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Literature: Legacy of the Force

A nine-book series set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, about eleven years after the New Jedi Order. Written in trios by Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss and Troy Denning. Opinions on this series are mixed, as you can see by the examples.

To make a nine-book-long story short: once upon a time there was a Jedi named Jacen Solo, who starts having prophetic Force visions that, if he doesn't turn to The Dark Side and become a Sith Lord, the galaxy will be doomed. So he turns to the Dark Side and becomes a Sith lord, getting co-rulership of the galaxy in the process, and alienating a lot of people, such as his parents, Han Solo and Leia Organa; his uncle Luke Skywalker, aunt Mara Jade and cousin Ben Skywalker; and his twin sister, Jaina Solo. Jacen justifies his continuing Face-Heel Turn with a lot of I Did What I Had to Do; an attitude his Sith teacher, Lady Lumiya, encourages. Driving Jacen furthermore is concern for his lover, Tenel Ka, whose relationship to him is secret because she's the crown princess of a very vindictive culture and their daughter, Allana, whose existence is even more secret. Much like what his grandfather went through.

For more details, check out Wookieepedia's entry on the series (spoilers abound, natch).

The books, in publishing and chronological order, are as follows:

  • Betrayal (hardcover, 2006)
  • Bloodlines (paperback, 2006)
  • Tempest (paperback, 2006)
  • Exile (paperback, 2007)
  • Sacrifice (hardcover, 2007)
  • Inferno (paperback, 2007)
  • Fury (paperback, 2007)
  • Revelation (paperback, 2008)
  • Invincible (hardcover, 2008)

Not to be confused with Star Wars: Legacy, although both of them have a Crapsack World and ignoble Skywalkers.

These books provide examples of:

