New Jedi Order is a Star Wars Expanded Universe series set twenty-five years after Star Wars: Episode IV--A New Hope. The galaxy is at peace. The Rebellion has become the New Republic. The Empire is reduced to a shadow of its former self, its surviving leaders much more reasonable (still authoritarian but not outright dictatorial), and a treaty exists between the Empire and the Republic. Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Order is still small, but growing—about a hundred all told. He also got married four years ago to a wonderful woman, also a Jedi and who happens to have once wanted to kill him. Their courtship was adorable. Han Solo and Leia Organa have been hitched for seventeen years, and have three teenaged children, all prodigies and strong in the Force.Then the Yuuzhan Vong come, at first on a small scale in the form of weird biological ships, carrying warriors that scar and tattoo and mutilate themselves, attack a few nothing worlds on the edge of known space. They're turned back, but then more come, and more, enough to conquer a galaxy, it seems. Fearless and fanatical, they crusade against the infidels and their machines and all of them, seemingly, don't exist in the Force. In their numbers, philosophy and ferocity, they promise to take a greater toll than the entire Galactic Civil War.They do.And then things get really bad.The New Jedi Order was the first novel series Del Rey Books produced once they acquired the license to produce Star Wars Expanded Universe novels from Lucasbooks after Bantam lost it. Originally intended to have twenty-five books, it ended up as a still-sprawling nineteen-book series over five years of both in-universe time and real time, composed mostly of hardcover one-shots and softcover miniseries, written by several authors. It was embroiled in controversy from the start, with the killing of a major movie character—one of the seven characters to appear in all three movies of the original trilogy and survive (Chewbacca). It continued by killing a small host of minor, secondary, and non-movie major characters, including several fan-favorites, and ended up exploring the very meaning of the Force, and whether the Dark Side existed at all. (Short answer: Not really. Long answer: Yes, it does, but not as previously thought.) The published novels are in chronological order as follows (hardcovers with a indentation, softcovers with two, even though they aren't necessarily direct sequels).
Vector Prime (1999)
Dark Tide I: Onslaught (2000)
Dark Tide II: Ruin (2000)
Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (2000)
Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (2000)
Balance Point (2000)
Edge Of Victory I: Conquest (2001)
Edge Of Victory II: Rebirth (2001)
Star By Star (2001)
Dark Journey (2002)
Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (2002)
Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand (2002)
Destiny's Way (2002)
Force Heretic I: Remnant (2003)
Force Heretic II: Refugee (2003)
Force Heretic III: Reunion (2003)
The Final Prophecy (2003)
The Unifying Force (2003)
The series also featured several short stories and e-book novellas set in the duration. These include:
"Recovery" (2001) - an e-book later reprinted in the paperback edition of Star By Star and set sometime after the events of Balance Point.
"Emissary of the Void" - a six-part story published in various issues of Star Wars Gamer and Star Wars Insider magazines, set after the events of Rebirth.
"The Apprentice" (2002) - a short story published in Star Wars Gamer #4 and set during the events of Dark Journey.
"Ylesia" (2002) - an e-book later reprinted in The Joiner King and set during the events of Destiny's Way.
Additional stories set during this era, but not published concurrently with the series include:
"Revenants" (2003) - a short comic published in Star Wars Tales #18. As with all Tales stories published in issues #1-20 it was considered Canon Discontinuity.
"Or Die Trying" (2004) - a short story published in Star Wars Insider #75 and set sometime after Refugee.
"Equals and Opposites" (2004) - a short comic story published in Star Wars Tales #21.
"A Practical Man" (2006) - an e-book later reprinted in the paperback edition of Sacrifice.
Aborted Arc: Several, unfortunately, as a side-effect of the multi-author format. The Great River, the Insiders, and Tahiri's destiny were probably the most notable.
Ikrit prophecies something great between Anakin and Tahiri. Given his death in Star by Star, this never comes.
Action Girl: Plenty. Not counting the Action Moms, Jaina is probably the most prominent, with Tahiri (and, by extension, Riina) and Alema also playing significant roles, plus minor characters like Chiss officer Irolia and any female redshirts or fighter pilots. On the Vong side of things, most of the named warrior caste members are male, but every so often a female warrior will show up.
A Day in the Limelight: Dark Tide for Corran Horn, Agents of Chaos for Han Solo, Edge of Victory for Anakin Solo, Dark Journey for Jaina Solo, Traitor for Jacen Solo and The Final Prophecy for Tahiri Veila.
The Alliance: By the end of the series, the Galactic Alliance, Empire, and Chiss are all working together to stop the Vong. Nas Choka ruefully reflects that the brutality of the Vong's policies prevented them from building an alliance of their own.
All Myths Are True: In-universe, Zonama Sekot. There are many legends about the wandering, living planet. Danni Quee says, "Every astronomer who's worked the Outer Rim knows about Zonama Sekot. They know it doesn't exist, for starters."
