Life Debt: Aftermath (Star Wars)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the never-before-told story that began with Star Wars: Aftermath continues in this thrilling novel, the second book of Chuck Wendig’s bestselling trilogy.

It is a dark time for the Empire. . . . 

The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fights to restore a lasting peace to the galaxy, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt, by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee’s homeworld of Kashyyyk.
Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the Empire’s remaining leadership across the galaxy. Even as more and more officers are brought to justice, Sloane continues to elude the New Republic, and Norra fears Sloane may be searching for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. But the hunt for Sloane is cut short when Norra receives an urgent request from Princess Leia Organa. The attempt to liberate Kashyyyk has carried Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a band of smugglers into an ambush—resulting in Chewie’s capture and Han’s disappearance.
Breaking away from their official mission and racing toward the Millennium Falcon’s last known location, Norra and her crew prepare for any challenge that stands between them and their missing comrades. But they can’t anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them—or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs.

Praise for Aftermath: Life Debt

Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt has found its place at the top of all the new canon works. Simply, outstandingly great Star Wars.”—Star Wars Post
“[Chuck] Wendig once again strikes gold, offering a sweeping narrative with plenty of insight into both the state of the galaxy at large and beloved characters both new and old.”Alternative Nation
“With an intense plot, political intrigue and great characterization, Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt is an excellent read.”Flickering Myth

Praise for Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath
Star Wars: Aftermath [reveals] what happened after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi. It turns out, there’s more than just the Empire for the good guys to worry about.”The Hollywood Reporter
“The Force is strong with Star Wars: Aftermath.”—Alternative Nation
“The Star Wars universe is fresh and new again, and just as rich and mysterious as it always was.”Den of Geek

From the Hardcover edition.

Under the Cover

An excerpt from Life Debt: Aftermath (Star Wars)




Chapter One

leia paces.

The Chandrilan sun burns a bright line around her drawn shades. In the center of the room sits a blue glass holoplatform—­it remains quiet. She comes here every day at the same time waiting for a transmission. She should’ve heard from Han by now. He’s days past their scheduled talk and—­

The platform flickers to life.

“Leia,” says a shimmering hologram as it resolves from erratic voxels into the form of her husband.

“Han,” she says, stepping close into transmission range. “I miss you.”

“I miss you, too.”

The way he says it, though—­something’s wrong. There’s a dark edge to his voice. In it she senses desperation. No, not just that. Anger lurks there, too. The anger isn’t pointed at her. Even from here her feelings reach out and find him, and she senses an anger turning inward, like a knife twisted toward one’s own belly. He’s mad at himself.

She knows what he’s about to tell her.

“I still haven’t found him,” Han says. Chewbacca is missing. Two months back, Han told her that he had a shot to do what the New Republic wouldn’t: liberate Chewie’s home planet of Kashyyyk from the chains of the Empire. She told him to wait, to think about it, but he said the time was now and that an old smuggler had info—­a woman named Imra whom Leia told him not to trust.

Turns out, she was right.

“You still in the Outer Rim?” Leia asks.

“Edges of Wild Space. I have a few leads, but it’s not looking good.”

She pleads with him: “Come home, Han. I’m working on the Senate. If we can get them to vote, we can push on Kashyyyk—­and maybe find Chewbacca and the others in the process. Testimony from a general like yourself will help to sway them—­”

“It didn’t sway them before.”

“So we try again.”

The hologram shakes its head. “That’s not who I am. I’m not a general. I’m just some pirate.”

“Don’t say that. Everyone here knows how you led the Alliance team on Endor. They know you as a general, not as a—­”

“Leia, I resigned my commission.”


“I have to do this my way. This is on me, Leia. I have my job to do and you have yours. You take care of the Republic. I’ll find Chewie.”

“No, no, no, don’t you do this. I’ll come to you. Tell me where you are. Tell me what you need.”

A slow, sad smile spreads across the face of his flickering transmission. “Leia, they need you there. I need you there, too. I’ll be all right. I’ll find Chewie. And then I’ll come home.”

“You promise?”

“I pro—­”

But the hologram suddenly shakes—­Han turns his head sharply, as if surprised. “Han!” she calls.

“Son of a—­” he starts to say, but the image flickers again. “Under att—­” But the words break up, and then the image dissolves and he’s gone.

She feels her middle clench up. No. Again Leia paces, hoping he’ll come back, hoping that the interrupted transmission returns again and he tells her it was all a false alarm. She waits for minutes, then for hours, and then until night falls. The holoplatform remains dead.

Her husband is out there. She doesn’t know where.

And he’s in trouble.

She has to find him. Good thing is, she knows just who to ask.

- About the author -

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He’s the author of many novels, including Star Wars: Aftermath, Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt, Blackbirds, Atlanta Burns, Zer0es, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with his wife, son, and red dog.

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Life Debt: Aftermath (Star Wars)


Life Debt: Aftermath (Star Wars)

— Published by Del Rey —