What happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens?
As the end credits rolled on Return of the Jedi, it seemed there was finally closure: the Rebels had come home with a resounding victory. The second Death Star was destroyed, the Emperor killed and Darth Vader unmasked at the hands of his son, Luke. But in the 30 years between the Rebel triumph and beginning of The Force Awakens, as the Empire began gathering momentum once more, it became increasingly apparent that the battle for freedom was far from over. So how did this unfold? The films don’t delve into this period in great detail. Luckily you can fill in all the gaps and develop your understanding of the full picture with the novel Star Wars: Aftermath.
Among the details revealed, in the novel we discover that following their crushing defeat of the Empire – and under the banner of the fledgling New Republic – the Rebels took to hunting down remaining enemy forces before they could regroup and launch another offensive. What the Republic didn’t know was that Imperial Star Destroyers were gathering above the planet Akiva. And when Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles first witnessed this show of the enemy’s growing strength, he was captured before he could relay the message back to his superiors.
Antilles’ capture did not go unnoticed, however, and ex-Rebel fighter Norra Wexley intercepted his distress signal. Along with her technical genius son, Temmin, and newfound allies – a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector – Wexley found herself a key player in a dangerous mission. And as the surviving Imperial elite descended on Akiva for an emergency summit, this tiny group of Rebels was all that stood between the galaxy’s freedom and the Empire’s growing momentum.
The 30-year journey from Return of the Jedi to The Force Awakens was a fascinating period in this galaxy far, far away. A must-read for any Star Wars fan, Star Wars: Aftermath fills in the gaps and might even help stave off cravings for the next instalment in the film franchise.
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