Laser Time – Guide to the Star Wars Expanded Universe

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Special guest Kat Bailey walks us through the defunct worlds, stories, games and characters from the now dead Star Wars Expanded Universe…

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29 thoughts on “Laser Time – Guide to the Star Wars Expanded Universe

  1. Holy shit! Kat Bailey is here!

    Also, Han’s face is kinda melting in that picture up there. I think the emperor is distorting his face with the force.

  2. Holy shit am I excited for this! I was super into the EU during middle/high school so it’ll be super cool to hear you guys talk about it!

  3. this a really good companion episode to the first LaserTime episode. My EX stepdad was the only person I knew who read (and listened to innaudiobook form) any of the expanded universe books. II found a copy of Splinter in the minds eye when I was really young and bought it cheap. Henry talked about the sexual tension in that bookbut, holy crap, they freaking MAKE OUT in that book hardcore! I’m with Kat,I’m not invested in the lord of SW anymore I’m just going in to watch a sci Fi movie with good old fashioned practical effects. that’s part of what sold me on the JJ Abrams Star Wars.

  4. Haven’t listened to this yet but I can only hope you talk about Dawn of the Jedi and the Legacy series. Dawn was a comic series about the founding of the proto-Jedi( called Je’daii) and the first emergence of dark side users ten thousand years before A New Hope. The three Legacy comics were about the New Republic Order timeframe 135 years after ROTJ, following Cade Skywalker (Legacy and Legacy: War) and then later in Legacy II, Ania Solo. Dark Horse losing the license meant that Dawn and Legacy II were canceled before they could even really get started. Oddly enough, I never got into the prose books because the first ones I picked up were the “Dark Nest” trilogy, widely considered to be just plain weird.

  5. Like most things, the EU is full of hits and misses. I still remember how excited I was for the Thrawn Trilogy since it felt like the first new Star Wars in ages long after the Marvel Comics run was over and the toys were long gone.

    Most of the stuff from James Luceno is good fan service and this Revenge of the Sith lead in novel was good.

    They did a great job of aligning the books and comics during the Clone Wars period between ATOC and ROTS. There are some solid war stories in there.

  6. The EU is awesome which from what I’ve listened to isn’t mentioned too much in this episode. It has its shit sure and the tropes but that doesnt mean it can’t be a great star wars experience. Reading nearly all of the post-Return EU books has really juiced up my Star Wars fandom and helped me get as into the series as I have. The Unifying Force in particular was a great book with tons of cool moments and Jacen’s story in his penultimate series was intriguing even if it was done before.

  7. I have read probably each of the expanded universe books a half a dozen times. I think I will enjoy this greatly. I will have to come back to this after I listen.

  8. I miss some aspects of the Expanded Universe – namely Luke restarting the Jedi order and Mara Jade Skywalker in general. It’s sort of a bummer to see that Luke hasn’t done much in the way of the Jedi in the films, except potentially having an apprentice or two (unless it remains to be seen).

  9. This episode reminded me of the Star Wars convention I attended a few years ago. It was one of the largest free conventions in the US and was big enough to have several of the lesser known actors in attendance. Among the notables were the body of Darth Vader and the voice of General Grievous. On the absolute outskirts of the Star Wars actors universe was the woman who “played” Mara Jade on some of the book covers. She could not be further removed from the saga, but you could pay for an autograph.

  10. Wow, what a great episode. I was literally mouthing ‘Exar Kun’, when you said it.

    And then I remembered Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider, who was totally my favorite, she had that hair-thing, and then…

    Great episode, guys.

  11. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the episode, well, what I was able to listen to between Siri telling me to make a million U-turns.

    Also, when it comes to the new canon, I think we’re quite lucky that it has been mostly good so far. I’ve personally enjoyed the few books, and the majority of the comics that have come out. Rebels is also slowly becoming fantastic, and while Battlefront has legitimate issues with the amount of content it has, it’s still fun. The only thing I haven’t enjoyed would actually be the book, “Star Wars: Aftermath”. While it was nice to have a gay character in the series, the book just felt poorly and hastily written, and just didn’t feel like it was worth the time that was spent reading it. Hopefully it will be the outlier, instead of the new norm.

  12. So first a funny story, then a Gundam rant. When I was at my community college, we had a guest speaker who was Earnest Cline, author of Ready Player One. Its a pretty good book! When it came time for the questions part, I asked him how he felt about the expanded Star Wars universe being declared non canon, because he had talked about how he started writing with Star Wars fan fic. I am proud to say it was the nerdiest question asked at this speech.

    So Gundam. Beam Sabers ARE better than Light sabers because they are used by Giant Robots. The names are a league of bad that the made up sounds for Star Wars names don’t even approach. Jim Ghingnham is not a distant relative of Jake Gyllenhall. And despite the fact that this is a major character in the series, DO NOT Google Full Frontal Gundam without doubling checking safe search. On a serious note (?) the main dude behind Gundam, Yoshiyuki Tomino really is like the George Lucas of anime. He has good ideas, but his own internal logic and vision are completely incomprehensible to the average non Yoshiyuki Tomino. It might take a little while to wrap your head around how exactly how the whole Gundam thing works, knowing your Universal Century from your spin offs (example: Gundam Unicron is UC, Mobile Fighter G Gundam is its own timeline), but it is incredibly satisfying once you actually get why Gundam is fantastic.

  13. Fantastic episode! Kat did not disappoint in talking about Kyle Katarn, the EU character I spent the most time with. This is one of my top 5 Laser Time Episodes of all time.

    Thank you so much.

  14. Great Episode, while I am totally ok with and understand why Disney has wiped all this out of canon, the one thing I am bummed about is how much headspace all the knowledge of this universe takes up in my head. When Disney announced that it was no longer canon, I set out to replace it with some other universe’s (perhaps useless) knowledge. I picked Warhammer 40k. Did it work? No, now my head has both. Weeeeeee!
    But about the Expanded Universe, I cannnot recommend more the X-Wing books by Michael Stackpole, which are far better then they spoke in the episode. After you finish with that, the single best Star Wars book I can recommend that is not the Thrawn series is “I,Jedi”. Also by Stackpole.

  15. Glad to hear Kat make her LT debut. Hope she can come back for more episodes. Maybe she and Bett can start a TNG companion series ala Talkin’ Simpsons 🙂

  16. As a huge Star Wars nerd, I was massively into the EU as a kid/teenager. I had all of the Essential Guide books (official wikis before wikis) and a ton of the books. While there is tons of stupid parts of it, when the EU being non-canon was announced, I immediately went to how disappointed I was that the X-Wing series would no longer be official. I’ve since reached a point where this decision has helped free me from the past and the future: I can just have my own personal canon of things I care about and throw aside the rest, which has put me in a place where even if I’m not in love with what comes next, I can be content.

    1. Now, for one of my personal favorite stupid characters from the Star Wars EU: Feltipern Trevagg. He’s the beared, horned guy in the Cantina who is nuzzling up with some other weird alien. In the EU, he’s a tax collector in Mos Eisley who is sort of psychic (due to the horns) and recognizes that Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi, and plans to turn him in for the reward. In the Cantina scene, he’s attempting to seduce a naive young alien named M’iiyoom Onith, and the later go back to a dirty motel room for sex. After they do the deed, she eats him (as is part of her species mating ritual).

      What has made this stupid character story stick with me for so long is that I first heard it when I borrowed Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina as a book on tape from my local library, so I got to hear this character getting killed after boning.

    2. My second favorite stupid Star Wars EU fact: IG-88 is actually four assassin droids that work together (pretending to be the same guy, although they have cloned programming so they sort of are). In IG-88’s short story from Tales of the Bounty Hunters, Boba Fett kills three of the IG-88s while the original uploads his programming to the control computer in the Second Death Star moments before it’s destroyed by the Rebels.

  17. Both the TIE/D Defender and the Dark Troopers are canon once again because they’re both in some Disney published Star Wars mobile game again.

    Also the pretty good Star Wars RTS “Empire At War” and it’s expansion pack definitely had a lot of cameos of various EU characters whom you either fight or Ally with including Dash Rendar, Thrawn, Prince Xizor among others with fully voiced characters.

  18. Man….this episode reminded me of why I only read the Thrawn Trilogy, Shadows of the Empire, and Force Unleashed, with a smattering of other Star Wars stuff here and there. The fact that a majority of the stories made minor characters in the saga into unsung heroes is what started to turn me off to the books, and the fact that books that took place before the original trilogy (like many of the young adult ones I read as a kid) had NO STAKES because there’s no way Han, Luke, or Leia would die.

    But I’ll admit to being fond of the Star Wars Goosebumps rip off “Galaxy of Fear” as a kid….
    .http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A0A24BSML.jpg

  19. This episode was great. I was completely fascinated by all this EU stuff. Such a great universe with so many odd decisions. Kat killed it too.

    Probably the most wrapt I’ve ever been with an episode of LT.

  20. Best episode yet. I read all that EU crap (and sad to say, loved most of it at the time). Would love to here another couple of hours – Kat was amazing!

  21. Great episode you guy! I’m an avid Star Wars fan but I was never into the EU stuff, with the exception of a series of books you didn’t mention. The 3 part “Bounty Hunter” wars series was amazing. It was a pretty grounded story that inter-cut what happens to Boba Fett after the sarlacc with his dismantling of the bounty hunters guild. I really related to what Chris said about growing up in the brief window after the late 80s hiatus and before the prequel/re-release madness. It made discovering the films kinda magical in a way… like forgotten legends. Is anyone gone to have that again? We seem to be doomed to have ALL STAR WARS ALL THE TIME FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.

  22. In general I’ve noticed Chris never got super deep into any typical nerdy subjects growing up, I wonder what was the nerdiest thing he got the deepest into growing up

  23. This episode was amazing and in perfect time for The Force Awakens! I considered myself somewhat knowledgeable about the EU and this episode showed me how wrong I was. I can’t wait to dig more into even though Disney says it isn’t cannon but who cares?

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