The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower is a junior novel which was released on June 29, 2021. It was written by Daniel José Older and published by Disney–Lucasfilm Press as part of the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing campaign. It was announced at New York Comic Con 2020 in a virtual panel. It will take place concurrently with The High Republic: The Rising Storm. A preview of the book's first chapter was contained in first editions of the preceding High Republic junior novel, A Test of Courage, released earlier that year on January 5. Star Wars Insider 200 mistakenly credits Cavan Scott as the author.
The Republic Fair is coming! Visitors from all over the galaxy are traveling to the planet Valo for a massive, awe-inspiring festival celebrating the Republic. While his fellow Valons prepare for the fair, Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram is hiding out in his favorite place: a dingy garage filled with mechanical parts and tools. But when a security alarm goes off on the nearby hilltop nicknamed Crashpoint Peak, he ventures out with his trusty droid V-18 to investigate. There he discovers that someone has knocked out Valo's communications tower—a frightening sign that Valo, and the Republic Fair, are in danger. Sure enough, as Ram races to warn the Jedi, the dreaded Nihil unleash a surprise attack! It's up to Ram to face down the enemy at Crashpoint Tower and send a call for help to the Republic. Luckily, he's about to get some assistance from unexpected new friends…
Signs of trouble
Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram is meditating in his garage, having used a damaged speeder bike he is attempting to repair as an excuse to get out of helping with preparations for the Republic Fair. However, just as he is about to identify the damaged part, Ram is interrupted by his droid, V-18, with news that Crashpoint Tower, Valo's comm tower, is glitchy. Vee has spent an hour looking for a Jedi to report the situation to, but all of Valo's other Jedi are busy. With no vehicles at hand, Ram and the Bonbraks who help in the garage quickly add a propulsor unit to V-18, and boy and droid head off into Farodin Woods. There, they find an intruder who fires at them with a cannon before fleeing on a speeder. Realizing the importance of the situation, Ram continues his pursuit.
After being woken up by her Force-sensitive friend Zeen Mrala aboard the Jedi cruiser Star Hopper, Padawan Lula Talisola comforts Zeen as their ship approaches her homeworld of Trymant IV for a new mission after encountering Zeen there months prior during disaster which struck the world and forced Zeen to reveal her suppressed force powers. Soon after getting out of bed, the pair are summoned to the ship's bridge by PZ1-3 to join Jedi Master Kantam Sy for a briefing from Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh. During Vernestra's report, Lula notices herself feeling envious towards the Jedi Knight as they are around the same age, but Vernestra is farther along in her training than Lula is.
During this reflection, Lula notes how quiet the Star Hopper is with Padawans Farzala Tarabal and Qort out fighting the carnivorous Drengir and Grand Master Yoda perusing the Nihil with no updates since he has departed. During her report, Vernestra Rwoh stated how she believed the Nihil that attacked Trymant IV may be connected to the Nihil which attacked her and her Padawan Imri Cantaros on the moon Wevo due to their attack patterns being different than those normally used by the Nihil during their raids. After the Knight's message had ended, the Star Hopper left hyperspace and the entire crew were shocked to see that Trymant IV had been turned from a lush forested world to one that looked like a dry, red, desert.
Sabotage at Crashpoint Tower
Still pursuing the intruders he saw at the tower as they fly higher and higher into the air, Ram dodges shots fired at him by a Togruta woman while observing her throw a mechanism at the tower which exploded in a golden puff of smoke. As she did this however, she let her speeder fall just enough to allow Ram to reach out with the force and make her speeder stall out, causing it to fall towards the ground. As the Togrutan intruder fell, she fired more blaster fire at Ram, which he either deflected with his lightsaber or dodged except for one blaster bolt which struck V-18 in his engine cover. After this encounter, the Togrutan was able to get her speeder up into the sky and into a much larger ship which subsequently jumped to hyperspace in the atmosphere, leaving the system. The fact that the ship was able to do so without being destroyed made Ram realize that the Nihil were on Valo.
