general leia

The Resistance Vs. The New Republic

Foster’s novelization also sheds more light on the New Republic and its relationship with the Resistance and the First Order. Here’s what’s so frustrating: the dynamic between these three organizations is fascinating and simple and could have been explained in about 60 seconds of screen time. The Republic is the ineffectual government. The First Order is a rogue organization that formed on the fringes of the galaxy. The Resistance is the splinter organization that formed when the Republic failed to act against the First Order. Oh, and (via io9), General Leia and the New Republic do not get along:

Turns out, [Leia] and the New Republic are not the biggest fans of each other. While the Republic secretly supports the Resistance, it publicly denounces the organization, and its relationship with General Organa has gone rather sour. When she dispatches Sella, Leia tells her that if she went instead of her agent, something sinister might happen to her…

Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

More About Leia

The novelization also delves deeper into Leia herself, exploring how she deliberately kept Han from the truth about their son because she didn’t think he’d understand the conflict brewing inside of him. After all, he’s not a Skywalker. How could he understand that struggle? Big mistake, probably:

…the book also reveals that Leia knew Snoke would try to turn Ben to the Dark Side—and kept this information from Han, thinking that as a non-Force user, he wouldn’t be able to help, or understand. Leia thought as the Force sensitive parent, it was her duty alone to protect Ben, but she ultimately failed him…

Star Wars The Force Awakens Finn

Finn’s Stormtrooper Backstory

While most of the internet’s focus has been on the official novelization, Star Wars News Net also took a deep look at Greg Rucka‘s Star Wars: Before the Awakening. Although this brisk book was written with pre-teens in mind, it’s nonetheless chock-full of backstory and tidbits worth of mention…like how Captain Phasma considered FN-2187 (John Boyega) to be one of her most promising recruits and how, before he switched sides and became Finn, he was a natural soldier and leader:

At the beginning of the story, Finn is a cadet, not yet a full-fledged stormtrooper.  We follow him as he progresses through his training and end with him preparing to go on his first official mission as a stormtrooper.  We quickly discover that Finn, or FN-2187 (as he is called in the book) is an exceptional combatant and leader.  Part of a four-man fireteam, he has naturally assumed the position of leadership on the squad.  His team look up to him, and follow his orders, although they tend to distance themselves from him on a personal level.

the force awakens novelization 2

How Rey Is Such A Good Pilot

This book also explains why Rey, a scavenger desert living alone in the desert wastelands of Jakku, is an accomplished pilot. It turns out that she’s an avid collector of flight simulations and has mastered them all. Which kind-of, sort-of means that the heroine of The Force Awakens learned her skills from being good at video games:

When not scavenging or trading with Unkar at the Niima outpost, Rey spends virtually all of her free time building things and mastering her skills in flight simulations that she has restored from crashed ships scattered across Jakku’s landscape, which helps to explain how she knows so much about flying in the film and how she is able to single-handedly pilot the Falcon with such skill.

Poe Dameron Oscar Isaac Star Wars Force Awakens

How Poe Dameron Ended Up Joining The Resistance

And finally, Star Wars: Before the Awakening also explains how Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron ended up joining the Resistance and becoming General Leia’s greatest agent. It turns out that he was a Republic pilot whose drive to take on the burgeoning threat of the First Order makes him unpopular with his leaders, who  would rather not poke the Empire-inspired bear waiting in the wings:

His rash actions have been noticed by the Resistance, a militant group that has splintered from the Republic military.  While the Republic is content to sit on their collective behinds, those of the Resistance actually recognize the threat posed by the First Order and are doing something about it.  Leia offers Poe a position in the Resistance and he graciously accepts.

What do you think? Do these details smooth out some of the wrinkles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Do they give you a deeper appreciation for what’s on screen? This is Star Wars news, so of course you have an opinion on this. Please politely chat about this in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this feature on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you may want to check out some of the following articles:

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: