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What do you LIKE about the EU? — Page 3

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Vaderisnothayden said:
Scruffy said:
Vaderisnothayden said:

Once you start resurrecting characters you lose something.

*cough*obiwankenobi*cough*

Kenobi wasn't resurrected. He became a ghost. That's dead.

Dark Empire is probably both the best vision of a near-term post-RotJ galaxy yet, but it's also great science fantasy in its own right. On film, Palpatine is merely a cackling megalomaniac, with no real motive except to take over the Galaxy then wander about it in his bathrobe. DE and its associated WEG sourcebook really delve into Palpatine's plans for himself and the galaxy. The story was unfortunately truncated, but most of what there is is good.

I thought the Dark Empire portrayal of Palpatine was pathetic. In ROTJ he was a distinctive villain, whereas in the Dark Empire, Dark Empire 2 and Empire's End comics has was just a non-disticntive cliche villain and rather annoying. And they didn't bother to draw him looking anything like Palpatine.

 

 I always saw Palpatine as a stock, cliche villain, even in ROTJ.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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Yeah, me too. Even Vader is a pretty cliche villain. The thing about those two characters is they overtook the cliche and became the definitive.

Very likely when you think of a cliche villain, you will think of a kock off of Palpatine or Vader.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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 (Edited)

I think Vader became definitive. At face value he's cliche, but when you get down to it, he's a really complex character. An evil cyborg that still has a spark of good, always fighting on the outside, as well as himself internally.

Palpatine to me is more of an all-around joke than anything. Vader gets spoofed all the time also, but at the end of the day, people take him a lot more seriously as a villain.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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I guess it is really not until we get to the prequels that he really becomes complex. Every villain has a back story (though I suppose that isn't always true), the fact that he sired the hero and was a one point good and becomes good again before allowing his son to pull his life support (which is literally all we really know about his complexities from the OT) doesn't make him all that complex. I guess it is when we get to the PT and we actually meet him that his complexity really starts to show, as now we have three movies worth of backstory for him.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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 (Edited)

From what we're told from Obi-Wan, and what we can infer from everything else we see, we get all the history on the character of Anakin/Vader that we really need in the OT. Or all that I need, anyway. Sure it was awesome going back to see how things unfolded (or at least the prospect of doing so was awesome), but still, it didn't add much. Even going by just the OT he was a complex character: an admirable Jedi (undermined by what we see in the PT), best star pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, that gave in to temptation from the dark side, though the good still lingered under the surface. By ROTJ he's stuggling with what side to choose, and only when push comes to shove does he cast aside Vader. Not many villains can boast that sort of complexity.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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Vaderisnothayden said:

Kenobi wasn't resurrected. He became a ghost. That's dead.

Maybe my materialist/antisupernaturalist bias is showing, but for storytelling purposes there's no practical difference between a ghost and a resurrection. In both cases, the finality of death is undone and the dead are free to interact with the living, make and carry out plans, influence the universe, etc. It's not like Kenobi was a shade combined to the underworld, or doomed for a certain term to walk the night. He just tricked Vader into discorporating him so he could act in secret, unencumbered by a physical shell. He wasn't a classical ghost segregated from the living world, a Shakespearean soul in torment, a Victorian table-knocker, or a modern residual haunting. He was just a non-corporeal living being.

And he wasn't the only one. By the end of the Trilogy, we had also seen Anakin and Yoda in this state. That is, every Force-sensitve bar one who physically died wasn't really dead. They were shown dying, on film, then the filmmaker resurrected them. As "ghosts." This is hardly surprising--the same filmmaker filled his universe with telekinesis, telepathy, and clairvoyance, so ghosts fit right in.

Now, does Palpatine's "resurrection" fit in as well? I'd argue that it does. Remember, when DE was written every other Force-user was able to maintain their consciousness and personality after death. Why not Palpatine? The circumstantial evidence suggests he could. And--in a universe full of telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, and ghosts--who's to say possession doesn't also occur? It's a logical outgrowth of Yoda's philosophy and the evidence for the soul existing independently from the body. The body is crude matter, the person is the soul, and the Force binds everything together. So the body is just a meat puppet animated by the soul. A sufficiently powerful soul could animate another body. And so Palpatine did.

I thought the Dark Empire portrayal of Palpatine was pathetic. In ROTJ he was a distinctive villain, whereas in the Dark Empire, Dark Empire 2 and Empire's End comics has was just a non-disticntive cliche villain and rather annoying. And they didn't bother to draw him looking anything like Palpatine.

