Legacy of the Force

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A nine-book series set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, about eleven years after the New Jedi Order. Written in trios by Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss and Troy Denning. Opinions on this series are mixed, as you can see by the examples.

To make a nine-book-long story short: once upon a time there was a Jedi named Jacen Solo, who starts having prophetic Force visions that, if he doesn't turn to The Dark Side and become a Sith lord, Rocks Fall and Everyone Dies. So he turns to the Dark Side and becomes a Sith lord, getting co-rulership of the galaxy in the process, and alienating a lot of people, such as his parents, Han Solo and Leia Organa; his uncle Luke Skywalker, aunt Mara Jade and cousin Ben Skywalker; and his twin sister, Jaina Solo. Jacen justifies his continuing Face Heel Turn with a lot of I Did What I Had to Do; an attitude his Sith teacher, Lady Lumiya, encourages. Driving Jacen, furthermore, is concern for his lover, Tenel Ka, whose relationship to him is secret because she's the crown princess of a very vindictive culture…and their daughter, Allana, whose existence is even more secret. Umm… Does This Remind You of Anything?

Notably, each author had a sort of pet character set that was almost entirely ignored by the other two. Allston had the aged pilot-general Wedge Antilles, and by extension Wedge's family and friends. Denning had the Barabel Jedi Saba Sebatyne and the morally-questionable Jedi Alema Rar. Traviss had Boba Fett and the Mandalorians, to the greatest degree of the three.

For more details, check out Wookieepedia's entry on the series (spoilers abound, natch).

The books, in publishing and chronological order, are as follows:

  • Betrayal (hardcover, 2006)
  • Bloodlines (paperback, 2006)
  • Tempest (paperback, 2006)
  • Exile (paperback, 2007)
  • Sacrifice (hardcover, 2007)
  • Inferno (paperback, 2007)
  • Fury (paperback, 2007)
  • Revelation (paperback, 2008)
  • Invincible (hardcover, 2008)

Not to be confused with Star Wars Legacy, although both of them have a Crapsack World and ignoble Skywalkers.


Tropes used in Legacy of the Force include:
  • Action Girl: Jaina Solo, though only at the very end
  • Action Mom: Mara Jade, Princess Leia, Tenel Ka
  • Badass: The Mandalorians
  • Badass Grandpa: Boba Fett. Full stop.
  • By The Gay: Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur are married. And both men. No character ever mentions this. On top of this, they also have an adopted daughter, two grandkids and a farm that bears their combined names (Beviin-Vasur).
  • Bittersweet Ending: The galaxy is reunited again by the end of the series at the cost of the fall of a hero, and Daala becomes Chief of State
    • More like outright Downer Ending as nothing good comes out of the ending. Even though Star Wars is supposed to be about redemption, our "heroes" instead brutally kill former hero Jacen, thus turning the entire New Jedi Order series into a colossal example of a Shaggy Dog Story. The Jedi learn nothing from this experience other than "ah well, it couldn't be helped" and then Daala, one of the biggest Card Carrying Villains in the EU, becomes Chief of State. The galaxy is reunited...but for what?
      • This is even lampshaded before the war even starts. It's mentioned numerous times that the entire Second Galactic Civil War is a stupid idea that will accomplish nothing except wasting lives and mass destruction.
  • Cain and Abel: Jaina Solo vs. Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus, two twin duels in the final book. Jaina kills Jacen in the finale.
  • Canon Immigrant: Lumiya/Shira first appeared in the Marvel Star Wars comic series.
    • An explanation: Star Wars has five levels of canon: G (George), T (The Clone Wars and the upcoming live-action series), C (most non-George stuff from the 1990s onward), S (non-George stuff from the 1970s and 80s), and N (non-canon items like game mechanics). Lumiya would be S-canon, until this work made her C-canon.
  • Career Killers
  • Cat Fight: Hesperidium duel GO!
  • Character Development
  • Coincidental Broadcast
  • Combat Breakdown: Subverted in that the duel between Jacen and Mara goes straight to the breakdown.
  • Continuity Nod: "It is, as some admiral once said, a trap."
  • Cool Ship
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Jacen inflicts one on the Jedi team ambushing him on Coruscant. Fortunately, the Jedi manage to accomplish part of their mission anyway.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lumiya, Alema
  • Darker and Edgier: Presumably what the writers were aiming for. What they actually hit on the other hand…
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Darth Vectivus, a former Sith Lord who has the distinction of being a non-evil Sith in his life
    • According to Lumiya, anyway; this is the same Sith who created Force phantoms.
  • Depending on the Writer: Oh so very much.
    • While the standard example of "Mandalorians as written by Karen Traviss vs. Mandalorians as written by everyone else" certainly applies, 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 and Inferno).
  • Deus Ex Machina: Tenel Ka has cousins?
    • Actually, it was revealed years earlier that her father, Prince Isolder had an older brother who was assassinated. Presumably, he sired children before he died.
    • Isolder's brother didn't, otherwise Courtship's plot makes no sense. However, Ta'a Chume had a number of sisters, and they had heirs (they come up in Dark Journey). They would be "cousins" of Tenel's, just not first cousins.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Traviss in particular is fond of throwing in Real Life references in Star Wars clothing. For example, a planet is mentioned where the young warriors have to raise a cute animal as a pet and then have to slaughter it in order to graduate (the SS did this in real life [not really]); Darakaer the legendary warrior who will return at the beating of his drum (Francis Drake); and some of Jacen's 'ends justify the means' quotes are borrowed from Tony Blair ("tough on chaos, tough on the causes of chaos"--"crime" in the original).
    • Also used in-story, with people left and right drawing comparisons between Jacen and Anakin Skywalker, often to his face. He concedes the similarities but is convinced he can avoid making the same mistakes. He can't.
      • Another example, Jedi foresees a future where Sith rule the galaxy because the galaxy was not united and they played the factions against each other before swooping in and assuming control. Jedi realizes the best way to stop this is to unify the Galaxy. Said Jedi BECOMES Sith in order to do so, and promptly gets defeated, which achieves his objective anyway. Jedi saves the Galaxy. I'm looking at you Revan!
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Mara and Jacen both die contrived and undignified deaths.
  • Enemy Mine: Jaina and Fett. Also Jedi and Moffs
  • Et Tu Iacen Tahirique?
  • Evil Counterpart: Lumiya to Mara, arguably Alema to Jaina.
    • Also arguable Jacen to Jaina, as they are twins, and Lumiya to Luke, as they are the leaders of the two groups between which Jacen is torn.
  • Evil Plan: According to the Sith, they have one. And it doesn't include Jacen, but somebody called One Sith. Jacen is the part of entirely another plan!
  • Evil Redheads: Lumiya
  • Evil vs. Evil: The war between the Galactic Alliance and the Confederation, from the end of Bloodlines to the middle of Inferno. Before that, Corellia and the GA were both led by reasonable people, both of whom had legitimate grievances. Then Thrackan Sal-Solo and Duur Gejjen come to power in the former, and Jacen Solo and Cha Niathal in the latter, and the whole damn thing goes to hell. Not to mention the staggering number of characters in general who are a Jerkass or worse.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Mara is on the cover of a novel called Sacrifice. Let's figure out what happens to her.
  • Face Heel Turn: Begun in the previous trilogy, but taken up to the next level in the first book and just keeps going. Jacen and Tahiri. She got better, he got killed
  • Fag Hag: Boba Fett says Goran Beviin is the closest he has to a friend.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Jacen sees a bunch of futures, all of them with a civil war. Except for one. To get this future, he has to...start a civil war.
  • Fallen Hero
  • Faux Action Girl:Jaina, through most of the series, Mara, in all the books leading up to the one where she's killed off
  • Final Speech: Mara Jade Skywalker and Gilad Pellaeon
  • Foe Yay: Ben and Tahiri.
  • Freud Was Right: So let me get this straight. Jacen traumatizes Ben in so many ways, all the time with Luke's approval.
