Star Wars Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, a review
George: All of the cadets know how much we’ve loved the latest Star Wars book releases. Although we’ve always enjoyed the expanded universe, the storylines that Disney is pushing to support the video games and films are incredibly impressive. We both got review copies of Star Wars Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. I think we were both pretty excited, since this book is supposed to set up The Force Awakens.
Jeff: That was a bit of a misnomer, though. While Star Wars Aftermath IS the first glimpse we get of the universe after the Rebel’s victory on Endor, it doesn’t really do anything with The Force Awakens beyond setting some seeds. The bulk of the story is about how, despite the victory, the Empire is trying to sway it in their favor. They claim the Emperor is not dead, that they are still strong, and that the Rebel terrorists are still a threat. It’s interesting to see this sort of political power play, especially in the Star Wars universe.
George: Since we all know that the Emperor is dead (but were there any clones?) from the films, it makes it interesting to see how the characters treat whatever news and rumors that they hear. We get to see the New Republic start to stand and take count, but it’s not quite the happy ending that you’d expect after Return of the Jedi. There are still a lot of people vying for power, on multiple fronts, and it’s not clear who is really whom.
Jeff: Though there already is a large cast of characters, with stories ranging from intergalactic battles to on the ground forces trying to survive, there are also a handful of side stories. Every few chapters, there is a short bit where we check in on random citizens all over the galaxy, and how life is now that the Empire is (somewhat) no more. These little things added a lot to the overall story of the Star Wars universe, and it was incredibly interesting to see how everyone is getting along in the new world with a power vacuum. Also, just to expand on what George said about it leading into the new film, one interlude had a group of individuals buying an object every Star Wars fan knows of…and if the rumors we’ve been hearing are true, tie directly into Kylo Ren’s character in the upcoming film.
George: The strength of the book is also the weakness. Jeff mentions the incredible cast of characters and it really felt more like a movie to me than some of the other Star Wars titles. That being said, I felt like I was almost a hundred pages into it before I could tell who the characters were by their names alone. It led to a little bit of confusion at first. But I was able to settle into the story comfortably and enjoy the second-half of the book. And the second-half of the book really has a lot of action scenes!
Jeff: The book’s plot overall dealt with former rebel fighter Norra Wexley and her return home after Endor. Ready to reunite with her son and rebuild her life, she intercepts a distress call from Wedge Antilles. She, amongst the cast of characters she meets along the way, tries to rescue him. In the meantime, the surviving Imperial elite are meeting on the same planet for an emergency summit to determine their future.
George: Like the original Mr. Bones?
Jeff: Oh man, I am so stoked they had a character named Mr. Bones in this novel!
George: How’s that for subtle cross-promotion with Communicore Weekly?
Jeff: By subtle, you mean not so much, in your face?!
George: Exactly, But we are supposed to be discussing the Star Wars book. Where were we? Oh, yeah. Once I hit the second part of the Star Wars Aftermath, I really felt like I was watching a Star Wars film. But with words. Seriously, it really turned into a book with a lot of action that made a lot of sense, based on what we know about the upcoming film. Once I get through the stack of review books, it’s one that I want to pick up and read again to follow the story better.