Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Spark of the Resistance

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BB-8 are finishing up a simple assignment to retrieve much-needed supplies for the struggling Resistance when they receive a distress call from the planet Minfar. Although they have orders to return to the Resistance immediately, Rey and the others decide they can't ignore someone in need -- especially someone who needs help against the First Order.

When they arrive on Minfar, they are greeted by the Zixon, a peaceful, warm-hearted species who suffered under the Empire and are now at risk of falling to the First Order. Despite being vastly outnumbered by First Order forces, Rey and her friends vow that they will fight to protect the Zixon -- or what else does the Resistance stand for?

Rey, Poe, Rose and BB-8 will have to face stormtroopers, deadly flying creatures, and even a Star Destroyer to keep Minfar safe and strike a blow against the First Order!

Star Wars: Spark of the Resistance is one of the first books released as part of the “Journey to The Rise of Skywalker” and details a brief adventure with our heroes between the films...But is it worth reading? Check out my thoughts.

With only a couple months to go before the Star Wars Sequel trilogy ends with The Rise of Skywalker more and more material (books, comics, etc) is releasing to get people ready. There’s a TON of tie-in material connected to the “Journey to The Rise of Skywalker” branding, and I’m here to help you sort it all out. 

Spark of the Resistance launched on Force Friday as one of the few fiction books that came out that day for Star Wars. It’s a mid-grad novel, designed for kiddos between 8-12, so if you’re looking for something more “adult” you may want to go elsewhere. 

The story is definitely more geared towards that particular audience. This makes for plenty of plot conveniences and, generally, a more lighthearted tale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Just don’t come into the story expecting something it’s not. That said, it has a lot of fun elements that kids will certainly get a kick out of. 

The story takes place in a nebulous time between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and centers on our heroes Rey, Poe, Rose, and BB-8. The group has just completed a supply run, tracking down much needed assets as they attempt to rebuild the Resistance after the devastating losses inflicted in the previous film. On their way back to base, however, they intercept an urgent distress signal from a backwater world. 

The planet has little to offer, but an ambitious First Order officer has arrived to try and recover a lost, but powerful, weapon from a hidden Imperial Research Lab. The local inhabitants, which are essentially giant rabbits, but they’re kinda like ninjas too (not joking), aren’t taking the sudden invasion lightly. They aren’t equipped to fend off the technologically superior First Order forces, so reach out to the fledgling Resistance. 

Hearing the call, Rey and her friends are compelled to help, but soon find themselves in over their heads. Between escaping First Order attacks, dealing with some dangerous local fauna, and needing to repair the Falcon (once again), there’s a lot the group needs to deal with. I don’t want to go into any spoilers, so I’ll leave the story details right there. The crux of the story, however, is them dealing with helping the local population and ousting the First Order from the planet.

It’s a fun story, and has more to say in its overall themes than in setting things up for the upcoming film. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see these characters doing something outside of the films (finally), and the ramifications of The Last Jedi are very much in play. Poe is still reeling from the hard lessons he had to learn, while Rey is still coming to grips with her connection to the Force. 

It’s very much a side-story adventure, however. The themes are great and deal with the benefits of helping others, even if they cannot help you in return. It also delves into ideas on trusting your friends as well as yourself. These are great concepts for kids to read about, but the story itself doesn’t lend itself to much re-reading potential. 

While I loved the overall tone of the book. The writing style Justina Ireland uses is incredibly smooth...if that makes sense. It feels more like you’re listening to someone TELL a story, rather than actually reading it. This makes for a quick read that’s easy to sink into. 

However, I wasn’t exactly digging the character representations. They weren’t bad, but just off enough from what we’ve seen in the films and previous books that certain character moments/reactions would take me out of the story completely. Combine that with the book’s complete avoidance of any major action sequences and it just doesn’t seem to be a story that many will want to come back to (even for the intended audience). I enjoyed getting to spend time with some of my favorite characters again (fans of Rose should definitely check this one out), but there’s not much meat on this one.

Editor review

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A Fun Side-Quest Without Much Oomph
Overall rating 
Re-Useable Factor 
If you have a youngling in the house who’s super excited about the next Star Wars, there’s no reason to skip on this one; though I’d suggest picking it up at the library instead of buying. For older fans looking to get some insight into our heroes before the next film, I don’t think you’ll find much here. It’s a fun one-and-done story, but plays it pretty safe all around. 
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