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Leia startles at the sound of a furious pounding on the door, her knee banging into the table above which a glittering star map is projected. The map flickers, and when the voice comes through the door—“Leia! Leia!”—she struggles to stand swiftly, almost forgetting the tremendous living weight around her midsection. The child inside her kicks and tumbles as she endeavors to get upright. Calm down, little angel. You’ll be free soon enough.
“Mum,” says her protocol droid, T-2LC. “It appears as if someone is at the door.”
“Yes, I hear that, Elsie.” She winces as she moves out from around the couch. That couch was supposed to be comfortable—but all it does is swallow her up like a devouring sarlacc. “It’s just Han.”
“Is he in danger, mum? He sounds like he’s in danger. Should I open the door? I don’t want to let the danger in, but—”
“Leia, damnit, the door,” Han says from the other side. His voice is followed swiftly by more thumps and thuds. He’s kicking the door, she realizes.
“I’m coming!” she yells back. To the droid she says: “I’ll get it.”
“But your condition, mum—” “I’m not dying, I’m pregnant,” she snaps back, then opens the door. Han wastes no time in almost falling through it, his arm cradling a lumpy, uneven bag of something.
“Took you long enough,” he says, smirking as he juggles his footing and skirts past her, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek as he does.
“Don’t you know,” she says, shooting T-2LC a dubious look, “I have a condition.”
“Elsie, I told you, Leia doesn’t have a damn condition.” But then, more seriously and in a lower register, he says to her: “You do need to slow it down a little bit.” He gestures toward the star map. “For instance.”
“I am in command of my own body, thank you very much.”
“Tell that to the little bandit,” he says, dropping the sack of whatever down on the counter in the kitchen. The little bandit is what he’s taken to calling the child currently wrestling inside her belly.
“You mean the little angel.” She follows him into the kitchen, and T-2LC’s whining servomotors behind her indicate he’s following closely behind because someone (Han) told the droid to keep close to her in case she falls. Never mind the fact the droid stays so close to her, she’s nearly tripped on his metal feet half a dozen times already. “What did you bring?”
Han winks, thrusts his hand down into the bag, and pulls it out gripping a jogan fruit. “Look.” He gives it a lascivious squeeze.
She sighs, crestfallen. “Is that . . . whole bag full of jogan fruit?”
“I cannot possibly eat that much jogan fruit.”
“Sure you can.”
“Let me rephrase: I don’t want to eat that much jogan fruit.”
“It’s good for you.”
“Not that good.”
“Dr. Kalonia said to incorporate jogan into my diet, not to replace everything with jogan fruit.”
He sweeps up on her, cradling her face with his rough hand. He strokes her cheek gently. “All right, all right. I’m just trying to do right by you two.”
“I know, Han.”
“If I think I can help, I’ll always help. With whatever you or our son needs. You know that, right?”
She laughs. “I know.”
It’s been hard for Han. He won’t say it out loud, but she can see it on his face. Her husband needs something to do. He’s bored. Chewbacca’s back home, looking for his family. Luke’s searching the galaxy for old Jedi teachings. Han Solo’s got nothing to smuggle, nowhere to gamble, no foolish Rebellion to fight for.
He’s like the Falcon: retired to a hangar somewhere, waiting for something, anything, to happen.
So he buys fruit.
Lots and lots of fruit.
And, of course, he worries about her. He turns her toward the table and the star map. “You’re not still on this, are you?”
“Leia, Kashyyyk was a fluke. We got lucky.”
“I’m always lucky with you by my side, scoundrel.”
He shakes his head. “You joke, but this is nuts.”
“It’s not nuts,” she says, suddenly irritated. “What we did on Kashyyyk was the right thing to do, and you know it. If we could formalize that process, if we could target other worlds that the Senate is too cowardly to liberate, then maybe we could—with the unofficial sanction of our friendly chancellor—find a way to do right by those worlds. Which means not only do we save whole systems, but those systems might swing our way and join the chorus of voices here in the New Republic.”
He sighs. “I dunno. Can’t somebody else handle this? Just for now . . .”
“Look,” she says, heading over to the star map. “Tatooine. Kerev Doi. Demesel. Horuz. All worlds still in thrall either to some Imperial remnant or to criminal syndicates or gangs. Rebellions work. We’ve seen it. We’ve helped make it happen.”
“You know Mon’s not going to go for that.”
“She already has. In a way.”
In the aftermath of the attack on Chandrila, the New Republic was left reeling. Already the whispers arose: The New Republic cannot protect itself, how can it protect us? Already the accusations have been aimed at Mon Mothma’s head like turning rifles: She is weak on military presence and now she’s injured, how can she truly lead us? Leia and Han came back bringing a much-needed—if illegal and unexpected— victory for the New Republic at a time when it badly needed it. Yes, Chandrila was attacked. But they saved Kashyyyk. They ran off the Empire and liberated the Wookiees. It was a win. And it stopped the Senate from hemorrhaging loyal senators.
