Yesterday we covered the upcoming novel exploring Jyn Erso’s journey prior to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Today, StarWars.com released the synopsis and cover art for another Rogue One prequel novel: Guardians of the Whills. Unsurprisingly, the middle grade novel, written by New York Times bestselling author and Eisner-winner Greg Rucka, will focus on Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus following the Empire’s ransacking of the Kyber Temple on Jedha.
Baze and Chirrut used to be Guardians of the Whills, who looked after the Kyber Temple on Jedha and all those who worshipped there. Then the Empire came and took over the planet. The temple was destroyed and the people scattered. Now Baze and Chirrut do what they can to resist the Empire and protect the people of Jedha, but it never seems to be enough. When a man named Saw Gerrera arrives with grand plans to take down the Empire, it seems like the perfect way for Baze and Chirrut to make a real difference and help the people of Jedha. But will it come at too great a cost?
I couldn’t be more excited about this book. It’s interesting and fitting that the story will seem to revolve around the relationship and interactions between Chirrut and Baze, and Saw Gerrera and his team. To me, this was one of the most interesting unexplored subplots from Rogue One. I’m extremely curious to learn more about the tension between the Empire, the devout followers of the Whills, and Saw’s militant rebels leading up to the events in the film. I fully expect that after this novel, the fantastic Rogue One scenes on Jedha will be even more impactful for Star Wars fans.
Although some might wonder about the book being labeled a “middle-grade novel,” it’s likely more akin to a novella as the Amazon pre-order listing has the book at 240 pages. Rucka was tasked with similar projects for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where he wrote Before the Awakening, covering the stories of Rey, Finn, and Poe prior to the film. He also wrote a Han Solo and Chewbacca novel, Smuggler’s Run, which took place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the post-ROTJ comic miniseries Shattered Empire. All of his recent Star Wars work has been well regarded and I expect no less from Guardians of the Whills.
No surprise, our friends over at Jedi-Bibliotjek broke this information moments before the official account.
Let’s hope this is just the first of many more stories following the Guardians of the Whills. I really believe that this group has the potential for a rich backstory that Star Wars fans would be extremely interested in!
You can pre-order Guardians of the Whills now on Amazon!