Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse takes place after Star Wars: The Last Jedi and before the upcoming conclusion to The Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. During the year long gap between the two, Resistance Reborn takes place, presumably on the earlier side. In short, the Resistance is looking for a place to hole up after Crait. Poe with his squadron has already picked up some borrowed ships and are trying to find people to join up. The call Leia placed at the end of TLJ has continually gone unnoticed. The Resistance has found out potential leadership are being picked up by The First Order to prevent them from joining up. The goal of the Resistance in Resistance Reborn is to rebuild the Resistance, turning the droplets they have, into a mighty ocean to beat The First Order.
Though Resistance Reborn is the first novel to truly focus in on the sequel trilogy’s heroes together, it doesn’t suffer from a rookie’s mistake. In fact, Roanhorse blazes a new trail for Star Wars literature, combining great character development with some unpredictable turns, along with a well written book. Resistance Reborn makes me super excited for the future of Star Wars canon, showcasing some strong building blocks off of each trilogy. There’s some political moves involved, working in the very best bits of the prequel trilogy. Then there’s the integral rebel organization buildings like Rogue One, Star Wars: Rebels and the original trilogy. And of course, there’s the sequel trilogy heroes, Poe, Rey, Finn, Rose, and more.
Leia gets some proper character development in Resistance Reborn, along with Poe. Both have some great quotes in the book, with Leia trying to pass on all she’s learned. She’s training Rey and Poe, mentoring to the best of her abilities. Rey’s feature is intriguing, and we learn a little more about her, and her Force abilities. Most importantly, Poe is the character of focus, as we learn how he recovers from his blunder in The Last Jedi. What did he learn after his mutiny? He learned leadership. He learned how to admit he made mistakes. Most importantly, he learned how to listen. Roanhorse took Poe from his lowest point, and raised him up, emphasizing Poe’s leadership qualities. Because of this, Poe’s transformation looks real; it doesn’t feel like he cheated his way into a turn around. He’s transformed into the leader who recognizes that his actions have consequences.
Roanhorse had a different challenge on her own, integrating characters from video games, previous novels, and two eras of film. Zay and Shriv are from the video game Battlefront II. In addition to the pair, there’s also Wedge Antilles, from the original trilogy, and Norra Wexley, as well as Snap Wexley, all present in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy. Norra and Snap are utilized extremely well. Norra builds up the new leaders of the Resistance, while Snap is a great compliment to Poe’s character, and showcases a character who has always appreciated Poe’s leadership. There were more characters I didn’t entirely know of, but revealing such could broach spoiler territory. I’m excited to explore them!
Wedge’s utilization was a surprise. Leia’s looking for leadership: is Wedge apart of that team? The answer might surprise you. Roanhorse represents Wedge’s idealistic characteristics remarkably well. She illustrates Wedge turning a new page in the same book he’s been apart of since his new introduction in Star Wars: Rebels. Wedge has mentored a lot of the Resistance’s up and comers. But he’s a pilot. Always has been, always will be. Roanhorse showcases that above all, and leaves this Wedge Antilles lover a happy camper. She does every character in the novel extraordinarily well.
If there’s one Star Wars novel I highly encourage people to pick up before The Rise of Skywalker, it’s this one. Resistance Reborn is a turning moment for Star Wars literature. It feels like Star Wars with space battles, spying, missions, rescues, and politics. Not to mention, it also takes a previously underdeveloped character, Poe Dameron, and explored his growth. There’s also some fun moments, with looks at FinnPoe and even Poe’s glorious hair. More importantly, we see the remains of the Resistance build back together. Make the droplets an ocean. Resistance Reborn is an important block in The Skywalker Saga, and I can’t wait to see the culmination this December in The Rise of Skywalker. -Katie Gilstrap
Character of Focus: Poe Dameron