We’re a little over a month away from Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. 2019 will mark the year in which Disney has concluded two major franchises. First Endgame and now this. Regardless of whether you loved or hated Last Jedi, we know for a fact that you’ll probably end up watching Rise of Skywalker anyways. Just to see it through to the end. That being said, some of you might not be able to wait that long to know what happened to your favourite Star Wars characters. What happened after the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Where are they now? What have they been up to? Well, don’t worry, bud because we’ve got you covered. You see, Disney has been releasing some pretty interesting tie-in content leading up to Rise of Skywalker. And they’re not just there for filler mind you. There are some pretty important information revealed in these tie-in novels and comics.
They range from neat little cameos to crucial moments of character development to major events in the film. We’ve taken the liberty of gathering all the juiciest bits of info we found throughout our read and condensed into an easy and accessible list for your leisure.
1. Divide and Conquer
At the end of The Last Jedi, we see the fires of Resistance spreading across stars, folks being inspired by their stand against the First Order. We see a force-sensitive broom boy star up at the stars with hope as he wears a ring with a Resistance insignia on it. The implication is that the downtrodden of the galaxy are looking to rise up for the Resistance. After the Battle of Crait, the Resistance has been busy sowing mutiny throughout the galaxy. It was revealed in the latest tie-in book leading up to Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, that Poe Dameron and his team of starfighter pilots, Black Squadron had successfully liberated a city from the First Order. Here’s a short excerpt from the novel if you’re hungry for more details. On the planet of Ikkrukk, the Resistance ships worked alongside local forces in removing the First Order’s presence from Grail City. It also seems that Poe is on good terms with the Prime Minister of Grail City.
The Resistance’s strategy at the current moment seems to be guerilla tactics. Separating their forces and fighting the tyranny of the First Order where ever a planet’s denizens are oppressed. In Last Jedi, we saw the near-total annihilation of the Rebel fleet. The Resistance is still alive under the leadership of Leia Organa and Poe Dameron but it won’t last for too long if our heroes can’t find a way to regroup to face their now emboldened enemy. They’ll need a new base of operation and a fresh armada to meet the First Order. Which is exactly what they got in Marvel’s Journey to Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker- Allegiance comics.
2. Clash on Mon Cala
In the aforementioned Allegiance comics, we see Leia, Rey and Rose travel to the ocean planet of Mon Cala. The same planet that the famed Rebellion leader, General Ackbar came from. The crew were greeted with hostility at first but after some negotiation, the two parties have come to an agreement. Leia reminds the ruler of Mon Cala, King Ech-Char of their past alliance against the Galactic Empire. Once again, she calls upon them to raise their blasters in the name of Rebellion. Ech-Char agrees and they ready their cruisers and warships to meet the First Order in naval combat above the planet. We see brief glimpses of the First Order ships and the Mon Cala cruisers engaging in combat along with images of Tie-Fighters descending onto the planet surface. The comic ends on a cliffhanger, leaving it to be continued in Rise of Skywalker.
Right so huge implications here. Based on the conclusion of Allegiance, we can strongly infer that the first major battle in Rise of Skywalker will be on Mon Cala. The film will probably open with Resistance fighters and Mon Cala ships battling with the First Order in space. We could also see some pretty epic aquatic battles take place. Come to think of it, we did see Kylo Ren and Rey engage on a ship floating on a large of body of water in the trailer. I mean Mon Cala is an ocean planet after all so it wouldn’t be far fetched to assume that the both of them are fighting on Mon Cala as the First Order attempts to invade the planet.
3. Wrath of the First Order
The Resistance aren’t the only ones who’ve been busy. During the Battle of Crait, Luke Skywalker bought the Rebels enough time to evade capture or destruction, at Kylo’s hands. Enough time for the Resistance survivors to escape on the Millennium Falcon. Since then, the First Order has been hunting them down across the galaxy as the Falcon attempts to stay one step ahead of them. The First Order has pursued its enemies in the past but this time they’re doing it with a vengeance. They are on an insane warpath. In the Allegiance comics, the First Order entered into orbit of the Ice Planet of Tah’Nuhna. A politically neutral planet in the Mid Rim system. Merely for receiving a transmission from the Resistance, General Hux orders that all life on the planet, including its intelligent insectoid inhabitants, be wiped out. No investigation. No posturing. Straight up planetary wide genocide.
