10.24am

Looking back on my childhood, I remember clearly the day that mum came home with a VHS player. For me at the time it was mind blowing. Not only did it mean we could rent movies to watch, but we could record things off the television and watch them again and again.

Each Saturday morning was filled with one of six movies that had been taped from TV, and so began my love affair with movies.

Three of those six movies were the Star Wars trilogy (the other three were the Indiana Jones trilogy), so it’s fair to say that Star Wars has been a big part of my life, and I am peeing in my pants excited about the impending release of The Force Awakens.

Adding to that excitement is the release of the new canon books that help to fill the gaps between movies and trilogies. The first of these is Aftermath by Chuck Wendig.

Want to know what Han and Leia got up to after the second Death Star was destroyed? Want to know  what happened to Luke after he left the Ewok village? What about Lando? Chewie? Exactly none of these questions are answered in this book. Oh wait, there are about three pages where Han and Chewie turn up out of the blue and are then never heard from again. Wedge makes an appearance, as does Admiral Ackbar, but they are nothing more than side characters. Rather, the book introduces new characters and stories. It’s quite entertaining and moves along at a good pace and has a lot of that good ol’ Star Wars charm, but I have to say it was disappointing to not have any of the main characters be involved or have anything to do with any part of the plot.

Like I said, it is a good read and I blazed through it in a week and a half, but it did feel like something was missing. I think that what makes it suffer is that the main storyline is broken up with interlude chapters that introduce a lot of new characters and planets (including Jakku) but does nothing with them. I can only assume that they will have some importance in books to come, but as far adding to the main storyline, there is no connection. It was like watching a movie that was interrupted every seven minutes by a trailer for upcoming sequels, and simply became annoying rather than building anticipation or wonder about what lies ahead. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was here and there like a tease, but it took up a lot of the page count and really began to feel like it was just filler by the end. Honestly without all the interludes, I reckon the book would probably have been just over half as long.

Whenever it is that the other books come out (the book is the first part of a trilogy) I will read them so that I can continue to fill the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. I do hope however that they start getting a little more meatier and bring in the main characters.

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