The Saga Continues is a post series that explores the Star Wars new canon. The Rebel Files is a book which appears as an in-universe dossier, collecting papers, communications, and reports from the Rebel Alliance between the Star Wars Rebels era and Return of the Jedi – approximately 5BBY to 4ABY. The book is part of a series of in-universe books by Daniel Wallace which has previously included The Jedi Path, Book of Sith, The Bounty Hunter Code, and The Imperial Handbook.
The Rebel Files isn’t a story in and of itself, yet it tracks the events of the films and TV shows in roughly chronological order. The book opens with a communication from Korr Sella (the woman you see at the front of the balcony on Hosnian Prime when the planet is destroyed by Starkiller Base) to General Leia Organa which explains that the archive we are holding was, “recovered from the excavation on Durkteel”, a planet which suffered orbital bombardment on the same day as the Battle of Endor. The archive was sealed within an armored case marked to be viewed only by, “senior members of Alliance High Command”. The archive itself opens with a communication between Mon Mothma and Hendri Underholt, one of Mothma’s staffers who was assigned to keep a record of the Alliance for the future historical record.
The Rebel Files is made up of several key file types. There are snippets of personal text message-like communications between individuals, Mon Mothma’s journal entries, e-mails between individuals and groups, clippings from news feeds, and Alliance reports and research which make up the bulk of the content. The first items date from the Star Wars Rebels era when the Alliance was just beginning to form from separate factions and include a report on the Spectre group from Lothal and an archived Holonet News report on the arrest of 63 senators following Order 66. The documents then progress alongside the films and new canon books. There are reports on the activities of Twilight Company which tie into the Battlefront: Twilight Company novel, minutes from a Rebel Council meeting discussing the extraction of Galen Erso prior to Rogue One, and a map of Echo Base on Hoth.
Scattered throughout the pages are handwritten notes from several characters within the Resistance. These notes have been added much later on, after the archive was discovered at Durkteel, and include comments from General Leia Organa, Poe Dameron, Admiral Holdo, Admiral Ackbar, and others. These little notes ended up being some of the most interesting parts of the book, really helping to tie together the events of the original trilogy to the characters of the new and adding to the sense of realism. I particularly liked comments from Poe Dameron spotting his dad mentioned in a list of Special Forces personnel, and Leia realizing that a memo she had kept for decades also had a special place in the heart of its sender. Each of these notes has a distinct writing style that feels in keeping with the character who is meant to have written it, in terms of both writing style and vocabulary, and the handwriting itself.
In one note, Leia points out that upon taking control of the galaxy, Emperor Palpatine reset the galactic calendar to BFE and AFE, Before and After the Formation of The Empire. It is this dating system used within the book, which makes it a little confusing for those of us familiar with the Galactic Calendar which uses BBY/ABY (Before/After the Battle of Yavin). The latter has been the standard dating system since the Expanded Universe/Legends era and has been seen in the new canon thanks to the Star Wars: Galactic Atlas so the use of an entirely different dating system is strange. Yet it can easily be argued that such a dating system is more accurate as the Rebel Alliance could obviously not have used the Galactic Calendar prior to the Battle of Yavin.
I loved this little book. While it gave me very little new information, the format made the information feel fresh, and it was great to gain a new perspective on events I know well from characters who were not involved in them directly, such as Poe’s comments on the snowspeeders used on Hoth and Luke’s technique to bring down the AT-ATs. The book will also fill in a lot of extra information for those people who don’t wish to read every book in the new canon – the majority of Star Wars fans if we’re being honest. There are two editions of the book available, the standard hardback (priced around $18) and a deluxe edition (priced around $70) which comes housed in a mechanical vault with removable files and an embedded projector which reveals the Death Star plans. The book is identical in each except for the color of the cover, but if you’re interested in the bonus features of the deluxe edition you can see it in detail over on the Epic Ink Facebook page.
Star Wars: The Rebel Files is a must-have addition to your Star Wars book collection. Whether you’re an avid reader of every new-canon volume you can get hold of, or a casual fan looking for an easy-read to expand your knowledge of the series, this book will add a lot to your appreciation of the Rebel Alliance.
GeekMom received this book for review purposes.