Star Wars Aftermath is the first in a series of books that chronicle the “journey” to “Star Wars the Force Awakens.” Since this book was announced earlier this year, there has been so much hype regarding the storyline and what happens in between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.” For casual fans out there, 30 years takes place in between those two films so there’s a lot of story to be told. So needless to say when Force Friday came, I was first in line to get the book that people had been so hyped over. When I got home I ripped open the book and started to dig into it. Then I started re-reading the same pages over and over again, and then my eyes were straining to the point of being in severe pain. I made it through halfway in a few hours and it was a chore. It was every bit of horror that I had expected in the back of my mind. Let’s put it this way. “Star Wars Aftermath” is a slow, uninteresting and poorly written novel that feels more like a fan fiction piece than a Star Wars book. Basically the story ends with the Battle of Endor and the book shows what happens to Imperial factions all around the galaxy. Sure that part was pretty cool, but then the book takes another direction and we get characters that are forgettable and just seem so bland and boring.
I actually found myself rooting against a lot of the characters and they came across as being very clichéd, with wooden dialogue and poor character development. I did like the character of Sanjir but other than him, I can’t say I really connected with any of the characters in the book. The worst part of the book was the relationship between the mother Norra Wexley and her son Temmin. Temmin was such an annoying brat of a character and I kept thinking back to how annoying Anakin was in all three prequel films. Temmin was a constant reminder of those prequels and I kept putting the book down in sheer anger at his annoying stupidity.
The publishers led the readers to believe that this novel would follow original hero Wedge Antilles from the films, but he’s barely in the novel. I don’t have a problem with creating new characters in the “Star Wars” universe but please make them at least good. The entire novel wasn’t a big failure however, as the interludes scattered every few chapters gave us a nice short vignette on what is happening around the universe. We briefly see Han and Chewie talking about going back to Kashyyk to liberate it from the Empire and we see Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar, but every one else from the original trilogy is absent. I think Lucasfilm wants to keep those original three secret until the film comes out which I don’t blame them.
Star Wars Aftermath feels like fanfiction at best. It is poorly written with uninteresting characters. The book was a major disappointment but it wasn’t an absolute failure. There are parts that had entertainment value to it but not enough to make me recommend this book to anyone. I was hoping for more story in between “Jedi” and “Awakens” but sadly I got next to nothing; a dish served half cold.