Star Wars: Resistance Reborn

In this pivotal prequel to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the heroes of the Resistance–Poe Dameron, General Leia Organa, Rey, and Finn–must fight back from the edge of oblivion.

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.

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Cover artist: Scott Woolston (Art)/Scott Biel (Design)
Publisher: Arrow
Release date: August 27, 2020
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780593130131

Resistance Reborn is out now in paperback in all good bookshops, markets and trading outposts and to commemorate its release we look back to our three reviews of the book here on Fantha Tracks.

Joey Clark review: 5th November 2019

Rebecca Roanhorse has just taken her first step into a larger world with her latest work, Resistance Reborn and it is absolutely sensational! As part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker series, this wonderfully crafted novel makes one even more excited for the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga.

After the turmoil presented in The Last Jedi, the Resistance is down to only a handful of survivors aboard the Millennium Falcon. General Leia Organa’s call for aide has gone unanswered by those sympathetic to the Resistance, and the mystery of it alludes her and her band of rebels. Desperate to recruit, and find allies across the galaxy, she must seek out old friends and forge new bonds in order for the Resistance to rise from the ashes. Her right hand man, and the leader of Black Squadron, Poe Dameron, must put aside his costly failures and show leadership in a time of chaos and confusion.

Fundamentally, this story belongs to Poe Dameron and the soldiers of the Resistance. While General Organa is their leader and is certainly a major presence, this book showcases the next generation that will inherit the responsibility of the Resistance. Dameron has his heart set on righting his wrongs; he has a lot of growth in the novel, which inspires growth in all those that surround him. He is a catalyst for change throughout the story and transforms into the leader Leia knows he can be.

This new era of Star Wars storytelling has ventured into the gray amidst what seemed to once be black and white. As in life, things are not always so cut and dry, and this novel falls in line with that sentiment. Each soldier has a checkered past in the Resistance; whether they were former soldiers of the Galactic Empire, or scoundrels for hire. In spite of their past transgressions towards the galaxy (and in some cases towards one another), they strive to combat the oppression that is the First Order.

The novel does a marvelous job at depicting the battle on the ground, as well as shedding light on the war within one’s own mind. All of the heroes are war-torn, and carry their own baggage. Roanhorse is aware of what each character has come to face. She has allowed ample time to get inside each of their heads so we can truly understand what’s at stake for these soldiers on an individual basis and as a whole.

What enamors me most with Roanhorse and Resistance Reborn is the attention to detail she pays each character. The characters utilized in the book originate from a variety of different Star Wars media platforms, yet they harmoniously coexist in this novel. She has allowed these lesser known characters to become part of the larger conflict at hand.

Such fan service is often perceived as lazy or pandering. Roanhorse is able to implement it while never jeopardizing the heart of the story, and if anything it breaks the stigma. Subtle nods throughout the book show connection amongst the numerous platforms. They are done with precision and don’t feel in any way forced. Any hardcore canon fan will be pleasantly surprised; especially if they’ve invested their time in the  modern version of Star Wars: Battlefront II and the literary works of Claudia Gray and Chuck Wendig. And of course there’s some fun to be had for original trilogy fans as well, just look at Wedge Antilles on the cover!

Roanhorse may be one of the latest additions to the ever-growing list of Star Wars authors, but she writes in the universe like a hardened veteran. This novel serves as a testament to all who’ve come before her, and is quite a way to make an entrance. I can not wait for her next literary contribution to the Star Wars universe as she writes from a place of passion and respect for the franchise. Rebecca Roanhorse, we will watch your career with great interest.

Carl Bayliss review: 20th February 2020

Rebecca Roanhorse is an author new to Star Wars but having heard a lot of good things about this book I have been eagerly been anticipating having the time to finally read it. And she has delivered an excellent addition to the sequel era canon, with this book being part of the ‘Journey to The Rise of Skywalker’ series, which encompasses books and comics filling out some of the character back story leading up to the events of the concluding chapter of the Skywalker saga.

Picking up after the battle of Crait from The Last Jedi, *spoilers* the Resistance have only a handful of their number left to fight the tyranny of the First Order. With General Leia Organa and her second in command Poe Dameron, Resistance Reborn sets the groundwork for the task of trying to swell support for the Resistance.

Leia and the Crait survivors head to the neutral world of Ryloth and again this ties in some of the stories and characters from both The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. Helped by the head of the Ryloth Defence Agency, Ambassador Yendor, from here the remnants of the Resistance set out on several missions to bolster their ranks by enlisting help from known allies and former Rebellion leaders, and to attempt to capture a document being used by the First Order to track down known Resistance sympathisers and imprison them.

