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Literature / Join the Resistance

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If being a hero were easy, everybody would be one.

Join the Resistance is a Star Wars Expanded Universe middle grade novel series written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, illustrated by Annie Wu, about a group of young Resistance newcomers who believe that they're ready to take down the First Order, but things turn out to not be as all cracked up as it seemed. The story takes place sometime after the events of Bloodline, but set shortly before (and later, during) the events of The Force Awakens.

Set from the perspective of Mattis Banz, who under the belief that he’s meant to be a hero of the galaxy like the legendary Luke Skywalker, he gets recruited by General Leia Organa's Resistance in its efforts against the evil First Order, and believes that he's finally on the road to fulfilling his destiny. Unfortunately, the rest of his flight squadron that he gets assigned to doesn't seem as... promising.


Sure, there’s the Zeltron girl Lorica Demaris, famous for her exploits foiling evil smugglers, but there’s also the swamp boy named Dec, who seems to enjoy causing trouble; Dec’s “brother,” a droid who thinks he’s a pilot; Sari, whose imposing size contradicts her sweet nature; and Jo, the stuffy group leader with secrets. How is Mattis supposed to be the next Poe Dameron when he and his squad mates spend more time in trouble than flying X-wings? The team will have to learn how to work together when the going gets tough, or they won’t be going anywhere…

  1. Join the Resistance (March 7, 2017)
  2. Join the Resistance: Escape From Vodran (October 3, 2017)
  3. Join the Resistance: Attack on Starkiller Base (July 31, 2018)


Tropes in this series include:

  • Almighty Janitor: The kids are pretty much lower deck. It's probably for the best, considering that their hijinks aren't something desired in military combat...
  • Ambiguously Brown: Mattis, Jo, and Dec.
  • Call-Back:
  • Call-Forward:
    • Luke has already gone MIA and the search for a map that holds his location is ongoing, meaning that the first book takes place a little bit before The Force Awakens.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Durkteel and its native species, the Saurians, is brought back and used as Mattis' homeworld.
    • Vodran was originally from a roleplaying game. It was brought back via All There in the Manual, but this is the first time it has appeared in story material.
  • Child Soldier: These recruits seem rather young to fight for an unauthorized military against an authoritarian dictatorship. Though it sounds like because of the immaturity displayed by the cast and because most of them are kids anyway, they actually aren't supposed to be seeing action, and the reason why they are is because they've gotten into trouble for not taking it seriously.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Ganthel, the homeworld of Rae Sloane, is mentioned as the homeworld of a background character and home to a New Republic Military Academy that Lorica is supposed to be attending.
    • The Phirmists were previously seen in the background of Rogue One, showing that not all of the religious groups at Jedha were completely destroyed just because they were there.
  • Cool Big Sis: Lorica to Mattis and presumably the rest of the Squadron after defrosting.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Lorica is dismissive (and understandably annoyed) of Mattis and the others, but comes to warm up to them and respect them as the story goes on.
  • Gentle Giant: Sari is The Big Guy (well, girl), but she's a Nice Girl.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Mattis wants to be the next Poe Dameron, maybe even the next Luke Skywalker.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Mattis to the heroes of the Rebels, New Republic, and the Resistance.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: In Jo's introduction to Mattis, there's some emphasis on his blue eyes fitting his stoic personality.
  • Jumped at the Call: The first chapter literally starts with the line, 'Are you ready for an adventure?' by Klimo to Mattis. It doesn't take more than a page for the book to give us context or a genius to know how Mattis answered.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Sari.
  • Naïve Newcomer: The main cast, though so far, Mattis is the only one we're sure about that fits.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: A variant. Mattis is not allowed to talk about the secret Resistance, so the day before he leaves, he confronts a bully and tells him to meet up with him before Mattis "flies away" (as the bully liked to beat people up, which he called "making them fly"). Plans change, so Mattis never gets to confront the bully and possibly came off to the other kids of Lund Gourley as skipping town like a Dirty Coward.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Mattis's squadron includes the boy himself (who is a Heroic Wannabe), two aloof and more mature members with at least one having dark secrets, a Gentle Giant, a Cloud Cuckoolander droid, and a troublemaker.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After J-Squadron causes some trouble at the Resistance base, Ackbar sends them on scavenging duty on Vodran. Things don't quite go as any of them intended.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Sari and Lorica.

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