A former student of Luke Skywalker, now fallen to the Dark Side and seemingly able to mysteriously kill thousands at will from great distances, sets in motion a plot to destroy Luke and Leia and topple the New Republic. Meanwhile Han and Lando run into a few 'friends' from their smuggling days.
The New Rebellion is a stand alone story (something relatively rare in the Star Wars Expanded Universe) and at 532 pages is one of the longest in the series.
The New Rebellion provides examples of:
- 2-D Space: Wedge lampshades this.
- Continuity Nod: Quite a few to The Thrawn Trilogy, which Timothy Zahn returned by this book being one of the few referenced without a snarky tone in his Fix Fic Hand of Thrawn.
- Deadpan Snarker: R2-D2 of all things snarks it up considerably, although we hear everything he says as translated by the considerably more diplomatic C-3PO. This somehow just makes it funnier.
- Doomed by Canon: Luke thinks that Brakiss can come back to the Light, and scenes from Brakiss's POV... well, they include this.In the space of a conversation, Brakiss nearly had abandoned everything. For Skywalker. [...] His feelings got too confused around Skywalker. It was almost as if Skywalker could turn him with a few words, a glance, an idea.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Brakiss, the Big Bad of the chronologically later but published earlier Young Jedi Knights series, has a supporting role.
- Fluffy Tamer: Luke and the thernbee.
- Meaningful Name: Dolph, which is a variation of Adolf...
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Luke's able to redirect heat and make acidic balloon monsters explode by heating the air within them, though this ability actually does reappear occasionally.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Lando and Han were actually seen as aberrant for defying this trope.
- Nostalgia Filter: On returning to Smuggler's Run and coming into contact with many of his old associates, Han Solo realizes that he might have been suffering from this to some extent, idealizing or romanticizing how great his old smuggling days really were.
- Only in It for the Money: Han's old smuggling buddies sell him out to a gangster for cash.
- Paranoia Fuel: In-universe, Kueller plans to bring down the New Republic by propagating this. He manufactures droids, ubiquitous in the 'verse to the point where they go unnoticed, rigged with bombs that make them liable to explode simultaneously without warning. He also buys Imperial surplus weapons and ships to take advantage of the Republic's fear of a resurgent Empire.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil
- Putting on the Reich: Odd in-universe example - Kueller is not affiliated with the Empire but intentionally uses Imperial warships and dresses his men as stormtroopers for the psychological impact it has on the New Republic.
- Remember the New Guy?: 'Kueller' (real name Dolph) was allegedly a former student of Luke's but this is his first appearance, though Luke does try to justify it by not remembering him at first, and saying that except for the ones who immediately go to the Dark Side, he tends not to remember all of his former students who didn't complete their training.
- Sense Loss Sadness: In The Thrawn Trilogy, Luke and Mara are able to function around ysalamiri with hardly a pang. Here, they find it crippling and debilitating, and Han thinks nasty thoughts about how Mara deserves it. It's common for characters in non-Zahn works to be suspicious of Mara, despite her turning away from the Empire like half of the people they trust unconditionally.
- Shot in the Ass: Much to Han's dismay.Chewie chuckled."It's not funny, furball. It hurts."
- Starfish Aliens: Rusch really likes weird aliens and introduces dozens of new species here (very few of which are ever heard of in subsequent stories).
- Steel Ear Drums: Averted.
- Tragic Villain: Kueller's motivation is anger that the Republic did nothing to prevent his people's slaughter; in the process of trying to prevent it from happening he becomes every bit as monstrous as the regime that took everything away from him.