Aftermath: Life Debt is a canon novel written by Chuck Wendig. It is the second book in Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy, which started with Aftermath, and was released on July 12, 2016. The title was given a paperback release on March 28, 2017.
The galaxy is changing, and with peace now a possibility, 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 home world of Kashyyyk.
Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of rebels pursue Admiral Rae Sloane and the remaining Imperial leadership across the galaxy. Sloane, increasingly wary of the mysterious fleet admiral, desperately searches for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. Even as Imperial forces fight to regain lost ground, Princess Leia and the New Republic seek to broker a lasting peace.
But the rebel's hunt for Admiral Sloane is cut short after the disappearance of Han Solo and Chewbacca. Desperate to save them, Leia conscripts Norra, Sinjir, Jas, and the rest of their team to find the missing smugglers and help them in their fight for freedom.
Three decades before 5 ABY, a twelve-year old Gallius Rax stumbles upon an excavation project in the deserts of the planet Jakku. The excavation party includes Adviser Yupe Tashu. He sneaks aboard a starship.
On the planet Chandrila, Senator Leia Organa talks with her husband Han Solo via hologram, who is searching for his co-pilot Chewbacca after being separated during a failed attempt to liberate the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. Leia wants to lobby the New Republic's Galactic Senate to liberate Kashyyyk and hopes that her husband, who is a General in the New Republic Defense Force, can sway the senators. However, Han has resigned his commission in order to find Chewbacca. He promises to come home but their conversation is interrupted. Leia realizes her husband is in trouble.
Meanwhile, the New Republic starfighter pilot Norra Wexley and her allies Jom Barell, former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus, and the bounty hunter Jas Emari infiltrate the palace of the Vorlaggn crime lord Slussen Canker on the planet Vorlag. The rebels are hunting down the former Imperial Vice Admiral Perwin Gedde as part of their campaign to hunt down Imperial fugitives. Norra's team has already snared six Imperial fugitives including Commandant Stradd, Prefect Kosh, Moffs Keong and Nyall, Vice General Adambo and the former Imperial Security Bureau minister Venn Eowelt. Their plan is to kidnap Gedde and then get her son Temmin Wexley to evacuate them in their ship Halo.
However, they are captured by Slussen's guards and Jas pretends to turn on her friends. The rebels are locked into cages which hang above several Hroth-beasts. Sinjir manages to free himself and his comrades using a key that Jas had attached to the neck of one of the beasts. Following a brief struggle, they managed to escape the dungeon by flinging rotten meat at the guards, who are then devoured by the Hroth-beasts. Using a lava tube, Nora and her team sneak into Gedde's room where they find that Jas has already disarmed the Vice Admiral, who is addicted to spice. The rebels then escape with the Admiral aboard the Halo. Their ship is pursued by TIE fighters but Temmin, who is training as a pilot, shoots down two of the fighters and they leave Vorlag.
Elsewhere, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, the command of the Imperial Navy and de facto leader of the Galactic Empire, gives a propaganda broadcast on behalf of the Office of Imperial Promotion, Galactic Truth, and Fact Correction (OIP), a remnant of the former Commission for the Preservation of the New Order (COMPNOR). Her chief information officer Ferric Obdur has also produced posters attacking the New Republic and the two discuss propaganda strategies. Sloane's aide Adea Rite, who had escaped from Akiva with the connivance of Fleet Admiral Rax, enters the room to inform her commander that the Fleet Admiral is requesting a meeting with Sloane.
Inside Rax's office, the Fleet Admiral likens his counter-strategy against the Empire to an opera play. Rax orders Sloane to fetch him Commandant Brendol Hux and his bastard son. Rax intends to establish a Shadow Council to guide the resurgence of the Empire from behind the scenes. Rax also advocates starting up a breeding program among the remnants of the Empire to build up their strength against the Republic. Due to her conversation with Rax, Sloane comes to distrust the Grand Admiral and his cult-like ideas. Later, Sloane meets with her aide Adea and orders her to commission an inventory of Imperial ships, arrange a meeting with the bounty hunter Mercurial Swift, and to write a draft for a new breeding program.