  • Action Girl: Jaina Solo.
  • Action Mom: Mara Jade, Princess Leia, Tenel Ka.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Every Corellian in this series is a fascist, a terrorist, both, or supportive of the former. That includes Han Solo and Wedge Antilles, who directly aid a government led by genocidal war criminals.
  • Badass: Plenty.
  • Badass Gay: Goran Beviin, gay Mandalorian.
  • Badass Grandpa: Boba Fett.
  • Black Shirt: Leia becomes this in the first book, supporting the fascistic Corellians instead of the Alliance and leaking information which helps them win the Battle of Tralus. She eventually realizes she screwed up. Jacen/Caedus is this throughout the series.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The galaxy is reunited again by the end of the series at the cost of the fall of a hero, and Daala becomes Chief of State.
  • Cain and Abel: Jaina Solo vs. Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus, two twin duels in the final book. Jaina kills Jacen in the finale.
  • Canon Immigrant: Lumiya/Shira first appeared in the Marvel Star Wars comic series.
  • Character Development
  • Coincidental Broadcast
  • Combat Breakdown: Subverted in that the duel between Jacen and Mara goes straight to the breakdown.
  • Continuity Nod: "It is, as some admiral once said, a trap."
  • Cool Ship
  • Corrupt Politician: Every politician. If they're not corrupt, they're incompetent, or both. See Democracy Is Bad.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Caedus inflicts one on the Jedi team ambushing him on Coruscant. Fortunately, the Jedi manage to accomplish part of their mission anyway.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lumiya, Alema.
  • Darker and Edgier: Presumably what the writers were aiming for. What they actually hit on the other handů
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Darth Vectivus, a former Sith Lord who has the distinction of being a non-evil Sith in his life. According to Lumiya, anyway; this is the same Sith who created Force phantoms.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The actual elected government seems so hopelessly clueless that even Jacen's blatantly obvious grab for power slips right past them. In fact, they actually rubber stamp legislation that gives Jacen the power to effectively rewrite laws at will. They lose extra points due to the fact that Jacen's scheme is just a less subtle version of the same one Palpatine pulled off. Then of course there's Daala....
  • Designated Girl Fight: Mara vs. Lumiya.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Two of these, actually; Thrackan, who lasts for only the first two books, and Lumiya, who makes it until Sacrifice. After she dies, Jacen/Caedus fully takes over the Big Bad role.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Traviss in particular is fond of throwing in Real Life references in Star Wars clothing. For example, a planet is mentioned where the young warriors have to raise a cute animal as a pet and then have to slaughter it in order to graduate. Darakaer the legendary warrior who will return at the beating of his drum (Francis Drake); and some of Jacen's 'ends justify the means' quotes are borrowed from Tony Blair ("tough on chaos, tough on the causes of chaos"—"crime" in the original).
    • Also used in-story, with people left and right drawing comparisons between Jacen and Anakin Skywalker, often to his face. He concedes the similarities, but is convinced he can avoid making the same mistakes. He can't.
    • As if the comparisons to the events of Revengeof The Sith weren't enough, the planets wanting to leave the Republic in the Clone Wars were called the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Here the planets wanting to leave the Galactic Alliance are called the Confederation.
      • Another example, Jedi foresees a future where Sith rule the galaxy because the galaxy was not united and they played the factions against each other before swooping in and assuming control. Jedi realizes the best way to stop this is to unify the Galaxy. Said Jedi becomes a Sith in order to do so, and promptly gets defeated, which achieves his objective anyway. Jedi saves the Galaxy. Much like Revan.
  • Enemy Mine: Jaina and Boba. Also, the Jedi and the Moffs.
  • Entitled Bastard: Corellia.
  • Et Tu Iacen Tahirique?
  • Evil Counterpart: Lumiya to Mara and Luke, Caedus and Alema to Jaina.
  • Evil Is Petty: Although she denies it, there's still implication that Lumiya orchestrated everything—the civil war, Jacen's fall to the dark side, everything—just to get revenge on Luke.
  • Evil Plan: According to the Sith, they have one. And it doesn't include Jacen, but somebody called the One Sith (Darth Krayt's Order). Jacen's part of an altogether different plan.
  • Evil Redheads: Lumiya.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The war between the Galactic Alliance and the Confederation, from the end of Bloodlines to the middle of Inferno. Before that, Corellia and the GA were both led by reasonable people, both of whom had legitimate grievances. Then Thrackan Sal-Solo and Duur Gejjen come to power in the former, and Jacen Solo and Cha Niathal in the latter.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Mara's on the cover of a novel called Sacrifice. She's not gonna survive.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Begun in the previous trilogy, but taken up to the next level in the first book and just keeps going. Jacen and Tahiri. The latter got better, the former died.
    • Han, Leia, and Wedge in the first three books. They don't see it that way, but you can't really call anyone who supports Thrackan's regime as being good, seeing as he's a war criminal. Han later kills Thrackan himself with Boba Fett, Wedge leaves after Thrackan threatens to make him an Un-Person, and Leia was only supporting them because Han was, so she left after they made an attempt on Tenel Ka's life.
