Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

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Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Irina de France on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 2:02 pm

So this is a thread so you can all sign my petition to tell Disney to bring the EU back lol! lol! lol!

Okay, okay, on a more serious note... I realized we still didn't have a thread to talk about the old EU, so since I know there are a few people here who know about it (hopefully more than a few, lol), might as well open a thread about it.

Why "love-hate affair"? Because here's the thing. I do love the EU. I love the pre-PT era of the EU, with Knights of the Old Republic, Revan, Bastila, the Exile, Exar Kun, the old Sith like Naga Sadow, Darth Bane, and so on and so forth.

The post-ROTJ stuff, on the other hand...

I'm just going to say that apart from a few things, I'm so happy Disney flushed it away and had a whole new story.

The post-ROTJ era had its gems, like anything written by Timothy Zahn, or the X-Wing series. But there was also a lot of stuff that ranged from "meh" to abysmal. There are great characters there, like Mara Jade, Jacen Solo, Tenel Ka Djo, Anakin Solo... but once you know how it all ends for them, it just... kind of destroys it all.

And the other thing is that there are some great ideas in the post-ROTJ era, but that ended up being executed so poorly. Like the Yuuzhan Vong. Or how Jaina Solo's storylines ended up being a Love Polygon of Doom more than anything else.

Anyway, this is a salt thread like it is an appreciation thread, so vent away Very Happy
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Night Huntress on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 2:54 pm

I could rant about the old EU for hours  Mad  Mad  Mad

there were truly great characters and stories but- as you pointed out correctly, Irina - they flushed everything I loved about it down the toilet.
I liked the idea of the New Jedi Order - the Yuuzhan Vong an enemy different from everything we knew til then... but they dragged it on for too long imo. Everything that came after Star by Star or Traitor was really... not good- so I stopped reading.

Interesting parallels I see to the new canon or what we might see in IX is that they started to make things more grey (until they messed it up again by making everything black/white again and turned Jacen into a Sith  Rolling Eyes  )

One character I was intrigued with was Vergere - they made her a Sith later but she used to be a Jedi Master and she had some very great quotes in Traitor (one of them is in my signature) She had a few things to say about the hypocritical ways of the Jedi Order.

She used to drive me nuts at first but after a while I loved her...
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Irina de France on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 3:26 pm

@Night Huntress wrote:I could rant about the old EU for hours  Mad  Mad  Mad

there were truly great characters and stories but- as you pointed out correctly, Irina - they flushed everything I loved about it down the toilet.
I liked the idea of the New Jedi Order - the Yuuzhan Vong an enemy different from everything we knew til then... but they dragged it on for too long imo. Everything that came after Star by Star or Traitor was really... not good- so I stopped reading.

Interesting parallels I see to the new canon or what we might see in IX is that they started to make things more grey (until they messed it up again by making everything black/white again and turned Jacen into a Sith  Rolling Eyes  )

One character I was intrigued with was Vergere - they made her a Sith later but she used to be a Jedi Master and she had some very great quotes in Traitor (one of them is in my signature) She had a few things to say about the hypocritical ways of the Jedi Order.

She used to drive me nuts at first but after a while I loved her...
@Night Huntress

NJO had what, nineteen books? Suspect And Timothy Zahn mentioned he didn't like them, so I'm pretty curious to know what he thought of the Legacy of the Force series. Laughing Anyway, it was so, so much wasted potential. Jacen's arc was great, and Vergere was really interesting, but nooooo, that was too good and Vergere had to be a Sith all along. Rolling Eyes

And as I said, I liked the idea of the Yuuzhan Vong as this menace from the Unknown Regions who happen to be immune to the Force, but the overall execution? They just ended up being a proud warrior race with a design that looked like something a video game intern from the 90s would come up with. Urgh.
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Night Huntress on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 4:12 pm

@Irina de France wrote:
@Night Huntress

NJO had what, nineteen books?  Suspect  

yeah, that's what I meant with dragged out for too long Zen  and with many different authors and that's why they also vary so much in quality. Some where great others were meeehh.

@Irina de France wrote:
And Timothy Zahn mentioned he didn't like them, so I'm pretty curious to know what he thought of the Legacy of the Force series. Laughing

probably the same as me... they sucked!!! L-puke L-puke L-puke

@Irina de France wrote:
Anyway, it was so, so much wasted potential. Jacen's arc was great, and Vergere was really interesting, but nooooo, that was too good and Vergere had to be a Sith all along.  Rolling Eyes  

I'm sure that wasn't intended from the creator of Vergere. I haven't followed what was said from the authors of the series because I stopped caring but I think she was meant to be that ambiguous Jedi Master with a different view of the force- and how much I liked that! The Force has no dark side- the dark side is only in our heart Basically that the force is a neutral energy field. You can use it with good or bad intent- but the force itself does not have sides. I never was a big Jacen fan- but when I finally started to like him they made him a Sith which never really made sense after all he went through without turning dark and him always being the most tranquil of the Solo children.

