The High Republic: Into the Dark is a young-adult novel written by Claudia Gray. It was published by Disney–Lucasfilm Press on February 2, 2021 and is part of the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia publishing program.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
Padawan Reath Silas is being sent from the cosmopolitan galactic capital of Coruscant to the undeveloped frontier—and he couldn't be less happy about it. He'd rather stay at the Jedi Temple, studying the archives. But when the ship he's traveling on is knocked out of hyperspace in a galactic-wide disaster, Reath finds himself at the center of the action. The Jedi and their traveling companions find refuge on what appears to be an abandoned space station. But then strange things start happening, leading the Jedi to investigate the truth behind the mysterious station, a truth that could end in tragedy....
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
The Great Disaster[edit | edit source]
On Coruscant, Padawan Reath Silas and Jedi Master Jora Malli pursue and capture pirates attempting to steal building supplies. Walking through a marketplace afterwards, Malli springs the news to her bookish apprentice that they will be leaving the capital of the Galactic Republic for the frontier. Reath is horrified, as she predicted, but she is unswayed by his plea not to leave, telling him that he needs to find balance within himself, and staying on Coruscant where he can always do what he enjoys is not the way to do it. Malli poses a question to her apprentice: Why can no one cross the Kyber Arch alone? When he realizes the answer, she says, he will understand why they are going to the frontier.
Some weeks later, Reath is at a farewell party thrown by his friends, having stayed behind to finish a historiography class at the Jedi Temple instead of following his Master to the Starlight Beacon. Slightly tipsy, he leaves later than he planned, making it to the appointed docking bay with only a few minutes to spare. However, no one else is there. An explanation is provided by just-arrived Jedi Knight Dez Rydan, Jora Malli's first Padawan, who explains that their original transport broke down and a replacement had to be arranged. Reath is surprised to see him, as Dez had been on a mission on Zeitooine. The third Jedi to arrive is Orla Jareni, notorious for having recently declared herself a Wayseeker to operate independently of the Jedi High Council. Last to arrive is Master Cohmac Vitus, a noted scholar and folklorist who has written footnotes in many of the books Reath has read. As Jareni and Vitus have a strangely tense discussion about their previous experience with the sector of space they will be travelling to, Reath cannot imagine why any of the others would voluntarily travel to the frontier.
The replacement transport, a small cargo starship called the Vessel belonging to the Byne Guild, arrives. The Jedi are struck by the ship's small size, confused by its name, and confounded by Leox Gyasi, its memorably eccentric captain. Copilot Affie Hollow is confused because she thought they were picking up a group of monks. Even more baffling to most of the Jedi is the ship's navigator, Geode, a Vintian who looks like nothing so much as a large rock. After the Jedi's bunks have been set up, the Vessel departs Coruscant and jumps into hyperspace. While en route, Affie and Leox discuss their passengers, having never been into the Core Worlds before and so knowing little of the Jedi Order. Reath is envious of the older Jedi's seemingly boundless self-confidence. However, Dez is thinking about how he's not sure what he would have done if he had stayed on Zeitooine any longer, and Orla and Cohmac are both mulling over bad memories from their past, from the Eiram–E'ronoh crisis.
The journey's relative calm is abruptly shattered when hyperspace suddenly starts becoming turbulent. As Leox and Affie attempt to keep the Vessel on its heading, they discuss the alarming fact that the inexplicable debris tearing its way through hyperspace looks an awful lot like the Legacy Run, a Byne Guild ship that Scover Byne, the guild's head and Affie's adoptive mother, occasionally travels on. A crisis ensues when the Vessel is grazed by a piece of debris, leading Affie and Reath – whose completion of a basic mechanics course makes him the only one of the Jedi with recent experience – to hurry to fix the ship's coaxium regulator back in place. Leox sets the navicomputer to find the quickest path out of hyperspace, as increasing amounts of debris block off more and more paths into realspace. When the Vessel drops out of hyperspace, it is in a location far from civilization, leading Affie to wonder to herself why the ship had those coordinates programmed. News shortly arrives over the comms that hyperspace routes have been shut down galaxy-wide, meaning the Vessel is stuck. Affie notices a signal beacon within the system, but Orla immediately tells her not to respond, reminded of a trauma from her past...
