The trailer is out. The tickets are bought. The Rise of Skywalker is almost here. Millions of us have been absorbing every single piece of content related to the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, and perhaps nothing aside from the film itself has been more anticipated than Resistance Reborn.
The final moments of The Last Jedi found our beloved Resistance in shambles after the catastrophic Battle of Crait, and in the time between that hyperspace flight of the Falcon and the opening shot of Episode IX, the Resistance must begin to grow. Rebecca Roanhorse was tasked with creating a novel that starts to put our heroes back on their feet in a way that felt satisfying as a standalone novel but also invigorated the reader with even more excitement for the upcoming movie. As I closed the back cover of Resistance Reborn, I started to consider the measure of her success…
But instead, I flipped the book back over, opened the front cover, and immediately started reading again. Resistance Reborn not only tells an exhilarating, heartfelt story about the importance of hope and the necessity of sacrifice, but also acts as the biggest love letter to the Canon Expanded Universe that I have ever seen.
Roanhorse starts the book not with Leia, Poe, Rey, or Rose, but with an unnamed pilot caught in the fight of her life. Her mission for the Resistance has gone awry, and as the flames threaten to engulf her potentially stolen TIE Fighter, she simply hopes that the data she has recovered will find its way into the right hands. These are the stakes of the story. The last time we saw our friends, they were decimated by the malice of the First Order, and Roanhorse wants us to remember that even though we’re all excited about a new movie...the war rages on.
After this intense prologue, we are taken back into the welcome arms of the Millennium Falcon where General Leia Organa is struggling with her need for allies, her search for a new base, and the reality of her own PTSD as a result of the events of The Last Jedi. This is not a broken Leia, but a battered one. She has been hurt, she has been doubted, but nevertheless, she persists.
Leia is soon joined by Rey, Poe, and a number of new allies via comlink, and the book’s plot is off to the races. Teams are sent across the galaxy to recruit a number of faces that will be astonishingly familiar to fans of the New Canon, and without delving into spoilers (as we always promise with these initial reviews), that’s about as far as I can go with this plot.
On the character angle, however, Roanhorse has prepared us an absolute feast.
There are a surprising amount of characters in this book that have only been seen in books and comics, and a majority of them play major roles! After the book’s official release, we’ll be releasing our full, spoiler-free review in which we will detail all of the written material that is referenced pages, but I cannot stress enough how much of a treat you’re in for if you’ve been keeping up with the various Canon releases. Characters from different authors and mediums interact with each other so effortlessly, and it makes Resistance feel like the biggest sandbox that we’ve witnessed thus far in Star Wars literature.
If The Rise of Skywalker’s purpose is to bring together elements of every Star Wars film into one cohesive, beautiful package, then Resistance Reborn followed that same exact model for the books.
In addition to being ripe with character cameos and familiar EU references, Resistance Reborn is supremely well written. The pace is roaring without glossing over soft, intimate moments from time to time, and not a single character in the menagerie rings with anything but authenticity. Her action scenes are gripping, her conversational scenes contain just the right amount of heart and humor, and her ability to write both new and established characters with the same level of quality had me finishing this 300 page novel in a matter of sessions. The fact that this is the first Star Wars book from Rebecca Roanhorse is absolutely insane, because she taps into the universe so effortlessly and effectively. I highly doubt we’ll have to wait long to see her name on another publishing announcement.
Lately, we have been gifted with quite a few books that live outside the main Skywalker Saga timeline of events. New characters have been introduced, new locations have been explored, and conflicts outside of various Galactic Wars have been explored to great success. However, if you’ve been waiting for a novel that gives you your favorite characters across all mediums interacting in meaningful ways on missions that have the potential to tip the fate of the entire galaxy, Resistance Reborn is the book for you.
Resistance Reborn will be released on November 5th, and if you haven’t pre-ordered yet, use our Amazon Affiliate link to help us out. Keep an eye out for our full, spoiler filled review on Friday, November 15th!