On Force Friday, Barnes & Noble released and exclusive excerpt from Rebecca Roanhorse's forthcoming novel, "Star Wars: Resistance Reborn" They also posted a lengthy interview with the first-time Star Wars author, which you can read HERE.
In the excerpt, which you can read below, General Organa and Commander Poe Dameron are reunited after Poe returns from a recruitment mission, but he's not alone! He's got Black Squadron members Jessica Pava and Suralinda Javos with him, plus a strange new member, an ex-Imperial officer named Teza Nasz.
And fans of "Star Wars: Battlefront 2" can rejoice as Poe wasn't the only one out recruiting, that's right, two members of Inferno Squadron have arrived! Zay Versio and Shriv have rejoined the Resistance after a recruiting mission of their own where they learned the First Order is more evil than they ever thought. But they did manage to find some warm bodies, and one of them is an old, but very familiar face to Leia.
Read the excerpt below to find out who!
Leia left the library to go and greet the arriving fleet. As she made her way down the tunnels to the incoming ships, she was joined by R2-D2. She hadn’t seen the little droid in days. She guessed he was mourning Luke in his own way so she had let him have his space. But she was glad to see him now, and he rattled off a happy greeting.
“Aren’t you supposed to be helping Rey with repairs to the Falcon?” she asked.
“That’s good news,” Leia agreed. “I’m glad it’s done. Now we see what Poe and his Black Squadron have brought us.”
Another round of beeps, and Leia nodded.
“Inferno Squad, too,” she amended. “All good pilots. Good people. But we need leadership, Artoo, not just soldiers. I need thinkers, strategists, battle experience.”
She laughed. “You do have a lot of experience. You would make a good leader.”
They left the side tunnel and entered the main hangar. It hummed with noise and activity and the smell of ships that had recently been flying among the stars. Leia embraced it all. It was expectation. It was hope. It was what would keep them alive.
The ships groaned as they settled into the Ryloth gravity and dry desert air. Excited voices called to one another in greeting, and astromechs whirled and beeped requests for fuel and repairs.
“Leia!” a voice called, and she looked up to find Poe Dameron heading her way at a steady clip.
R2 beeped a question and Leia pressed a hand briefly to his head. “Yes, go say hello to Beebee-Ate,” she said, and the droid spun merrily away.
“Commander,” she greeted Poe as he approached. He flushed brightly. He ran a hand through his thick dark curls and dipped his chin, chagrined.
“General,” he amended his greeting with a nod. “Sorry for the informality. Just glad to see you.”
“I’m glad to see you too, Poe.” She hadn’t really meant to correct him, just remind him that they were here in front of potential new leadership and that they should set an example. “Walk with me and tell me what we have.”
He walked her through the hangar, pointing as they went. “The two pilots there you know from Black Squadron, Jessica Pava and Suralinda Javos. The woman with them is ex-Imperial officer Teza Nasz. They found her on Rattatak after fighting in the death pits.”
He pointed to the eastern quadrant where Jess and Suralinda had parked their ships. Jess was bent over, talking to her astromech. Her dark hair was matted on the side with what looked like blood. Leia made a note to make sure the pilot got medical attention immediately. To her left, Suralinda was greeting a woman who had made her way over from the civilian transport ship. The woman was imposing, unusually tall and rippling with what seemed to be hard-won muscle.
She wore a one-shouldered jumpsuit that looked like it had been stitched together from a mixture of animal hides and discarded armor. Her exposed arm displayed an elaborate stretch of short slashing lines that had been cut into her dark skin from shoulder to elbow, and below the elbow she wore a leather bracer. Her thick hair was dyed blood red and she held it back in dreadlocks that trailed down her back.
Leia stifled an incredulous laugh. “That warlord is ex-Imperial?”
“So they say,” Poe said. “She was an officer in the Imperial Navy. Some sort of genius strategist involved in the Battle of Jakku, but when that went sideways for the Empire, she was assumed dead on the Ravager. Turns out she just went to ground and only popped back up on Suralinda’s scope because of a story about Rattatak fielding a shockball team in some major tournament. Suralinda recognized her from a background picture. They used to know each other.”
Leia pressed her lips together, thinking. “Well, she looks like a warrior, not a strategist, but perhaps I shouldn’t judge by looks alone. If she dropped off New Republic scopes that thoroughly and was able to rise to power on Rattatak, she’s probably both. What’s her name, again?”
As if hearing her name, Nasz turned her head toward them. Her face was painted in streaks of ocher and coal lines vertically crossing her cheeks, and she narrowed dark watchful eyes at Leia. Leia returned her gaze until the woman turned away. Oh, she would be interesting.
“Princess Leia?” an excited feminine voice cut in. Both Leia and Poe turned.
Zay Versio beamed at them and stepped forward to shake Leia’s hand. The young pilot’s short dark hair was tousled, and her eyes looked tired under the thick black eyebrows that dominated her delicate face. But she smiled gamely, and her handshake was strong.
“It’s good to finally meet you in person, Zay,” Leia said, greeting the young pilot. “Where’s Shriv?”
“Over here,” a blue-skinned Duros said, joining them. He looked tired, too. His skin looked sallow under the cave lights, and lines ran like rivers under his large red eyes. He swiped a hand over his noseless face and grinned through thin, almost nonexistent lips. “Good to see you again, General.”
“How was your mission?” Leia inquired.
“Well, we survived,” Shriv said laconically. “But I did get a rash in an unmentionable place that still hasn’t cleared. Don’t suppose you have some kind of cream for that?”
Leia gave him a grave look. “I’m sure someone in medical can fix you up.”
“And I could use a nap. And some food. I hear they’ve got fruit here. And meat. Is it true, or did we arrive too late for all the good stuff?”
“The Twi’leks have been very generous. There’s plenty to go around.”
“Sweet!” Shriv rubbed at his face and stifled a yawn that threatened to crack his jaw. “Then I’ll excuse myself. I really got to fix up this rash.”
“Did you find anyone, Zay?” Leia asked once Shriv had wandered off.
The young girl nodded. “Over at the civilian transport. I think you’ll be pleased.”
They made their way over, Zay filling in with small talk about her and Shriv’s mission. “We looked everywhere,” she said, sounding exasperated. “Most of the leads were dead ends and some of the people we were trying to find were . . . well, they were dead. More dead people on our list than alive.” Zay’s face clouded over. “And a handful that have just disappeared. One day they’re going about their own business and the next they don’t show up for work. Their families have no idea where they are, the authorities won’t take it seriously and say they must have run off, but it doesn’t make sense.”
“Disappeared,” Poe chimed in, expression concerned. “Maz told me something similar.”
“What does it mean?” Zay asked.
“The First Order, most likely. If we know about these potential allies, so do they. They’re just getting to them first.”
They had reached the edge of the ramp to the transport shuttle. A motley group of people were gathered there. Leia spotted Charth’s two children moving among the crowd, offering hot towels and pouring pitchers of water into clay cups so the newcomers could refresh themselves. There was a low hum of chatter among the group that broke off as Leia approached.
A man separated from the small crowd, and Leia’s brows raised in disbelief.
“This is—” Zay began.
“I know who this is,” Leia murmured. “General Rieekan.”
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