The Empire is in Tatters
The Empire hasn’t been faring well, either. This is one of the more interesting themes I’m looking forward to in the Aftermath trilogy, which was also explored in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy from the old Expanded Universe. We’ve seen the Empire in its early stages, when it’s consolidating power and wiping out resistance, and we’ve watched it in its prime, ruling the galaxy with an iron fist.
Now, we’ll get to see it in its last throes of life, as its last, most desperate loyalist fight to keep it alive.
This battle seems like it will fall on the high-ranking Imperial officers left behind, and they’ve got their work cut out for them. In the Aftermath excerpt, we’re reunited with Admiral Rae Sloan, who appeared in A New Dawn but is now disgusted with the state of the Imperial forces after Jedi‘s events:
"“Tothwin is an emblem of what’s wrong with the Imperial forces now: Many of their best are gone. What’s left is, in part, the dregs. The leaves and twigs at the bottom of a cup of spice tea. Still, he does what he’s told, which is something—Sloane wonders when the Empire will truly begin to fracture. Forces doing what they want, when they want it. Chaos and anarchy. The moment that happens, the moment someone of some prominence breaks from the fold to go his own way, they are all truly doomed.”"
The full impact of the rebels’ strike on the Second Death Star is reiterated a bit later, as Sloane notes that many of the troops left behind are incompetent and inexperienced compared to their comrades.
"“This lot, like Nils, are imperfect. Those who received top marks at the Academy went on to serve on the Death Star, or on Vader’s command ship, the Executor. Half of them didn’t even complete the Academy—they were pulled out of training early.”"
I’m looking forward to more insight into the consequences and results of the Empire’s downfall, such as this other revelation…
Next: The Imperials' Strategy