New Excerpt from “Empire’s End”, Chuck Wendig’s Conclusion of the “Aftermath” Trilogy!

IO9 has an exclusive excerpt from the third and final novel from the Aftermath trilogy written by Chuck Wendig. The events in the novels take place between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and are the first canon material that explains what happened in the galaxy far, far away after the battle of Endor.



Here’s a part of the excerpt via IO9:


“Lobot, we’re home.” Lando lifts a dubious eyebrow as he looks around, exasperated. “Guess the Empire didn’t keep up with house­keeping.”
This is the Casino level. Game machines line the smooth blue alac­tite floors far as the eye can see. Sabacc tables, too. And pazaak. And jubilee wheels. Along the far wall are banks of holoprojectors meant to show the latest swoop race down on the track-tubes piped through Bespin’s toxic Red Zone atmosphere. Once, this was a shining pillar of gambling excess: classy and bright with light coming in through win­dows looking out over the sun-kissed clouds. Now it’s wrecked. Trash drifts and tumbles. Machines have been turned over, their credits cut from inside like food from a beast’s belly. The windows are covered over with metal. The holoprojectors are dark. Lobot steps up alongside Lando. The computer forming a half-moon around the back of the man’s bald head blinks and pulses, and at Lando’s wrist is a communication from his friend and cohort:

I’ll look into rehiring staff immediately.

“Do that,” Lando says. Then he thrusts up a finger. “Ah. But make sure we’re hiring some refugees, will you?” The galaxy’s like a cup that’s been knocked over, and now everything’s spilling out. Whole worlds have been displaced by the war. Lando can’t let Cloud City turn from being a city of luxury to being a tent city of expats and evacuees, but he can damn sure give those people jobs. That’s his fa­vorite kind of arrangement: the kind where everybody gets something for their trouble. They win. He wins. The ideal for how everything should work.

Cloud City was always that, for Calrissian. It was a respite—a ref­uge from the Empire while at the same time not existing to spite the Empire, either. He thought, Hey, everybody can be happy, baby. The Empire didn’t have to care. The rebels didn’t need to care. Cloud City could hang in the air above Bespin, separate from all the chaos, from all the strife. Come here, taste a little luxury. Meanwhile, he could mine the Tibanna gas, sell it to whatever starship manufacturer wanted it (the stuff was perfect for making hyperdrives, because with Tibanna, a little went a long way). Meanwhile, Lando could sit back, have a drink, roll some dice, find a lady or three.

Yeah. It didn’t work out that way.

He knows now: In a war like this one, you don’t get to be in the middle. You can’t play both sides. He’d lived his whole life shooting right down the middle, never taking up a cause except the one meant to support his own empty pockets. Those days are over and so is his love of sweet neutrality. When Vader came here, everything changed. He lost Han, for a time. He lost Lobot and Cloud City. He lost nearly everything.

But he gained a little perspective.

And he picked a damn side. Because sometimes, you want to win, you gotta bet big. You gotta put your stack of chits in one place.

It paid off. The Empire is gone. And now he’s a hero of the Rebel­lion (and oh, you can be sure he used that to con more than his fair share of free drinks, not to mention the attention of beautiful admir­ers). But all he wants is his city back. After Endor, he thought he would just be able to sweep in here like a handsome king retaking his throne in the sky—but then that son-of-a-slug Governor Adelhard formed the Iron Blockade. He kept the people here trapped not only by a well-organized Imperial remnant, but also by a grand lie: that Palpatine was not dead. And Lando knows that old shriveled cenobite is dead—because he’s the one who took out the Death Star’s reactor core. And because Luke said the monster was dead. Can you believe it? Palpatine and Vader. Both gone. Two scourges, scoured from the galaxy.

Suddenly he had a second war to fight. Here he thought the Empire was done for and Cloud City was once again his. What an eager fool. Nothing’s ever that simple, is it? It took months and months. He had to stage an uprising. Had to interface with Lobot on the inside. Had to cash in favors with a handful of scoundrels—like Kars Tal-Korla, that pirate. All because the New Republic wouldn’t commit a military ac­tion to retaking the city. He respects it, he understands it, and Leia put it best when she said, “The Rebellion was easy, Lando. Governing’s harder.” The chancellor was just trying to hold on to whatever advan­tage she had—and then with the Liberation Day attack on Chand­rila . . .

Well. All that is over and done. No need to dwell.

Cloud City is his once again. Lando starved out Adelhard. Most of the Imperials surrendered. It’s over. Thank the lucky stars….



For the full excerpt from the novel make sure to visit  IO9

Aftermath: Empire’s End will be released on February 21.



And here’s a bit of a clarification from LFL’s Story Group member Leland Chee:




Star Wars: Uprising was a mobile game that got cancelled a few months ago.



Website | + posts

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.