All There in the Manual: "The Apprentice" and "Ylesia" are akin to missing chapters belonging to Dark Journey and Destiny's Way respectively.
They also have similarities to the Tyranids and Zerg (extragalactic invaders with organic technology), the Dark Eldar (aliens with a religion centered on pain and death) and the Drow elves (highly organized and intelligent race of fanatical villains who are also prone to infighting).
Official artwork sometimes, particularly in the Invasion comic, depicts them with very Klingon-esque ridged foreheads (in the novels, Vong are described as having long, sloping foreheads but no ridges are mentioned). Both cultures happen to be Proud Warrior Races and significant enemies of their setting's primary protagonist faction. And like the Klingons, down the road they end up allies of the protagonists.
Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. The Vong are introduced as being this, but it's gradually revealed to be a function of their totalitarian government and toxic religion rather than something inborn. Later on, several Vong characters are given sympathetic character arcs- Harrar, Vua Rapuung, Nen Yim, and even Nom Anor to a degree.
Subverted with Nen Yim and Tahiri. They have very personal reasons to hate each other (Nen was part of the team that experiemented on a captive Tahiri; Tahiri killed Nen's mentor while escaping), but when they actually meet up again, they're initially antagonistic, but end of letting go of their hate for each other and end up in something of an Odd Friendship. Of course, Tahiri's Vong memories were adapted from Nen's, so it's perhaps unsurprising that they would develop a strong rapport against all odds.
Arc Welding: Supposedly, a lot of Palpatine's actions were to prepare for the coming invasion, at least according to Empire supporters. Thrawn's definitely were note Zahn had previously elaborated and/or retconned (depending on your point of view) Thrawns's motivations into wanting to protect the galaxy from invaders in Hand of Thrawn. The NJO established that the Vong were the threat he feared, and later books like Outbound Flight support this..
Battle in the Rain: Prior to being rescued by Luke and Jacen in Onslaught, Mara and Anakin do battle with a number of Yuuzhan Vong warriors who're chasing them in the rain. Additionally, while the text of Ruin didn't set Corran and Shedao's duel during a thunderstorm, an illustration in The New Essential Chronology did so.
The tactics adopted by New Republic pilots to take down Yuuzhan Vong fighters is to fire a large number of lower-powered shots to exhaust the coralskipper's dovin basal, before switching to quad-fire mode (which involves firing all their guns at once) to punch through its heavy armor.
Upon reverting from hyperspace in the middle of an enemy fleet in Rebel Dream, the Lusankya does this immediately and in all directions (seemingly at normal power, too). Its ability to do this as a matter of course proves quite useful for the requirements of Operation Emperor's Hammer later in that book, too.
Becoming the Mask: All along, Ganner Rhysode is only a conflicted Glory Hound, trying to fight his own "glory sickness" and fearful of not living up to what he is supposed to be—a hero. It is not until the events of Traitor that he finally learns his lesson, with Jacen's help, and makes his choice: he accepts his role as a sidekick, buying time for what Jacen has to do. His None Shall PassDying Moment of Awesome is the direct result, earning his title of hero among the Yuuzhan Vong.
Big Bad: Supreme Overlord Shimmra until Onimi's big reveal.
Big Damn Heroes: Kre’fey swooping in to save the fighters and refugees on Dantooine.
Bigger Bad: The Yuuzhan Vong pantheon, particularly Yun-Yammka, the War God. Subverted. The entity the Yun'o are derived from, the Genius Loci of the original Vong homeworld, was benevolent, and Yammka never actually existed at all.
In The Unifying Force, Caluula Station is defended by Boba Fett and the Mandalorians. Han was speechless.
Bittersweet Ending: The Vong are defeated and the Galaxy's at peace, but the damage the Vong caused isn't gonna heal, and everyone's future uncertain.
Black Cloak: Nom Anor wears one of these in Vector Prime with the intent of reminding Leia of Darth Vader.
Yuuzhan Vong warriors. Some priests have interpreted that their millennia long voyage through the intergalactic void was because the gods banished them for enjoying it too much. They're right.
In Destiny's Way, Admiral Kre'Fey requests more Jedi Knights to boost his forces. It's made almost explicit that Luke and the Council agree partly because the presence of Jedi around will keep Kre'Fey from straying into Blood Knight territory.
Blue and Orange Morality: What makes the Vong so scary- they do horrible things, but they do them with the unshakable belief that it's all not only morally justified, but morally required. At least until later in the series, when they start to realize that there are other ideas out there that might have merit.
Body Horror: A number of examples are present, such as the coral seed implants used to enslave and modify the physiology of non-Yuuzhan Vong. In the case of the Yuuzhan Vong themselves, implants are marks of honor. Failed implants are dishonorable and tend to rot while still attached. Other bad things can happen, as in the case of Tsavong Lah's sabotaged radank arm implant, which threatened to transform him into a radank.
