View Full Version : EU for Dummies

06-19-2002, 10:34 PM
Since I have joined this forum I have heard much debate regarding the validity of the SW EU. I must confess that I have never read any of the novels though I have always been a little curious about them. My question is this; Assuming that Lucas must approve all the stories before they are able to carry the Star Wars title, does this mean that the novels have never contradicted eachother? And do the Dark Horse comics ever make reference to any events that take place in the novels? Also, if I was to start reading the novels which would you long-time EU fans suggest I start with and are there any novels I should, in your opinion, completely disregard? I would appreciate the insight.

06-20-2002, 08:43 AM
Lucas approves main ideas and plotlines, but I don't think he reads each novel to give an okay ~ geez if he did that we probably wouldn't have some of the clunkers we ended up with! There have been contradictions and continuity issues but please don't ask me to remember them images/icons/wink.gif I do remember one novel where Luke did things that I felt were out of character; I'll try to dig up which one that was. Novels to avoid: Hambly's Children of the Jedi, Andersons's Darksaber, McIntyre's The Crystal Star. Must reads: Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, Stackpole/Allston's X-Wing series, all the NJO books, and these threads:

thread 1 (http://www.rebelscum.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000233)

thread 2 (http://www.rebelscum.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=000193&p=)

[ 06-20-2002, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: LadySith ]

06-20-2002, 01:11 PM
I just finished Han Solo and the Lost Legacy this morning, and I enjoyed it. It all takes place before the events in ANH, and has a nice little lead up to some of Han and Chewie's entanglments in the OT. Makes one or two references to a previous Han Solo adventure, but not enough to confuse you if you haven't read it. If you like Han and Chewie, then I'd suggest this one.

[ 06-20-2002, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: toothpickheaded_jedi ]

06-20-2002, 01:26 PM
Do contradictions exist? Yes, though some extreme die-hards will insist that everything can be made to fix. Sadly, too many fixes and things begin to sound silly, or contrived.

As for Lucas, I would say his involvement is really minimal. We've all heard he approves the big outlines for each book, but these are probably only about a page long. All of the details/specifics/character issues/etc he doesn't have time for.

Do comics/books reference each other? Not very often, and if they do, it's usually not necessary to have read the comic story to know what's going on. The biggest reference is often the Dark Empire comic, which covered a reborn Emperor and Luke's turning to the Dark Side for awhile. This has been mentioned in novels more than any other comic was, and is a fairly important event in the timeline.

Books to avoid: Ladysith already mentioned The Crystal Star. I'd like to add The Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy by K.W. Jeter. With a good editor, it could have easily been reduced to 2 books (or 1 long book). This series was boring, convoluted, and everyone seemed out of character. As a big Fett fan, I still had a lot of trouble plodding through this series.

06-20-2002, 01:36 PM
I'm with LadySith on the Zahn Trilogy. Those are Great books. I think you should start there. After that go to the NJO (New Jedi Order) those are great as well.

06-25-2002, 03:48 PM
I would like to offer an alternative view on K.W. Jeter's Bounty Hunter Wars.

I thought it was great. First of all, it's nice to have an SW book without Luke, Han, and Chewie. Not that I don't like them, but it's nice to focus on another aspect of SW. Secondly, getting Boba Fett and Bossk is a real treat. Jeter did a good job with the characters, had a great plot with lots of revelations, and also had a clear writing style.

It is not convoluted and it is certainly not boring. I read the whole trilogy in 3 weeks and loved it.

06-25-2002, 06:51 PM
I like to second the trilogy of Han Solo adventures. I thought it was cool to see how Han got to where he is before ANH. Some of the compilation books (many authors featured in several short stories) are ok for some background on several characters.

I didn't start reading the EU books until a few years ago and I was really surprised by how great some of the books are especially Zahn's books and the X-wing series. I feel the books have been bashed too much by people who have never read any of them. I do agree that some of the books have been terrible like some of the ones mentioned but overall it's pretty cool to see what happens after ROTJ.

Since I only read the books not the comics I picked up the essential chronology book and it filled in most of the holes I missed out on.

If you like action and some good wit the X-Wing series is a must IMO. Hope that helps.

06-28-2002, 03:48 PM
I'm a big fan of the NJO series but I'd advise reading them last. They make many references to events listed in previous books + you miss a lot of old "history" of the Solo kids and how they get to where they are at. The X-wing series is pure entertainment and very fast paced (very easy reading). LSith hit the nail on the head about the books not to read.

07-08-2002, 07:25 PM
Oh, yeah, there are contradictions galore.

I'm afraid I'll have to disagree on The Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy. While Jeter is a good writer, he can't write Star Wars. He seems to have ignored practically everything that was written before concerning the characters he used. Fett, Bossk, and Zuckuss come out as different -- sometimes totally -- compared to any of their other appearances. The writing is laboured, the dialogue in some places is tedious, and it can take up to three pages for two characters to echange four short lines. Nope, that's a section of EU worth avoiding, in my opinion.

As for the New Jedi Order, I like the writing. The writing in and of itself -- as works of fine wordsmithy and craftsmanship -- are wonderful. It's the storyline I hate. It seems yet another use of the Mysterious-And-Inscrutable-Powerful-Aliens-From-Outside-Known-Space-Invade schtick (Ssi-ruuk and Yevetha, anyone?) that has been rehashed yet again with "Cobra-La" biomechanical versions of the Borg. And they went and destroyed Ithor (and possibly Rodia as well; I haven't read that far). At the risk of sounding like Comic Book Guy, "Worst storyline ever!" And I'm not going to say that's IMHO, because opinions are never humble. images/icons/grin.gif But it is my opinion. Feel free to disagree if you like, but I ain't changing it.

If you'd like to ease into EU reading, I recommend the Tales of... books. They flesh out some of the background characters you see in the films, the stories are often excellent and well-written, and they give interesting alternative perspectives to the events in the Original Triology. Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales of the Bounty Hunters, and Tales from Jabba's Palace. Check 'em out and see what you think.

[ 07-10-2002, 06:39 PM: Message edited by: Beedo ]

07-31-2002, 07:33 AM
Yeah, the Tales of books were what I started with...you can pick out authers that you like and get their books.

Must reads-
The Thrawn Trilogy
Jedi Academy Trilogy
Hand of Thrawn duology

07-31-2002, 04:49 PM
dark horses comics into the novels

like th x-wing series, dark empire and more.

teh best novels to read are
heir to the empire
dark force rising
the last comand

those 3 are the thrawn trilogy/ Zahn trilogy

i recomend the comics ad graphic novels

checout darkhorses SW site, look at the timelien for details

the rebublic stuff is really cool, it takes place between ep1 and ep2

07-31-2002, 11:26 PM
I recommend "I, Jedi" by Micheal A. Stackpole. I never read the Jedi Academy trilogy, so everything in "I, Jedi" was new to me. Its a cool read if you're into Jedi stuff. Its also a unique book in that its told from the first-person perspective - very autobiographical

08-25-2002, 10:49 AM
'I, Jedi' is a great read, plus it fits well with the Jedi Academy series. Read Academy series first, then I, Jedi. Very well done.