It’s Star Wars Season here for me (okay, when is it not Star Wars season for me? It’s just kicked into high gear now!) what with the new movie being only 23 days away! I am vibrating with excitement and cannot wait. But! Waiting means that you still have 23 days to read Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse (yes, that Rebecca Roanhorse)! And you absolutely, definitely, very much want to do that!
It’s been touted as “required reading” for anyone who wants to bridge the gap between The Last Jedi and December’s Rise of Skywalker, and they were not wrong. This book is an absolute must for any fan of Star Wars in any of its myriad forms. Whether you are entrenched in the extended canon, have played the video games and watched every episode of every animated show and all the ongoing comic books, or you’ve only seen the movies and nothing else–this book is for you.
It chronicles a few of the missions that General Leia sends her trusty, few remaining Resistance members on in the aftermath of the Last Jedi. The Resistance was decimated by the First Order, and they need ships and people if they want to keep fighting. So she sends Finn and Poe on an espionage mission (to a fancy party/auction! in tuxes!) to get some names and free some prisoners, and she sends some other old friends (including Wedge!!) to a junker planet to salvage whatever X-wings they can. And absolute shenanigans ensue from there!
This book is a celebration of all the Star Wars that has come before, everything that has built up to the Rise of Skywalker and the end of the Skywalker trilogies–and it’s a look ahead, a forward trajectory to what this galaxy can and will hold after December. It’s peppered with characters and cameos and points of view of old friends from all corners of the galaxy (Inferno Squad from Battlefront 2! Black Squadron from the Poe comic books! Phantom Squad from the Aftermath novels!) and new faces, too. It’s a patchwork of what the Resistance is made of: old comrades, old characters, the roots of the old Rebellion, and young blood, new hopes, the future on the shoulders of these characters we love so much.
Rebecca Roanhorse has absolutely mastered the tone of Star Wars, the themes and important bits, the core tenants of the stories. She illustrates the turn to the Light, the resilience of hope, the need of humans to band together against the dark in such beautiful turns of phrase that I found myself crying on page 13 and then again throughout. She teased out the slightly different styles of each Star Wars medium–video game, comic book, movie, novel–and intricately braided them into a book that feels alive and beautiful as you read it, regardless of which direction you approach it from. There is some vital character work here that will absolutely resolve the mistakes made in the Last Jedi into something workable for the Rise of Skywalker, and it was amazing to see unfold in her dang good prose. She’s amazing, and I hope she gets to write infinitely more Star Wars books. Please.
There is actually nothing that I didn’t like about this book, and I know I’m biased, but I don’t care. It was the perfect place for new readers who have only watched the movies to jump into the extended canon, and it’s the perfect deep dive for extended canon fans that says, “hey–I’m a fan, too. I love this, too. Here’s your favorite character from the video game, haven’t you missed him? Good, me too.” It works for everyone and the galaxy-wide net it casts for its focused, tight storytelling is intricate and wonderful.
Read this before you see the last movie. You will not regret it.
You can purchase Resistance Reborn online or call the store to reserve a copy! (It’s my holiday staff pick, so it’s 15% off, too!)