Later, Senator Leia and Chancellor Mon Mothma have a secret meeting with Grand Vizier Mas Amedda on Kolo-ha, an atoll on the ocean planet of Velusia. With Coruscant facing a civil war, Amedda offers to surrender himself to the New Republic. However, Leia and Mothma reject his offer and instead order him to find a way to secure the Empire's surrender.
Back on Vorlag, Jom and Norra angrily confront Jas Emari over her "betrayal" during the mission to kidnap Vice-Admiral Gedde. Jas admits planning to double-cross them but insists that she planned to double-cross Slussen and Gedde. Temmin admits being privy to Jas's plans which leads to a fight between Jom and Jas. However, the two quickly repair their relationship and fall in love. Norra and her team fly the Halo into Chandrila's Hanna City where Sinjir gets his wounded arm treated. Upon arriving, Temmin and his B1-series battle droid Mister Bones are greeted by the fighter pilot Wedge Antilles, who has become a mentor to Temmin. However, their reunion is soured by the news that Gedde died in transit; preventing the New Republic from interrogating him. Jas determines that the Admiral was poisoned with Kytrogorgia. Shortly later, Norra receives news that Princess Leia wants an audience with her.
In Leia's office, the Princess recounts how her husband Han Solo departed on a half-baked mission which turned out to be a trap set by the Empire. Chewbacca was captured and Han has since been trying to find his companion. Leia fears for her husband's safety and tells her that he was last sighted in the Outer Rim Territories near Wild Space. Norra agrees to help Leia, whom she respects.
Meanwhile, Grand Admiral Sloane travels incognito to the besieged galactic capital Coruscant, which is being held by a paltry Imperial Security Bureau fleet. Together, the two travel to the Hall of Imperial Register to search for records on the Empire's Super Star Destroyers. With the destruction of six Dreadnoughts in space battles with the Rebellion including Darth Vader's Executor, three in the hands of the New Republic, one captured by pirates, and two more lost in accidents, Sloane's Ravager is officially the only remaining Dreadnought in Imperial hands. However, Sloane discovers evidence that the Emperor's Super Star Destroyer Eclipse was not destroyed as claimed. She also finds an image of Palpatine, Grand Vizier Amedda, several now-dead Imperial officials and a mysterious boy.
On Coronet City in Corellia, the detective Erno questions a young teenaged boy who was caught spray-painting an image of the late Vader with the message "VADER LIVES". The boy is a member of a group called the Acolytes of the Beyond. When Erno tells the boy of Vader's death at Endor, the boy replies that death is not the end and calls himself Oblivion. While interrogating the boy, the Acolytes storm the Peace and Security station and attack the officers. The boy manages to escape and the desk officer Kiza identifies herself as a member of the cult. She uses a lightsaber to cut off one of his hands.
Back on Chandrila, Sinjir drinks caf with the New Republic slicer Conder Kyl and the two men develop feelings for each other. Two other patrons Mister Browscar and Miss Scowlface pick a fight with Sinjir for being an ex-Imperial. Sinjir wants to fight back but Conder convinces him to leave together in peace. Later, Sinjir returns and beats up Browscar and Scowlface, leaving them unconscious. He awakens from his drunken stupor to find Jas in the bar. When he confronts her about her earlier betrayal, she responds that she merely needed the Credits.
After exiting the Hall of Imperial Registry, Sloane is ambushed by several rebels, who want to take her prisoner. However, she is rescued by the bounty hunter Mercurial Swift and the two escape on a speeder. She then sends him on a mission to rescue Commandant Hux and his son from the planet Arkanis. Elsewhere, on the stolen Super Star Destroyer Annihilator, the pirate Eleodie Maracavanya watches as the ship's tractor beam hauls in a New Republic CR90 corvette. Later, the pirate addresses zher captives and offers them the opportunity to leave in escape pods or join zher crew. A rebellious young woman named Kartessa volunteers to join the pirate's crew and her reluctant mother comes along.
Meanwhile, Norra, her son, and her rebel team discuss several things including Gedde's poisoning and the missing Han Solo, who has resigned his commission as general. Jas reveals that she already knows the details about Solo's disappearance from her astute observations of current developments. The group also discuss Leia's pregnancy with Mister Bones breaking out into a song. In private, Jas proposes to Sinjir that they make money by charging Leia a high bounty to find her husband. On Coruscant, a despondent Mas Amedda attempts to kill himself but stops when he recognizes a crystal showing him Palpatine, several Imperial officials, and a mysterious boy. When Sloane inquires about the boy, Amedda reveals that the boy is none other than Fleet Admiral Rax. Sloane learns that droids containing Rax's secrets are in the wreckage of the Imperialis on Quantxi, the junk moon of Ord Mantell.
Elsewhere, Teven Gale and other members of the Alderaan Flotilla, a group of Alderaanians who survived the destruction of Alderaan, received large chunks of scraps from the destroyed Death Star. The Alderaanian survivors decide to use the pieces of the Death Star to build a space station. Meanwhile, Norra and Wedge Antilles travel on the Moth to the last known coordinates of Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Instead, they discover scrap and find themselves under attack by the Imperial Star Destroyer Scythe. Fortunately, they are rescued by two New Republic ships commanded by Commodore Kyrsta Agate.
Back on Chandrila, Sinjir and Temmin visit the Imperial prison to talk to some Imperial prisoners. They first meet General Jylia Shale, who has been housed in comfortable quarters in return for cooperating with the New Republic. She is unable to help them find Imperial fugitives but suggests that they talk to fellow inmate Adviser Yupe Tashu. Sinjir and Temmin find that the New Republic interrogators have been unable to break Tashu who is housed in a cage. Tashu is guarded by a blonde Chandrilan guard, who has been given orders not to open the cage. Still, Sinjir orders him to open the cage so that he can question Tashu.
Meanwhile, Jas Emari takes Jom Barell to her haunt on the moon Nar Shaddaa, which is a crime haven. Before they can leave, they are surrounded by several Nikto gangsters led by Underboss Rynscar, who has been sent by the Black Sun crime syndicate to collect Jas' debts. Jas manages to convince Rynscar to spare her life in return for paying twice what she owes. If she fails, she promises to turn herself in. Jas also asks for information about Han Solo from Rynscar. Rynscar tells Emari about a planet near Wild Space called Irudiru. Using this information, Jas contacts Sinjir who then asks Tashu about Irudiru. Tashu tells him that Irudiru is home to a prison maker.
Several days after the events on Coruscant, Grand Admiral Sloane convenes a meeting of Admiral Rax's Shadow Council. The members include Commandant Brendol Hux, Grand Moff Randd, General Hodnar Borrum, and Imperial propagandist Ferric Obdur. The Shadow Council members discuss the bleak state of the Empire and Brendol's son Armitage Hux. Obdur suggests that the Empire play the tune of the underdog. Pleased with the Shadow Council's ideas, Fleet Admiral Rax enters the chamber and reveals that he has amassed several Imperial fleets in six nebulae including the Vulpinus Nebula, the Almagest, the Recluse's Nebula, the Queluhan Nebula, the Ro-Loo Triangle, and the Inamorata. Despite the loss of key worlds including Kuat, Rax plans to use the Outer Rim worlds of Zhadalene, Korrus, and Belladoon as a cord to strangle the New Republic.
Elsewhere, Commodore Agate reprimands Norra for going on an unauthorized mission to find Han Solo. Norra and Wedge share drinks in anticipation for her meeting with Fleet Admiral Ackbar. While listening to the opera piece The Cantata of Cora Vessora, Fleet Admiral Rax and his lover Adea Rite discuss the recent destruction of the Star Destroyer Scythe. Rax rationalizes that the sacrifice of the Scythe was necessary because its Commander Valent was encouraging factionalism. Meanwhile, Sloane analyses communications from the Scythe and comes to suspect that Rax deliberately abetted the Star Destroyer's destruction by blocking its incoming messages and distress signals. She realizes that Rax is eliminating rivals including Commander Valent.
