- "I’m hopeful that when people read Light of the Jedi on January 5 that they will find themes that will be resonant because of the time in which it’s coming out and because of the time in which it was written."
- ―Charles Soule
The High Republic: Light of the Jedi is a canon novel written by Charles Soule. It is the first volume in the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing campaign, and was published on January 5, 2021 by Del Rey.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
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 even the 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.
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
The Great Disaster[edit | edit source]
The freighter Legacy Run, under Captain Hedda Casset, is making a routine run into the Outer Rim Territories, carrying around 9,000 passengers who are moving to the edge of the galaxy and some cargo. Captain Casset goes on her evening rounds around the ship, scolding young Serj Ukkarian for trying to access age-inappropriate holos and checking to make sure a shipment of volatile liquid Tibanna is properly secured. Just after she returns to the bridge, however, something almost impossible happens: an obstacle in hyperspace, dead ahead, with seconds to impact. Casset tries to steer the Legacy Run around the obstacle, but the starship's great age – over a century – catches up with it, and she only has time to seal the passenger compartments before dying as the Legacy Run is ripped apart.
In the Hetzal system, scantechs Merven Getter and Vel Carann are respectively doing and not doing their jobs onboard the outer-system monitoring station when they are jolted into awareness by the sudden detection of multiple exits into realspace. The new arrivals aren't scheduled, and the two quickly realize that the star system is in grave danger. They manage to send a warning back to Hetzal Prime, but their space station is atomized before they can reach their shuttle.
On Hetzal's surface, Minister Zeffren Ecka is advised of the disaster taking place within his system. With the help of the young technician Keven Tarr, they are able to send out a distress signal to the Galactic Republic, a call which is answered by Jedi Master Avar Kriss on board the Emissary-class Republic Cruiser Third Horizon, in transit from the Starlight Beacon space station. When the cruiser arrives in the system, its complement of Jedi Vectors and Republic Longbeams launches, with those onboard spreading out to assist the system in any way possible while Kriss coordinates the effort from the Third Horizon's bridge.
Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm and his Padawan Bell Zettifar are among the first to reach the surface of Hetzal Prime to help citizens evacuate. They encounter a gated compound where armed guards are keeping a desperate crowd away from a starship. Greatstorm utilizes his identity as a Jedi to persuade the guards to allow the many settlers begging to be let on board to escape with the family who resides in the mansion, after he and Bell repel a group of would-be pirates. Meanwhile, a group of Vectors piloted by Jedi Te'Ami, Mikkel Sutmani, and Nib Assek, accompanied by her Padawan Burryaga Agaburry, work with a Republic Longbeam piloted by Joss and Pikka Adren, aiming to destroy a chunk of debris headed for the Fruited Moon. However, Burryaga interrupts them after sensing lifeforms onboard. When Avar Kriss is informed of the development, she locates ten such pieces of debris and spreads the word that those people are to be rescued as well.
As the rescue mission continues apace, Captain Finial Bright of the Republic Defense Coalition sacrifices his life so his subordinates, Innamin and Peeples, can evacuate the wounded crew of Solar Array 22-X before it explodes. Avar Kriss, meanwhile, realizes she has missed something, and a scan of a piece of debris that catches her interest reveals it to be the liquid Tibanna tank, on course for the largest of the system's suns. Admiral Kronara fills Avar in on what it means: since the star is R-class, if the tank hits it the star will nearly double in size and begin emitting radiation lethal to the lifeforms in the system.
As another evacuation continues, Avar calls out to the Jedi in the Hetzal system again, determined to save it. She brings them together in an effort to use the Force to push the tank off of its collision course. The effort is immense and exhausting, with some participants, such as Jedi Knight Rah Barocci, dying due to exhaustion. At one point Avar loses the tank, before Estala Maru finds it again. Eventually, with Jedi from across the galaxy joining in, they succeed: the liquid Tibanna tank grazes the star's photosphere before tumbling away, heated but intact. Keven Tarr broadcasts the Jedi effort on the HoloNet, ensuring that they unknowingly had a galactic audience. The Hetzal system has been saved.
But it is not over. One day later, the first Emergence occurs in the Ab Dalis system. Seven fragments of the Legacy Run appear in the system. Six pass through harmlessly. The seventh hits Ab Dalis and kills twenty million people. In the aftermath, Larence Garello of Garello Technologies decides to relocate his company and employees. However, the convoy is attacked, and not just by any pirates: they are targeted by the Nihil, a particularly terrifying group of marauders that have developed a reputation in recent years for leaving few survivors. Larence Garello is not one of them.
