If you attended the “Join the Resistance!” Star Wars panel at this past weekend’s New York Comic Con, you were witness to something truly special.
Hosted by Ashley Eckstein, the panel featured authors who are part of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” publishing line including Delilah S. Dawson (Black Spire), Justina Ireland (Spark of the Resistance), Kevin Shinick (Force Collector), and Ethan Sacks (Allegiance). Matt Martin from the Lucasfilm story group was on-hand as well to add some insight into how this entire thing comes together.
It was a great panel that featured a ton of insight into how these individual titles all converge, to help pave a clear path for us, as we crash into the exciting conclusion of the Skywalker Saga this December.
First-time Star Wars author Rebecca Roanhorse was also there to tell us all about her forthcoming novel, “Resistance Reborn” And the day before on Force Friday, Banes & Noble released an exclusive excerpt which revealed several exciting details about the book. You can read that excerpt HERE.
Not only are we getting an exciting new character, an ex-Imperial named Teza Nasz, and Inferno Squadron members Zay Versio and Shriv are joining the fight, but a very old ally from General Organa’s past is back in the mix.
That’s right, General Carlist Rieekan is back and seems ready to help! We don’t yet know what Rieekan was up to after the Battle of Jakku, but we do know at some point the “Rieekan Ribbon for Bravery in Battle” was created to honor his many years fighting the Empire.
A recipient of this award, and the lead character in this book, was none other than Poe Dameron! There’s no doubt Leia will have Rieekan take on a leadership role and perhaps offer some guidance to Poe. Here’s hoping the two get a chance to share some stories and maybe we’ll learn what Rieekan has been doing for the last 30 years.
Star Wars audiobook narrator extraordinaire, Marc Thompson, performed a dramatic reading of this excerpt to a packed room to kick off the panel. It was one of many goosebump-inducing moments during the panel and I think it’s safe to say, we are all waiting for Resistance Reborn with bated breath.
I caught up with Rebecca after the panel for a very brief chat to discuss what little we learned from the excerpt!
So, tell us how you wound up writing a Star Wars book?
It really started because I had campaigned for someone, not specifically myself, of native American descent to get a chance at writing Star Wars.
I talked a lot about the native American influence in Star Wars, from the Ewoks being based on the Miwok tribe, to Leia walking into Jabba’s throne room saying “Yá'át'ééh, Yá'át'ééh” which is Navaho for “hello”. So, with all these little details sprinkled in I thought it would be exciting for a native to write Star Wars.
When the other authors picked up on this, they really got behind the idea of me getting to write the story! So, eventually I heard from my agent that Tom (Hoeler) at Del Rey had asked if I was interested in doing a Star Wars project, and I immediately said yes!
We know Lucasfilm give’s the author’s a list of “must have’s”, how much of the book is “Roanhorse”?
They gave me a lot of freedom, to do my own thing but they did they give me a couple of paragraphs, wanting me to focus on a couple of characters and focus on leadership. It’s a journey through leadership and rebuilding the Resistance, so, it’s not just about ships and fleets and things like that. It’s about people, about finding the right people.
So, they wanted the focus to be on that, talking more about people but other than that they just let me run with it!
Talk about having Inferno Squadron join the story, and how was it writing Shriv who to me is kind of a loveable nihilist?
Inferno Squadron was their idea and I ran with it. I haven’t played Battlefront 2, but I watched all the narrative parts of the game, a number of times. I totally fell in love with the characters, it’s incredible storytelling all unto itself.
Shriv is so much fun to write, and yeah, he is kind of a loveable nihilist! And he, and Zay, play important roles in the book beyond the excerpt that was released.
The biggest reveal, from this excerpt anyways, is the return of General Rieekan. Will we find out what he’s been up to for 30 years…and how old is he?
This came from just a general love of Hoth and Empire Strikes Back. I really wanted these people form Leia’s past as I feel like her story has come full circle. For me, writing this book was all about bringing disparate threads together to end the Skywalker Saga, one last hurrah.
It felt important that these people, these old allies, from Leia’s past would be involved somehow.
She’s looking for allies, she’s looking for people to help, there’s a sense of desperation and fear, and they need leadership. It just made sense to me that if he’s still out there, he would answer the call.
He’s pretty old! I had an age in mind, but they didn’t want to focus on that. I went in older, he’s definitely an elder, but they explained to me that Star Wars people don’t age like the rest of us do.
But, as far as the book goes and his part, I can’t say anything more.
Teza Nasz seems like such a cool new character! What can you tell us about her and how she fits into the larger picture?
One of the ideas Lucasfilm had was to introduce ex-Imperials as allies. The Resistance is pretty desperate right now, they’re looking for allies anywhere and everywhere, so what would that look like.
Teza was my creation and I wanted to introduce an ex-Imperial who had been pretty desperate herself. I had just read the Aftermath trilogy, so I was really thinking about the Battle of Jakku, and how people would survive something like that. What would happen to them? That’s sort of where Teza came from.
I really loved the idea of introducing an ex-Imperial to the Resistance and that not everyone is going to be okay with that. They have a lot of sins to answer for so there’s going to be conflict within the ranks. Some will not accept them, thinking they don’t deserve it, while others will say they deserve a second chance.
And that in a way mirrors a lot of Poe Dameron’s personal struggles, with what he’s done, the mistakes he’s made, the lives that have been lost. He’s obviously not an ex-Imperial, but the idea that people can make mistakes, make really bad mistakes, but at the same time atone for them, and maybe come back from those. That’s really what this story is about.
I look forward to speaking with Rebecca properly once the book is out and everyone has had a chance to read it! From what I've seen, this should be something very special indeed.
For her part, Rebecca is very excited to a part of a franchise that means a lot to her personally, and we all should feel very lucky to have her! In person, she's warm and engaging and I can't wait to have a deep-dive with her once I've read the book.
"Star Wars: Resistance Reborn" will be on sale November 5th and is published by Penguin Random House/Del Rey. It is available for pre-order now and you can order a copy today by clicking HERE!
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