Literature: Legacy of the Force aka: Legacyofthe 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, Rocks Fall and Everyone Dies. 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. Umm…Does This Remind You of Anything?Notably, each author had a sort of pet character set that was almost entirely ignored by the other two. Allston had the aged pilot-general Wedge Antilles, and by extension Wedge's family and friends. Denning had the Barabel Jedi Saba Sebatyne and the morally-questionable Jedi Alema Rar. Traviss had Boba Fett and the Mandalorians, to the greatest degree of the three.For more details, check out Wookieepedia's entry on the series (spoilers abound, natch).The books, in publishing and chronological order, are as follows:
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.
By The Gay: Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur are married. And both men. No character ever mentions this. On top of this, they also have an adopted daughter, two grandkids and a farm that bears their combined names (Beviin-Vasur).
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
More like outright Downer Ending as nothing good comes out of the ending. Even though Star Wars is supposed to be about redemption, our "heroes" instead brutally kill former hero Jacen, thus turning the entire New Jedi Order series into a colossal example of a Shaggy Dog Story. The Jedi learn nothing from this experience other than "ah well, it couldn't be helped" and then Daala, one of the biggest Card Carrying Villains in the EU, becomes Chief of State. The galaxy is reunited...but for what?
This is even lampshaded before the war even starts. It's mentioned numerous times that the entire Second Galactic Civil War is a stupid idea that will accomplish nothing except wasting lives and mass destruction.
An explanation: Star Wars has five levels of canon: G (George), T (The Clone Wars and the upcoming live-action series), C (most non-George stuff from the 1990s onward), S (non-George stuff from the 1970s and 80s), and N (non-canon items like game mechanics). Lumiya would be S-canon, until this work made her C-canon.
Darker and Edgier: Presumably what the writers were aiming for. What they actually hit on the other hand…
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 is Daala....
While the standard example of "Mandalorians as written by Karen Traviss vs. Mandalorians as written by everyone else" certainly applies, even more jarring is Jacen's apparent schizophrenia in the middle of the series, when the writers couldn't seem to reach a consensus on whether or not he was evil yet. This resulted in him being a Knight Templar (Denning), a Well-Intentioned Extremist (Traviss) and Dastardly Whiplash (Allston) in the space of three books (Exile, Sacrafice and Inferno).
Actually, it was revealed years earlier that her father, Prince Isolder had an older brother who was assassinated. Presumably, he sired children before he died.
Isolder's brother didn't, otherwise Courtship's plot makes no sense. However, Ta'a Chume had a number of sisters, and they had heirs (they come up in Dark Journey). They would be "cousins" of Tenel's, just not first cousins.
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.
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 Sith in order to do so, and promptly gets defeated, which achieves his objective anyway. Jedi saves the Galaxy. I'm looking at you Revan!
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, and the whole damn thing goes to hell. Not to mention the staggering number of characters in general who are a Jerk Ass or worse.
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 is a war criminal and the Confederation is overtly fascist. 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.
Freud Was Right: So let me get this straight. Jacen traumatizes Ben in so many ways, all the time with Luke's approval.
Fridge Brilliance: So fridge-y that, after Jacen kills Ailyn Vel, not no one in the cast — even Jacen — remembers that she tried to kill him twice in Shards of Alderaan!
Gainax Ending: Boba and Mirta can't return to Mandalore or they'll die, Daala's president (How?), and is Jacen redeemed or not?Word of God says the last one is open to interpretation.
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.
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.
Heroes Want Redheads: Apparently red is a popular hair color among Hapans, natural or not, and considering their culture...
Both Luke's wife and his former Honey Trap are redheads.
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 Villain Protagonist and Hero Antagonist at once. Darth Chicken would be so proud.
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, for basically handing Jacen power more or less the same way the Senate of the Republic kept increasing Palpatine's authority during the Clone Wars.
Luke and Mara apparently think that an internship with the secret police is a reasonable source of career experience for a teenage boy that is not even a fully-trained Jedi Knight and who might be at possible risk of being subverted by the Dark Side while out crushing political dissidents.
Jacen shows up for the funeral of his Aunt Mara, whom he secretly murdered, dressed like Darth Vader◊ sans the mask and blinking lights, and somehow nobody amongst the attending Jedi seems to find this at all suspicious, even in light of Jacen's increasingly questionable actions that they do know about.
Jacen flat out tells Niathal that he is a Sith Lord. Having apparently slept through history class in school she does not know what this is. Never bothers to look into it further either.
In the Blood: Jacen seems to be deliberately trying to repeat his grandfather's mistakes.
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 goddamn Confederation. The war started because Corellia's asshattery (Jacen Solo wasn't even in the political picture and the factory he raided with Ben was producing illegal weaponry). They try to assassinate Tenel Ka. They were led by war criminal Thrackan Sal-Solo and Duur Gejjen, both of whom were grade-A assholes. They used germ warfare on Coruscant and tried to use Centerpoint Station to blow up Coruscant, a planet with multiple trillions of inhabitants. Corellia was using the benefits of Alliance membership while refusing to contribute its fair share in tax revenue and fleet contributions. Not to mention that Corellia had already been secretly obtaining military grade hardware for a secret fleet that it was building to wage war on the Alliance. The Corellians were throwing their weight around, acting belligerent, and being bullheaded contrarians most of the time. Also, the Confederation won two major battles: Tralus and Kashyyyk, and these were both early in the war. They lost Centerpoint Station (their trump card), they lost at Hapes, at Kuat, and drew even at Gilatter VIII. Commenor had an asteroid rammed into it, and Fondor broke off to join Niathal's faction of the Alliance. Corellia spent half the war in a state of siege, broken only with the help of Bothawui (which later rejoins the GA), and the entire Confederation fleet gets trapped and surrenders during the Battle of Roche. It was only Jaina and Ben's efforts and the Jedi Coalition's victory that prevented the Caedus faction from winning. In other words, by the time Caedus died, Corellia had already lost the war. Yet they somehow, despite being repeatedly kicked into the ground, manage to magically come out independent and a major power.
