- "You know I envision a galaxy of Great Works — connected and inspiring and filled with peace for all citizens. I believe this is possible, but not because of me, or any special ability of mine. I believe it is possible because of us. Because we can and will work together to achieve it. We are, every one of us, a great work. I see a galaxy where we use our strengths to shore up each other's weaknesses, where we understand and celebrate our differences and hold them up as valuable. We are a Republic where every voice matters, whether in the Core or on the farthest planet at the edge of the Rim."
- ―Lina Soh's speech at the Dedication of the Starlight Beacon
Lina Soh was a human female Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic during the High Republic Era, holding office around 232 BBY. She was elected into the seat of power prior to the Great Hyperspace Disaster, where she oversaw a period of Republic expansion reinforced by her ideologies of unity and peaceful coexistence. While in office, Soh established several outreach programs, such as the Starlight Beacon space station, which was designed to bring the Outer Rim worlds into the Republic.
At her request, the Jedi Order also established their own outposts within the far reaches of the galaxy, in order to provide assistance to groups or planets that required it. These outposts were also built to function autonomously from the Jedi Temple on the planet Coruscant and the Republic itself.
Soh also focused on bringing star systems into the rapidly expanding Republic as Outer Rim exploration increased. Another part of her efforts on the unification front included the Great Works projects, in which she helmed, as well as included the Beacon's creation and the construction of other communication relays throughout the galaxy. Other projects included the Republic Fair, negotiations for a treaty between the Quarren and Mon Calamari species on the planet Mon Cala, attempts to bring the Togruta empire into the Galactic Republic, and other technological innovations. Soh also oversaw both the events of the Great Disaster and defenses from the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair a year later, the latter which severely injured her.
Life before politics
Around 232 BBY, Lina Soh served as the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Envisioning the spread of the Republic's influence in the galaxy, Soh planned many Great Works as part of her vision, including an outreach program to the Outer Rim Territories. The cornerstone of these efforts was the space station Starlight Beacon, the first in a planned network of such stations. Chancellor Soh also enacted a prisoner rehabilitation program with the intention of it being the first in a series of reforms to the Republic's carceral system and with the hope that it would demonstrate unity as a Republic. Her political life was extremely active, moving from one meeting to the next. Her son, Kitrep Soh, did not enjoy being in the public eye that followed them due to her political prominence, though she always made time for him amidst her extremely busy schedule.
The Great Disaster
Shortly before Starlight was due to open, however, the freighter Legacy Run was destroyed, causing the Great Hyperspace Disaster. The Hetzal system was threatened by this cataclysmic event, but at the time, its cause and full extent was unknown. Multiple Jedi and members of the Republic Defense Coalition had been returning from a conclave at the newly finished Starlight Beacon when they received the distress call from Hetzal's government. The Jedi and RDC forces arrived in the system, establishing contact and immediately moved to assist, their efforts coordinated by Admiral Pevel Kronara of the Republic Defense Coalition's cruiser, Third Horizon, and Jedi Master Avar Kriss.
From the Third Horizon, Chancellor Soh was filled in on the group's progress once it had begun, connecting via a high-priority relay from the planet Coruscant to one of the commwalls on the ship's bridge. The picture had low resolution and crackled with sharp lines of static every few seconds, yet Soh's delicate, sweeping features were still visible. When Master Kriss emerged from her use of the Force in directing the efforts of the Jedi, the Chancellor was speaking about sending more rescue ships, and that the distress signal had been delayed in reaching them. The call then ended. A short time later, Soh called again, asking for a status update. Admiral Kronara stepped to a comm station to take the call, where she asked him multiple questions he could not answer, about the nature of the anomalies, whether it would happen again, all part of her thinking long term. Soh was later apprised of the scale of the Great Disaster.
In the aftermath of the crisis in the Hetzal system, Soh called a meeting with seven figures, Jedi Masters Yarael Poof, Jora Malli, Sskeer and Kriss alongside Senator Izzet Noor, Secretary of Transportation Jeffo Lorillia, and Admiral Kronara. She held this meeting in Monument Plaza, taking some time before the meeting to tour the plaza's grounds, and place her hand upon Umate, the tallest peak of the Manrai mountain range. She found that the plaza helped remind her of the tenants of the Republic while also relaxing her. She, along with her pet targons, eventually joined her primary aide, the unpigmented Koorivar Norel Quo and proceeded to the meeting place. They were accompanied by a continent of blue-clad Senate Guards.
Upon arriving, Soh first went to Master Kriss, thanking her directly for her efforts at Hetzal, and her saving of likely billions of lives, praising her actions as emblematic of what the Republic stood for. She then stepped back and announced that she was ordering the existing hyperspace closure to be expanded by five hundred parsecs around Hetzal until further notice. She then discussed the Emergences with the group, a servitor droid displaying a map of the events to the assembled group. After assuring Lorillia and Noor about the necessity of the action, she turned to ask the Jedi for their thoughts. Master Poof and the others informed her that they did not believe the event had anything to do with Force-sensitives, or the Force itself, as none of them had sensed such during their arrival or interaction with the various Emergences.