At Maz Kanata's castle on the planet Takodana, the Imperial Security Bureau Agent Romwell Krass Junior mourns the loss of his wife Yileen, his son Qarwell, and his father Romwell Krass Senior during a rebel uprising at the black-site prison on the Hyborean Moon. The New Republic fleet had bombarded his family's home. Seeking vengeance for his fallen family, Romwell attacks several New Republic pilots. The fight is broken up by Maz Kanata's droid ME-8D9. After separating him from the rebels, Maz talks to Romwell in private. While sympathetic to his pain, she explains that the scales are balanced. Instead of punishing him, Kanata counsels him to find peace for himself or no good will come to him.
Back on Chandrila's Hanna City, Lieutenant Norra, Temmin, Mister Bones, Sinjir, Jas Emari, and Jom Barell meet with Admiral Ackbar, Commodore Agate, Wedge, and Princess Leia. While Leia has taken the blame for Norra's actions, Admiral Ackbar orders Norra and her team to cease searching for Solo and to resume hunting Imperial war criminals. Unwilling to abandon her search, Norra resigns her commission in the New Republic Defense Fleet. She and her team resolve to find Han Solo.
Norra Wexley and her team travel to the planet Irudiru after learning that Han Solo and the Falcon were last spotted near Warrin Station. Based on the information that Sinjir had obtained from Tashu, Norra's team has decided to question the Siniteen prison designer Golas Aram, who has designed several prisons for the Empire. Aram's compound is well defended by ghosted lasers, land mines, turret-droids, and carnivorous thirstgrass. While surveying Aram's compound, the rebels encounter none other than Han Solo himself.
Norra's team and Han meet at a nearby cantina. Han reveals that Chewbacca has been imprisoned at the Imperial prison Ashmead's Lock on Kashyyyk and that he plans to question Aram on how to enter the prison. Mister Bones accidentally subdues Han after mistaking him for a threat. Unknown to them, they are being monitored by a Bith spy who works for Gallius Rax. Rax orders his spy to continue monitoring Norra's team and Han Solo.
Elsewhere, Princess Leia attends a high-level New Republic meeting with Admiral Ackbar, Mon Mothma, and the advisers Hostis Ij and Auxi Kray Korbin. Since the New Republic is preoccupied with other matters, Leia is unable to secure sufficient ships and military forces to liberate the Wookiees of Kashyyyk, who have been enslaved and brutalized by the Empire. While frustrated with the endless bickering of the New Republic leadership, Leia views it as a lesser evil to the authoritarianism of the late Emperor Palpatine. While meditating with a potted plant from Endor, Leia receives a revelation that the child in her womb will be a boy and a fighter.
Aboard the Ravager, Fleet Admiral Rax confronts Grand Admiral Sloane about their differences. He informs her that he is aware that she despises him. Rax also tells her that he has been made aware of her recent trip to Mas Amedda. Knowing that Sloane distrusts him, Rax pleads with her to give him a second chance and reveals that he plans to strike at Chandrila, the heart of the New Republic. While he is vague about the details, he tells her that "all the pieces are almost in place."
On Tatooine, Jabba's former bestmaster Malakili reflects on the death of his rancor Pateesa and the death of his master. Jabba's death has led to a civil war among the Hutts. After seeing the agonizing throes of the sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon, Malakili is ambushed by several Red Key Raiders, who work for a new mining conglomerate that is actually a front for a crime syndicate. Before the gangsters can kill him, he is saved by three individuals including a man in Mandalorian armor who calls himself Cobb Vanth, law man and de-facto mayor of Freetown and the Twi'lek Issa-Or. After learning that Malakili is a beastmaster, the two solicit his services in taming a pair of unruly rontos and a young Hutt. Rediscovering his sense of purpose, Malakili agrees to help but insists on treating the young Hutt as a sentient being rather than an animal.
