Rogue One prequel books, Rebel Rising and Guardians of the Whills, release today


Two new Star Wars books – Rebel Rising by Beth Revis and Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka – releasing today serve as prequels to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Star Wars fans can learn more about three of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s main characters by reading two new books releasing in stores today.

Rebel Rising, a young adult novel by Beth Revis, follows the adventures of young Jyn Erso as she navigates the dangerous world of mercenaries and lowlifes. Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka, meanwhile, shows Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus struggling to find new purpose after the Empire takes over Jedha. Both stories take place prior to the events of Rogue One.

Image Credit: Disney-Lucasfilm Press

Below is the official synopsis for Rebel Rising from Disney Publishing:

"When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone—Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel herself.Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and who she can really trust."

Jyn Erso is the perfect subject for a young adult novel. In Rogue One when she is in her twenties, she carries a lot of anger, which means she is probably even angrier in her teenage years. Strong emotion is something a lot of teenagers and young adults relate to. At the same time, angst is not the beginning and end of Jyn’s character; she is also caring, fearless and vulnerable. And her life story is no doubt an interesting one. Hopefully Rebel Rising will reveal the details of her adventures as a mercenary under Saw Gerrera’s command and how deeply his “betrayal” affects her.

Image Credit: Disney-Lucasfilm Press

Guardians of the Whills, too, promises new revelations about characters who were first introduced in Rogue One. Read Disney Publishing’s synopsis for the novel below:

"On the desert world of Jedha, in the Holy City, friends Baze and Chirrut used to be Guardians of the Whills, who looked after the Kyber Temple and the devoted pilgrims who worshipped there. Then the Empire came and took over the planet. The temple was destroyed and the people scattered. Now Baze and Chirrut do what they can to resist the Empire and protect the people of Jedha, but it never seems to be enough. Then a man named Saw Gerrera arrives, with a militia of his own and grand plans to take down the Empire. It seems like the perfect way for Baze and Chirrut to make a real difference and help the people of Jedha live better lives. But will it come at too great a cost?"

As a fan of Star Wars lore, I want to learn more about the Kyber Temple on Jedha, what the Whills are and why Chirrut and Baze are their guardians. Unfortunately, I doubt we will get a primer on any of those things in Guardians of the Whills, considering the latter is a middle-grade book. Furthermore, the book’s synopsis suggests that the story focuses on Chirrut and Baze’s adventures with Saw Gerrera. But anything involving Chirrut and Baze and their friendship is bound to be entertaining and at least a little eye-opening, if not earth-shattering. I’ll also take any tidbits I can get about the history of the Kyber Temple and the culture of Force believers on Jedha.

What do you think of these new books? Will you pick them up?