Senator Noor again interrupted, and demanded a firm timetable on when hyperspace routes would be opened in the Outer Rim. Soh countered that she could not give such a timetable until they knew more information, and while she was aware of the hardship it would cause, she wanted to make sure that no greater disaster gripped the Republic. She did concede that if essential supplies were needed, such as food, she would authorize such trips. The Chancellor next turned to Starlight Beacon, highlighting its importance and being told that the station would still be ready for its opening. Soh then enlisted the group to form a task force to deal with the crisis before the opening of Starlight Beacon in thirty days, stating that they needed to determine how many fragments remained of the Legacy Run, how many contained survivors and if they could be rescued, if there is a way to predict where remaining Emergences would occur, and most important what happened, and why. She ended with dire words, fearing that unless they understood what had happened, hyperspace would continue to break down and the Republic would be left alone in the dark, unable to exist.
Sometime later, Soh was in her office on Coruscant and joined a conference with members of the task force to be debriefed of what they knew so far. She looked at a hi-res holo of the last images the Legacy Run saw before tearing itself apart, projected by one of her comms droids while members of the task force looked at a similar image. These images revealed a Nihil vessel crossing the path of the Legacy Run, and she stated an unspoken question that she believed the form of travel the Nihil were performing was impossible. Two of the members present for the call, Vellis and Marlowe San Tekka, confirmed that the action that the Nihil were taking should be impossible.
Chancellor Soh asked for a rundown of what had been learned, leading Kriss to give a summary of what the investigations and efforts of the group had uncovered. Kriss highlighted the role of the Nihil in the event, and how they had gained the ability to predict the Emergences. When Soh asked if the Nihil purposefully caused the Great Disaster, Elzar Mann suggested that they had not, as it had been the stress of the Legacy Run seeking to avoid the Nihil ship that had destroyed the vessel, not a purposeful strike. Soh again turned to the San Tekkas for their viewpoint, and Marlowe San Tekka stated that they believed the events were a tragic fluke. However, the Nihil's unique knowledge of hyperspace was a danger and had to be investigated.
When Senator Noor cut in, asking for the reopening of the hyperlanes, the Chancellor shut him down, and insisted that the Nihil threat be dealt with first to avoid such a calamity from striking again. She empowered Admiral Kronara to activate the defense provisions of the Republic Defense Coalition to hunt down the Nihil, though she then asked if there were any known bases of the brigands to direct the Coalition's efforts. Keven Tarr mentioned that his array had calculated the origin point of the Nihil vessel that caused the Great Disaster to be somewhere around the Kur Nebula. Soh gave the task force a new assignment, to do whatever was needed to stop the Nihil, as she wanted every last one brought to justice.
In the aftermath
In the wake of the Battle of Kur, and a short time before the opening of Starlight Beacon, Soh met with representatives of the task force on Coruscant in her office to discuss the aftermath of the battle. She pondered her choices during the crisis, weighing what had been learned and lost while viewing the cityscape of the capital. She particularly paid attention to how her view overlooked the place where her response had begun, Monument Plaza, and considered the loss of the many Jedi. She then turned to address those present. Joining her in her office were her pet targons Matari and Voru, her aide Quo, Secretary of Transportation Lorillia, Senator Noor and his aide Jeni Wataro, and Admiral Kronara.
Chancellor Soh announced that she was reopening the Outer Rim, and asked her aide to put out a statement to that effect immediately. With the agreement of the Secretary of Transportation, she used her executive authority to ease taxation of the affected trade routes, at least for a short period. After being reminded of the minor problem of navi-droids due to Tar's array, she then turned to addressing the work of Mister Tarr. She spoke of rewarding the young man for his dedicated and groundbreaking work, postulating that there might be a Great Work to produce with the help of his ideas. She then turned to thanking Senator Noor for his patience with her efforts, though at his dignified response, she kept her emotions off her face as internally, her eyes rolled so far back, they would have been looking out the window onto Coruscant.
She then bore witness to the debate between Admiral Kronara and Senator Noor after the latter told his aide to record his desire to make a speech that would have mentioned the Nihil threat as defeated. The Admiral disagreed with this assessment, and Soh found the following exchange amusing. She recommended that the Senator mention in his planned speech that the Starlight Beacon was going to open on schedule. She then ruminated on the power of the united Republic, on the ideas of family and unity, and how one day, the galaxy would be open to the magical idea of compromise.
Opening of Starlight Beacon
- "This station will be a symbol of the Republic in the Outer Rim. A place where we will celebrate our union, and help each other to make it grow. It will send out a signal, for anyone in this sector to hear, at any time. The beacon. The beacon of the Republic. The sound... of hope."
