What is it?
The first entry in a trilogy of Star Wars books that detail the origins of the First Order.
Who’s it for?
Star Wars fanatics who need more Lobot. The audio version might satisfy casual fans.
Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig is touted as explaining what happens after ROTJ. Much like TFA, it doesn’t do the job. It tells us nothing about the characters we fell in love with in the original trilogy. There are a few cameos from Han & Leia, and some second rate action figures, but there is no Luke appearance. Any SW story that does not feature Luke is kinda pointless in my opinion. He’s the main character. He will always be the main character. No matter how much you prefer Han.
The book focuses on a bunch of nobodies who we’ve never seen before. There is only one character of interest, Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane and she was created by another writer for a previous book. I’ve never read any other books by Chuck Wendig, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he sucks with characters.
The book is written in the present tense. This annoyed a lot of other readers, but I don’t read these things anymore. I listen to the audio books because they feature music, sound fx and Marc Thompson. His narration can make anything enjoyable and it does here as well. The present tense style works well for action and frankly, that’s what a pulp novel should be about.
I’ve read a lot of Star Wars books. Not of all of them, not yet, but most of them. Throughout the 90’s when the world had forgotten about Star Wars I kept on reading the books while waiting patiently for Lucas to get back to work. When Disney took over, they dumped all the old stories, except for the movies & Clone Wars cartoon. So everything I ever read never happened. This book is part of their “new canon”. It’s now supposed to be one big story with no continuity errors.
This novel feel like one tiny part of the greater story. It’s a first act tease to get you to buy the next book in the Aftermath Trilogy. So consider that a warning. It’s disappointing that Disney went out of their way to create a new canon that serves as a scavenger hunt. They want fans to buy these things and dig the popcorn out of their shit. So here it is – the last scene is the only scene that matters. It features an unnamed mysterious Admiral who’s been pulling the strings – is he Snoke? He might be. Who knows.
I still like SW enough to dig for kernels, but my patience is waning. The new movie was a Mary Sue diversity retread and the new books lack imagination. I will of course read the next Aftermath entry, Life Debt, because I’m already a fucking Star Wars scholar. So I might as well keep up to date. For the rest of you, try the audio book during the morning commute. Hearing SW blasters and music will make you smile. And when Thompson gets to voice Han Solo for a few minutes you’ll shit your pants.