Happy “Force” of July – Star Wars News & Notes

Happy 4th of July weekend! Exciting Star Wars news was unveiled this week that hints at what occurred after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and leads up to Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It’s a small taste of what’s to come as we approach the film’s December release, and each little morsel of information leaves me hungry for another taste! Luckily, starting this September we’ll be getting more and more morsels to chew on and savor.

The buildup to The Force Awakens’ will include new novels, comics, and games that start filling in the mysterious events that happened after the destruction of the second Death Star. This collection of media called Journey to the Force Awakens will include the novel Aftermath and Shattered Empire from Marvel comics. The plot synopsis from the comic gives us our first look at the state of the Star Wars universe after the Emperor’s death:

“Emperor Palpatine’s twenty-year reign of terror came to an abrupt and fiery end in the skies above the forest moon of Endor. A decisive victory for the Rebel Alliance, to be sure, but even with the loss of its leadership, the Empire’s Moffs and regional governors retained their hold on important systems from the Core to the Outer Rim, thanks to the might of the Imperial Starfleet. Now, with a power vacuum atop the Empire, those Moffs will jockey for position and control, and the heroes of the Rebel Alliance will soon discover that a wounded and fractious Empire may be more dangerous than any threat they faced before!”

Shattered Empire Cover Art
Shattered Empire Cover Art

A couple of things worth noting about this synopsis. First, this description of the universe isn’t dramatically different from the first Expanded Universe (EU), which is now Star Wars Legends. Those novels and comics say the Rebel Alliance battled scattered Imperial elements, including Gilad Pellaeon, Admiral Daala, and Grand Admiral Thrawn. The big difference so far is the emphasis on the Moffs. The original Star Wars trilogy rarely touched on them after Grand Moff Tarkin’s death in Episode IV: A New Hope. New materials though, such as recent novels and Star Wars Rebels, have placed a greater emphasis on the Moffs’ roles within the Empire. Shattered Empire’s state of the universe paints a picture in which the Moffs are battling both the Rebel Alliance and themselves. Which faction(s) manage to survive both those enemies, which I assume will likely become The Force Awakens’ First Order, must be both competent and ruthless. No more stormtroopers that lose to walking teddy bears or Star Destroyers that can’t chase down the Millennium Falcon. I personally can’t wait to see how the new Star Wars universe is developing. I’m hungry, and September and then December can’t get here soon enough!

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