On September 4, a new novel titled Star Wars: Aftermath will be the first of a trilogy published to bridge the events of Return of the Jedi with the upcoming events of The Force Awakens. Chuck Wendig has written the new post-Return of the Jedi canon for fans to devour.
Part of the novel was “accidentally” released on the web, and rather than attempt to shut the spread down, marketers decided to release even more of the excerpt via Entertainment Weekly. So now the first few chapters are available to preview. Go read them here.
The opening of Aftermath shows the victory of the Battle of Endor, the destruction of the Death Star, the Emperor, and his henchman Darth Vader are not the definitive win the film, especially the Special Edition, might make us think. Though Ackbar gives a victory speech in the prelude, the first scene is on Coruscant, where civilians are toppling the statue of the Emperor but stormtroopers are quick to use violence to subdue the mob. It is a sensible turn of events considering how rebellions work in the real world. It dampens the joy we’ve come to know at the end of Return of the Jedi, but it is a sensible start to the journey to The Force Awakens.
Is a Star Wars novel meant to be of literary complexity and composition or is it merely plot-based fiction to be quickly absorbed by the brain? This excerpt certainly seems to point to the latter. The use of present tense brings an odd urgency to the narrative but makes for somewhat odd reading–usually a novel like this would be written in past tense. But that’s where I’ll leave the nitpicking. Decide for yourself if the writing is stomachable or not–after all, they’ve been thoughtful enough to give you a taste-test.