Review of STAR WARS: AFTERMATH: EMPIRE’S END

STAR WARS: AFTERMATH: EMPIRE’S END
Chuck Wendig
Del Rey
Released 2/21/17
I have made no bones about being a huge Star Wars nerd. From a young age, I have devoured anything and everything that I could find in the Star Wars universe, and this was back when there were just three movies. I read all the books and particularly loved the Timothy Zahn trilogy, which I still revisit from time to time today.

When Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, all these books that I had loved became “legends,” essentially, that they were good stories, but no longer part of the true Star Wars timeline, so that they could go in their own direction. While I understood the reasoning, I lamented the loss of so many stories and characters that I had come to love in the old expanded universe.So, when they released that a new trilogy of books were coming out filling in the events following Return of the Jedi, I was a bit skeptical. Would this be propaganda for more movies? Just hollow set up and weak plots? Would my universe be changed into something unrecognizable? Fortunately for me, my fears were totally unfounded.

It is no small thing for me to say that Chuck Wendig is a Jedi-like master of this new open universe. Instead of visiting planets and characters that we have seen before, Wendig opens us up to the wider galaxy of rogues, rebels, and imperials that careen through space. He gives us a homicidal battle droid, a host of bounty hunters, new planets, new ships, and new challenges following the fall of the Empire after the destruction of the Death Star. EMPIRE’S END of Wendig’s trilogy that includes AFTERMATH and LIFE DEBT that is sure to become a classic to new comers and old fans alike.

We are allowed glimpses into some of our favorite characters like Leia, Han, and Chewbacca, but rather than relying on them to drive the plot, Wendig crafts his own team of people who take to the stars and make the galaxy their own. Perhaps this is what I love most about these books. It feels completely new, like being introduced to Star Wars for the first time again. He is not rehashing old plots or building on existing characters. Instead, he expands the galaxy and shows us that it is a whole lot bigger than what the movies can hope to encompass. After all, isn’t that the power of a good book? To contain more than can be shown on a screen? If so, then Chuck Wendig shows us what it is all about.

This is Star Wars at its finest, my friends. Wendig hits as hard as an Imperial Star Destroyer, more brilliantly than a thousand lightsabers, and with a wit that even Han Solo would envy. If you are like me and have watched the trailer for THE LAST JEDI like a thousand times and cannot wait for more, do yourselves a favor and grab this book. You will be blown into hyperspace by this awesome trilogy and before you know it, the title crawl for Episode VIII will be blazing before your eyes.

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