Recently, Lucasfilm and Disney announced a huge publishing initiative called Journey to the Force Awakens, that would encompass some twenty different Star Wars books and comics, including Marvel’s upcoming event series Shattered Empire. Now we’re getting out first details of the first major novel to explicitly go into the events immediately following the end of Return of the Jedi, called Aftermath, set to come out this September.
Star Wars: Aftermath will be written by Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds, Mockingbird, and Under the Empyrean Sky. The new book from Del Rey will take place in the immediate, well… aftermath of the destruction of the second Death Star and the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Marvel’s Shattered Empire seems to be treading similar ground, so I’m curious to see how the novel and the comics link up in the larger tapestry that Lucasfilm is creating. Aftermath will be the first book in a whole new trilogy that will cover the thirty year period between the Battle of Endor and the beginning of The Force Awakens.
According to the official description, “The second Death Star has been destroyed. Rumors are flying that the Emperor and his enforcer, Darth Vader, are dead. A new government is forming to replace the Empire. But the galaxy is a big place, and the fallout of this cataclysm will affect different worlds in different ways. Does everyone accept the fall of Imperial rule? Has everyone even heard the life-altering news? What rushes in to fill the vacuum the Empire has left? And who will try to stop them?” Many new characters, worlds and ships that we’ll see in the new films are set to be introduced here first, along with characters we already know from the classic films.
It will be interesting to see how different the post-Jedi period differs from the old Expanded Universe version of the story, beginning with Timothy Zahn’s much loved Heir to the Empire and its sequels. I’m sure many, many comparisons will be made by hardcore fans once the new novel hits in September. In the meantime, check out the cover for Star Wars: Aftermath below: