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Lit The Most Important Bits of the EU

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Sinrebirth, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    Alrighty. I am re-doing the EU over before ST totals it (or attempts to reference it all [or ignores it all but doesn't reference it]), and have distilled it down to this...

    0. DotJ (all)
    1. Lost Tribe of the Sith
    2. KotoR I
    3. KotoR II
    4. The Three ToR Trailers
    5. Darth Bane
    6. Darth Plagueis
    7. TPM
    8. Rogue Planet
    9. Outbound Flight
    10. AotC
    11. Clone Wars Movie
    12. Mortis Trilogy
    13. Savage Oppress Trilogy
    14. The First Maul Arc (end of season 4 and first Obsession-messy episode of Season 5)
    15. The Second Maul Arc (the spoiled Season 5 arc involving stuff I'd rather not spoil
    16. The Inevitable Finale Maul Arc
    17. Labryinth of Evil
    18. RotS
    19. ANH
    20. ESB
    21. Shadows of the Empire
    22. RotJ
    23. The Thrawn Trilogy
    24. The Dark Empire Trilogy
    25. Crimson Empire I & II
    26. I, Jedi
    27. Darksaber
    28. The Thrawn Duology
    29. YJK Jedi Shadow
    30. YJK Jedi Sunrise
    31. Vector Prime
    32. Ruin
    33. Balance Point
    34. Conquest
    35. Rebirth
    36. Star by Star
    37. Traitor
    38. Destiny's Way
    39. The Final Prophecy
    40. TUF
    41. DNT
    42. Betrayal
    43. Exile
    44. Sacrifice
    45. Inferno
    46. Fury
    47. Revelation
    48. Invincible
    49. Outcast
    50. Omen
    51. Abyss
    52. Allies
    53. Vortex
    54. Conviction
    55. Ascension
    56. Apocalypse
    57. Legacy & Legacy: War

    Fundamentally, I have largely grouped moments by the introduction of new but key characters or groups, the recreation of groups, political or otherwise, and the charge of relationships between groups and/or characters. While the X-wing novels represent the pinnacle of the EU, ditto the Allston NJO duology, they don't necessarily move along the plot or change relationships... though they're heavily recommended in all.

    The films are obviously key, and to be honest the end of the ToR era doesn't really matter insofar as much as Bane ends it. We all know the Old and New Sith Wars will inevitably be connected into a three millennia long war. That it re-starts after Darth Traya dies is sufficient plot-wise. That the ToR Sith originate from Sadow's Sith is covered by Tribe.

    Maul, as a 'film' Sith, gets prominence and so his arc(s) are rather important, and as the Clone Wars is a film, it gets relevance (and covers Ahsoka's introduction). Mortis is connected to Apocalypse, and distilling FotJ down to it's essential parts is fairly hard as at least one major plot point is in each one, bar Backlash. Equally hard is distilling LotF down. The introduction of the Confederation as an enemy needs detailing, but out of Bloodlines, Tempest and Exile, the weakest of the three entries from the relevant authors, Exile has the most information and actually presents the Confederation as a foe, setting up the essential Sacrifice and Inferno.

    Some novels get discarded by being inevitable. CoPL, for example. Do we need to know how Han and Leia get married? It's implied that 'happily ever after' exists for the couple in RotJ. TTT survives without detailing the 'how', but it introduces Thrawn and Mara Jade; it's essential reading. The end of the so-called Callista Trilogy obtains relevance because of Allies, but also because of the Daala arc, which inevitably demands CotJ be included.

    Rogue Planet, Outbound Flight and Crimson Empire II round off the pre-NJO requisites, and you can't have CE II without CE I, and they round off the Dark Empire Trilogy well. Distilling NJO to key points is difficult too, but Ruin, despite being a paperback, is important for Ithor, the Remnant and Horn's plot-points, all of which are relevant later on...

    And so on... I don't believe I've missed anything appallingly important from this summary, if I was to present it to a friend to get them back into SW in time for the ST in 2014. I'd love feedback, and I'm aware there are cracking novels I have missed, but their essential nature is something I'm trying to obtain.
    Order66Survivor likes this.
  2. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007
    If only.
  3. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    Duly edited!
  4. JackG

    JackG Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 15, 2011
    I say cut the Clone Wars movie and add the Jabiim novels in its place.
    Also Dawn of the Jedi deserves a place, methinks. No love for BFC and the microseries, though?

    Edit: aside from DotJ, these are just my personal taste preferences.
  5. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 2, 2012
    Ignoring 11 through 16, 41 through 56, add the X-wing series, and you just might be on to something.

