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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Je n'm'en soucie guère,
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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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Bonjour ma cousine,
Bonjour mon cousin germain,
On m'a dit que vous m'aimiez,
Est-ce bien la vérité?
Je n'm'en soucie guère,
Je n'm'en soucie guère,
Passez par ici et vous par là,
Bonjour ma cousine et puis voilà!


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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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Bonjour ma cousine,
Bonjour mon cousin germain,
On m'a dit que vous m'aimiez,
Est-ce bien la vérité?
Je n'm'en soucie guère,
Je n'm'en soucie guère,
Passez par ici et vous par là,
Bonjour ma cousine et puis voilà!


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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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