You will note that I was including the DE Sourcebook in my earlier comments on DE. Most of what we know of Palpatine's plans for his theocracy come from the Sourcebook. (And probably later books that I have not read.)

Anyhow, the bathrobe tyrant of RotJ served as a decent nemesis for Luke Skywalker after Lucas decided to make Vader more sympathetic. But nothing about him screamed "galactic emperor" or "dark overlord." He seemed to have no plan or vision for the empire he had created. If it was just an oversized bodyguard to support his lavish lifestyle on Coruscant, that's great, but hardly distinctive. Dark Empire and its ancillary materials defined those distinctive elements that made the Galactic Empire more than just a slightly overzealous version of the British Empire in space.

Re: Boba Fett, I am always surprised by how many OOT fans ignore the bit about the "pain and agony as you are slowly digested for a thousand years[*]." Taken at face value, Boba Fett could not possibly have died during Return of the Jedi. If we assume that Jabba was exaggerating by several orders of magnitude ... Boba Fett could not possibly have died during Return of the Jedi. I'd like to think anyone who fell into the Pit of Carkoon died quickly and painlessly, because I have an aversion to torture, but Jabba does not, so I think they survived in the Sarlacc a long time. And I think the guy covered in armor, weapons, and a jet pack could maybe get out. Turns out the people who Lucas's corporation hired to continue Star Wars agree with me on this one.

[*] You could try to knock a few centuries off the survival time by arguing that most of the digestion must be post mortem. However, Threepio's language is clear: The pain and agony are coterminous with the thousand years of digestion. How a human being could survive being lunch for a millennium is something else that the DESB explores. And it gives us this line which elevates an otherwise average roleplaying supplement to great literature: "Half a kiloton was excessive, even for Fett."

"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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Scruffy said:

Re: Boba Fett, I am always surprised by how many OOT fans ignore the bit about the "pain and agony as you are slowly digested for a thousand years[*]." Taken at face value, Boba Fett could not possibly have died during Return of the Jedi. If we assume that Jabba was exaggerating by several orders of magnitude ... Boba Fett could not possibly have died during Return of the Jedi. I'd like to think anyone who fell into the Pit of Carkoon died quickly and painlessly, because I have an aversion to torture, but Jabba does not, so I think they survived in the Sarlacc a long time. And I think the guy covered in armor, weapons, and a jet pack could maybe get out. Turns out the people who Lucas's corporation hired to continue Star Wars agree with me on this one.

[*] You could try to knock a few centuries off the survival time by arguing that most of the digestion must be post mortem. However, Threepio's language is clear: The pain and agony are coterminous with the thousand years of digestion. How a human being could survive being lunch for a millennium is something else that the DESB explores. And it gives us this line which elevates an otherwise average roleplaying supplement to great literature: "Half a kiloton was excessive, even for Fett."

3PO wasn't lecturing on xenobiology, he was translating for Jabba, who had a clear, almost religious revererence for the 'Allmighty Sarlac' (slugaliens need to stick together). I always figured it was just hyberbole.

 

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 (Edited)

Tales of the Bounty Hunters, Tales from Mos Eisly, and Tales of the Jedi sound like books I might need to look into.  If they steer clear of the revised miniature Star Wars universe where everyone is related to each other, they would be something I’m definitely interested in.

 

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You believe what you want to believe.

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Scruffy said:
Vaderisnothayden said:

Kenobi wasn't resurrected. He became a ghost. That's dead.

Maybe my materialist/antisupernaturalist bias is showing, but for storytelling purposes there's no practical difference between a ghost and a resurrection. In both cases, the finality of death is undone and the dead are free to interact with the living, make and carry out plans, influence the universe, etc. It's not like Kenobi was a shade combined to the underworld, or doomed for a certain term to walk the night. He just tricked Vader into discorporating him so he could act in secret, unencumbered by a physical shell. He wasn't a classical ghost segregated from the living world, a Shakespearean soul in torment, a Victorian table-knocker, or a modern residual haunting. He was just a non-corporeal living being.

And he wasn't the only one. By the end of the Trilogy, we had also seen Anakin and Yoda in this state. That is, every Force-sensitve bar one who physically died wasn't really dead. They were shown dying, on film, then the filmmaker resurrected them. As "ghosts." This is hardly surprising--the same filmmaker filled his universe with telekinesis, telepathy, and clairvoyance, so ghosts fit right in.

Dead is dead, ghost or no. They were ghosts, not resurrected. Palpatine was resurrected as flesh and blood. Big difference.