@Irina de France wrote:
And as I said, I liked the idea of the Yuuzhan Vong as this menace from the Unknown Regions who happen to be immune to the Force, but the overall execution? They just ended up being a proud warrior race with a design that looked like something a video game intern from the 90s would come up with. Urgh.
@Irina de France

The problem I had was that their power and skills were very inconsistent. And they become very boring after so many books. I used to skip most of the pages about them. The only book they were interesting was Conquest...

Anyways - after being a bit sullen when TFA came out and Disney erased everything- I'm ultimately glad they did a new start.
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by MyOnlyHope on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 6:13 pm

I've never exposed myself to any of the EU besides reading others' reviews and comments. I didn't even know it existed two years ago! Excuse my total ignorance, but these are basically my impressions based on what I've heard.

1) People really like the parts of the EU set a long time before the prequels that feature all new characters and plotlines. Seems like there are a lot of really beloved stories from that time period. Contrarily, the stories about Luke, Leia and Han's lives after ROTJ seem to be almost universally disliked. People like some of the new characters, but everything ends so abysmally, the point is entirely lost.
2) Looks and sounds a lot more gritty and science fiction than anything George Lucas created. For a long time in the 80s, 90s and even 2000s Star Wars was thought of by a lot of people as a genre defining sci-fi title like Star Trek. We know today George Lucas created Star Wars to serve as a modern fairy tale for a generation of children who were growing up without that experience. I've heard the EU really reflects the mistaken sci-fi interpretation of the 80s and 90s. Genre confusion led to really weird stuff happening.
3) Way OT3 focused to the extent that all the new characters (even the ones a lot of people liked) were treated as expendable and readers knew they were bound to die sooner or later.
4) Dead Chewie.
5) Depressing, dark, not Star Wars-y, not fairy tale inspired, focus on hope, love and redemption was thrown out the window. Han, Luke and Leia lose almost everything but each other.
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Irina de France on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 8:46 pm

@Night Huntress I read the Young Jedi Academy books when I was around 12-13 - don't know if I'd still like them if I re-read them, though Laughing I actually never cared that much about Jaina, but that's partly because they didn't develop her that well in the following series. Like, there was supposed to be a Sword of the Jedi series that was constantly delayed and that ended up never happening... Jacen and Tenel Ka were my faves, though, so I was devastated when I learned what happened to them later. Sad

And the big reason why I prefer the Disney post-ROTJ than the old post-ROTJ EU is that I know I'm getting a happy ending for the characters I love. Apart from the Thrawn trilogy, I haven't re-read any of the other books including the bad ones for funsies, because I know what to expect for Anakin, Mara, Chewie, Jacen and Tenel Ka Sad Like, I'm buddies with diasterisms and she told me once that her big multi-chapter fics are basically a "EU fix-it", lol.

@MyOnlyHope The thing with the pre-movies stuff is that it actually "felt" like SW. KOTOR definitely had the space opera feel, the "Middle Ages in space" aesthetic you saw in the PT (while still showing that the technology had evolved from the time KOTOR takes place to the PT), the themes of Light and Dark, hope and despair, selflessness and lust for power, and most especially, selfless love and forgiveness. And the characters were AMAZING. You got to see the genesis of the Jedi and the Sith in all its epicness, the Darth Bane trilogy and the Darth Plagueis novel showed you the inside of a Sith's mind in a really fascinating way.

Like, the only author who wrote post-ROTJ material who always got the general SW feel right was Timothy Zahn. Thrawn was basically Sherlock Holmes in space and he was a very grey character because he was PRAGMATIC: sure, he was an Imperial, but there was always a way to justify his actions no matter what, and that's what made him such a great character. And there was Mara Jade's arc that was all about hope, healing, and learning to open yourself to other people (and by the way: Zahn was pretty much the only one who always got Mara right. Because BOY could Mara get horribly OOC in other hands).

Other than that? Like, WHO THE HECK would think that having Han and Leia's daughter kill her twin brother who had some of the worst Descent Into Darkness I've ever read WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR SW? Seriously, in the end, out of Han and Leia's three kids, Jaina was the only one left. How sad is that? Sad

But yeah, here, I kind of blame Troy Denning who (like a lot of other people, apparently) couldn't make the difference between GoT and SW, and in the end, the post-ROTJ era was very, very science-fiction rather than space opera.

It's not like there wasn't material for a space opera. Tenel Ka Djo, a princess to a people of pretentious space elves who's also related to Dathomirian witches? Allana Solo, a future Jedi Queen according to an ancient prophecy? A people from the Unknown Regions representing a menace, the latter only enhanced by their immunity to the Force? A new philosophy about the Force not having sides? Like, it's kind of unbelievable they messed it up that bad.

And ultimately, the focus on the OT3 was the biggest problem. You had Grand Master Jedi God Luke Skywalker, who could never do anything wrong ever (so yeah, you can guess that people crying about "TLJ RUINED LUKE" makes me laugh, honestly), Han and Leia who could never do anything wrong either, and in the meantime, all the good characters and the new generation ended up dying one by one, fading away or just becoming so unlikable you didn't care about them anymore. And that's the ST's biggest strength: they actually put a lot of emphasis on how the old generation has to pass the torch to the new generation - which is something the old EU never managed to do.
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Night Huntress on Fri 09 Feb 2018, 1:30 am

@Irina de France wrote:@Night Huntress I read the Young Jedi Academy books when I was around 12-13 - don't know if I'd still like them if I re-read them, though Laughing I actually never cared that much about Jaina, but that's partly because they didn't develop her that well in the following series. Like, there was supposed to be a Sword of the Jedi series that was constantly delayed and that ended up never happening... Jacen and Tenel Ka were my faves, though, so I was devastated when I learned what happened to them later. Sad

Yeah, I read the YJA books, too- I liked them pretty much at that time....the stories were simple but cute.
Jaina *sigh* well she could have been so great but they messed her up...badly. Now I didn't know anything about shipping then- but I loved the
chemistry between her and Kyp Durron. Yeah, I know the age difference! OMG! LOL! But it would have been much better than anything they did with her and Zekk or Captain Cardboard  Rolling Eyes
My favorite was Anakin Solo- I loved him after Conquest and Rebirth- unfortunately they killed him just one book later. Which by the way was very strange. I mean I know it was war and everything but they sent off their 16 years old son to lead basically a suicide mission ? Was I the only one to found that morally very very bad? No

@Irina de France wrote:
Like, the only author who wrote post-ROTJ material who always got the general SW feel right was Timothy Zahn. Thrawn was basically Sherlock Holmes in space and he was a very grey character because he was PRAGMATIC: sure, he was an Imperial, but there was always a way to justify his actions no matter what, and that's what made him such a great character. And there was Mara Jade's arc that was all about hope, healing, and learning to open yourself to other people (and by the way: Zahn was pretty much the only one who always got Mara right. Because BOY could Mara get horribly OOC in other hands).  

Yes, I agree- Thrawn was amazing! I was actually sad when he was killed...what a mastermind. I would've considered joining the Imps with him as leader Laughing

@Irina de France wrote:
Other than that? Like, WHO THE HECK would think that having Han and Leia's daughter kill her twin brother who had some of the worst Descent Into Darkness I've ever read WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR SW? Seriously, in the end, out of Han and Leia's three kids, Jaina was the only one left. How sad is that? Sad  

It was horrible! I mean it wasn't like some relative she didn't really know and has to kill. Like for example Luke with Vader... he had problems ending his father and he basically never really knew him. But Jacen and Jaina grew-up together! It was...awful Evil or Very Mad

@Irina de France wrote:
But yeah, here, I kind of blame Troy Denning who (like a lot of other people, apparently) couldn't make the difference between GoT and SW, and in the end, the post-ROTJ era was very, very science-fiction rather than space opera.

Oh yeah- I hate what he did in Star by Star reading that was painful! With all the torture and gore and I don't know...
The NJO books were dark and depressing anyways but this one topped every previous stories in that regard. I still can't understand how the story group allowed this to be released. And they killed of Anakin! I don't know why- back then it was said because they were afraid people would confuse him with Anakin Skywalker... but idk. Which SW- fan who was reading the EU- books would do that? Suspect

@Irina de France wrote:
And ultimately, the focus on the OT3 was the biggest problem. You had Grand Master Jedi God Luke Skywalker, who could never do anything wrong ever (so yeah, you can guess that people crying about "TLJ RUINED LUKE" makes me laugh, honestly), Han and Leia who could never do anything wrong either, and in the meantime, all the good characters and the new generation ended up dying one by one, fading away or just becoming so unlikable you didn't care about them anymore. And that's the ST's biggest strength: they actually put a lot of emphasis on how the old generation has to pass the torch to the new generation - which is something the old EU never managed to do.
@Irina de France

Luke was boring and really a Mary-sue (I hate this word- but he really was the definition of that in the old EU).
The OT3 were invincible and never getting old either... - they haven't allowed the new generation to be the focus.
That's why I prefer the new canon as well- they allow people to be flawed. I never really liked Luke much... but I loved him in TLJ.
He finally felt like a real person not a Jedi-God.

