NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens
“Star Wars: Aftermath [reveals] what happened after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi. It turns out, there’s more than just the Empire for the good guys to worry about.”—The Hollywood Reporter
As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.
Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world—war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.
Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit—to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies—her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector—who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.
Praise for Aftermath
“The Force is strong with Star Wars: Aftermath.”—Alternative Nation
“The Star Wars universe is fresh and new again, and just as rich and mysterious as it always was.”—Den of Geek
“[Chuck] Wendig neatly captures the current states of the Empire and Rebel Alliance and does so through flawed, real, and nuanced characters. His writing gets you up close and personal. . . . Wendig does wonders with dialogue and voice and carving out space for everyone to breathe. Aftermath is a strong foot forward into unexplored territory and puts down just enough foundation that you can start picturing the Resistance and First Order of The Force Awakens taking shape.”—Nerdist
“If the opening chapter of the Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy is any indication, the ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ will be every bit as exciting as the movie.”—New York Daily News
“A wonderful Star Wars adventure by a gifted author.”—SF Book Reviews
A Must-Read for Star Wars fans
A quick paced, well though out story. The novel jumps between the intimate plot line of the heroes, the bickering villains, and various interludes that show the state of the Galaxy. The novel provides a satisfying main story line while also establishing interesting hints for the movies to come.
Not a good start
I was not happy when Disney wiped the entire Extended Universe clean with a single stroke, I will admit that. But I've tried to keep an open mind, and give them the opportunity to tell their own stories in the Star Wars universe, unencumbered by the past.
But they start off their reign by killing Clone Wars at its peak, so close to satisfying resolution, and replace it with that kiddie-dribble Rebels, where Stormtroopers exist for comic relief and Imperial officers couldn't be more stereotypical bad guys if they wore Nazi uniforms, monocles, and sported mustaches fit for twirling. Not a good omen.
Then we have this: the book that's supposed to set the stage for the state of the Star Wars universe leading in to Episode VII. They might as well have called it Rebels: The Book, and saved us all some time and money.
In a universe with characters such as Darth Sidious and Lord Tyrannous, it seems impossible to ham things up any further; to make characters that are such flat and two-dimensional pantomimes that it leaves the reader groaning... and yet, they have achieved the impossible here. Every Stormtrooper is incompetent. Every Imperial exists solely to take candy from babies. Every Rebel has a tragic backstory that is more tragic than the last one, and fights incalculable odds to accomplish the smallest of feats. ("The Empire killed my parents, and my wife, and ate my puppy, but by the Force I... WILL... do my laundry!" No, not a direct quote from the book, but it might as well be).
And the protagonists in this? Somehow, even worse. You've got the genius kid who can build anything, but doesn't want to get involved; the genius pilot, who crashes all the time and somehow survives each time; the bounty hunter, because there's always a bounty hunter why god why are there always bounty hunters; wacky and snarky super-deadly assassin droid; and the rogue bad-guy with a good heart. (Actually, that last one is the only half-way interesting character of the bunch, as he's ex-Imperial intelligence). I'm genuinely surprised there's not a Jedi, either in hiding or in training, in the bunch.
The writing and plot progress as well as can be expected with these paper-dolls of characters. The author tries his very best to elicit some life from the story with dramatic deaths at the end of each chapter, only to bring the characters back to life three pages later. It reaches a point halfway through the book where not only do you cease to believe anyone has actually died, but you find yourself hoping the protagonists actually do die.
Plot holes and characters doing inexplicable actions to further the story abound, and ships spontaneously develop escape pods like crazy, and so on... but there's one last thing that grated on me. Full disclosure: I'm a rabid LGBT rights supporter, and have been all my life. I've strongly argued in favor of more gay characters being included in media (especially children's media), to better reflect their contributions in society.
However, I found myself trying to tally up the number of romantic relationships either directly addressed or implied in this book, and I counted five. Out of those five, FOUR of them involved homosexual partners. After the third pair were mentioned, it no longer started to feel inclusive; instead it felt like the author was ineptly trying to be edgy. "Yes, ooh... I put a gay couple in Star Wars! Now I'll do it again, ooh...!" By the end, it is like the movie Clue, only instead of murderers everybody is being revealed as gay.
The only reason I gave this two stars is because I got some undefinable enjoyment out of it, the same way you do laughing at B-movies that are so bad; and because its good to know backstory for Episode VII, so I'm not going in blind. But if this is indicative of where Disney is taking e franchise, well... prequels aren't looking so bad now.
Wow was I wrong. This book was boring with characters I couldn't stand taking place during an event that had no meaning. What a waste of time. The author didn't seem to know what point of view he was telling the story from. Felt like I was reading a kids book. Please go back to the old authors and quit wasting our time with these meaningless characters/story.