A Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker tie-in novel will detail the sequel trilogy's main characters' first mission together. One of the greatest challenges J.J. Abrams faced when helming The Force Awakens was creating a new generation of heroes that could take the torch from Luke, Han, and Leia and carry the Skywalker saga forward. By most accounts, he succeeded there, as many viewers instantly took to the trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron. Those three (along with Kylo Ren) carried The Force Awakens' first act and got the franchise's new era off to a great start.
As terrific as Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac are in their roles, they frankly haven't spent much time together in the new films. Finn had separate adventures with Poe and Rey in The Force Awakens, and then the trio handled their own storylines for a majority of The Last Jedi. For The Rise of Skywalker, Abrams knew he needed to take advantage of his terrific cast and make sure the main Resistance heroes go on a mission as a group. But before fans get to see the team united on the big screen, they'll have an opportunity to see how the gang works together in book from.
Today, Lucasfilm officially announced their Journey to The Rise of Skywalker book lineup, which features the novel Resistance Reborn. As the title suggests, the plot will follow Poe, Rey, Finn, and General Leia as they work to regroup their forces following the events of The Last Jedi. Other publications in the program include the Marvel comic Star Wars: Allegiance, middle school novel Spark of the Resistance, and non-fiction books like The Art of The Rise of Skywalker.
It's been hinted at before, but the details for Resistance Reborn essentially serve as confirmation there will be a time jump between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. That was always expected, seeing that the Millennium Falcon was big enough to fit the entire Resistance by the time Episode VIII wrapped up. If the heroes are going to take on Sheev Palpatine and (hopefully) win the ultimate war, they'll need some new recruits. Now, fans will be able to see what they went through in order to rebuild their scrappy army. Historically, the canon Star Wars novels are not required reading in order to understand the movies, but they do work as complements and can enhance certain aspects. So, Resistance Reborn won't be homework, but it should still make some fascinating contributions to the overall lore.
Considering the book's November due date, Resistance Reborn is going to function primarily as its own standalone story and not reveal too much about The Rise of Skywalker. That said, it may include a few clues about what fans can expect. The Last Jedi novelization provided the first hints that L3-37's consciousness was uploaded to the Falcon's mainframe, so there may be some subtle teases similar to that. Even if the book is scant on information for Episode IX, it sounds like it'll still be an entertaining read and help flesh out characters viewers have grown to love.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019