Bond Creatures: Yuuzhan Vong ships, their amphistaffs, Jacen and the World-Brain.
Brainwashed and Crazy: The Yuuzhan Vong's slaves, especially the Chazrach, but some captive humans as well. A more subtle version of this was what the shapers had in mind for Tahiri, but that future was (probably) averted by Anakin.
Bus Crash: The last survivors of the Firrerreo species from The Crystal Star are mentioned to have had the planet that adopted them attacked by the Vong off-screen, and the species is now functionally extinct.
Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: The Yuuzhan Vong never follow through on their deals to spare planets, though in at least one case (Ithor), the Vong who made the deal to spare the planet (Shedao Shai) was not the same as the one who gave the order to destroy it (Deign Lian).
Cold-Blooded Torture: Most Vong are seriously into torture, though it's a bit hard to call it "cold-blooded" when they see it as an act of religious devotion. Then there's Duman Yaght, the commander of the prisoner transport from Star By Star, who goes out of his way to make his captives suffer just because he's a titanic jerk.
Cool Old Guy: The main characters from the movies have begun to verge into this, particularly Han, who's a good ten years older than Luke or Leia. For an evil version, there's Czulkang Lah, the Warmaster's father.
Colony Drop: In the very first book, the Yuuzhan Vong drop Sernpidal's moon onto the planet itself, killing thousands in the process (including Chewbacca during the half-successful evacuation attempt). This is actually a military tactic called Yo'gand's Core, named after the first Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong. It gets used again at least once during the war (against the planet Kalarba), and Shedao Shai at one point threatens to use it on Ithor. During and after the fall of Coruscant, the Vong bombard the planet with its own orbital defense stations.
During their assault on Borleis, the Yuuzhan Vong use a dovin basal to sweep the planet's orbital defense platforms out of the sky and plunge them into the planet's atmosphere.
Combat by Champion: The fate of planet Ithor is decided by a single battle between Corran and Shedao. And then ignored by his subordinate, who torches the place even after he's lost.
Combat Pragmatist: The YVH droids. When the demo unit discovers that its lasers, normally capable of being dialed up to take out a starfighter in one shot, are powered down for the demo, it simply strangles the Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators watching its demonstration.
The last book has a ship infected by a Vong-destroying plague head towards Zonama Sekot. Wedge jumps into an X-Wing and takes off after it, comparing the two to Luke and the Death Star. He needs to pick a call sign and chooses "Vader".
Covers Always Lie: There were no Trade Federation vessels in Ruin, Jedi Eclipse didn't feature Han and a Yuuzhan Vong warrior, Wedge didn't fly an X-wing in Rebel Dream (well, not in combat, anyway; he did fly Luke's for recon), and X-wings weren't present in Traitor,
Dark Is Not Evil: According to Vergere's philosophy, there is no separate "dark side", and the techniques traditionally associated with it are therefore not evil. Note that Vergere does not reject evil as a philosophical concept, merely that the dark side itself doesn't exist as an external corruptive force.
Darker and Edgier: Mostly due to the Vong, who are not only some of the most brutal villains the Star Wars universe produced, but also among the most successful, managing to break the back of the New Republic and seize most of the galaxy, along with killing numerous named characters and countless extras.
Darkest Hour: The Battle of Coruscant and Anakin Solo's death.
Disastrous Demonstration: Subverted when Lando demos the YVH droids. He ends the demonstration and the droid promptly opens fire on the crowd. Specifically on the ooglith masquer-wearing Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators watching the event.
Disney Death: At the climax of Onslaught Corran is considerably injured and poisoned by one of his Yuuzhan Vong opponents. Resigned to his fate, he experiences a floating sensation and concludes that this must be what it must feels like to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Later, Corran is revealed to be alive, and that floating sensation is revealed to have been his companion using telekinesis to lift Corran out of his sticky situation.
Do Androids Dream?: Picked up and dropped, depending on the author, but fairly prominent in the James Luceno novels.
Does Not Like Shoes: Tahiri Veila used to provide the page quote for that trope. It's explained as liking the cool floors after feeling only hot sands she previously lived with.
The Dog Was the Mastermind: The Yuuzhan Vong's leader is Shimrra, the Supreme Overlord, a god king who truly looks the part. At the liberation of Coruscant, it's revealed that he's been controlled through the Force by his jester Onimi. a being so far beneath him, he was considered little more than a pet.
Drives Like Crazy: Wonetun of the Wild Knights Squadron tends to fly his Skipray blastboat with the same sort of abandon usually reserved for starfighters whilst keeping the inertial compensator dialed down low enough that hapless crewmembers struggle between avoiding either falling unconscious or throwing up.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Luke's saved the galaxy many times and he's still not trusted by some people in the middle of a war where he and the Jedi have the few resounding victories against the invaders.
