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See also Star Wars Expanded Universe for the current/post-Disney buyout Expanded Universe.


  • 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"?
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    • Similarly, and one that exists both in and out of universe: The Empire would have easily crushed the Yuuzhan Vong, or the fact that their inability to quell the Rebellion and obsession with Awesome, but Impractical superweapons meant that Empire defenders grossly overestimate how well the Empire would have done.
    • 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. Later books tried to hammer in the "Vergere was a Sith!" interpretation in order to support the Legacy of the Force storyline.
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    • Mandalorians, Proud Warrior Race or thugs for hire with pretensions of depth? Karen Traviss' Character Shilling doesn't help with this.
  • 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 (and to) his father.
  • Archive Panic: That's putting it lightly. The Legends continuity ran right alongside the main franchise up until 2014, so getting through a portion of any media in it could take years—to give an idea of the sheer scope of the old Expanded Universe, there were well over 300 books in it. The fact that Disney has halted any new additions to the Legends series as of 2014 only slightly mitigates this.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Luke constantly telling Cade that drugs are bad in the Legacy comics.
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    • The "save the environment" themes in the Jedi Prince children's books, to the point of having space whales or "Whaladons" that needed to be saved.
  • 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.
  • Broken Base: There were several wars over the quality of various parts of the Expanded Universe, and even more violent and vitriolic wars over the canonicity of the Expanded Universe. How bad did it get? 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 came to Star Wars at at the time, didn'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 it had grown beyond him and therefore argued he should really have no say in the matter.
    • The reboot itself has largely put both arguments to rest, replacing it with an entirely different can of worms: whether the Legends or new timeline is better.
    • The "Galactic Dance-Off" mode of Kinect Star Wars is either the absolute worst thing to come out of the franchise or the most hysterical.
  • "Common Knowledge": When bringing up reasons why the EU was ridiculous, detractors will often cite Skippy the Jedi Droid, a story that was always a non-canon joke.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • 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 Mandalorians when Karen Traviss was 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 hated whenever she was involved.
    • While Thrawn is a vastly different character than either Palpatine or Vader, characters often stop in the middle of the action to compare their failings to Thrawn's greatness to the point it just seems the author wants us to know how magnificent he is.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: A common criticism of Troy Denning's tenure as head writer and his Cosmic Horror Story arc involving the Killiks, the Celestials, and Abeloth. Not only were the stories themselves quite a bit darker, with more blood and sex than is typical for the franchise, but Denning used many characters created by other writers as C-List Fodder or turned them evil, and even the ones that stayed alive and good, most infamously Luke Skywalker himself, became a lot more cynical.
  • 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: See here.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Fans preferred Mara/Luke over Callista/Luke.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the in-universe guide-book The Jedi Path, a section discussing the temptations of the dark-side has an illustration of a green-skinned, female humanoid Jedi, looking worriedly in to a mirror, an evil, red-skinned version of herself beckoning in the reflection. She looks similar to Barriss Offee, Luminara Unduli's padawan who, near the end of season five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, really did fall to the Dark Side of the Force.
    • Jar Jar's father attempting suicide out of hate for his son became this after Ahmed Best revealed in 2018 that he felt suicidal after he received backlash for his role as Jar Jar.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Commonly speculated about several of the more popular original villains, such as Thrawn (who would be smart enough to fake his own death), Ysanne Isard (who's been known to clone herself), and Nom Anor (whose body was never seen). Word of God has it they're all stone dead, but the theories get a Fandom Nod on occasion.
  • 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...
    • In the parody comic The Return of Tag & Bink - Revenge of the Clone Menace, Buzz Lightyear is one of the patrons in Dex's Diner. Years later, Disney owns Star Wars now, and you briefly could you can have Buzz team-up with any Star Wars character in Disney Infinity — until the game shut down in 2017.
    • In the book The Jedi Path, Yoda's handwriting looks like the Disney type-face.
    • Darth Millennial, originally just another Sith name, became hilarious with the birth of the term "millennials" (and the associated stereotypes and jokes) for the generation reaching young adulthood in the turn of the millennium. Even funnier with the release of the sequel movies and their young Darth Vader Clone.
  • 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, which infuriates them into stupidity on the field of battle several times.
    • Luke Skywalker, in- and out-of-universe, to the point where he can terrify almost any enemy just by taking the field, and by Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi, the only opponents who give him real trouble in a one-on-one fight are two of the most badass Sith ever and an ancient Eldritch Abomination. Somewhat deconstructed in Shadows of Mindor, where he's so Famed In-Story for being a badass that people see him just as a badass and forget that he's also an All-Loving Hero who often has to rely on an Indy Ploy.
    • Kyle Katarn, who's treated as a Jedi Chuck Norris thanks to his appearance and feats.
  • 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:
    Palpatine: "The Legends is a pathway to many stories, some would consider to be non-canonical."
    Anakin: "Is it possible to learn these stories?"
    Palpatine: "Not.... from a mouse."
  • 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.
    • Ascension 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 Mauve Shirt are sent on a mission, during which an alien predator goes after Ben. Vestara saves him by feeding the Mauve Shirt to the monster. This causes her to label herself as irredeemable.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • A number of fans believe this now that Disney has decided to declare it invalid.
    • Timothy Zahn is often seen as this for the entirety of the verse. The Thrawn Trilogy was one of the key foundations that kicked off the Legends continuity, introducing key figures and plot points that much of the continuity drew from. Even with the mixed feelings towards other plot developments and other creators, many felt Zahn's stories were more consistently good.
  • Narm: Not nearly as much as in the movies. Even so, it's there, though of course Narm Charm applies.
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here.
  • OT3: Denning likes to imply as much about Jaina, Zekk, and Jag.
  • Nostalgia Filter: After the Legends decision, a lot of people took to immediately reminiscing about many of the old stories — including the ones that, by most standards, aren't that great, what with Sturgeon's Law and all.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Inevitable given the real-life popularity of it. Some fans have extended this to include questioning whether the Sith are all that bad.
  • The Scrappy: See here.
  • Seasonal Rot: As splintered as the Star Wars fanbase is, you will find very few defenders of Troy Denning's tenure as head writer and the Cosmic Horror Story Myth Arc he constructed, due to copious Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, many fan-favorite characters being killed off, and various story concepts being retconned or twisted. Even many fans of Legends welcomed the 2014 reboot as a chance to be finally rid of him.
  • 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. Apparently, the folks at Disney needed it, too. Take solace in the fact that these things aren't canon anymore.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Due to how long it had been functioning and the sheer amount of writers involved the quality can jump all over the place.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: "Star Wars #41" (2002) has a cover shot of Vilmarh Grahrk with the heads of three Ewoks (including Wicket) and Jar Jar Binks mounted on his wall.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Despite Thrawn's backstory building up his plans to fight the Yuuzhan Vong, to the point of creating the Empire of the Hand for this purpose, and attempting to use cloning technology to circumvent his own death, no clone of him appears in the NJO series and his empire is barely mentioned.
  • Vindicated by History: Though not without its flaws, the EU, or at least some of its ideas, have gotten a better rep in certain circles after it was decanonized due to the Disney buyout essentially reducing the Star Wars lore in size, and many base-breaking story decisions in the sequel movies - particularly regarding the treatment of OT characters, which many fans feel the EU did more respectfully - to the point many of these fans wish for some of the stories to become canon again.

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