Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig (The Heartland Trilogy), made waves for announcing that it would be including a gay man as the lead character when the project was first announced. Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End is the next installation in the trilogy Wendig is attached to write and, per the official synopsis, will feature: "As the final showdown between the New Republic and the Empire draws near, all eyes turn to a once-isolated planet: Jakku."
Empire's End will feature two female protagonists: Norra Wexley, of the Republic, and Grand Admiral Rae Sloane from the Empire. The women, representing opposite sides of the same coin, will trade off chapters in the upcoming novel. Now, two new posters have debuted featuring the characters.
The posters are exclusive to Barnes & Noble stores and were created by artist Steve Thomas - famous in the nerd community for his Star Wars and Disney-centric works. Both posters will be printed on the same piece of paper and if fans want to get their hands on the images of Wesley and Sloane they will have to purchase two separate copies. Take a look:
More of the official synopsis provides insight into who Wexley and Sloane are and what their journeys will be throughout Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End:
"The Battle of Endor shattered the Empire, scattering its remaining forces across the galaxy. But the months following the Rebellion’s victory have not been easy. The fledgling New Republic has suffered a devastating attack from the Imperial remnant, forcing the new democracy to escalate their hunt for the hidden enemy.
"For her role in the deadly ambush, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is the most wanted Imperial war criminal—and one-time rebel pilot Norra Wexley, back in service at Leia’s urgent request, is leading the hunt. But more than just loyalty to the New Republic drives Norra forward: Her husband was turned into a murderous pawn in Sloane’s assassination plot, and now she wants vengeance as much as justice.
"But Sloane, too, is on a furious quest: pursuing the treacherous Gallius Rax to the barren planet Jakku. As the true mastermind behind the Empire’s devastating attack, Rax has led the Empire to its defining moment. The cunning strategist has gathered the powerful remnants of the Empire’s war machine, preparing to execute the late Emperor Palpatine’s final plan. As the Imperial fleet orbits Jakku, an armada of Republic fighters closes in to finish what began at Endor. Norra and her crew soar into the heart of an apocalyptic clash that will leave land and sky alike scorched. And the future of the galaxy will finally be decided."
Thomas' art is absolutely beautiful and these twin posters recall Rosie the Riveter-era pro-female propaganda posters. They carry on the proud tradition within Star Wars of highlighting capable female characters, leading all the way back to Princess Leia in 1977. They are certain to be quickly snapped up by fans and inspire legions of readers to come. These character designs - even the posters themselves - also have the possibility to make great Easter eggs in upcoming Star Wars movies, television shows and comic books.
It's a bit of a bummer that it is a double-sided poster, forcing fans to buy two copies of what is, at its core, the same product. If sales of the posters do well, however, there could be potential for more book-based Star Wars characters to get the same treatment and be celebrated in such an awesome way.
Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End will be in bookstores on February 21, 2017.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019