Born on April 24, 1980.

Val Trichkov (Viral Hide)

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

46 thoughts on “New Excerpt from “Empire’s End”, Chuck Wendig’s Conclusion of the “Aftermath” Trilogy!

  • February 1, 2017 at 12:57 am

    I hate when preaching about current events gets sucked into my Star Wars.

    • February 1, 2017 at 3:23 am

      Agreed. Wendig is terrible at separating the real world from the Star wars galaxy.

    • February 1, 2017 at 4:05 am

      Why Lucas was smart about SW and it’s lasted so long because he was vague enough not to pin it down with early 70’s references so every generation can enjoy it.

      It’s the difference between a good writer and a hack.

    • February 1, 2017 at 4:40 am

      What…did the Empire get taken over by a daft, orange ass-hat w/ a bad comb-over or something since the last book?

      • February 1, 2017 at 5:54 am

        it was strange, but the galaxy really seemed to rally behind the slogan of make the empire great again. i hear they are building a new super weapon bigger than the death star and are going to make the new republic pay for it.

        • February 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          You jest, but that is exactly the kind of thing I expect Wendig to put in his novels.

          • February 1, 2017 at 9:17 pm

            Idk, if he wants to embarrass himself I’ll just roll my eyes and continue on. Now if this was in one of the films I’d take it more seriously.

    • February 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      He did that? That’s pretty pathetic. Those people need to go grab their real world agenda and keep it out of Star Wars, for goodness’ sake.

    • February 1, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      YEAH! Since when have real world politics ever played a part in Star Wars? Bunch of hippies! A New Hope didn’t have anything to do with Vietnam or Imperialism. Nor was it a commentary on nature vs. technology in any way. I don’t care what people say there’s no connection between the cowardly and greedy Senator Lott Dod and real life senators Trent Lott and Chris Dodd. Get out of my Star Wars current events!!!!

      • February 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

        Yeah…I didn’t like the PT either…so…But even then, the parallels to current events in the PT were weak at best. He hit on themes more than anything else.

        As for ANH…trying to tie that to the current events of the 70s was the exact opposite of what Lucas intended. It’s revisionist history. Lucas was intentionally ignoring current events so as to keep his movie upbeat and fun and timeless. There are parallels of course, but those are unavoidable.

        What Wendig did here is weigh in on the current refugee crisis and the supposed merits of hiring refugees. Whether you agree with him or not, It’s distracting to the story. All he had to do was omit that paragraph and he would have been fine. But instead he chose to break immersion and preach to the reader.

        • February 1, 2017 at 8:59 pm

          You’re wrong. Someone help this man find a book that’s less challenging to his sensibilities than Aftermath. Preferably something without gender neutral space pirates.

          • February 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm

            Don’t be an idiot. I really like Life Debt and I’ll probably like Empire’s End. Cramming overt references to current events and politically-charged topics into a universe that is supposed to be timeless is distracting. If you’re not distracted by it, good for you. Many people are.

  • February 1, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Still holding out a fools hope for Lando to appear in episode 8, but if not please have him cameo in episode 9. Obviously don’t force him in if it dosn’t serve the story, but hes one of my favorite characters and less than a year away from our second film in the trilogy and not a whisper of Billy Dee. I’m hoping they are just keeping it hushed for the surprise but idk at this point.

    In regard to the excerpt itself, I like it. Never read either of the aftermath books, but maybe ill grab auidobooks for the trilogy if this one gets good reviews.

    • February 1, 2017 at 4:03 am

      Still never got a reason why he isn’t/wasn’t. I figured it was due to bad health but he has no problems going into the studio to do voiceover work for Rebels/video games.

      It’s not like Lando was ever the star or did a ton of action either outside maybe Jedi. I’d be okay with him doing an Ackbar sized cameo if he isn’t in good enough shape to do more.

  • February 1, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Returing to cloud city sounds great. This series started out very rocky but this looks like a great ending.

  • February 1, 2017 at 3:05 am

    These might be okay books to get kids into reading, but I’ve gotta laugh when I see adults going ape-shit over what’s basically the Star Wars equivalent of YA / Twilight-ish novels. Even funnier is seeing the Collider shills peddling this crap as if it’s literature (although they are the same folks who produce a 20-minute after-show for a 20-minute kids’ cartoon).

    • February 1, 2017 at 3:23 am

      You’re clearly an ignorant person. The Collider crew are not fans of the Aftermath series in general, so I’d hardly call it “peddling”. Lost Stars is a different animal but you probably haven’t read that one, so….

        • February 1, 2017 at 3:45 am

          Oh no! NOT AN INTERVIEW!!