The First Order has never been a merciful regime but in the past, they at least subjugated the unruly locals. If totally beyond their control, then perhaps planetary destruction. There’s no mercy now. They have even attacked planets that have denied the Resistance assistance. Expect to see a whole darker side of the First Order in Rise of Skywalker. We also saw in the trailers a fleet of Star Destroyers blocking out a stormy sky. Large enough to scorch an entire planet’s surface. Are we to see this level of brutality in the film as well? Will these senseless acts of brutality and violence be enough to wake the galaxy from their slumber and, like Mon Cala, join the Resistance in their fight against Kylo Ren and his army? We’ll have to wait and see.
4. From Pilot To Resistance Leader
In Resistance Reborn, we see Poe take a more proactive role in the Rebellion leadership. He isn’t merely the best damn pilot in the whole galaxy. He’s now a figure that the galaxy must rally behind. Definitely a change of pace for the man but we also see that his past still haunts him. Especially so in the novel when Poe tries to recruit Maz Kanata to the Resistance’s cause, which he fails to do. That’s not important but the exchange between Poe and Maz is. At some point during their conversation, Poe tries to get Maz to join the Resistance and lead it. When questioned with regards to why he’s so eager to pass the buck, he reveals his shame. After Holdo’s sacrifice in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Poe is racked with guilt, doubting himself. Around the end of their conversation, Poe seems to have gained a renewed determination to take down the First Order. Even if it means him facing them alone.
This is intriguing. Perhaps Resistance Leader Poe has a bit of a daredevil spark left in him. What could he possibly do to take down the First Order all by his lonesome? We could see him go on a suicide mission, not unlike Holdo. Another interesting thing to note during his conversation is how much Poe trusts Maz Kanata. He’s willing to give a leadership position in his growing army to her. What makes her so qualified to lead the Resistance into battle alongside Leia? There’s clearly more than meets the eye when it comes to Kanata. We look forward to seeing what role she’ll play in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
5. Rey Rising
In the Allegiance comics, we get the opportunity to understand Rey’s state after the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She has lost her teacher and master. Now she must face this growing darkness on her own, at least in terms of Force training. She’s frustrated, unfocused and surprisingly quick-tempered. In the first issue of the series, we see her picking a fight with a large, Rancor-looking Anoatian Pit Beast on the Garbage Planet of Anoat. Throughout her battle with the beast, she reveals her fears and insecurities in having to be the new “chosen one” so to speak. There’s an interesting line to note during her one-sided conversation amidst her battle with the beast. She says to the beast “It’s just …do you understand what it’s like to lose the thing that made you special? To realize so many sacrificed themselves believing you were chosen for something greater, and you turned out to be a disappointment?”
It seems her last battle with Kylo Ren left a strong impression on her. In the issue, she seems hindered in her abilities to use the Force. She’s attacking animals to take out her frustration and later on in the series, she displays an affinity for battle. We know that fear and anger are emotions often associated with the Dark Side of the Force. Could this be a foreshadowing of her coming descent into the darkness with Kylo Ren? As for the line, the verdict’s still out on whether she’s referring to her losing her Force powers or just her belief in the importance of her familial lineage. We’ll be sure to update you once we get any more tantalizing tidbits.
6. Finn and Rose’s Relationship
Right, now that we’ve gotten all the political minutiae and intricate character growth out of the way, we can finally move on to truly important matters! During the Battle of Crait, Resistance fighter Rose Tico crashes her ship into Finn’s to save his life. She then catches him off guard by kissing him on the lips before passing out. So that was definitely something. In Resistance Reborn, we get to see where Finn stands on the issue of his relationship with Rose. When questioned by Poe about how the ex-Stormtrooper felt about Rey, he casually describes the two of them as “just friends”. When Poe presses on about his relationship to Rose, we see Finn hesitate for a moment and even blushing. He describes what the both of them shared on Crait as a “moment” but still affirms that theirs is a bond of friendship. Poe then half-jokingly expresses his frustration with Finn’s “just friends” line.
There you have it, folks. One thing we can at least confirm is that Finn and Rey’s relationship is mostly a strong, platonic friendship. There is, however, far more ambiguity with Rose. His hesitation to straight-up writes her off as a friend clearly shows Finn wrestling with his feelings for her. Frankly, we have a feeling that we’ll be seeing a whole lot more “moments” between Finn and Rose in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. They’re both reckless and bold Rebel soldiers fighting for a cause larger than themselves. So they have that in common. But who knows? Maybe Finn is simply speaking truth here. They’re just really close friends…who occasionally share a kiss. We’re interested to see the direction in which J.J. Abrams has in store for their relationship.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits cinema this 18 December.