Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy came to a thrilling conclusion this past week (February 21st) with Empire’s End. The novel completes the story of a group of all new characters following the Battle of Endor, and the destruction of the second Death Star. One of those characters in particular had the largest, and most important arcs of note: Sinjir Rath Velus. From where we meet Sinjir in Aftermath to where we leave him in Empire’s End, his growth and subversion of several tropes is extremely satisfying.
With Chuck Wendig’s Empire’s End arriving this month, I decided to review Aftermath and Aftermath: Life Debt. After my first read, I found these post-Return of the Jedi stories entertaining and engaging. For one, getting some details on how the galaxy evolved after the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader was fascinating. The new canon provides little description of this era. Therefore, I was trying to read these stories just a little closer this time around. One of the things I paid extra attention to was the character of Sinjir Rath Velus, the former Imperial loyalty officer. One aspect of Sinjir’s character struck me: he was willing to do bad for the greater good. This reminded me of Cassian Andor, who confessed to Jyn Erso that he had done terrible things on behalf of the Rebellion. This raises the question, where does the Rebellion draw the line?
The untimely passing of Carrie Fisher causes contemplation of many things Star Wars. Recently, I was taken back by General Organa’s first scene in The Force Awakens. After her arrival on Takodana after the battle between the First Order and the Resistance, Chewbacca interrupts her reunion with Han Solo for a hug. The affectionate smirk on Leia’s face when the “walking carpet” embraces her is quite touching. This got me to thinking about Chewbacca. For decades now, Star Wars fans have known that Chewbacca has a life debt to Han Solo. To my knowledge, the story of the life debt originally comes from Legends material. The “life debt” was a Wookiee custom of pledging service typically in response to rescuing that Wookiee or saving its life. Over the past couple of years, new material established the life debt in the current canon. However, the exact nature of Chewbacca’s life debt to Han Solo is vague. For many reasons, I find this more satisfying.
Loyalty and Duty: The Bond Between a Scoundrel and a Princess — A Guest Blog by Mike DeRose
Leia Organa and Han Solo should not work as a couple. Leia, the senator princess turned rebel who fights for the greater good and Han, the scoundrel smuggler who only cares about getting paid. Despite their differences it’s easy to see why they were drawn to each other. Leia had spent her entire life in politics surrounded by proper men or, let’s face it, probably just boring men. So when a rogue like Han comes along Leia would naturally be intrigued. But Han’s original interest in Leia was pretty straightforward. The princess was worth a pretty big reward.
I can’t imagine that if you are reading this you haven’t seen the films, so I’ll avoid recapping and give you one defining quote that sums up their relationship perfectly:
“I love you.”
Fortunately for me, Dan Z has provided a wonderful review of Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt, which you can read here. That leaves my task at hand to discuss Marc Thompson’s reading of this novel and the production value of the audiobook itself. In full disclosure, I have not listened to an audiobook in many years, so this was a wonderful treat to be able to experience the medium at its finest.
For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship. – Yoda to Luke in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
As Star Wars evolves and takes on new directions, I’m forced (pun intended) to revisit the known and to look at it anew – you must unlearn what you have learned. That’s the genius in what makes Star Wars so great and what gives it that ability to live on beyond or despite some other’s expectations; an ambiguity like no other. That said, Star Wars has roots and they were planted deep – a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Each new addition or key element just adds another extension to the saga as a whole, branching out and laying seedlings, growing, connecting the puzzle, one parsec at a time. Read more
As part of their five questions for new guests to Coffee with Kenobi, Dan and Cory ask their guests “what themes or messages from Star Wars resonate with you?” I’ve always been intrigued by the answers that guests have given. Of all the questions they ask, that is probably the one I have considered the most. Well, it comes after favorite Star Wars film and favorite character, but third place isn’t bad. Right? I digress. A recent episode of Coffee with Kenobi had me pondering the themes and messages from Star Wars again. I realized that perhaps one of the more underrated themes from the movies is “loyalty.”