The Nihil[edit | edit source]
On Coruscant, Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh holds a meeting in Monument Plaza about the recent disasters, attended by Kriss, as well as Jedi High Council members Yarael Poof and Jora Malli; Master Sskeer, Malli's second at the Starlight Beacon; Admiral Pevel Kronara; Senator Izzet Noor of Serenno; and Secretary of Transportation Jeffo Lorillia. Lina has decided to extend the hyperspace closure around Hetzal for hundreds of parsecs until further notice, which Noor warns could strangle the Outer Rim. So far, fifteen Emergences have occurred, but the cause is still unknown, as is the risk of a similar incident. The Jedi confirm that the crisis does not appear to have been caused by Force users.
Lina assures Noor that she will authorize limited shipping of essential goods so that no one will starve, asking Kronara to ensure that the RDC is spaced out to enforce the ban in what will be the coalition's largest mobilization in quite some time. The Chancellor has plans for her Great Works to expand the Republic's presence in the galaxy, and as part of those plans, she feels that the Starlight Beacon's dedication ceremony must occur as scheduled, in thirty days. Avar and Jora agree that the station is essentially complete. Lina announces that she wants the group to get to the root cause of the situation, with the ceremony as their deadline, or else it could be the end of the Republic.
As the debris of the Legacy Run is pieced together in the Hetzal system, Avar, her friend Elzar Mann, Secretary Lorillia, Senator Noor and Keven Tarr discuss the situation, as the hyperspace blockade expands with every new Emergence. Keven suggests that with enough navidroids, he could replicate the surveillance system he used during the disaster and be able to predict new Emergences. Avar and Elzar back him up, and Lorillia promises to get Keven the droids. The Muun also suggests that the two Jedi visit the San Tekka clan, a family of renowned hyperspace prospectors who might be able to help.
A celebration is held in the Great Hall of the Nihil to mark the most recent raid, hosted by the Tempest Runners Pan Eyta, Kassav Milliko and Lourna Dee. Eye of the Nihil Marchion Ro, who gives out the unique hyperspace Paths that allow the Nihil to travel in ways others can't, thinks the aftermath of the Great Disaster marks the need for a temporary slowdown of operations, due to the danger of the Republic and Jedi finding out about their capabilities. Since one of the Tempest Runners agrees with him, it will happen. However, Lourna Dee persuades Ro to approve a job proposed by one of her Clouds: kidnapping a family from the Outer Rim world Elphrona to ransom to their wealthy relatives. But since Elphrona houses a Jedi outpost, approval comes with a warning to not draw the Jedi's attention.
At that self-same outpost, Bell Zettifar is pushed off a cliff by his master so he can learn controlled descent, but is caught by Indeera Stokes when he fails, something Loden knew would happen. But over thirty kilometers away, past Ogden's Hope, the homestead of the Blythe family falls under attack from Nihil raiders. The Blythes barricade themselves inside and attempt to call for help while using delving droids to defend themselves, but Ogden's Hope security is too scared to come upon hearing that it is the Nihil attacking. The droids' attack injures some of the pirates, who decide they'll have to hurt some of the Blythes in response. Over at the outpost, the Jedi have just finished a breakfast of Porter Engle's Nine-Egg Stew when they get a call about the attack, prompting them to head out on a rescue mission.
On Naboo, Avar and Elzar pay a visit to the San Tekka compound in the Lake Country. Clan heads Marlowe and his husband Vellis offer the assistance of their navulators to help with the proposed droid array. However, when the two are given more details about what befell the Legacy Run, namely that it appeared to have been trying to avoid a collision, they flatly say that such a thing is impossible. Elzar can tell they're lying, but Avar dissuades him from using a mind trick on Marlowe. The San Tekkas agree to help, but as the Jedi take their leave, Avar tells Elzar that they will question the prospectors again if their investigation turns up no answers. Marlowe and Vellis are concerned, meanwhile, because they know of only one person who could do what the disaster reminds them of, and she would be beyond ancient if she was still alive.
Mari San Tekka is still alive, the ancient woman an unwitting prisoner in a medical capsule aboard the Gaze Electric, Ro's flagship, where she has used her unique ability to calculate the Paths on behalf of him and his ancestors for generations. Ro discovers she can predict the Emergences, and hatches a plan, offering the information to the Tempest Runners to the benefit of the Nihil. He has further plans for the pirates, though, plans to change the group so he can strike against the Republic and Jedi.