Now, does Palpatine's "resurrection" fit in as well? I'd argue that it does. Remember, when DE was written every other Force-user was able to maintain their consciousness and personality after death. Why not Palpatine? The circumstantial evidence suggests he could. And--in a universe full of telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, and ghosts--who's to say possession doesn't also occur? It's a logical outgrowth of Yoda's philosophy and the evidence for the soul existing independently from the body. The body is crude matter, the person is the soul, and the Force binds everything together. So the body is just a meat puppet animated by the soul. A sufficiently powerful soul could animate another body. And so Palpatine did.

That's just rationalizing it. But really Palpatine's resurrection as flesh and blood is another class of thing entirely and strains suspension of disbelief more and generally makes the whole thing feel less real.

 

You will note that I was including the DE Sourcebook in my earlier comments on DE. Most of what we know of Palpatine's plans for his theocracy come from the Sourcebook. (And probably later books that I have not read.)

Anyhow, the bathrobe tyrant of RotJ served as a decent nemesis for Luke Skywalker after Lucas decided to make Vader more sympathetic. But nothing about him screamed "galactic emperor" or "dark overlord." He seemed to have no plan or vision for the empire he had created. If it was just an oversized bodyguard to support his lavish lifestyle on Coruscant, that's great, but hardly distinctive. Dark Empire and its ancillary materials defined those distinctive elements that made the Galactic Empire more than just a slightly overzealous version of the British Empire in space.

Well, I don't think any of that is necessary. The empire and emperor do quite well as they are in the films. And no amount of Dark Empire Sourcebook stuff changes the fact that Palpatine as done in those comics comes off as a totally non-distinctive cliche villain not written intelligently at all and failing to come off genuinely like Palpatine. ROTJ's Palpatine was distinctive and convincing. DE's Palpatine is nothing of the sort and is just low level cheese.

Re: Boba Fett, I am always surprised by how many OOT fans ignore the bit about the "pain and agony as you are slowly digested for a thousand years[*]." Taken at face value, Boba Fett could not possibly have died during Return of the Jedi. If we assume that Jabba was exaggerating by several orders of magnitude ... Boba Fett could not possibly have died during Return of the Jedi. I'd like to think anyone who fell into the Pit of Carkoon died quickly and painlessly, because I have an aversion to torture, but Jabba does not, so I think they survived in the Sarlacc a long time. And I think the guy covered in armor, weapons, and a jet pack could maybe get out. Turns out the people who Lucas's corporation hired to continue Star Wars agree with me on this one.

[*] You could try to knock a few centuries off the survival time by arguing that most of the digestion must be post mortem. However, Threepio's language is clear: The pain and agony are coterminous with the thousand years of digestion. How a human being could survive being lunch for a millennium is something else that the DESB explores. And it gives us this line which elevates an otherwise average roleplaying supplement to great literature: "Half a kiloton was excessive, even for Fett."

The digesting for a thousand years line doesn't change the fact that Fett was supposed to die in ROTJ. His resurrection in the expanded universe was stupid and done just to satisfy fans.  

 

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Anchorhead said:

Tales of the Bounty Hunters, Tales from Mos Eisly, and Tales of the Jedi sound like books I might need to look into.  If they steer clear of the revised miniature Star Wars universe where everyone is related to each other, they would be something I’m definitely interested in.

 

 

Tales of the Jedi (it is a comic book series, not any actual novels as far as I know) have a radio drama adaption for the first few parts of the series, as do a few selected stories from Tales from Mos Eisely (which is a novel). If you live in a city with a halfway decent public library, they might have them, and if not, should be able to aquire them for you through interlibrary loan.

As for the Star Wars: Tales of... books, a lot of it really is crap, but for the most part it is unrelated to the main story and characters of the films. Each one graps a handful of background characters and makes them the main character of their own random sci-fi story taking place in the SW universe. If you are into sci-fi books in general, you might enjoy these. The nice thing about them is they are collections of short stories, so if you find you are not enjoying one story at all, you can skip over to the next one without missing anything.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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they have the series put into graphic novels or omnibus's. i prefer to have them all in one book.

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This thread made me want to give some EU a try again.

Just read the first of the "Han Solo" trilogy by AC Crispin. "Paradise Snare."

Not half bad. Not exactly the origin for Han Solo I would have picked, (the robot named F8GN was a little much) but a fun read. A nice small story with a young, not yet too jaded Han. Not Earthshakingly great, but definelty not throw across the room bad.

I'm picking up the next one tommorrow.

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And...?

I believe you've had more than enough time to read it?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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xhonzi said:

And...?

I believe you've had more than enough time to read it?

 Sheesh. There's a post I'd forgoten about.

Well I did finish the trilogy and liked them less and less as they went.

