Rating the EU novels

Feb 4, 2020
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For the most part I loved reading the EU books and while they suffered from continuity issues at least until the NJO, there were some great stories. In my humble opinion, here are some of the best and worst.

Best Trilogy:

Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy: IMO there can be no doubt about this. These books brought us one of the best villains in the Star Wars universe and are so well written that they really "feel" like Star Wars. Not to mention that these books are widely recognized for re-invigorating the SW universe.

Honourable Mention:

The Darth Bane trilogy. I love the way they detailed the rise of Darth Bane and creation of the rule of two. I also really like the Old Republic era so aa story that takes place at the height of the Jedi is always appealing.

Best Stand alone book:

Darth Plagueis: A fantastic book that goes into great detail about the early days and training of Darth Sidious and his machinations to orchestrate a war and take down the Jedi Order. I would not have thought that this could have been done in one book, but James Luceno pulled it off really well.

Honourable Mentions:

Outbound Flight: A great story about an expedition that we only hear bits and pieces about in other books. I also like the tie in to the eventual Yuuzhan Vong invasion.

Revan : One of my favourite characters so it was awesome to have his story as a redeemed.

Death Star: A really cool book that gives us the Imperial perspective.

Worst Trilogy:

The Black Fleet Crisis: A boring story with a uninteresting enemy. The whole White Current sub plot was just weird IMO.

Worst Stand Alone book:

Crystal Star: Just a weird poorly written novel IMO.

Close Second:

The New Rebellion: Subpar plot and and a poor antagonist. To me, Kueller just seems to be a rushed character with very little back story or development.

Best Long Series:

New Jedi Order series: This one is not close IMO. To have a story arc that encompasses 19 or 20 books with in my opinion, the best enemy in the EU was incredible. I also like the fact that all of the authors were careful to maintain continuity and that we had appearances from characters that spanned all of the novels including the Jedi Academy and the Truce at Bakura.

Honourable Mention:

The X-Wing book series: I really enjoyed reading about the fledgling new republic and also enjoyed the detail about the military side of stories. Plus it included entries from one of my favourite authors, Aarron Allston, who was one of the only authors to inject some really good humour into his books IMO.
Dec 15, 2017
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I’ve read each and every one of those! I over the years ended up reading the whole EU (every Bantam and Del Rey novel, all the Marvel and Dark Horse comics, and even most of the Scholastic Junior Jedi Knights series and such).

The NJO was amazing. It was a monolithic achievement for the several writers and editors it required. I also was really moved by and thus devoted to the Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series. I’d spent SO MUCH time with the Skywalkers and Solos that their family breakdown had a huge effect on me. I also definitely must mention Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando books; I used to get SO EXCITED when a new one would come out!

Surprisingly, not too many true stand-alones actually exist, but there are a few books that feel close enough. I still sometimes think of Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter (even though it eventually led to the Coruscant Nights series) as an enthralling stand-alone; it actually is really scary! Maul is like a Ringwraith, seeking out the fleeing protagonists.

But my favorite stuff always will be the Tales anthologies, even if they are kind of cheesy and inconsistent. They represent a great time in my life.
May 9, 2005
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I love Shadow Hunter, had a bit of a spy thriller vibe with Assassin tendencies. Several of the others were good too, particularly outbound flight.
It's been so long ago that most of them are now jumbled together in my mind. I do kind of miss that era even though there were also a lot of less interesting stories to downright absurd.