The Star Wars Expanded Universe: The Pithy Reader’s Companion Vol. III

Now over a year in the making, it’s time for the final volume of the Pithy Reader’s Companion! Our voyage begins with the arrival of the Yuuzhan Vong and the untimely demise of the mighty Chewbacca, and continues into the far, far future of the Skywalker family in the Legacy comics.

Fun fact: This batch almost certainly covers the time span where the sequels will be set, and as such is probably the stuff most likely to be erased from continuity—which is a damn shame for some of it, and frankly a relief for others. The exact proportions thereof may vary, of course; you can probably guess which ones @Havac (our own Lucas Jackson) would most like to get rid of. Enjoy!

 


 

Vector Prime – The book with one simple message: Chewbacca’s dead, Mara’s deathly ill, and incredibly dangerous biotech-wielding Forceless aliens are invading the galaxy — DEAL WITH IT. – @Havac

Dark Tide: Onslaught – The first of many NJO covers which depicts things that never actually happen in the novel. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Dark Tide: Ruin – Introducing Jagged Fel, the on-again-off-again-on-again-off-again-on-again-off-again paramour of Jaina Solo for the next twelve real life years. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Agents of Chaos: Hero’s Trial – Han Solo’s Magical Mystery Tour of Forgotten Classic-EU Supporting Characters. – @Havac

Agents of Chaos: Jedi Eclipse – Despite the cover, this book does *not* detail the Han Solo/Tsavong Lah buddy-cop comedy of the year. – @RC-1991

Balance Point – The most cleverly titled book of the series had no balance and no point. – @DarthRelaxus

Recovery1 – “Oh, yeah, Leia wasn’t crippled after all . . . we should probably make up some kind of explanation for that.” – @Havac

Edge of Victory: Conquest – Greg Keyes initiates the Great NJO Purge of all things KJA by killing Dorsk 82 and, more importantly, making it so that there can never any stories set in the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV ever again. – @Todd the Jedi

Edge of Victory: Rebirth – Jaina slaps Kyp, Tahiri and Anakin finally kiss, and Luke’s and Mara’s son is born… if it were not for Onimi and Nen Yim quarreling on a dying worldship, this could so be a romantic comedy. – @cthugha

Star By Star – “Keep fighting until you can fight no longer, then exhaust the enemy chasing you, and turn and fight some more.” – @AdmiralNick22

Dark Journey – My name is Jaina Solo, you killed my brother, prepare to die. – @mnjedi

Enemy Lines: Rebel Dream – Adventures abound as Han and Leia run a mobile babysitting service, Sharr and Piggy help Jaina get her goddess on, Jag almost gets vaped by a few squadrons of coralskippers and gets a kiss as a reward, Kyp tells a Vong interdictor to go suck itself, Lando gives Luke, Mara, “Aunt” Tahiri and a merry band of Wraiths a ride to Vong-infested Coruscant… all while Wedge plays Pwoe like a well tuned [insert your favorite Star-Wars-y instrument here], sets up a rebellion against the government that used to be called the Rebellion, and holds a Vong-roast, Lusankya-style. – @Jags_Scoundrel

Enemy Lines: Rebel Stand – The Yuuzhan Vong argue over whether the approaching Lusankya is 8km, 12.8km or 19km until the debate no longer matters. – @Nobody145

Traitor – You shall not pass . . . through the NJO without reading this book. – @GrandAdmiralJello

Destiny’s Way – Ackbar’s long history of falling into traps finally pays off. – @PointGiven

Force Heretic: Remnant – Nom Anor sits in a corner being repetitively amazing; Luke, Mara, Jacen, Saba, and Danni start visiting interesting places in the most boring ways possible; and every single other character they couldn’t fit aboard the Jade Shadow goes off on the Bantam’s Most Marginal Hits Tour. – @Havac

Force Heretic: Refugee – Jacen Solo Visits the Library: for curious Young Jedi Knights everywhere. – @Parnesius

Force Heretic: Reunion – A lost world found, a lost mind recovered, a lost honor lost further and a loss of interest by the reader. – @tal0nkarrde

The Final Prophecy – A priest, scientist and opportunistic skeptic go to a living planet, where the priest’s faith is shattered, the scientist’s laws of reality are turned upside down and the skeptic shrugs and tries to destroy the planet for his own benefit. – @Nobody145

The Unifying Force – The novel that brought Kyle Katarn to the Yuuzhan Vong War and thus the war and series ended. – @GrandMasterKatarn

Dark Nest: The Joiner King – Hey, remember all the cool stuff The Unifying Force did to set up a new status quo — because Troy Denning doesn’t. – @Havac

Dark Nest: The Unseen Queen – If you finished the New Jedi Order and thought, “You know, what I really want is for Jacen to start acting evil, Jaina and all the other young Jedi to act stupid because their minds get taken over by bugs, the big three to lurch out of retirement so they can save their children who are older than they were during the OT, the GA and Omas to be treated like villains, and five separate Jar Jars to be introduced — and then I want the entire setup to be reintroduced and everything just repeated over the course of the second book of the trilogy, now with new characters like Kre’fey unceremoniously dumped in favor of a horribly-written pet ‘genius’ character,” boy, do I ever have the atrociously-conceived, mediocre, repetitious mid-trilogy book for you! – @Havac

