Categories
In The Stacks

Resistance Reborn

I was really excited when I heard that there was going to be a book that talked more about the Resistance and its role in the new series of Star Wars movies. Sadly, Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse just didn’t live up to what I was expecting. It fell short, in many ways, of what could have been a really interesting book that explored the new Star Wars world. Spoilers ahead folks (especially for those that have not seen The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker films). 

First off, half this book wasn’t even about our beloved Resistance characters! The cover and the marketing for this book made it seem like it was about Poe, Finn, Rey, Rose, Leia, and Chewbacca, and how they were dealing with the First Order. In reality, half the book was taken up by a character within the First Order. Way more attention was paid to this character than almost any of the Resistance characters. Even more disappointing, is that this First Order character didn’t bring anything to the story – he was just a generic bad guy. 

Speaking of not bringing anything to the story…there wasn’t really one in this book? There didn’t seem to be much plot going on, and what story there was just wasn’t interesting. Also, a large piece of this novel relies on the reader to have read past Disney Star Wars Canon books, more specifically Bloodline by Claudia Gray. I reviewed Bloodline a while back, and it is one of the best Star Wars novels in my opinion. My problem with Resistance Reborn relying on information from Bloodline is that nowhere in the marketing does it mention that! If you haven’t read that book, the main story (Leia trying to save an old friend she thought had died) wouldn’t have the same weight to it. If you haven’t read that book, you’d probably be wondering who the heck this guy is that Leia is so concerned about.

The purpose of Resistance Reborn seems to be to fill in all the holes and complaints of Star Wars fans that were brought on by The Last Jedi and set up the new Resistance for The Rise of Skywalker (both of these things fell flat). One thing that was brought up time and time again in the book was how Poe had defied orders he was given in The Last Jedi, which led to the death of many Resistance fighters and Admiral Holdo. In Resistance Reborn he talks at length about feeling guilty about this, but instead of exploring these feelings and the reasons behind his actions, it all just falls flat. It felt surface-level, and I think there was a lot of missed potential here for exploring his character more. 

Overall, this was a disappointing read, and definitely not one of the better Star Wars novels that I have read. My advice is to skip this one.

Mari Pavelich

Categories
Quick Spins

John Williams

It’s nearly impossible to talk about the impact of the Star Wars franchise without mentioning John Williams. Over the years, I reviewed a couple of his soundtrack efforts (as if they even needed reviewing!). Here’s a quick look back…

John Williams

The Force Awakens (Disney)

http://www.starwars.com

Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of John Williams conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was amazing to hear the power of a live orchestra, playing the familiar strains of “Star Wars”,”Indiana Jones”,”Jurassic Park,” and “Harry Potter,” just to name a few.

Unlike a lot of contemporary creators of film scores, Williams has the ability to write orchestral hooks, instead of merely providing disposable background music. Is there anyone who doesn’t recognize “Darth Vader’s Theme”?  For The Force Awakens, Williams has written “Rey’s Theme,” for the film’s heroine, which sits nicely among other more well-known themes and transition pieces. The entire score was a pleasant listen that I look forward to revisiting.

John Williams

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney)

http://www.johnwilliams.org

Will a lot of film scores fail to make much of an impression, those of John Williams are instantly recognizable, even if you don’t particularly care for orchestration. Is there anyone among us who couldn’t identify “Star Wars’ Main Theme”? Williams doesn’t just score films, his compositions stick in your head like a hit song.

Familiar melodies weave with new, as Williams sets you firmly in a galaxy far, far, away. The music is lushly recorded and will have your thoughts drifting to scenes in the movie, which I really enjoy. I played “The Last Jedi” through three times, and will probably have another listen tomorrow. Highly recommended.

D.P.