Meeting Elder Brabatash
As Zeen and the Jedi descend down to Bralanak City, Kantam Sy reveals how one of the larger pieces of debris from the Legacy Run struck the uninhabited moon of Praknat 3, misaligning the gravitational balance of the entire Trymant system, causing Trymant IV to lean the closest it has ever been to the system's second sun; causing all water above ground to evaporate. As the group walk onto the surface wearing breath masks provided by PZ1-3, they observe the decapitated city and stop once they see a group of masked and hooded figures congregating around Zeen's old compound where she lived. Before a fight can break out between the Jedi and the masked group telling them to leave, everyone is told to stop by a large mysterious being who states that they will deal with the "intruders". A being which Zeen notes is Elder Barbatash.
The Jedi and Lula meet with Elder Barbatash, who calms his hostile followers who distrust the Jedi. Zeen asks why the Nihil took Elder Tromak during the Disaster. Barbatash explains that the Nihil began as an "infection" among the ranks of the Elders of the Path, whom they expelled but grew into many "different things. He explains that everything must return to its source. Barbatash tells the visitors that the Nihil kidnapped Tromak because he was aware of an ancient powerful weapon that he claims can change the galaxy forever. Barbatash believes that the Nihil are holding Tromak at their base in the Stygmarn system. After consulting Vernestra Rwoh, Master Zeen and his companions travel on the Star Hopper to investigate a moon on the far edge of the Stygmarn system.
Ram's new friends
Reflecting on his encounter with the Nihil, Ram was very glad that no one had been killed during the encounter, but during his reprieve from battle, he was reminded that he needed to go and warn the other Jedi about what had happened near the tower by the sight of small objects floating in the air which had small tendrils which Ram surmised was most likely from the canister dropped by the Togruta he encountered. As he began to climb up the tower to fix it, he learned that two Bonbraks, Tip and Breebak had stowed away aboard V-18's saddlebags and they began to fix the damaged droid as Ram replaced some cut wires that rendered Crashpoint Tower inoperable.
As he attempted to radio in to the other Jedi, he noted that none of them were responding due to the fact that they were all most likely busy with the ongoing Republic Fair, so Ram and the Bonbraks flew to Lonisa City aboard V-18 to contact the Jedi in person. Upon reaching Lonisa City Zoo, Ram stopped to decide which way was best to reach the Jedi as soon as possible until Breebak suggested taking a shortcut along the riverway, which eventually led the group to a portion of the Valo Temple still under construction which required Ram to sneak around scaffolding to reach the Jedi until he was spotted by a security guard.
Meanwhile, Ram and the bonbraks are detained by Captain Idrax Snat and Officer Torgo Tahn of the Valo Security Force (VSF), who believe they are intruders. While aboard their gunship, Ram uses a Jedi mind trick to convince Captain Idrax to take them to the Lonisa City Republic headquarters. There, Ram enlists Idrax's help in contact the Republic–Jedi space station Starlight Beacon.
While scouting the surface of Vrant Tarnum for Nihil activity, Lula and Vernestra narrowly avoid several Nihil ships equipped with eternal hyperspace boosters, that had recently sabotaged Crashpoint Tower. They also receive a distress transmission from Ram and Idrax who attempt to warn the Republic and the Jedi that Nihil raiders had recently attacked and sabotaged Crashpoint Tower. At that point, Idrax snaps out of the Jedi mind trick and attempts to arrest Ram, who flees. Lula and Vernestra realize that the Nihil are planning to attack the Republic Fair on Valo and resolve to alert the other Jedi.
Ram is imprisoned at the VSF detention center and meets his fellow inmates: the former Padawan Ty Yorrick and the Kuranu Mantessa. Ram tries to warn them that the Nihil sabotaged Crashpoint Tower but they do not initially believe his story. Ty Yorrik uses his Force powers to damage the droid guard 5-Triad. Just then, the Nihil launch their attack on Lonisa City.
