Rogue One: A Star Wars Story began with a flashback. We saw how a plucky Jyn Erso was separated from her family and taken away from the world she knew by trusted family friend Saw Gerrera. When we caught up with her as an adult, however, we met a hardened rabble-rouser who had been left to fend for herself from a relatively young age. The new novel Rebel Rising by Beth Revis fills in the gap in Jyn's history and details her time with Saw and his partisan movement.
I'm. Here. For. This.
Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt from Chapter Two of Rebel Rising today, with a passage that covers what's going through Jyn's mind as she leaves Lah'mu with Saw. She's young—only eight years old—and though she doesn't fully comprehend the scale of what's happening, she knows more than you would think. The excerpt is brief, but even in a handful of paragraphs, it's clear how much Rebel Rising connects to the timeline of the Star Wars universe it follows and precedes. These are a few ways it ties to Catalyst, the Rogue One prequel novel, and to Rogue One.
Ersos on Coruscant
Before the Erso family escaped to Lah'mu, they lived on Coruscant. Jyn recalls their time on the city planet when Galen worked directly for the Empire. We saw Galen and Lyra's perspective of that period in Catalyst, and in this excerpt, we see it through Jyn's eyes. She knew her parents weren't happy there; she picked up on her father's stress.
Catalyst detailed Galen's study of and obsession with kyber crystals. At this point in the timeline, it's clear the crystals are valuable to the Empire, but only a select few within Imperial ranks know why. Jyn's aware her father studied the subject, and so is Saw, but they haven't connected the dots yet.
Saw Is Rough Around the Edges
Jyn remembers Saw "being funny and kind." If you've seen Rogue One or even the character's appearance in Star Wars Rebels, those would probably be the last two words you'd use to describe him. This excerpt might be years before we encounter Saw on Jedha in the movie, but he's already hardened and focused on answers rather than sympathy. Jyn obviously has a lot to process, but Saw doesn't care because he needs to know why the Empire came after Galen.
That attitude coupled with his statement, "I don’t know what to do with you, kid," doesn't paint Saw as an ideal guardian—not even close. It's clear he's a desperate measure, a last chance personified.
On the Run
Saw helped the Ersos get off of Coruscant. They weren't exactly prisoners, but they couldn't leave the planet without being questioned and probably stopped, so they became fugitives. Jyn references a more peaceful life on Lah'mu, but her thoughts reveal that despite the peace, the Ersos stayed on their toes. They never forgot they were essentially on the run from the Empire and participated in safety drills. None of their plans included the possibility of Lyra dying and Jyn being on her own.
The Empire's Resources
As Jyn leaves the planet with Saw, she sees a Star Destroyer above the planet. That denotes a couple of things: the importance of Galen Erso to the Empire (Saw comments on the significance of them sending a Star Destroyer) and the Empire's resources. If they can spare a Star Destroyer for what is essentially an errand, they're probably doing pretty okay.
Rebel Rising is available today, May 2. Will you be picking up a copy? Let me know in the comments.
Images: Disney Lucasfilm Press, Lucasfilm