8 Star Wars Books That Every Force Awakens Fan Must Read

7) Aftermath

Star Wars Aftermath

So much occurred in the thirty years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, most of which remains unaddressed in the film. How did the remaining Imperial forces respond to the death of Darth Vader and the Emperor? What did Han, Luke and Leia do immediately following the Battle of Endor? How did the average citizen react to this dictatorial government being suddenly upended?

Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath explores all of this, picking up in the midst of Return of the Jedi’s celebratory finale. We begin on Coruscant with the powerful image of a statue of Palpatine being torn down, calling to mind Saddam Hussein’s statue crumbling in Baghdad shortly after the commencement of the Iraq War.

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It becomes clear that toppling an empire won’t be quite as easy as expected, though, and violence immediately erupts between the crowd and the Imperial police. A nearby father offers this thought to perfectly summarize the entire saga: “It’s not many wars, but just one, drawn out again and again, cut up into slices so it seems more manageable.”

The majority of the book takes place on an Outer Rim planet called Akiva, where Imperial forces assemble a secret meeting to determine their strategy going forward. We follow a group of characters all caught up in the action, including an Imperial officer, a rebel pilot, a bounty hunter and Captain Wedge Antilles himself.

Especially intriguing are the interlude chapters, which give us a peek into what’s happening around the galaxy. In one, a merchant sells what he claims is Darth Vader’s lightsaber. In another, we catch up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, who are preparing to free Kashyyyk from Imperial control. The fact that the book focuses almost entirely on new protagonists left some readers frustrated, as did the difficult writing style, but there are enough juicy details about the Star Wars canon on display to make Aftermath a worthwhile journey.