> Skip to content

Article  •  13 May 2016


Star Wars: Aftermath

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.

More features

See all
Beyond Hairy Maclary

Hairy Maclary and his friends are known and loved all over the world. But how familiar are you with Dame Lynley Dodd's other creations? There are plenty to discover, and just like Hairy Maclary, they all feature Lynely's uniquely exuberant artwork and gorgeously readable rhymes! Here are some suggestions to get you started.

A sneak peek at our 2021 kids books!

After an exhausting and unusual 2020, we’ve got plenty of reasons to be grateful for a new year, not least because of the stellar line up of children’s books we have coming your way over the next few months!Read on for a sneak peek at some of the best new children’s books we’re bringing to you in 2021.

Beautiful NZ Picture Books from 2020

Sometimes a story is best told alongside a beautiful picture, Here's a small selection of some of our favourite 2020 picture books from local creators. 

Sophie Gray's top tips for a cracker Christmas

If you’re planning to head to the shops for a last-minute Christmas here's what destitute gourmet wants you to think about! 

5 audiobooks for your summer road trip

If you’re new to the world of audiobooks and aren’t sure where to start or if you’re looking for the perfect book to listen to on your summer road trip adventures, we’ve got some great suggestions for you! 

Themes from A Promised Land

From the influence of family to his political rise and the world events that shaped his presidency, Barack Obama covers enormous ground in his Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1: A Promised Land. Here we break down some of the key themes and turning points.

A Promised Land: key events

From inauguration through to Operation Neptune’s Spear, take a look at the milestones covered in Barack Obama's riveting memoir.

Children's books loved by the Obamas

Here's a selection of children's stories that have received a big thumbs up from Barack and Michelle Obama. 

Meet Slinky Malinki and friends!

Ever wanted to know a bit more about Slinky Malinki's friends? 

Meet Hairy Maclary and his friends!

Meet the characters from the beloved children's series. 

Where to start with Rick Riordan's books

Rick Riordan's books are perfect for 12+ readers who love action, adventure, and a good dose of humour from their books. We've outlined some of Rick Riordan’s most impressive, imaginative worlds so you can decide which adventure to go on first. 

Real readers review: Breathless

What do NZ YA fans really think of Jennifer Niven's latest book?

Looking for more articles?

See all articles