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YMMV: Star Wars Expanded Universe

Due to the schism between the old EU and the new EU, this YMMV section has been split up accordingly.

Legends YMMV

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • It's a common game to find proof Luke's on the dark side. Citing Dark Empire is considered to be cheating.
    • Palpatine's running of a brutal dictatorship and commission of numerous atrocities and superweapons: preparing the galaxy for the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, or convenient excuse-mongering from the losing side? Or even more alternately, preparing for the YV invasion because "they're gonna take my stuff"?
    • Recycled and pumped up to the point of Omniscient Morality License with Darth Revan.
    • Vergere is made for this, because she deliberately refuses to be pinned down as any one thing. Is she a heroic Trickster Mentor, a scheming evil Chessmaster, a broken individual trying to make up for the mistakes of her past, a loyal but unorthodox Jedi of the Old Republic, a Sith Acolyte, or just crazy? You can find support in the text for all of these, though admittedly some more than others- the reader is left to draw their own conclusions. Recent books have been trying to hammer in the "Vergere was a Sith!" interpretation in order to support the Legacy of the Force storyline.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Ben. Even after being trained in the dark side, tortured by Caedus, and molested by Tahiri, in addition to his mother's death, the worst thing he's done is snark about his father.
  • Archive Panic: That's putting it lightly. Getting through a portion of any media could take years.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Luke constantly telling Cade that drugs are bad in the Comic Book/Legacy comics.
    • The "save the environment" themes in the Jedi Prince children's books, to the point of having space whales or "Whaladons".
  • Audience Awareness Advantage: Shows up often. The plot of The Thrawn Trilogy partly relies on the fact that Darth Vader being Luke and Leia's father is not common knowledge, and in fact most people aren't even 100% sure that he's dead. With pretty much every book written later, on the other hand, the authors fall victim to this trope and act as though everyone in the galaxy has watched the films and knows everything that happened in them.
  • Better Than Canon:
    • When Children of the Jedi came out, most fans preferred Luke with Mara. Of course, this later became canon. Also, some fans would like to leave Chewie's death and everything afterward out of canon.
    • Tellingly, George Lucas did not specifically exclude Chewie from dying. There's a rule that the death or marriage of any of the major characters from the movie trilogy had to be run by Lucas first, one of the few times Lucas even deals with the EU. Luke's marriage was something snuck past Lucas at the last minute, after Lucas had already turned it down. Needless to say, he wasn't happy about it when he found out.
  • Black Hole Sue: Here's one blogger's analysis of how and why Luke's continued presence in the EU is simply bogging things down.
  • Broken Base: There are several wars going on over the quality of various parts of the Expanded Universe.
    • Even more violent and vitriolic than the argument over the quality of the Expanded Universe is the argument over the canonicity of the Expanded Universe. How bad did it get? Let's put it this way: when the Non-Canon side of the argument pointed out that George Lucas himself, the creator of Star Wars and the Presumed Voice of God when it comes to Star Wars (at least one would think, anyway), doesn't consider anything other than the films to be canon, the Pro-Canon side of the argument's response was to marginalize Lucas's opinions as unimportant in the overall scheme of things since "he really has no say in the matter", a view Lucas apparently finds rather funny and, naturally, dismisses out of hand as ludicrous.
    • Lucas has stated that the Expanded Universe is valid unto itself. He clarified this when he stated that the Star Wars Expanded Universe is a separate entity from "official" Star Wars material, and has a canon and internal consistency all of its own outside of "real" (his words) Star Wars canon. The Pro-Canon EU fans didn't take being told that the EU was essentially a "side project" very well, either. (The Pro-Canon EU fans can be overzealous sometimes).
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crack is Cheaper: So many books, comics and video games, that if you're not selective your wallet will have a strong bond with The Force.
  • Crack Pairing: In fanfic, Mara is paired with any male she spends significant time with. This includes Emperor Palpatine (borderline Parental Incest), Karrde, Lando, Kyle, and Corran. But it also includes both of Luke's nephews.
  • Creator's Pet: The Mandolorians when Karen Traviss is writing. They used to be popular with fans as a whole, but her portraying them as superior to the Jedi and pretty much everyone else caused them to become despised.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: From the Knights Of The Old Republic series: Lucien Draay's destiny is to become Darth Sion, but then he decides to Screw Destiny and kick Haazen's ass.
  • Designated Hero: Cade is forced to take this role by virtue of his bloodline only. If he had his own way, he'd still be smuggling and racking up bounties in the Outer Rim with no worries. Note that Cade only counts as this in-universe. Out-of-universe he's a sympathetic character.
  • Designated Villain: Vestara is seen as this by some, because she has good intentions, and hasn't been shown doing much actual evil. Both in-universe and fan arguments that the Jedi are Not So Different, certainly don't help.
    I am Vestara Khai, daughter of a proud heritage. I have what is necessary to command the dark side and bend it to my will. To use it for the good of the Tribe, and the People.
    • Any Jedi espousing the Potentatum philosophy gets retconned as this, or falls to the Dark Side. Hell, any Force user that offers a slightly different take on the Force usually is hit with this; sometimes, they have wildly different philosophies and shifts in characterization from before and after the canon retroactively decides they're evil.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Vestara shows signs of becoming this.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Cronal has appeared in one old comic, one novel, and a handful of online and gamebook articles- but is widely regarded as one of Palpatine's most powerful and chilling minions.
    • Nom Anor, probably the most popular new character introduced in New Jedi Order. Mainly due to his competence, snarkiness, and the fact that he just won't die.
    • Vergere.
    • Nen Yim. Though not so much as Nom Anor, she's pretty popular among a certain subset of the fanbase (especially among the general Vong-fans).
    • Darth Talon probably has the most merchandise and publicity of all the Legacy characters. Here's a hint, it's not because of her winning personality.
    • Emperor Roan Fel.
    • K'Kruhk, a recurring Jedi who's the Star Wars equivalent of Kenny and is often seen donning a Nice Hat. This, alongside the fact that he's quite a bit more badass than most Butt Monkeys, has made him rather popular with the fans.
  • Fan Nickname: Pelly (Pellaeon), Farmboy (Luke), and as meta examples, Talifan (Mandalorian haters/Karen Traviss detractors) and Fandalorian (Mandalorian fans).
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Fans preferred Mara/Luke over Callista/Luke.
  • God-Mode Sue: Jacen, especially blatant when you compare his twin sister.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the novel and comic strip Han Solo At Star's End, Han makes quip about his tendency to always shoot first. When it was first released it wasn't too much of a big deal. However, after the 1997 Special Edition's release and a certain edit to the Greedo and Han confrontation...
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • The Sith Emperor spent almost 1300 years developing his plans and managed to deliver quite a beating to the Republic and the Jedi.
