PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

When Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise, they threw out the canon established by the all of the books that had been written over the decades. This bold move not only allowed a fresh start, it also gave fans a chance to jump on board. This means that Star Wars: Aftermath is the only canonical Star Wars novel that follows on from Return of the Jedi. It’s also filled with a few hints and visions of what the new movie may be like.

The central plot revolves around a gathering of Imperial leaders (called Moffs) gathering on Akiva, a distant outer rim world. After their sound thrashing at Endor, the surviving Imperial forces are on the clock, with rapidly dwindling resources. Because this is Star Wars, it’s not going to go smoothly. For a start, legendary Rebel hero Wedge Antilles has blundered across the gathering and promptly gotten captured. Fortunately for the galaxy (and for Wedge), a scrappy band of unlikely heroes also happen to be on Avika to put a stop to the bad guys before they act.

Star Wars: Aftermath is a delicious grab bag of lovely ideas and scenes. For a start, our cast of heroes include a rebel fighter pilot who still has nightmares of flying away from the core of an exploding Death Star, a young man who likes to make killer robots, and a former Imperial ‘loyalty’ officer with a wicked sense of humour. We also meet one of the most interesting (and terrifying) murder machines produced in the Star Wars universe so far.

Chuck Wendig has a strong reputation for action adventure and horror stories, and it’s his sardonic voice that carries the story forward. For a start, he describes the Ewoks as ‘rat bears’, which is a great description of the horrid things. He also sets up a galaxy in chaos extremely well, drawing on the uncertainty of war to keep the reader grounded and engaged. The book is littered with interludes, which give us a good idea of how people are responding to the death of the Emperor. There is also a rather fine cameo from Han and Chewie, which makes the reader want to find whatever book their adventure is expanded on and read it immediately.

Overall, Star Wars: Aftermath is a cracking read and only adds to the growing excitement for the new Star Wars movie.



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