Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Spark of the Resistance
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Justina Ireland
Narrated by Jessica Almasy
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press | Listening Library
Release date: October 4, 2019
In the aftermath of their defeat at the hands of the First Order on Crait that has left them with enough crew to populate the Millennium Falcon and not much else, the Resistance is scrambling to re-group while simultaneously attempting to shore up their forces through recruitment. Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Spark of the Resistance highlights one such mission in which the crew of the Falcon receives a distress call from the planet Minfar. Despite orders to the contrary, they head out and are met by the Zixon, to whom they swear they will protect from the First Order who are also on the planet. Our heroes, however, must balance the importance of keeping their word and protecting the Zixon while also knowing that they are shirking direct orders.
For a book aimed at kids in 3rd through 7th grade, this is a pretty intense and involved story. Justina Ireland‘s pacing is far faster than many previous Star Wars novels I’ve read while also being very brief at a mere 200ish pages and four hours of audiobook time. I’m sure that is to keep kids interested and engaged. However, I feel like this book is almost too jam packed with content and none of it is given enough time to stew and build itself up organically. I found myself having trouble transitioning from scene to scene and keeping all the facts straight because of how kinetic it was.
It was also strange to me that there was no inclusion of Finn or Kaydel Ko Connix who either have been very big characters in the movie series so far (Finn), or are being promised as such in trailers for the new film (Kaydel). If this is the only tie-in book that some people read prior to watching The Rise of Skywalker in December, I feel they will be missing out.
But this book does contain a positive message on the importance of loyalty to others and keeping your word. Messages that are very important and often go overlooked in this day and age.
Again, like so many of the young adult-aimed books in the Disney-fied Star Wars era, this one contains artwork (by Phil Noto) and, as you would expect, none of that is shared when listening to the audiobook version as I did. I really need to stop doing this to myself.
From the publisher:
A call for help that only heroes can answerâ€¦
Rey, Poe, Rose, and 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 needâ€”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 Zixonâ€”or what 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!