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Literature / Legacy of the Force

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"You've caused me a lot of pain over the years, Skywalker. What better way to repay it than bringing your family legacy full circle?"
— Lady Lumiya

Legacy of the Force is a nine-book series set in Star Wars Legends, set about eleven years after the New Jedi Order and thirty-seven years after Return of the Jedi. 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 queen of a very vindictive culture and their daughter, Allana, whose paternity 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) — Allston
  • Bloodlines (paperback, 2006) — Traviss
  • Tempest (paperback, 2006) — Denning
  • Exile (paperback, 2007) — Allston
  • Sacrifice (hardcover, 2007) — Traviss
  • Inferno (paperback, 2007) — Denning
  • Fury (paperback, 2007) — Allston
  • Revelation (paperback, 2008) — Traviss
  • Invincible (hardcover, 2008) — Denning

The series is succeeded by Crosscurrent and its sequel Riptide, Millennium Falcon, and the nine-book series Fate of the Jedi. Traviss's books also have call backs to her own series, the Republic Commando books, which were written and published during the same time as the Legacy of the Force books.

Not to be confused with Star Wars: Legacy, a comic series set about a century later, although both of them have a Crapsack World and an ignoble Skywalker.

These books provide examples of:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Played with. Every Corellian in this series (except Syal Antilles) is a fascist, a terrorist, both, or supportive of the former. However, many of the Corellians are not, in themselves, evil, such as Wedge and Han, and pull their heads out of their butts eventually.
  • Ascended Extra: The books introduce a Mandalorian named Mirta Gev, who turns out to be the daughter of Ailyn Vel — Boba's daughter from an issue of Star Wars Tales. Mirta's grandmother, Sintas, also becomes important and shows up in person as a Human Popsicle and Fish out of Temporal Water.
  • Asshole Victim: Thrackan Sal-Solo. No one - including Sal-Solo's cousin Han Solo - is particularly upset when Sal-Solo is killed by Boba Fett's granddaughter Mirta Gev.
    • Also Sal-Solo's successor Dur Gejjen, who Han refers to as "a headshot waiting to happen."
  • Badass Adorable: Syal Antilles. Sweet, kind-hearted pilot who has a problem with nerves before she flies... but who is also Properly Paranoid, always carries two blasters with her (this is Iella Wessiri's daughter, after all) and can fly well enough to give Luke Skywalker and her own father a reasonable challenge, and who survives a head-to-head run with a member of Rogue Squadron with no severe damage.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Jacen and Admiral Niathal in public. Jacen and Lumiya in secret.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Broken Pedestal: Jacen for Ben after Jacen kills Ben's mother.
  • The Bus Came Back: Lumiya's last appearance in the EU before this series was in 1986, literally 20 years earlier.
  • 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 Star Wars (Marvel 1977) comic series.
  • Character Development: Jacen's case of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope finally hits its peak when he becomes a Sith Lord.
  • 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...
  • 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 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).
    • People in-universe are drawing comparisons left and right 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 Revenge of 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.
    • A Jedi foreseeing a future where the 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.
  • Don't Do Anything I Wouldn't Do: As Jaina's heading off for a date, her younger cousin Ben uses this phrase. Jaina replies that she will, and hopefully he won't, yet.
  • Enemy Mine: Jaina and Boba. Also, the Jedi and the Moffs.
  • 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. Instead, they're waiting for Darth Krayt's takeover, Jacen's part of an altogether different plan.
  • 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: Exit heroic Jedi Knight Jacen Solo, enter tyrannical aunt-killing dictator Darth Caedus.
  • Final Speech: Mara Jade Skywalker and Gilad Pellaeon.
  • 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, a former Imperial who tried to attack the New Republic, comes to power.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Darth Krayt is the Dark Man who Luke and Jacen see in their visions, and who ended up driving the latter into becoming Darth Caedus.
  • Harmful to Minors: Almost everything that Ben goes through.
  • 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.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: When you flow-walk, you're merely an observer.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Han and Leia while they supported Corellia.
    • Ben trying to arrest Han on behalf of Jacen when Jacen is trying to shoot them down. Just Ben's faith in Jacen in general during the first couple of books.
  • Human Popsicle: Sintas Vel, wife of Boba Fett, has been frozen in carbonite for 40 years.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: One-Word Title for all of its books:
    • Betrayal
    • Bloodlines
    • Tempest
    • Exile
    • Sacrifice
    • Inferno
    • Fury
    • Revelation
    • Invincible
  • 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.
    • Luke and the Jedi Order also take their turns tossing around the ball when Jacen begins his slide to the dark side.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Luke wants to take Caedus down for killing Mara. However Luke's meditations show him that no matter what, if he's the one to kill Caedus, Luke will become even more of a dark sider than Caedus already is. That's why Luke leaves the job to his niece Jaina.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Lampshaded by Han, who notes that on crazy suicide missions, it's usually the old guy who goes first. Becomes a bit of Black Comedy when he survives and averts it.
