Yay, I'm finally home from work so I can write a long response -- although my long one earlier was written on my phone.
I've thought about Star Wars and continuity for a long time, and I think that ultimately the continuity policy that LFL has instituted for the Expanded Universe is harming the brand now. As far as I know, there is not a single other franchise that has a cross-media continuity policy -- heck, there are some movies and TV shows that lack continuity within the same medium. LFL's policy is pretty lame, in my opinion, in the sense that as early as 1998 with the SW Encyclopedia, IIRC, they laid out this "foggy window" metaphor in which the details laid out in any story that isn't the films are always open to alteration, and that only the gist of the story is "true."
This didn't really become a problem, IMO, until after the New Jedi Order series finished. Starting with the Dark Nest trilogy, the books began to display a revisionist history of the preceding story. In Dark Nest and Legacy of the Force, Jacen Solo attributes a philosophy to Vergere that -- in the NJO -- she simply never espoused. The Sith retcon in LOTF then reframed the entire NJO series, essentially making the lesson learned wrong, and nullifying the purpose to that series. Now Fate of the Jedi is doing the exact same thing to Legacy of the Force by completely altering Jacen's motivation.
But I think the problem with continuity in Star Wars is not solely this, but also that because LFL has been saying it's a continuity in theory, but not actually doing it in practice, people have come to expect it to be continuous in that regard, when it isn't, and really has never really been. Certainly, back in the Bantam days the later books made reference to the earlier ones, but the characterization was a complete and utter mess and character development reset with every book based upon what the author wanted. Zahn's Luke wasn't the Dark Empire Luke seen a few months afterward. I think Mara Jade has been pretty inconsistently portrayed as well, especially in LOTF and DNT.
As a result, I think people are unfair to TCW because it isn't fully consistent with the EU, for instance people complaining about it rewriting Ventress' backstory, when a lot of people lauded the fact that Vergere was retconned into being a Sith. Same thing, but one draws outcry and another is celebrated (not by me )
Ever since the end of the NJO, Del Rey has completely ignored character development for the sake of churning out the next big story -- the next equivalent to the films. With the NJO, we had a whole generation of Jedi the same age as Jacen and Jaina that were around from their YJK novels, and some new characters like Danni Quee. These have almost all been abandoned. Ben Skywalker has no characters his age that he's friends with except Vestara, which is really the exception that proves the rule. Jaina has Jag, and that well is dry. Zekk is scarcely used. If Luke, Han, and Leia cannot be relied upon forever, then why has Del Rey basically narrowed the focus of these stories so now they're the focal point of them, eliminating Mara Jade, Jacen Solo, Anakin Solo, and not using established characters like Corran Horn, Jaden Korr, Kyle Katarn, Talon Karrde, et al.? I mean, Avinoam Arelis has a pretty cool name, but if he's supposed to be the equivalent of Talon Karrde as a secondary character, what the hell? Heck, if he's supposed to be a tertiary character like Ghent, he's still garbage. He's like some name they use when they need a background character. He's a cardboard cutout.
This is why I'm concerned about the future of publishing. I mean, ideally I'd like to either see a reboot of the Expanded Universe that still draws upon existing stuff and reshapes it to fit the story, e.g. Mara Jade still exists. A few months ago, I was discussing this on a forum, and I figured the ideal way to do a reboot is to get Luceno or Stover, and have them write a sequel trilogy. Treat it like they're novelizing a sequel trilogy. Don't do the books like the EU has done, where they're successive. Set the books years apart in time.
That's the anchor to the rebooted Expanded Universe, and the characterizations have been set, and now begin exploring it, keeping in mind the continuity and characterizations established in that "sequel trilogy."
But since LFL seems adamant about not rebooting, I'd like to see them take the premise to SW Legacy, which I like, and executing it better. Do the above novel trilogy, but set 1000 years in the future. Establish the characters and setting, but don't write the novels in a way that makes them pages of exposition. Then branch out from that with other novels. Don't have the Sith be villains. Make a new villain. Sorcerers of Rhand? Something original? Don't become Jedi-centric like the EU has become after the prequels. I also found it kind of tacky that the Galactic Republic, which stood for 25,000 years, was replaced by the cheesy joke name GFFA. It's not as if the Galactic Republic didn't collapse before the movies, and was reinstituted, and later generations considered it continuous. Same with the Jedi order.
"Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth.”
“The world is understood through metaphors. Language is a metaphor-system. Mathematics is a metaphor-system. All real-world schools of magic and religion revolve around the understanding of vast metaphor-systems, symbols as they relate to concepts."
"See, the thing is, everything everyone tells you is a lie. The truth is always bigger than the words we use to describe it."