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Star Wars: Aftermath novel will connect Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens

Last week brought some big news out of the Star Wars universe with Disney and LucasFilm revealing the title for the first standalone film, Star Wars: Rogue One. Just a few days later, Star Wars is back in the headlines with yet another big announcement, but this time it’s tied to the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and how it will connect with the established franchise continuity.

This week, LucasFilm and Del Rey Books revealed the title and synopsis for an upcoming novel set within the Star Wars universe that will bridge the gap between 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and this year’s follow-up film, The Force Awakens, set many years after the events of its predecessor.

Related: Disney lays out Star Wars: Episode VIII release date, confirms Rogue One

Here’s the official synopsis for Star Wars: Aftermath, which will be written by Blackbirds and Under the Empyrean Sky author Chuck Wendig and is slated to hit shelves this September:

The second Death Star has been destroyed. Rumors are flying that the Emperor and his enforcer, Darth Vader, are dead. A new government is forming to replace the Empire. But the galaxy is a big place, and the fallout of this cataclysm will affect different worlds in different ways. Does everyone accept the fall of Imperial rule? Has everyone even heard the life-altering news? What rushes in to fill the vacuum the Empire has left? And who will try to stop them?

The novel is one of more than 20 upcoming novels, comic books, and other media LucasFilm plans to release that span the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and is expected to feature a mix of classic characters, new characters, and some of the characters making their big-screen debuts in The Force Awakens.

“My earliest — and still one of my best — movie-going experiences as a kid was being a four-year-old watching The Empire Strikes Back at a drive-in theater with my sister,” wrote Wendig in a statement accompanying the announcement. “My jaw dropped and I don’t think I’ve found it, yet. Those movies opened up a world for me, and my love of storytelling comes from them and from the galaxy of smaller, connected stories, too — from the toys to the games to the books. In fact, one of the first novels I ever read was the novelization of A New Hope. I have a son who will in a few short months be my age when I saw Empire, so to be involved with the Star Wars universe just as the new film is coming out — it feels like not only something akin to kismet, but a great and powerful privilege.”

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will arrive in theaters December 18.

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