As an executive editor working at Lucasfilm, I am obviously biased. But readers, I must tell you, I love — love — Rebecca Roanhorse’s Star Wars: Resistance Reborn. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may remember that when I first started reading the manuscript I could not refrain from tweeting my excitement. It was a little embarrassing.
I am literally only five pages in to Resistance Reborn and I am like YES @RoanhorseBex THANK YOU FOR WRITING STAR WARS NEVER LEAVE ME
— Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) June 28, 2019
At one point I even tweeted a detail that I realized minutes later was too spoilery and I had to go back and delete it. But it was difficult to contain my exuberance while reading the magic Rebecca Roanhorse was weaving in the Star Wars galaxy. And now, with the release date of November 4 upon us, I want to share with you why I think this book is essential reading before seeing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, whether this is your 100th, or first, Star Wars novel.
1. It picks up from where Star Wars: The Last Jedi left off.
We all know the Resistance was left in dire straits after the Battle of Crait. We also all know that if anyone can come back from that low point, it’s Leia Organa. In Resistance Reborn, we see how Leia regroups and starts to rebuild the Resistance — with a little help from her friends. But how do you start to pick up the pieces after such loss? How do you find the strength to go on in face of such odds? Who steps up to do the hard work of rebuilding, and why? We see characters like Rey, Poe, and Finn wrestle with these issues…with plenty of hard-earned and never sugar-coated advice from Leia along the way.
2. It’s an important journey for Poe Dameron.
Poe’s errors in judgment in The Last Jedi led to tragedy, a fact of which he is keenly aware. Now he must face what he’s done, confess to his friends in Black Squadron in the hopes they can forgive him, and figure out how to do better moving forward, for himself and for everyone who’s counting on him. Resistance Reborn is seminal character arc for Poe that leads into how we see him in The Rise of Skywalker.
3. Characters, characters, and more characters.
Resistance Reborn has a sprawling cast of characters, from movies, books, comics, and video games. But the beauty of this book is that whether you know every name or just one or two, seeing so many different types of characters coming together to fight for what’s right is exhilarating and heartwarming and what Star Wars is all about. At the same time there are some truly wonderful smaller interactions between characters that you will treasure, whether it’s Poe and Finn, Rey and Leia, or Snap and Wedge. Speaking of which….
4. It’s a generational saga, represented by generations.
Yes, Wedge Antilles is a vital character in Resistance Reborn (as is his love Norra Wexley, Snap’s mom from the Aftermath series). Wedge is revealed to have been a mentor to Poe and the veteran’s past achievements and service bring an instant gravitas to the rebirth of the Resistance. Other veterans return as well, and their wisdom and steely determination inspire those around them. With Wedge at the forefront, we get to see the generation that battled the Empire lend their wisdom and skills to those now fighting the First Order. The story of the Rebellion and the Resistance is a generational one…just like the story of Star Wars fans.
5. Joy. Pure joy.
One reason that Resistance Reborn is such an incredibly fun read is that while this may be her first Star Wars novel, Rebecca clearly has an affinity for the characters and the franchise. You feel completely at home in the Star Wars galaxy from the very first page. You know instantly that you are in good hands. And you can practically feel the joy that she must have felt while writing this. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself grinning from ear to ear as you read. This is the perfect book to feed your excitement as you wait for The Rise of Skywalker. It has everything you love about the galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Resistance Reborn arrives November 5 and is available for pre-order now.
Jennifer Heddle is executive editor for fiction at Lucasfilm. Follow her on Twitter @jenheddle.
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