Cobalt Squadron is a short YA novel that details a mission undertaken by the Resistance that ends up concurring with the First Order’s attack on the Hosnian System. The squadron end up following Vice Admiral Holdo as she assists the evacuation of D’Qar, the resistance base being destroyed at the start of The Last Jedi.
Although the book is short, readers get a more in depth insight to the relationship between the Tico sisters, Rose and Paige. It covers their backstory and how the ended up joining the resistance as well as how they were separated for the first time ever flying on separate ships during the events of The Last Jedi.
Rose and Paige were refugees from a planet annihilated by the First Order; after escaping the planet, the sisters join General Leia Organa’s Resistance to help make sure no other worlds suffer the way theirs did. Paige is apart of Cobalt Squadron as their lead gunner whereas Rose is a technician who has been assigned the role of making sure the MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 runs smoothly.
Whilst on a mission investigating reports of a blockade in the Atterra System by the First Order, Cobalt Squadron come across two freedom fighters from Atterra Bravo desperate to save their world. This feels all too personal for the Tico sisters, reminding them of their past. The Resistance end up putting together a plan for the bomber ships to help the people of Atterra Bravo without being spotted by the First Order which could result in all-out war.
The book allows us to see Rose before the events of The Last Jedi, her relationship with Paige, her role in the Resistance and how she could be the balance between the extremities in which Finn and Poe represent. It becomes even more apparent that Rose struggles with fear and quite possibly a certain level of anxiety. it also become apparent why Rose reacts the Finn trying to leave in an escape pod during TLJ in the way that she did.
Rose really comes to terms with responsibility in the middle of war during Cobalt Squadron; knowing that her own choices and behaviours are her responsibility and hers only. There are consequences for choices, and people have to live with those choices. Blame cannot be placed on an individual for the actions of someone else. People are able to grieve and honour the memories of loved ones without assuming responsibility for that loss.
I think the strongest aspect of the book is the relationship between Rose and Paige, and understanding their journey from refugees to Resistance heroes following loss. I would truly recommend this book to any Star Wars fan looking for more insight into the character of Rose, and I believe that Elizabeth Wein has done a truly remarkable job in telling the tale of Cobalt Squadron. I would rate the book a solid 8 out of 10 and a must-read.