Twenty-five years earlier, Padawans Orla Jareni and Cohmac Vitus are piloting a T-1 shuttle through hyperspace. They and their Masters, Laret Soveral and Simmix, have been assigned a mission to help two planets which had previously rejected the Jedi and Galactic Republic. Eiram and E'ronoh have been at odds for longer than anyone can remember over the hyperspace gateway in their shared system, but now, royals from both planets have been kidnapped. The mission is an opportunity for the Jedi in many ways. On the lost moon between the two worlds, Lord Isamer of the Directorate crime syndicate berates his underlings, who kidnapped Monarch Cassel of E'ronoh and Queen Thandeka of Eiram, because Thandeka is only the consort and he wanted Queen Dima, the actual ruler. Cassel, who is reputed to be somewhat unintelligent, attempts to state that Thandeka will do for leverage, finding their denigration of her as "useless" is rude, to her irritation. When Isamer's minions detect the approaching Jedi shuttle, the Lasat has them send a message from the communications array of Cassel's ship to lure them in. He envisions a glorious future for the Directorate, since the Hutts came to him to pull this job. When Orla and Cohmac pick up the supposed distress signal, the Umbaran immediately answers that "The Jedi are on our way. Hold on!" But then Laret arrives on the bridge, pointing out that they can't confirm the signal was from Cassel. Space seems to blaze with light as the shuttle is shot down...
The space station[edit | edit source]
Reath decides to heed Orla's advice and not respond. Affie wonders if it could be pirates or Nihil, and she and Leox are persuaded to explain the recently-dangerous and mysterious marauders. When the Jedi step out to get Cohmac, Leox reminds Affie and Geode that the Vessel is definitely not carrying any less-than-legal cargo at the moment. When Cohmac arrives in the cockpit, the group analyzes the signals they're picking up to find eleven starships in the vicinity. The ships include cargo haulers, passenger transports – one with at least two hundred people onboard – and ships crewed by Mizi and Orincans. The final ship, the one that sent the original signal, is a puzzle, with components from multiple kinds of ships. Contacting the ship, they reach a young woman named Nan who explains that it's just her and her guardian, and she's thrilled when Cohmac introduces himself as a Jedi, here to help. When Leox widens the sensor field, it's discovered there's an old space station in the system. The news comes at an opportune time, as Leox also discovers that the system's dying star is about to violently flare, and the station is the only nearby shelter.
The Vessel approaches the spherical station, and Reath recognizes it as having been built by the ancient Amaxines. Leox agrees the station is ancient, but says it probably isn't abandoned because its power is on and its coordinates were in the navicomputer, suggesting Affie ask her adoptive mother why that is. The sensors light up with the news that a solar flare will arrive in just four minutes, leading Reath to jump on the comms and order the other starships in the system to shelter at the station immediately. Most of the ships make it, but Nan's ship suffers engine trouble, so the Vessel heads out and snags it with a tow cable, pulling the other ship to safety just in time. Boarding the station, Reath, Dez, and Affie find that the central globe is overflowing with plant life, sustained by light from self-generating power banks and maintained by 8-T gardening droids. The two Jedi also find some strange statues which give them sinister feelings. Affie, meanwhile, spots abandoned tools which suggest the station has been visited relatively recently. She keeps the discovery to herself, wanting to talk it over with Leox and Geode.
The other stranded ships begin docking at the station, given directions by the Jedi. Cohmac, meeting Nan and her guardian Hague, wonders what degree of poverty led to the design of their ship, which appears to have been patched together from several different models. Nan, a short young woman with blue streaks in her dark hair, is awed by the vibrant plant life, which Hague agrees is like her terrarium. The Jedi invite them to make themselves confortable on the station while they start boarding the other ships. Nan expresses curiosity about the Jedi, and Reath wonders if she's trying to flirt with him. Affie explores the station while the boarding is occurring, discovering a storage area above the central sphere with coded symbols actually handwritten on the walls, and dates ranging from thirty-two to six years ago. Among the symbols, Affie is unsettled to find the logo of the Byne Guild. Orla and Cohmac inspect the ancient statues, which Cohmac surmises represent gods. They both sense a connection between the statues and the dark side. Suddenly, they are pulled into a Force vision: Orla finds herself struggling against gale-force winds and sees a bright light which only fills her with horror. Finding Cohmac, he says with utter clarity that the vision was a warning.
