Where is a disillusioned fan to go after ‘The Last Jedi’?
The direction they decided to take with The Last Jedi can be summed up in one gif:
You know, it kind of reminds me of the box of popcorn I had with it. Great in the moment, but leaves you hungry when you arrive home. A few hours later, you regret eating the whole fucking box.
I have plenty to say about this movie, but lots of people are already saying it so I won’t waste my breath.
From the unceremonious chucking of Anakin’s lightsaber, to Yoda telling
the audience Luke to let go of the past, this movie sets out to make one thing clear: This movie is not for you.
And you know what? That’s fine.
A new generation is getting a set of movies to call their own, and that’s great. But if you’re going to tell me for two hours and thirty-three minutes that these movies weren’t made for me, then I’m happy to withhold my money and move on. After all, the prequels have trained me well in making my own canon.
Where is a disillusioned fan to go from here?
Just because Disney killed the original EU canon doesn’t mean you have to ignore it. There was a time that the Star Wars universe continued in books, not for the love of money, but for the love of the characters. If you’d like to venture down my rabbithole of self-canon, here’s where I recommend you start.
The Thrawn Trilogy
Beginning with Heir to the Empire, the Thrawn trilogy is set five years after Return of the Jedi. This is, hands down, one of the best pieces of Star Wars literature, and introduced one of the most famed EU characters: Mara Jade.
While the Republic is rebuilding after defeating the Empire, Palpatine’s last warlord has taken command of what’s left of the Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and is going straight for the still vulnerable Republic.
This shit was so fucking good that Disney couldn’t help but reintroduce Admiral Thrawn into their canon. He’s appeared in the Star Wars: Rebels show, and has a new line of canon books centered around him, written by the original author himself – Timothy Zahn.
If you do nothing else, read these books and choose your canon.
New Jedi Order
This series takes place 21 years after Return of the Jedi, and was the definitive end of the EU universe post-Jedi. Folks, this is where shit got real.
With the New Republic established, and a fresh generation of Jedi in place – trained by Luke Skywalker – a new threat emerges: the Yuuzhan Vong. Invaders from another galaxy, immune and invisible to the force. Take your recently trained Jedi and shove it.
NJO is an impressive collaborative project spanning eighteen books, written by a variety of well-known sci-fi/fantasy authors. This is how you do ‘dark Star Wars’ correctly. You want your unexpected without a spit in the face? Look no further than here.
What about me?
At the moment, I’m unconvinced that these movies are worth dashing twenty years of EU history. I had my misgivings when they were first announced, and The Force Awakens lured me into believing that they wouldn’t make a mimicry of my favorite series. Unfortunately, Disney turned around and fulfilled my exact nightmares with ‘The Last Jedi’.
I’ll give the Disney canon one final chance in a book they published last year: Bloodline. Supposedly, this is a very well-written novel that chronicles Leia’s struggle with the New Republic, and how the First Order came to be.
If this does not satisfy my need for continuity between trilogies… well. Bye.