Okay, so I've mentioned a few times that I, unlike many of my fellow nerds, do not read the Star Wars comics and other EU material, but I don't think I've ever really explained why.

I am of course no authority on the EU for obvious reasons, but I have picked up a few things as one cannot avoid doing after a few visits to wookiepedia. I know, for example, that one Sith managed to blow up a sun, and that Palpetine had this technique which allowed him to create giant subspace ruptures, and so on. This whole concept of force "magic" comes from the EU.

And I do not blame the EU for inventing this stuff--I don't think it could be avoided, really. If they kept writing the same stuff about the same guys who could all do the same things, it would get real boring real fast. They had to come up with new ideas to keep the material interesting.

But there's an inherent problem with this: a sequel always has to raise the stakes. If the newest villain is no more powerful than the last one, then nothing more has been achieved than last time. There has to be a sense of progress as every new story is told, and therefore, every new villain must be greater and more powerful than the last, and each hero must be stronger and better--and this is how we end up with people who can use the force to blow up suns. But answer me this: if the latest batch of heroes are battling a guy who can blow up a sun and the last villain's greatest power was shooting a bit of lightning from his fingers, doesn't that previous hero's journey seem less significant by comparison? This is what I like to call "power dilution."

I think that this is very important to remember when we're roleplaying. Because the EU exists, and there's nothing we can do about that, we're judging our characters by its standards, and so it's logical that even if we can't blow up suns or create force storms--because that's what only the really powerful guys can do--we should at least be able to have the puny powers that precede them--say, choking people or shooting lightning out of our hands--and we forget that way back when, those powers used to seem amazingly OP! SWTOR is a brilliant example of how our expectations have been raised by power dilution, because by level 5, when you're still a fresh-faced young apprentice, you can shoot lightning out of your hands with the best of them! Now, there are explanations like this--the arts of the force were stronger back then, knowledge has been lost over time--but tell me, doesn't that make Luke, with his puny lightsaber and blaster, seem a bit insignificant to you?

By the standards of the EU, Vader and the Emperor in the movies sure do seem weak. But to a person who hasn't accepted the EU as "canon," (me,) choking people and shooting lightning bolts out of your hands still seems pretty awesome. Power dilution is a never ending cycle. We need to raise the stakes, heroes and villains become more powerful, but without making a direct comparison, this new generation of Star Wars superheroes will seem no more powerful or dangerous than the last.

So this is one of the primary reasons why I only consider the original trilogy to be truly canon, and even if you don't just keep in mind: raise the bar, and you just have to jump higher--nothing's been gained.