The Vong culture and military presented in the first few novels were even more dogmatic, masochistic, and incompetent than in later books. Explained in later books as being characteristic of the Praetorite Vong and Domain Shai, who made up the vanguard and may or may not have been put there so the rest of the Vong wouldn't have to deal with themnote this is all but canon for the Shai; Ruin ends with Deign Lian proudly reporting to Tsavong Lah that he arranged Shedao Shai's death. It's more ambiguous with the Praetorite, but it's clear that Da'Gara and co. were not well-liked.
Several aspects of Vong culture were also clearly not hammered out as of Vector Prime. Shapers are referred to as "alchemists", and don't seem to be a separate caste, as Nom Anor's dabbling in Shaping is presented as a path to advancement, while later books make it plain that it's eccentric and borderline-heretical. Too, Da'Gara and Nom Anor are presented as Yomin Carr's direct superiors, despite the fact that he's a warrior and they're intendents; later books would always structure the chain of command along caste lines.
The yammosk in the first book is also significantly more powerful and threatening than any others which would appear later and is revered as something close to a demigod by the Vong. Later yammosks are treated as, essentially, living supercomputers - highly valued and useful, to be sure, but not the superiors or even equals of the Vong themselves.
There's also the Ithorians. While Ithor was devastated by the Vong, by the time of Star Wars: Legacy its surface, while still requiring oxygen masks and pressure suits, is starting to regain some of its former plant life.
Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Averted. It's not until the Galactic Alliance readopts the asymmetric warfare strategies that helped the Rebels beat the Empire and combines them with such Imperial tactics as Orbital Bombardment that they start to gain the upper hand.
Eldritch Abomination: Several different species of Vonglife, most notably yammosks and their cousins, dhuryams. Picture a giant octopus with hundreds of tentacles, a keen but utterly alien intelligence, and tremendous telepathic powers, and you have some idea of how freaky these things are. They're generally not as outright evil as their masters, but their alien-ness can be every bit as dangerous. Many of the Vong gods also have this feel to them.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: In the last book, Jacen manages to attain Oneness with the Force and uses it to lay a major smackdown on Onimi.
Elite Mooks: An ordinary Vong warrior is more than a match for a Jedi, if they catch them unawares. Later in the series, they become somewhat less formidable as the Jedi become wise to their weak spots. They're still probably the most impressive mooks in the entire GFFA.
Enemy Mine: Anakin and Vua Rapuung, a Jedi and a disgraced Vong warrior who care little for each other, but team up to take on the Shapers.
Enigmatic Minion: Vergere. Nobody's quite sure what she wants or why she's helping the Vong. She was actually a good guy... or maybe she was actually a Sith double agent. She's complicated like that.
The Epic: Nineteen books, five years of in-universe time, and a borderline-apocalyptic war that shakes the galaxy to its foundations. It's the largest and most sweeping of any of the multi-book or comic arcs in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and its scope is unmatched by anything in the entire Star Wars 'verse with the possible exception of the core six movies.
Even Evil Has Standards: Tsavong Lah is disgusted when he hears about the familial dysfunctions the Solos go through while Han is grieving for Chewie. Justified because the Vong considered loyalty to one's family/domain to be of paramount importance.
Everything's Better with Rainbows: Subverted after the Yuuzhan Vong remake Coruscant in the image of their lost homeworld Yuuzhan'tar, Jacen (stranded there) sees the beautiful rainbow-hued planetary ring dominating the sky and realises how it inspired the Vong's brutal mindset by appearing to be a bridge to the gods.
Also, Shimrra has rainbow-hued eyes.
Eviler than Thou: The Yuuzhan Vong share a lot of similarities with the Yevetha, genocidal xenophobia and love of pain and bloody deaths among them. About halfway through the war, in exchange for having a group of planets that feared a Duskhan League resurgence surrendering without a fight, the Vong dispatch a battle group to N'zoth and glass it, wiping out the whole species.
Evil Overlord: Shimrra, who's actually called the Supreme Overlord.
Eye Scream: Vua Rapuung's method of taking out an opponent involves gouging out his eyes with his fingers and then lifting and throwing him aside by his eye sockets.
Family Values Villain: To a degree. Brutal and vicious as they are, the Vong have an incredibly strong sense of familial loyalty and devotion far stronger than most humans do, though they tend to aim this at their domains (extended families or clans) rather than at immediate blood relatives. Played interestingly in the Force Heretic books, where Tahiri's Vong personality re-emerging makes her more unstable and violent, but also causes her to glom onto the Solos even more tightly than she ever had before, as they were the closest thing to living family she had. Other characters explicitly discuss how in-line with Vong family values she's acting.
Fantastic Slur: The Vong call all other species "infidels". The inhabitants of the galaxy develop a number for the Vong, notably "scarheads", but the worst is actually the word "Vong" by itself- since the Yuuzhan Vong are named after their premier god, Yun-Yuuzhan, they get really touchy when his name is removed from theirs.
