Title: Star Wars: Aftermath
Author: Chuck Wendig
Release Date: September 4th 2015
Publisher: Del Ray
Series: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Chuck Wending had no chance in of escaping the aftermath of writing this novel. Not after the entire Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU)—all the books, comics, and video games hardcore fans enjoyed reading and playing for decades—were deemed non-canon in 2014. It was a massive and beloved universe Lucas Films scrapped.
The new Star Wars canon only includes the six movies, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, as well as the books, comics, and video games released after April 2014. Understandably, hardcore fans were furious. All the stories and characters they had grown up with and loved obliterated like the planet Alderaan.
“War is not a state of being. It is meant to be a temporary chaos between periods of peace. Some want it to be a course of things: a default fact of existence. But I will not let that be so.” – Chuck Wendig, Aftermath
My biggest problem with Aftermath was that it didn’t have a significant core story I cared about enough. Chuck Wendig followed a snapshot approach to storytelling, narrating the aftermath of the Empire’s fall from different points of view. He even inserted various interludes in between certain chapters. Mini stories, within sub stories—it was just too much.
Perhaps Lucas Films should have waited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be released before publishing a new canon novel. That way, the author would have more material to work with. I could imagine the difficulty Chuck Wendig faced writing a Star Wars novel without using non-canon EU content, and without spoiling any The Force Awakens movie content.
“If ever she is to die, it should be out here, in space. Born from stardust, returned to stardust.” – Chuck Wending, Aftermath
Aftermath reads like a piece of fan fiction or an overly extended movie trailer, with random characters, settings, and scenes being featured seemingly at random. Bounty hunters are cool. Lets’ have a bounty hunter! Wedge Antilles is a fan favorite. Let’s have Wedge! Battle droids are light saber fodder? Let’s add a modified killing-machine battle droid with bone ornamentation: “Roger, roger!”
I really wanted to like this novel. I wanted to believe that the haters were just hardcore fans, who just hated everything new canon because the EU was scrapped. You know, “haters gonna hate…” But story-wise, Aftermath was just a huge disappointment. It was a disjointed hodgepodge of boring. Sure, it was a nice read, but Star Wars isn’t supposed to be pleasant. It’s supposed to be deep. Epic. Legendary!
They renamed the Star Wars EU Star Wars Legends. At least they got right.
Coffee Bean and Tea Reads Rating:
2 beans out of 5