Also Tahiri just had loved Anakin too much to let go and so was corrupted by Caedus.
Luke, You Are My Father: Averted in oh, so many ways. Appropriately enough, the alleged father is Luke. Of course, even if Luke ever did anything with Shira, either she would've had Brisha when she was a Rebel (which we know didn't happen) or she would've aborted when she crashed. And shouldn't Mara know this already, with their Force bond? Of course, Brisha is Lumiya.
But played straight by Boba and Mirta. Except Mirta is Boba's granddaughter.
Mama Bear: Subverted in Lumiya's case; she doesn't have any children, and it's a pretense to lure the REAL Mama Bear out. Done ridiculously straight in Mara's case (the real bear) - and leads to a nasty catfight between the two of them. One for my caution checklist - never piss off an overprotective ex-assassin.
Misplaced Nationalism: Han is an in-universe example, fighting for Corellia when he has not lived there in decades and when the ruling government adopted policies and ideologies he normally considered repugnant.
Not to mention the Jedi skipping straight to "assassination is the only option" after nothing else had been seriously tried to deal with Caedus. (Especially since he wasn't just a Villain of the Week- he was the son of two of the heroes, nephew of a third, and twin brother of a fourth).
Jaina is a bitch in this book series.
To be fair the Jedi did send a team to arrest Jacen (led by Chuc- erm, Kyle Katarn) which failed before they moved on to the assassination. Also if he was going to give up he would have done so by now and you really don't take force users alive.
Han has this a lot early on, where he has a massive hate-boner for the Galactic Alliance (pre-Jacen), 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.
Obviously Evil: Caedus hits this by the third book, if not earlier. The only purpose this really serves is to make Luke and Mara look like idiots for not having him up in front of the Jedi Council, or at least getting Ben away from him.
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, ah, issues with Luke putting his children in danger again.
Could be Corellian culture in play again, given the book series in general reinforces the "wild and violent and freewhelling Corellian" stereotype.
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 is wrong with him. Meanwhile, Luke and Mara are somehow okay with their teenage son joining the secret police.
Readers Are Morons: In the end of Fury our heroes manages to take (back) Allana from Jacen and he immediately orders his men to stop firing on the Falcon. The narrative then quickly points out that he does this because he doesn't want to blow up the ship carrying his daughter. Well duh!
NO. NO "duh". From what I remember he states that in his orders anyway.
Retcon: Well, nothing much else can explain how Daala, one of the most incompetent Imperial leaders in the EU, is suddenly treated as Thrawn-lite.
She isn't Thrawn like, just apparently a decent political leader for the Galactic Alliance.
Intensive brain surgery to fix the brain damage mentioned in the Death Star novel?
It would make a lot more sense if the Thrawn clone hinted to exist in Survivors Quest was originally supposed to fill Daala's role, only to get switched out at the last moment for reasons known only to Del Rey.
Probably, for at least one reason, because Karen Traviss wanted that inane scene where Pallaeon said "Do you think it's time for our first female Moff?" after a conversation with her(Yes. Karen Traviss had Gillead Pallaeon worshipping notorious war criminal NATISI-FREAKIN-DAALA). This despite the fact that several female Moffs had already been introduced in canon prior to Revelation, like the infinitely cooler Ysanne Isard.
Her previous attacks on the New Republic (in the Jedi Academy Trilogy), along with the fact that she is not even a citizen of the Alliance are somehow not obstacles to being named the Alliance's Chief of State, because everyone has seemingly either forgotten or just does not care anymore.
There's also the matter of Vergere. But that's a massive can of worms to open.
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 is actually Thrackan's spy in the first book.
Smug Snake: Caedus thinks he's a Magnificent Bastard, and the reader seems to be supposed to agree with him- but what we see is a second-rate schemer patting himself on the back for things Sidious could have accomplished in his sleep)
Niathal too… Nice job of controlling Jacen there Admiral. Really brought home when she turns against Caedus and is only able to persuade a third of the navy to follow her—even her own power base apparently prefers an insane Sith Lord.
Partially justified, as the previous books had made a point of showing how Jacen had put a LOT of time and effort into winning the loyalty of the common soldier.
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.
Tragic Keepsake: Ben keeps his mother's platinum locket with him from Revelation onwards
Villain Protagonist: Jacen/Caedus is very clearly the central character, though Ben and Jaina are the heroes.
Villainous Breakdown: Not very obvious, it lasts through several books and shows itself fully near the end of Invincible.
Villain Sue: In addition to Caedus's massive (and undeserved) in-universe reputation as the greatest evil mastermind since Palpatine, the plot bends over backwards to ensure that he isn't defeated until the whole nine books are up. In the first half of the series, nobody seems willing to admit that he might possibly be evil, despite acting like Darth Vader Jr. In the later half, even heroes who have Caedus at their mercy won't kill or capture him, for various trumped up reasons.
Remember this is in a different galaxy in the past.
Bringing one to a peace conference might be a bit of overkill. Pellaeon was right, mind you, but still…
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.
The neext book series deals with that, with Daala going hardline agains the Confederation