As some of you may be aware, Disney has been publishing content in the Star Wars universe that covers the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. You can find an aggregated list of the media here.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire by Marvel Comics. This four part comic series explains Poe Dameron’s background and clarifies what many of us probably suspected: the war doesn’t really end with the fall of the emperor, because the Empire is not centralized, it is exists on many planets throughout the galaxy. The only difference is now, the Empire is occupying territory that belongs to the Republic. The most gratifying moments occur when we see characters we know and love hanging out. The center of the comic series is on Poe’s mother, Shara, and perhaps the most obnoxious part of this comic series is the recurring “you’ve done so much, go home and be a housewife now” conversation that happens between each thing Shara does. Nonetheless, it’s a light, sweet read, and it occurs right after Return of the Jedi– you even get to see the after party. Kinda neat.
Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig is a novel that zooms around between characters that we know pretty well (Wedge Antilles!) and characters we’ve never met. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty badly written. Every sentence. Is. Dramatic and short. And eventually. You want to punch someone. Like the author. Yes, the author. The author did this. And WE WILL SEE JUSTICE. I mean, you get the idea. That said, I appreciate its pretty in depth world building. You really get a sense of the fatigue that accompanies the post-victory life for rebel sympathizers. And there is substantial plot (the Empire is up to no good). I decided to listen to the audio book and was highly amused by it, the reader does voices but is a dude and therefore all the female characters are not super believable. My favorite moment so far in all the Star Wars media I’ve seen appears in this book, though, when a pilot refers to his ship’s ability to out maneuver most obstacles with the phrase “HERKY JERKY.” Overall, if you are a Star Wars fan, I think you should read this for actual plot reasons and for world building reasons…but not for good writing. Not that. Never that. We’ve been on this desert of a plant too long. We knew what to expect.
Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray and Cole Horton should really be called Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know Organized So Poorly That It’s Probably Worth Just Doing Your Own Research. I’m not joking. Do not read this. It will only frustrate you and make you sad. The information is probably more scattered than it actually is on the internet. The fact of the matter is, all of the information in any given reference book on Star Wars is going to be on the internet, so if you’re reading a book like this, it’s because you hope it’ll be organized neatly for you and look pretty. Well it ain’t. If you don’t believe me, here’s an example. This is what EVERY PAGE looks like:
I hope Ships of the Galaxy turns out to be better.