Among those entering into the fray is one Wedge Antilles who, following the events of the popular Aftermath series, is married to Nora Wexley, mother of Temmin ‘Snap’ Wexley (portrayed on-screen by Greg Grunberg). Also joining the group are several other familiar old names, Hoth veteran General Rieekan and Orrimaarko (better known by his Return of the Jedi action figure name, Prune Face) as well as members of Phantom and Inferno Squadrons – neatly tying in some of the other canon material released over the last few years. This ragtag bunch of veterans and wanabees are split into several teams to capture the elusive First Order ‘hitlist’ and find ships for this emerging group to fly.

With undercover teams going to the First Order controlled Corellia to free some of the known prisoners and Bracca, a scrapper planet, to liberate some ships we then follow their escapades as well as the group including Poe and Finn who are invited to a birthday party, which is a front for the auction of the First Order’s list of opponents or potential Resistance sympathizers.

We also get to see some of the First Order from the ‘inside’ with the Executive Records Officer for the Corellia shipyards Winshur Bratt, and his two subordinates. The character of Winshur Bratt is every bit the scheming, career-obsessed individual we have come to expect – think along the lines of Tarkin, General Hux or Rogue One’s Director Krennic and you’re not too far from the cut of his jib.

The books also sees Poe take much more of a leadership role, with Leia still recovering from her near death experience on the Raddus and the loss of not only her friends in the Resistance but also her brother. Poe comes across very well in this story and steps up to his new responsibility with ease, although constantly troubled by his actions in The Last Jedi, which led to the death of most of the bombing fleet, and his mutiny aboard the Raddus. Likewise the characters of Wedge and Nora are key to many of the events, and despite their origins as a couple being in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series, Roanhorse writes them as if they were her own and has them displaying the traits that they displayed in previous books. The same can be said for all of the characters, with Leia, Finn, Rey, Rose and even Threepio given dialogue that fits perfectly with the on-screen portrayals of the characters. This may seem a bit of a ‘given’ but for me demonstrates the author has spent time researching the characters to keep them true to the rest of the canon and not just written a story and mapped it on to the ‘cast’.

This is especially heartening as Rebecca is a relatively new author, and on the strength of this book it is easy to see why following the success of her debut novel, Trail of Lightning, she has come to the attention of the team at Disney/Lucasfilm and hopefully this is the first of many Star Wars books from her.

Clair Henry review: 20th April 2020

I need to say that before we any further I do not really read any Star Wars books….The ones I do read are the novelisation of the movies, books that bridge the gap between movies and anything that can give me a background to Leia.

It was with the latter in mind I decided to buy Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse. I bought this book with the hope it would answer some of the questions I had between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and that it would give me an insight into Leia’s journey and how she became the Jedi Master for Rey.

Having read Claudia Greys books Bloodline and Lost Stars, I started this book ready for the journey and to be taken on a Star Wars adventure. I wasn’t disappointed. I was on a plane heading off on holiday it had my full attention for the week. If a book gets me, I simply cannot put it down, and so it was with this.

The sheer desperation of the Resistance is clear, they are at the lowest and almost you can sense a lack of hope but Leia’s strength and character does appear to come through. As the book progressed it was clear that the release time of the book wasn’t going to give answer my questions, but nevertheless I could see Leia’s motivation and the determination of Poe to do the right thing this time. The humour is obvious, as is the rebuilding of the bridges damaged in the relationship between Leia and Poe, who is trying to make right what he did in The Last Jedi.

The return of Wedge and Nora Wexley was welcome, and it gave clarity to Wedge’s appearance in The Rise of Skywalker. I can see that there will be plenty of spin offs from their story arc as leadership is not for them.

The First Order officer Winshur who we meet is great, so blindsided by power and privilege he actually becomes weak and pitied! It latches onto what drives a person, and what happens when they come into a position of power and pick on the weak, driven by their own inadequacies. His journey is one that has been told before in other stories, and it made me think that you must live your life with compassion and understanding so in the end when you go, you regret nothing.

The link to Bloodline and finding Leia’s ally Ransolm Casterfo was great I look forward to reading more about the development of the leadership of the Resistance and having key players back into the fold should make for a good read and perhaps explain that missing link to their base on Ajan Kloss in The Rise of Skywalker.

Ultimately for me the book posed more thoughts and questions than it actually answered. It was an enjoyable read and as a precursor to The Rise of Skywalker it certainly bridged the gap without really giving anything away.

I found Rebecca Roanhorse’s style of writing easy to engage with, the characters were well developed and in the main you felt like you were in a galaxy far, far away!

Resistance Reborn (Star Wars)
  • Roanhorse, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 08/25/2020 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)