The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit the cinemas this christmas and Del Ray have published the latest Journey to book, Resistance Reborn. The book picks up after the end of the Last Jedi and explores the desperate struggle of the Resistance to try and rebuild their forces to face down the First Order.
The book focuses on the return of Black Squadron who are sent across the galaxy to find allies and drum up support for the resistance. The book brings several great characters into the fold. Firstly we get to meet Zay and Shriv. They were last seen in the second mission story for the Star Wars Battlefront Game being sent by Leia to look for allies. It was great to see these two cross from the games into the books especially Shriv who I wish we could see on screen.
The second character focused on was Wedge Antilles. The new canon has approached this character somewhat differently than in the expanded universe, he entered the new canon through the Aftermath Trilogy where we also get to meet Nora and Snap Wexley. The three and their friends make a good team and it was great to see him in action again even if Wedge wasn’t the same character a the one in the X-Wing series.
The whole problem with this book is that its a place holder. It can’t drop too many hints about the new film but also has to fill in some of the gaps without making it seem that it is a pre-requisite to watch the film. Roanhorse is an accomplished author and manages to inhabit the characters well and does what she can with a limited story.
Most of the plot elements that do not work are a result of some of the sequels storytelling beats. The book goes some way to explaining the state of the galaxy at this time and after the destruction of Hosnian Prime and drops just enough crumbs to set up the last film, even so the pace is a little off and the disparity between the failing resistance and the over powering First Order is jarring.
As a story the novel works fine but in isolation is lacking depth and scope. It is perhaps the curse of the new universe of canon books that until the sequel trilogy ends it will not have the backdrop upon which to tell truly engaging and unique stories.