The attack on Lonisa City
While traveling through hyperspace, Lula confides in Vernestra about her doubts and anxieties around attachment, believing that she is not worthy to be a Jedi. Vernestra reassures her that caring for others is one of the hallmarks of being a Jedi. Upon exiting hyperspace above Valo, they find that Lonisa City is under attack from Nihil fighters, who bombard the city. While Lula attempts to contact Starlight Beacon, Vernestra flies the Varonchagger into action against the Nihil raiders, taking out one of the raiders. The Varonchagger is pursued by Nihil fighters but Jedi Vector starfighters come to their aid. After landing near a lake, Vern tells Lula of her plans to secure Ram's release, find other Jedi, and ensure the Supreme Chancellor's safety.
Nihil raiders storm the VSF detention center, damaging 5-Triad. Ty Yorrick uses a mind trick to trick a Gran Nihil member Zarabarb into shooting his own comrades. Amidst the confusion and devastation, Ram, Ty and Mantessa escape their cells. Ram also uses his Forcer powers to hurl a thermal detonator out of the window in order to minimize casualties. Ty and Ram also use their Force powers to hurl back several charging Nihil, flinging them against furniture and data-comps. Ram also saves Ty's life by short-circuiting a Mon Calamari Nihil's bowcaster. Returning the favor, Ty takes out a Nihil warrior attempt to shoot Ram. They are soon joined by Ram's droid V-18 and Lula, who orders Ty to drop her blaster.
Lula, who is familiar with Ty, has a tense reunion with the former Padawan. Despite their differences, Ty convinces a reluctant Lula to work together due to the Nihil threat. Lula agrees to work with Ty but warns her against lying to her. Mantessa wants to find her daughter. After Ty and Mantessa depart, Lula introduces herself to Ram, explaining that Starlight Beacon relayed his message to her and Vernestra Rwoh, who have come to his aid. Lula attempts to contact Vern but finds that her signal can't get through. She and Ram realize that the Nihl have sabotaged the comms array on Crashpoint Tower again.
Ram, Lula, Breebak and Tip travel to Crashpoint Tower on V-18 since the droid has been fitted with a propulsion engine. Several Nihil marauders pursue them on speeder bikes. However, the Bonbraks have installed a laser cannon weapons system on V-18, who takes out the pursuing speeders. The group are pursued by two Nihil speeders. Lula uses her Force powers to leap onto one of the speeders and attacks the Nihil aboard, knocking them off and hijacking the speeder. Ram uses his Force powers to force the second speeder into overdrive, causing it to crash into the streets. After Lula reunites with them, the group continues their journey to Crashpoint Tower.
The group are soon caught up in a chemical fog released by the Nihil. Since V-18's engine has sustained blaster damage during the skirmish, they land so that the Bonbraks can repair the droid's engine. Using captured Nihil masks, Ram and Lula wade through the fog. The two Jedi encounter a group of marauding Nihil. However a Hragscythe, that has escaped from the Lonisa City Zoo, attacks the Nihil, killing and wounding several with its claws, jaws, and long spiny tail.
While fleeing the rampaging Hragscythe, Ram and Lula encounter another group of Nihil marauders. However, the marauders are attacked by a rampaging mudhorn. To escape the Nihil mist, the two Jedi climb into an upper level room. While surveying the surrounding destruction including Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh's wrecked transport the Innovator, two Jedi resolve to reach the comms tower and alert the Galactic Republic to the Nihil attack. Ram proposes that they travel by rooftop to rooftop in order to reach the outskirts of the city.
Battle for Crashpoint Tower
Ram and Lula travel to Crashpoint Tower by traversing over rooftops. During the journey, Lula, loses her footing while navigating a far ledge and grabs onto a gargoyle. Lula manages to climb back onto the roof just as the gargoyle falls to the ground and breaks apart. Before the two can continue, they are attacked by a Nihil asteroid hopper. Fortunately for Ram and Lula, they are saved by Ty Yorrick, who is riding a winged serpentine sanval. The sanval destroys the Nihil asteroid hopper, killing the crew aboard. Yorrick is accompanied by Zeen, who is also riding a sanval.
Yorrick and Zeen give Ram and Lula a ride on their sanval steeds to Crashpoint Tower. They discover that a Drengir inside the pod that the Nihil attackers had left behind has taken over the structure. They witness several Valon Security Force troopers advancing on the tower with one of them being devoured by the sentient plant creatures.
