Cobalt Squadron is a Star Wars Expanded Universe middle grade novel written by newcomer Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire) and illustrated by Phil Noto (The Weapon of a Jedi, Moving Target, Smuggler's Run, Before the Awakening, Chewbacca, Poe Dameron). Though not considered a Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi entry, it was released as a tie-in to The Last Jedi.
The book features the harrowing story of the courageous bomber pilots and technicians of the Resistance's Cobalt Squadron, including that of sisters Rose and Paige Tico.
It was released on December 15th, 2017.
Tropes in this book include:
- Character Development: Rose and Reeve gain the courage to take responsibility for others, with Rose in charge or Cobalt Squadron's mechanics and Reeve in charge of Bravo Rising. They also learn to fight separate from their loved ones. This would later ends up saving Rose's life in The Last Jedi, as the entire squadron along with Paige would die trying to destroy a First Order Dreadnought.
- Danger Deadpan: The crew of the Hammer likes to joke around during combat in order to cope with their fears.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Cobalt Squadron was previously mentioned in All There in the Manual as Ello Asty's flight squadron before he joined Blue Squadron.
- Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: The main plot of the book, the Resistance dropping supplies to a dying population besieged by A Nazi by Any Other Name, is reminiscent of the Siege of Leningrad.
- Immediate Prequel: Near the end of the book, the Cobalt Squadron feels a shockwave from the destruction of Hosnian Prime. The book ends with the titular squadron preparing to help evacuating the Resistance Base in D'Qar, leading to the events of The Last Jedi.
- La Résistance: Bravo Rising, a group of armed fighters who aim to free Attera Bravo from the First Order's clutch.
- Mundane Utility: The bombers are sometimes used as icebreakers during peacetime. Paige used to work as an icebreaker before the war, which is the reason she can pilot the bombers when needed.
- Running the Blockade: The plot kicks up when an Atteran youth named Reeve breaks through the First Order blockade and boards the Hammer in order to call for help from the New Republic.
- The Siege: The First Order blockades Attera Bravo and takes control of its water production, causing many Atterans to die of thirst.
- Shout-Out: We learn that the bombers are called StarFortresses. This is a reference to the B-52 bombers, which are called "Flying Fortresses."
- Stealth in Space: Downplayed. Rose invents a device called the "baffler" that hides the energy signatures of the StarFortresses. However, the ships are still not invisible, and they can easily be spotted at close distance.