Before I get into the (not so new anymore) news, I want to address my fellow EU/Legends fans:
I’m a bit sad about certain parts of my beloved Expanded Universe going from canon to “Legends” and having a completely new storyline written, yes, but I still think it makes a weird sort of sense. I hope people like me may find some comfort in what Han Solo said to Z. Ghent in Heir to the Empire: “Just remember that whatever you’ve heard has been hearsay. And that hearsay stories grow an extra leg every time they’re told.” Heir to the Empire has become one of those extra legs!
Now, the News!
From Jen Heddle’s article linked above, “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?”
The author is Chuck Wendig, who has written a number of urban fantasy and horror stories such as the Miriam Black novels. Here is his Twitter and, if you want more information and opinions on his books, Goodreads. I have not read his work before so all I can really say is that I’m quite curious how he will write a space opera in general and Star Wars in particular.
For people familiar with Legends: this novel (or maybe a trilogy of novels?) will take the place in the Star Wars timeline of the now-Legends book Truce at Bakura at least, and may well go as far in time as The Courtship of Princess Leia and the Thrawn trilogy did. Aftermath should certainly answer the same questions that these previous books had done, whether in slightly or extremely different ways (in addition to Heddle’s questions above, there’s also whether the Empire left a vacuum at all — did it fall simply because Palpatine and Vader died or did it continue ruling; what happened to Coruscant; did the Rebel Alliance set up government if the Empire recedes or did someone else — actually I think Heddle did ask that; do Han and Leia get married and have children and when, would their hypothetical children inherit Force-sensitivity, what about a family for Luke, etc.). Also curious if any characters or situations will deliberately be taken from Legends and added in different form into the new canon. Maybe a crotchety old couple called Gilad and Callista Pellaeon? An incompetent lawyer named Mara Jade?
In fact I think Heddle’s questions are good ones, because the Special Edition ending to RotJ seemed to imply straightforwardly that the whole galaxy heard about the fall of the Empire (or at least Palpatine’s death) and the whole galaxy rejoiced. But is that realistic? Would everyone hear about it all the way to the Outer Rim? Would everyone be glad about it (aside from the usual imperial loyalists and Death Star construction workers)? Would everyone even care?
Other questions regard the characters — both the returning main characters and completely new ones. My concern is how believable they will be — will we recognize them from the movies? Will the new characters make sense? Will it still seem like Star Wars? The Thrawn trilogy’s popularity due to this is no secret: since the 1990s it was considered by many fans to be the honorary Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, which I’m sure is a challenge and a lot to live up to for both The Force Awakens and Aftermath. There are plenty of questions, plenty to say, and plenty to think about, but in terms of actual judgment I am taking a “wait and see” approach.
And just because, here is an interview with Kathy Tyers from last December about Legends and her own books.
Up next: Another Episode 7 trailer?!