When last I read this novel it was roughly three weeks before The Rise of Skywalker would enter theaters. At the time, Resistance Reborn, the prequel novelization to the final installment in the Skywalker Saga, was not what I expected or wanted. Despite having a story featuring all three major characters in the Sequel Trilogy–Rey, Finn, and Poe–the novel only truly focused on Dameron, a fact that I wasn’t very happy about at the time. It also told a story that was a bit slow and less epic than I expected, leading me to not liking the novel very much.
Now, after having seen The Rise of Skywalker a total of eight times I revisited the novel with a new lens on the story and surprisingly it was actually kind of really good.
Rebecca Roanhorse, the author of this touching prequel, tells a story highlighting the resilience of the Resistance and the shocking cruelty of the First Order in a telling fashion that perfectly sets up the events of The Rise of Skywalker.
No, there are epic lightsaber duels and whispers of a phantom menace returning from the depths of the dead (Palpatine.) Yeah, Poe’s handsome looks and good hair are frequently pointed out in this story to a slightly annoying level. I mean, I get it, he’s a good looking guy, but I don’t think it needed to be broadcast so grandly in this novel. And maybe I’m still a bit peeved that Finn and Rose’s romance was “just a moment” and was thus eradicated, which was even more apparent in the actual movie, but beyond these gripes that I have about the story I did appreciate the tale Roanhorse tried to elaborate.
The Resistance is in shambles but a small group of people willing to risk it all are slowly able to build the rebellious faction back to prominence simply through sheer will. It makes the victory the Resistance finally receive at the end of The Rise of Skywalker all the more heartfelt and Leia’s death seems to have more impact when you realize just how important she was to the Resistance’s own moral support.
If you like a calmer Star Wars novel that focuses more on characters’ and self-exploration rather than action and mystical works of the Force, Resistance Reborn is a book worth reading.
I’ll give this novel a solid 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not as good as the novelization of The Last Jedi or the riveting prequel novel to Rogue One, Catalyst, but it is somewhat enjoyable, particularly the novel’s last 100 pages.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a remarkable day. May the Force be with you, always.