|Audio read by||Marc Thompson|
|Cover artist||Christopher M. Zucker|
|Series||Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy|
|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
|February 21, 2017|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
|Pages||320 (first edition, hardcover)|
|ISBN||978-1-101-96696-9 (first edition, hardback)|
|Preceded by||Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt|
Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End is a Star Wars novel by Chuck Wendig, published on February 21, 2017 by Del Rey Books. Set after the events of the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, Empire's End is the third of a trilogy that explores the time period between that film and 2015's The Force Awakens.
The Aftermath series features the characters Wedge Antilles, an X-wing fighter pilot from the original Star Wars film trilogy, and Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane, introduced as a captain in John Jackson Miller's 2014 novel A New Dawn. Wendig also introduces several new characters, including ex-Rebel Alliance pilot Norra Wexley, her teenage son Temmin "Snap" Wexley, Temmin's rebuilt B1 battle droid Mister Bones, the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, and the Imperial turncoat Sinjir Rath Velus, one of the first gay characters in Star Wars canon.
Using information gleaned from the bounty hunter Mercurial Swift, the team of former Rebel Alliance pilot Norra Wexley, her teenage son Temmin, the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, and the former Imperial officer Sinjir Rath Velus track Grand Admiral Rae Sloane to the desolate planet Jakku. They arrive to find the remaining Imperial fleet of Star Destroyers in orbit; Norra and Jas head to the surface seeking Sloane, while Temmin and Sinjir escape to Chandrila to alert Leia Organa and the New Republic. Norra and Jas are captured by Imperial stormtroopers; Norra is enslaved, and Jas—who has a bounty on her head—is handed over to the crime lord Niima the Hutt. Temmin's reprogrammed B1 battle droid Mister Bones rescues Norra, and they reunite with an escaped Jas. Sloane and Norra's estranged husband Brentin seek revenge against Gallius Rax, but are captured by him instead. Meanwhile, the indecisive New Republic Senate fails to approve a military offensive against the Imperial forces at Jakku.
Sinjir recruits former SpecForces operative Jom Barell for a covert mission with Temmin, Han Solo, and Sinjir's sometimes lover Conder Kyl to identify the leverage which the Black Sun and Red Key criminal syndicates used to influence the vote. Their efforts provide Chancellor Mon Mothma with the votes she needs, and the motion passes. Led by Admiral Ackbar, the New Republic forces attack with Temmin flying an X-wing under Wedge Antilles' command, and Jom rejoining SpecForces. Sloane and Brentin learn of Rax's insidious program which trains abducted children to be vicious killers. Norra finally intercepts Sloane, but postpones her revenge to join her nemesis in finding out what Rax is protecting in his desert base. The battle turns for the New Republic when the Imperial dreadnought Ravager is destroyed. Mister Bones saves Temmin's life, but the droid is destroyed. Sloane confronts Rax, who has commenced what Palpatine called his "Contingency": the Jakku Observatory will destroy the planet and the entirety of both the Imperial and New Republic forces, plunging the galaxy into chaos. Rax will flee on a predetermined course to the Unknown Regions with a select few Destroyers, where he will create a new empire. Sloane kills Rax and stops Jakku's destruction, but assumes Rax's role as shepherd of Palpatine's plans.
Sinjir becomes an advisor to Mothma, who escapes an assassination attempt, and Brentin and Jom are killed on Jakku. Leia gives birth to Ben Solo, her son with Han, as the Empire formally surrenders. Wedge establishes a flight academy on Hosnian Prime, where he and Norra will be instructors, and Temmin—now officially known as "Snap"—will attend.
Star Wars: Aftermath was introduced in March 2015 as part of the "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" publishing initiative, a series of novels and comic books intended to connect The Force Awakens with previous film installments. Among the first releases, Aftermath was subsequently described as being set between the films Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. In July 2015, Del Rey confirmed that Aftermath would be the first novel in a planned trilogy. Aftermath was published on September 4, 2015, and the titles for the other installments—Life Debt (2016) and Empire's End (2017)—were announced at the New York Comic Con in October 2015. Life Debt was released on July 12, 2016, and Empire's End was released on February 21, 2017.
The Aftermath series features the characters Wedge Antilles, an X-wing fighter pilot from the original Star Wars film trilogy, and Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane, introduced as a captain in John Jackson Miller's 2014 novel A New Dawn. Wendig introduces several new characters in Aftermath, including the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, ex-Rebel pilot Norra Wexley, Norra's teenage son Temmin "Snap" Wexley, Temmin's rebuilt B1 battle droid Mister Bones, and the Imperial turncoat Sinjir Rath Velus. Introduced in the first installment Aftermath, SpecForces officer Jom Barell becomes a main character as a member of the team in Life Debt. Acknowledging lesbian Moff Delian Mors from Paul S. Kemp's 2015 novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith as the first openly gay character in the Star Wars canon, Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly called Aftermath's Sinjir "the first major gay hero" in the franchise.
Empire's End features a reappearance of Lando Calrissian, who reclaims control of Bespin's Cloud City from the Imperials who occupy it. Chewbacca is reunited with his young son Lumpawaroo, who had been enslaved on their native planet Kashyyyk. Prequel trilogy character Jar Jar Binks appears in the novel, having become a street performer who entertains refugee children but is loathed by adults who blame him for his part in the rise of the Empire. Chris Taylor of Mashable wrote that the situation reflects real life in that adults disliked Jar Jar in the films, but children were entertained by him. Ben Solo, the son of Leia and Han who becomes Kylo Ren, is born on the planet Chandrila, the day a peace treaty is signed between the Empire and the New Galactic Republic. Rae Sloane coins the term "First Order" as she establishes the reborn empire that will eventually take that name. General Armitage Hux, a character introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, appears as a child; his father is the creator of the training program that will ultimately produce First Order stormtroopers. Armitage's first name and origin as the illegitimate son of Imperial officer Brendol Hux was previously revealed in Life Debt. The Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn is mentioned as the source of the information about the Unknown Regions which Palpatine uses in his Contingency plan, and the novel is the first appearance of Niima the Hutt, a crime lord based on the desert planet Jakku who controls her people by controlling their resources. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (2015) and Star Wars: Rey's Survival Guide (2015) note that the Niima Outpost is named after her. Temmin would go on to appear in the 2015 film The Force Awakens as an X-wing fighter pilot Snap Wexley, portrayed by Greg Grunberg.
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- Wendig, Chuck (2017). Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End. Del Rey. ISBN 9781101966976.
It's time to start over ... That is our first order. To begin again. And to get it right, this time.
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