Thank you for opening this thread by the way.
I wanted to do that myself for a while but got the impression nobody here really cared or wanted to discuss the old EU
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by LadyGaufrette on Thu 02 Aug 2018, 4:21 am

@Irina de France @Night Huntress @MyOnlyHope
I mention you but this a question for everyone in the forum.

In my country, book publishers are now forbidden to publish any Legends books and some Legends comics. It's not really fair because I was beginning to get into the Legends and I liked to compare it with the new Canon. What is strange is that in the US, it looks like old stories are still published, so I don't buy Disney errasing Legend to let only the Canon.

My question for everyone: what is the state of Legends in your country?
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by DeeBee on Thu 02 Aug 2018, 4:29 am

In Australia, I purchase ebooks or audiobooks through google play. There, I can purchase star wars books labelled as 'legends' - with the gold logo across the bottom... I wouldn't see legendst in book stores, only the new canon stuff. I don't read legends stuff though I've dabbled with things here and there..
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by LadyGaufrette on Thu 02 Aug 2018, 5:09 am

@DeeBee wrote:In Australia, I purchase ebooks or audiobooks through google play. There, I can purchase star wars books labelled as 'legends' - with the gold logo across the bottom... I wouldn't see legendst in book stores, only the new canon stuff. I don't read legends stuff though I've dabbled with things here and there..
@DeeBee

Are the publishers the same as in the US or are they local?

For the legends, I'm trying to read all the stuff pre-TPM and have some books post-ROTJ but the resume I have read of this period does look appaling. I think it's funny to find parallel to reylo in old legends.

For example, in the comic Dawn of the Jedi you have:
Proto-Jedi (Je'daii) using the two sides of the Force and finding balance as an essential teaching.
A dark force user with a design that may remind you of someone (Xesh) manipulated and exploited since childhood by an horrible alien (a Rakata).
Size:
His story changed when he met a Jedi woman (Shae Koda) who he saw as a source of light the first time he met her.
Size:
They were enemy until they fell in love and fought together against the Rakatas.

This was my first story in legends and what interested me in the UE.
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by Night Huntress on Thu 02 Aug 2018, 8:41 am

@LadyGaufrette

I usually buy all my books from Amazon.de - and there you can find almost all legends books...at least in e-book format. I'm an e-book person so I haven't checked if the physical copies are still available for ALL of them- but I'm sure you can find used copies if you are looking thoroughly- at least the English version.

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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by DeeBee on Sun 05 Aug 2018, 12:09 am

@LadyGaufrette wrote:
@DeeBee wrote:In Australia, I purchase ebooks or audiobooks through google play. There, I can purchase star wars books labelled as 'legends' - with the gold logo across the bottom... I wouldn't see legendst in book stores, only the new canon stuff. I don't read legends stuff though I've dabbled with things here and there..
@DeeBee

Are the publishers the same as in the US or are they local?

For the legends, I'm trying to read all the stuff pre-TPM and have some books post-ROTJ but the resume I have read of this period does look appaling. I think it's funny to find parallel to reylo in old legends.

For example, in the comic Dawn of the Jedi you have:
Proto-Jedi (Je'daii) using the two sides of the Force and finding balance as an essential teaching.
A dark force user with a design that may remind you of someone (Xesh) manipulated and exploited since childhood by an horrible alien (a Rakata).
Size:
His story changed when he met a Jedi woman (Shae Koda) who he saw as a source of light the first time he met her.
Size:
They were enemy until they fell in love and fought together against the Rakatas.

This was my first story in legends and what interested me in the UE.
@LadyGaufrette

hiya LadyGaufrette. I have no idea if publishers are the same. Maybe. Sorry. I'm not much help!
I look forward to hearing your insights based on your Legends readings!
I wasn't engaged with SW universe, other than the movies, prior to the ST. So I had no experience of reading SW legends materials before the big decision to wipe the slate clean with canon. Had I already consumed much of it, I may see things very differently than I do now. [i.e. I can see others will view legends very differently to me].
I have been focused on consuming canon, and I haven't dived into Legends much. I may look up how a topic was covered in Legends but not much else.. very patchy knowledge of legends content. The one time I have purposefully consumed legends materials is to read the comic: Dawn of the Jedi- which is exactly what you have referred to here!!!! It was really wonderful, and I loved the whole concept of Xesh the force hound being the ambiguous bad guy and all.. [I did not warm to Shae though, I didn't like the way she mocked the other girl. meh.] That Xesh was super hot, before he even took his mask off. lol.
I read this comic series because there is no canon content currently addressing the origins of the force or the Jedi - and I saw that it addressed balance in a really different way - where the Jedi were originally not aiming to eliminate the darkness, but to maintain balance. This may inform events in IX. We shall see! but either way, I found it interesting to explore what this could all look like.

