"My point," Poe said. . . "is that many of us have dubious beginnings, but it is how we end that counts."
hat’s good about Resistance Reborn
One of the strongest traditions in Star Wars publishing is the lead-in novel that precedes a brand-new Star Wars film. Cloak of Deception with The Phantom Menace, Labyrinth of Evil with Revenge of the Sith, Catalyst with Rogue One, and Aftermath with The Force Awakens, for example. They build hype for the film, tease the story to come, and reward readers when we sit down in the theater with popcorn. That’s where Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse comes into the picture.
The fervor among the fandom in the months leading up to the explosive conclusion of the Skywalker Saga was HIGH. In the fallout over the divisive reception to The Last Jedi, fans were on edge awaiting the release of Episode IX. What would come of Kylo Ren and Rey? What do you mean Palpatine is back?! Who is Kerri Russell playing? Not to mention the tragic elephant in the room—how The Rise of Skywalker would handle the death of Carrie Fisher. All of these questions and more were on our minds as we picked up our copies of Resistance Reborn.
And it did not disappoint.
The groundbreaking connectivity of RR
Primarily following the story of Poe Dameron and the pilots of Black Squadron, Resistance Reborn chronicled the tale of the Resistance recruiting allies to rally to their cause in the fight against the First Order. Then, the Resistance strikes back after their ranks are depleted in The Last Jedi.
What was so remarkable about Resistance Reborn was its groundbreaking connectivity to various Star Wars stories. When the big announcement rocked the Star Wars fandom in April of 2014 that all ongoing Star Wars stories would be “Canon,” making for one large, interconnected universe, this was exactly what we hoped for. Characters established in Charles Soule’s Poe Dameron comic were major characters in this novel, alongside the team from the Battlefront II video game, the Aftermath Trilogy, and more. It truly felt like our heroes were all coexisting in one large universe rather than segmented across multiple properties in multiple media types.
The intent of the collection
This curated list is intended to recommend what you should read, play, or watch to fully appreciate this well-crafted, groundbreaking novel. We have two major categories—those of critical importance and other suggestions that are also relevant in a lesser sense but are absolutely worth your time.
Outline of the major inclusions of the collection
Resistance Reborn effectively is split into three ongoing plot threads consisting of three separate teams: Poe, Finn, and a small group from Black Squadron; Wedge Antilles, Norra and Snap Wexley; and finally, Zay Versio, Shriv Suurgav. Each of these characters’ origins in Star Wars storytelling enriches the experience of Resistance Reborn.
The Aftermath Trilogy by Chuck Wendig features the stories of Rebel pilot Norra Wexley, her spunky son Temmin—aka “Snap”—alongside fan-favorite character (especially to Legends fans), Wedge Antilles. The relationship between the three of them is full of heart and forges the foundation for their story in Resistance Reborn.
Our second recommendation is Charles Soule’s ongoing comics series, Poe Dameron. Not only does it flesh out everybody’s favorite cocky pilot, but it crafts a stellar cast of supporting characters comprising Black Squadron—many of whom are essential to Roanhorse’s story.
One important piece of media worth consuming before reading Resistance Reborn isn’t a book, nor a comic, but a video game! Battlefront II’s story mode, which follows the elite Imperial strike team, Inferno Squad (and what happens when things go up in flames), is a critical lead-in to Resistance Reborn. Zay Versio and the endearing Shriv Suurgav both originate in the game and are portrayed so lovingly by Brittany Volcy and Dan Donohue, respectively. Can’t you track down a console and the game itself? The story cinematics only takes about two hours to watch on YouTube (though the gameplay is certainly part of the larger experience).
Lastly, Bloodline by Claudia Gray. Bloodline chronicles the end of Leia’s career as a New Republic Senator and the very early beginnings of the Resistance. One of Gray’s original characters established therein is recruited in Resistance Reborn.
Books that didn’t quite make the cut but are relevant in an ancillary way
It goes without saying that we recommend watching both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi before reading Resistance Reborn. From there, we recommend following up with The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition novelization. Rae Carson elevates the film to an elite level with her masterful writing.
Beyond that, Battlefront II’s tie-in novel, Inferno Squad, is an excellent prequel to the game’s story (kind of a grandfather to Zay & Shriv’s story in Resistance Reborn). Poe Dameron: Free Fall is the Resistance pilot’s backstory of his days as a spice runner, a good companion piece if you want to learn more about Poe’s side of the story as it relates to Episode IX. If you want to go even further back into Poe’s history, check out the Shattered Empire comics miniseries for his parents’ adventures in the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!
Books in this Collection
After the fall of the Empire, the Senate is split into the Populist and Centrist parties. Both profess the goal of restoring the Republic, though they are unable to set aside their opposing views. Tired of the pointless bickering within the Senate, Leia takes on one final mission before retiring. However, the mission proves to be bigger than she originally thought, inducing chaos and unveiling corruption.
Leave it to Claudia Gray to make politics exciting with action and drama! Bloodline is also an excellent gateway into the sequel trilogy, making this an essential read for fans interested in that era.
WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCE
When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.
Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.
As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing. . . .