- ―Lina Soh
Later, at the opening of the Starlight Beacon, Chancellor Soh stood before the assembled guests and spoke of her vision of a galaxy filled with Great Works, where all were connected and inspired by one another. She believed that each person themselves was a great work, and that differences should be held up as valuable. She stated that all were part of a government where every voice mattered, regardless of where it came from. She went on to address the sacrifices made to bring safety to the Outer Rim that allowed for the Beacon to finish its construction, citing the deaths of Hedda Casset, Loden Greatstorm, Merven Getter, Vel Borta, Captain Finial Bright, and many more as part of that sacrifice. She proposed a memorial, another Great Work, where all those who had died in the Legacy Run disaster would be remembered and the sculpture broken apart and set at the sites of Emergences across the galaxy.
She ended her speech with a statement of her belief that the space station would become a symbol of the Republic to the Outer Rim, and that the station would ultimately serve as a beacon and signal of hope. As she finished speaking, hundreds of Jedi lightsabers ignited and were held up in a salute while the station's beacon activated, sending its signal out into space for hundreds of parsecs around the station.
Even though the Great Disaster had been resolved, Chancellor Soh and her aides would become much more comfortable joining and taking part in Jedi Council meetings, a development which worried Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus.
The Republic Fair
Traveling to the Republic Fair
Nearly a year later, Chancellor Soh was on board the Coruscant Dawn, the chancellor's flagship, with guests including deputy Larep Reza, GoNet reporter Rhil Dairo and her droid T-9, Padawan Burryaga, and Jedi Masters Stellan Gios and Nib Assek. At some point during this voyage to the Republic Fair on Valo, she was engaged in a conference through a vidwall when a number of these passengers joined her in the chamber. Her chief aide, Quo, was going to usher them all away, when Soh broke from her conversation to override her aide, and insist they stay.
Her conference was with Senator Noor, Senator Vaadu of Phindar, Coordinator Samera Ra-oon, and Master Kriss. Upon this override, she also invited Master Gios to join the discussion which then resumed. Soh asked Ra-oon if the Fair's preparations were proceeding smoothly, to which Ra-oon emphatically confirmed, though she mentioned a small issue with the United in Song's holoprojection system. Quo attempted to step in and usher the conversation forward, but Soh insisted that she wanted to know about all problems, no matter how trivial. She complimented the concept art of the exhibit, but Senator Noor steered the conversation back on track.
He asked about the progress being made on the Innovator, the top of the line new science-focused starship commissioned by Soh's government. Master Gios informed the group that the ship was on schedule, having earlier communicated with Jedi Indeera Stokes and her Padawan, Bell Zettifar, checking on the progress of the ship. Soh beamed and stated that this was excellent news, but Senator Vaadu interjected, asking if there was an appropriate security detail with the Innovator. Master Gios again mentioned the presence of the two Jedi, but Vaadu insisted that was enough given the current situation. Soh addressed the true concern, that being the Nihil, which shifted the tone of the conversation. Gios stated that the Nihil attacks were decreasing, and an argument broke out over how safe the Republic Fair was. Ultimately, Ra-oon reinforced the safety of the fair along with Gios, however Master Kriss was forced to mention that she might not be able to attend the festivities due to her role leading the efforts against the Drengir.
The tone of the conversation again shifted at the mention of the Drengir, with Soh assuring Vaadu that Marshal Kriss and the Jedi of Starlight Beacon were dealing with the situation. However, Senator Noor brought up the alliance with the Hutts, causing further argument, with Soh interjecting that the Drengir threat had not yet reached Valo. As Noor and Kriss fell into a heated argument, Soh again interrupted to support Master Kriss' actions, though she tried to redirect the discussion back to the fair. She shut down Senator Noor's attempt to rehash all of his previous points, and firmly placed her confidence in the Jedi as well as the fair's organizers on the matter of security, mentioning that Jedi Master Mann had been stationed on Valo to further allay fears.
However, the discussion then turned to Senator Tia Toon's outspoken beliefs in a centralized military for the Republic, which he had formalized into the Defense Force Program proposal for the Senate. Soh interrupted the discussion to reaffirm her position against the measure, as she felt it did not fit the philosophy of her administration. She then launched into an unofficial speech, urging the fair ahead so that it could serve as a message for the galaxy that the Republic was resilient in the face of the Nihil, and united despite the recent destructive actions. She mentioned how she had poured over briefs and multiple simulations of the Nihil's attacks, and named them as pirates, the sort the galaxy had seen time and time again, and had defeated time and time again. However, she insisted they push on and not live in fear of reprisal or of what might happen should the Nihil come calling, stating that if such a thing should ever happen then the Republic will have lost without firing a single shot.
