[Warning: Article contains minor spoilers. Read on at your own risk.] If you’re a Star Wars fan and aren’t already familiar with Delilah S. Dawson, get familiar. She’s the author who, with her simply-titled novel, Phasma, gave far more depth to Captain Phasma than the sequel trilogy ever could. Dawson is back with the latest Star Wars novel, Black Spire. While it’s not a sequel to Phasma, per se, it does follow Phasma’s main character as she makes her way at the galaxy’s edge.

BLack Spire; Vi MOradi
Image: Del Rey

General Leia Organa tasks her top spy, Vi Moradi, with setting up a new Resistance recruiting base on the backwater world of Batuu. She must do so while still suffering the effects of the physical and psychological trauma that the First Order’s red-clad Captain Cardinal inflicted upon her in Phasma. Things in Black Spire, of course, go awry from the start. First, her ship is shot down and crashes. Then Oga (as in Oga’s cantina) and her criminal cohorts loot all the supplies Vi brought with her. And that’s just for starters.

Black Spire bridges gap to The Rise of Skywalker

Black Spire
Dok Ondar rules over antiquities at Black Spire Outpost.

Vi is awkwardly accompanied by her assigned partner Archex, whose true identity readers will find to be quite a surprise. Together they struggle to survive, recover their cargo, and complete their mission. When word gets out that a Resistance spy is in Black Spire Outpost, however…. Well, it doesn’t take long for the First Order to coming calling.  The relentless Lieutenant Wolfgar Kath will stop at nothing to find and capture Vi Moradi, who slipped through his grasp once before. He is prepared to do anything to capture her, including razing the entire planet of Batuu to do it.

Vi and Archex acquire a rogue’s gallery of allies, including a bat-like Chadra-Fan, a playboy smuggler, and a good ol’ farmboy, as their situation worsens. Sure, they must fight to stay alive. But now they must also fight to keep the First Order from destroying Black Spire Outpost and its peaceful people. The question remains of whether they’ll be able to do so in time.

A Chadra-Fan as seen in the original Star Wars. Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Black Spire is a quintessential Star Wars story of struggle, perseverance, and hope, and Dawson tells it masterfully. In addition to the external adversity they face, Vi and Archex must also deal with their respective pasts and personal demons. With one another’s support, it’s on Batuu at the galaxy’s edge that each finds their true calling.

The novel leads right up to what we presume will be the events of The Rise of Skywalker. You don’t even have to be a sly reader to know that its ending drops a huge hint about Episode IX. The very last paragraphs confirm (or dispel, depending on what you read) a prominent rumor about…. Well, you’ll just have to read Black Spire and find out.

Delilah S. Dawson’s Black Spire, from Del Rey Books, hits shelves everywhere August 27.