Dawn of the Jedi Era
I mentioned wanting to keep the Old Republic themed stuff in my previous article, mostly because it provides a decent history and lore for the rest of the Star Wars universe. However, none of that feeling applies to the Dawn of the Jedi story. It started as a comic book series (and now has a book to go with it) that chronicles the origin of all Force Users and how the people scattered throughout the galaxy. It’s not that it’s an uninteresting story, but it brings up way too many questions that will take you almost entirely out of the experience.
The primary problem comes from the timeline. The series takes place more than 36,000 years before A New Hope, but it still features space travel, galactic conquest, and more. The main question that’s constantly bugging me as I read this series is, “How come the technology hasn’t advanced much in 30K plus years?” While they try show that the tech isn’t nearly as advanced, it only looks to be a few hundred years behind not several thousands.
Think of all the advancements we’ve made as a culture in the last century in terms of technology. Now imagine that on a scale of 30,000 years and there’s no telling what we could accomplish. The Dawn of the Jedi era makes it seem as though NOTHING has happened tech wise in all that time. They just went too far back in the timeline while trying to keep in the essential Star Wars elements (like space travel, etc). It doesn’t work, and adds nothing significant to the lore like the Old Republic era stuff does.
The Clone Wars Books
Of all the things on this ‘toss’ list this is probably the thing they’re most likely to keep since they’re already considered a part of canon. When I’m talking about the Clone Wars books, I’m referencing the books that are directly based on the TV show (which were only a handful). They aren’t necessarily bad books, but they aren’t nearly as good as the other Clone Wars stories that came out long before them.
Back before there was a TV show, and while we were all still waiting for Revenge of the Sith to even hit theaters authors were filling the gaps between Episode 2 and 3 with books chronicling the events of the Clone Wars. While there were some duds in there, this ‘era’ also provided some of the most interesting stories/novels I’ve read in the Star Wars EU.
The problem is that when the show came out, the novels based on the TV series pretty much walked over all of the previous Clone Wars novels, replacing the more powerful tales with mediocre ones that never felt fully fleshed out. I’d much rather them keep the older Clone Wars books, as they were deeper, darker, and a more fitting portrayal of a galaxy spanning war.
Clone Emperor Palpatine
One of the long running truisms of the Star Wars universe is that no one is dead unless you see a body. It’s par for the course when it comes to the expanded universe, especially when it comes to villains. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can sometimes rob previous storylines of their impact and potency. That’s never been more evident than in the Dark Empire comic book stories which saw the resurrection of the Emperor as a clone.
While some interesting things happened within the story (like Luke falling to the Dark Side and Leia taking up the Lightsaber to save him) on the whole the idea of the Emperor coming back causes all of the sacrifices made in the movie to count for nothing. I mean, Darth Vader sacrificed himself in order to defeat Palpatine and save his son and keep him from becoming another pawn of the Dark Side. It’s one of the most powerful moments in the entire saga, but means absolutely nothing when the Emperor returns and Luke falls anyway! It’d be a tough story to keep in the overall canon, and would only take away from what the films gave us.
The Killiks/Dark Nest Trilogy
After the long spanning book series, The New Jedi Order, things went quiet for a little bit, while the books chose to focus on prequel era stories. When they finally returned to the adventures of our aging heroes it was with the Dark Nest trilogy. The story toned things down a little bit from galaxy spanning danger and focused on a group of gigantic space ants (hive mind and what not) who were expanding past their territory and threatening others. While it was a fun little story with some interesting aspects, it felt like an in between story; a setup for the larger story to come (which was Jacen’s fall to the dark side).
I enjoyed how it tied up loose ends from the Vong series and put a larger emphasis on the younger characters taking over, but on the whole, the Killiks story feels largely useless. The events have little effect on the rest of the EU and gets only a few passing mentions in the stories that take place afterwards. When it’s all said and done, it feels more like you’ve read three books to introduce new characters and expand others. That being said, it’d be fairly easy to toss out without ruining anything. I’m not sure who would notice!
Abeloth and Mortis
The Fate of the Jedi series brought up some awesome things, including the Lost Tribe of the Sith (which I brought up earlier this week as wanting to keep) as well as showing the repercussions of the various adventures our favorite characters have endured. The primary antagonist, however, wasn’t the Sith, but a powerful superbeing Abeloth…and I couldn’t stand her. Her powers were practically God-like and were tied in directly to another Star Wars story I never cared for: the Mortis trilogy in The Clone Wars.
Fate of the Jedi made an active effort to tie-in to events that had been revealed during the Clone Wars TV show, in particular the Mortis trilogy which saw Obi-Wan and Anakin chance upon a monolith containing other God-like creatures forming the origins of the Force. While those shows were cool, they never sat well with me. I like the idea of the Force being an enigmatic presence, almost being it’s own diety that flows throughout the universe. Having something like a physical manifestation of that never felt right to me.
Not to mention the fact that they built Abeloth up to be pretty much unbeatable, making the ending hard to swallow, especially since she just sort of vanished and wasn’t really defeated. Sure, her current plans were halted, but she’s still out there running around. It made for a frustrating non-resolution that nearly un-did all the cool things the book series introduced. I’d like to see the Force kept mysterious and unexplained, meaning Mortis and Abeloth need to go.
As I mentioned earlier this week in my previous article, there’s no real telling what the Lucasfilm story group has planned for the new continuity. They could scrap everything I was hoping to keep, and keep the ones I was hoping they’d toss. It’s entirely in their hands now. I doubt my love for the expanded universe will fade regardless of what they decide, but I sure wouldn’t be upset if these stories suddenly disappeared.
What about you guys? Am I way off base with my desire for these ideas to scrapped? Which parts of the Expanded Universe would you want to do away with?