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Book Review: Guardians of the Whills

In this week's reading, I went for a re-read of Guardians of the Whills about Rogue One's Baze and Chirrut. It's a relatively easy and quick read that goes a little bit more in depth about Chirrut and Baze's history and what a Guardian of the Whills is, but it also really fleshes out Jedha and the impact that the Empire had on it. It provides some good context to enhance what we see in the movie, and if you're a Rogue One fan like me then it's definitely worth the read.

Spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka.

Baze and Chirrut's dynamic is certainly a highlight of the movie, so having a full book of it is great. From Baze's snarky protectiveness and Chirrut's fun spirituality, they really are a great pair. I love that despite their bickering, Baze and Chirrut have such a strong connection. They're able to understand each other without words, know each other well and despite disagreements and sometimes exasperation, respect each other a lot. I think this book is great to show the depth of their bond that we get to scratch the surface of in the movie.

Something really, really cool about this book was how we got to see Saw Gerrera and his partisans. They've shown up quite a bit, but in this book we got to see the impact that they had on Jedha. Saw briefly recruits the help of Chirrut and Baze, which they only do in exchange for him providing supplies for an orphanage in Jedha that is struggling. However, Baze and Chirrut are disgusted with Saw's lack of regard for civilian lives, and notice how the more Saw strikes at the Empire, the more it tightens its grip and the people of Jedha suffer. It's really interesting to see, because while what the Empire is doing is not Saw's fault for fighting injustice, it's easy to understand why some people under the Empire would be against fighting back for this reason. Seeing how Jedha was already suffering after the Empire took over and then what Saw Gerrera's partisans were doing made it worst really helps you understand the place that we see in Rogue One better, and I loved how the book can put you in the shoes of the regular people in the galaxy.

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