After some final words, the meeting ended, and Soh walked to her wroshyr-wood desk, assessing the meeting as having gone well. Larep Reza brought up Toon as a thorn in their side, and a figure they should be concerned about given the political climate, but Soh wearily snapped that the climate for someone like Toon to thrive was not present in the Republic. She stated that this fair was an opportunity to build bridges with their neighbors, and then gave a small laugh at the idea of the DFP passing, and how Count Kresso would burst a blood vessel if Senator Noor allowed it. It was at this time that the Coruscant Dawn received news that Cyclor and the Innovator were under attack.
The ship's comm board lit up as news of the attack reached the Core Worlds, Soh staying calm as her head aide rushed to field requests and arrange meetings for her. Despite her controlled appearance though, concern knotted her stomach, though it never reached a point of panic. She asked if there was any word from Cylor, with Master Gios informing her of amateur footage of the attack being broadcast from the shipyards. As the Jedi spoke, Soh was already walking back toward the holowall, watching as Nihil scav droids breached the shipyard's defenses. She asked how they were seeing this given that official signals were being jammed, Master Nib Assek replying that the Cyclorrians were some of the most ingenious engineers in the known galaxy, and had likely bypassed the Nihil's blockers. While Master Gios contactedJedi Master Tera Sinube about sending reinforcements, Soh entered into a conversation with a number of officials through the use of the holowall. One of these was Grand Master Pra-Tre Veter, and he expressed his hope that the Force would protect both the Jedi reinforcements being deployed by Master Sinube and the Jedi already on the scene.
However, further sentiments were interrupted by Senator Toon who joined the conversation to state a need to also be concerned for the financial loss that would be incurred by damage to the shipyard. Soh attempted to admonish him, but he bullishly continued, arguing with the Chancellor over the apparent overreliance on Jedi within the Republic. He attempted to discuss the DFP but Soh shut him down, stating this was not the time. Toon barreled on though, stating it was the perfect time given how the Nihil had now reached into the Mid Rim. Soh adopted a steely demeanor and stated that the current crisis would pass just like Hetzal Prime's own cataclysm but this gave Toon an opening to aggressively pursue the subject despite Soh's words. When Toon ultimately took to critiquing the Republic Fair, Soh's voice rose stating it would be a sign of strength and solidarity, to which the Senator snorted. He went on to deride the messaging around the event and what he felt to be a waste of resources on ostentation.
Deputy Reza interrupted, shouting that Toon was politicizing the attack. This was another mistake as Toon went on to claim the moral high ground, and that he was thinking of the safety of millions on the frontier who Soh's government was failing with a final jab that he hoped they could now all see how Soh was failing them given the presence of Rhil Dairo and her droid watching everything unfold. Soh argued that the Senate approved the presence of GoNet, to which Toon snorted and stated he was sure their argument wouldn't make the cut as it did not fit the narrative. It was then that the Jedi reinforcements reached Cyclor and Soh broke off the argument with Toon to ask if Jedi Stokes and Zettifar were alright. However, Master Porter Engle reported that the situation was not good. The attack was ultimately repelled, with Bell Zettifar's life saved by the medical facilities of the Innovator.
First days at the Republic Fair
A short time later, Chancellor Soh along with the passengers on board the Coruscant Dawn reached Valo on time ahead of the opening ceremonies of the Republic Fair. She flew down in her shuttle to land in Lonisa City, where the Fair was being held, and was greeted by a welcoming committee made up of Master Mann, Idrax Snat, the head of the Valo Security Force, Ra-oon, Lonisa City's mayor Nas Lariin, their son Jom, and a handful of others. The Chancellor disembarked her shuttle flanked by her pet targons, and was greeted by Nas Lariin who welcomed her to the planet, and expressed the excitement the city felt at this visit. Soh bowed, a custom of greeting among the Valon, and then introduced her son Kitrep Soh. The Chancellor also introduced the other members of her group, her top aide Quo, her deputy Larep Reza, and her Jedi escort, made up of Jedi Masters Stellan Gios and Nib Assek along with Padawan Burryaga. The last member of the group was Rhi Dairo, who hung back and recorded the various happenings of the group's movements.
With the formalities concluded, Ra-oon led Chancellor Soh and the wider group to a row of waiting aircars that would take the Chancellor to the city's Republic embassy for the first in a series of briefings that had to occur before the opening ceremonies. Later, on Republic Avenue, Coordinator Ra-oon led the Chancellor and delegates from her party of close peers alongside a party of Jedi through the main thoroughfare, pointing out highlights along the way. The group eventually reached the end of this section of the tour, Ra-oon pointing out the floating sky-islands nearby as the guests all stood at the edge of the city's harbor. Soh expressed how incredible they were, with her son sulting behind her. Ra-oon gave further information about the islands in response to questions from the group, and at last began to move the group onward to travel to the Hetzaal platform to eat some food.