Despite the "misunderstanding" with Mister Bones, Han Solo agrees to help Norra and her team infiltrate Aram's compound. After disabling Aram's droids and his landmines, Norra and her team manage to breach the Siniteen's residence. Jas and Sinjir manage to disable his house's power systems and Norra succeeds in stunning Aram. The captured prison designer is brought aboard the Halo where Sinjir proceeds to interrogate him. After Sinjir threatens to cause him brain damage, Golas Aram supplies them with information about Ashmead's Lock. As a result, Han befriends Sinjir and praises the former Imperial for his interrogation skills. After fetching supplies, Norra's team and Han depart for Kashyyyk.
Norra's team and Han Solo travel aboard the Millennium Falcon and the Halo to Kashyyyk, which has been reduced to a worldwide labor camp by the Empire called G5-623. The planet is blockaded by three Imperial Star Destroyers. The rebels managed to secure permission to land by posing as a repair team sent to service the automated prison Ashmead's Lock by Grand Admrial Sloane. However, Rear Admiral Urian Orlan contacts Grand Admiral Sloane to inform her about the two ships. She recognizes one of the ships as the Millennium Falcon and orders Orlan to send a team to investigate. However, Fleet Admiral Rax overrules her and instead orders Sloane to tell Orlan that they approved of the repairs at Ashmed's Lock. Despite the presence of the rebel team, Rax does not want to provoke the New Republic prior to their planned attack on Chandrila. Orlan then enlists Sloane's help.
The rebel ships approach Ashmead's Lock, which was an old Predori ship built during the days of the Old Republic. The ship had crash-landed on Kashyyyk millennia ago. The rebel team enters the prison only to be confronted by the ship's computer system Synthesized Operating Layer, Grid-Based Drive Array (SOL-GDA), which requests their passcode. When the rebels fail to supply the passcode, SOL-GDA sends droids to incorporate them into the prison. The rebels fight and flee the droids but Sinjir and Norra are captured. While being taken for processing, Norra discovers her husband Brentin Lore Wexley inside a stasis pod. At the urging of Temmin, Solo and Jas disable the cables connecting the power generator to the prison pods.
Elsewhere, in the city of Binjai-Tin on the planet Nag Ubdur, the Queen of the Core Network journalist Tracene Kane and her Trandoshan cameraman Lug are embedded with the New Republic Thirty-First. They are covering the battle between the New Republic and the Empire. After Lug is crushed to death by a stricken TIE fighter, an emotional Kane addresses the camera and gives a moving memorial speech devoted to her fallen friend. After SOL-GDA is disabled, Norra and her team free a hundred Rebel Alliance prisoners including Brentin and Chewbacca. However, this development pleases Fleet Admiral Rax who decides to proceed with his attack on Chandrila.
Meanwhile, Admiral Ackbar commands the successful New Republic assault on Kuat Drive Yards from aboard the MC80 Star Cruiser Home One. The sector governor Moff Pollus Maksim and the guild head of Kuat Drive Yards have just capitulated following a great fleet battle. Corresponding via hologram, Princess Leia congratulates the Fleet Admiral for his victory. Chancellor Mon Mothma joins the hologram conversation to inform them that they have received contact from the mysterious Operator. Grand Admiral Sloane poses as the Operator and offers to participate in peace talks on Chandrila.
Back on Kashyyyk, Norra, who has sustained broken ribs, leaves with her son Temmin, Mister Bones, and the hundred prisoners aboard the Millennium Falcon for Chandrila. Following a crammed space journey, the rebels and the liberated prisoners are greeted at Hanna City by Leia Organa and Wedge Antilles. Norra reassures Leia that her husband is safe. Back on Kashyyyk, Han, Chewie, Sinjir, Jas and Jom discuss their next plan: the liberation of the Wookiees on Kashyyyk. All the Wookiees on the planet have been implanted with inhibitor chips by Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck, who is hiding on an island fortress. Han, Chewie, and their comrades plan to disable the inhibitor chips.
