The new novel ‘Resistance Reborn’ is essential reading for ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ and also illustrates why the series isn’t like its Disney sibling.
This week’s release of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn — a new novel by Rebecca Roanhorse that takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker — is something for Star Wars fans to celebrate, given that it acts as an important bridge between the movies… and as a signpost as to where Star Wars is as a franchise right now.For fans of the property, especially those who follow material outside of the core movies, Resistance Reborn is close to invaluable. Beyond the fun of introducing — or, in many cases, re-introducing — characters with connections to multiple eras of the property, from the original trilogy through Star Wars: Rebels, the Aftermath series of novels and far more, it serves a number of very specific narrative purposes that, in many ways, feel necessary for the larger Star Wars story as a whole. Poe Dameron’s survivor’s guilt, and culpability in the slaughter of the Resistance in The Last Jedi is a recurring theme, as is Leia’s increasingly exhausted response to being one of the few remaining leaders the movement has left, offering a focus on the character that the movies are practically unable to in the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death in 2017.The book also traces the growth of the First Order across the galaxy, and places that growth in a political context generally absent from the movies — how does the galaxy feel about the Order’s presence? Why doesn’t it push back? Both questions are answered in the book — which underscores not only the feeling that Resistance Reborn is an integral chapter to the Skywalker Saga, but also that, at heart, Star Wars as it currently exists isn’t a franchise in the same way that Disney sibling Marvel is, but instead one singular story that occasionally branches off in different directions before returning to its primary focus.That’s McMillan’s premise, which is synopsized in the paragraph:
[O]ne of the things that Star Wars does well is maintain a level of consistency across projects which is doubtless easier when everything is working towards the same narrative goal. Additionally, a complaint of the pre-Disney Star Wars was that, the further projects moved from the movie source material, the less “Star Wars-y” it felt. Tying everything into the one central narrative is a fairly definitive solution for that problem.”
However, THR wonders aloud if things might be about to change:
Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige is plotting his own Star Wars movie. Next week sees the debut of The Mandalorian on Disney+ — a project that, notably enough, doesn’t even feature the words “Star Wars” in its title. Judging by promotional materials, the series doesn’t feature any narrative connection to anything else in Star Wars mythology outside of its setting, giving it an independence unknown in the Disney era, and a standalone appeal for casual viewers akin to a Marvel Studios project.
I loved this essay, and I think most Star Wars fans will, as well. Read it here.
Meanwhile, I am going to try and write as many stories as possible as I count the days remaining until The Mandalorian.
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A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop, became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com before the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smartphone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea, and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke, in central Massachusetts.
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