Dark Nest: The Swarm War – Jacen continues to act evil because no one could be bothered to actually read Traitor; Jaina never really stops being mind-controlled by bugs and acting stupid and just sort of stumbles her way to the ending; Han and Leia lumber off to rescue their children for like the eighty-fifth time just this trilogy; Jag gets screwed over for no perceptible reason; everyone knows that Alema doesn’t actually die; Mara gets stuffed into a hospital bed so that Luke can freak out over his unresolved issues with his mother’s death because this trilogy is full of ROTS for some reason; all the stupid Jar Jars are back; Bwua’tu continues to serve as a warning of what happens when a “genius” character is written by an author who isn’t; and Luke becomes Jedi Dictator because all the other Jedi are too stupid and spinelessly sycophantic to function without him or even want to, beats up all the bad people because it is absolutely unacceptable to allow the next-generation protagonists to achieve anything in this trilogy, and after moralizing to Jacen about the ends not justifying the means all trilogy, orders Pellaeon to let a bunch of Chiss die to teach them some vague lesson about how defending yourself against implacable mind-controlling bug invaders with whom it is impossible to reason is wrong — in short, every single character is viciously diminished, the younger and more important to the future of the franchise, the more so. – @Havac

LotF

Betrayal – The title describes its relationship with the NJO. – @Havac

Bloodlines – The last book in which we bother with the idea that Jacen’s fall might be that of a tragic hero and not a cartoon villain, plus we get the setup to an awesome Boba Fett-Sith Jacen feud that could let Jacen kill Boba Fett and Boba go out in style and establish Jacen as a badass villain . . . but it doesn’t actually happen. – @Havac

Tempest – Jacen Solo had other commitments and had to bow out of the series; Dick Dastardly has now been cast to replace him. – @Havac

Exile – Set a course for a Venture, the Looooove Commander soon will be making another run, ’cause the Looooove Commander promises something for everyone. – @Todd the Jedi

Sacrifice – “Hi, I’m Ben Skywalker and I just found out my cousin is associating with a Sith and is probably one himself, so I’m going to tell my Mom and absolutely no one else in the Jedi Order, including my father and she’s not going to tell anyone in the Jedi Order and get herself killed and I’ll somehow not put two and two together and realize my cousin killed my mom.” – @Point Given

Inferno – Luke ends up taking a leaf out of Obi Wan’s book and refuses to kill a Sith lying broken at his feet, thereby costing the lives of millions of beings. – @Point Given

Fury – Thanks to Lando, we learn that 71 is never too old to start having kids. – @Todd the Jedi

Relevation – Maw Fleet space ships, striking from their hidden base, have won Daala’s first victory ever documented in the EU. – @AdmiralNick22

Invincible – You’d think Jacen being killed by Jaina would be the most awful thing in a novel, but shortly after that all hopes for the post NJO novels die with four words- Chief of State Daala. – @Nobody145

Crosscurrent – A Jedi from the past travels through time to fight a Sith from the past, where he meets a Jedi from now who’s going to a creepy moon, they look at each other, say, “Well, that’s certainly interesting,” and then separately continue along their respective plots like nothing ever happened, completely invalidating the entire point of a time-travel story. – @Havac

Millennium Falcon – James Luceno shows how post-NJO stories are done with a fun one-off adventure that draws from prior EU and treats LOTF with a combination of actual emotional resonance, mockery, and as much ignoring as possible. – @Havac

Legacy2 – Gar Stazi’s forces, striking from their hidden base, liberate the galaxy and avenge the loss of the greatest EU character ever, Admiral Nict, while some dude named Cade, a Freaking Sweet Hat, and Imperials with white streaked hair have side adventures. – @AdmiralNick22

Bib Fortuna and the Rise of the Dark Falls3 – A truly magnificent ode to the indomitability of the Twi’lek spirit, contained within an epic saga of crime and justice, depicting the search for knowledge we all carry in our hearts and calling us to better our world, all in the masterful prose of that soulful savant, Derek J. Reda. – @Havac

 


 

Note that one of the very few substantial gaps in the Pithy Companion is the Fate of the Jedi series, set shortly after Millennium Falcon. I’ll continue to update all three volumes here as new winning entries become available, but exactly which books come along when is now in the capable hands of @instantdeath. To check out the list of “winners” for the first year—or to join in on the fun yourself—be sure to check out the ongoing One Sentence or Less thread. Thanks again to everyone for reading, and special thanks to readers of the thread for contributing some great entries!

PS – I apologize for Rise of the Dark Falls. Blame Jay.

  1. eBook []
  2. comic series, first volume []
  3. nonexistent story—see links in entry []

10 comments

  1. Eric J. Brown says:

    Havac’s take of the Dark Nest (and Denning) is so spot on…

    • Zachary Skaggs says:

      No kidding, which is why I will not be bothered to read that post-NJO osik, and am torn over whether to read stuff like Millennium Falcon and X-Wing: Mercy Kill due to their association with that mess.

      • Eric J. Brown says:

        Falcon and Mercy Kill were okay — Mercy Kill really wasn’t that bad and doesn’t have a lot of tie in (more some setting). Allston can handle the Demingizing of the Star Wars Universe. Falcon has more (it’s basically a bridge novel between the two 9 book series) – but even ignoring that, it’s a fun story.

      • Zachary Skaggs says:

        I just feel like I would be condoning the entire post-NJO if I bought them.

      • Ben Crofts Ben Crofts says:

        What’s more important to you:

        Not reading any post-NJO books ever?

        OR

        Do you want to support the possibility of getting more X-Wing books?

        If the latter, buy X-Wing: Mercy Kill.

  2. Lugija says:

    Yes, I know that Derek J Reda’s prose is out of this world but still, what is this talk of it being nonexistent? I am confirmed that it does in fact exist!

    (I want an article about the EU stories that never were if it can be written without explaining fan jokes)

  3. Zachary Skaggs says:

    Yes, this is Zeta1127, I have been wondering when someone would make the connection.

  4. Bria says:

    The assessment of the DNT is so painfully accurate that it hurts.

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