Two Star Wars books out this fall by Disney/Lucasfilm Press provide insights into the Star Wars galaxy, including The Rise of Skywalker. Force Collector follows a teenage boy in high school struggling with a Force power, while Spark of the Resistance follows Rey, Rose, Poe, and BB-8 on an adventure between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. Both of these books can easily be read by teenagers and older.
Written by Kevin Shinick, Force Collector follows Karr Nuq Sin, a teenage boy in high school who has psychometric powers (similar to Quinlan Vos), although he’s not really sure what his powers are or how to control them. On his home planet of Merokia, no one believes in or had heard of the Jedi. When he meets Maize Raynshi, a new student to his school, she does not believe him: “She scoffed, ‘The Jedi were a story the Republic made up. They used it to keep order in the galaxy – and by scaring everyone with the idea of a magical army of space wizards’” (21).
Exploring the Star Wars Galaxy
However, Karr and Maize decide to go exploring in her father’s ship. Maize and Karr fly around the galaxy to significant worlds familiar to Star Wars fans, such as Jakku, Utapau, and more. Taking place immediately before the events of The Force Awakens, we get to read of the state of the Millenium Falcon on Jakku: “The interior was grimy but mostly intact, and it looked exactly like the kind of small, slapdash craft that had been popular a generation before . . . but these days, it probably couldn’t hop between two planets in the same system without blowing a circuit” (135).
Development of Karr’s Character
Throughout this book, we see Karr’s psychometric powers develop, as well as his control of them, in addition to his learning about his family and himself. Just as we read of the Millenium Falcon, this book provides insights into other points of Star Wars galactic history. For more, you can check out my expanded discussion of this book.
Spark of the Resistance
Written by Justina Ireland (who also wrote Lando’s Luck), Spark of the Resistance follows Poe Dameron, Rey, Rose Tico, and BB-8 on an adventure on the planet of Minfar between the events in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. We don’t know a whole lot that transpires between these two movies, so this book stands out in that we get a sense of what’s going on with the Resistance during this time period. This book also includes illustrations by Phil Noto, who has also done illustrations for Cobalt Squadron and Moving Target, both of which are similarly-sized books and for a similar reading audience.
Story & State of the Resistance
Poe, Rey, and Rose encounter both local creatures, as well as the First Order (Finn is off on a similar mission with Chewbacca during this time). It’s a cute book and a pretty easy read, so teenagers can certainly read this book, as well as adults. As for the state of the Resistance: “So far, thanks to a lot of work and a little luck, they had a small fleet of Mon Calamari and Corellian ships, and droids to help with operations. But there were not nearly enough Resistance fighters to take on any kind of significant First Order threat” (118-119).
One of the neat aspects of this book is these central characters to the sequel trilogy developing relationships with each other. For instance, Poe keeps trying to drive the Millenium Falcon: “He’d been trying to take the pilot seat since they’d set out, but the Millennium Falcon was hers for now, and she would fly it even if Poe was determined to try out the controls of the legendary ship” (7).
Also, we have never seen Rey and Rose interact on-screen, which yields the following acknowledgement (8): “The first time Rey had seen Rose she’d been unconscious, knocked out during the fight on Crait. But since then Rey had worked with Rose quite a bit and Rey had found her to be a really nice person.”
Also, amusingly, Rose names all of the porgs on-board the Millenium Falcon (9).
The book largely follows our protagonists as they set out to Minfar, in response to a distress call put out by Jem Arafoot of the Zixon, who alerts them to the First Order trying to establish a base on the planet. The First Order forces are led by an officer, Commander Branwayne Spiftz, who is not the sharpest tool in the shed. His operation is being assisted by Professor Glenna Kip, who has some prior knowledge of the planet and creatures. One thing I will highlight here is a thought of Commander Spiftz, who doesn’t believe that the Force exists: “they sounded like farfetched fairy tales, like those silly stories of Lord Vader and the Force” (25). In all, this is an easy read and is great preparation for The Rise of Skywalker. For more on this book, you can check out my expanded discussion of this book.
Whether you decide to read one or both of these books, wishing you happy reading on the road to The Rise of Skywalker!
Review copies were provided to Skywalking Through Neverland for review purposes.
About the Author
Drew Kaplan enjoys watching, reading, and discussing Star Wars! His writings may be found on his Star Wars Maven website, as well as other Star Wars-related content on his social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.