    • Thrawn is the definitive example of this trope in the Star Wars EU.
    • Warlord Zsinj.
    • Lumiya is personally responsible for nearly everything that happened in Legacy of the Force. Her motivation is never stated outright, but it's implied that she did it all just to fuck with Luke Skywalker and ruin his life. Talk about Evil Is Petty!
    • Vergere.
    • Darth Wyyrlok III.
    • Moff Calixte.
    • Darth Krayt is so much of a Magnificent Bastard that he finds a way to come back from the dead.
  • Mary Sue:
    • There are a few that may qualify, but mostly they're Depending on the Writer. One of the main base-breaking examples is Mara Jade, who exhibits many of the required traits: She's important in the story, possesses unusual physical traits, is ludicrously and irrelevantly over-skilled (pilot, slicer, tactician, combatant, spy, dancer, Jedi master - even surpassing Luke in sensory perception) and has an over-idealized nature (being all at once snarky, physically tough, warm, beautiful, calm under pressure, devoted wife etc). Most infuriating however, is that her very existence as the "Emperor's Hand" diminishes Darth Vader, who was always thought to be the Emperor's main Badass...until she came along (and even later it was established Palpatine had several Hands, each believing themselves to be unique). She also has a highly Sue-ish name, as well as having the rarest color combinations found in humanity.
    • Corran Horn. He's an ace starfighter pilot, who is also a Jedi. Not just any Jedi, though, but a Jedi with a unique set of powers! (Which, to be fair, come at the expense of him not being any good at telekinesis. But still.) He was retconned into the Jedi Academy Trilogy to serve not only as a mouthpiece for the Stackpole, but to just seem more awesome than any of the other Jedi and battle Exar Kun almost completely by himself. Later, in NJO, he's the one who duels the enemy leader with the fate of a planet at stake, and wins. When the Yuuzhan Vong go back on their word to spare the planet in the event of Corran winning, he gets all guilt-ridden about it even though it wasn't actually his fault, and makes the "noble" decision to go into exile so as not to tarnish the reputation of the other Jedi with his mere presence.
    • Ki Adi Mundi and his race, the Cereans, became this under Jan Strnad, being portrayed as superior towards pretty much everyone else in the galaxy despite being a technologically backwards race that refuse to listen to anyone else. They're portrayed as so perfect and peaceful that Mundi's daughter drawing a frown face in elementary school is considered a sign that she would become a criminal. Fortunately other writers averted this and got the character back on track whilst largely ignoring the Cereans as a race.
  • Memetic Badass: In- and out-of-universe.
    • In-universe, Jaina went so far as to have all transmissions refer to her as "goddess", to help her impersonate the Vong trickster goddess!
  • Memetic Molester: Jacen. Indeed, at points, his attempts to turn Ben to the dark side start to look like pedophilia, albeit without the sex.
  • Memetic Mutation: Anakin Solo had the hots for his aunt?
  • Memetic Sex Goddess:
    • Fanon states that Daala is completely incompetent and only got her admiralty by sleeping with Tarkin. In the books, she is portrayed as remarkably incompetent, with the occasional Take That to the audience who thinks that way.
    • Tahiri is both one of these and a Memetic Molester.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Chantique
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • When Ulic Qel-Droma kills Cay. Which then causes him to cross the line back from the other side almost immediately.
    • Chantique mocking Zayne after Snout's death. And her manipulation.
    • The Mon Calamari massacre to Darth Krayt.
    • Raana manipulating Shel into trying to kill Zayne. After that pretty much any sympathy the audience had went out the window.
    • Acenscion contains a rare example of a character crossing their own Moral Event Horizon. After several books of UST, Vestara Khai finally starts a relationship with Ben Skywalker and expresses interest in turning to the Light Side. Later in the book, she, Ben, and a Red Shirt are sent on a mission, during which an alien predator goes after Ben. Vestara saves him by feeding the Red Shirt to the monster. This causes her to label herself as irredeemable.
  • Narm: Not nearly as much as in the movies. Even so, it's there, though of course Narm Charm applies.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • How C'Baoth kills General Covall.
    • Aboleth, an Eldritch Abomination made by the Force itself.
    • Raana's appearance after she and Zayne get Lacerated.
  • OT3: Denning likes to imply as much about Jenna, Zekk, and Jag.
  • The Scrappy: There are many, as expected from such a large verse. Jacen in particular can't seem to catch a break — in the early NJO, he got fan hate for being ineffective, whiny, and totally unlike his YJK personality; mid-to-late NJO got him accused of being a God-Mode Sue (though this was probably the period where he had the most fans); Dark Nest through early LOTF was where he started being an epic Knight Templar and Jerkass; and now fans are angry he got killed off before having a chance to make his mark as a villain (well, he did kill Mara, but that just made fandom hate him even more).
    • Creator-wise, Kevin J. Anderson gets a lot of hate for Darksaber (and, frankly, pretty much anything else he's written, especially involving the pathetic Admiral Daala. But don't take our word for it — go ask a Dune fan.). Also, Karen Traviss gets a lot for talk about clone slaves and her hatred of Jedi.
    • The Mandalorians, as written by Karen Traviss, are widely hated as a Creator's Pet. 1. They are not particularly likeable to the readers. 2. Karen Traviss loves them to death, and everything she does with them boils down to shilling, as well as using this group as her Author Avatar. 3. They butted into a lot of big scenes, and the reasons for that were very weak at best - the three books written by her in Legacy of the Force are the most egregious examples. The other authors out there are well aware of her protrayal of this group. Fortunately the most famous Mandie, Boba Fett, largely avoids falling into her hands and is thus still a fan favorite.
    • Troy Denning is reviled by fans who like the 1990s Star Wars EU and even fans of NJO, for being the one responsible for sending the 'verse careening into the worst excesses of Darkness Induced Audienced Apathy.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Mara? Callista? Authors fought over this one. Repeated with Luke's niece Jaina, who only takes some 15 years to choose a guy.
  • Squick: Ghost sex! Force rape! Pedophile Sith! Huttese pornography! The Brain Bleach is over there if you need it.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Due to how long it's been functioning and the sheer amount of writers involved the quality can jump all over the place.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The portrayal of democracy in most of the EU is comically negative, while dictatorship and authoritarianism are portrayed in a much warmer and sentimental light. In a series that emphasizes that governments should protect liberty and freedom, governments that do neither are portrayed, especially in more recent works, as inherently more functional than those that strive to do both.
  • Villain Decay: Darth Nihil was very intimidating in his first appearence. Ever since then he's become more and more of a whipping boy.
  • Villain Sue:
    • Despite Daala's track record of getting her own ships destroyed at little cost to the enemy, she's somehow become regarded as the second coming of Thrawn. By the end of Legacy of the Force, the government apparently thinks that giving her the most powerful position in the galaxy is a smart move.
    • Tarkin blew up a planet? Kyp blows up a whole system! He's actually presented as more powerful than Luke, though Word of God changes that.

