Originally published in the Canberra Weekly on 14 November 2019.
Publisher: Century (Trade Paperback – 5 November 2019)
Series: Star Wars
Length: 298 pages
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The road to the final movie in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, begins here with this intriguing tie-in novel, Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, by recent fantasy phenomenon Rebecca Roanhorse. Resistance Reborn is a fantastic and action-packed book that attempts to bridge some of the gaps between The Last Jedi and the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker.
This latest book is a very interesting addition to the Star Wars tie-in media range, and it is one that all major Star Wars fans are going to be very keen to get their hands on. Resistance Reborn is the latest Star Wars tie-in novel and it is deeply connected with the upcoming ninth film in the main Star Wars storyline, The Rise of Skywalker, which is set for release in about a month. This book is one of several pieces of upcoming Star Wars tie-in fiction that attempt to fill in some gaps surrounding the plot of the upcoming film, other examples of which include the Force Collector young adult novel, the Star Wars: Allegiance comic book and even Black Spire, to a lesser degree. Resistance Reborn is probably the most exciting one on the list, as it is going to be the novel that is most closely connected with the events of the movies.
Following on shortly after the devastating events that occurred on the isolated planet of Crait at the end of The Last Jedi, the Resistance has been decimated by the tyrannical First Order. Seemingly abandoned by their friends and allies throughout the galaxy, only a few members of the Resistance have survived and are now in hiding. Those remaining Resistance members are as determined as ever to fight and are willing to risk it all the save the galaxy.
To that end, the leader of the Resistance, General Leia Organa, has sent her few remaining compatriots out into the galaxy in an attempt to find more volunteers, supplies, ships and, most importantly, leaders and strategists who can help guide the Resistance to victory. While her teams are able to find a few valuable recruits, including some old friends from the days of the Rebel Alliance, the situation is looking grim.
The First Order have started to establish their dominance throughout the entire galaxy, and few are willing to stand before them. Whatever allies or supporters the Resistance might have been able to count on have gone missing, apparently the victims of an oppressive roundup by the First Order. As Poe Dameron and the remains of his squadron attempt to recover a prisoner list that contains the details of the fate of these dissidents, it soon becomes apparent how far the reach of the First Order has grown. Can the Resistance survive, or will the shadow of the First Order overwhelm them all?
This was an outstanding read that not only tells a fantastic and enjoyable story that features several iconic characters, but it also does a great job of connecting The Last Jedi (which I have to admit was not my favourite Star Wars film) and The Rise of Skywalker. In addition to that, the author, Rebecca Roanhorse, who has gained a lot of positive attention in the last two years with her debut The Sixth World series, has also included quite a number of fun references to other works of Star Wars fiction, making this an entertaining read for fans of the franchise.
The first thing that I want to address about Resistance Reborn is how this book adds to the background of the upcoming Star Wars film. It shows the reader how the Resistance starts to rebuild itself before The Rise of Skywalker. The events of episodes VII and VIII saw the Resistance stripped of many of the resources and allies that they needed to fight the First Order. The Force Awakens featured the annihilation of the New Republic, the Resistance’s main supporters and one of the few galactic powers that could match the First Order, while The Last Jedi saw the destruction of most of the remaining Resistance forces, including pretty much all of their senior leadership. However, the recent trailer for The Rise of Skywalker shows quite a significant fleet of Resistance ships in a big climatic battle. A major question then arises: where did the Resistance get all of these people and ships after all their significant defeats? Resistance Reborn, which is set only a few days after the end of The Last Jedi, attempts to show how Leia and the Resistance were able to start gaining some initial recruits and materials. This is a rather intriguing storyline which shows how desperate the situation is for the Resistance and how powerful and widespread the First Order has become. I liked some of the explanations for why the Resistance was abandoned by their allies at the end of The Last Jedi, and Roanhorse comes up with a good explanation for how the protagonists found their initial batch of new recruits. The end of the book presents a rather interesting scenario for the entire Resistance, which does explain a few things that I noticed in the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker. Overall, based on what I can guess is going to occur in the upcoming film, I would say that this is an excellent bridge between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, although I am very curious to see how many aspects of this book do end up appearing in this new movie.
One of the cool things that I liked about Resistance Reborn was the cool way that Roanhorse split the story between an interesting mixture of characters. Rather than solely focusing on the central protagonists of the films, the author has instead included an intriguing choice of new point-of-view characters that fans of the extended Star Wars universe are likely to already be familiar with. That being said, there are a number of notable inclusions from some of the main characters in the book, and there are also a couple of new characters introduced in this book who get a few point-of-view sequences.