A month after the liberation of Ashmead's Lock, Norra has found work as a shuttle pilot for the Galactic Senate. The Senate has arranged a meeting with Grand Admiral Sloane for the upcoming peace talks. Norra meets with her former commander Wedge to discuss the problems she has been having with her teenage son Temmin. Her son is upset because his father has been changed by his prison experiences. Norra herself senses that something is not right about her husband. Since Temmin has missed out on too many starfighter classes, he won't be taking part in the Liberation Day celebrations. Meanwhile, Temmin talks with his long-time companion Mister Bones and claims he is fine. However, the droid discerns that he is stressed about his father Brentin. Since his imprisonment, Brentin has been a shell of his former self.
At the Eleutherian Plaza outside the Senate Building on Chandrila, Mon Mothma is preparing for the celebrations and peace talks when Leia tries to lobby the Chancellor to launch an official incursion against Kashyyyk. Mothma fears that launching an attack on Imperial space would imperil the peace talks but Leia insists that the freedom and dignity of the Wookiees be a non-negotiable matter. Back at the Wexley family home, Norra meets with her moody son Temmin, who is eating a pakarna dish. Brentin's mental state has taken a toll on the relationship between mother and son. Temmin is disinterested in the starfighter lessons and the upcoming Liberation Day ceremonies.
On Kashyyyk, Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck hunts and kills a Wookiee near his island fortress. Later, he is briefed by his attache Odair Bel-Opis about the presence of an insurgent cell on the planet. After corresponding with Commandant Theodane Sardo via hologram, Grand Moff Tolruck receives a visiting dignitary sent by Grand Admiral Sloane named Lieutenant Jorrin Turnbull. Turnbull is interested in a captive that Tolruck's forces have recently captured: Jom Barell. While examining Wanted posters on a holoscreen, Tolruck realizes that the dignitary is actually the rebel fugitive and Imperial traitor Sinjir. Tolruck disables Sinjir by stabbing him in the calf with a kishakk blade.
Meanwhile, Han, Chewie, Jas and several insurgents including the former Wookiee slave Greybok, the Weequay Hatchet, and the Quarren Palabar survey the Imperial prison camp Camp Sardo from a Wroshyr tree. They intend to destroy the camp's deflector shield generator but come under attack from forest troopers. Meanwhile, Tolruck forces Sinjir to fight Odair for his amusement. Despite being beaten in the fight, Sinjir rolls a trick up his sleeve by revealing that he has smuggled a hyperwave transceiver spike inside his boot which neutralizes Tolruck's control module, that controls the Wookiee implant chips. This fries the Wookiee implant chips and sparks a mass planetwide uprising.
Despite being attacked by Imperials and a LAIT gunship, Jas manages to take out the shield generator with a slugthrower. The rebels then join forces with the liberated Wookiees. Back at Tolrucks's fortress, Odair is ripped apart by several enraged Wookiee slaves while Sinjir frees himself and Jom. The Wookiees quickly overwhelm the forest troopers and Imperial walkers at Camp Sardo. Jas and Hatchet fly the Halo and shoot down several Imperial LAIT gunships. Sinjir and Jom later confront Tolruck in his throne room but the Grand Moff reveals that he has ordered his Star Destroyers to launch an orbital bombardment of Kashyyyk. Tolruck is then killed by the former slave Cracktooth.
Elsewhere, on Darropolis on the planet Hosnian Prime, the New Republic soldier Dade Hetkins accepts a QT-9 prototype therapy droid instead of a "therapy" Ewok, deeming the creatures as smelly. Meanwhile on Chandrila, Princess Leia awakes from a nightmare to receive news from Conder Kyl that a New Republic probe droid in Kashyyyk has intercepted a transmission of a revolt on the planet and Grand Moff Tolruck ordering his fleet to commence orbital bombardment. While listening to an audio-play on the eve of the peace talks, Grand Admiral Sloane reflects on Rax's briefing that she would not be harmed during the attack and her dissatisfaction with the Empire's enslavement of its subjects.