New EU YMMV

  • Archive Panic: Averted if you're going by Disney's new Expanded Universe. You shouldn't have too much of a problem keeping up with all the new material... For now, that is.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
  • Broken Base:
    • As if Disney were trying to break the fandom further, it's been announced by Lucasfilm that the entire EU is now non-canon because the writers of the new trilogy want to have a fresh slate to work on. This is causing major division between fans who object to over three decades' worth of work is casually being tossed out to create a consistent setting, and those who refused to acknowledge the EU before and are glad it's non-canon.
  • Crack is Cheaper: Subverted, for the time being, if you're just getting into the stuff that Disney declares canonical. Which will still be a lot, but at least you'll have time to know what you're getting into.
  • Fan Dumb:
    • Quite a bit of the backlash against the EU being declared an Alternate Continuity is being aimed at George Lucas... Even though he wasn't involved with the decision.
    • Speaking of the decision, a number of fans absolutely refuse to believe that any old EU content will appear in the new EU and subsequent films, never mind that in the "Legends" announcement, the Lucasfilm Story Group explicitly said that writers are encouraged to re-integrate content from the old EU into the new EU if it makes the stories better. It's also worth noting that this same approach was used in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which is also canon in spite of coming before the "Legends" decision.
  • Sturgeon's Law: The Lucasfilm Story Group is doing their best to ensure that this won't be the case for the new Expanded Universe, making sure that the new stories are all consistently good instead of vastly varying in terms of quality.

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