Sometimes I find writing this blog to be rife with irony. Back when I wrote a post about my thoughts on what a potential second wave of Solo: A Star Wars Story Lego Sets would consist of. A few days later the second wave of Solo Lego sets were announced and I had somehow got quite a few of the details right.
So the other night I was reading Aftermath in the bath, planning on writing this review and when I get downstairs Chuck Wendig was on Twitter announcing that he had been fired from Star Wars projects at Marvel. I’ll not go into that here but my thoughts on the situation can be heard on the Life Debt Podcast Episode XIII – Emergency Broadcast: Justice4Chuck.
Right then, let’s talk about the book…
I really enjoyed this book. I have read it twice now and it was just as good the second time around, and I’m wondering if it will get better for me as I make my way through the next two parts of the Aftermath Trilogy, Life Debt and Empire’s End, and I will discuss my thoughts on the trilogy as a whole in a later post.
The book got a lot of flack when I was released. Of course a lot of this is due to internet trolls but he genuine issues that were raised stated that there weren’t a lot of Original Trilogy characters. True. We get an interlude featuring Han and Chewie. Another featuring Mon Mothma. The story features Wedge and Admiral Ackbar in supporting roles. But for some this was not enough. People wanted a book about the heroes of the OT but what we got was a group of new characters in their own adventure as well as giving us brief ‘Interludes’ from around the Galaxy giving the readers an idea of what life is like for the citizens away from the main plot.
The main narrative follows a group of characters who through various circumstances come together to form a rag-tag group who end up working together to bring down a meeting of a group of Imperial leaders. The group consists of Norra Wexley, a former Rebellion Y-Wing pilot who has returned to her home world of Akiva to reunite with her teenage son, Temmin (Snap) Wexley. Jas Emari, a bounty hunter on Akiva to capture one of the Imperial dignitaries for the New Republic and Sinjir Rath Velus, a former Imperial Loyalty Officer who escaped the Battle of Endor by wearing a dead Rebel soldiers clothes and now lives in the various bars of Akiva.
And how could I leave out Temmin’s modified B1 Battle Droid, Mr Bones?
The biggest downfall for the book is that when it was released it hadn’t been promoted as the beginning of a trilogy so what we got was a whole lot of set up for new characters and set up for them to work together and form a team but very little pay off for them other than a future of working for the New Republic. When ‘Life Debt’ and ‘Empires End’ were announced it made a lot of sense.
A pleasant surprise was the return of the new Canon favourite, Admiral Rae Sloane who first appeared in ‘A New Dawn’. She has been promoted through the years between the books and as much as I enjoyed the character in the earlier book, she really shines in Aftermath.
As far as our heroes go, the whole team are great characters, but my favourite by far is former Imperial Loyalty Officer Sinjir. His cynical nature is my cup of tea, he’s by far in no way a reputable character with more flaws than you can shake a stick out and even though he was once one of the bad guys you can’t help but love him.
We get some great character connections to other parts of the franchise, Jas Emari is the teams ruthless bounty hunter who is related to the bounty hunter Sugi who we were introduced to in the Clone Wars who led a gang of bounty hunters that teamed up with Anakin and Obi-Wan to defend a village against Hondo and his pirates. Norra Wexley is a former Rebel Y-Wing pilot who was in the Battle of Endor, she piloted the Y-Wing that acted as a diversion for the TIE Fighters inside the Death Star to relieve Lando and Wedge as they headed for the Power Generator. Her son, Temmin is also featured in the films but known as ‘Snap’ Wexley and is a Resistance pilot in The Force Awakens.
Aftermath is not the best of the new Canon works, but it’s in no way the worst. As I said before it has the unfortunate task to set up a trilogy but also has to set up the Galaxy, the Star Wars galaxy at the time of the novel is in upheaval and Wendig portrays that perfectly whilst developing several new characters who will, in future books, interact with classic characters as well as start to build threads that will begin to tie in to the Sequel Trilogy. A difficult task that was executed brilliantly.
I thoroughly enjoyed this reread and look forward to rereading Star Wars: Aftermath 2 – Life Debt.
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