Full-Name Basis: The Vong always go by their full names, which are compose of their personal name followed by their domain (extended family) name. So for example, Tsavong Lah is Tsavong of Domain Lah, and omitting the "Lah" would be incredibly insulting, implying he has no standing in his family (though members of the same domain seem to be allowed some leeway here). Notable exceptions include Priests (who rarely use their domain names) the Supreme Overlord (who's transcended his domain) and the Shamed Ones (whose domains don't want them).
Gambit Pileup: Particularly in the last book, when Shimrra actually Onimi, Nom Anor, Drathul, Scaur, and the protagonists' plans all run into each other and create quite the spectacular mess.
A God Am I: Invoked by both Jacen and Jaina at various times to mess with or deceive the Vong. Played straight with a twist by Onimi- he believes that the twins (and several other Jedi) are gods, but that if he kills them, he can become a god himself.
Groin Attack: Both of Aaron Allston's books have one somewhere. Vong warriors wear skirt-plates, but don't seem to have anything under them. Lando just shoots one and lets his YVH dispatch it while it's screaming in more pain than even a Vong can handle, and Mara...
[...] in the middle of a quite elegant snap-kick against Mara, was receiving her lightsaber thrust up and under his skirt plates.
Guilt-Free Extermination War: The Bothan cultural practice of ar'krai, introduced in this series and which enlists every able-bodied Bothan to not only defeat their foes, but exterminate them altogether and grind their homeworld to dust. It's only been declared three times in their entire recorded history. After the fall of Coruscant and Borsk Fey'lya's Heroic Sacrifice, the Bothans declare ar'krai on the Vong, and the Dark Nest Trilogy mentions that there are still extremists trying to carry it out.
Half-Human Hybrid: As a result of a Shaper's experiment, Tahiri ends up half human, half Yuuzhan Vong. Her coming to terms with this is a huge part of her character development.
Happily Married: Briefly averted by Han and Leia in the early part of the series following Chewie's death, but soon rectified; played straight with Luke and Mara.
The Heavy: Nom Anor gets by far the most face-time and development of the major villains. For a stretch in the middle of the series, he shares the spot with Tsavong Lah.
Heel-Face Turn: Most of the Vong in the end, most notably Nen Yim, Harrar, and Nas Choka. Subverted with Nom Anor, who sides with the heroes in the final battle, but for his own selfish reasons. And then tries to kill them after the conclusion of said battle.
Hero Killer: The Yuuzhan Vong in general and literally, in Chewie and Anakin's cases.
The voxyn, bio-engineered servants of the Vong, are Jedi killers.
Heroic BSOD: Many, most memorably Jaina when Anakin dies.
Han spent most of the first part of the series (up until the Agents of Chaos mini-series, at least) going through one over the death of Chewie. Among other things, he grows a Beard of Sorrow and for a short time becomes estranged from his family.
Heroic RROD: Anakin Solo dies of this in Star By Star, leading to the above.
Heroic Sacrifice: Practically every good character who dies and is important, and quite a few who aren't, probably a few villain characters, too.
Homeworld Evacuation: The Yuuzhan Vong underwent a home galaxy evacuation, after massive wars of conquest and then internicine wars they started devastated so much of it that it was rendered incapable of sustaining their civilization (their actual homeworld was destroyed first, and it's speculated, though not fully confirmed, that they were the ones who did it). After travelling through the intergalactic void for milennia, they finally found the Star Wars galaxy- and decided to take over.
It's also been speculated that they were fleeing the Silentium-Abominor War, which would explain their belief that technology is unholy.
Killer Robot: The Yuuzhan Vong Hunter droids, who're programmed to kill Yuuzhan Vong and protect New Republic citizens and personnel. The Dark Nest Trilogy later had them reprogrammed to hunt Killiks.
Knight Templar: Most of the Vong are like this, viewing the inhabitants of the galaxy as corrupt infidels who need to be converted or exterminated, and some on the New Republic side become like this against the Vong. Lampshaded by Nom Anor in Traitor- "The problem with fanatics was that they had a tendency to take everything ten steps too far."
Laser-Guided Karma: The Yevetha, the just-as-racist-and-genocidal inhabitants of the Deep Core that gave the New Republic some trouble several years before, is subjected to a brutal invasion by the Vong during the war.
Loads and Loads of Characters: It's a nineteen-book epic space fantasy series linked into dozens of other novels from the same universe; that's longer in at least one way than the Wheel of Time, so imagine how many characters there are.
Love Epiphany: Tenal Ka finally realizes she loves Jacen after he's captured by the Vong, and she mistakenly believes he's been killed.
Mile-Long Ship: The series adds several more to the franchise's collection. These include the New Republic Viscount-class Star Defender battleship originally designed as a counter to the likes of the Executor-class star dreadnought; the Yuuzhan Vong koros-stronhatranslation "worldship", primarily generation ships but fully capable of defending themselves; and the Yuuzhan Vong kor chokktranslation "grand cruiser", warships such as Shedao Shai's Legacy of Torment that serve much the same command-and-control and heavy battleship role as super star destroyers.