Following a discussion, Zeen and Ram decide that they will land on the tower and attempt to reactivate the communication array while Lula and Yorrick hold off the Nihil marauders. Ram and Zeen use their Force powers to leap off from their sanval's back onto the platform. Nihil fliers lure the Lula and Yorrick's sanval into an airborne trap above a nearby forest. After landing on Crashpoint Tower, Zeen and Ram use their lightsaber and blasters to fight off several Drengir tendrils. However, their attacks only cost the sentient plant creatures to grow more parts.
Meanwhile, Lula uses her Force powers to leap onto a single flier Nihil aircraft. She slices through the flier's engine with her lightsaber, causing it to spin out of control and crash into the forest. Lula then leaps on top of a Nihil pocket cruiser, fighting the Nihil marauders flying the ship. During the fight, the craft is hit by laser fire from an R-wing. Lula uses her lightsaber to deflect a torpedo. She then escapes the cruiser in an escape pod before the flaming ship crashes into the forest. Meanwhile, Yorrick's sanval manages to take out several fliers and pursues a larger ship.
On the ground, three Nihil ships advance on Lula but she is saved by a newly repaired and modified V-18, who uses her new laser cannons to destroy the three aggressors. Lula stands her group against the five remaining Nihil marauders. Meanwhile on Crashpoint Tower, Ram manages to speak to the Drengir, who reveal that the Nihil promised them the entire planet of Valo if they helped capture the tower. Zeen manages to convince the Drengier that the Nihil lied to them by claiming that the planet Valo is not full of "meats" to devour since the Nihil had killed them. After V-18 and the Bombaks arrive, Ram convinces the droid to lend him his transmission vortice.
While attacking a winged Nihil shuttle with her lightsaber, Lula is wounded in the arm. The remaining Nihil fliers converge on Crashpoint Tower, seeking to take out Ram and Zeen. Lula rejoins her Jedi comrades at the Tower. Using the Force, Ram convinces the Drengir to attack the six remaining Nihil fliers. The sentient plants grow extensions which take out and destroy the ships. Lula joins the fight, boarding a Z-trawler and fighting the crew. Using the Force, she jumps out of the ship onto the tower before the stricken craft crashes into a tree. The Drengir also abandon their plans to devour Valo and shrink into their quarters.
Using V-18's transmision vortice, Ram is able to repair Crashpoint Tower's communications, allowing the Jedi and Valo Security Force to contact each other. Lula rejoins her Jedi comrades in the battle to save Lonisa City from the Nihil. While watching Jedi Vector starfighters pursuing Nihil fighters, Ram contacts Lula and Zeen, telling them that he wants to join them in traveling the galaxy and helping the Republic. The two welcome his offer to join them.
The excerpt of Race to Crashpoint Tower included in copies of A Test of Courage contains several differences from the final version of the novel: Lonisa City is called Valo City. Ram Jomaram is sitting on an old pilot seat when V-18 interrupts him and recites a mantra taught to him by Kunpar Vasivola, instead of levitating above it and reciting the Guardian's Mantra. Fezmix is named Femix. Masters Kunpar and Lege are stated to be preparing for the events of the Republic Fair instead of patrolling by the lake. Jomaram uses the demonym "Valon" instead of "Valorian" for the residents of Valo. The fact that Crashpoint Tower is not the structure's official name is no longer mentioned by the droid, although it is pointed out later in the book by Jomaram to Lula Talisola. The two areas of Jedi training Jomaram is the least skilled at are referred to as Jedi combat maneuvers and lightsaber training instead of General Jedi Combat Maneuvers and Lightsaber Training.
Ty Yorrick's last name is misspelled "Yorrik".
- ISBN 9781368060660; June 29, 2021; Disney–Lucasfilm Press; US Hardcover
- ISBN 9782016289280; August 25, 2021; Hachette Jeunesse; French Paperback
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 200
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 201
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 203
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 205
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 206
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 207
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 208
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 209