy wide war to be proud of. 

One has to imagine half-a-billion on Coruscant alone. Galaxy got fucked up, yo!

17 minutes ago, Darryk said:

Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 had significant impact on me, playing them in my first two years of Varsity. I remember thinking that this is what Star Wars should be.

I confess that The Thrawn trilogy is the only one of the books I've read, and it was excellent. Actually advanced the world and introduced interesting characters, instead of just rehashing the original three movies with bland characters like Disney's fanservice trilogy did.

Kotor 2 is the superior product to my mind, despite its incompleted state. The analysis of war, the motivations for participating, and the personal damages it can cause is fucking aces. Add in that Kreia is the most interesting SW character ever conceived and you've got an unfinished masterpiece.

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1 minute ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

One has to imagine half-a-billion on Coruscant alone. Galaxy got fucked up, yo!

Kotor 2 is the superior product to my mind, despite its incompleted state. The analysis of war, the motivations for participating, and the personal damages it can cause is fucking aces. Add in that Kreia is the most interesting SW character ever conceived and you've got an unfinished masterpiece.

I agree with that. Love them both and KOTOR was more polished, but KOTOR 2 introduced some great ideas. Loved the idea that the main character had unconsciously cut himself off from the Force because the pain and suffering he was feeling from the battle was too much to bear. was a really clever way of getting an experienced Jedi back to level 1 mechanically, while making it organic to the story.

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Of the EU material, I really only read Zahn's Heirs to the Empire trilogy, but to my 14-15 year old self they were perfect, providing everything I had wanted to see after having become a real fanatic for Star Wars a year or two earlier. Those books made my love of the OT, if anything, more intense. I can look back and see some flaws in it now -- the clones getting an extra vowel was a little silly! -- but it really worked for me. It introduced a fantastic new villain in Thrawn, added some grey to the Imperials with the introduction of Gilad Pellaeon, gave us interesting new outsider characters like Mara Jade and Talon Karde, had amazing set pieces for all the primary characters, and more.

I think it felt like I was happy with where that trilogy left things, and didn't feel a need to go further with it. Oh, I looked at some of the comics and such, Dark Empire and the like, played the old X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, but that's about it (in particular, no KotOR -- I hear great things about them, but I'm not really an RPG person). 

I'm off to see the film in just under three hours.

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Oh I is in the wrong place. Probs cuz I was massively depressed after the theater and went to a late night bar to get drunk with a bloke from Manchester. Oh the headache. Oh the heartache. Fuck you JJ. Fuck youuuuu

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3 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

I remember reading the Yuuzanvong (spelling?) invasion during the New Jedi Order series in a fucked up building in the shittiest apartment in San Antonio. 

How shitty was it?

My old place on Micron off of Culebra at least had a Taco Cabana within a quarter mile. 'Twas great for those late night food runs.

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34 minutes ago, A True Kaniggit said:

How shitty was it?

My old place on Micron off of Culebra at least had a Taco Cabana within a quarter mile. 'Twas great for those late night food runs.

No A/C, Windows couldn't fit a window unit, and the fridge crapped out once a month. Not to mention the fifty or so homeless people who lived behind the complex, the dismal parking, and constant police sirens coming to pacify my neighbors. 

I have like a low-key anxiety thing. It's fine, I deal with it. But one thing that just freaks the fuck out of me is blue and red lights. I do not like cops. I do not like them near me. I do not like heroes with guns waving them around to save the day. 

So when the cops are pulling into the parking lot literally 3 times a week, Young Jace couldn't exactly relax without a little help from our friend Benzodiazapine. 

And that's how shitty the apartment was.

 

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10 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

No A/C, Windows couldn't fit a window unit, and the fridge crapped out once a month. Not to mention the fifty or so homeless people who lived behind the complex, the dismal parking, and constant police sirens coming to pacify my neighbors. 

I have like a low-key anxiety thing. It's fine, I deal with it. But one thing that just freaks the fuck out of me is blue and red lights. I do not like cops. I do not like them near me. I do not like heroes with guns waving them around to save the day. 

So when the cops are pulling into the parking lot literally 3 times a week, Young Jace couldn't exactly relax without a little help from our friend Benzodiazapine. 

And that's how shitty the apartment was.

 

Daaaaamn.

That is a shitty apartment. 

 

 

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I also loved the New Jedi Order series.  I got about 5 books in before I went to college and never picked them up again (they were being released as I was going to school), but I loved the concept of an enemy that was completely void of the force, had living weapons that could repel a lightsaber, and could also move faster than a Jedi.  I also liked that they killed off Chewy right away and the rift it caused between Han and Anakin (?).  It really was done very well, for the parts I read.

I also really enjoyed I, Jedi.  The concept of the force changed for me after reading that book.  I still remember the scene where he's basically naked and has not real skill in the force, but was able to make everyone think he wasn't there.