Nom Anor, of all people, has one after he sics a bunch of warriors on a gathering of Shamed Ones (Shamed Ones who were following his teachings, no less) and saw them get slaughtered. It didn't really lead to a full-on Heel-Face Turn, but it did show that Anor was starting to develop standards.
My Species Doth Protest Too Much: A couple of Vong examples, most notably Nom Anor (who's utterly evil in a way completely different from his fellows- they're fanatical Knight Templars and he's a manipulative power-grabber) and Nen Yim (who is too coldly logical to go along with the more... crazy beliefs of her people, though she only starts openly going against the grain near the end).
Mythology Gag: Winking references to the movies are not uncommon here.
Never Found the Body: Nom Anor, leading to many fans speculating that he actually survived. So far, canon has neither confirmed nor denied this, but it's been so long since The Unifying Force in-universe that it's becoming increasingly unlikely.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Under normal circumstances, the arrival of the Lusankya and its subsequent pasting of the Yuuzhan Vong task force in at Borleias near the beginning of Rebel Dream would have been a Gunship Rescue moment. However, prior to its arrival, the New Republic forces at Borleias were counting on stringing along a merely average Yuuzhan Vong commander and fleet in order to fulfill their goals. When the Lusankya killed the commander and wiped out his forces, the Sorting Algorithm of Evil dictated that the Yuuzhan Vong send a more wily commander with a stronger task force.
A particularly cruel variant appears in Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse. The heroes are considering using Centerpoint Station to attack the Yuuzhan Vong fleet, but Anakin is torn over whether or not such participating in such a brutal attack would go against his Jedi training. Meanwhile, his evil cousin Thrackan Sal-Solo is all for using the station, and tries to push Anakin into pulling the trigger. In the end, Anakin steadfastly refuses, so Thrackan jumps in and fires the station himself—proceeding to wipe out most of the fleet that the Hapans had sent to aid the Republic. Even worse, Anakin realizes that if he had pulled the trigger, he probably could have successfully wiped out the Vong without hitting the Hapans, since his control over the station is much better than Thrackan's.
Luke setting up a Jedi base in the Maw Cluster during Edge of Victory will come back to haunt everyone during Fate of the Jedi. In his defense, he had no way of knowing that the Dark Side entity Abeloth was imprisoned in the Maw, or that she would turn the young Force users into sleeper agents in an attempt to free herself.
No OSHA Compliance: Just when the Empire starts caring about workers' rights, along come some aliens who think that torture is a good thing.
Not So Different: Brought up metaphorically by both sides, but also seen literally in their military technologies. Take the YVH droid and the voxyn, for instance - both are carefully engineered for their targets, both are horribly beweaponed and Made of Iron, both can sense the difference between their prey and regular humans. Later on, there are the Slayers, who consciously attempt to mimic the Jedi. In neither case does this end well for the Vong, though, since their culture and technology prevent them from mass-producing their elites.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Onimi is Shimrra's court jester and personal slave- he's obnoxious and has a cruel sense of humor, but is largely harmless except when acting on Shimrra's direct orders. Except that he's actually the Big Bad, a ridiculously powerful Force-user, and an Omnicidal Maniac- Shimrra was never anything more than his tool.
Obstructive Bureaucracy: Responsible for problems with refugees, governmental mingling of head with sand, and the page quote.
Oh Crap: Everyone but the Bothans have this reaction upon learning that Alpha Red was deployed on Caluula, and an infected Yuuzhan Vong ship is heading to Coruscant. The Bothans start to act a little more nervous when they finally accept that the virus mutated and is able to attack other lifeforms.
Omnicidal Maniac: Onimi, who explicitly tells Jaina during his Motive Rant that he's going to kill everyone and everything in the galaxy. As he believed this would let him become a god, though, it's possible he intended to create a new universe to worship him afterwords, but as he never gets that far we don't know for sure. He's nuts either way.)
The Yuuzhan Vong use the conventional ships-firing-on-planets form a few times, but they're also inordinately fond of the Colony Drop.
Operation Emperor's Hammer in Rebel Dream, a.k.a. Operation Infantry Can't Do Shit About Super Star Destroyers.
Operator Incompatibility/Phlebotinum-Handling Requirements: The New Essential Guide To Vehicles and Vessels mentions that the Skywalkers modified the bridge airlock on the Jade Shadow so that it could only be activated from outside if one used the Force to operate the internal mechanisms.
The Power of Friendship: Jacen's befriending and mind-bond with the World Brain not only saves his life and that of the Brain, but also sets in motion the events that topple the Vong from their rule.
Privateer: Han and Talon Karrde go on a series of raids against Vong-allied shipping transporting supplies and captives. He mentions to one aggrieved captain that since he's only targeting the Vong, he's a privateer, not a pirate.