However, their transit was interrupted by the arrival of Senator Toon, accompanied by his "personal secretary" Ratko. Upon Toon's appearance, Quo and Larep Reza stepped in front of Chancellor Soh, blocking the Sullustan's access to her, though she ultimately approached him along with her targons. She extended a hand, which Toon took, and expressed her surprise to see Toon at the fair so early. He explained his early attendance, but as an argument threatened to break out, Coordinator Ra-oon hurried turned everyone's attention to a number of hoverbuggies prepared to take them to the Hetzaal platform. While Larep Reza tried to block Toon from joining the Chancellor, Toon, Reza, and Chancellor Soh ended up sharing a hoverbuggie alongside Ambassador Tiss who Soh had called to join them, and Master Gios.
As the repulsorpods traveled through the air, Ra-oon pointed out the various sights and key buildings. Reza soon commented to Soh that she was right, and the grandeur she had envisioned for the Republic Fair was possible. Soh ruffled Matari's red-haired head and stated that the Republic was stronger together, and capable of much. She then turned the comment to add that she hoped the Togruta would come to understand that, with Tiss agreeing the fair was an impressive feat. He also added that the regasa would likely be impressed. However, Toon interrupted to gripe about the resources used on the fair, prompting an argument with Chancellor Soh and her allies. She and Reza countered his points, but he continued on, adding that he felt the Republic Defense Coalition was haphazard at best, and absent at worst before he dragged Ambassador Tiss into the discussion.
Soh eventually grew annoyed and barely kept her tone even while stating that the security budget of the Coalition had not been affected by the Fair, to which Toon countered that it had not increased, despite the Nihil and Drengir threats. After further discussions with the ambassador, Toon stated his intent to learn more of the Togruta culture at the incoming reception, to which Soh replied that he was welcome to join, and was the first to note their arrival at the sky-island. Ra-oon agreed with Soh's statement and led Toon forward from the craft followed by the ambassador and Soh, who now attempted to salvage the situation.
Opening of the Republic Fair
The next day was to be the opening of the Republic Fair. Prior to the ceremony however, Soh was in her suite at the Hotel Republica with her son Kitrep, unveiling first her clothing for the evening, followed by an outfit chosen for him to wear. Once he was in the outfit, she asked him to look interested during the event, and that was all she asked, to which her son bit back, asking if she was sure that was all she was asking of him. He removed the collar from the outfit he had been made to wear, and she adjusted the clothing's fastening in response, smoothing it down before she rested a hand against his cheek. She stated that he was right to be uncomfortable, that the fair was a lot and that she knew he had not wanted to come to Valo in the first place.
Later, the first part of the day's events called for Soh to greet the Regasa of Shili, Elarec Yovet, and was to take place at the Lonisa City Spaceport. Soh was accompanied by a number of officials to the spaceport, including her son and Masters Stellan Gios and Mann. As the Togruta's shuttle descended, the group gathered into pre-organized positions, with Chancellor Soh, her son and her targons in a prominent position. When the shuttle landed and the Regasa stepped out, Soh stepped forward, Kitrep and the targons staying back as she greeted the monarch, welcoming her to Valo and speaking an added greeting in flawless Togrutti. Soh then led the High Huntress down the line of dignitaries, introducing each, eventually stopping at Jedi Masters Gios and Mann. Following Mann's disregard for protocol which led to Starlight Beacon coming up, Soh expressed that it would be her absolute pleasure for the regasa to see Starlight Beacon someday, remaining unperturbed by Mann's actions before she again guided Yovet down the line.
A short time later, at the Unity Arc, Soh stood in obvious delight with her retinue and the regasa on a platform in front of the thousands who had gathered in front of the fair's gates to witness the official opening ceremony. Billions were also watching the event from across the galaxy. A drift of Vectors performed a series of formations and feats in the air before Soh stepped forward onto a dias where her targons had been patiently sitting throughout the display. Her voice became amplified as she began a speech, thanking the Jedi and welcoming so many from across the galaxy to the event, especially those from the frontier. She then extolled the sentiment that this day was for all, as was the fair, a place for all to experience new things and be brought together by that sharing of cultures. She added that this would not be the last time either, it was only the beginning.
At this, a group of Cyclor Z-29 Skyhawks roared over Lonisa City's lake, accompanied by three Jedi Vectors, and the Innovator, newly arrived to the city and putting on a breathtaking display. Once the Elite-class starship had landed, Chancellor Soh then declared the Republic Fair as having opened, dedicating the event to the spirits of progress, democracy, and unity. With these final words, Vectors streaked overhead with colorful smoke that painted the sky gold and white, while the platform Soh stood on retracted, allowing visitors access to the now-open event. Over top of the gates, a display read shifting text stating: "The Spirit of Unity," part of Soh's just-finished speech. The Chancellor cried as people began to stream into the fair.
With the Republic Fair open, Chancellor Soh, her son, chief aide, and a handful of dignitaries and emissaries along with the regasa moved on a constant circuit of receptions and tours throughout the event.
