I'll answer both questions here... Because I still believe, despite it all, that the Expanded Universe is one of the greatest and most complete fictional settings ever created. Even as the quality of the "modern" Luke-era stories where I spent the most of my time has fallen of a cliff, the other eras have become more dynamic and interesting. Also, the Essential Guides have done a better job than anything I've seen before in involving the fanbase in expanding and improving the universe's lore. A good chunk of the people here got named in the acknowledgements in the best book to come out under the Star Wars banner since Mindor. How cool is that? As for why I've stopped reading - The ending of Legacy of the Force. I'd grown up Jacen, and he had been (at least post-Traitor) my favorite character of the NJO. As such, I was actually excited by Betrayal. I had grown up always knowing that Vader was Luke's dad and that he was redeemed in the end. Because of this, I (and my generation of fans) lacked both an Empire Stirkes Back moment and any real mystery about what Anakin would become in the Prequels. LotF, though, promised a bold jump into an unpredictable future. Here was our chance to see a character we had seen grow up and grown up with, from the Thrawn books to the Corellian Trilogy to the YJK, walking down the road to hell. Jacen was to be my Anakin Skywalker. But the execution of the series was all wrong, and the conclusion moreso. Jacen's death seemed more out of a "dark for darknesses sake" 90's comic book than the optimistic-despite-it-all Star Wars universe. Then there was the shear stupid factor. The Republic (already renamed) rolling back into being an Empire? Luke somehow sacrificing Mandolorian lives for no explainable reason? Jaina getting beat in a swordfight by a Mando? Daala not only being a key player again, but Chief of friggin' State? Hamill said it best on Robot Chicken. "Look, if you're not going to this seriously, I'm out."