    I see a slight problem with 10 and 19.
  6. Sith93Apprentice

    Sith93Apprentice Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 7, 2012
    It makes me grin to see that other people are even bigger Star Wars geeks than myself. Actually I am new to the EU in the past few years and I have read a couple of dozen books. I have often chosen not to buy anything else simoply because I had no idea of where it fit in and what other books I would need to commit to in order to finish an arc. This is extremely helpful, and I appreciate it.
    Order66Survivor likes this.
  7. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 2, 2010
    I think Dawn of the Jedi belongs at #1. Lost Tride of the Sith really doesn't strike me as that significant, you don't need to read it to understand the Lost Tribe's presence in FotJ, and they are a secondary role in that series anyway.

    The TCW entries are obviously variable since we don't know what will ultimately happen (ie. if Ahsoka survives some major character arc involving her would matter more than anything else), but I think giving it 6 entries is well within reason.

    Not sure the Labyrinth of Evil is really that important. It clears up events leading up to RotS sure, but much of the information is already in that movie. I would swap it out and put The Force Unleashed in instead (I know people don't like it's choices, but they are pretty significant).

    I'd remove both YJK entries, the young readers material has always seemed of lesser import from any perspective, and there's hardly anything we learn about the kids that really makes a difference for NJO. I'd put in Black Fleet Crisis instead - since it contains the best look at how the galactic goverment actually functions in the New Republic Era, and something else from that time frame perhaps Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II or something else discussing the early fracturing of the Empire.

    I see no reason to quibble over the NJO, it's obviously an important portion of the EU though each book's milleage may vary, but I think you have both LotF and FotJ over-represented.
  8. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    You can probably excise the 2/3 of the Callista trilogy not by KJA. You could easily go from Darksaber to Allies in terms of Callista's story and it would barely be different.

    And no love for TFU? We may not like it, but it is important. At least the first one.

    I'd say skip Ascension, but I guess wrapping up the Lecersen-Treen conspiracy is kinda important, as is Abeloth eating the chief of state.
  9. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    That's an interesting point, because it introduces Ventress, if taken to it's end-point with Anakin and Kenobi being re-united, and also introduces Hett/Krayt.

    Ahsoka's appearance is going to be mildly confusing without the 5 episodes of the movie, I'd argue.

    The BFC is an aside that introduces an Alien Evil of the Week but that's about it. Said evil survives one trilogy, and is referenced once more when it dies to the Vong (though I consider Remnant to be fairly key but generally disliked)...

    DotJ I have to agree with.


    I made special mention of the X-wings books, in the discussion after, and this isn't about what is or isn't good, just what is essential...

    But the AotC point is a good one. Edited!

    DotJ is definitely in. With Tribe, it also gives us information about the first red-skinned Sith Empire, and also gives Sadow and so forth. It also touches upon Revan and the original Dark Side Exiles. I'm more tempted to include it for that reason - and otherwise we get a Tribe appear, much like the Vong just appear. Tribe, PoT and Rebirth are key for FotJ... insofar as much as Rogue Planet, Outbound Flight and the CE duology are key for the NJO.

    A lot of BFC isn't referenced later, so I'm not sure about it. I'm surprised it's had two mentions, actually. I'll have to think on that one. Of the Dark Forces arc, I'm more tempted to grab Jedi Academy for Katarn, Korr and lot's of expanded universe references...

    YJK introduces a whole shed load of the cast, clears up the Deep Core Imperials, and I distilled it's twenty-odd entries to six of the books, collected in two novels... BFC introduces the structure of the NR... which lasts three decades IU and we've had the GA longer (and in more books) now...

    I'm finding it difficult to cut down LotF and FotJ...

    Maybe.... Betrayal, Sacrifice, Inferno, Fury, Revelation and Invincible? With Outcast, Omen, Abyss... and I have no idea. With nine books crammed into each year it's a real pain.

    I felt obliged to include CotJ because of the other two, Darksaber for reunification works pretty well, but drochs aren't overly relevant... I could probably cut that down to just Darksaber. I seem to recall that I, Jedi references Daala and Pellaeon by the end, too.

    I thought about TFU but decided that the deleted scenes for RotS also set up the Rebellion just as well. TFU's depiction of events is also canon-suspect because of the Essential Readers Companion.

    Ascension also deals with the Sith taking control of the GA for the setup for Apocalypse... and deals with Grand Lord Vol! So... I'm less inclined to get rid of it (though I'm desperately looking to cut down LotF/FotJ).
  10. jacktherack

    jacktherack Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 19, 2008
    you realize the movie won't affect anything other then the post-rotj novels right?
  11. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    If NJO on is wiped out Outbound Flight, Rogue Planet, and Shatterpoint at least will be affected.
  12. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007
    What does Shatterpoint have to do with the NJO?

    Edit: Oh, Mace's premonition of Coruscant turning into a jungle at the end? That could easily just be taken the way Mace likely interpreted it: as a metaphor.

