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Books Aftermath: Empire's End (book 3) by Chuck Wendig

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Jedi Ben, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Well, since spoiler tags are no longer required, I'll give my thoughts on the villains in this book. Brendol Hux and Gallius Rax.

    Monsters.

    Hux was training and indoctrinating children! It's clear that this is where the First Order derived its deplorable tactic of training soldiers from childhood. And Rax is no better, encouraging the use of these child soldiers and dragging the remains of the Empire into a meatgrinder.

    I'll admit to cheering when Sloane killed Rax in the audiobook. But Sloane isn't much better than Rax and Hux. Sloane discovers these child soldiers and keeps them in use! Instead of taking these children to a proper facility where they can be deprogrammed and have a normal life, she takes them into the Unknown Regions to further her goal to revive the Empire.

    Utterly disgusting. This book shows us the depths to which the once-great Galactic Empire has fallen. The interludes on Coruscant with Mas Amedda really drive that point home. Overall this was a good book for showing what's become of the Galaxy in the aftermath of Palpatine's death.
     
  2. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Agreed. In many ways, Empire's End showed us what Sloane alluded to in Life Debt, which was her fear of what Rax would be like when he cast off his masks and became the monster she felt he truly was. Many of the theories that LD spawned were revealed as red herrings by EE, and this is very fitting with Rax's and even Palpatine's characters. For example, despite the ambiguity in LD that hinted at Rax possibly being Snoke, EE was quick to show him disparaging the Force or Palpatine's devotion to the dark side.

    Framing the Rax-Palpatine relationship and story with Shah-tezh (space chess) was also very compelling, and fit well with both characters. In many ways, talking of characters as roles or pieces in a complex game also brings to mind the archetypal nature of Star Wars.
     
  3. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Editor - Del Rey Star Wars star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Since the spoiler time has passed, I figured I would post the translation of Mr. Bones' little Huttese song for everyone. While the song was written to match the rhyme of "Frère Jacques" the lyrics are most definitely not the same.

    · LA YAMA BEESTOO, LA YAMA BEESTOO
    CHEESKAR GOO, CHEESKAR GOO
    WOMPITY DU WERMO, WOMPITY DU WERMO

    MI KILLIE, MI KILLIE . . .

    Translation....

    Yes there they are, yes there they are
    Betrayer (Cheater) scum, Betrayer (Cheater) scum
    Squash you idiot, squash you idiot
    I kill, I kill


    (Why Frère Jacques? Honestly it just popped into my head when I started planning the song. So, 100% random.)
     
  4. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2004
    That's amazing.
     
  5. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Awesome! While we're at it, can you give us the translations of the "proto-Huttese" sentences in the novel (since I assume you wrote them too)? I know most of them are translated, but not all of 'em IIRC. Also, I wondet about this one:
    “Mendee-ya jah-jee bargon. Achuta kuna payuska Granee Ad-mee-rall.” -- “WE HAVE A DEAL, GRAND ADMIRAL. YOU MAY PASS. YOU WILL TAKE ME TO THE WEAPONS FACILITY.”
    Because it doesn't seem to correspond exactly.

    I'm a huge langage nerd, you know. :-B
     
  6. SWpants

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    I feel less random then, since the moment I read the 2nd word I also starting singing the tune in my head.
    And I didn't read the first part of your post because my eyes were drawn to the caps.
     
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  7. Contessa

    Contessa Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2013
    I mean, the Empire rose to power on the back of a made-to-order army of slaves, trained from childhood to be soldiers, indoctrinated, dehumanized, sent to die by the thousands, and thrown away when they got too old to be useful. What they're doing now is awful but it's nothing new. They did it for years. There was no "once-great Galactic Empire."
     
  8. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    I think you'll find that this clone army was ordered and commanded by the Jedi Order. :)
     
  9. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2002
    I'm with you on that. It seems pretty par for the course.

    #MEGA

    sent from my Moto X-Wing
     
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  10. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    There is a big difference between growing clones for fighting purposes and ripping normal children from their homes and forcing them to learn how to fight and kill.

    The clones were created for war, they had no other purpose. Hux's child soldiers were normal children, borne by regular people to live normal lives. What Hux does, ripping innocent children from their homes and lives to serve as his slave soldiers is many degrees worse than creating an army of clones to serve the Republic as soldiers.

    Also, the clones were grown adults when they went into combat. Hux's "recruits" are still adolescents who aren't even fully grown or mature. And he's got them killing people. Absolutely evil.

    There is one glimmer of hope here though. Finn was one of these child soldiers. And he was able to reject the First Order's indoctrination and conditioning and managed to abandon them and their madness. If he can do it, maybe others can as well. Maybe others did, over the course of thirty years in the Unknown Regions.
     
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  11. Contessa

    Contessa Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2013
    It's still a decision to dehumanize and weaponize innocent children, none of whom *needed* to be forced into war no matter where they came from. The only actual difference is at what point the bastard in charge decided they were going to deny them their agency as people, before or after they're born. Stealing kids vs growing kids to make into soldiers isn't a matter of which is worse, they're both equally terrible.
     
