The Journey to The Last Jedi continues with a novel focusing on the Resistance bombers and the Tico sisters, Rose and Paige in Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron. Written by Elizabeth Wein this middle grade novel follows the crews and support staff of the MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 bombers of Cobalt and Crimson squadrons.
Will Rose and Paige help save a planet, or will their actions lead to all-out war?
New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire) journeys to a galaxy far, far away to bring readers the harrowing story of the courageous bomber pilots and technicians of Cobalt Squadron!
The novel is set before and during the events of The Force Awakens begins slowly with the bombers on a mission to spread spy droids instead of munitions to get intelligence on activities in First Order controlled space, morphs into a supply mission to drop supplies to a native resistance movement behind enemy lines before wrapping up by intersecting with the events at the end of The Force Awakens and leading into when we see the bombers in The Last Jedi.
While the plot is relatively forgettable and most of the side characters are as well, this story does two very cool things. First it provides us with a great deal of information about the SF-17 bombers themselves and how their crews operate. With a pilot, a bombardier, a flight engineer and two gunners the in-universe craft are very similar to US’s B-17 Flying Fortress bomber that saw action in World War II. The second and most important thing that this story does is it embellishes the characters of Rose and Paige Tico, gives them a back story and a relationship that makes their scenes in The Last Jedi much more emotionally resonant.
There is a closeness and intimacy between the Tico sisters that is conveyed by the way they tend to travel in hyperspace together, we learn more about their home planet, Rose’s necklace, and just how talented of an engineer Rose is and a gunner Paige is. Set your plot expectations aside and just enjoy this book for the character development and it is well worth a read.
I listened to the audiobook version of the novel which was read by Kelly Marie Tran the actress who portrays Rose Tico in The Last Jedi. If you have the choice, I would suggest consuming this story because hearing Rose’s adventures in her own voice is an extra treat that Star Wars fans don’t always get with characters. The 360 minute audiobook is available for download for $20.
The ebook and hardcover editions of the book are also on sale now for around $11 at Amazon and other retailers.