Lucasfilm’s series of new-canon Star Wars novels have made a point of helping flesh out the universe as we know it. And while many of the biggest revelations are still being saved for upcoming films, we’ve gotten a good deal of information simply by staying caught up on our required reading.
That brings us to the third and final installment in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, appropriately titled Empire’s End. The book is set during the climactic Battle of Jakku, the remnants of which we’ve already seen firsthand in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The intrigue goes far deeper than that though, revealing tons of answers to some of our most burning questions regarding the latest film trilogy. So with that, let’s dive in and find out what exactly Empire’s End taught us.
1. The Emperor had a contingency plan, and it’s just as crazy as you’d expect
If there’s one thing we know about the late Emperor Palpatine, it’s that he was a master planner, having successfully executed a 20-plus year scheme to take over the galaxy. Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that he had a contingency plan in the event of his untimely death. Much of that revolved around his young protégé Gallius Rax, who was tasked with protecting a secret Observatory on the surface of Jakku.
Thanks to Empire’s End, we finally know the specifics of that contingency, and it’s … well, not great for any surviving Imperials. The scheme involved Rax taking over for the Emperor following his death, and purposely leading it to certain doom so that he could start the whole operation from scratch. The general spirit of the plan was very much a “if I can’t run the Empire, no one can” sort of deal, showing the true selfishness of Palpatine, even in death.