    • The entirety of the Corellian people, with the exception of a select few. Every single Corellian in this series is, at best, a smarmy slime ball. At worst, they are fascists or terrorists, seeking to plunge the entire Galaxy into a war because they didn't get to benefit from Alliance membership without paying their dues. The government they created for themselves is completely totalitarian, and unlike other examples in Star Wars, has the total, unflinching support of the populace. Han Solo, for example, abruptly transitions from a Lovable Rogue to a Grade-A Jerkass when he joins their cause.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Jacen sees a bunch of futures, all of them with a civil war. Except for one. To get this future, he has to...start a civil war.
  • Fallen Hero
  • Final Speech: Mara Jade Skywalker and Gilad Pellaeon.
  • Genre Savvy: In Fury, Admiral Antilles becomes aware that he's too moral for the government he's working with, and soon after he formally hands his position over to a more willing puppet he will be assassinated. He knows that there are only two really viable times for that in the near future; very soon after he makes the resignation speech, or a week later at a formal event. He makes plans for assassination attempts directly after the speech, knowing that that would wrap his story up more neatly. And he's right.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lumiya calling Alema Rar a "bugslut", for one, although that particular outburst isn't entirely unfounded.
    • Ben called Tahiri a "dark side slut".
  • Go Seduce My Arch Nemesis: Tahiri tries to do this to Ben.
  • Godwin's Law: Luke compares Omas to Palpatine at one point. What's truly hilarious about this comparison is that the side Omas opposes is actually filled with Imperial hardliners like Thrackan Sal-Solo and Turr Phennir. Sal-Solo was the deputy of Diktat Daclif Gallamby's pro-Imperial government and when he was driven out by the New Republic, he formed the Human League, essentially the Empire's "humanity first" policy taken to genocidal extremes. The man was a war criminal leading a major power, yet few paid attention to this, including Luke, Leia, and Han, all of whom foiled his previous plans. By the time the series is finished, Jacen actually does imitate Palpatine and Daala comes to power.
  • Harmful to Minors: Almost everything that Ben goes through.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Jacen/Darth Caedus.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Tahiri.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Red seems to be a popular hair color among Hapans, natural or not, and considering their culture...
  • Hero Antagonist: Everything Jacen does is to prevent a civil war in which he and his uncle are on opposite sides, leading to a duel in which Luke always dies. At that point, Luke was the only thing keeping the Jedi—and the galaxy at large—together, leading to even more factionalization. Also, in Fate of the Jedi, Jacen reveals to Luke that someone, most likely Ben, went over to the dark side in Jacen's vision. So Jacen manages to be a Villain Protagonist and Hero Antagonist at once.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Han and Leia while they supported Corellia.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Han and Leia, for thinking that a Corellian government led by Thrackan Sal-Solo and his assorted ex-Imperial black shirts could be anything less than pure evil.
    • Cal Omas and the Alliance government handing Jacen power more or less the same way the Senate of the Republic kept increasing Palpatine's authority during the Clone Wars.
    • Jacen flat out tells Niathal that he's a Sith Lord. Having apparently slept through history class in school, she doesn't know what a Sith is.
  • Infant Immortality: Allana survives.
  • In the Blood: Jacen's channeling his grandfather.
    • Ben gets a bit too. Luke and Mara were both trained as assassins, but when on a mission to assassinate Vader and Luke respectively, they gave up that path. Also, Ben seems to have inherited his father's skill with the ladies, (It happened to Luke in The Courtship of Princess Leia.)
  • Karma Houdini: The entire Confederation. And, for that matter, Han and Leia, who are back to being Alliance VI Ps after betraying Omas, without even a slap on the wrist.
  • Kill 'em All: The series has one of the highest bodycounts in the Expanded Universe. At least eight important, pre-existing characters are killed off: Thrackan Sal-Solo, Lumiya, Alema Rar, Cal Omas, Prince Isolder, Mara Jade Skywalker, Gilad Pellaeon and Jacen Solo.
  • Knight Templar: Jacen/Darth Caedus firmly believes that what he's doing will bring lasting peace to the galaxy, and that all his murders, betrayals, terrorism and other crimes are ultimately justified.
  • Lampshade Hanging
  • Love Makes You Evil: The whole reason behind Jacen's downfall.
    • Also, Tahiri just had loved Anakin too much to let go and so was corrupted by Caedus.
  • Mama Bear: Mara, as seen in her fight with Lumiya.
  • Misplaced Nationalism: Han is an in-universe example, fighting for Corellia when he hasn't lived there in decades and when the ruling government adopted policies and ideologies he normally considered repugnant.
  • The Mole: During the Battle of Tralus, Leia feeds the Corellians key intelligence that allows them to drive the Alliance off the planet.
  • Moral Dissonance: Han has this a lot early on, where he has some massive hatred for the Galactic Alliance (pre-Caedus), where he compares them to the Galactic Empire and the Corellians to the Rebel Alliance of old. This despite the Corellian government being a totalitarian confederacy led by his evil cousin, who he fought, and who is responsible for several cases of genocide, both attempted and carried out. Luke lampshades exactly how moronic the comparison is.
  • Motive Decay: Played straight with Jacen. Motive Decay is an occupational hazard with Sith Lords. Every Sith we've seen has degenerated into committing acts of sheer evil. This suggests that the trope in question is intrinsic to the Star Wars concept of The Dark Side. In the Star Wars galaxy, a Sith's motives decay themselves.
