Star Wars: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig

Star Wars: Empire’s End by Chuck WendigAftermath: Empire's End (Star Wars: Aftermath, #3) by Chuck Wendig
Published by Del Rey Books on February 21st 2017
Genres: Sci-Fi
Pages: 423

Following "Star Wars: Aftermath" and "Star Wars: Life Debt," Chuck Wendig delivers the exhilarating conclusion to the "New York Times" bestselling trilogy set in the years between "Return of the Jedi" and "The Force Awakens."

I’m not going to lie, this book left me wanting more. And not always in a good way either. Empire’s End is the third book in a sort of literary game of join the dots by Chuck Wendig which seeks to explain some of the events which took place between the end of Return of the Jedi, and the start of the new canon with The Force Awakens. The problem is that the span of time between those two movies is far too long to bridge in a single trilogy of books, but Empire’s End does a reasonable job of setting up some of the plot hooks and situations which pay off in the seventh movie.

As I think anyone who has seen the newest Star Wars movie will know, the Empire doesn’t really end, per se. It adapts and evolves into something else – the First Order – which serve as the antagonists for the next trilogy of movies. Which left me wondering about the story of how the galactic empire went from ruling most of the known galaxy – which in retrospect seems a little ludicrous when you think about it – to almost nothing in short order. (no pun intended)

This is a story about the crumbling of the last remnants of an organised empire, who are fighting over their little kingdoms, or over the ship they control. With the loss of the central power, in the form of the Emperor, there is a few left with any kind of real power, and they all want to become the new Emperor. Some are more open in their ambitions, while others work behind the scenes to bring about their plans. And I will be honest, I was intrigued to see their sides of the story as much as I was the good guys points of view. I was reminded in parts of Claudia Gray’s book Lost Stars, which was told from an imperial perspective, and while most of the characters are pretty unsympathetic, you can definitely feel the sense of loss and uncertainty in the power vacuum.

One of my problems with this trilogy is that I feel there is a certain inescapable analogy to some of the politics which are happening in the real world, which I honestly could have done without. But I am really enjoying this new, grittier look at the Star Wars universe, and I really hope they are going to release more books which fill in the 20 year gap between the movies. As I said at the outset, this book helps to join the dots, in terms of the concepts, but there is still this huge gap which needs to be filled with action and excitement. The politics of Star Wars has always been a bit sketchy for me, and I don’t really want more long-winded explanations of Old Republic or trade politics, or comedies of manners.

I want action, excitement, an emotional connection with old favourite characters, and the occasional stupid catch phrase. And this book delivers on all of those things, tedious politics included. I enjoyed this book more than the previous two, and felt more of a connection to the characters I had been on an adventure with.

Fans of Star Wars will enjoy this, particularly those who were looking for answers after the seventh movie. Empire’s End is well-written, and provides an albeit tentative step into the vast distance between episode VI and episode VII.

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

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