The latest Star Wars tie-in novel reveals what happened to the Resistance after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson's movie left the Resistance in a state of crisis, with their numbers diminished and their mightiest vessels destroyed by the First Order. Only Luke Skywalker's sacrifice allowed the Resistance leaders to escape from Kylo Ren on Crait.
And yet, the conclusion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was intended to be an optimistic one. The film argued that anyone can change the course of the galaxy, not just those born to a line of supposedly "great" parents. Indeed, the tales of the Rebels, the Resistance, and the Jedi were shown to still be inspiring people all over the galaxy - as embodied by the so-called "Broom Boy."
The latest Star Wars novel teases the return of the Resistance. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - A Crash of Fates, written by Zoraida Cordova, is set some months after the destruction of Hosnian Prime. It doesn't really focus on galactic affairs; it's set on the Rim-world of Batuu, and its protagonists are simply two down-on-their-luck lovers who get caught up in a criminal enterprise. But it nonetheless drops a lot of important clues.
It seems that, in the aftermath of their escape from Crait, the Resistance went to ground. General Leia Organa sent operatives across the galaxy to create a network of Resistance cells; there was even one on Batuu. These cells quietly expanded, using the legends of the Rebellion to encourage people to join up. At the same time, they secretly armed themselves, with each cell building up a small arsenal and fleet. It's almost exactly the same strategy Bail Organa used when creating the Rebellion.
There does seem to be one key difference, however: Bail's Rebellion took a long time to mobilize, simply because each cell ran independently. It took all the diplomatic skills of Mon Mothma to begin to bring the cells together in the so-called Rebel Alliance, and the destruction of the First Death Star was what really persuaded them all it was a good idea to coordinate their actions. In contrast, A Crash of Fates hints that Leia's Resistance cells are all working together, even sharing resources with the help of smugglers. The book ends with the Resistance cell on Batuu emerging from the shadows at last, launching a full-on attack on First Order forces that had been stationed there. Although it's not explicitly stated, it feels like the beginning of the Resistance's counter-strike against the First Order. It's possible that similar attacks are happening all over the galaxy - and if so, the First Order is about to realize just how great a threat the Resistance really is.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019