So while I was studying for exams, I was listening to the Penny Arcade podcast. Not the greatest idea ever, but it was entertaining. One of the things they happened to be talking about was Star Wars and how pretty much every Star Wars game is set during or within a few years of the movies (except for KotOR, of course). Much like many of the four thousand WW2 games out there, you could say that Hoth is the new Normandy.
Not many people are aware of the fact that there is a very large universe of stuff beyond what we see in the movies. In fact, every novel, game, and comic have a place within the Star Wars continuity. This universe fills in the gaps and pads out the entire Star Wars universe. Years pass in between the movies in the same trilogy. What happens during the time that isn’t covered by the movie? The EU tells the story of what goes on.
So where the movies left off was Vader killing the Emperor and the Rebels win, yay! Of course, reality isn’t so simple. The Expanded Universe goes through the fight after the death of Palpatine. Exciting things happen during this period. The Rebels need to develop into the legitimate government that will become the New Republic while fighting the Imperial Remnant, who are controlled by various Imperial leaders and warlords.
So the last thing I remember reading from the Star Wars EU was the New Jedi Order series, which detailed how a more or less stabilized New Republic is threatened by an extraterrestrial invasion. The idea was fairly interesting, after years of fighting from the Imperial Remnant and other third parties, and it let the Star Wars continuity transfer the spotlight from the heroes of the movies to the ones in the EU, namely Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo, the children of Han and Leia.
The entire series is fairly serious business, with the Yuuzhan Vong, the new baddies, killing Chewbacca right off the bat. They go on to enslave and destroy a bunch of worlds while the New Republic kind of falls apart from corruption. They make it all the way to Coruscant and lots of major characters die, but in the end, the New Republic wins again, and peace returns to the galaxy.
So, I decided that it was a while since I’d finished the NJO and went off to Wikipedia to see if I could find out what sorts of things the Star Wars universe was up to. I found out about Legacy of the Force. Worst idea ever.
The entire premise of LotF seems retarded to me. One of the criticisms of the EU was that it had random Dark Jedi and Sith and the occasional clone of Palpatine walking around causing trouble for the New Republic. Why would this be bad? Because, in light of the movies, the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, brought balance to the Force already, so any Force related shenanigans, especially with respect to the Sith, should have ceased already. Otherwise, the redemption of Darth Vader was a waste, because his returning to the Light Side and throwing Palpatine down that power shaft meant nothing.
So of course it is a brilliant idea to have the Sith resurge. LotF is set 40 years after the Battle of Yavin. Not even a generation has passed by since the death of Palpatine and the Sith are already returning? After 40 years, the New Republic manages to collapse twice? This is absolutely ridiculous when compared to the Old Republic, which spent thousands of years in power, during which the Sith decided to play it safe.
Even worse is the manner in which the Sith return. The new Sith happens to be Jacen Solo. So we spent the entire NJO developing Jacen and concluded that he was a pretty good guy to have him turn to the dark side within years? See, Jacen put a lot of thought into things and tried to understand his place within the Force. Anakin Skywalker, on the other hand, he was kind of a jerk already.
Essentially, what happens in LotF is a parallel to the prequels. The New Republic gets increasingly draconian and worlds begin to secede. Jacen Solo becomes a Darth Vader figure and leads some Stormtroopers around arresting people, and civil war breaks out. Does Confederacy of Independent Systems and The Confederation sound similar at all? It’s not like they’re both names of a confederacy of worlds that seceded from some sort of Galactic Republic…
A lot of people hated NJO. I think it’s because it’s not the best writing, since it was a collaborative effort. But, I’d say that the idea and the story were fairly fresh and interesting. That is not the case in LotF. In fact, I’d say it ruins a lot of what happened before LotF. So yeah, it looks like the Star Wars writers are running out of ideas. Either that or maybe they should stop doing so many huge multi-author series.