  12. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Which is why the Galactic Empire shut down the Jedi's clone program and moved to volunteer recruitment. Your allegation that the Galactic Empire used child soldiers is meritless.
     
  13. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Just finished it. Wendig definitely ended the trilogy on a high note. This book truly did connect things to the ST. I feel like he writes Imperials a whole lot better than he does the New Republic. Characters like Norra, Sinjir, and Jas were interesting in the sense that I was curious about rather they would survive or not but outside of that I didn't feel that attached to them. Sloane and Rax were a whole different story though. There was great development with those two and they truly made the book.

    Hopefully this is not the last we will see of Rae Sloane. It would definitely be interesting to find out what her relationship with the First Order would end up being like. Is she one of the ones that steers it in the direction to what we see in Ep. VII or does she become an outcast again like she did with Rax. She would be in her 70's by the time of the ST so if she is still alive she'd likely be retired by the time of the movies.

    Here's hoping though we get books detailing the formation of the First Order sooner rather than later and she is still an important character in some of those books.
     
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  14. La Calavera

    La Calavera Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Just finished the audiobook. It was interesting, with some great parts, some very boring parts, and a generally satisfying ending. However, I think Life Debt will remain my favorite of this trilogy.


    Some highlights:

    + The Imperials. Chuck Wendig writes very good Imperials and he exceeded himself in this book. They were not only endlessly compelling characters to follow, he actually managed to have me more interested and excited about the First Order. Rae Sloane in particular was such a well written character with such a fantastic development that I was actively rooting for her the entire time during this Trilogy, and even if in theory I do not like of the Amazing Sloane being involved in the beginnings of the FO, the way Wendig wrote it had me all excited for it. I also thought that Sloane and Brentin were the best duo of this book and I kept wishing those two would just run off together, though that's probably because anyone becomes a more interesting character when paired with Sloane (she is that awesome).
    + Still on the topic of Imperials, Gallius Rax was a delightful character. He was not a poor man’s Thrawn as I initially thought, but a very captivating character on his own.
    + Everything Sith-related: Palpatine’s egocentric and vengeful plan was surprisingly in-character and gave a lot of depth to the Sith Lord; the Acolytes of the Beyond is now my favorite post-ROTJ topic. I found Kiza to be a refreshing portrayal of a female character in the new canon, and surprisingly relatable (we all had our stupid teenage crushes). I loved her short but poignant character development. The fangirl part of me is wishing for that lightsaber to be Vader’s, but it’s probably not.
    + Other villains like Niima were also extremely amusing. Honestly, I think Wendig should just write books about villains. He could be the next Luceno in that area.
    + The character deaths were handled very well and in an unexpectedly natural but emotional way. I can’t help feeling that killing Brentin was a cop-out though to best serve Norra's character and have her free for a Wedge pairing. He should have just ran off with Sloane.
    + Jar Jar. Loved it. I was a bit spoiled by mentions of “Jar Jar’s redemption” on the internet and I initially thought that Wendig just killed him off with a gratuitous death scene. But I’m glad that wasn’t the case. He handled the character in a very respectful and fitting way. I think George Lucas would’ve liked it.
    + Pregnant!Leia and Han scenes were nice. I liked the description of darkside forces trying to reach her belly. Lando was also very, very cool.


    And things I did not enjoy much:

    - I’m still not entirely pleased with this writing, at least when it comes to the good guys' perspective. They just fall flat most of the times and Wendig tends to make an entire paragraph out of a cool sentence, which gets too expository and boring very quickly. I do think this trilogy could have been more exciting to read/listen if all the unnecessary added dialogue, explanations, ramblings and derivative plotlines were shortened. It just feels like there is way too much fluff and filler in his books that is not really interesting. As a result, characters that felt promising in his first book, like Sinjir, ended up becoming dull, repetitive and just tiresome to listen to. Jas was really the only character that I still cared about at the end, perhaps because she talked less (or there were less endless paragraphs dedicated to her inner ramblings).
    - I don’t think Wendig knows what horns are made or how tough they are, as he made that scene look like breaking chicken wing bones. Heck, I don’t think he even knows how bones work. Or infections, excruciating pain, blood loss, etc., etc. that naturally come with unmedicated dehorning that goes beyond the keratin layers.
    - Again, the “fake death" scenes. It’s just irritating, and when you make a habit out of it it’s difficult to feel afraid for these heavily plot shielded characters. It would have been more interesting if Sinjir had actually been fatally shot, because when that happened I was already expecting it to be another fake out.
    - Wendig tends to solves seemingly impossible situations with deus ex machina resolutions. Which is not a writing issue per se, but I just wished those “solutions” were not constantly presented with last-minute explanations, which makes “convenient plot device” the savior of the day instead of the characters’ established skills and smarts. How convenient that the Starhawk magically has a tractor beam that was like 50 times more powerful than its size. How convenient that Brentin and Sloane knew how to deactivate the seemingly complex mechanism that was destroying Jakku (did they, uh, take a PhD in “How to prevent the destruction of a planet’s core by ancient Sith technology?”). How convenient that Bones had a fancy communication system that allowed Norra and Temmin to warn each other at the right time (people complain about Anakin being able to build C-3PO out of spare parts but damn, that was kids’ play compared to the highly advanced programming and technological fitting that Temmin did on Bones, and without even being taught by anyone else on mechanics and programming).


