Reviews: Legacy Of The Force
Rehash of the Prequels Plot
I read the first three books of the series, after which I couldn't stand it any more. From what I've read on Wookieepedia it didn't get much better. I don't want to get into a habit of reviewing things I haven't finished completely, but I felt I had to write this up since there's a problem I haven't seen anyone else mention (at least with the first three) Legacy of The Force is a rehash of the plot of the Prequels. The major galactic government is facing a bunch of planets wanting to secede and become independent. Unlike a Rebels vs Empire situation, neither side is wholly good or wholly villainous. The seceding group is even called The Confederation! On top of that you have a Skywalker (or rather, a Solo with Skywalker blood) debating wether or not to become a Sith to bring about order. Now while I still prefer the Original Trilogy to the Prequels, I don't hate the Prequels as much as other fans seem to. That said, at least the prequels lessened some of it's problems with Forgone Conclusion . Little "Annie" becoming a Sith Lord was just as unbelievable as nature loving tween Jacen from the Jedi Academy becoming one, but at least with the former Forgone Conclusion softened the blow. The Jedi not realizing Palpatine was a Sith is a bit a of a stretch, but at least nobody on the Jedi Council was directly related to him! Finally, even the books seem to acknowledge the rehash. When Jacen flow walks (mentally time travels) to Order 66, he sees his grandfather and realizes he's walking down the exact same miserable path-then does it anyway.
Why? Why? Why?
Let me get this out of the way first. I loved the New Jedi Order series. It may have had inconsitent quality over its run do to the number of authors involved, but at it's worst it was never bad. I felt that it was a maturing of the Star Wars story. Yes, the universe is a dangerous place for our heroes and they could die. Yes, the universe is more complicated than 'Jedi are good, everything they don't like is bad.' The younger generation grows into their roles as the next heroes while the older characters remain legends. There was room in Star Wars for bad guys who were not Sith or Bounty Hunters. To me, therefore, Legacy of the Force was more than just an inconsistent and poorly written mess that engaged in horrible character derailment. It was a step back into the black and white picture of the pre-NJO universe. The lessons and revelations of the NJO were discarded out of hand and the retcon (not even fully confirmed) of Vergere as a Sith serves as the way out of giving an explanation for forgetting about the changes in the understanding of the force she introduced. What is most frustrating is that the seeds for a good story that would have moved Star Wars forward were tere in the beginning, in the conflict with Correlia. The question of what the Jedi are supposed to do in a conflict where neither side is more right or wrong than the other would have been a fantastic subject to explore, as would seeing how the differing personalities led to differing views on which side to take or whether to take a side at all. Alternatively, the idea of Jacen as 'the man who doesn't exist' could have been played from an entirely different angle. Making him another demented sith lord was one of the worst moves possible, and making that portrayal the focus of the story resulted in everything that could have been good falling by the wayside halfway through. With the deaths or derailment of so much of the post Return of the Jedi generation it is hard to see how the EU can ever recover. Fate of the Jedi is better, to be sure, but the damage to the franchise can be felt in each book, in the lack of certain characters, in the hackneyed explanation for Jacen's actions, and in the plot itself. As far as I am concerned, The Unifying Force is the final book in the Star Wars EU. Everything since is just fanfiction, especially about the Mandalorians.
A Kriffing Insult To Star Wars Fans
This series is a big, fat insult to fans of Star Wars, and the franchise in general. You can't even use the excuse that it was trying to be 'ambitious', like the New Jedi Order (which, for the record, was better then this crap); it was just a crappier retread of Episode I-III. Why You'll Be Insulted: 1. The authors. There is absolutely no authorial cohesion between any of them, judging by the varying characterization of the characters and the pet-plots each one has in their own books; Traviss is easily the worst, but Denning and even Allston indulge in it. And why anyone thought Traviss should write about the Jedi is beyond me. 2. The story. As mentioned above, the story is a badly written re-tread of the prequel trilogy that relies on extensive character derailment to work. Honestly, are the authors really so unoriginal as to recycle the movie plot so clumsily? 3. The character derailment. Dear Waru the derailment. Jacen becoming a Sith? No one even trying to honestly redeem him? Tahiri becoming a pedophile? Jaina needing training with Mandalorians? Luke condoning kidnapping government officials for a Jedi mission? Mara Jade becoming a complete and utter moron? All that and more are needed to move the plot forward. 4. Continuity damage. The Star Wars continuity was horribly burned and maimed to a terrible extent with inane plots, horrible unneeded deaths, and general stupidity; no other series in canon has done such damage, and no other series will. I hope. There is very little in the books that redeem them; each one of them represents the worst of the authors and Star Wars. Hell, even Jedi Prince is better then this; it didn't fuck the EU up this badly.