I think I should start this one off by saying I was prepared to not enjoy this novel so much. While I ultimately enjoyed Phasma, I wasn’t really clamoring for a sequel. On top of that, I knew going in that this was part of the marketing material for Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World (hence the title of the novel), so I figured this would be cheesy tie-in after cheesy tie-in.
Boy, was I wrong.
Without getting too far into this in the intro here, let’s just jump into it.
What It’s About
The Resistance is in trouble. They have suffered major losses, and the things they need most right now are people and safety. After Starkiller and the events of The Last Jedi, they are short on both. General Organa calls on Vi Moradi to scout out a location for a new base and to do some recruiting while she’s at it. Moradi knows just the place: Batuu. The only catch? Leia wants Vi to take an old acquaitance with her on this mission: a man named Archex, better known to Vi as the former Captain Cardinal.
Vi is quite understandably upset about having to travel to the edge of known space with a man who tortured her not all that long ago. And if that’s not enough, things go wrong from the time they attempt to land on the planet. They crash and have all of their equipment and cargo stolen while they lay unconscious. Stranded, alone, hungry, and battered, Vi has to make friends quick in order to not only survive, but build a Resistance base and recruit people to the cause at the same time.
And make friends she does, as she quickly finds not only people to introduce her to the locals (including Oga Garra, the local ganster that runs Black Spire Outpost), but she finds people with intenst loyalty to the Resistance. The trouble is, she also has trouble finding anyone willing to join.
But those people that are loyal present some interesting truths, one being that her employer Savi knows Lor San Tekka and is part of the same group of Gatherers. And not only that, Vi discovers kyber crstals on the planet and that Savi possibly has some lightsabers in his store.
Anyway, to not make this as long as the novel itself, let’s get to the meat of the story. Vi starts completing some side missions in order to make some money and earn back some of her cargo. The latter being from Oga who asks her to retrieve an object from nearby ancient ruins. Vi does so, but also meets up with the First Order along the way, led by Wulfgar Kath. She escapes the ruins with the item, and also learns that those ruins would make a perfect location for their base.
As she’s meeting other people and completing other jobs, she meets and recruits other members to her fledgling Resistance group. Among them are Kriki, a Chadra-fan mechanic that proves instrumental to their success on Batuu, and Zade Kalliday, a charismatic smuggler who is able to win more Resistance sympathizers with his compelling speaches.
But in order to rid Batuu of the First Order presence, they need ot come up with a plan – which ends up being that they need to convince the First Order to get off planet, and rig their ship to send a false message reporting that Batuu is clear of the Resistance and not worth occupying right before exploding. But as so often happens, things go wrong. In order to get Kath to leave, Archex gives himself up to Kath in order to get him on his ship to leave. Kriki successfully rigged the ship to send the message then explode, and the crew watches on the ground as the ship explodes, knowing Archex gives his life for them.
What I Thought
So as I said before, I was not expecting to be taken by this novel. That’s on me. I actually very much loved this novel, and I’m also very glad I read this before I got the chance to visit Galaxy’s Edge.
Is it marketing for the theme park land? Yes, but in the very best way. I want to try the drinks that were named. I want to search for references to the characters we met. I want to dig around every inch of that land now. And that’s not because it’s Disney and I want to anyway. That’s because the world crafted in this novel felt very alive, and I knew in the back of my head that I can actually visit this place.
And while I didn’t fall in love with Vi Moradi and Cardinal in Phasma, I felt the exact opposite here. I was immediately vested in these characters and their journeys. I also enjoyed all of the surrounding characters, and I’ll just say that if you love K-2SO in Rogue One, you’ll also love Pook here.
In short, I was really happy I jumped into this one. I honestly put it off for so long because I was afraid it was just to tie-in to Galaxy’s Edge. But it’s actually so much more. It has a wonderful story, wonderful characters, and a beautifully deep world that you’re going to want to visit.
Delilah S. Dawson knocked it out of the park with Black Spire.
- Cardinal, now going by his real name Archex, has been in “rehab” since the events of Phasma. He realizes the evil of the First Order but is reluctant to join the Resistance.
- The Resistance presence on Batuu in Black Spire Outpost is set up by Vi Moradi.
- Batuu has some ties to ancient species and ruins, and there are at least some kyber crystals to be found.
- Savi, owner of a salvage shop and scrapyard, is a friend of Lor San Tekka. He describes how they have knowledge of the Force but are unable to use it.
- The battle between the First Order and the Resistance has not reached the farther parts of the galaxy. Many don’t believe it ever will reach them and go about their lives.