The Purge: The Jedi, again, but this time those poor droids get to join them.
Pyrrhic Victory: Wedge's forces on Borleias manage to hand one of these to the Yuuzhan Vong, sacrificing a Super Star Destroyer (but not its crew or weapons; they were all relocated to other ships) to destroy a worldship and one of the Yuuzhan Vong's best generals. The Yuuzhan Vong gain the planet, but with far greater losses than Wedge's forces suffered.
The Quisling: The Peace Brigade, ostensibly a group working for peace between the Vong and the GFFA but who are really under the direction of their infiltrators such as Nom Anor.
Redemption Equals Death: Borsk Fey'Lya, Nen Yim, Vua Rapuung, Ganner Rhysode (who wasn't evil, but was a colossal glory hound and jerk), and Nom Anor.
Red Shirt: 365 trillion, as summarized in the final book.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Yuuzhan Vong's Chazrach slave army will lapse into a killing frenzy when their connection with their masters' influence over them is disrupted. Bossk's cameo in Hero's Trial also follows this trope. Subverted with the Barabel Jedi in later installments — young Ben Skywalker even seems to take a shine to Saba in Remnant.
Retcon: A few early inconsistencies were explained away in later books. Stackpole's Vong being even more masochistic than the other writers' Vong was described as being a particular characteristic of Domain Shai.
The Reveal: Several, but the most prominents occur in The Unifying Force, where we learn that Shimmra was merely a puppet of Onimi, who had regained a link to the Force by grafting yammosk tissue to his brain, and that Zonama Sekot was the seed of Yuuzhan'tar, the Yuuzhan Vong's original homeworld which they destroyed after it stripped them of their connection to the Force for going genocidal on their home galaxy.
Rousing Speech: Leia gives one of these during the fall of Coruscant. Many of those in the New Republic are moved by her words, but it fails in its goal to prevent senators from using badly-needed military vessels to flee the battle.
Scars Are Forever: In Ruin, Ganner consciously chooses to heal an injury to his face in such a manner that it leaves a scar, as an admonition to himself concerning the arrogance that led him to be injured in the first place. In Rebirth, Tahiri says that she refuses to allow the scars on her forehead to be removed because she "earned" them from injuries inflicted on her in Conquest.
Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Yuuzhan Vong seem to be a combination of the Nazi and religious forms of this trope. Their culture has a rigid caste system, each of which has a patron god, allows only the use of biotechnology and they harbor an extreme revulsion towards "built things." Rites of passage involve the sacrifice of body parts, the grafting of new body parts, tattooing and mutilation which leaves scars that they view as attractive. They also exhibit a more or less religious devotion to pain, and enslave or kill anyone who does not adhere to their beliefs.
In Vector Prime, Sernpidal apparently orbits its star at the same distance our moon orbits Earth. While this could potentially work were Sernpidal's star a White Dwarf it is also the third (or fifth; there are conflicting accounts) planet of that star system.
The estimated death toll for the war of 365 trillion lives was accused of this, but it's probably an aversion: the galaxy is populated heavily enough to have over 20 million sapient species, many planets were completely depopulated, and it's the first war in the canon where the entire GFFA is fighting. It's also mentioned that 365 trillion was the agreed-upon figure, a ballpark estimate by a grieving galaxy rather than the actual number.
Star by Star has the Vong take a fleet of refugee ships containing millions hostage, as opposed to the billions you'd expect. The likely explanation is in how many people didn't survive long enough to become refugees.
Shocking Defeat Legacy: The Fall of Coruscant. The Yuuzhan Vong inflict a lethal blow to the New Republic and, for the first time in several thousand years, the lights of The City That Never Sleeps are going out.
"We were hoping to get a Yuuzhan Vong commander of average skills, with an average fleet, and I suspect that we did. We were going to string him along for as much time as we could, but circumstances today dictated that we wipe him out right away. The next one they send is going to be much tougher, and that's going to make things more difficult for all of us."
Stepping Stones in the Sky: The final battle of Luke, Mara, and Tahiri vs. Lord Nyax had this, though they had both the Force and the fact that the "stepping stones" were building size making things easier.
Super Soldier: Vong Slayers, warriors genetically engineered to counter the Jedi.
Take a Third Option: Vergere tells Jacen that he, as the one with the power, is the gardener; he must decide if the ones around him are flowers or weeds. The first time we hear this, it's in the context of Jacen trying to treat the wounds of the other slaves on the seedship, and with no way to save them all; naturally he interprets this as his responsibility to choose who lives and dies. But as time goes by he realizes Vergere's true meaning: all the slaves are worth saving. The warriors who kill them? The dhuryam who use them as tools? They're the weeds, and they have lessons to learn.
Take That: Destiny's Way gave one to the Bantam era's overuse of superweapons.
