In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we were introduced to Jyn Erso, the daughter of scientist Galen Erso, the creator of the Death Star. We see what happens to cause Jyn to be separated from her parents and the events after her rescue from Wobani to the subsequent acquisition of the Death Star plans. What Rogue One doesn’t tell us is what happens in the years in between. Rebel Rising fills in those gaps.
After her rescue from Lah’mu by Saw, Jyn is taken to Wrea. There, for a time, she is relatively safe from the Empire while in Saw’s care. Gradually, he teaches her how to defend herself using blasters and truncheons. Jyn is slowly introduced to what Saw actually does as he fights the Empire and the people that help him to do so. As time goes on, Jyn becomes proficient at forging Imperial documents, making her a valuable asset to Saw and his team.
Despite her talents, Saw refuses to put Jyn on a mission, but slowly that begins to change. Each mission becomes a little more complex, a little more dangerous than the last as Jyn’s involvement increases. But then an unexpected betrayal causes Jyn to be separated from Saw and on her own. For a time she lives in peace and almost forgets that the Empire exists. Before she knows it, tragedy strikes again and Jyn is pulled back into the conflict between the Empire and the rest of the galaxy.
I have been a Star Wars fan for over half of my life. I have seen all of the films and loved most of them. I never really got into all the various books in the universe because there are just so many. I never could pick a favorite character; one day it would be Luke, another day Han, another time Rey. But after seeing Rogue One, Jyn instantly became my favorite (in case anyone is wondering, Finn is my second favorite but Luke will always hold a special place being the first Star Wars character I ever saw on screen).
Jyn isn’t a Jedi, nor is she a princess, senator, or anyone else high ranking in the Rebellion or Empire. She is important seeing as she is the daughter of the creator of the Death Star, but she’s also an ordinary person who – through sheer will and determination – has survived and fought. She isn’t perfect, and she isn’t morally clean, but she owns her mistakes and her shortcomings. She is well aware that missions can fail and expects them to, but still does what she can to make sure they succeed.
When I heard that there was going to be a story devoted to the years between Lah’mu and Wobani, I wanted to read it. And Beth Revis didn’t disappoint. The story isn’t overly complex, but I still enjoyed it. It took me a while to read (due to a reading slump) but it was enjoyable and filled in the gaps. I wish there would be more Jyn-centric stories, but seeing how Rogue One ended that isn’t likely.
My rating: 4/5