On Elphrona, the Jedi reach the Blythe homestead in their Vanguard to discover it in flames. As Indeera keeps watch from a distance on a Veil speeder, Loden, Bell and Porter investigate the burning house to find the Nihil's destroyed speeder. Porter deduces that the pirates stole steelees to transport themselves and their prisoners to their starship, as the homestead is located in an area where Elphrona's magnetic field makes flight impossible. Mole mines left behind by the raiders prove a deadly surprise, but although the three Jedi are able to destroy the moles, one takes out their vehicle. Indeera heads back to the outpost to retrieve a Vector while Loden, Bell and Porter commandeer the remaining steelees for pursuit, Loden salvaging a cannon from the Vanguard and bringing it along.
In the Hetzal system, a reception is held aboard the hospital ship Panacea for the survivors of the Legacy Run to meet their rescuers. The Adrens are in attendance, as are Nib Assek and Burryaga. The Wookiee Padawan, uncomfortable about being there and feeling isolated because most people there can't understand him anyway, spots a lonely child who is sitting in a corner and ignoring a therapy droid: Serj Ukkarian. Burryaga manages to make a connection with the child across the language barrier and learns that Serj blames himself for the disaster because he sliced into the bridge in an attempt to retaliate against Captain Casset for scolding him, having intended to play a video on the screens. Not only that, but Serj saw what the Legacy Run was trying to avoid. Burryaga takes Serj to his master, Nib, and she manages to persuade the boy to tell her what he saw: three lightning strikes.
On Elphrona, the Blythes are transported by their captors in a stolen repulsorcart pulled by stolen steelees. Erika and Ronn Blythe have both spotted signs of pursuit, but Ottoh is unconscious, young Bee is terrified, and they are being watched over by Asaria, a bad-tempered Trandoshan. At an opportune moment, when the Nihil realize they are being followed, Ottoh reveals his unconsciousness was feigned and attempts a ploy, but although Asaria the guard is killed, the Cloud Dent and her crew regain control, knocking Ottoh out again and preparing an ambush for whoever is coming. Despite the setback, Erika is heartened when she sees that the pursuers are Jedi when they ignite their lightsabers.
Onboard the New Elite, which has just arrived in the Eriadu system, Kassav has a plan to get rich. Aware that several pieces of debris will Emerge in the system soon, he calls up Eriaduan Governor Mural Veen and attempts to extort her into paying him to destroy the debris. Veen eventually grudgingly agrees to Kassav's terms after a convoy of lommite transports is destroyed and the pirate claims that Eriadu's inhabited moon will be hit if she refuses to pay. However, Kassav's crew fails to destroy the third and final piece of debris, leading it to impact the moon. The New Elite is forced to flee back to the Nihil as Veen vows vengeance against Kassav.
On the Rooted Moon of Hetzal, Keven Tarr prepares to activate his array of 57,817 navidroids in front of an array of guests, including Secretary Lorillia, Senator Noor and his aide Jeni Wataro, and Jedi Avar and Elzar. Keven privately wishes he had far more droids, but activates the array. His concerns are warranted when the array begins to overheat, and as droids begin to burn out, Keven panics about the array blowing out before it can even finish simulating the Emergences that have already occurred. Elzar has a crazy idea, however, and manages to summon a rainstorm to cool the array with Avar's help. Thus cooled, the array works as Keven had hoped, predicting the thirty-fourth Emergence, which has yet to occur.
Porter Engle's steelee is killed by the Nihil lying in ambush on Elphrona, and he tells Loden and Bell to continue pursuit while he deals with the pirates. He finds it fairly simple to do so, but gains an assist from Ember the charhound when one of the pirates turns out to be immune to headshots. Porter takes the pirate's stolen steelee and continues in pursuit. Loden and Bell catch up to the pirates, and the Jedi Master uses his salvaged cannon to destroy one of the Nihil ships. However, the pirates injure Erika Blythe and dump her in the sand, but Loden fends off their assault just in time for Indeera to arrive with both Vectors, remotely piloting one with the Force. As the pirates flee, Loden and Bell join Indeera in pursuit while Porter, catching up, takes the injured Erika to safety.
The thirty-ninth Emergence, in a desolate region of space, is met by a Republic rescue group consisting of the Adrens in the Aurora III, Te'Ami and Mikkel Sutmani in their Vectors, and three other Longbeams. Unseen, the stealthed Lourna Dee also watches, as both the Republic and the Nihil have identified this as one of the likely places for the Legacy Run's flight recorder to appear. This Emergence is just a passenger compartment, however, so one Longbeam stays behind to assist as everyone else heads off to the fortieth Emergence. And this time, the piece of bridge that everyone has been waiting for appears. Lourna launches an attack that kills Te'Ami and the crew of one Longbeam, but Mikkel, the Adrens and the other Longbeam manage to retrieve the recorder before the Tempest Runner can destroy it, forcing her to retreat.
