Book Review: Star Wars Aftermath is a Masterful Look into a War Torn Galaxy
The second Death Star has been destroyed, the Emperor killed, and Darth Vader struck down. Devastating blows against the Empire, and major victories for the Rebel Alliance. But the battle for freedom is far from over.
Aftermath is a brilliant opening act to the journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wendig captures the emotion of war torn worlds, frightened people caught in-between warring factions, arrogant and proud Imperials who aren’t prepared to back down, and the loving arms of a people building a new republic.
If you expect this book to take you down familiar roads, or follow the lives of your favorite characters from the movies, you will be disappointed. Instead, you are introduced to new characters. There are a couple brief appearances from characters we know, but in a limited capacity. However, there are glimpses into scenes from the saga that we are familiarized with.
It wasn’t until after I read it, that I took the goggles off to look at it from a more objective point of view. This is the first act in a trilogy. It introduces storylines and characters and sets the stages for a journey that leads us to the events of The Force Awakens.
We get a glimpse into the mind of a pilot following the traumatic experiences of war. Norra Wexley was a Y-wing pilot at the battle of Endor. She flew with Lando Calrissian and others into the depths of the Death Star. She was in the group instructed by Calrissian to leave the main group and head to the surface, taking as many Tie-fighters as possible with them. If you go back and watch Return of the Jedi, you’ll see her ship.
The book picks up at the end of Jedi, at Monument Plaza, on Coruscant, where people are tearing down the statue of Emperor Palpatine.
Norra, intent on going home to her planet Akiva to mend a relationship with her son, Temmin, finds that the war isn’t over yet. What’s more is her son has become bitter and disillusioned to life. In the meantime, she intercepts a distress signal from Captain Antilles on her home world, thus posing a choice, save the fallen captain or repair a broken relationship.
The lives of four unsuspecting characters collide in a fight for a peaceful world’s freedom. Wexley along with a group of misfits–her son, a Zabrak bounty hunter and an Imperial defector–join forces in an unlikely story of survival.
Aftermath gives a brief, albeit powerful look into social and cultural issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and casualties that plague the galaxy following war. Wendig displays the conflict and its effects on both sides as well as a look into the minds of a beaten, driven and scattered empire.
Aftermath is a must read for all Star Wars fans. Wendig carries the saga mantle with expertise. One could pick apart aspects of this book, whether points of view or some grammar inconsistencies. However, the strengths of this story far outweigh any weaknesses. It’s an easy read, one that etches itself into Star Wars lore with precision. Wendig has woven an intricate web of stories that now join the Star Wars canon collection.
Chuck Wendig lays a foundation for a series of stories that will not only entertain, but also give us insight into the post-war state of the galaxy far, far away. Aftermath is well written and riveting.