One of the issues many fans have had with the new Star Wars trilogy is how it had dumped all the Expanded Universe story lines that had been put together over the last few decades. These were extensive story lines expanding on the stories of the original trilogy. There were several epic story lines that took the Star Wars universe to all sorts of new places, with interesting new characters.
Now we are getting a new expanded universe built under the new story lines, but one thing I have come to realize is that in the end this new EU is not going to be able to live up to reputation of the old one. I am reading Liea Princess of Alderaan and of thing I have realized is that there is something missing. Then thinking about the other new EU books I have read, it is missing from those as well.
This is not review of the book. I have problems with it on many levels and am only a few chapters in, their take on Liea is really bothering as it very openly is going against set canon from the movies, which the old EU seemed to have understood and followed.
This post is a commentary about the limit that are obviously being placed on what the writers can do.
With the old Eu they had a lot of freedom in where they could go. Lucas Film still had final say over it all, but there was clearly a lot of freedom for the writers.
This new EU clearly has next to no freedom.
The new EU novels are not so much stories as fill in character pieces. These books are not introducing new story lines, but are filling in areas of the stories from the movies. We are getting to see what the characters were up to before the movies, but little else. We already know where all these characters end up, their fates already played out in many cases. These novels are not taking the EU anywhere new, with no surprises or unseen twists. Right now it is all fairly straight forward stories which are actually a little bland.
I do understand why this is happening though. With them actually making movies right now, they do not want to have the EU introduce aspects that might be go against the story lines of any new movies. The old EU had a freedom that the new EU will most likely never have. Before the Disney deal, Lucas ha give up o the idea of doing any future movies and so there was no concern about what the EU did. It was not going to interfere with any future films. Since right now we are seeing a long term plan of making movie after movie, it will be some time before the new EU will be able to have that level of freedom, if ever.
Personally I wish there was a way to go back and let the old EU start up again, with the understanding that all of those story lines are a separate universe. The freedom they had allowed for noticeably better story telling.
For good or ill, if anyone wishes to keep up with the new EU, they will not be getting the quality of the old EU (Not saying it was all good). I myself do not plan to put any effort into keeping up with it, which works well as my expendable income is not what it used to be.