After working on a valachord, Temmin and his dad Brentin take a stroll. Temmin soon finds his dad chatting with a Chandrilan Senate Guardsman. At the Guardman's orders, Brentin stuns his son and stuffs him inside a trunk. Meanwhile, Princess Leia convinces the Alderaanian pilot Evaan Verlaine to fly the Millennium Falcon to the Kashyyyk system. Back on Kashyyyk, Han and his rebel team come up with a dangerous plan to take out the orbiting Star Destroyers. Meanwhile on the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth, several Twi'lek resistance fighters including Yendor discover that the Empire has abandoned their garrisons. The rebels celebrate their victory and Yendor is nominated as the planet's ambassador.
While reflecting on her childhood, Grand Admiral Sloane arrives on Chandrila in a shuttle. She and her aide Adea are greeted by Chancellor Mon Mothma, who invites them to attend a party prior to the commencement of peace talks. Sloane is displeased that Adea has included the party in her schedule. Meanwhile, Norra and her husband Brentin prepare for the Liberation Day ceremonies, which they have been invited. Elsewhere, Temmin is freed from his trunk by Mister Bones. Together, they resolve to warn Norra that something is wrong with Brentin.
Above Kashyyyk, Sinjir, Han, Chewie, and their fellow rebels board the Star Destroyer Dominion with Webweaver spiders, which proceed to overwhelm the Imperials. They attempt to fight their way onto the bridge but are captured by stormtroopers. Back on Hanna City, Wedge receives a recorded message from Princess Leia requesting help from his squadron in Kashyyyk. Grand Admiral Sloane and her entourage watch the Liberation Day ceremonies with Chancellor Mothma when Wedge arrives and requests a private moment with the Chancellor. Offworld, Rax watches the proceedings on Hanna City via hologram and orders Grand Moff Randd to direct the Imperial fleets to certain coordinates.
Back on the Dominion, Han and his team confront Vice Admiral Domm Korgale. Before he can deal with them, Leia arrives in the Millennium Falcon with Wedge's Phantom Squadron and Admiral Ackbar's Home One. Han and his team break free of their restraints and overpower the Imperial crew and guards. Solo then uses the Dominion to destroy the Star Destroyer Vitiator. Meanwhile, the third Star Destroyer Neutralizer surrenders to Admiral Ackbar. Han and Leia experience a passionate reunion in the Dominion's hangar.
At Hanna City, Temmin and Mister Bones try to force their way through the Senate Guards but are denied admission. Meanwhile, Chancellor Mon Mothma begins a speech while Norra witnesses Mister Bones and Temmin fighting with the Senate Guards. Mothma's speech is interrupted when Brentin and the other liberated prisoners from Ashmead's Lock inexplicably open fire with three-shot hold-out guns. Norra manages to stop her husband from shooting Mothma. Liberation Day descends into chaos and Sloane quickly realizes that this was Rax's attack on Chandrila. When Sloane expresses disgust with Rax's actions, Adea attempts to assassinate her. Following a struggle, Sloane kills Adea and escapes the Old Gather-House.
Temmin confronts his father amidst the chaos. His father attempts to shoot him but Temmin fights back. Brentin manages to escape and punches his son before fleeing. Meanwhile, the rogue Senate Guard frees Yupe Tashu from his cell and informs him of the deaths of Shale, Arsin Crassus, and Valco Pandion. Norra tries to capture Sloane but the Grand Admiral escapes following a fist fight. While fleeing, she sustains a blaster bolt injury on her back but manages to escape New Republic custody.
On liberated Kashyyyk, Jas Emari tells Sinjir of her plans to leave the team in order to pay her debts. She intends to work for both the New Republic and criminal organizations. With Sinjir wanting to rejoin Norra, Jas offers to fly him back to Chandrila in the aftermath of Liberation. Jas also bids Jom farewell. Meanwhile, Han, Leia and Chewie learn about the attack on Chandrila and Leia makes preparations to return there. Han convinces Chewie to stay behind to reunite with his family.