Poe Dameron Vol. 1: Black Squadron (Trade Paperback)
Star Wars - Episode VII: The Force Awakens
The long-anticipated comeback of the Star Wars saga kicked off with a bang with 2015’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens. From acclaimed filmmaker JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (writer on a little movie called The Empire Strikes Back), The Force Awakens ignited the world into a Star Wars frenzy. The film introduces Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and BB-8 alongside the Original Trilogy characters Han, Leia, and Luke—who’s gone missing. It’s nostalgic, epic, and set the tone for the brand-new era of Star Wars storytelling.
Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson’s sequel to the Force Awakens is one of the most controversial chapters in Star Wars storytelling history. It’s widely beloved and despised—which makes for great art, to say the least. It opens in the moments immediately after Episode VII, with Rey having found Luke Skywalker, the Resistance on the run from the First Order, and Kylo Ren planning something nobody could see coming. It’s an artfully made film sure to generate conversation when the credits roll.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Expanded Edition
Shattered Empire: (Trade Paperback)
Emperor Palpatine's twenty-year reign of terror came to an abrupt and fiery end in the skies above the forest moon of Endor. A decisive victory for the Rebel Alliance, to be sure, but even with the loss of its leadership, the Empire's Moffs and regional governors retained their hold on important systems from the Core to the Outer Rim, thanks to the might of the Imperial Starfleet. Now, with a power vacuum atop the Empire, those Moffs will jockey for position and control, and the heroes of the Rebel Alliance will soon discover that a wounded and fractious Empire may be more dangerous than any threat they faced before! For the first time in the new Star Wars canon, journey with us into the time after the end of Return of the Jedi!
Poe Dameron: Free Fall
Aftermath: Life Debt
While the Emperor and Vader have been defeated, Imperial strongholds still prevail throughout the galaxy. One such stronghold is none other than Chewie’s homeworld of Kashyyyk, which has been transformed by the Empire into a world-wide labor camp. After a failed attempt to free the Wookies from slavery, Chewbacca is imprisoned in Ashmead’s Lock. Han Solo, Norra Wexley, and a handful of other rebels must undertake the mission to free not only Chewbacca, but all of Kashyyyk.
Chuck Wendig continues the post-ROTJ storyline with this, the thrilling middle chapter of his Aftermath trilogy. The book also stars fan favorite characters, including Wedge Antilles, Han Solo, and Chewbacca.
The galaxy is changing, and with peace now a possibility, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt, by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee's home world of Kashyyyk.
Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of rebels pursue Admiral Rae Sloane and the remaining Imperial leadership across the galaxy. Sloane, increasingly wary of the mysterious fleet admiral, desperately searches for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. Even as Imperial forces fight to regain lost ground, Princess Leia and the New Republic seek to broker a lasting peace.
But the rebel's hunt for Admiral Sloane is cut short after the disappearance of Han Solo and Chewbacca. Desperate to save them, Leia conscripts Norra, Sinjir, Jas, and the rest of their team to find the missing smugglers and help them in their fight for freedom.
Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
The massively successful video game sequel to Battlefront (2015) took the franchise to new heights by not only expanding on the multiplayer first-person shooter experience, but by crafting a story mode that made a significant impact on the story of the Star Wars itself. Following the career of Iden Versio and her squadmates in Inferno Squad, Battlefront II is equal parts compelling narrative, rich environments, engaging gameplay, and heart. Iden’s character development mirrors the conflict at the very heart of the Star Wars.
After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera.
Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost. Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail. To protect and preserve the Empire, to what lengths will Inferno Squad go . . . and how far beyond them?
The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.
What many still don't know about the Empire is that it did not instantly crumble with the destruction of the second Death Star. For a long time, those who remained loyal to the Emperor held on, refusing to surrender and accept defeat. In the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, there is still a war to be won. And it's not just up to the high-profile heroes we know and love to get the job done.
Follow an unlikely team of rebel heroes, from old heroes like Wedge Antilles to new ones like Temmin Wexley, as they struggle against what remains of Palpatine's forces and try to save the galaxy from coming undone again.
As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy's scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy's strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but is taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.
Meanwhile, on the planet's surface, former Rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world—war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles's urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn't know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.
Determined to preserve the Empire's power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit—to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven't reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies—her technical genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector—who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire's oppressive reign once and for all.
Aftermath: Empire's End
As the final showdown between the New Republic and the Empire draws near, all eyes turn to a once-isolated planet: Jakku.
The Battle of Endor shattered the Empire, scattering its remaining forces across the galaxy. But the months following the Rebellion's victory have not been easy. The fledgling New Republic has suffered a devastating attack from the Imperial remnant, forcing the new democracy to escalate their hunt for the hidden enemy.
For her role in the deadly ambush, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is the most wanted Imperial war criminal—and one-time rebel pilot Norra Wexley, back in service at Leia's urgent request, is leading the hunt. But more than just loyalty to the New Republic drives Norra forward: Her husband was turned into a murderous pawn in Sloane's assassination plot, and now she wants vengeance as much as justice.
But Sloane, too, is on a furious quest: pursuing the treacherous Gallius Rax to the barren planet Jakku. As the true mastermind behind the Empire's devastating attack, Rax has led the Empire to its defining moment. The cunning strategist has gathered the powerful remnants of the Empire's war machine, preparing to execute the late Emperor Palpatine's final plan. As the Imperial fleet orbits Jakku, an armada of Republic fighters closes in to finish what began at Endor. Norra and her crew soar into the heart of an apocalyptic clash that will leave land and sky alike scorched. And the future of the galaxy will finally be decided.