  • The Mole: During the Battle of Tralus, Leia feeds the Corellians key intelligence that allows them to drive the Alliance off the planet.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The New Jedi Order's not putting more focus on attachment comes back to bite them hard. Tahiri's attachment to Anakin Solo and Jacen's attachment to his daughter are the primary reasons they went bad, while Luke's attachment to his wife puts him in a Heroic BSoD when the galaxy needs him most.
  • Not Quite Dead: Alema managed to survive the events of the Dark Nest Trilogy.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Jaina to Jacen. Luke fears that he would not be able to kill Jacen without falling to the Dark Side, and there's apparently no one else good enough.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • President Evil: Jacen, although in theory he is in a duumvirate with Admiral Niathal, that does not last long and he quickly becomes the sole effective chief of state.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Lumiya, although she says that revenge on Luke isn't her real motivation.
  • Pungeon Master: Darth Caedus thankfully isn't one. However, each chapter in the final book starts with one of Jacen's atrocious puns. It's a rather sad reminder that contrasts the good-natured boy he used to be with the monster he is now.
  • Putting on the Reich: GAG uniforms
  • Rejected Apology: In Exile, Ben Skywalker is called out by an elderly woman for holding up a line. "Sorry," he tells her, but she replies that it doesn't mean anything, that if he were sorry, he wouldn't have done it in the first place. "Sorry," he replies again, and she tells him that he's now just being insolent. "Sorry," he says again, and being a great admirer of Jacen Solo, thinks to himself that he wouldn't be treated this way if he were him. He wonders what he would do. The woman comes up behind him, telling him that he's a very nasty little boy, and he lands on this...
    Ben: I take it back. ... My apology. I apologized, but you didn't accept it. You just used it as an excuse to keep being rude. You have the manners of a bantha with digestion problems. If you had children, I hope they were raised by piranha beetles so they'd be nicer than you. (The woman lunges as if to slap him, Ben glares and uses the Force to infuse the suggestion "Try it. See what I become.")
  • 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. Justified, as Lumiya's been running around stirring up tensions.
  • Shoot the Dog: Syal shoots the fake mechanic who's actually Thrackan's spy in the first book.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Each of the authors had their own, with Wedge Antilles being Allston's, Boba Fett being Traviss's, and Alema Rar being Denning's.
  • State Sec: The Galactic Alliance Guard, which many people (except the main heroes) immediately recognize as having Imperial overtones. Sure enough, it is run by Darth Caedus and enables him to take over the Alliance.
  • Swirlie: It's revealed that as a child, Boba had a run in with a group of young Null-class advanced reconnaissance clones led by one Jaing Skirata who stuck his head down a toilet in order to teach him some manners.
  • 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.
  • Unexpected Successor: Jagged finds himself as the leader of the Imperial Remnant after Luke forces the Moff Council to accept him as the leader or be handed over to the Hapans for war crime trials. This comes as a complete surprise to Jagged, who was kept in the dark about this by Luke so no one could later say that Luke and Jagged worked together to take over the Imperial Remnant.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Jacen trades heavily on his reputation as a Jedi and a hero of the Yuuzhan Vong war to claim and consolidate power. One of the biggest obstacles to stopping him is the strong support he has in the Alliance military. Even after Admiral Niathal defects to the coalition Luke put together, the majority of the military still firmly back Caedus.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Not very obvious, it lasts through several books and shows itself fully near the end of Invincible.
  • Villainous Lineage: Ben gets a bit. 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.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jacen is trying to prevent a Bad Future and if that means becoming a bigger monster then his grandfather ever was, he'll take it.
  • 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 Sacrifice.
    "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.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole: Not knowing that Ben Skywalker had killed Corellian leader Dur Gejjen on orders from Jacen, Corellian security has a very difficult time figuring out how to manage the list of suspects, given that about half the planet wanted Gejjen dead.
  • The Worf Effect: No less than Kyle Katarn gets this from Jacen, who goes toe-to-toe with him and a few other Jedi at the same time, before Jacen hits Kyle with a sucker punch.
  • 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 Have Failed Me: Darth Caedus follows in his grandfather's dark footsteps by killing Lieutenant Tebut after she unwittingly let a Jedi team on board Caedus's star destroyer.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Replace "father" with "mother", and this is what happens when Ben confronts Jacen.
    • Mirta towards Jacen/Caedus, but she never really gets a chance to act on it.
  • 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.