    I don't think losing the NJO would really affect these stories much anyway. Marvel #55 worked fine for twenty years without anyone knowing it was foreshadowing the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, including its own writer.
  13. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 5

    Oct 29, 2005
    The BFC is more important for the setting rather than the story. The other Bantam books of the time give us little, if anything, on the general galaxy or the NR government and military. BFC pretty much establishes the post-DE New Republic.
  14. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 2, 2012
    My definition of essential doesn't include disrespectful and/or depressing osik.
  15. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm kind of curious how you can consider books that contain the introduction of Corran Horn or the New Republic's capture of Coruscant to be less essential than most of the other books on the list. Also, while the marriage of Han and Leia may be inevitable, the introduction of the Hapans and Dathomiri are also covered by Courtship.
    Zeta1127 likes this.
  16. K'Kruhk

    K'Kruhk Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 11, 2011
    No Star Wars list can be complete without the novels written by James Luceno.
  17. General Immodet

    General Immodet Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2012
    Cut the Clone Wars show arcs and add the Republic comic series.

    Why are Dark Times and The Force Unleashed not included?
  18. krtmd

    krtmd Jedi Knight star 4

    Sep 5, 2012
    Unfortunately, the characterization of Han and Leia is so off in COPL, it sours the whole book for me.
  19. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Feb 18, 2005
    He's got The Unifying Force and Labyrinth of Evil up there.

    Oh, me too. The book is definitely one of the weakest SW novels I've read. But this isn't about whether a book is good, it's about whether it's "essential," defined by Sinrebirth as "the introduction of new but key characters or groups, the recreation of groups, political or otherwise, and the charge of relationships between groups and/or characters."
  20. Grey1

    Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group star 4 VIP

    Nov 21, 2000
    I don't get how some of these things are essential. The TOR trailers, for example - okay, they form the backbone of that era, but this also shows how disconnected this era is from everything else, having no impact whatsoever. Is Lost Tribe essential just because it elaborates on Sith history? In that case, I'm not sure if TOTJ isn't pretty much important in showing Jedi history. Crimson Empire is a prerequiste for NJO? Because it shows a character that will be explained better by the beginning of VP, where the character is actually the character? I'm pretty sure if you argue hard enough you can get every book in because there is some tidbit of a storyline that gets enhanced by it. As someone who knows the NR era simply from the Bantam books, I don't find it essential, for example, to find a retconned pattern in the multitdes of wannabe emperors. They just happen, nobody sticks around long enough. Zahn's appointment of Pellaeon as Benevolent Leader is a simple way to say "the remnants of the Empire did unimportant nonsense up to now". When is the next time the Empire is truly important? When they join the fight against the Vong (book not included above)? When there is some stuff in LOTF? Or when everybody believed Jag would be a great new Emperor? You didn't include Dark Journey, but isn't that an important step in Kyp's characterization coming in from the beginning of the NJO?

    Also, if you start picking multi-book series apart for seperate entries, shouldn't you take a comic book like Legacy apart to include just a few important issues highlighting the plot and the course of historical events? Not every issue is important.

    And based on that, I find it odd that it makes reading the stuff obsolete anyway, since it's just about getting some info tidbits and not keeping storylines intact or satisfying. I thought the guidebooks are already boiling everything down to that level - why fight through 300 pages of a novel of questionable quality when you just want to see the important event?

    Finally, the way Kyle is used in media other than his three-and-a-half games shows that he is not essential for the EU. That might sound blasphemous, but it only tells us something about the EU. :p
  21. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    If that's the case, then the Corellian trilogy should be included, since it introduces Thrackan, Centerpoint, Tendra, and Corellia itself. Three of those things play important roles in LOTF and Agents of Chaos, the latter of which isn't included either.
  22. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    If you're going for a "the essentials" run on the EU, I'd definitely add Shatterpoing and Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. As some of the only truly character based novels of the time period, I definitely feel they're important.

    To be more specific, Shatterpoint is important to the timeline because some of the events, as well as Mace's shatterpoint ability, is referenced in ROTS. Dark Rendezvous gives some great insight into Dooku, arguably the secondary villain of the PT, who in my humble opinion is woefully underdeveloped, particularly in the films. If we're looking at this from the perspective of someone actually following this, Shatterpoint gives emotional weight to Mace's death in ROTS, and Dark Rendezvous lets us know that Dooku is not a monster.

    I might also consider adding the Quinlan Vos stories, as I'd say it's a much needed alternate perspective on the PT era
  23. K'Kruhk

    K'Kruhk Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 11, 2011
    Yes, as well as Darth Plagueis, but it's missing Cloak of Deception and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, among others..
  24. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Ah, that's right. I'll reluctantly agree you can skip Cloak of Deception- though it is fairly important in many ways, not the least of which being that it makes TPM a slightly better film- but I definitely think Rise of Darth Vader belongs. If not, it can be substituted for Ghost Prison. You have to see Vader get his groove back somehow.
  25. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    How can you make this list and not include Jedi Trial ?