Resistance Reborn begins to lay the groundwork for the Resistance’s revival, and the result is yet another fully immersive entry into the Star Wars universe
Nearly two years ago, Star Wars:The Last Jedi concluded with a Resistance so small it could fit in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Rey echoed the thoughts of both the in-universe survivors and out-of-universe audience members with a single question:
“How do we build a Rebellion from this?”
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Indeed, their fleet had been decimated, Luke Skywalker was dead, and all hope was lost except for that which existed in their own heads.
Fast forward to The Rise of Skywalker, and the Resistance has suddenly amassed huge swaths of capital ships, members, funding, and a fully operational base.
We may never know the true extent of how the Resistance built itself back into what we’ll see in the upcoming film, as least not until the movie comes out. Resistance Reborn, however, begins to lay the groundwork for such a revival, and the result is yet another fully immersive and fan service-filled entry into the Star Wars universe, one that I am certain will satisfy those who desire more Star Wars stories.
Resistance Reborn definitely does not disappoint if you are looking to indulge re-visit characters and locations prevalent throughout Star Wars canon. Polygon has reiterated this sentiment, going so far as to call it essential reading.
The novel picks up almost immediately after Episode VIII: Poe’s mutiny and the First Order’s firepower have led to the destruction of 90% of the Resistance, Leia is still recovering from the time she was being hurled into space, and Luke Skywalker has become one with the Force.
So, how exactly does Resistance Reborn set up the Rise of Skywalker?
One of the most common complaints directed at the sequel trilogy thus far has been the lack of world building. Resistance Reborn makes up for this in spades.
The novel portrays the Order as a widespread, galactic authority with far more resources and manpower than the handful of Star Destroyers shown in Episode VIII.
Their aim? To spread their dominance through the galaxy in the wake of the destruction of the New Republic. They are funded by the local merchants and politicians who gladly grant them labor and resources out of a desire to be left alone, and the Order is still in the process of asserting galactic influence.
Poe Dameron’s arc
Poe Dameron, the Resistance’s resident ace pilot, ends the novel with a completely different attitude on display when compared to him in The Last Jedi.
The Last Jedi portrays Poe Dameron as a cocky and overconfident “hotshot” who leads a mutiny against his commanding officer out of her unwillingness to share her plan with him. He consequently gets dozens, if not hundreds of his comrades killed.
Resistance Reborn ends with a Poe Dameron that is far more meek and deferential compared to the last time we saw him. Poe is forced to come to terms with his actions, and ends the novel as a better man for it.
How the Resistance is (and will be) Reborn
The final act of The Last Jedi features our heroes, overwhelmed and battered down, sending out a distress signal asking for help against the First Order. No one responds.
While the film itself suggests that the lack of response stems from apathy and a reluctance to join in on the fight, Resistance Reborn pulls back the curtain and reveals that potential allies have neglected to respond because they can’t; the First Order has been rounding them up, labelling them as “subversives” and kidnapping them.
Resistance Reborn ends with our heroes having obtained this list of “subversives,” fully intent on making use of it to build up their base and undermine the control of the First Order.
Resistance Reborn was released on November 5th. It is part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker campaign, featuring novels, comics and other stories meant to set up The Rise of Skywalker.