  • Necessarily Evil: Caedus.
  • Never My Fault: The more Jacen descends into the Dark Side, the more he embodies this trope.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Blowing up Centerpoint Station in Fury comes back to haunt everyone in Fate of the Jedi as it was helping keep the Dark Side entity Abeloth imprisoned.
  • Not Quite Dead: Alema managed to survive the events of the Dark Nest Trilogy.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Jaina to Jacen.
  • Obviously Evil: Caedus hits this by the third book, if not earlier.
    • Thrackan Sal-Solo. One must wonder how he ever got out of prison, or why anyone would want him as their leader. He also lacks subtlety, responding to dissenting government officials by openly threatening to have them killed.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Darth Caedus orders a terror bombardment of Kashyyyk as a reprisal for harboring Jedi.
  • Overprotective Dad: Wedge. Syal states that when she started dating he made her start carrying blasters. Wedge insisted on two, but Syal usually got by with just one.
    • Han has issues with Luke putting his children in danger again.
  • Palpatine's Time Travel Exemption Act: When you flow-walk, you're merely an observer.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Jacen is strutting around acting more and more like a sociopath, and it still takes several books for his parents, aunt and uncle to get a clue that something's wrong with him.
  • Professional Killer
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: This series has some of worst examples of any Star Wars work:
    • Han and Leia have few qualms about supporting a fascistic Corellian government that breaks galactic law, represses its own people, and gets into stupid and wasteful shooting wars. More importantly, the fact that this government is led by war criminals gets barely a mention, even from Leia, who is lock-step behind her husband in supporting them. This changes when they plan to assassinate Tenel Ka, their friend.
    • Wedge Antilles betrays the Alliance because they detained him as a Corellian national, and only betrays the Corellian government when Thrackan Sal-Solo threatens to do worse. The fact that he works for such a terrible government is a distant, secondary factor.
    • Ben Skywalker is remarkably aloof about working for an SS-like organization, until, of course, his mother is killed and his father and Jacen are openly in conflict.
    • Jacen believes everything he does is justified for the safety of his daughter. The fact that he is fighting a ruinous war of repression and conquest, likely killing or orphaning thousands of children, is completely lost on him.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Lumiya, although she says that revenge on Luke isn't her real motivation.
  • Putting on the Reich: GAG uniforms
  • Red-Headed Hero: Ben Skywalker.
  • Significant Anagram: 'Seha Dorvald' is an anagram for 'Sad Hard Love', fitting with what she goes through.
  • Silly Reason for War: A massive galactic war, the return of the Sith, the fragmentation of the galactic government, the fall of a once great young man, and the death of millions all because Corellia drew the short stick in a naval allocation agreement.
  • Shoot the Dog: Syal shoots the fake mechanic who's actually Thrackan's spy in the first book.
  • Smug Snake: Niathal.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad Each of the authors had their own, as mentioned in the summary.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Between cloning, Boba's carbonited wife, and a case of Luke, You Are My Father, the Fetts could give the Skywalkers a run for their money.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: The entire cast. But Han and Leia are stand-out examples, for directly aiding a Corellian government that condones terrorism and which is led by a genocidal war criminal, who they once put into jail nearly twenty years before.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Han and Leia think they have the moral high ground by supporting a totalitarian, Card-Carrying Villain government on Corellia, simply because they are rebels. In Leia's case, she outright commits treason against the Alliance.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Ben keeps his mother's platinum locket with him from Revelation onwards.
  • Tranquil Fury: Luke, of course, but the circumstances could as well have pushed him the other way, and nearly did.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Like mother, like son.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jacen/Caedus.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Not very obvious, it lasts through several books and shows itself fully near the end of Invincible.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • We Will Not Use Stage Make-Up in the Future: Dolling up as impersonators of yourselves is a crazy idea.
  • Wham Line: Jacen's final line in Inferno.
    "Caedus. My name is Darth Caedus."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The conclusion of the war which drives the first part of the story is kind of glossed over by the end of the series. The last book is essentially about Jaina seeking out and fighting Jacen, and ends with Daala taking control of the Alliance. The outcome of the war is unclear.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Neither Boba nor Mirta can go back to Mandalore because of the nanovirus which was planted there by the Moffs.
  • You Killed My Father: Replace "father" with "mother", and this is what happens when Ben confronts Jacen.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit / Gambit Roulette / Thanatos Gambit: Jacen. The "roulette" part is lampshaded/handwaved by "flow-walking", which is basically the power to engage in a plausible Gambit Roulette.

Dark Nest TrilogyCreator/Troy DenningNew Jedi Order
Dark Nest TrilogyRecap/Star Wars Expanded UniverseCrosscurrent

alternative title(s): Legacy Of The Force
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