It was rumored as early as June of last year that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would feature significant remnants of the empire as an opposing force to the "good guys." This was later confirmed as Stormtrooper concept art started popping up and, finally, the trailer was released, wherein John Boyega played a distressed, helmetless stormtrooper. While some fans were upset that the end of Return of the Jedi - which seemed to depict the death of the Empire - was not so definitive as they once believed, this development opens up plenty of new narrative pathways both in the movies and elsewhere.
Considering The Force Awakens takes place approximately 30 years after Jedi, there will doubtlessly be a lot of questions as to what happened in the in-between time. Who led the Empire after Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader died? Did the rebels start their own government? Etc. And so on.Obviously, Lucasfilm wasn't going to leave fans waiting in the lurch with regard to those questions. And indeed, they just announced plans to release 20 new titles - including comic books, kids books, adult books - in the run-up to The Force Awakens. Among those titles is a new book trilogy that will bridge the gaps between Episode 6 and Episode 7, starting with: Star Wars: Aftermath.
Check out the brief synopsis and cover for Aftermath below, courtesy of Lucas Books senior editor Jen Heddle:
"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?"
There's an interesting reference in the synopsis to some unnamed person/group rushing in to "fill the vacuum" left by the empire. This indicates that while the Empire is not completely dead, it does suffer a massive blow, and that a third party - not the Rebels and not the Empire - may be working to take control.
Will this third party be a major player in the new Star Wars movies, or are they just being used in the books? Or am I just reading the synopsis wrong?
As for possible connections to The Force Awakens in the book, Heddle said:
"What I can reveal is that you will be introduced to a sweeping new cast of characters, along with a fan favorite from the films. And who knows what other familiar faces will pop up along the way? And once you’ve seen 'The Force Awakens' in movie theaters, you may find that certain names and places in 'Aftermath' have a relevance you never knew–so keep your eyes wide open!"
Basically, if you're one of those Star Wars fans who sucks up every tidbit and morsel of The Force Awakens information, you're probably going to want to check this book out. I wouldn't expect any major revelations, but there will certainly be some interesting hints to what's coming.
What say you, Screen Ranter? Does this sound interesting? Will you be reading this book when it hits shelves? Drop us a line in the comments.
Star Wars: Aftermath - written by Chuck Wendig - releases September 4th, 2015.