I do think the books that were a part of a series were far better than the standalones.  I also couldn't finish the Han Solo trilogy or the Boba Fett trilogy.  Not sure why, but they just didn't grab me like some of the others.

I also hate that I have a bunch of Star Wars encyclopedias that are pretty much useless now.  Still don't understand why Disney couldn't have worked within the EU seeing as we got a trilogy that's bull shit anyway.

Most important for me was the Shadows of the Empire.  Is that at least still cannon?  I just loved that you get all those POVs and you see how Luke goes from Padawan (which wasn't a term yet) to Jedi.  Just connects the dots between the films so well.

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Well, since I effectively own every piece of that stuff, there is really a lot to be cherished there.

Overall the best material are the comics, especially the old Republic/Clone Wars stuff, the Legacy comics, Crimson Empire, and Dark Empire if you like the new movie ;-).

Of the novels I can point most of the stuff written by Matt Stover ('Shatterpoint' is a great Star Wars version of 'Heart of Darkness', 'Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor' a hilarious meta novel of sorts). James Luceno did a couple of very strong novels grounded in the EU continuity, especially 'Darth Plagueis' which gives Palpatine a proper biography.

14 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

I love the Vong invasion of the New Jedi Order series. It's a damn shame that the successor series collapses just a few stories in, and that the Legacy Universe would be scrapped not long after. But that said, let me explain why the New Jedi Order series is innocent of the broader sins attributable to most Legacy EU stories/series.

The NJO works pretty well, especially as this long series of novels its actually is. That's really a great ride.

14 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

It starts off rather clumsily, with the death of Chewbacca to display the 'seriousness' of the series by detaching an expendable asset that Lucas hadn't marked as invincible. But from there, it's pretty much all up-hill in a good way. None of the Main-3 are allowed to get hurt, but the New Jedi Order series does a remarkable job of forcing the oldies to hand off the reigns of rebellion to a generation of younger heroes with direct connections to the original cast.... It's not the writers of this series' fault that successors would destroy that foundation (although some of them would take part in said destruction, but not at all a majority).

They should have none to Jacen what they did afterwards - that never made any sense, just as the Ben fellow makes little to no sense in the new movies.

And if they had to make him a Sith - why not for once try to give it a different spin. Make a good Sith, a benevolent tyrant, that sort of thing. And if anything - don't go with the stupid and childhood 'I want to emulate grandpa' routine. Jacen's path to darkness could not possibly have been an interest in the motivations of his grandfather. If he wanted to emulate somebody, it should have been Palpatine, not Vader.

14 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

As stated, Jace loves Hand of Thrawn. She thinks it perfectly establishes an ability to transfer away from direct reproductions of the Holy Trilogy while forging a future exclusively on the back of pre-existing EU material. It's not perfect, and not even as good as its predecessor from the same writer. But Hand of Thrawn highlights an important opportunity in my mind for the EU to start taking its own path. Shame on writers who succeeded it for not taking proper advantage.

Zahn had something there with his Unknown Regions threat thing, yeah.

14 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Not to give in to recency bias, but the Fate of the Jedi, while being among the last entries, was also one of the most disappointing. Every interesting concept established in its direct predecessor (The Legacy of the Force) series is scrapped in favor of doing the most generic and uninteresting DEVIL OF THE FORCE plotlines with a stupidly contrived Lost Tribe of the Sith. It's awful. Like I said, there's a Devil who is generating like dark side energy or something... I honestly don't know because I didn't finish the series. Before you decry me as a flippant, know that I have a disease that compels me to finish almost every series I've ever begun. It is a testament to the shittiness of the Fate of the Jedi series that I left several books unread. Just to give you a hint of why this series is absolute garbage, one must refer to the ending of the predecessor when Admiral Daala (yes, of the Empire) is named the president of the Galactic Alliance and then everyone gets surprised when she attempts to launch war on the Jedi at the outset of the series in question... so yeah, it's kinda like that.

That Daala thing was utterly unbelievable. That made no sense in any context that anyone with her super weapon background would ever be allowed to rule the galaxy, not to mention her brutal and completely unprovoked attacks on the Jedi Academy.

I actually liked Abeloth as a concept, especially since it tied in to the Maw and all that, exploring the why of Centerpoint station and why those massive black holes were where they were, but I wholeheartedly agree that there were too many Sith. The Lost Tribe as such would have been a pretty good idea if they had tried to use that as an approach that not all Sith have to be mad tyrants. There is some of that there, but not enough.

But the Abeloth story definitely didn't need either the Lost Tribe or Daala.

13 hours ago, Darryk said:

Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 had significant impact on me, playing them in my first two years of Varsity. I remember thinking that this is what Star Wars should be.

The first one is really great. The second one could have been great but wasn't. But I still like it.

13 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

One has to imagine half-a-billion on Coruscant alone. Galaxy got fucked up, yo!

Kotor 2 is the superior product to my mind, despite its incompleted state. The analysis of war, the motivations for participating, and the personal damages it can cause is fucking aces. Add in that Kreia is the most interesting SW character ever conceived and you've got an unfinished masterpiece.

The unfinished part is the problem.

13 hours ago, Ran said:

I think it felt like I was happy with where that trilogy left things, and didn't feel a need to go further with it. Oh, I looked at some of the comics and such, Dark Empire and the like, played the old X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, but that's about it (in particular, no KotOR -- I hear great things about them, but I'm not really an RPG person). 

I'm off to see the film in just under three hours.

If you care about some comics the Legacy stuff is perhaps among the best things that came out of the later EU. Also some of the minor arcs like 'Agent of the Empire' (a Bond-like character working for Armand Isard of the ISB shortly before the OT). Dawn of the Jedi could have been great but was never properly finished.

And there are really a couple of world-building chronologies and other material that really give Star Wars insane depth, most notably the final version of the Chronology, the Essential Atlas, and the Guide to Warfare. Nowhere but there can you read about the millennium-long hold the Pius Dea sect had over the Galactic Republic or read about the golden reign of Supreme Chancellor Blotus the Hutt (who ruled for 275 years).

3 hours ago, aceluby said:

I also loved the New Jedi Order series.  I got about 5 books in before I went to college and never picked them up again (they were being released as I was going to school), but I loved the concept of an enemy that was completely void of the force, had living weapons that could repel a lightsaber, and could also move faster than a Jedi.  I also liked that they killed off Chewy right away and the rift it caused between Han and Anakin (?).  It really was done very well, for the parts I read.

They really got the whole war thing right - a slow beginning, and actual campaign where it matters where your forces are what's done, the horrible effects on the population, etc. That really works extremely well.

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I recently bought Dark Empire from a thrift store to relive my youth, and holy crap is that thing shitty. Seriously, so very bad. 

Traitor was probably the book that most affected me from the EU - another Stover book, in NJO, and it was the best look at what Sith could be as an actually interesting villain. Also a great take on why the YV were the way they were. 

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The most hopeful thing for me about Feige being onboard with Star Wars is how he may change the studio's approach.  He's the person most likely to pull Iger aside and be listened to when he says, "Hey, son, you know why I'm so very successful?  Because I have Marvel's EXTENDED UNIVERSE available to pick and choose story ideas from to base movies on!    Say, why don't we get that up and running for Star Wars?  Know what I mean, Rodrigo?   Like, why don't you do the thing where you open up your wallet, buy the rights back from publishers or authors or whatever's currently keeping us from using established EU properties so I (or someone else) can list them all on a white board, rank them in terms of what might work best on screen, and start brainstorming adaptations of the kind of stories the fans WANT TO SEE!"

 

Quote

every season of Star Trek: Voyager on DvD.

Egad!   For the Janeway, right?   

Spoiler

Don't say for the Neelix!   I was waiting for the episode where Chakote snapped and shouted, "Enough of this Neelix shit!  I'm scalping him and throwing his mohawk out the airlock.  B'Lanna, it's now or never:  go fry the doctor's program matrix quickly like we discussed or else who knows how many more episodes he'll dominate!   Mahkee forever!  ...Ow!"   [Gets clubbed over the head by Janeway.... but not in time to save Neelix.]    Catherine: "Tuvok!  Why didn't you lift a finger to help Neelix?!   Have you sided with them?"    Tuvok:  "No.  But there are limits to even my patience.  I saw a chance for us to be rid of Neelix, and I could not justify saving him.  It's faulty logic to keep a cook around on a ship with replicators.  And ever since we were merged in that one episode, he's creeped me out.  I will now report to the brig.  ....Ma'am."

I've read some of the Trek books and Babylon 5, but oddly not the StarWars ones.   Yet I found it powerfully odd that these new movies didn't use the in print continuations as a foundation.  It's like Disney spent such a wad of money to get Lucasfilm that they all of a sudden got as cheap as CBS the next day and expected their new content to magically appear out of thin air..... and for that you hire JJ, and we know the rest.

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

I recently bought Dark Empire from a thrift store to relive my youth, and holy crap is that thing shitty. Seriously, so very bad.

Well, I really like the artwork, despite there being definitely being way too few panels. And its Palpatine plot is definitely better than the one we got in the new movie - and that really means something when an obscure comic comes up with a better plot than a blockbuster movie. Oh ... well, now that I think if it that's not that surprising.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Traitor was probably the book that most affected me from the EU - another Stover book, in NJO, and it was the best look at what Sith could be as an actually interesting villain. Also a great take on why the YV were the way they were. 

Yes, that's very good, too, although the later take on Vergere and Jacen pretty much ruined all of that.

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