For me, Legends content is inspiration for potential future SW canon. But, it is not canon - as I mentioned in the Knights of Ren thread recently, it's my personal preference to try and stick to canon, and my mind likes to keep clear what is canon, what is potential canon etc...
When thinking of where to spend my SW money these days, i tend to stick with canon, but I love to hear from others who love Legends and to hear their insights. So please do share with us all what you find as you consume Legends content! who knows, you may inspire me to read more!! And.. Maybe if I run out of SW canon content one day I'll start on more legends content. LOL. never say never!
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Re: Star Wars: the Old Expanded Universe - For those of us who still have a love-hate affair going on with it...

Post by LadyGaufrette on Wed 08 Aug 2018, 5:42 am

@Night Huntress wrote:@LadyGaufrette

I usually buy all my books from Amazon.de - and there you can find almost all legends books...at least in e-book format. I'm an e-book person so I haven't checked if the physical copies are still available for ALL of them- but I'm sure you can find used copies if you are looking thoroughly- at least the English version.

@Night Huntress

Thanks for your answer Night Huntress Smile .
I'm not an e-book person but Star Wars is starting to make me reconsider it. But right now because of time and money, I decided to limit myself to physical books translated in my language, both in canon and legends.

Salut @DeeBee!

@DeeBee wrote:
I wasn't engaged with SW universe, other than the movies, prior to the ST. So I had no experience of reading SW legends materials before the big decision to wipe the slate clean with canon.
@DeeBee

You perfectly summarized my experience with Star Wars. I know some part of the fanbase is still grumpy about it, but the wipe out of the legends was the best option. (It drives me insane when people says it's Disney's fault. No! It was already wiped in the mind of Lucas and Lucasfilms before selling to Disney.) I didn't feel like diving into 40 years of content but with the new canon, I could begin from the start. It was the same for you and I think it was the same for a lot of people. Now I can pick what I like in Legends.

@DeeBee wrote:
[I did not warm to Shae though, I didn't like the way she mocked the other girl. meh.] That Xesh was super hot, before he even took his mask off. lol.
I read this comic series because there is no canon content currently addressing the origins of the force or the Jedi - and I saw that it addressed balance in a really different way - where the Jedi were originally not aiming to eliminate the darkness, but to maintain balance. This may inform events in IX. We shall see! but either way, I found it interesting to explore what this could all look like.

For me, Legends content is inspiration for potential future SW canon. But, it is not canon - as I mentioned in the Knights of Ren thread recently, it's my personal preference to try and stick to canon, and my mind likes to keep clear what is canon, what is potential canon etc...
When thinking of where to spend my SW money these days, i tend to stick with canon, but I love to hear from others who love Legends and to hear their insights. So please do share with us all what you find as you consume Legends content! who knows, you may inspire me to read more!! And.. Maybe if I run out of SW canon content one day I'll start on more legends content. LOL. never say never!
@DeeBee

I prefered Tasha Ryo over Shae but I think she was better in the end of the comics (my memory is a bit fuzzy here). As for Xesh, if I fell in love with Kylo during his first minutes in the movie, you can bet I loved our force hound during his first pages (I must have a thing with men in a mask it seems). As you, what interested me in this comic was the origins of the Jedi. Now that it's legends, I hope that Rian's trilogy will be about this (since he created the concept of the Prime Jedi).

About the canon, I think I'm more flexible because I don't mind little incoherences. I view Star Wars as a fairy tale told to us by the droids long after it ended. So I see differences as different perspectives, like in TLJ where Luke and Ben told different versions of their fight that night.
In my mind I keep Legends and Canon separated but I can read them both at the same time. I think a story stays a good story even if it not in legends anymore.

For spending my star wars money, I said upper I only buy physical and translated content, so it naturally limits me (I'm still waiting for Aftermath 2 and 3). My main issue is time, I have stacks of unread books. Embarassed

For my legends reading I started the comics 'Tales of the Jedi' long ago (I read half of it), I'll share my thoughts of it when I finally finish it one day. There is also the 'Star Wars Tales' with good short stories (I have in mind a story set in ESB where Vader remembers his life on Tatooine by looking at a dismembered C3PO)
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