They made it so that "Han Solo- Dashing Rogue only out for himself" that we meet in Mos Eisly was actually "Han Solo- Idealistic Hero with a Bad Break suffering from Heart Break"

If he was already a hero willing to champion the little guy against the Big Bads, and had just hit a rough patch, it makes him in the movies a lot less compelling.

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I liked the EU before it was a redo of the bad prequels.  Man what can't Lucas ruin.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Sorry for the necropost, but I've got to get this off my chest.

I like - no, love - how the EU portrayed the Sith prior to the prequels.

They weren't simply evil or anti-Jedi. They were dark sorcerors and black knights. They had kingdoms and dynasties. They could tear stars apart and twist living creatures into horrendous abominations with their black arts.

They sure as hell weren't red glowstick-twirling KISS rejects with juvenile club names.

This

 

mops the floor with this

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Hotlinking problem with your second pic there Duracell.

I'm not much of a fan of the EU novels, my favorites are the original Han and Lando trilogies. But my favorite kind of EU is the comics. The Marvel comics to an extent, they can be fun but I mean the more modern Dark Horse titles. Stuff like Legacy (not related to the novels by the same name) or my all time favorite Dark Times.

You'd be surprised but the comics actually made the prequel era pretty interesting in the Republic series once John Ostrander and Jan Duursema took over. But if you want some excellent vintage era stories you need look no further than the Star Wars daily newspaper strips by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson published from 1981 to 1984. Fantastically written stories with amazing art to go with it.

Other than that though, I also love the stories in a few of the video games that have come out over the years. The Dark Forces series was great, my personal favorite being Jedi Outcast. So were Bounty Hunter and Republic Commando both prequel era stories that surpassed their source material. Lastly is a sadly overlooked title for the PSP called Lethal Alliance, sure it rehashed an often told story (Death Star Plans) but it did so in an entertainingly epic fashion on a tiny screen.

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Tobar said:

Hotlinking problem with your second pic there Duracell.

No biggie. It was just a picture of Dooku with some stupid "He took my ice cream cone away from me, mama!" expression on his face.

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I’m a huge Anakin/Vader fan and I don’t tend to like things pre-Anakin’s life or post-Anakin’s death.

The Thrawn trilogy is one of the few post-Anakin’s death series that I have read. It was pretty good.

I’ve enjoyed some of the Fett stories, books and comics – both Boba and Jango. Jango was one of the few things/characters I enjoyed from the PT.

I’ve also read some of the Clone War stuff.

One book I enjoyed was a novel that takes place after Episode I called Rogue Planet. I think Greg Bear is one of the best Sci-Fi writers out there and I really enjoyed his book. One of the reasons is that it has a lot of Tarkin in it. Also, there was a big role for a character that I really enjoyed – Raith Sienar.

Personally, I’ve always felt that Tarkin should have had a much more prominent role in the PT. I had the idea that Tarkin could have been used as the duplicitous character while making Palpatine seem like an innocent dupe. Star Wars fans would’ve already known the truth, but I think it would’ve made for more complexity, more suspense, and more drama if the average audience member was led to believe that Tarkin was the real bad guy in all of this.

I had the idea (back when I was thinking about rewriting the prequels) that Tarkin would’ve been vice-chancellor under Palpatine rather than that silly Mas Amedda.

As for Sienar, we know that he constructed Maul’s Sith Infiltrator. In the novel Rogue Planet, he is the one who comes up with the idea for the Death Star. Tarkin shows an interest. It is very well done.

So I think I would’ve used Sienar in some capacity in the PT. One possibility is having him construct the ships used by the clones in Episode II. Have it be some secret contract given to him by Tarkin. This would show that Tarkin knew about the clones, knew a war with the Separatists was coming, etc. It could've all come to a head.

Lastly, I liked Shadows of the Empire. Sure, I know it has some problems but maybe I just like the idea of having another pseudo-OT film. I’ve always thought Lucas could’ve made good money back then (and maybe today) if he did one of those direct-to-DVD cartoon movies of Shadows of the Empire like we've seen with all these superhero cartoon films the past few years.

“Anakin had those qualities so rarely seen, exuding an unmistakable confidence and yet still able to touch one’s heart in simply knowing how he was so flawed… wounded.”

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C3PX said:

Anchorhead said:

sound like books I might need to look into.  If they steer clear of the revised miniature Star Wars universe where everyone is related to each other, they would be something I’m definitely interested in.

 

 

Tales of the Jedi (it is a comic book series, not any actual novels as far as I know) have a radio drama adaption for the first few parts of the series, as do a few selected stories from Tales from Mos Eisely (which is a novel). If you live in a city with a halfway decent public library, they might have them, and if not, should be able to aquire them for you through interlibrary loan.

