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This article contains minor spoilers for Resistance Reborn but does not reveal the plot of the novel.
Star Wars: Resistance Reborn might be the most anticipated Star Wars novel in recent history. After all, it finally tells us what happens after the dramatic events of The Last Jedi, after the remnants of the Resistance make their escape aboard the Millennium Falcon. We know that there's a bit of a time jump between the end of the eighth movie and the beginning of the final movie in the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker. Rebecca Roanhorse, an exceptionally talented author, fills in that gap for us.
If you're looking for a spoiler-filled recounting of what happens in Resistance Reborn, that's not what you'll find here. I'm not going to ruin what happens in the book — for that, you'll have to read it yourself — but I am excited to talk about some of the tidbits I discovered while reading that signal what might be to come, and what situation The Resistance might find itself in, when Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in December.
The Resistance does still have allies, and they'll presumably make themselves known by the time The Rise of Skywalker rolls around.
At the end of The Last Jedi, Rey and Chewbacca came to the rescue of Leia, Finn, Poe, and what was left of the Resistance after their calls for help went unanswered. Some of us were worried that was because the galaxy had given up on the freedom fighters and bent to the will of the First Order. But, as Roanhorse makes clear in Resistance Reborn, that's not the case.
However, there's a good reason that no one came to the Resistance's aid, and that’s what the core of Resistance Reborn is about. Things continue to look bleak for the remnants of the Resistance, but there is light ahead.
Leia has accepted what her son has become and won't try to save him.
Part of the Skywalker journey over the course of this final trilogy has been that of Ben Solo, who has fallen deeper and deeper into darkness. One of the main questions for The Rise of Skywalker is whether Rey can save Ben.
Well, it turns out Leia has an answer for Rey, and for all of us: She can't.
That doesn't mean we won’t see the redemption of Kylo Ren, it just means that Leia knows in her core that only one person can save Ben Solo: himself. And she's not entirely sure he wants to be saved.
There may be more familiar faces in The Rise of Skywalker.
We already know we'll be seeing Emperor Palpatine (or what's left of him) and Lando Calrissian in the next movie. But if Resistance Reborn is any indication, we may be seeing a whole lot more than just those faces.
One of the primary goals of the Resistance after their defeat at the hands of the First Order is to seek out new allies. And in some cases, new allies mean old allies. This book finally sees Wedge Antilles, the hero of the Rebellion, return to the fight. It's more than possible we'll see him in the movies, and there are other old Rebel allies that are still alive that could absolutely make an appearance.
Poe will come into his own as a leader.
One of the most interesting journeys over the course of the new trilogy has been that of Poe Dameron who has been evolving from hotshot pilot with a heart of gold to a leader in his own right. There were certainly some missteps along the way, and Poe has to reckon with that, and the consequences of his actions, in Resistance Reborn.
Part of being an effective leader is admitting when you’re wrong. It's so interesting to watch Poe go from the leader of Black Squadron to a full-fledged leader of the Resistance, and we'll see the results from this reckoning on screen in December.
If you're planning on seeing The Rise of Skywalker sometime this December (and really, if you're reading this article, that's all of us), then even if you haven't dived into a Star Wars novel previously, I'd absolutely recommend picking up Resistance Reborn. It's quick, enjoyable, easy to read, and just a little heart-wrenching. (And, if you have some extra time, read Claudia Gray's post-Return of the Jedi Leia novel Bloodline beforehand, because I consider Resistance Reborn its spiritual successor.)