Published: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Century (UK), Del Rey (US)
Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Cover artist: Scott Biel, Scott Woolston
Formats: Hardback (320 pages), eBook (316 pages) , Audiobook (Unabridged 690 minutes)
Timeline: 34 ABY (After Battle of Yavin)
The Resistance is in ruins. In the wake of their harrowing escape from Crait, what was once an army has been reduced to a handful of wounded heroes. Finn, Poe, Rey, Rose, Chewbacca, Leia Organa—their names are famous among the oppressed worlds they fight to liberate. But names can only get you so far, and Leia’s last desperate call for aid has gone unanswered.
From the jungles of Ryloth to the shipyards of Corellia, the shadow of the First Order looms large, and those with the bravery to face the darkness are scattered and isolated. If hope is to survive, the Resistance must journey throughout the galaxy, seeking out more leaders—including those who, in days gone by, helped a nascent rebellion topple an empire. Battles will be fought, alliances will be forged, and the Resistance will be reborn.
The cover really is a wonderful piece of artwork. There are 2 versions of the cover, the solicited and the final. The solicited cover was absent a character that many of us love from the original trilogy who is part of the book. Then a leak from a Spanish source showed the final cover carrying the one and only Wedge Antilles. This was regarded as a major spoiler at the time and brought a cry of surprise and joy from so many.
A lot has been made of this book as a must read before you are watching a screening of The Rise of Skywalker, and I can agree up to a certain point, that is one reason why I was going to wait until now to review this book. In the end I was around 30 pages short of finishing when I viewed it and although it did enhance a few moments and built expectation for others, it is not an essential pre read to understand the events.
More important to me though are been the links to the rest of Star Wars literature, especially those set during the Age of Resistance. This isn’t just the storyline, but the paths of so many characters. When I say literature, I also mean all aspects of it too. It stitches together the events during the Charles Soule run of Poe Dameron from Marvel Comics, the Chuck Wendig Aftermath series and one of my favourite books, Bloodline by Claudia Grey.
There are some pretty big and established names to follow there and the Lucasfilm story team have been brave in selecting a relatively unknown writer to Star Wars fans for such an important book. But after reading the first quarter of the book, I felt that Rebecca Roanhorse was a great choice. There is a clarity and simplicity to her writing that helped me finish this book with ease. The story flowed well and even when there are 4 storylines progressing, it never trips over itself or becomes convoluted. To avoid this trap is a relief as a few authors have tried and failed in recent times.
The character choices and their individual paths are very cleverly portrayed. The reintroduction of Wedge Antilles and Norra Wexley out of retirement brought a smile to my face. Reluctant in public and in front of each other to re-join the Resistance, but secretly chomping at the bit to get back to action no matter what the consequences. This shows a side to Wedge and Norra that is reflected in the tone and events of The Rise of Skywalker. There are some surprising names that crop up during the path of the story that grabbed my attention. The reintroduction of these characters really is clever and is all feels right in relation to Leia’s seemingly unheard appeal at the end of The Last Jedi.
I particularly liked the post Solo, visit to Corellia for the main mission. Corellia hasn’t been on the radar much recently and I like the idea that The First Order has now taken over exactly where the Empire left off in commandeering their prestigious shipyards. The mission to liberate former New Republic ships from the scrapyards was a great addition and also a link to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game.
The inclusion and usage of Ryloth was also interesting. This also ties in with the Syndulla family legacy of their involvement in the Rebellion. Yet another stitch in the continuity fabric being woven before us.
In summary, I really did enjoy this book. It is a great addition to the timeline, and I would recommend you read it. I would like to extend my congratulations to Rebecca Roanhorse on her first Star Wars novel and I hope that you get another chance to write in the Star Wars universe again.
Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse was published on November 5, 2019 by Century in the UK and Del Rey in the US. It is available in hardback, eBook and audiobook format from Amazon, online retailers and all good high street bookstores.