Any of us who have read the EU have had a lot of similar complaints, especially when it comes to Han and Leia. I don't know if it's the fact that people started listening to us or maybe the new authors writing said books feel the same way we did and decided to fix it, but in most books since Han and Leia were estranged in the early days of the New Jedi Order series after Chewie's books, their relationship has been pretty much what I would have expected to read of them almost all along. Because of the nature of the books and the fact that they're not meant to be romance stories and Han and Leia have been married for 20-30+ years depending on which book you're reading, they are obviously not delving that much into their already well-established relationship. But they have been operating as a team and an obviously loving couple that knows each other incredibly well and they never leave each other's side. That is how it always should've been.
But, before this they treated their relationship incredibly poorly. It actually spurred a thread on theforce.net boards that went on for pages and pages entitled, "To LFL: Stop abusing Han and Leia's Romance!" And yes, there were actually quite a few of us enraged about that. So let's discuss some generalizations that most authors tended to go by which I, among others, felt were pretty inaccurate portrayals of the couple that we had seen on screen in the movies.
Let's talk about Leia. Now, if you ask me, someone like her, who had lost her entire family and spent so much of her life putting the greater good ahead of her own needs might finally decide that that was not how she wanted to live her entire life. Well, apparently the early EU authors did not see her this way. First, they like to show her as someone who is always putting work ahead of her personal life. Apparently she didn't see her family that much and basically didn't even raise her own children - though that wasn't entirely her fault, I'll get to that, too.
Han gets ignored and just seems like someone she maybe occasionally lives with rather than an actual husband. She tends to treat him like an idiot, and often talks to him like he's a child. Whatever it is, she isn't treating him like a loving husband and certainly not a man of much intelligence. It's like she immediately reverts back to that cold, unfeeling woman from the beginning of Empire. Funny, because if you think about it, she really only acts like that in the very beginning of that one movie. Maybe part of ANH. Outside of that she tends to be openly affectionate and certainly doesn't talk down to Han. Apparently she doesn't have a mind of her own but is rather completely influenced by whatever the New Republic wants of her. I'm not sure I see Leia wanting the major political role she winds up with in the books.
Han, on the other hand, doesn't seem to really mind any of this. He goes off and does his thing, whatever it may be, while she is never around and usually doesn't treat him very nicely. To me, he seems to be very passive about the whole thing. I mean, I don't see Leia treating him like that in the first place, but if she did, I don't think that Han would just sit back and let it happen. Of course it's nice to think that he would just love her unconditionally, but I don't think that someone like Han would be content with just being married to her if she doesn't really treat it like a marriage. He also doesn't seem to put much effort into keeping his family intact or raising his kids.
Now, to be fair, of course there are exceptions to this. There are some moments in some books that give some semblance of what I'd consider their relationship might be like as a married couple. Unfortunately, these glimpses tend to come in books that are otherwise overall not very good. In Children of the Jedi they spend a lot of time together and work as a team, tease each other, have some sweet moments and, gasp, it actually alludes to them having sex in the book. In a totally subtle, PG-rated way, but at least it's there. And there are at least a couple of other books where they spend more than two minutes together and maybe even kiss a couple of times.
But for the most part, they have kids, but they don't really raise them. I don't think for one second that Han and Leia would decide to have kids just for the sake of it and then not really have much to do with them, including sending them away for a couple of years. Do any of us really think that they would let Luke dictate what happened to their kids? Or that Luke would even suggest such a thing in the first place?
Yes, that's right, Luke certainly isn't portrayed that well, either, I don't think. I don't contemplate his character nearly as much as Han and Leia - or probably really at all - but I don't think he would suddenly become this sage-like Jedi who only talks in annoying, Force-y sayings. At times he almost ceases to be human because he never does anything wrong.
The problem goes beyond these, but in general, the authors tend to write the characters as though they haven't developed or changed at all from the movies, especially the beginning of the movies. I mean, just read parts of the beginning of The Truce at Bakura. It is not entirely bad, but there are parts where Leia talks to Han once again like he's an annoying pirate doing a bad job of rescuing her. Forgive me for thinking so, but I feel as though once they got together they would actually want to spend a lot of time together, as well as spend a lot of time with any children they'd have. And I doubt Leia would want to hold such a prominent role in government. I think she'd want to be involved in some way, but not to the point that it takes away from her life with her family.
I really wish we could go back and basically erase most of the EU and start over and write it the way it really should have happened. But I guess that's what we have fanfic for.