As for the Star Wars: Tales of... books, a lot of it really is crap, but for the most part it is unrelated to the main story and characters of the films. Each one graps a handful of background characters and makes them the main character of their own random sci-fi story taking place in the SW universe. If you are into sci-fi books in general, you might enjoy these. The nice thing about them is they are collections of short stories, so if you find you are not enjoying one story at all, you can skip over to the next one without missing anything.

 This is why these are the best EU books I have read. They truely do expand on the universe, and aren't creatively castrated by being tied to some hack-job chronology, etc. I like the individual author styles, which are often much different from what one might expect from a SW novel, whether they are uncharacteristically realistic or totally out there. I'll admit I haven't read that much EU, but I enjoyed the Tales Of stories a lot. Even though people make fun of stuff like IG-88 being the Death Star brain--I like it. It's Twilight Zone for Star Wars sometimes. Or would you rather have Chewbacca killed by a moon colliding with him? Honestly, what stoner thought up that one? "Duuude...what if Chewie gets hit by a moon?? Woah, far out!"

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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zombie84 said:

Or would you rather have Chewbacca killed by a moon colliding with him? Honestly, what stoner thought up that one? "Duuude...what if Chewie gets hit by a moon?? Woah, far out!"

I can kinda understand what they were going for with Chewie's death. Up til that point the good guys kept getting into all sorts of dangerous situations without suffering any long-term consequences; the idea of killing off a major character was meant to inject some aura of true danger and uncertainty into the mix.

I think they went too far with actually killing Chewie off, though. They could have done anything short of killing him or any other major character from the films and still acheived their goal.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

 

I think they went too far with actually killing Chewie off, though. They could have done anything short of killing him or any other major character from the films and still acheived their goal.

I gave up the EU for years after the death of Chewie (but the reason was the book was awful).

But I understand why Chewie died. How exciting is a series of books where you know for a fact no matter where the story goes and what happens, the status quo for the core dozen characters will never ever change?

By the New Jedi Order series there were the film characters in their 50s who after 30 years of fighting had never suffered anything ever.

Now Chewie's dead, a couple of Han's kids are dead, Luke's wife is dead. While I don't think these have improve the EU much I can at least read a book and no longer know exactly how it's going to end.

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Yeah. That's the problem when you have a market as saturated as the EU is. That's why I liked the Tales of books--hardly even has the main characters. Why should every book be about Luke or Han? There are a million books about them if you are interested in that.

Ultimately the problem with the EU is that they produce books not because they have a good story in mind that they would like to tell, but because they simply have to publish something. They need a new novel out every month or so for each demographic; the selling comes first, and then they quickly plunk down something that will be ready for the release date they have pre-set. So, many of the stories aren't worth telling or don't fit in with continuity or seem out of character or whatever. But then they become part of the canon or chronology, so future books instead of coming up with a continuity that would be best, have to abide by a lot of the crap from the past. Over a long enough time, you get tied down by your own volume. It's what happens to comic books, and at a certain point they just sort of start ignoring things and starting over. Unfortunately, SW is sort of defined by its chronology and the concept of "Canon", so its difficult to break away and reset the clock.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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After the Hand of Thrawn duology, they really should have moved beyond Luke, Han, and Leia. If they had toned down the NJO they could have used it as a send off for the classic characters, and then started focusing on other more minor characters and exploring the greater SW Universe. There was plenty of potential in the next generation of Solos and Skywalkers and the one-off characters and entities briefly explored in the vast amount of comics and novels.

Instead we have to see galactic civil wars, Jedi purges, and reborn Empires & Sith reused, reduced, and recycled ad infinitum. No originality or sense of broadening the horizons whatsoever.

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I liked the early 90's Classic Star Wars comics, which reprinted and edited the 1981 -1983 Goodwin / Williamson comic strips.  They aren't very intellectually stimulating, some of the stories a little over the top, but the art was nice; and they very much  had the OT era feel.  The stories were not as ridiculous as the Marvel series, probably because they were written for the strip format.

There's some neat stuff about Han and the bounty hunters, Luke spying on the construction of the Executor, an imperial admiral plot to kill Vader, an unlikely discovery of and escape to Hoth, some guy pretending to be Obi Wan, some space pirates and spice mine adventures, and even Jabba makes a brief appearance.

Like pretty much all of the EU, it's totally unnecessary and speculative, taking liberties with situations and characters that don't go over well with everyone, but when I was 12 it was very entertaining and imaginative.