Long before the First Order, before the Empire, before even The Phantom Menace . . . Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in The High Republic
It is a golden age. Intrepid hyperspace scouts expand the reach of the Republic to the furthest stars, worlds flourish under the benevolent leadership of the Senate, and peace reigns, enforced by the wisdom and strength of the renowned order of Force users known as the Jedi. With the Jedi at the height of their power, the free citizens of the galaxy are confident in their ability to weather any storm But the even brightest light can cast a shadow, and some storms defy any preparation.
When a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace tears a ship to pieces, the flurry of shrapnel emerging from the disaster threatens an entire system. No sooner does the call for help go out than the Jedi race to the scene. The scope of the emergence, however, is enough to push even Jedi to their limit. As the sky breaks open and destruction rains down upon the peaceful alliance they helped to build, the Jedi must trust in the Force to see them through a day in which a single mistake could cost billions of lives.
Even as the Jedi battle valiantly against calamity, something truly deadly grows beyond the boundary of the Republic. The hyperspace disaster is far more sinister than the Jedi could ever suspect. A threat hides in the darkness, far from the light of the age, and harbors a secret that could strike fear into even a Jedi’s heart.
Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio, the author, and the narrator for a copy of Star Wars: Light of the Jedi (The High Republic) for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.
The Light of the Jedi is a phenomenal start to a new era of Star Wars canon. If Favreau is carrying the entire franchise, Soule and Thompson are here to help alleviate some of the back pain. If you are one of those left with a sour taste after the last trilogy of movies, crack open this new adventure.
I’ve been a huge fan of Charles Soule over the past few years, what with his novels The Oracle Year and Anyone, as well as his comics like Curse Words, Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, and a multitude of others. When I found out about the new era of canon, and that he would be writing one of the first novels, to say I jumped for joy would be an understatement.
What I liked most about this story, other than listening to the incomparable Marc Thompson as the narrator, is that it is a completely original story that has absolutely zero to do with all of the previous canon. Yes, there are a few names thrown around that fans will be very familiar with, but I really like the idea of leaving the Empire, the New Republic, and Skywalker behind for a change.
Another thing that I found really cool was the way in which these Jedi interact with the force. While we are used to seeing chokeholds, retrieving lightsabers and the like, the force is seen as an experience with elements, etc. and is only used in specific circumstances (you know, like keeping massive pieces of ship from destroying stars and killing billions of people).
While this story brings in a slew of new characters, Soule quickly acquaints the reader with each of them and brings new favorites by the time this chapter of The High Republic is over. The one in particular I am most fascinated by would have to be Marchion Ro, known as the Eye of the Nihil (which are our baddies this go round – sort of like Space Vikings for those who enjoy Nordic history/fantasy). He starts off as your run-of-the-mill “head honcho”, but as the story progresses, especially toward the end, you begin to uncover all of the motivations he has, the emotions to go along with them, and the pure malice he has toward those who choose to wrong him. I am so ready to see more of him.
I absolutely loved this book, and if you want a refreshing new take on Star Wars, why not start here?