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[A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...]
Events that occur before Episode IV: A New Hope.

[ Rebel Rising ]

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Rebel Rising
Beth Revis
Disney-Lucasfilm Press

Story published as:
Hardback Book [US] (2017)
Paperback Book [UK] (2017)
e-Book [US] (2017)

If you have read this book, please rate it:
1 review [Review score: 5 / 5]

When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone—Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel herself.
Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and who she can really trust.

This story begins approximately 14 years before Episode IV: A New Hope.

Related Stories (in chronological order):

  • Attack of the Clones
  • Catalyst by James Luceno
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Rebel Rising
  • Rogue One by Alexander Freed

Review by Darth Kondorr, Poland, 2017:

Star Wars is full of orphaned or abandoned children. The obvious ones being the Skywalkers, but let’s not forget the Bridgers, the Leonis, the Graff’s, Cassian and Jyn and countless more. This serves two functions. One: Seeing events unfold through the eyes of children makes the tale more interesting for a younger audience. Two: The level of cruelty and violence these children endure makes the overall universe much more darker and more dangerous.
But among all those, it is Jyn’s story that might be truly the most heartbreaking, because it does not hide the truth about that situation behind something resembling an adventure. REBEL RISING does not hold back the ugly truth of every war and becomes therefore much more engaging through stronger and more emotional character moments.
While Catalyst is the beginning of the story, Rebel Rising is a direct sequel, refocusing from Galen Erso to his daughter and her substitute parent Saw. But we do not get a typical starwarsy training montage, but a really good look at how bad her situation became after Saw pulled her out that cave. After all we are talking about Saw Gerrera, someone, who was so hardcore, the Rebel alliance did not want to work with him. The same Alliance, that had no problems with Cassians way of handling things.
We get to see Saw through Jyn’s eyes, and together with her we first see him as a savior, then an awkward father figure, mentor, then growingly paranoid protector until finally we arrive at the unstable extremist we have seen in ROGUE ONE. Saw lost his sister a long time ago, then he lost his homeworld, his heart belonged to Jyn which fed his paranoia, but finally he sacrificed more and more of himself, of his soul and of his body for THE cause. Once he had only his own life left to sacrifice, he started sacrificing others. This is a pretty bleak version of Star Wars, perfectly in line with ROGUE ONE.
Every time her life reboots, Jyn herself seems to masterfully settle into each new situation. But she too loses parts of herself each time. Her life is a downward spiral, one she cannot escape. But she almost never truly tries. She seems to be a master of the present situation, but she never is the creator of her circumstances. As in the movie, when she was rescued, she was perfectly able to help with her rescue, she just could not bring herself to initiate an escape herself. Instead of acting, mostly she was reacting.
The story itself might not have been something new, but the way it presented the characters, their emotions and the fact that it was part of the STAR WARS universe made this one a real grim pleasure.
Make no mistake, this is just a middle chapter in the ERSO trilogy. CATALYST, REBEL RISING and ROGUE ONE form possibly the best series in the new canon (even if Catalyst could have been slightly better).

Rating: 5 / 5 (probably my most favorite book in the new canon right now)

Do you agree or disagree with these reviews? Do you think that they have missed the point? Then why not review this story yourself? Click here.


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