The main character of the book is Poe Dameron, who spearheads the Resistance’s attempts to gain new recruits. Poe was a good choice as the central character, as not only is he one of the central leaders of the Resistance and their main man of action but he is also still recovering emotionally from the events of The Last Jedi. The regrets he bears from his mutiny on the Raddus and the role he played in the devastation of the Resistance are still weighing heavily on his mind, and it results in some fantastic and emotional sequences from him and the people he interacts with. Roanhorse also spends a bit of time following General Leia as she recovers from all the traumatic events of the last two movies. In this book, Leia is showing quite a few hints of despair after all the losses she has recently experienced; however, it is heartening to witness her start to regain her drive and hope by watching the actions of the younger members of the Resistance.
It was very interesting to see that the rest of the main cast of the recent Star Wars films were not utilised as major characters in this book. You barely get to see anything of major characters like C-3PO and Chewbacca, and even Rey only gets a few minor scenes. Finn features a little bit towards the end of the book as he joins Poe on a mission. I really liked the interactions between Poe and Finn in this book, and I am curious to see whether this is a hint at some sort of romantic relationship occurring between them in the film (there are quite a few fan theories about that out there). Even if it doesn’t, I was very happy that this book actually contains a decisive end to that terrible romance that sprouted between Finn and Rose in the last film. Resistance Reborn did not feature any appearances from the major antagonists of the last two films; instead, the First Order as a whole were the book’s antagonists. While I would have liked to see some scenes of Kylo Ren or General Hux squabbling for dominance or expanding their influence, I did like the use of whole organisation as an opponent, and it was an effective way of showing off just how dangerous and malignant the First Order can be.
Quite a lot of time is also spent exploring some of the lesser-known members of the Resistance and some of their recent recruits. This includes members of Poe Dameron’s squadron of fighters, Black Squadron, who appeared in The Force Awakens; the protagonist of a previous trilogy of books, Norra Wexley; and the current version of Inferno Squadron from the Battlefront II video game, Shriv and Zay. These characters appear as fairly significant point-of-view characters throughout this book, and it was interesting to see the perspective of these lesser-known Star Wars characters as they fight as part of the Resistance. However, out of all the characters that appeared in this book, the one I was most happy to see was Wedge Antilles. Despite only being a minor character in the original trilogy of films, Wedge has long been a favourite of Star Wars fans due to his many appearances in a multitude of different extended universe formats, including books, comics, games and the Star Wars Rebels animated show, in both the previous canon and the current, Disney-operated canon. It was recently announced that Wedge would be appearing in The Rise of Skywalker, and this book reintroduces him in the current chronology of the films, showing him come out of retirement to once again fight the good fight. This was a really cool addition to the story, and I personally was so happy to see Wedge once again.
Probably one of the things that I liked the most about Resistance Reborn was the huge amount of Star Wars references that Roanhorse was able to fit in this book. Not only are there the obvious connections to the previous Star Wars movies but Roanhorse has made sure to tie the story into a number of other pieces of media from across the Star Wars expanded universe. Several of the characters that she has included in this book first appeared in other pieces of expanded universe fiction, such as the members of Inferno Squadron, who were the protagonists of Battlefront II. The characters of Norra and Snap Wexley were the protagonists of the Aftermath trilogy of Star Wars books, which ran between 2015 and 2017, while Snap and the rest of Black Squadron were also major characters in the Poe Dameron series of comic books. There are also a number of references to the 2016 novel Bloodline, and Resistance Reborn actually contains an interesting conclusion to one of the significant events from this prior book. Finally, there are a number of brief references to characters or events that occurred in a number of other books, comics or television shows, such as Wedge reminiscing about his recruitment to the Rebel Alliance during the third season of Star Wars Rebels, or a discussion of Ryloth’s history of oppression, which was shown in both the Rebels and The Clone Wars animated shows. Obviously, readers who are major fans of the Star Wars expanded universe are going to love all these fun inclusions, and I personally was really impressed with everything that Roanhorse was able to fit in. These inclusions did not overwhelm the overall plot of the book, so the story is very accessible to readers who are less familiar with the expanded Star Wars lore and who won’t get those references.
Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse is an outstanding new entry in the Star Wars canon which I ended up enjoying quite a lot. Not only does this book offer some intriguing insights into the long-awaited The Rise of Skywalker, but it also features a ton of fantastic references and characters from across the Star Wars franchise, inclusions which are sure to please mega Star Wars fans like this reviewer. Required reading before The Rise of Skywalker comes out, this book comes highly recommended and was a lot of fun.
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
So, let’s get to it.
The Wailing Woman by Maria Lewis (Trade Paperback)
This is a great piece of urban fantasy that I am really enjoying at the moment. Australian author Maria Lewis has come up with an amazing story and I am glad I received a copy of this book.
Lethal Agent by Kyle Mills (based on the series by Vince Flynn) (Audiobook)
I only just started listening to this audiobook about half an hour ago, but so far it is a pretty decent thriller. I quite liked the previous book in this series, Red War, last year so I am sure I will power through this book rather quickly.
What did you recently finish reading?
Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse (Trade Paperback)
Boundless by R. A. Salvatore (Audiobook)
The Diamond Hunter by Fiona McIntosh (Trade Paperback)
The Night Fire by Michael Connelly (Audiobook)
What do you think you’ll read next?
That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.
In the last couple of weeks I have been lucky enough to receive copies of several amazing new releases, and figured it was time for another Book Haul post. This Book Haul features a range of really interesting and diverse books, all of which I am very excited for.
Let us start this post off with the book I was probably most eager to receive, Star Wars: Resistance Reborn. Resistance Reborn is set to be the main tie-in novel to the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker movie, and I have already featured this book in a Waiting on Wednesday post and my Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for July-December 2019 list. Needless to say after receiving it last week, I have already read it, and will hopefully get a review up in the next few days.
Another book that I received recently and have already read. The Diamond Hunter was a really good historical drama written by Australian author Fiona McIntosh. A short review of this book is going to run in the Canberra Weekly in a couple of days, and I am hoping to get a longer review done up as well. In the meantime, make sure to check out my review of McIntosh’s last book, The Pearl Thief.
This is a really intriguing piece of urban fantasy about banshees from Australian author Maria Lewis. I am actually in the process of reading this book at the moment, and so far it is pretty good.
This is an interesting sounding retelling of the classic tale of Mulan. I have heard some promising things about this book from other reviewers and I am looking forward to checking it out.
This is an interesting sounding book that is set to be released next year. I really like the sound of a murder mystery set in 1920’s Bombay, and it should prove to be a fantastic read.
Now, I have to admit that Danielle Steel is not usually the sort of author I would read. However, this sounds like quite a compelling historical thriller, and I did rather like one of Steel’s other 2019 releases, Turning Point, so I think I will check this book out.
The final book on this post is an exciting and massive fantasy debut I just received today. I have actually had my eye on this book for a little while now, and this book is quite high on my reading list at the moment.
I am very happy with the above books, and I am extremely confident that I am going to enjoy all of them. Let me know which of these books interests you the most.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, bloggers get to talk about the which ten books they are looking forward to the most in the second half of 2019.
2019 has so far been an amazing year for books. Not only have I had the chance to read and review some outstanding novels in the first half of this year but I also have a huge pile of books to read sitting on my table at home (OK, several huge piles on several different surfaces). However, there are still some incredible-sounding books coming out in the next six months, and I already have my eye on a number of them. It took me a little while, but I was able to come up with the top ten books that I am looking forward to, as well as a couple of honourable mentions.
People familiar with my blog will no doubt notice that I have already featured several of these books before in my weekly Waiting on Wednesday feature (I’ll link in these Waiting on Wednesday posts), which hopefully highlights how much I want them. I have also included a couple of other books that I have yet to do a Waiting on Wednesday for, although I will likely do so in the future. I have also excluded a couple of books from this list because I already have copies for them; that’s why you won’t see Angel Mage by Garth Nix or Cold Storage by David Koepp on this list.
I loved this latest cover of A Little Hatred so much I had to include it, looks pretty awesome.
Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse – 12 November 2019
This is going to be one of the tie-in novels to the upcoming Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker, and should be pretty awesome.
7. Firefly: Generations by Tim Lebbon – 15 October 2019
9. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson – 26 November 2019
10. Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke – 10 December 2019
I hope you enjoy this list. Make sure to keep an eye on my blog for future reviews of all these books and let me know what you are looking forward to in the second half of 2019.