Although previously revealed a few months ago, the two books have now been officially announced for release on May 2: Rebel Rising and Guardians of the Whills, which are set to fill in important backstories for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story characters. Rebel Rising, by Beth Revis, explores Jyn Erso’s time with Saw Gerrera before he abandons her, while Guardians of the Whills, by Greg Rucka, will follow Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus as they deal with the beginning of the Imperial occupation of Jedha. Check out the synopses, full covers, and links to excerpts below!
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.
There seems to be some discrepancies with Jyn’s age here, as she certainly looks older than 5 in the Rogue One‘s opening flashback sequence but it seems the book already has the correct age of 8 (revealed by the excerpt I’ll link to in a moment). Either way, I’m very excited to learn more about Jyn’s time with Saw, especially how him abandoning her all went down, and how that knowledge might enhance my next viewing of the film (which will likely be available on Blu-ray before May 2). I’ve not read anything by Beth Revis before, but if the first 19 pages (!) of the excerpt are anything to go by, she’s going to make the YA novel an entertaining read to say the least.
Baze and Chirrut used to be Guardians of the Whills, who looked after the Kyber Temple on Jedha and all those who worshipped there. Then the Empire came and took over the planet. The temple was destroyed and the people scattered. Now Baze and Chirrut do what they can to resist the Empire and protect the people of Jedha, but it never seems to be enough. When a man named Saw Gerrera arrives with grand plans to take down the Empire, it seems like the perfect way for Baze and Chirrut to make a real difference and help the people of Jedha. But will it come at too great a cost?
I’m VERY eager to learn a lot more about Jedha, specifically what it means to be a Guardian of the Whills, the Kyber Temple, and the Whills themselves, so here’s hoping this middle-grade novel finds a way to cover those topics at least a little bit. Greg Rucka is no stranger to Star Wars, having previously written two YA novels and the Shattered Empire comic series, while his most recent YA novel Before the Awakening wove excellent little tales into the lives of the main characters of The Force Awakens prior to the film’s start. I expect he’ll do the same for Baze and Chirrut in this novel, no matter the age range for it. No excerpt for this one, unfortunately.
Who’s excited to see these backstories finally being told? And what do you most look forward to finding out?
Canon Comic Review: Rogue One (adaptation) (by Ryan)
Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (by Ryan)
Canon Novel Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (by Chris)
Canon Novel Review: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (by Ryan)
Soundtrack Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (by Elliot)
Young Reader Review: Rogue One: Rebel Dossier (by Chris)
Canon Reference Book Review: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide (by Chris)