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

The Rise of Skywalker

I’ve seen this film dissected to death online and in print, so rather than getting into the nuts and bolts of critiquing it for the millionth time, I thought I’d take a look at the emotional side of getting to see a new Star Wars movie.

Those close to me know that one of my favorite pleasures is going to the movies. When I arrive, I still get a charge out of looking at the backlit movie posters as I make my way to the concession stand. Waiting in line, I’ve always got a little twinge of nervous energy before I get my snacks and make my way into the theater. Snacks, you say? For me, it’s always buttered popcorn and a cherry Coke. If I’m in the mood for chocolate, it’s got to be either Snowcaps or Milkduds.

Just entering the actual theater still makes me feel like I did when my grandparents took me to see Peter Pan or The Apple Dumpling Gang, when I was a kid in the 1970’s. It’s one of my favorite places to be in the whole world. Before the previews start, I’m always in such a good mood that I even enjoy the trivia quiz and latest Coke commercial.

There’s almost always three of us; me, my wife and my daughter. We almost always see new Star Wars, Star Trek or Marvel movies together. My daughter was pretty young when the Star Wars prequels came out, so those are her favorites.

For us, these outings are as pleasant and happy as when we get to go to Wrigley to see our beloved Chicago Cubs play daytime baseball. We’re on vacation from politics, bills, work…most anything that occurs in everyday life. Our eyes and ears are focused on that beautiful silver screen, which has a way of bringing us together, as we share popcorn and Snowcaps.

While my daughter will always love the prequels the most, and my wife and I the original trilogy, we all agree that these new movies, including Rogue One and Solo, are really enjoyable. They could easily be picked apart, as they often are, but we’d just rather enjoy them. As imperfect as they are, they never stop being a vacation for us.