Star Wars canon has been becoming more and more defined in different media outlets. Gaps are being filled in and questions are being answered. These new offerings further stories and further knowledge. Enter the latest offering Star Wars: Rebel Files which continues the trend in wonderful and innovative fashion. We have the light shed on the workings of the Rebellion!

Author Dan Wallace tries the impossible by creating and compiling every important piece of data that the Rebellion was built on. He accomplishes this with a unique style of newspaper clippings, collected memos, letters sent, basic blueprints, combat formations. Any aspect of the rebellion that a fan could dream up is in the files. In addition to all the information, there are handwritten margin notes by some of our favorite characters including Leia, Admiral Ackbar and Poe Dameron. It also includes notes from newer characters like Caluan Ematt, U.O. Statura and the recently introduced Amilyn Holdo of The Resistance.

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Wallace isn’t new to this style. He’s the author of previous informative books such as Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark SideThe Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force and The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett. All of those house the same style of compilation with margin notes. They meld fictional accounts to bring a whole new side of history and lore we couldn’t gather from the films. So how does he do with the Rebel Files

The book is highly interesting and very well put together. One of the most interesting aspects of the films was wondering how a Rebellion worked. With the Empire you know it was run like a dictatorship and was pretty well understood in A New Hope. But the Rebellion was different – it was played more to be a ragtag bunch of civilians of the galaxy coming together with a bit of leadership. This book shows instead that it was a pretty well oiled machine. From their very humble beginnings to their “end” with the defeat of the Empire, we see their wins and losses all throughout their time.

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As for the layout, it’s really interesting as things are kind of mashed together. It can feel almost random and a bit confusing at times when you go from reading a text message type exchange to a dossier about The Spectres (aka the crew from Star Wars Rebels). But they’re all informative and give you a better idea what was happening behind the scenes. In addition, the marginal notes from the characters sometimes add even more depth. It was interesting to read as Wallace tried to grab the voice of these characters in a few sentences. On some occasions it worked while other times it seemed to fall flat, for example some of Leia’s voice felt off. Sometimes the notes even felt intrusive but most of the time they just added dimension to the information. Either way, there was just so much good about this book!

Star Wars: Rebel Files would be a welcome addition to any hardcore Star Wars fan’s collection. Its informative nature is a game changer. And since the Rebellion is so integral to the story of the original trilogy – this is a must read.

Be sure to find the deluxe edition sold now on Amazon. The hardcover version will be coming to shelves July 3rd. 

Erin Lynch