[WARNING: Article contains spoilers for the new Star Wars novel Resistance Reborn… and possibly Episode IX. Read on at your own risk.] When JJ Abrams said he wanted Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to tie the entire saga together, he wasn’t kidding. We certainly saw evidence of that in the most recent trailer. Rebecca Roanhorse’s new novel Resistance Reborn gives us a huge jumpstart towards that goal. Here are some of the bigger spoilers and surprises to come from the book.

Resistance Reborn: A who’s who of returning characters

Norra Wexley; Resistance Reborn
Norra Wexley rejoins the fight in Resistance Reborn. (Image: Del Rey)

Like Abrams, Roanhorse also dives deep into the Star Wars archives for this novel. Resistance Reborn tells the story of the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Crait, and the Resistance’s efforts to rebuild. In desperation, Leia seeks out old friends and allies to lead the effort. We already know that ace pilot Wedge Antilles is among them. Joining Wedge is his now wife, Norra Wexley. Mother to Black Squadron pilot Temmin “Snap” Wexley, you’ll remember her as the main character of Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series.

The nostalgia doesn’t stop with Wedge and Norra, though. In the first of the Resistance Reborn character surprises, we have Battlefront II video game characters Shriv Suurgav and Zay Versio joining the effort. Zay is daughter to Iden Versio, the main character of both the game’s campaign mode and the novel Inferno Squadron. Shriv is a Duros, Rebel veteran, and friend to Leia.

Resistance Reborn; Shriv; Versio; Battlefront II
Iden Versio speaks with Shriv and Zay in Battlefront II. (Image: EA Games)

Part of the book’s plot centers on identifying and rescuing those Leia feels can act as thinkers and leaders for the Resistance. The next big surprise comes by way of Ransolm Casterfro. We best know the former Senator for outing Leia as the daughter of Darth Vader in Claudia Gray’s novel Bloodline. Notwithstanding, he becomes a trusted friend and ally to Leia, only to find himself framed for crimes he didn’t commit. It turns out the First Order has had him all along. Wedge and Norra lead a team to rescue Casterfro in one of the bigger moments of Resistance Reborn.

Resistance Reborn; Rieekan; Empire Strikes Back
General Rieekan addresses Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Lastly, perhaps the biggest shock is the return of Rebel General Rieekan. Fans saw him commanding Echo Base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back.

(Next page: the ships of the Resistance and Leia’s fate.)