The ultimate guilty pleasure: Alyssa Rosenberg delves into the Star Wars expanded universe.
As a kid, I remember tearing through the extended universe novels. A few years back , I idly skimmed over my battered paperback collection. And you know what? A lot of those books were bad. A few – The Thrawn Trilogy, The Black Fleet Crisis – hold up reasonably well as competent space operas, but most didn’t have much going for them beyond the Star Wars license. What’s worse, a few decidedly mediocre authors seem to have made entire careers out of repurposing other people’s ideas (I’m looking at you, Kevin J. Anderson). Fan fiction or authorized sequels can be fun, but in the long run, they’re probably a crutch; it becomes too easy to lean on someone else’s imagination in place of something more interesting.