Calm before the storm
The next morning, the Chancellor, her son, the regasa and more dignitaries along with members of the Jedi Order were on a tour of botanical gardens located at the edge of the Technology and Science zone of the Republic Fair. However, Chancellor Soh soon realized something was amiss at the gathering of Jedi and Quo standing separate from the wider group. Her son had slipped away with Jom, and both she and Quo tried to look as if nothing was wrong given the presence of so many people once he came to her side and filled her in on the situation. By the time the chancellor's party left the gardens, Soh was assured that her son would be found and was already composing the scolding she had deliver to him once they were alone.
Nihil attack on the Republic Fair
The chancellor's party shortly after reached the fair's opera house located within the Arts and Culture zone, where she and Regasa Elarec met with Mon Cala singing sensation Madam Trangess Conserra and her manager, Pall Sleko. It was then that the Nihil began their attack on the fair, communications going down as fighters began to buzz the crowds and pavilions alongside the structures of Lonisa City. The chancellor's party at this point separated after an accident at the opera house caused severe injuries and death to a number of fair-goers, a large portion of the group going to aid those trapped, struggling or needing help. The group left over comprised Chancellor Soh, Regasa Elarec, guard captain Maramis, Quo, the two targons, Madam Conserra and Master Stellan Gios. As the group moved for safety, aiming to make their way to the incomplete Jedi temple, Soh asked Stellan Gios if her son was safe, to which he replied that Padawan Bell Zettifar would protect the young Soh.
Upon leaving the opera house, the group saw that much of the fair crowd was fleeing toward the lake, with Chancellor Soh stepping forward to try and keep them away from the water as there was no protection or safety there. However, no one was listening to her over the chaos, and a fleeing Echani knocked into her, causing her to fall. In response, her targons turned hostile, Matari leaping at the offending fair-goer only for Master Gios' use of the Force to keep both animals at bay. Soh sprang to her feet and quickly calmed her animals by showing she was not harmed.
It was then that the Nihil deployed their war-cloud, but Stellan Gios used the Force to keep the cloud from enveloping them. While the party briefly panicked, Soh calmly asked where they should go now, with Stellan Gios drawing from her resilience to focus his actions. Captain Maramis identified the Rothana Heavy Engineering experimental walker present nearby as a high position hopefully away from the noxious gas. The group then slowly moved as one, Stellan focusing on keeping the cloud at bay while Regasa Elarec and Chancellor Soh joined him in a refrain of a Jedi expression: "For light and life." A female Krantian named Lerahel and her child, Sarry, then crashed into the group, the disruption allowing the gas to affect those present. However, with the aid of Elarec, Soh calmed the mother, and the group resumed their movement.
Soon, Madam Conserra gave in to her fear and asked if they should have reached the walker by now, to which Soh firmly replied that they were nearly there, which proved immediately true as Stellan Gios almost walked straight into one of the walker's large metal legs. As confusion mounted on how they could ascend to safety, Stellan remembered the presence of stairs, with Soh agreeing on the memory. However, the guard captain and Jedi Master sensed danger rapidly approaching, turning to face it along with Soh's targons. Meanwhile, the rest of the group started to climb the walkway, Soh and the regasa moving the mother and her child ahead of them, but this infuriated Conserra, who then barged past them.
However, during the ensuing fight with a party of Nihil that the Jedi Master, Soh's targons and guard captain were engaged in, Stellan Gios used a blind Force push to get a particularly aggressive Trandoshan away from him. The blink attack caused the Nihil warrior to crash into the stairs, sending them tumbling, which resulted in Quo falling to the ground, one of his legs broken. While Gios quickly tended to the Koorivar, he found more difficulty in helping Chancellor Soh, who was now dangling from the side of the walker. However, despite the efforts of Elarec Yovet, Soh still fell, Gios unable to stop her fall completely with the Force as he was suddenly slammed into the walker's leg by the still-conscious Trandoshan he thought he'd dispatched earlier.
Despite this, his brief use of the Force had slowed the Chancellor's descent long enough that the Togruta monarch, and the two other women with her, had all lunged forward and grabbed her. Once Gios fully dispatched the Trandoshan and was standing, surveying the scene, he used the Force to help the women pull Soh to safety. Stellan Gios next lifted up a now unconscious and in shock Quo after having fashioned a splint and stretcher for him, Soh informing the Jedi Master that they nearly had him, and the group soon pulled Quo to full safety. The targons then climbed the walker's legs while the guard captain and Jedi Master put the steps back upright, Gios slowly climbing them while the Togruta male fended off more attacking Nihil. At last, when Maramis had reached safety following the Jedi Master, Gios used the Force to topple the stairs, preventing the Nihil's pursuit.
