Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt

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Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt
Star Wars Aftermath Life Debt cover (2016).jpg
AuthorChuck Wendig
Audio read byMarc Thompson
Cover artistChristopher M. Zucker
CountryUnited States
SeriesStar Wars: Aftermath trilogy
GenreScience fiction
PublisherDel Rey Books
Publication date
July 12, 2016
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages448 (first edition, hardcover)
ISBN978-1-101-96693-8 (first edition, hardback)
Preceded byStar Wars: Aftermath 
Followed byAftermath: Empire's End 

Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt is a Star Wars novel by Chuck Wendig, published on July 12, 2016 by Del Rey Books. Set after the events of the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, Life Debt is the second of a planned trilogy that will explore the time period between that film and 2015's The Force Awakens.

The Aftermath series features the characters Wedge Antilles, an X-wing fighter pilot from the original Star Wars film trilogy, and Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane, introduced as a captain in John Jackson Miller's 2014 novel A New Dawn. Wendig also introduces several new characters, including ex-Rebel Alliance pilot Norra Wexley, her teenage son Temmin "Snap" Wexley, Temmin's rebuilt B1 battle droid Mister Bones, the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, and the Imperial turncoat Sinjir Rath Velus, one of the first gay characters in Star Wars canon.

Life Debt is the sequel to the 2015 novel Star Wars: Aftermath. The third and final book in the series, Aftermath: Empire's End, was published in 2017.


Former Rebel Alliance pilot Norra Wexley, her teenage son Temmin, the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, the former Imperial officer Sinjir Rath Velus, and the SpecForces officer Jom Barell have become a ragtag team working to collect Imperials whom the New Republic wants to bring to justice. Fresh from their latest mission, the team is asked by General Leia Organa to find her husband Han Solo, who has gone missing during a personal mission to free the Wookiees on the enslaved planet Kashyyyk. The group finds Han and helps him free an imprisoned Chewbacca and a score of longtime Imperial prisoners—among them Norra's husband, Brentin.

Under the secret guidance of the deceased Emperor Palpatine's former advisor, Gallius Rax, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane works to consolidate the remnants of the Empire's forces. Rax reveals the existence of an extensive Imperial fleet, and gathers a selective group of former imperials to form his "Shadow Council". Though their goals seem aligned, Sloane becomes increasingly distrustful of Rax as she begins to discover the extent of his machinations.

With the last minute aid of Leia, Wedge Antilles, and Admiral Ackbar, Han's team frees Kashyyyk from Imperial rule. Meanwhile, as the New Republic celebrates the liberation of the prisoners, Rax's insidious plan comes to fruition. Brainwashed to kill, Brentin and the other prisoners suddenly attack Chancellor Mon Mothma and other New Republic political and military targets, as well as civilians. Disgusted by Rax's tactics and realizing that her attaché Adea Rite is under his command, Sloane flees. Injured by Norra, she aligns herself with Brentin, who is desperate to avenge himself on Rax. They find Rax as he arrives at his homeworld of Jakku with his fleet.


Star Wars: Aftermath was introduced in March 2015 as part of the "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" publishing initiative, a series of novels and comic books intended to connect The Force Awakens with previous film installments.[1][2][3] Among the first releases, Aftermath was subsequently described as being set between the films Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.[4][5] In July 2015, Del Rey confirmed that Aftermath would be the first novel in a planned trilogy.[6] Aftermath was published on September 4, 2015,[5] and the titles for the other installments—Life Debt (2016) and Empire's End (2017)—were announced at the New York Comic Con in October 2015.[7] Life Debt was released on July 12, 2016.[8]


The Aftermath series features the characters Wedge Antilles, an X-wing fighter pilot from the original Star Wars film trilogy, and Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane, introduced as a captain in John Jackson Miller's 2014 novel A New Dawn.[9] Wendig introduces several new characters in Aftermath, including the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, ex-Rebel pilot Norra Wexley, Norra's teenage son Temmin "Snap" Wexley, Temmin's rebuilt B1 battle droid Mister Bones, and the Imperial turncoat Sinjir Rath Velus.[5] Introduced in the first installment Aftermath, SpecForces officer Jom Barell becomes a main character as a member of the team in Life Debt.[10] Acknowledging lesbian Moff Delian Mors from Paul S. Kemp's 2015 novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith as the first openly gay character in the Star Wars canon, Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly called Aftermath's Sinjir "the first major gay hero" in the franchise.[11] The novel also reveals the first name ("Armitage") and backstory of General Hux, a character introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[12][13][14] Temmin would go on to appear in the 2015 film The Force Awakens as an X-wing fighter pilot Snap Wexley, portrayed by Greg Grunberg.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

IGN's Jared Petty awarded the novel a score of 6.8 out of ten, saying "Star Wars Life Debt: Aftermath is an interesting but uneven return to a galaxy far, far away."[8]


  1. ^ Breznican, Anthony (March 9, 2015). "Star Wars to release 20 books in Journey to The Force Awakens". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "'Journey To Star Wars: The Force Awakens Publishing Program Coming Fall 2015" (Press release). March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Lussier, Germain (March 12, 2015). "Plot Descriptions of Upcoming Star Wars Novels Reveal New Characters". /Film. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  4. ^ Truitt, Brian (March 17, 2015). "Aftermath novel adds to Star Wars saga". USA Today. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Breznican, Anthony (September 4, 2015). "How Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath novel sets the stage for The Force Awakens". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  6. ^ Breznican, Anthony (July 10, 2015). "Chuck Wendig's Star Wars book Aftermath gets the trilogy treatment". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "NYCC 2015: Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt, Empire's End Revealed". IGN. October 11, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Petty, Jared (July 12, 2016). "Star Wars: Life Debt: Aftermath Review". IGN. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Breznican, Anthony (July 16, 2015). "Star Wars: Aftermath novel reveals tragic, violent uprising after Return of the Jedi". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  10. ^ Keane, Sean (July 12, 2016). "Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt is the best kind of sequel". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  11. ^ Breznican, Anthony (September 4, 2015). "Star Wars: Aftermath: Gay hero introduced in new story". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  12. ^ Armitage, Hugh (July 11, 2016). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens villain General Hux's full name has been revealed". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  13. ^ Libbey, Dirk (July 12, 2016). "Here's The Deal With That Creepy General Hux From Star Wars: The Force Awakens". CinemBlend. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  14. ^ Wilken, Selina (July 12, 2016). "Star Wars prequel book reveals General Hux's first name and backstory". Hypable. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  15. ^ Anderson, Tre'vell (December 16, 2015). "J.J. Abrams' good luck charm Greg Grunberg reveals his Force Awakens character Snap Wexley". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 16, 2015.

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