          • February 1, 2017 at 3:58 am

            You lost me with the all-caps maneuver, homie. Sorry if my dissent goes against the rest of the hive mentality, but I’ve gotta call it like it is — these books are mediocre at best. And… you can’t trust “reviewers” like the one I posted above — because they’ll shit all over a book until they land an interview with the author, and then they suddenly change their tune.

          • February 1, 2017 at 4:18 am

            I agree that the Aftermath books are mediocre, but they don’t represent all new canon Star Wars novels. Sorry if there was a misunderstanding.

          • February 1, 2017 at 4:47 am

            I sorta like the mortar in between the cracks within these books, especially the former Palpatine advisor (Yupe Tashu) who (I think) is absolutely planting the seeds for Snoke’s backstory w/ this line: “Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our maps was where his power came from. Over the many years, he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the Dark Side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.”

          • February 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

            The first book was bad, the second was good.

            There: nuance.

    • February 1, 2017 at 4:00 am

      The sad part is that it’s actually being marketed as adult fiction even though the actual YA SW novels are the best thing about the Disney canon EU.

      • February 2, 2017 at 2:20 am

        Agreed. Ahsoka and Lost Stars are infinitely better.

    • February 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      That’s just arrogance. Not everything is Tolstoy and Shakespeare. And not everything needs to be. Within the overall discussion of Star Wars books, I think it’s generally understood where these works stand in the spectrum of the western literary canon. Poo-pooing a Star Wars book because you don’t find it literary enough makes you sound more than a bit silly. Even more so because you’re doing it on a Star Wars fan forum.

    • February 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Climb down from you’re high horse, nerd. You’re an adult (presumably) that hangs out in a Star Wars discussion board. A New Hope ain’t Citizen Kane but you’re not a troglodyte if you enjoy it. Same goes for the books.

  • February 1, 2017 at 4:01 am

    I never thought of this till now but does the EU even exist anymore? I mean I know the 1976-2012 one is dead but since everything is canon now doesn’t it all count as one big never ending story?

    • February 1, 2017 at 4:06 am

      If the novelizations of the movies contradict the canon of the films themselves (which they do), can you really consider anything outside of the films as being canon? (That’s a rhetorical question btw. Whatever is or isn’t canon can still be bent at the will of the filmmakers to serve the bigger story.)

      • February 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm

        Yes, b/c what is canon is what storytellers have to account for. They will always defer to the movie in the case of a novelization, but they have to account and be beholden to any book or comic as well.

    • February 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      There is no EU, you are right. It’s all Star Wars now.

  • February 1, 2017 at 5:08 am

    bleh, i wanted to find out what happened to Adelhard through Uprising…i haven’t been able to get into Aftermath…doesn’t work for me. I DO like the Bloodline book, that was fantastic in my opinion.

    • February 1, 2017 at 5:42 am

      life debt is much better if you want to just skip to that one, plus you won’t miss anything of note.

      • February 1, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Exactly. Think of The first one as the team-builder episode.

  • February 1, 2017 at 5:33 am

    I’m looking forward to it. I am in the minority, but I love the Aftermath book series. They are some of my favorite books of the new canon. Don’t get me wrong; the first book is quite flawed. It’s narrative I find very paper thin and the characters are decent with them coming together at the end.

    But what I liked was how we got to see what the galaxy was post ROTJ. The small interlude stories were fascinating. Heck, a part of me wished that the first book could have just been those kinds of stories. A good world building book. And in legends, I can easily see this book slotting in before the events of the Thrawn trilogy. But that is my own head canon.

    The second Aftermath I enjoyed. It was a massive improvement. And while a bit slow at the middle, I enjoyed the ending. And now, for this book, I’m looking forward to this. We’re finally going to get more details on Jakku.

    Something I wished that TFA could have alluded to. But I’m grateful nevertheless. Overall, I may not agree with Chuck Wendig’s personality and mindset. But for me personally, I’ve been enjoying the Aftermath books and look forward to reading the final book. 🙂

    • February 1, 2017 at 6:42 am

      Worry not Neil. I thought his writing was strange in the first quarter of the first book, but I ended up really enjoying the story. Haven’t read the second book yet.

      • February 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm

        You should read it. It is a lot better. I think a lot of people were thrown off by Aftermath being written in present tense. It is a very odd choice as most books are written in past.

        Maybe, that comes from Wendig as a screenwriter, as I know that most screenplays are written in present tense.

  • February 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    HA! a Hellraiser reference in Star Wars, what a great time to be a geek and alive.

  • February 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I’m really looking forward to this book. Aftermath was fine Life Debt was great and hopefully this can be the peak of the series. I would love to see Luke pop up for a while in this final story, but I don’t expect him to appear.

  • February 1, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    As with the last two books, I’ll be buying this book to fill in more blanks in the Skywalker saga, and the galaxy-at-large. I have absolutely zero interest in Nora, Sinjir, or any of the other new characters (whos names I can’t remember) except for Sloane.

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