Dent the Cloud begins to worry as her plan falls apart around her with the Jedi in pursuit. She contacts her Storm, Zoovler Tom, for help, but does not receive the guarantee of a new Path to escape. This leads her to order the Blythe daughter thrown off her ship in an attempt to shake off Jedi pursuit. Aboard the Third Horizon, meanwhile, Avar convenes a meeting of the task force commissioned by the Chancellor to discover the cause of the Emergences. Lina, informed of the Nihil ship that caused the disaster and the marauders' subsequent actions at Eriadu and elsewhere, learns from Keven Tarr that the Nihil ship which caused the disaster originated in the Kur Nebula. She orders Admiral Kronara to gather a fleet from the RDC treaty worlds to hunt down the Nihil and bring them to justice.
In the Great Hall of the Nihil, Marchion Ro meets with the Tempest Runners, pointing out that the Nihil are all in danger. After maiming Kassav in a fight, Marchion promises that he has a plan to fix everything, signalling an irreversible shift in the power structure of the marauders. He sends Lourna Dee to help with the job on Elphrona, while dispatching Kassav and his Tempest to the Kur Nebula, claiming that they will be able to capture or destroy the flight recorder of the Legacy Run before the Republic can get all of the information from it. On Elphrona, Bell leaps out of his and Loden's Vector to rescue the falling Bee Blythe, flung from the Nihil ship, and finally masters controlled descent in the process.
The Jedi High Council meets to discuss the crisis, with the Masters debating whether or not they should assist the Republic in hunting down the pirates. They are not a military force now, but Oppo Rancisis argues that they have been in the past, waging and winning the Great Sith War. Ultimately, it falls to Jora Malli to cast the deciding vote: she chooses to take the Ataraxia and join Admiral Kronara's fleet, doing as the Force wills.
The Storm[edit | edit source]
At the Kur Nebula, Kassav and his Tempest await the Republic ships, the Weequay muing to himself about ditching the Nihil and starting his own group while a medical droid bandages his maimed hand. But what does arrive is not a few small ships, but Kronara and his battle fleet. Onboard the Third Horizon, the admiral, preparing for a battle the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades, awaits the arrival of a third faction on his side and confers with Jora. The Jedi Master decides that she will likely take a Vector into battle, leaving Avar to coordinate the Jedi from the Ataraxia like she did at Hetzal. Kassav decides to cut and run, but his three Storms, Wet Bub, Dellex and Gravhan, were told by Ro that they should kill him if he tried to do that. The Tempest Runner manages to talk them back to his side, but the arrival of an Eriaduan fleet boxes the pirates in, leaving them with no choice but to fight.
Above Elphrona, Loden and Indeera race to rescue the remaining Blythes in their Vectors. Contacting Bell, Loden learns that he successfully saved Bee, and is so proud that he tells him he intends to petition the Council for Bell to be promoted to Jedi Knight, although Bell wants Loden to be there. Loden details his plan with Indeera, before maneuvering his Vector in front of the Nihil ship and mind-tricking Dent into unlocking the back hatch, allowing Indeera to leap through the vacuum and rescue one of the two Blythes. But as Loden prepares to do the same, the forces of Lourna Dee and her Tempest arrive, changing the situation dramatically.
The Battle of Kur rages. Kassav, watching his forces being pushed back, gives the command for the Nihil to fight dirty like the pirates they are. The aggressive tactics include dumping a large amount of toxic waste from a recently captured freighter, tearing apart a cruiser with harpoons, and launching escape pods filled with explosives. Admiral Kronara, appalled by the dishonourable tactics, asks Master Malli for the Jedi to assist in the battle, and she agrees. Jora and Sskeer head into the hangar, leaving Avar on the Ataraxia to coordinate them through her network. Sskeer suggests that Jora let him go out alone, but she insists, and they agree to try and not die. Jora uses lightsaber to activate her Vector's weapons, and leads her squadron into battle. Kassav, on the New Elite, watches the steadily advancing Eriaduan cruisers, and as he gives orders for them to be fired upon, Marchion Ro finally responds to his request for a Path. He promises Kassav's entire Tempest the Battle Paths, which he claims will allow them to protect their way of life, and something happens. The Nihil ships begin to shift around, jumping impossibly short distances through hyperspace. One ship lands in the middle of the Jedi Drift, leading Sskeer to lose an arm and killing Jora Malli.
