We’re all a little spoiled by the incredible casts of characters we see now in Marvel movies, but do you remember that feeling way back when you first witnessed Captain America meet Iron Man, or Thor team up with Hulk? If you’ve been following along with Star Wars outside the films, from animation to comics to games, you’ll get that same breathless excitement when you crack open Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse. The prequel novel to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Resistance Reborn brings together the last hope for the galaxy from some of the most unlikely places.

RESISTANCE REBORN Is the AVENGERS of STAR WARS_1Image: Del Rey / Disney / Lucasfilm

Resistance Reborn picks up soon after where The Last Jedi left off. The Resistance is in tatters, with most of its members recovering on the Millennium Falcon. Their top priority is finding their allies and solving the mystery of why none of them heeded General Organa’s call for help. There are just a precious few supporters out in the countless stars; how will Leia and the other members of the Resistance find them, much less start rebuilding?

If you want to avoid spoilers about the characters and places appearing in this stirring novel before you read it with your own eyes, stop reading now. Just know that you will want to read it before The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters this December! (No major story spoilers will be shared below, however.)

Two of the members of Black Squadron that you might remember from The Force Awakens, Snap Wexley and Jess Pava, are thankfully still alive and kicking. Snap, who first appeared in the Star Wars novel Aftermath, has married Karé Kun, another pilot and character who debuted in a tie-in book. They are led by Poe Dameron and joined by pilot and journalist Suralinda Javos, whom we first met in the Poe Dameron comic book series by Charles Soule. (And this is just Black Squadron that begins tying together various Star Wars stories. We’re just getting started.)

RESISTANCE REBORN Is the AVENGERS of STAR WARS_2Image: EA / Disney / Lucasfilm

They’re joined by Inferno Squadron, Zay and Shriv, characters that Star Wars Battlefront II players know and love. Zay is the daughter of former Imperials Iden Versio and Del Meeko, and Shriv is her surly yet lovable partner on her journey. (Veteran video games players will also recognize Corellian city names directly from Star Wars Galaxies.) Both squadrons have been directed by General Organa to find more supporters to rally to the Resistance’s cause, but things are looking grim.

Onboard the Millennium Falcon, Rey, Finn, Rose Tico, Chewbacca, and Leia are still reeling from the events of The Last Jedi. Rey is quiet and unsure of herself, taking a backseat role in the story, and Leia teeters on the brink of exhaustion from both her injuries and her unending sorrow. Her thoughts turn to the events of the novel Bloodline and give her an idea, her first bit of hope since leaving Crait behind.

RESISTANCE REBORN Is the AVENGERS of STAR WARS_3Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Oh, and did we mention that Wedge Antilles is living a quiet life as a farmer until the Resistance comes knocking?

There are a number of places and characters to connect in this prequel novel, and Rebecca Roanhorse does a fantastic job of tying story threads scattered across the galaxy together. She also focuses on Poe Dameron and his struggle to reconcile his actions and deeds on board the Raddus, a fascinating subplot that absolutely should have an impact on his character. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of Poe’s scenes in particular will make shippers’ hearts go pitter-patter.

All together, Resistance Reborn is practically required reading before The Rise of Skywalker, especially if you’re a fan of other Star Wars media or just want to know more about what Wedge Antilles has been up to. It’s a fun, fast-paced read, and makes waiting until December even more excruciating–in the best way.

Featured Image: Del Rey / Disney / Lucasfilm

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