    Anyway, I do hope that Wendig pens an book entirely from the First Order’s point of view. I think he would be perfect in that subject. He is the reason why Rae Sloane is now my favorite non-Sith Imperial character.
     
  15. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2002
    I really miss the old virtuous Empire. If they were going to kill, enslave, destroy planets, jail you without due process, or strip your economy clean of all it's resources, they were upfront about it.

    Unless you count all the secrets and deceptions of the Emperor... Including his secret plans he passed on to Rax.

    sent from my Moto X-Wing
     
  16. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    We only have Rax's reminiscences for that, and he's clearly not well in the head.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
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  17. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Editor - Del Rey Star Wars star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017

    I think all of them are translated in book, but if I'm wrong and there are others let me know. As to the one you mentioned....

    Huttese actually doesn't have words for a lot of things like "weapon facility." So sometimes getting a complex sentence is hard and requires massaging existing terms. For example, no word for cheater exists, but "cheeska" means to cheat, so we crafted a nominalization to work for the song. Also, "cheeskar" sounds harsher and would give the impression not just of a cheater - but a betrayal. Sound (because of how the Huttese language was created) plays as important a role in conveying the meaning as the actual linguistic construction of the words. Actually Huttese didn't even have the verb "to speak" - so through a lot of nerdy research, a new word was created (man-tah).

    Back to the sentence you asked about: That sentence literally translates to " Me thinks we have a deal. You go to the weapons facility Grand Admiral" (I like the idea that a Hutt would mess around with grammar and word order to always put themselves first in the sentence. Though, that's just a personal interpretation). What's happening here is that the translator box is fixing the grammar, creating the most clear version of the sentence.

    All of the Huttese in the book is being filtered through a translation device - so it can be assumed that the translation isn't necessarily 1-1. Another reason for the difference is ,as you said, the language being "proto-Huttese", or simply just a different dialect (probably older) than we're used to hearing from Jabba.
     
  18. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2012
    DarthInternous That was a substantial and detailed answer. I appreciate that! :)
     
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  19. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Found the book at a local bookstore in town - hoping to start it after I finish my current book.
     
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  20. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Editor - Del Rey Star Wars star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017

    Always happy to help.
     
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  21. Fin McCool

    Fin McCool Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2015
    Maybe, but not so clear. The far more interesting prospect is that his thoughts were correct and Palpatine wasn't well in the head by the end.
     
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  22. unlimitedpower

    unlimitedpower Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Seriously? Rax's only imagining Palpatine's order? Sure, that's what the book is trying to tell us... :rolleyes:
     
  23. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Here's Star Wars Reading Club review: Gotta keep the discussion going

     
  24. BeesInABar

    BeesInABar Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2015
    I really don't know why I'm as happy as I am that Durga is still around in this timeline.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  25. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    This book really does a good job of emphasizing the theme that it's named for.

    Empire's End

    The Empire is dying. It's been dying ever since the Emperor perished on the Death Star. And this is the tale of it's last stand. All of it's holdings are in chaos, most it's territories have broken away. Even Coruscant, the jewel of Palpatine's Empire is in revolt. No warlord has managed to take control of the crumbling Empire. No Imperial authorities are able to maintain order anywhere. The best scene that shows this is the Interlude on Coruscant.

    We see Mas Amedda, Palpatine's Grand Vizier, perhaps the third most powerful person in the Galaxy at one point. And he's completely powerless. Rax's goons have locked him up in his quarters, but even before that Amedda had no power. No Imperial Officer would heed his commands. No soldiers would obey his orders. The Imperial Palace itself is falling into ruin with even the laundry services having failed.

    Palpatine's Empire has collapsed completely without his presence and not a single planet is safe from the chaos that has engulfed the Galaxy. It shows us just how hated the Empire truly was, when, mere months after it's Ruler's death, the entire organization has fallen apart. It's a very stark contrast to Legends, where the Empire lasted for decades after Palpatine's death. The New Republic didn't even take Coruscant until years after Palpatine's death.

    Yet in the new canon, the celebrations we saw across the Galaxy in ROTJ are treated as fully legitimate and a sign of the Galaxy's fate. Palpatine's Galactic Empire crumbles like a castle of sand caught in the rising tide and Rax sweeps away the remains as charged by his dead master.

    The tyranny of the Sith and their Imperial lackeys has ended completely. The Chosen One has brought the Balance and wiped out the Darkness. As of now, the Galaxy is free.
     
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