A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
I am truly enjoying the new canon Star Wars series, yes, I mourn some of the lost stories, now relegated to the Legends pile, but the new novels, comics, television series, and of course, the movies, all tie in with one another.
Things are checked, double checked, and finally approved to become new history for the Star Wars universe. Rebel Rising, by Beth Davis, adds to the story by exploring one of my new favourite characters, Jyn Erso.
In Rogue One we seen an eight year old Jyn being rescued by Saw Gerrera after her mother is killed, and her father, Galen Erso a research scientist, and an expert on Kyber crystals, being seized by Imperial Orson Krennic to weaponize the crystals for their new weapon, the Death Star.
We then leap ahead to a twenty something Jyn who is in an Imperial prison.
Rebel Rising fills in the time between the two events, and brings the character to stunning life, layering her, and letting us discover who this young woman truly is.
Rescued by Saw, he trains her, teaches her, turning into her a weapon, and soon she finds that he is involved in extreme actions against the Empire, and he is even unafraid of committing mass murder if it interferes with them.
After a disastrous encounter, she is able to strike out on her own, fleeing more like, and soon finds that she can have something akin to a life, until, once again she is drawn into the conflict, finding herself stuck between the Empire and the blossoming Rebellion.
There is humour, heartbreak, action in the familiar Star Wars vein, and a gentle expansion on an ever-growing universe.
Not all characters need their backstory filled out, though it is night when it happens for characters we love (providing it doesn’t ruin them) but for characters like Jyn, who only had a one-off film, I was delighted to learn more about her.
And just like Star Wars: Catalyst served as great precursor to Rogue One, Rebel Rising compliments the film perfectly, filling in those missing years in a fascinating and entertaining way that fits with what we know of the character.
I like how Revis tells the story, and how she doles out the emotional moments that will impact and shape Jyn’s life, and how she ended up in the Imperial prison. It also details how she became so proficient with blasters, truncheons, and falsifying Imperial docs.
This was a highly enjoyable read, letting me spend more time with a character I really enjoy.