Soh had, by this time, entered the walker's cockpit and activated the machine. As it began to walk, Gios joined Soh in the cockpit, commenting that he did not know she could pilot one of these vehicles, to which Soh admitted she did not know either. She then asked where they would go, with Gios urging them to move forward, always forward.
A short time later, as a drift of Vectors flew overhead, the Rothana walker with Soh and her remaining party aboard was making its way over the remains of the now destroyed Unity Arc. She remained at the controls throughout the continued chaos, and was forced to pull away sharply as a Vector crashed into a nearby stone tower, sending debris across the ground, before the destroyed vehicle skidding to a flaming stop in a café where survivors were huddling, the building coming down as a result. In response, Soh moved to take the walker down in order for the group to help those now trapped or crushed in the building. Soh and Yovet raced toward the survivors, with the targons following suit accompanied by Master Gios and Captain Maramis. It was as the group began to help these survivors that communications were restored by Padawan Ram Jomaram at Crashpoint Tower.
With communications restored, the Jedi collectively used the Force to push the war-cloud out over Lonisa City's lake. However, in response to this and how he could not raise Lourna Dee over communications, Nihil Tempest Runner Pan Eyta commenced the final stage of the Nihil's attack, a bombing run and long-range bombardment of the fair and the city. As this attack commenced, Captain Maramis told Regasa Elarec that they needed to get her to safety, to which Chancellor Soh agreed, stating that what the regasa had done was beyond anyone's expectations and it was her duty to now get the Togruta monarch to safety. However, the attack disrupted Soh's effort to bring Master Stellan Gios into the conversation, and the Jedi Master called for everyone to get back in the walker. Despite the regasa's objects, Stellan Gios told her to take who she could, with him staying to protect those too injured to move. Maramis tried to join him, but he insisted the other stay to protect the two leaders with the man agreeing.
This effort was interrupted by a Nihil attack, led by Dee, with the two defenders of Captain Maramis and Master Gios again joined by the chancellor's targons as she ordered them to stay with the Jedi and protect him as she took up the walker's controls once more. As the walker moved forward, Dee eventually outmaneuvered the defenders and headed after the chancellor and regasa. However, the timely arrival of Master Mann saw his use of a flung lightsaber to cut Dee's grabbling cable, sending her falling to the ground, with Soh's targons in pursuit. However, that was when a bomb dropped between Mann and the walker, causing significant damage and downing the large vehicle.
In this chaos, Soh was gravely injured, caught in the wreckage of the toppled walker and rendered unconscious. She was soon surrounded by a group of people, including the regasa and her royal guard captain as Jedi Master Stellan Gios cradled the chancellor in his arms, unable to keep a whimper and tears escaping from his face. The scene was then joined by a sprinting Kitrep Soh, yelling out for his mother before he crashed to his knees in front of the kneeling Jedi. Soh's targons joined the teenager, nuzzling him as he cried. Jedi medic Torban Buck then worked to stabilize her condition, maintaining it, with Republic medics arriving later to assist.
Injured but recovering
Some time later, as the relief effort was in full swing on Valo, Soh remained in a clinical coma, ready to be transported back to Coruscant once doctors agreed that she could be moved. Her targons permanently lay at her side. During a meeting of the Jedi Council, Master Gios' attendance was interrupted by the return to consciousness of Soh, Mann then going to his friend and stating that she was asking for his presence. By the time Gios reached the infirmary of the Valo Temple Outpost, he found Soh surrounded by now Acting Chancellor Larep Reza and Rhil Dairo alongside her droid, T-9. Soh had insisted on giving an interview almost as soon as she was awake, but she now focused on speaking with Stellan Gios.
She agreed with the Jedi Master's praise of Dairo for getting the distress message offworld that allowed for assistance to arrive in the form of the Royal Togruta Fleet and Republic Longbeam cruisers. She fought back against Larep's negative view of the Togruta's arrival, as it had been due to their regasa being in danger, with Soh arguing that they had saved them, before adding that she ensured substantial praise for the young reporter in the interview they had just shared. When Dairo mentioned leaving to edit said interview, Soh insisted she stay and get some shots of the discussion, which the reporter agreed to, alongside Stellan.
The Jedi Master then leaned down, and stated he would not ask how Soh was feeling, though she wryly replied that in a way, he just did, beginning a gentle conversation during which Soh kept a positive attitude, though she soon grew serious. She blamed herself for the disaster, claiming it was her fault, and that many people died due to her arrogant belief that she was untouchable. The losses at the fair were unacceptable, especially since she had been warned, and she considered it all a disaster. She then empowered Gios with the full resources of the Republic to hunt down the Nihil. The Jedi Master hesitated but Soh insisted, stating that while she felt a Republic army was still not what was needed, that the Jedi as symbols were vital to helping bring down this dangerous threat. Gios countered that Jedi were not warriors, but she sat upright, clasping his hand as she mentioned the images at the attack of Stellan holding Soh, and how much that had reverberated across the galaxy, being spread all over the HoloNet, surmising that the Jedi as light were needed by the Republic in this dark time. Gios struggled to answer for a moment, causing the Chancellor to prompt him. The Jedi would accept Soh's task and lead the response against the Nihil.