Above Elphrona, Loden takes the Nova on a one-fighter assault to allow Indeera to escape the Nihil fleet with Ronn. Loden then prepares to board the Nihil ship to rescue the father, but breaks his leg severely while entering the airlock. He finds Ottoh alive and all of the pirates dead thanks to Indeera. Ottoh gives Loden a painkiller shot from a medpac, but before they can do anything else, the ship is struck by a missile which puchtures the wall, precluding Loden from Force pushing it out as the air will leak out otherwise. The missile spews poison gas which knockes out both miner and Jedi Master, and Lourna Dee boards the ship with her crew. Seeing a Jedi prisoner, Lourna figures that that will be enough to make things up with Marchion, and she hopes that Kassav fails in his mission.
Development[edit | edit source]
Star Wars: The High Republic was originally scheduled to launch with The High Republic: Light of the Jedi on August 25, 2020, but the release date was revised to January 5, 2021 due to general marketplace delays.
On December 15, 2020, the short story "Starlight: Part One - Go Together" was released in the 199th issue of Star Wars Insider. The story, which was also written by Soule, was advertised as a prequel to Light of the Jedi.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
An early excerpt of Chapter 1, released on IGN on June 22, 2020, had numerous differences from the final version. The Legacy Run was only sixty years old instead of well over a century. Its model name was changed from Class-A Modular Freight Transport to Class A modular freight transport. References to Captain Hedda Casset's age, said to be slightly over sixty, were removed. Saberfish came from Spira instead of Tibrin. The term "custodiodroid" was used for a custodial droid. Abregado-rae is now referred to by its full name. Finally, the species makeup of the alien passengers aboard the Run was changed from Trandoshans, Bith and an Ortolan to Ardennians, Givin and a Lannik.
All pre-released excerpts of Light of the Jedi gave the name of the organization which owns the Legacy Run as the Byrne Guild. However, the excerpt of The High Republic: Into the Dark published in The High Republic Free Digital Sampler spelled it as the "Byne" Guild, while the excerpt of Light of the Jedi in the same sampler still used the "Byrne" spelling. Ultimately, the final version of the novel clarified that "Byne" was correct.
Shai Tennem and Estala Maru are both referred to as female in the novel. However, the short story "Starlight: Part One - Go Together" referred to Tennem as a male, and The High Republic 1 comic author stated that Maru was male. Into the Dark also stated that Adampo, referred to as female, was male, and conversely that Rosason, referred to as male, was female. E-book editions of the novel were later updated to match Adampo and Rosason's genders with what was depicted in Into the Dark.
In Chapter 29, concerning the activation of Keven Tarr's navidroid array, it is initially stated that only twenty-nine Emergences have yet occurred. However, later in the chapter, it is stated that there have been thirty-three, and the thirty-fourth Emergence is shown as the first one predicted by the array.
Vernestra Rwoh's surname is misspelled "Roh."
During the Supreme Chancellor's speech at the Starlight Beacon's dedication ceremony, "Vel Borta" is included among a list of the dead that she named. This appears to be a combination of the names of minor characters Vel Carann, who did die, and General Borta, who did not.
Media[edit | edit source]
Editions[edit | edit source]
- ISBN 9780593157718; January 5, 2021; Del Rey; US hardcover
- ISBN 9780593157725; January 5, 2021; Del Rey; US eBook
- ISBN 9780593157732; June 29, 2021; Del Rey; US paperback
- ISBN 9780593157367; January 5, 2021; Del Rey; US hardcover
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 calendar system used by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. As The High Republic: Light of the Jedi depicts the Beacon's launch, the novel's events must take place around that year.
- Yehl, Joshua (2020-06-22). Read the First Chapter of Star Wars: The High Republic - Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. IGN. IGN. Archived from the original on July 1, 2020. Retrieved on July 1, 2020.
- The High Republic Free Digital Sampler
- "Starlight: Part One - Go Together"—Star Wars Insider 199
- Polo, Susana. Star Wars: The High Republic era creator breaks down 2 exclusive pages of Marvel's comic. Polygon. Archived from the original on December 16, 2020. Retrieved on December 16, 2020.
- The High Republic: Into the Dark
- (Barnes and Noble Exclusive)
[edit | edit source]
- How 'Light of the Jedi' Kicks Off 'Star Wars: The High Republic' (backup link)
- (Barnes and Noble Exclusive)
- Light of the Jedi author Charles Soule can finally talk about Light of the Jedi (backup link)