I’ll get this out of the way: there isn’t a whole lot in Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills that pertains to the Whills. Or the Guardians. This is a story about Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus who used to hold that title; but you know this if you’ve seen Rogue One. If you haven’t, you probably have no interest in this book.
Guardians of the Whills is a prequel (of sorts) to Rogue One, which in turn is a prequel to A New Hope. Got it? Good. I’m not sure as to when the events take place, but there is a reference to something from a late season one episode of Star Wars: Rebels. And much like the rebels on Lothal, Baze and Chirrut do what they can to help their fellow citizens. By that I mean they steal supplies from the Empire, and give them to orphans.
This is not a spoiler–for it appears on the back cover–the Guardians meet Saw Gerrera. Who knew that they knew each other prior to Rogue One? Not me. Saw seeks out Baze and Chirrut because he feels they share similar goals. But if you know anything about Saw and his band of partisans, things are not always clear cut.
No pun intended.
Among the many highlights of Rogue One is the relationship between Baze and Chirrut; it’s the friendship that launched a billion gigabytes of fan fiction. Author Greg Rucka hits the right tone without going overboard with the bickering couple aspect turning into farce.
Guardians of the Whills is a young reader novel, (ages 8-12) which is curious considering Rogue One pushes the limits of its PG-13 rating. If your child has seen the film, then the book should be fine.
As I mentioned before, there is no clear explanation as to what the Whills are. If it ever comes, it will most likely show up in a novel that is aimed more for grown ups. Which is fine. I’m also cool with never knowing. Not everything has to be explained.