The newest Star Wars novel, Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End is out today, completing trilogy by writer Chuck Wendig (and it's very good, see our full review here). While the book ends not just a trilogy, but effectively ends an entire era of Star Wars storytelling, it is also a beginning in a lot of ways. That's because it's chock full of little story hints and beats about the Star Wars galaxy. There are moments for your favorite characters (and your not-so-favorite), there are revelations about the Force, and even some insight into the First Order ahead of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
With SPOILERS ON in full force, we take a look at the five biggest revelations in Aftermath: Empire's End, and where we might see the continuation of some of those stories.
And as an aside, this is by no means a comprehensive list of major revelations, just the five biggest. Read the novel, on sale now, for tons more.
Waroo, Son of Chewbacca
In one of the earliest Interlude chapters, we head to Kashyyyk, where Chewbacca stayed behind to help complete the freeing of his world from Imperial remnants after the events of the last book, Life Debt. Chewie isn't the star of the chapter, though; instead, it's Lumpawaroo. And yes, Star Wars fans who are chuckling with glee, he is in fact the son of Chewbacca, being brought officially into canon. Does this make the "Star Wars Holiday Special" and the Life Day song canon? Probably not, but it sure does in my head. Rrraugrah!
Jar Jar the Clown
This one, sadly, was spoiled before the book hit shelves, but reading it for yourself is essential. It's one of the most heartbreaking moments in the book, and again it's in an early interlude chapter. Yes, Jar Jar Binks is still alive, having made it through the dark times and the Galactic Civil War, but no, no one is giving him any respect. No one, that is, but a young, burned orphan boy named Mapo. He's living on the streets in a city on Naboo, working as a clown, exiled from his home with the other Gungans and not welcomed by most humans on Naboo for his "big mistakes" when the Empire was forming.
Oh... oh no. People are going to continue with the Jar Jar is a Sith Lord theory and now say Mapo is his apprentice and is Supreme Leader Snoke, aren't they? Wendig! What have you done?!
Journal of the Whills Excerpt
When Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker he didn't exactly lie to him about Darth Vader "killing" his father, he said it was true, "from a certain point of view."
As it turns out, he wasn't just justifying a lie, he was actually quoting from a text that many who respect and worship the Force derive their beliefs from, the closest thing to a holy book to the Jedi, the Journal of the Whills. In Empire's End, while pilgrims are trying to return Kyber crystals to the world of Christophsis, one watches a hologram of a reading from the Journal, and it's a poem, which ends in the line, "The Force binds us all from a certain point of view."
It's a nice call-out, that also helps to explain one of the more questionable moments of Obi-Wan Kenobi nicely. It's also just fun for Star Wars geeks to get ANYTHING out of the Journal of the Whills.
The Gray Force - Canonized
From the same interlude chapter (told you those interludes are full of good stuff), when the final surviving pilgrim gets to the cave where the crystals belong, he gets trapped there. This devotee of the Church of the Force, on what he considers a holy mission, knows that he's now entered his final moments. He listens to the holodisk again, the preaching of the Church. They talk about the lightsaber, and the Kyber crystals, and those that were taken to power the Death Stars (the "legacy of Galen Erso, the legacy of Orson Krennic, of Tarkin and the Sith," incidentally).
As Addar, the young pilgrim, resigns himself to his fate, it says, "where he will join soon with the living Force, all hail the light, the dark, and the gray."
Yes, the gray. This follows a lot of "balance" talk over the course of the last couple of years in Star Wars, from Rebels to Rogue One, from novels to comics. The idea of balance has reigned supreme for the last year, and now there's even an in-universe, canon character recognizing that the Force is not just two sides, but there's a middle, an intersection where light and dark can meet. It's not unlike the message of the Bendu, but this is the first time that "Gray" has been used to describe it.
Thrawn and the First Order?!
MASSIVE SPOILERS AHOY
The end of the book sees the tiniest bit of Imperial remnants leave the core galaxy, and head to the Unknown Regions. Where did they get the idea to head to that corner of space?
"Palpatine had one in the navy who knew something of the Unknown Regions: Admiral Thrawn."
Now, we're going to get more of Thrawn's origin story in just a couple of months when the Thrawn canon novel comes out from his creator Timothy Zahn, but it's still pretty great to have a specific tie to the fate of the Empire. the Empire is reborn as the First Order specifically because Thrawn had knowledge of the Unknown Regions that he was able to pass along. That means the First Order literally wouldn't exist without Thrawn. Boom.