However, they were interrupted by a secure channel from Shili, with Soh adjusting herself in the bed before taking the call. Regasa Elarec appeared via hologram to speak with Soh, the two sharing greetings and concerns before the foreign monarch thrust to the heart of why she had called. She informed Soh that she believed an alliance against the Nihil was needed, to which Soh readily agreed. In response, Elarec Yovet sent over a data package of encrypted Nihil communications. Soh and the Togruta leader then parted on friendly terms, mutually repeating the same sentiment of honoring the Spirit of Unity spoken of in Soh's speech at the fair's opening. Once the communication ended, Soh ordered Reza to send the intelligence report for analysis. It was when the Kalleran left that Soh saw her son waiting in the reception room with Jom Lariin. She asked for a moment alone with her son, who ran to her as she beckoned him into her arms, hugging Kitrep as those others in the room left. Soh's targons stayed, and purred at the unification of mother and son.
Later, the Coruscant Dawn was returning to the Core of the galaxy with Soh and her son on board. She entered a meeting with Stellan Gios as he and a drift of Vectors approached the Nihil's base attested to in the intelligence reports. Soh ordered the Jedi to discover everything possible about the Nihil, as she had no intention of underestimating them twice. She then offered Master Gios goodbye, and the Jedis holograms all turned off as they gave a united goodbye. Soh then relaxed back into the medbed installed in her office, squeezing her son's hand. When he asked her if she was okay, she smiled weakly and suddenly looked far older than she was. She stated she would be, and asked him to stay a bit longer with her, to which the younger Soh agreed, mentioning that he wouldn't be going anywhere.
After the attack on the Republic Fair, much of the Galactic Senate was split on whether or not to pursue the defeat of the Nihil. With Chancellor Soh still recovering, it became much more difficult to mobilize reluctant Senators to help with efforts against the Nihil, even those who agreed that the Nihil needed to be stopped.
During the Imperial Era, the senile Hutt Marlo believed he was still in the High Republic Era while participating in a holoconference. When asked for his opinion on a matter, Marlo stated that he believed Chancellor Soh was a woman with which they could do business, although he did not trust her cats.
Personality and traits
Lina Soh was a woman of strong convictions and an intense strength of will, despite possessing a delicate build which belied these qualities in her. Soh possessed tan skin, and in the wake of the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair, lost the lower half of one of her legs despite the efforts of Jedi medic Torban Buck.
Deeply believing in the good the Republic could do through continued expansion, Soh was determined to do what she could for the galaxy through a variety of programs and cultural tenants supported by her time in office. Her views were emphasized through her catchphrase, "We are all the Republic." Around the time of the Republic Fair, she also emphasized another catchphrase, "The Spirit of Unity" as a term to describe her belief that the galaxy united could do incredible things. Soh was also adept at controlling her body language and masking her outward emotions, instead internalizing them. However, she could not always hide her emotions, and grew cold and tight-toned when this control was slipping. She could also be a font of calm within chaos, and did not allow her concerns or fears to lead her to panic.
Soh had two pet sibling targons, Matari and Voru, named for the gods of the ancient Coruscanti. The twin targons were closely bonded to Soh and were loyal to her in a way no other being was. They acted as bodyguards as well as companions and were said to have never left her side. Soh often spoke to Voru and Matari as she verbally thought through her ideas or plans. While the targons did not possess the ability to understand Basic, they could sense and understand her feelings and emotions. During the chaos of the Republic Fair, they intensely defended her from multiple Nihil attackers.
Behind the scenes
Lina Soh was a character created for Star Wars: The High Republic publishing project. Soh was first mentioned in "Starlight: Part One: Go Together," a short story written by Charles Soule and published in Star Wars Insider 199 on December 15, 2020. She later debuted in the novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, which was also written by Soule and released in 2021.
- "Knights at the Roundtable" – Star Wars Insider 199
- "Scarif and Other Outer Rim Planets" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Timelines
Notes and references
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
- The High Republic 1
- "Starlight: Part One: Go Together" – Star Wars Insider 199
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The High Republic take place 200 years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 32 BBY. states that the events of
- The High Republic: Tempest Runner
- The High Republic: Out of the Shadows
- War of the Bounty Hunters 1
- The Star Wars Book dates the launch of the Starlight Beacon, which is depicted as part of the events of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, to 232 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 232 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. As such, the rest of the novel's events must also occur around 232 BBY. confirms that Phase II of Star Wars: The High Republic takes place 150 years before Phase I, which began with the publication of Light of the Jedi. Therefore, it can be deduced that Phase II titles of The High Republic take place around the year 382 BBY.
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel