Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why You Need To Read Resistance Reborn Before Seeing The Rise Of Skywalker

The anticipation surrounding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is reaching a fever pitch now with just over a month to go until its December release date. As usual, those cagey folks over at Disney are letting nothing slip with regards to details of what fans can expect when they walk into cinemas — and, unsurprisingly, the film's trailers didn't give much away either. The teaser for The Rise of Skywalker offered only flashes of all the usual characters without much in the way of context, while the more recent final trailer seemed to emphasize ominous endings, tense meetings, and character growth... without actually confirming anything. Oh, and we got to hear the manic laughter of Emperor Palpatine, a villain thought to have been dead since the release of Return of the Jedi was released back in the '80s, which is yet another Rise of Skywalker mystery that needs unravelling. 

Aside from a few "what the heck?!" moments shown in trailers, we've been starved for concrete details by the cast and crew of the film. One of the few little snippets of information eager fans have received is that there will be a short time lapse between the end of The Last Jedi and the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker. Since The Last Jedi picked up almost immediately after The Force Awakens, there's a gap between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker that needs bridging – and there's a way fans can do just that. Author Rebecca Roanhorse is releasing a Star Wars companion novel, entitled Resistance Reborn, which begins exactly at the final scene of The Last Jedi.

Old faces, new fights in Star Wars: Resistance Reborn

Set for release on November 5, Star Wars: Resistance Reborn picks up in the direct aftermath of The Last Jedi and follows Leia Organa, Rey, Rose Tico, Finn, and Poe Dameron as they fan out across the galaxy to track down support for the Resistance. With the coalition in shambles after their last encounter with the First Order on Crait – and now without Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in the ranks — the Resistance desperately needs allies if their ever-shrinking crew is going to win the war.

Per iO9, some characters in Resistance Reborn are new to the Star Wars universe, but there will also be a few familiar faces on the search for more Resistance members. One of those belongs to Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) — who famously helped Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Rey (Daisy Ridley), and Finn (John Boyega) in The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, aligning herself with the Resistance didn't end well, with the First Order descending on the forest planet Takodana and destroying her castle. In excerpts from Resistance Reborn, it doesn't appear as if Poe Dameron's (Oscar Isaac) persuasive charm is going to win Maz over this time. 

"The Resistance needs your help," Poe tells Maz in an excerpt. "We need a place to hide and regroup. It needs to be outside of prying First Order eyes but able to handle our needs for housing, supplies, communications."

Maz doesn't seem all that receptive to the request, responding rather callously with, "Didn't you say there were only a handful of you left on a single ship? What needs could you have?" 

Another excerpt from Resistance Reborn, published on StarWars.com, brings back an even older hero to the resistance: Wedge Antilles, the expert X-wing pilot from the old Rebellion in the original Star Wars trilogy. The piece sees Antilles learn that his old friend and fellow Rebel Luke Skywalker is no longer alive, and that he's not the only one who is gone. The newsflash seems to shocking him, and might spur him on to join the Resistance in The Rise of Skywalker and fight alongside the crew for which his friend died. It's also revealed in Resistance Reborn that Wedge was one of Poe Dameron's mentors — all the more reason for him to join the Resistance force. 

"'I don't understand,' Wedge said. He stood up and took a few steps away, as if he wanted to put space between himself and Snap's news. 'Admiral Ackbar is gone?'

Snap nodded. 

'But he survived Endor. And Jakku. I thought...' Wedge ran a shaky hand through his graying hair. 'I thought he would live forever. How?'

'Does it matter?' Norra asked. 

Wedge looked at her, but she shrugged and looked away. 

'There's one more loss. Wedge, you better sit down.' 

Oh no. That was a sure sign Wedge preferred to stand. He leaned back against the edge of the kitchen counter and crossed his arms. 'Tell me,' he commanded, his voice hard. 

'Luke Skywalker.'

Wedge swayed. He reached back, gripping the counter. Not Luke. Could he even be killed? Didn't Jedi live forever or something?"

Resistance Reborn features a pivotal arc for Poe Dameron

In The Last Jedi, the strapping Poe Dameron let his confidence cloud his judgment, which resulted in a major tragedy. Poe insisted that Resistance bombers attempt to destroy a First Order Dreadnought, but the plan failed and saw the destruction of all the bombers and death of that entire crew. According to StarWars.com, Poe is still very much grappling with his mistakes, and must contact the members of the Black Squadron (the starfighter squadron he founded) and let them know what he's done. Star Wars: Resistance Reborn shows Poe taking the first step toward becoming a better leader — and facing the continued consequences of his actions — which StarWars.com notes will set up how he's portrayed in The Rise of Skywalker

One final stand

The characters featured in Star Wars: Resistance Reborn span across the films, comic books, video games, and even other fanfic — bringing together a wide array of different people (and other creatures) both old and new as the heroes try to rebuild the ranks of the Resistance. This means we'll get to see more of what old favorite characters have been up to, and hopefully see them return to the action in The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: Resistance Reborn bridges the gap between the Resistance's final battle on Crait in The Last Jedi and the still-unknown start of The Rise of Skywalker, giving fans valuable information and something tasty to snack on as they wait to see what their heroes will endure in the new movie, the last of the Skywalker Saga. 

Purchase Star Wars: Resistance Reborn on November 5, then count down the days until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.