Sloane escapes Chandrila on a cargo ship and flees into space. She soon discovers that a vengeful Brentin has stowed aboard. Despite a hostile initial encounter, the two agree to work together to stop Gallius Rax since they share a common enemy. Sloane is then contacted by Mercurial Swift, who has traveled to Quantxi and found that Rax has a connection to the desert world of Jakku. Meanwhile, on the Ravager, Rax takes command of the Shadow Council in Sloane's alleged death and names himself Counselor to the Empire. Rax orders the Council to prepare for a battle with the New Republic.
Back on Chandrila, Norra reflects on the attack on Chandrila and the loss of her husband. Several New Republic senators, diplomats, and officials were killed but Chancellor Mothma survived. Meanwhile, a despondent Temmin practices on an X-wing simulator with Wedge. Temmin longs to fly a real starfighter but Wedge insist that he is not ready. Still, Wedge promises the youth that he can get him back in a ship before the next moon alignment if his scores on the simulator improve.
Elsewhere, Sinjir visits the rogue Guardsman Windom Traducier in his cell. Windom had supplied the guns to the liberated Ashmead's Lock inmates, who had been fitted with inorganic bio-chips in their brains. Working for the Empire, Windom had planted a transponder on the top of the Hanna City opera house which transmitted an Imperial signal. When Windom denounces the New Republic as weak, Sinjir responds that he is working for neither the New Republic or the Empire but rather himself. Sinjir then personally kills the rogue Guardsman by plunging his vibroknife into his sternum.
After being unable to find work as a bounty hunter with the New Republic Security Bureau, Jas decides to rejoin her friend Norra. Aboard the Moth, Norra, her son and her team vow to hunt down Grand Admiral Sloane, believing her to be the mastermind behind the attack on Chandrila. They receive the personal and financial backing of their new friend Princess Leia. Meanwhile, Sloane and Brentin arrive on Jakku just in time to see Fleet Admiral Rax's Super Star Destroyer Ravager and a massive Imperial armada; setting the stage for the Battle of Jakku.
Returning to Gallius Rax's flashback thirty years ago, Rax is discovered by Sheev Palpatine. Sensing potential in the boy, Palpatine offers to advance his career in return for him guarding a secret archaeological dig on Jakku.
As of August 6, 2016, reception for Aftermath: Life Debt has been generally positive, particularly in comparison with the preceding Aftermath title. The title carries an overall customer reviewer rating of 3.7/5 stars on Amazon.com, with 41% of reviewers giving the title 5 stars and a further 29% awarding it 4 stars. In comparison, the original Aftermath title only carries an overall rating of only 2.6/5 stars with over 2,000 reviews and 67% of reviewers giving the title 3 stars or less. The reviewer who posted the review of Aftermath: Life Debt that visitors to the site voted as most helpful, Andrew Cherry, stated that he was lukewarm towards the original title, but found the second "hilarious to poingnant [sic] to shocking and back again" and also praised the character growth of the characters found in the original title. Max Palas, a reviewer for the Star Wars fan site Star Wars Post, described the title as "Simply, outstandingly great Star Wars" and praised author Chuck Wendig for bringing fun back to Star Wars.
Norra claims that she witnessed the Millennium Falcon hit a pipe and break off its sensor dish while flying in the second Death Star's superstructure during the Battle of Endor. However, in the movie, this happens only after the other fighters split up from Lando and Wedge and head back to the surface.
- ISBN 9781101966938; July 12, 2016; Del Rey; US hardcover
- ISBN 9780425286852; July 12, 2016; Del Rey; Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition
- ISBN 9780425286746; July 12, 2016; Del Rey; Signed edition
- ISBN 9781101966945; July 12, 2016; Del Rey; US eBook
- ISBN 9781101966952; March 28, 2017; Del Rey; US paperback
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Endor to 4 ABY and further dates Shara Bey and Kes Dameron's move to Yavin 4 in 5 ABY. The move is placed six months after the Battle of Endor by Before the Awakening. Since Aftermath: Life Debt is set just after Shadow Fall, which takes place around six months after the battle, the events of Life Debt must also occur in 5 ABY, around six months after the Battle of Endor.