|So NJO is the problem?
Actually, hate to say it, but yes. But that's another discussion.
I will say that I'm sick of loyalists saying "Get over it!" I don't have to like stuff that I don't like just because it's being sold to me with a SW label... and isn't that part of your point against the continuity fans? Who's really the one with an all or nothing mentality?
EU fans have for the most part always stood for throwing out crap stories instead of sticking to continuity above all, hello Crystal Star anyone?
By the NJO being the problem, do you mean it introduced grimdark? I think that's probably accurate; a lot of Star Wars fans I know quit the EU because of the NJO. I hated it when it was first released. I recently tried to get my friend that is indifferent to the EU at best, hostile to it at worst, to do a podcast with me to do literary analysis and critique of the novels, starting with the NJO. He was like, "don't you hate that series?"
I think when fandoms get increasingly large and diverse there become subsets of fans that are drawn to it for different reasons. For Star Wars I think the biggest draw is the continuing timeline of stories beyond Return of the Jedi featuring the core set of characters, and when I at one time had investment in continuity it was for that specifically. Unfortunately, I think starting with the NJO, the fandom has been split by those that quit over it, and each successive series has split the group that remained from the prior one.
But I suppose the topic has drifted away from continuity, except that perhaps that's one of the negative elements to continuity when they make some of the story choices that they made.
As for The Crystal Star, that actually raises an interesting question that Skuldren kind of touched on. Let's say they do announce that The Crystal Star is no longer canon or in continuity. Practically speaking, what difference does it make compared to its current status?
There's a lot of Star Wars books that could be dropped from continuity and it wouldn't make a difference, and any details referenced in future books are completely incidental to the plot. Pretty much the whole timeline between Champions of the Force and I guess Ambush at Corellia could be dropped. And only the Corellia trilogy because Thrackan was reused. Books only really become relevant to continuity if they introduce characters that become featured later. Which actually reminds me of an interesting thing about Ambush at Corellia from page 176:
"And why use the Imperial code? It certainly wasn't there to hide information. Surely the New Republic's people could read it, given a very little bit of time. Was it there to inspire Mara's Imperial sympathies? Certainly the wording of the coded message was not meant to make anyone in the New Republic happy. Could there actually be some Imperial remnant still remaining? It seemed utterly implausible."
The old EU was built on retcons. The Empire was destroyed in Empire's End, hence the title. Very few stories after Empire's End dealt with the Empire directly... pretty much the only one was KJA's Darksaber in which the Empire was reduced to two naval officers feuding with one another in the deep core with literally no territory left besides uninhabitable systems, both of whom Daala killed and subsequently wrecked the remainders of their fleets attacking the Jedi Academy. Other than that, folks like Hethrir and the Ismarens are people that were part of the Empire but have no real power or territory left, and Kueller was running a false flag operation and had no connection to the Empire, and the Yevetha and Sacorrian Triad obviously have no connection to the Empire.
The Empire was gone. There was no Imperial remnant to make a peace treaty with. The writers don't read the other novels. Zahn thought the Empire was still around when it wasn't. This is a pretty large continuity breach, but because it happened before I'd say most people here started reading novels it is unnoticed by them, or otherwise justified because Zahn did it. Or it's not really a continuity error because of X. I imagine the fact that Wookieepedia wasn't around may have something to do with it going unnoticed, as well as most readers of the EU at the time being turned off by the NJO and quitting, and most current readers coming in after Hand of Thrawn and not realizing this massive retcon because that's just what was continuity. But yeah, there was this massive continuity issue that no one really raised a fuss about.
Another thing I've noticed is that from strictly a characterization or character arc standpoint, you can pretty much take any novel set between 4 ABY and 19 ABY and rearrange their order and it wouldn't make a difference, or, a better way of putting it is that it wouldn't make less sense than it already does. In fact, in some orders it would probably make a lot more sense. New Jedi Order corrected this somewhat, although it pretty much became an issue again, especially with Jacen in LOTF, which TV Tropes really puts better than I could: "... even more jarring is Jacen's apparent schizophrenia in the middle of the series, when the writers couldn't seem to reach a consensus on whether or not he was evil yet. This resulted in him being a Knight Templar (Denning), a Well-Intentioned Extremist (Traviss) and Dastardly Whiplash (Allston) in the space of three books (Exile, Sacrafice (sic) and Inferno)." I think that still held true for Fate of the Jedi, but not to the extent of Jacen in LOTF.
I get the impression, and I guess I could be completely off-base, but a lot of people seem to be obsessed with this Baudrillardian concept of continuity best exemplified by Wookieepedia. Like, the stories themselves don't even matter, it's all about classification and categorization of facts to put in Wookieepedia. And contradicting facts are a big problem! It's like this huge Baudrillardian OCD subset of fans. I believe Randy Stradley actually made mention of this before, I don't recall his exact words but it was something along the lines of the fans caring more about a character's lightsaber color than the story, or some such.
And I'll conclude this massive post in which maybe I was a horrible monster with a provocative statement! Traitor is without a doubt the best Star Wars novel. The prior paragraph, and that type of continuity that Star Wars has become, has made Traitor an inferior book to what it otherwise could and should be. And I don't mean continuity in general, Traitor is part of a series and dependent upon continuity with that series, but the type of continuity that Star Wars fans crave that Wookieepedia really works as the best sort of metaphor possible. No room for any ambiguity. Star Wars isn't allowed to have an unreliable narrator.