Books Review: Star Wars – Aftermath

27th February 2016

Star Wars: Aftermath cover

Chuck Wendig’s sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy is, in my opinion, nothing short of a masterpiece.


Why I chose to read it?

I read this book shortly before the release of The Force Awakens as I was hoping that it may give a glimpse as to what we could expect in the film and provide some clues as to the content. Also, as Disney had officially disbanded the pre-Disney era Star Wars expanded universe as canon and decided to reboot the expanded universe (releasing any preexisting stories under the non-canonical ‘Legends’ label), I was curious to see how they would write a Star Wars novel. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Plot

It takes place immediately following the events of The Return of the Jedi, starting exactly at the point where the film ended. The story follows a series of characters and their individual stories in a way that begin as separate narratives that ultimately tie together in a way that is very subtle and naturalistic. One thing which I loved about this book was its realistic portrayal of the delicate political landscape that would have arisen after the fall of the Empire as a result of the power vacuum that would have been left over. It is hinted that this same delicate political situation could be what led to the rise of the First Order many years later.

Characters

Although I was reading this book purely for enjoyment’s sake and was not examining it too closely, I must say it was difficult to find a single example of poor character in this novel. Even the Imperial officer and sympathisers are shown to be complex characters. The novel explores morality in all its characters, none of whom could be considered wholly good or bad.

Overall verdict

Pros:
– Star Wars (is there any need for another reason to read this, really?)
– A well written and thoughtful political take on the post-Return of the Jedi era in the Star Wars saga
– A good variety of characters and free from stereotyping
– References the whole Star Wars saga in a way to evoke a sense of a long history
Cons:
– If I were the writer I would have perhaps done more to explore the meetings/discussions about the founding of the New Republic in its earliest times when it would have still been a mere concept that could have been a real struggle to make a reality after so long under imperialist control
My score: 9/10

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