Now that Fate of the Jedi has wrapped up, it's time to compare. "Legacy of the Force" and "Fate of the Jedi" were both nine-book series placed in roughly the same time with roughly the same characters, yet they were quite different from each other.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that "Legacy of the Force" was better. At least, I enjoyed it more. One thing to say immediately is that I am, and always will be, biased in LotF's favour. These books were my intro to the EU, so (shocking as it may seem) they will always hold a special place in my heart.
However, that is not the only reason I enjoyed LotF more. LotF had focus. From book one, we saw Jacen slowly slip to the dark side and once he was there, the remainder of the books focused on stopping his reign of terror. FotJ was all over the place. Plot threads would stop and start and plot developments would turn up at odd times. The result was a series that often felt slow or rushed. When Outcast was written, I firmly believe that the writing team had no idea where they wanted the series to go and, aside from a vague outline, made it up as they went along. In fact I read in an interview that at least a few significant plot points were inserted after a meeting. I'm not sure if such a system could work, but I don't think it did here.
I counted down the days for each LotF book, but for FotJ I was a lot more lax. The books could come out when they came out. Part of this was a general change in attitude as I found myself getting more interested in stories that weren't part of the "main story", but I think much of it come from the fact that I didn't find the story that engaging. When I finished a book, it didn't have me excited for reading another one.
I don't want to blast FotJ too much, because overall I did enjoy it. However, this was largely due to good characters and good authors. They made the difference.
Admittedly, both series ended badly. In Invincible the logic of Jaina being sent to take out Darth Caedus was terrible. Jaina was not the most powerful Jedi in the Order and she has HUGE emotional ties to Jacen. It was completely bone-headed to send her kill him. The Mandalorians and especially Fett were treated by Denning as total murglaks. I like Mandos, so this irked me, but it was also inconsistent with th tone of the previous books. The Mandos earned Jaina's grudging respect as she, and we the readers, began to see a more human side of them. I get the sense there was some author politics behind this. The idea of Jacen turning dark and being killed didn't strike me as terrible when I first read it (as I wasn't familiar with his pre-LotF character), but I've since seen how wrong this was for his character. It also ended way too abruptly.
Apocalypse on the other hand had a snooze-fest (for me) opening half with a seriously wonky second half. The mythology of Star Wars seems irreconcilable at the moment, barring a major retcon. The idea of "bringing balance to the Force" has apparently radically changed from the impression that the films give. I don't understand what the Ones are or why we need them if we can just kill them without cataclysmic effects. Anakin being the "Chosen One" now means nothing as far as I can see. Vestara's arc was abruptly ended. After all that build up, she just leaves. There is no epic conflict with Ben, she just decides that she better leave. I guess, she didn't love Ben after all.
In the end, I'm just happy the EPICNESS is going to be toned down in the foreseeable future.
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.
Last edited by Reepicheep on Sat May 05, 2012 11:58 am; edited 2 times in total