6. The Emperor Was Cloned
In The Expanded Universe: But wait… what was that about clones? Ah, that’s right. It turns out the Emperor has a whole ship full of younger hims, just waiting to spring into action if the old him ever died. (Why did he bother hanging out in that crippled old body in the first place? We don’t know, but Space Viagra must be super effective.) Vader’s final sacrifice, his ultimate act of defiance, now comes off as a minor annoyance. He might as well have stepped on the Emperor’s robe while he was walking down the stairs.
5. There’s No Light Or Dark Side To The Force
In The Expanded Universe: The Force is neutral. There is no alluring Dark Side, just evil people that use the Force for evil things. On the surface, this seems like a decent enough explanation. Jedi who turn to the Dark Side often have motives besides merely being “seduced.” Still, to deny that the Dark Side has some sort of alluring power makes you wonder why something like one out of every four Jedi turns to the dark side. Can you think of any other story where 25% of “good” characters end up becoming total bastards? …Besides Heroes?
4. Luke Was Never The Last Of The Jedi
In The Expanded Universe: Not only did a shit ton of Jedi survive Order 66, but there’s a laundry list that were still alive throughout the course of the entire original trilogy. Sure, ol’ Ben and Yoda can’t be expected to know every force-sensitive hermit that goes into hiding, but the expanded universe introduces a gaggle of Jedi actively participating in the rebellion. Why stay true to the source material when you can write new stories about cool guys with lightsabers!?
3. The Force Does Not Tie All Life Together
In the Expanded Universe: The Force is the power that ties all living things together… unless they’re, like, REALLY scary and evil. Like the Yuuzahn Vong. Introduced in the New Jedi Order series, they’re a race of self-mutilating bad guys from “outside the Force,” “outside the galaxy,” and, for all intents and purposes, “outside Star Wars.” Making the Force essentially a localized phenomenon does more to neuter it as a concept than any midi-chlorians ever could. The whole story arc reads less like Star Wars and more like some poor soul’s Hellraiser-crossover fan fiction.
2. Luke Turns to the Dark Side
In the Expanded Universe: Never mind. Luke runs into the Emperor’s clone on Byss, has a brief conversation, and agrees to be his apprentice. The Emperor ultimately convinces him by offering leadership of the Imperial fleet. The deep emotional connection he felt with Vader and the prospect of ruling the universe as father and son? Not enough to convince him. But let that dude boss around a few TIE pilots and he’s totally game for some Dark Side action!
Yes, Luke is QUICKLY recovered by his friends, but having Luke succumb to the Dark Side is against everything the character stands for. Star Wars is the story of Luke not making the same mistakes as his father. Now he’s just a shittier Darth Vader. This literally undoes Star Wars.*
*Hyperbole, but still, IT WAS A PRETTY SHITTY THING TO DO.
1. Darth Maul Is Reborn With Robot Legs
In The Movies: Obi Wan cuts Darth Maul in half. It’s a great crowning moment to the movie’s best action set piece, and also shows that Obi Wan isn’t a perfect warrior-monk, but a real human capable of anger and vengeance. Also… he cuts a dude in half with a lightsaber. It’s pretty sweet.
In The Expanded Universe: The prequels introduced us to many, many, awful things, but at least they never brought back a clearly dead villain, gave him robot legs, and had him hunt a baby Luke Skywalker. We’ll give you a few seconds to re-read that sentence. That’s right – in the EU comics, the top half of Darth Maul somehow climbs out of the reactor pit, finds robot replacements for his legs and major internal organs, finds his way to Tattooine, and threatens three-year-old Luke as a way to draw out Obi-Wan Kenobi. And that was the last time Dark Horse let a fourth grader write a comic book.