She starts to say, “If we could aid rebels on each of these worlds—”
“Mum,” T-2LC chimes in, literally thrusting his copper-shine protocol droid head in front of her. “You have a call.”
“I’ll take it here.” She settles back down into the couch, then swipes the star map off the projector. A new image replaces it: the face of Norra Wexley. Once a pilot for the Rebellion, and recently the leader of a team of “Imperial hunters,” tracking down the Empire’s many war criminals when they fled to various corners of the galaxy to hide. She had helped Leia in a different capacity, finding her missing husband and helping Han free Chewbacca and his planet from the Empire. Now, though? Norra is out there looking for prey most elusive: Grand Admiral Rae Sloane.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Empire's End was a winning finale to an otherwise average series. Rather than start again from scratch, Wendig immediately begins building on the momentum he had at the end of Life Debt, and finally answers some burning questions about the formation of the New Republic and the fate of Palpatine's Empire. The writing is better, the energy is high and the payoff is huge. You'll notice negative reviews get hung up on the "agenda." These people are unable to stomach a gay secondary character who happens to be one of thr most compelling parts of the book. I guess if you've made it to 2017 without beimg able to get over yourself, then yeah, probably seek entertainment elsewhere. For the rest of you, don't miss the finale of the Aftermath trilogy.
There is plenty of plot resolution, but one still wonders about the origins of characters in episode 7.
This is by far the second best book I've ever read. (2nd to Jurassic Park, but it's hard to beat that one) Overall, It's a great story and the ending is incredible. This helps explain all the imperial wreckage on Jakku better than any other Star Wars book or video game.
A great end to the newest trilogy! If you are wondering how the galaxy came to be in the state in was in in Episode VII The Force Awakens, this trilogy will answer that question (while still saving some mysteries to be explored later). I grew to care about all the new characters introduced here, and none of them felt like copies of previous Star Wars characters. I would definitely recommend this if you are a Star Wars fan.
Great story by kameron martin
An excellently written series
The best book in the Aftermath Trilogy, but that's not saying much. Both Wendig's signature use of the present tense and childish dialog are present here. HOWEVER, this time there are stand out moments that make this book bearable. While Norra Wexly is technically the pain protagonist I found myself rooting for trilogy's previous villain turned anti hero Grand Admiral Sloane. She is easily the most well written and interesting character of the trilogy, and she steals the book with her personal story of trying to get revenge and save the thing she loves. If I had to thank Wendig for anything, it would be bringing Rae Sloane out of relative obscurity. For most of the book Gallius Rax feels more like an asset than an actual villain, as his actions very intentionally make the Empire weaker and easier for the New Republic to destroy. However, once you get his back story he actually becomes a fairly compelling villain (especially compared to the Saturday morning cartoon villain on Kashyyyk in Life Debt), and the reason given for why he's intentionally destroying the Imperial Remnant actually makes sense. The Battle of Jakku is the highlight of this book and learning about the context of the battle that created the backdrop for the Force Awakens is pretty much worth the price of admission on its own. Although, the battle does differ from how it was briefly described in Lost Stars, but not enough to be a major lore contradiction. On that note there is no mention or even reference to the events that took place during the finally of Lost Stars (despite the cover of the book presumably showing Cienna Ree's Star Destroyer), which is both sad for fans of that book and a missed opportunity to make the Star Wars Universe feel more interconnected. The ending was probably my favorite part of book. Not just because it was finally over, but also because of what happened and what future stories it could lead to (provided they're done by a different author). I'm not going to say anything about what happens, but if you're a fan of Grand Admiral Sloane, then you'll love the ending. Lastly I wanna give an honorable mention to an interlude that showed us Jar Jar Binks is alive and well post episode VI. For as controversial as Jar Jar, Wendig uses him to create a brilliant meta commentary on fan opinions of his character. Does mean I want to see any more of him? Probably not, but who knows. Really, this is the only Aftermath book worth reading. I would recommend it to people who are curious about the Battle of Jakku, but even then I would first tell them to read Lost Stars and tell them to just read summaries of first two books. It has all the bad writing and unlikable to semi-likable characters that the other two books had, as well as relations between the main characters and classic Star Wars characters that it make the book seem more like a fan fiction at times, but stand out moments just manage to pull this book out of terrible and into good. However, it is just GOOD.
Enjoyed the first two books, but I couldn't stick with the characters anymore. They felt out of place and not relatable anymore. Didn't feel like a Star wars novel.
poorly written garbage.
It has nothing to do with the force awakens written by the worst author ever and I only have the sample all I use this book for is the timeline and im ignoring this suckin trillogy and reading bloodline which is more exciting than this lets here it for the worst author ever author ever chuck wendig or should I say jar jar wendig his ideas are horrible don't buy this book or get the sample I can't even read the sample or force myself from now on im looking at the reviews before I read it