Tanks For The Memories: The Vong can generate, remove, and implant memories using advanced shaping techniques. Tahiri finds this out firsthand.
Teen Genius: Nen Yim is somewhere in her late teens/early twenties (or at least the Vong equivalent) and as far and away the most brilliant Shaper in the whole series. Of course, a lot of that comes from her being one of the few willing to practice a certain heresy called the scientific method.
To Hell and Back: A symbolic example. Jacen is told early on in his captivity by Vergere that he's dead; that story arc, Traitor, focuses on his maturation as an adult as he journeys through the hell of the Yuuzhan Vong worlds—and his eventual ascent and rebirth.
Unusable Enemy Equipment: Justified, in that despite its usefulness (who wouldn't want a weapon that could coil up out of the way, spit poison, be used as a whip, cut up metal, and block a lightsaber blade?), using Yuuzhan Vong equipment generally results in a lot of pain even (or especially) if you do it right. And that's not even counting things like the Vonduun Crab Armor, which will usually try to kill anyone but a Vong who wears it.
In the chronologically later Star Wars: Legacy, several characters, most notably Jariah Syn, do use Vongtech regularly, and it's pretty useful, especially against Jedi or Sith, though by that point the Vong were much friendlier and more willing to share their secrets- Jariah had a Vong warrior as a mentor who taught him a lot.
Values Dissonance: In-universe example. The Vong see themselves as noble heroes purging a terrible taint from the galaxy, but their culture is so plain crazy that it's difficult for either the audience or other characters to have any sympathy for them whatsoever. This has the added bonus of making negotiating with them nearly impossible.
The Virus: Alpha Red, a virus developed by New Republic Intelligence and the Chiss to destroy the Yuuzhan Vong and their biots at a cellular level. Many of the good guys are against it, and those who insist on using it are portrayed as monstrous. Turns out the protagonists were right, as the Chiss failed to make it perfect and it started attacking other lifeforms.
War Is Hell: Probably one of the most brutal examples in Star Wars.
Was Once a Man: The Vagh Rodiek. Nearly happened to Tahiri, but she was rescued before more than mental alterations were made.
Wasn't That Fun?: Tahiri's reaction after a hair raising insertion (only for the adults, naturally) into a fallen Coruscant.
We Have Reserves: Yuuzhan Vong combat doctrine teaches warriors to sacrifice their lives and their subordinates is the highest honor. Tsavong Lah follows this trope until they eventually run out of reserves.
We Will Not Use Stage Make-Up in the Future: Played straight in the Vong's ooglith masquers. Also averted: in addition to the captured masquers and actual vonduun armor, the Coruscant insertion team used liberal amounts of makeup and synthetic armor.
Wham Episode: Several, many of which involve major character deaths. Notable ones are the death of Chewbacca in Vector Prime, and the fall of Coruscant and the death of Anakin in Star by Star.
Onimi: Shimrra was Shimrra. I am I. Jacen: The Supreme Overlord.
What the Hell, Hero?: A number of characters criticize Jaina for her use of Force lightning after her brother's death, spending too much time with Ta'a Chume, providing a test subject for a Mad Scientist, abusing a life debt and sending pilots on suicide runs, to name a few in Dark Journey.
The Worf Effect: Early in the series, Leia's Noghri bodyguard, Bolphur, takes out a Yuuzhan Vong warrior, but is clawed to death in return. Leia's reaction: "If the Yuuzhan Vong are powerful enough to take out Noghri with their bare hands ..."
Worthy Opponent: Shedao Shai to Corran. His actions are 100% consistent with his code of honor, he openly admires the enemy when they live up to his high standards, sticks to his ethics even when they put him at a disadvantage, and in spite of being even more fanatical than usual for his species is both affable and a pretty good strategist.
Wronski Feint: Wedge Antilles pulls one of these off in Rebel Stand. Pursued by a coralskipper during the evacuation of Borleias while protecting a New Republic freighter from a rakamat (essentially the Yuuzhan Vong equivalent of an AT-AT), he flies his X-wing through the rakamat's legs and the enemy pilot impales the rakamat with his craft.
Yo Yo Plot Point: The position of Kyp Durron's overzealous faction of younger Jedi zigzags back and forth. They seem to have learned their lesson to respect Luke's authority and not be jerks as early as Ruin, but Aesop Amnesia and different writers complicate this.
The Yuuzhan Vong strongly favor these tactics, which gradually bites them in the ass as the war goes on and they can no longer adequately defend their territory; following the Battle of Coruscant, Shimrra furiously berates Tsavong Lah for having "earned your victories by sending your troops over a rampart of our own dead!" and the Galactic Alliance estimates that nearly a third of the warrior caste has been destroyed by that part.
Played with in that while "charging full-tilt at the enemy with amphistaffs raised" may be the Vong's favorite tactic, but that doesn't mean it's all their capable of doing. They're actually quite canny if the situation warrants it.