Meanwhile, Reath finds himself dealing with would-be looters as a fight breaks out. Affie, arriving in the midst of the chaos, is nearly abducted by a man in a red scarf, but the criminals find the diminutive Nan an easier target. The four Jedi leap into the fight, and Reath rescues Nan by cutting off one of the red-scarved man's arms after giving him a warning. Cohmac brings an end to the fight through spectacle, levitating several meters in the air and loudly demanding everyone stop. He doesn't for a moment think this will be the end of things...
Twenty-five years eariler, Cohmac comes to in the wreckage of the T-1 shuttle, shot down onto the salt flats of the lost moon. Orla also wakes up as Cohmac casts out his senses with the Force: Master Laret is fine, but there's a hole where Master Simmix should be. Not wanting to believe his senses, Cohmac heads toward the back of the ship before encountering Laret, who confirms it. Cohmac finds the body of Simmix coiled up in the wreckage, and regrets not insisting that his master mind his own safety better. In the caves, Isamer orders some guards to check for survivors at the crash site, mindful that the goal of the job, as outlined by the Hutts, was to definitively turn the people of this region against the Jedi and Republic. Cassel expresses hope that the Jedi will still win, but Thandeka is skeptical. The three surviving Jedi enter the moon's caves, Laret hoping that anyone who finds the site will assume Simmix was alone. Cohmac notes some carvings of large serpents in the walls which seem important, and turn out to portend large white serpents present on the moon when one attacks the trio.
Darkness[edit | edit source]
Dez is filled in on Cohmac's vision, and the Jedi discuss what potential connection to the dark side the statues might have. Noting that there was some kind of intelligence behind what he faced, Cohmac dismisses the idea that the plants are connected, assuming the statues are some kind of warning beacon. However, they are still trapped there. Reath has trouble with those sheltering at the station, who act ungrateful and constantly bicker, refusing to share supplies. Nan, however, backs him up, asserting that none of them know how to share. Leox also gives Reath a hand, noting that given the situation, they're lucky to be stranded there, which persuades the bickering representatives from the ships to offer assistance. Talking with Dez, Reath asks how the man whose arm he cut off is doing. Orla, who is overseeing that, orders the man and his crew to leave immediately after the medical checkup is finished. Cohmac takes some time for meditation, wondering if the division between the light and dark sides is natural.
Affie joins a party led by Dez, which also includes Reath, Nan and one of the Mizi, to scout the lower levels of the station. Descending into the depths, which show signs of disrepair, Affie is holding onto the plant roots which are abundant in the passage when she notices that one of the 8-T droids is approaching her. But more arrive, and it becomes clear the droids are attacking the scouting party for being a threat to the plants, which forces them to retreat. During the hasty exit, Affie gets a scrape from a thorn on one of the vines, before shooting the roots on Reath's suggestion, which starts a fire and distracts the droids. Once they're out of the tunnel, it becomes clear that Affie has been poisoned by the vine. Dez, alerted to Affie's condition, is able to retrieve the correct antidote from the Vessel. After Affie has rested, she tells Leox about the code she found upstairs and its connection to the Byne Guild, believing it's connected to some kind of conspiracy against Scover Byne. Leox is skeptical, pointing out that Scover almost certainly knows about the station's existence since its coordinates were in the Vessel's computer. Affie doesn't believe him and storms off.
Orla and Cohmac talk about the parallels between their current situation and the Eiram–E'ronoh crisis, only to be pulled back into a vision. Reath, on patrol in the station, is also reeled in, finding himself in a dark forest being confronted by a blue lightsaber blade wielded by someone trying to kill him. The attacker leaps forward and kicks him in the chest before swinging their blade before Reath comes back to himself in the station. The Jedi confer in the Vessel's communications area, discussing what the idols are, what they may be containing, and the meaning of the warnings. They decide they need to investigate the lower levels before doing anything else. On the second attempt, Reath comes up with the idea of having all the members of the exploring party carry small potted flowers to dissuade the Aytees from attacking them.
