Just prior to SDCC 2015, the official site unveiled covers for the Young Adult novels in the “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” line and they gave us a blurb from Aftermath, the first canon post-Return of the Jedi novel, which actually contained details on the story including a fan favorite character’s return!
The covers for Moving Target, Smuggler’s Run, and The Weapon of a Jedi are all done by artist Phil Noto (who will be working on the upcoming limited Chewbacca comic series and did a cover for Shattered Empire, the “JtTFA” series) and man do they look spectacular! We’ve gotten blurbs for the YA novels previously so the only one we received new information on this time was Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, a novel which will span Ep. III-VI staring two brand new characters:
The reign of the Galactic Empire has reached the Outer Rim planet of Jelucan, where aristocratic Thane Kyrell and rural villager Ciena Ree bond over their love of flying. Enrolling at the Imperial Academy together to become fighter pilots for the glorious Empire is nothing less than a dream come true for the both of them. But Thane sours on the dream when he sees firsthand the horrific tactics the Empire uses to maintain its ironclad rule.
Bitter and disillusioned, Thane joins the fledgling Rebellion — putting Ciena in an unbearable position to choose between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for the man she’s known since childhood.
Now on opposite sides of the war, will these friends turned foes find a way to be together, or will duty tear them — and the galaxy — apart?
As excited as I am to dive into the other tales with our classic heroes, especially since every “JtTFA” novel contains hints and clues for the upcoming film, I’m looking forward the most to Lost Stars thanks to its focus on seeing familiar events through the eyes of new characters.
Though I suspect a lot more people will be interested in Aftermath, as it’ll set the tone for what the new post-RotJ era will be like as well as star Wedge Antilles! Here’s the full blurb:
As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance — now a fledgling New Republic — presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but is taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.
Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former Rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world — war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.
Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit — to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on the Norra and her newfound allies — her technical genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector — who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.
The New Republic, Wedge Antilles, and Moffs carrying on the good fight for the Empire sounds an awful like the previous version of the post-RotJ, no? Aftermath looks to be an entertaining story nonetheless, with what sounds like a layered and intriguing new character in Norra Wexley, while allies like a Zabrak bounty hunter and Imperial defector offer great character opportunities. And here’s hoping Chuck Wendig does a good job with Aftermath, because he’s been confirmed as the writer for all three books in the trilogy. Here’s an interview he did with Barnes and Noble, which has some vague wording regarding the Aftermath trilogy ‘overwriting’ the Thrawn Trilogy, but what they mean to say is it’ll be the same in importance for setting up the post-RotJ era, not overwriting it (the reboot did that all by itself).
UPDATE: There’s now an excerpt from the novel!
Expect a reading marathon when these books go live on Force Friday, September 4th!
P.S. There was a SDCC 2015 Star Wars publishing panel, but it focused more on the exploring the upcoming original trilogy YA retellings.
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