Aftermath: Life Debt is only a few days away from release and some excerpts for the upcoming novel have found their way online. The first one (which released in April) follows the main heroes introduced in the original Aftermath as they have an unexpected run-in with a familiar scoundrel’s face, while the second excerpt stars Leia as she uses the Force to sense the baby growing inside her! Lastly, the third teases an interlude that takes place at Maz Kanata’s castle. UPDATE: 7/11: A fourth excerpt has dropped, the day before release, and it has the sad story of the rancor keeper from Return of the Jedi. More details, including some clarifications from Chuck Wendig (the author), below.
Since Life Debt releases the day I head out for London, I won’t have a review for the novel until after SWCE 2016 is over. To tide you over in the meantime, here are some interesting tidbits from the three excerpts released from the forthcoming novel.
The first one doesn’t reveal much besides the fact that our crew, Norra and Temmin Wexley, Sinjir Velus, Jas Emari, and the wonderfully insane Mister Bones are still as entertaining as they were in the last novel. It also shows them on their mission to hunt Imperial Warlords, but things take a turn for the unexpected when Han Solo and Chewbacca stumble out of nowhere, who we last saw in Aftermath heading to Kashyyyk to free the Wookiees from the dying Empire’s grasp. So why are Han and Chewie not there currently? How’s their plans to liberate the planet going? How much of the book concerns their mission? According to Chuck Wendig, they won’t be the focus so take from that what you will.
Leia’s excerpt is not an interlude thankfully, something myself and many others initially assumed it would be. Heck, I think many of us really hoped it would be more than a single chapter, because this excerpt is probably the biggest and most revealing of the three released as it has Leia using the Force to interact with baby Ben for the very first time. Could we learn why Han and Leia name their baby Ben? I have a funny feeling we won’t, especially with Wendig’s insistence to check expectations. There’s also some intriguing comments from Leia about Luke’s advice and sudden absence, while it’s clear Han up and leaving to liberate Kashyyyk is weighing on her mind as well. These are sentiments Leia makes in the excellent Bloodline novel, so it’s kind of sad to think she starts making them this soon after the Battle of Endor. Also, this chapter reveals there’ll be some possible political focus as well when Leia mentions the, “…nagging feeling in the deep of her middle that Mon Mothma has betrayed her in some small but significant way.” By Bloodline, Leia seems to revere Mothma so I doubt this supposed betrayal is anything big, but it’ll be interesting to see these two butting heads in the early days of the New Republic…and even more interesting to learn what it’s all about.
Lastly, the shortest and least revealing excerpt discusses some of the rules (Don’t talk about Fight Club) of Maz Kanata’s castle, which at this point in the timeline hasn’t had the unfortunate fate of being blown up by the First Order. The big rule is no fighting, so if Maz is repeating it, could that mean we’re about to see a fight in her castle? Could it be a fun little moment or a tease of something more? Hopefully there’s more meat to this interlude in the full novel!
The newest excerpt fleshes out what happens at Jabba’s palace following his death, told through the eyes of Malakili, the Rancor keeper who was left without a pet thanks to Luke Skywalker in RotJ. He previously had his story expanded in the Legend’s novel Tales from Jabba’s Palace. This excerpt could lead to some Boba Fett theorizing, as it ends with Malakili coming across the Sarlaac Pit and being slight blown open and Jawa’s were already picking through it. In the first Aftermath, there’s an Interlude that deals with two men fighting over what seems to be Fett’s Mandalorian armor, sans Fett. Could he, like in Legends, survived? Maybe we’ll find out in Life Debt.
Aftermath: Life Debt releases July 12. Our review should be out the following week!
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