The countdown has begun. There are two more paperbacks (Force Heretic III: Reunion and The Final Prophecy) and one last hardcover (The Unifying Force) before the war between the New Republic and the Yuuzhan Vong will be over.
So two related questions immediately come to mind: how will it end, and what next?
Here's some tidbits we know, and I'm just stealing these from the descriptions at theforce.net, combined with some logical deductions.
1. Luke's team will find Zonoma Sekot, which will (at least initially) be unwilling to join them.
2. The Yuuzhan Vong will attack Luke's team, meaning they are making incursions into Chiss Space. (And thus bringing those blue boys right into the war.)
3. Han and Leia are somehow involved in the Vong plot to inflame ethnic conflicts into genocidal wars. Presumably the Vong who disguised himself as a Ssi-Ruuk will show up.
The Final Prophecy
1. Luke's team will still be negotiating with Zonoma Sekot. The Yuuzhan Vong will steal a ship from the planet, which Nen Yim will study, learning "long-forgotten secrets of the Yuuzhan Vong." (I assume this will be the final prophecy referred to in the title, and tie in with the Eighth (?) Cortex that's been mentioned in several recent books.)
2. Wedge will fight the Vong and become stranded in Vong space.
3. Tahiri somehow plays a major role.
The Unifying Force
1. Zonoma Sekot may still be wishy-washy.
2. Many high-ranking good guys are scheduled to be sacrificed (including Wedge? ).
3. The Yuuzhan Vong will be encroaching on Mon Calamari.
4. Nom Anor's rebellion will at last come to fruition.
5. Judging from the title, my guess is that the Jedi will finally learn from Tahiri, Anakin, Jacen, and Vergere and be able to sense the Yuuzhan Vong.
6. The bio-weapon will be at or near completion.
7. One side will win or lose.
Okay. . . I don't much care about Zonoma Sekot, to be honest. It may or may not play a crucial role in the war, but the Yuuzhan Vong are already spread way too thin, and I think with the application of the knowledge they should've already picked up and the aid of the Chiss and Empire, the Jedi should be able to whomp them good without Zonoma Sekot.
Unfortunately, I think at least one major character will have to die in these three books. You can't start with death, keep killing people all throughout, and then make everything happy and jolly in the end. I doubt Lucas will okay another main character from the films, so perhaps it's Mara, Kyp, or Corran who will make the ultimate sacrifice.
But then, what next?
Troy Denning is scheduled to write a trilogy of paperbacks set after the NJO (see The Official Site), so at least there's a galaxy left.
Coruscant, Ithor, Rodia, Duro, most of Hutt Space, and countless other systems are effectively destroyed. The Library at Obra-Skai and the Sith Temples of Yavin are gone, as is the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. There is no remaining link to the history of the galaxy that I can think of.
Several species, including the Barabels, Yevetha, and possibly the Hutts, are extinct.
Where will the new government be headquartered? What will they do?
Perhaps more importantly, given how our favorite characters are aging and dying, will anyone care?
I'm stumped. I can't think of how the series can possibly go on. There's the chance we'll get (probably in 2006) the book or books where Luke finally learns about Padmé, but aside from that, it's pretty open. . . and bleak.