  • Fridge Brilliance: So fridge-y that, after Jacen kills Ailyn Vel, not no one in the cast—even Jacen—remembers that she tried to kill him twice in Shards of Alderaan!
  • Gainax Ending: Boba and Mirta can't return to Mandalore or they'll die, Daala's president (How?), and is Jacen redeemed or not? Word of God says the last one is open to interpretation.
  • Genre Savvy: In Invincible, Admiral Antilles becomes aware that he's too moral for the government he's working with, and soon after he formally hands his position over to a more willing puppet he will be assassinated. He knows that there are only two really viable times for that in the near future; very soon after he makes the resignation speech, or a week later at a formal event. He makes plans for assassination attempts directly after the speech, knowing that that would wrap his story up more neatly. And he's right.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lumiya calling Alema Rar a "bugslut", for one, although that particular outburst is not entirely unfounded.
    • The gay Mandalorians—notable because they are the only homosexual characters in the canonical Star Wars universe to date.
  • Go Seduce My Arch-Nemesis: Tahiri tries to do this to Ben.
  • Godwin's Law: Luke compares Omas to Palpatine at one point.
  • Harmful to Minors: With all the stuff Ben has to deal with, one can only conclude that Luke and Mara are absolutely horrid parents who cannot see a Sith in front of them. Especially when it's being played as pedophilia the whole time.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Jacen. Oh, so much.
  • Heel Face Turn: Tahiri
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Apparently red is a popular hair color among Hapans, natural or not, and considering their culture...
    • Both Luke's wife and his former Honey Trap are redheads.
  • Hero Antagonist: Everything Jacen does is to prevent a civil war in which he and his uncle are on opposite sides, leading to a duel in which Luke always dies. At that point, Luke was the only thing keeping the Jedi—and the galaxy at large—together, leading to even more factionalization. Also, in Fate of the Jedi, Jacen reveals to Luke that someone, most likely Ben, went over to the dark side in Jacen's vision. So Jacen manages to be Villain Protagonist and Hero Antagonist at once. Darth Chicken would be so proud.
    • If this troper recalls correctly, the reason Luke couldn't take Jacen out was not because he would die. Just the opposite; Jacen always died in Luke's visions. However, Luke always saw himself ending up as an Evil Overlord over the galaxy. This is likely due to two things; Luke killed Lumiya for something she didn't actually do, and Jacen had become a Complete Monster while Luke had turned a blind eye to it.
      • Different vision. In Jacen's vision, Luke died.
        • Luke was purposely projecting himself into Jacen's visions to block the fact that the Jedi were sending Jania after him instead. Also, Luke's visions showed that if he killed Jacen he would fall to the dark side, because it would be revenge for Mara not justice.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
  • Idiot Ball: Mara and Jacen. Also Ben in Tempest.
  • Infant Immortality: Allana is alive!
  • Informed Ability: We're apparently supposed to view Caedus as one of the most powerful Sith of all time. He does nothing to earn that title, and is out-and-out humiliated by Luke on one occassion.
    • Also, Boba Fett. For much of the series everyone is extremely frightened of his potential retribution for one action or another. He rarely actually does anything but angst. And punch Jaina in the stomach once for no reason, which she and we are supposed to see as proof of his badassery.
  • In the Blood: Jacen seems to be deliberately trying to repeat his grandfather's mistakes.
    • Ben gets a bit too. Luke and Mara were both trained as assassins, but when on a mission to assassinate Vader and Luke respectively, they gave up that path. Also, Ben seems to have inherited his father's skill with the ladies, including being the victim of an attempted rape. (It happened to Luke in The Courtship of Princess Leia.)
  • Karma Houdini: The entire goddamn Confederation. The war started because Corellia's asshattery (Jacen Solo wasn't even in the political picture and the factory he raided with Ben was producing illegal weaponry). They try to assassinate Tenel Ka. They were led by war criminal Thrackan Sal-Solo and Duur Gejjen, both of whom were grade-A assholes. They used germ warfare on Coruscant and tried to use Centerpoint Station to blow up Coruscant, a planet with multiple trillions of inhabitants. With the exception of Tralus, Corellia, Kashyyyk (and only then once the Jedi showed up), and possibly Gilatter VIII, they got pounded by the Galactic Alliance and their fleet was defeated. Yet, they escape the war actually having more planets than they started out, no one blames them for pretty much being the dicks that started the war, and they are independent from the GA and led by a former Imperial. Was It All For Nothing? You betcha!
  • Kill'Em All: The series has one of the highest bodycounts in the Expanded Universe. At least eight important, pre-existing characters are killed off: Thrackan Sal-Solo, Lumiya, Alema Rar, Cal Omas, Prince Isolder, Mara Jade Skywalker, Gilad Pellaeon and Jacen Solo.
  • Knight Templar: Jacen/Darth Caedus firmly believes that what he's doing will bring lasting peace to the galaxy, and that all his murders, betrayals, terrorism and other crimes are ultimately justified. One might also make a case for Lumiya, depending on if you think she considers the Dark Side "good".
  • Lampshade Hanging
  • Love Makes You Evil: the whole reason behind Jacen's downfall
    • Also Tahiri just had loved Anakin too much to let go and so was corrupted by Caedus.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Averted in oh, so many ways. Appropriately enough, the alleged father is Luke. Of course, even if Luke ever did anything with Shira, either she would've had Brisha when she was a Rebel (which we know didn't happen) or she would've aborted when she crashed. And shouldn't Mara know this already, with their Force bond? Of course, Brisha is Lumiya.
    • But played straight by Boba and Mirta. Except Mirta is Boba's granddaughter.
  • Mama Bear: Subverted in Lumiya's case; she doesn't have any children, and it's a pretense to lure the REAL Mama Bear out. Done ridiculously straight in Mara's case (the real bear) - and leads to a nasty catfight between the two of them. One for my caution checklist - never piss off an overprotective ex-assassin.
  • Moral Dissonance: The final book in the series has Jaina, the Jedi "hero" gets information off a guard by threatening to torture her with the Force. Good job, Sword of the Jedi.
    • Not to mention the Jedi skipping straight to "assassination is the only option" after nothing else had been seriously tried to deal with Caedus. (Especially since he wasn't just a Villain of the Week- he was the son of two of the heroes, nephew of a third, and twin brother of a fourth).
      • To be fair the Jedi did send a team to arrest Jacen (led by Chuc- erm, Kyle Katarn) which failed before they moved on to the assassination. Also if he was going to give up he would have done so by now and you really don't take force users alive.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Some people just don't get the idea of Jacen's new name.
  • Necessarily Evil: Caedus.
  • No One Could Survive That: DO explain how you can survive being stabbed through the heart, of all organs?
    • Possible if the object remains in the wound, but very rare. This troper suspects a lightsaber won't do the trick.
      • Apparently Apparently, being ridiculusly strong in the force and really pissed off helps...
        • I am wondering who are you talking about… If Lumiya, then remember—she is a cyborg with a lot of spare parts. And if Jacen—he wasn't stabbed through the heart until he was killed exactly in that way.
        • And if we're mentioning Kyle Katarn, well…on one side he only got a lightsaber through a lung (and caught a local infection, to boot). On the other side, he's Kyle Frickin' Katarn!!!
  • Not Quite Dead: Alema Rar. Did you really think she was eaten in Dark Nest Trilogy? Not a chance
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Jaina is this to Jacen.
  • Obviously Evil: Caedus hits this by the third book, if not earlier. The only purpose this really serves is to make Luke and Mara look like idiots for not having him up in front of the Jedi Council, or at least getting Ben away from him.
  • Overprotective Dad: Wedge. Syal states that when she started dating he made her start carrying blasters… Wedge insisted on two, but Syal usually got by with just one.
    • Han has, ah, issues with Luke putting his children in danger again.
  • Palpatine's Time Travel Exemption Act: When you flow-walk, you're merely an observer.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Lumiya, although she says that revenge on Luke isn't her real motivation.
  • Putting on the Reich: GAG uniforms
  • Readers Are Morons: In the end of Fury our heroes manages to take (back) Allana from Jacen and he immediately orders his men to stop firing on the Falcon. The narrative then quickly points out that he does this because he doesn't want to blow up the ship carrying his daughter. Well duh!
  • Redheaded Hero: Ben Skywalker
  • Retcon: Well, nothing much else can explain how Daala, one of the most incompetent Imperial leaders in the EU, is suddenly treated as Thrawn-lite.
    • Intensive brain surgery to fix the brain damage mentioned in the Death Star novel?
    • This Troper thinks it would make a lot more sense if the Thrawn clone hinted to exist in Survivors Quest was originally supposed to fill Daala's role, only to get switched out at the last moment for reasons known only to Del Rey.
  • Significant Anagram: 'Seha Dorvald' is an anagram for 'Sad Hard Love', fitting with what she goes through.
  • Shoot the Dog: Syal shoots the fake mechanic who is actually Thrackan's spy in the first book.
  • Shotacon: Ben and Tahiri. Even more disturbing than most pedophilia since it's part of her torturing him.
    • Wow, this is the first time I have ever heard of Pedophilia being put on the good side of Even Evil Has Standards.
      • Welcome to Del Rey. They managed to make pedophilia the "good option" by having pedophilia…AND TORTURE! By default more evil. Or torture's the good option by having torture…AND PEDOPHILIA.
  • Smug Snake: Caedus thinks he's a Magnificent Bastard, and the reader seems to be supposed to agree with him- but what we see is a second-rate schemer patting himself on the back for things Sidious could have accomplished in his sleep)
    • Niathal too… Nice job of controlling Jacen there Admiral. Really brought home when she turns against Caedus and is only able to persuade a third of the navy to follow her—even her own power base apparently prefers an insane Sith Lord.
    • Partially justified, as the previous books had made a point of showing how Jacen had put a LOT of time and effort into winning the loyalty of the common soldier.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Between cloning, Boba's carbonited wife, and a case of Luke, You Are My Father, the Fetts could give the Skywalkers a run for their money.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: You can use the Force to travel back in time, and people may notice you, but if you change something, it only changes in your memory. Double-yoo tee eff?
    • Flow-Walking isn't really time travel.
      • Its more like visiting the Force's memory of events, and since the Force is you know, everywhere it probably remembers a lot.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Ben keeps his mother's platinum locket with him from Revelation onwards
  • Tranquil Fury: Luke, of course, but the circumstances could as well have pushed him the other way, and nearly did.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Like mother, like son.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jacen/Caedus is very clearly the central character, though Ben and Jaina are the heroes.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Not very obvious, it lasts through several books and shows itself fully near the end of Invincible.
  • Villain Sue: In addition to Caedus's massive (and undeserved) in-universe reputation as the greatest evil mastermind since Palpatine, the plot bends over backwards to ensure that he isn't defeated until the whole nine books are up. In the first half of the series, nobody seems willing to admit that he might possibly be evil, despite acting like Darth Vader Jr. In the later half, even heroes who have Caedus at their mercy won't kill or capture him, for various trumped up reasons.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • We Will Not Use Stage Make-Up in the Future: Dolling up as impersonators of yourselves is a crazy idea, seriously.
    • Bringing one to a peace conference might be a bit of overkill. Pellaeon was right, mind you, but still…
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The conclusion of the war which drives the first part of the story is kind of glossed over by the end of the series. The last book is essentially about Jaina seeking out and fighting Jacen, and ends with Daala taking control of the Alliance. The outcome of the war is unclear.
  • "What the Hell?" Dad: Luke. A lot. Just read the Ben parts.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Neither Fett nor Mirta can't go back to Mandalore because of the nanovirus which was planted there by the Moffs
    • But don't let that stop the writers (fanfic or profic) from returning them to Mandalore.
  • You Killed My Father: Replace "father" with "mother".
  • Zero-Approval Gambit / Gambit Roulette / Thanatos Gambit / : Jacen. The "roulette" part is lampshaded/handwaved by "flow-walking", which is basically the power to engage in a plausible Gambit Roulette.