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A former student of Luke Skywalker now fallen to the Dark Side and seemingly able to mysteriously kill thousands at will from great distances sets in motion a plot to destroy Luke and Leia and topple the New Republic. Meanwhile Han and Lando run into a few 'friends' from their smuggling days.
The New Rebellion is a stand alone story (something relatively rare in the Star Wars Expanded Universe) and at 532 pages is one of the longest in the series.
Tropes used in this work include:
"What? Sir, have you gone mad?"
"Whether I'm mad or not is none of your concern. I'm your commander. You do as I say."
"But, sir, the new rules established by Admiral Ackbar state-"
"That you can force me to step down if you can prove I'm unfit. They also state that simply because the commander gives orders you disagree with does not mean the commander is unfit. Fire now, or I'll have you all relieved."
- Continuity Nod: Quite a few to The Thrawn Trilogy, which Timothy Zahn returned by this book being one of the few referenced without a snarky tone in his Fix Fic Hand of Thrawn.
- Deadpan Snarker: R2-D2 of all things snarks it up considerably, although we hear everything he says as translated by the considerably more diplomatic C-3PO. This somehow just makes it funnier.
- Doomed by Canon: Luke thinks that Brakiss can come back to the Light, and scenes from Brakiss's POV... well, they include this.
In the space of a conversation, Brakiss nearly had abandoned everything. For Skywalker. [...] His feelings got too confused around Skywalker. It was almost as if Skywalker could turn him with a few words, a glance, an idea.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Brakiss, the Big Bad of the chronologically later but published earlier Young Jedi Knights series has a supporting role.
- Fluffy Tamer: Luke and the thernbee.
- Hot Mom: When Luke meets Brakiss's mother, one of his first thoughts is that despite her being clearly older, she's still very beautiful. Of course, considering what her son looks like...
- Ho Yay: Brakiss. Oh so very much.
- Meaningful Name: Dolph, which is a variation of Adolf Hitler....
- Only in It For the Money: Han's old smuggling buddies sell him out to a gangster for cash.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Luke's able to redirect heat and make acidic balloon monsters explode by heating the air within them.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Lando and Han were actually seen as aberrant for defying this trope.
- Paranoia Fuel: In-universe, Kueller plans to bring down the New Republic by propogating this. He manufactures droids, ubiquitous in the 'verse to the point where they go unnoticed, rigged with bombs that make them liable to explode simultaneously without warning He also buys Imperial surplus weapons and ships to take advantage of the Republic's fear of a resurgent Empire.
- Putting on the Reich: Odd in-universe example - Kueller is not affiliated with the Empire but intentionally uses Imperial warships and dresses his men as stormtroopers for the psychological impact it has on the New Republic.
- Remember the New Guy?: 'Kueller' (real name Dolph) was allegedly a former student of Luke's but this is his first appearance.
- Though Luke does try to justify it by not remembering him at first, and saying that except for the ones who immediately go to the Dark Side, he tends not to remember all of his former students who didn't complete their training.
- Sense Loss Sadness: In The Thrawn Trilogy, Luke and Mara are able to function around ysalamiri with hardly a pang. Here, they find it crippling and debilitating, and Han thinks nasty thoughts about how Mara deserves it. It's common for characters in non-Zahn works to be suspicious of Mara, despite her turning away from the Empire like half of the people they trust unconditionally.
- Shot in the Ass: Much to Han's dismay.
- Starfish Aliens: Rusch really likes weird aliens and introduces dozens of new species here (very few of which are ever heard of in subsequent stories.)
- Steel Ear Drums: Averted.
- 2-D Space: Wedge lampshades this.