Thus equipped, the party is able to safely reach the lower levels, passing the deactivated energy shield. Searching the passageways after the group splits up, Affie finds more of the spacers' code, as she expected, but is stopped short by a symbol that appears to refer to the Kestrel's Dive, the ship flown by her long-dead biological parents. Elsewhere, Reath and Dez find a large circular door. When the Jedi Knight approaches the door, it suddenly flips on its central axis, knocking Dez off his feet and spinning him to the other side. Dez does not respond, and Reath can only watch as the room vibrates and light beams through slits in the walls. A grinding sound reminiscent of engines starts up, and Reath sees Dez wordlessly shout in what appears to be pain, leading Reath to try unsuccessfully to open the door. The light flares even more brightly, and when Reath opens his eyes again, Dez is gone, but he can see two helix rings: incredible power sources used for hyperspace travel, but possessing a tendency to malfunction and create energy surges powerful enough to disintegrate humans down to the atoms.
Cohmac senses that something is wrong, and when he and Leox reach the atrium, Reath tells them that Dez is dead. Orla, still composed, says a few words after learning the news. Affie, meanwhile, has the symbols she saw below on her mind. Later, while everyone else is preoccupied, Reath returns to the lower levels to inspect the site of Dez's death only to find Nan also poking around, explaining she's not sure if Dez is really dead. Searching together, Reath asks Nan how she became Hague's ward, and she explains that her parents died about two years ago. She adds that Hague used to be a brilliant commander, and she's happy to be learning from him, leading Reath to assume that she hails from a military family. They find a control panel, which they assume to have been used for system maintenance, as well as an airlock, and Nan suggests that Dez may have been launched into the vacuum of space without a ship. Upon returning to the upper levels, they find a celebration going on: hyperspace travel is still limited, but those stranded at the station have received word from the Supreme Chancellor that they are free to leave and travel home.
Twenty-five years earlier, Cohmac fights giant serpents in the tunnels of the lost moon, silently grieving his dead master, Simmix. Master Laret, meanwhile, senses that the hostages are hidden somewhere in the network of tunnels, leading the way after the area is cleared. Isamer, annoyed about the low ceiling of the cave, becomes angrier with his incompetent underlings when they tell him they found a body, pointing out there are probably more Jedi in the area. Cassel expresses hope that the Jedi will rescue them, and Thandeka notes that he has more faith in them than she does, but he points out that it was her world of Eiram that asked for their assistance. Orla feels sympathy for the snakes that they are killing in self-defence, but her master criticizes her for not bringing her full combat skills to bear against them. She wonders if she is failing to hear the Force when it speaks to her through her instincts.
Return to Coruscant[edit | edit source]
Unfinished business[edit | edit source]
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- In the prologue, Jora Malli's montrals are described as streaming behind her when the airspeeder she is in goes into a dive. Malli is Togruta, and her lekku are what is actually being described. Togruta montrals are the rigid horns atop their heads. Malli's lightsaber is also described as having a blue blade, when it was white in The High Republic: Light of the Jedi.
- When he overhears Reath Silas and Dez Rydan discussing Padawan braids, Cohmac Vitus thinks to himself that he will not require his next apprentice to wear one, implying that he has had a Padawan before. However, when he agrees to take Reath as his Padawan near the end of the book, Vitus says that Reath is his first apprentice.
- Jedi Master Adampo is described as male. However, the character was female in Light of the Jedi.
- Jedi Master Rosason is depicted as a woman. However, the character was said to be male when first mentioned in Light of the Jedi.
Media[edit | edit source]
Editions[edit | edit source]
Cover gallery[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- The Star Wars Book dates the launch of the Starlight Beacon to 232 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 232 BBY in the dating system used by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. As The High Republic: Into the Dark depicts the dedication of the Starlight Beacon, its events must occur around that year.
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark author Claudia Gray on new canon (backup link)
- Star Wars author Claudia Gray asks new questions about the Jedi in Into the Dark (backup link)