See, I liked Chewie and Anakin dying in the NJO. It gave the series a much different feel, as mentioned several times in the books, it did away with the plot armor the character had all been walking around with. You can't have great drama if you KNOW that the main characters will always succeed.
[sblock]It's like what Joss Whedon did with Serenity. Killing Book was one thing. . . he was an important character, sure, but he was probably the most expendable character in the story. Killing Wash. . . now, that was a signal to the audience that no one was safe, and this whole thing could turn into Butch and Sundance before it was over.[/sblock]
I didn't even have any qualms about how they died. . . my only complaint is that Anakin had been being built up as the new hero of this story, and Lucas decided that, to avoid any confusion between Anakin Skywalker and Anakin Solo, Anakin Solo had to die. It feels like an insult to the audience's intelligence. Then again, given the exhibited intelligence I've seen from some of that audience, maybe Lucas had a point.
Agreed. Even Mara, I could have dealt with if it wasn't just so damn... stupid. Obviously they will all die eventually, but if they aren't going to die of old age... at least make them die logically. Chewie and Anakin's deaths at least fit characters. I mean heck, it took a damn moon falling on Chewie to do him in. And Anakin was a voluntary "I will become one with the Force to save all my friends". Mara?
Re. audience intelligence: Yeah... I hear ya there.
Edit to add a spoiler tag as I just saw that Erik hasn't read past NJO.