Star Wars: Light of the Jedi

Star Wars: Light of the Jedi

Charles Soule

2021

I was mostly excited to have Star Wars content that had nothing to do with Skywalkers or Palpatines. I’m so glad that the creators behind the galaxy far, far away are finally willing to dive into an era of this galaxy’s fictional history that has never before been explored.

Sure, back in the day there were plenty of stories exploring the Old Republic, taking place a thousand years before the Star Wars prequel trilogy (I think). But, as far as I’m aware, those stories are no longer considered canon after Disney’s streamlining of the timeline. Personally, I never had an attachment to the Old Republic era, but I know a lot of fans did. And I’m sure there will still be room to explore that era again someday.

For now, we get the High Republic and Light of the Jedi, kicking things off roughly 200 years prior to the events of The Phantom Menace. The galaxy is, evidently, at peace…

But this is Star Wars. If the galaxy is at peace, it can’t stay that way for very long, otherwise it would be called Star Peace. And I’m not saying that would necessarily make for a boring series of novels. It’s just… What do you think is more likely to draw the attention of the general public looking for entertainment? A bunch of Jedi faced with a new and powerful threat to galactic peace or a bunch of Jedi sitting around a new space station in the Outer Rim playing Sabacc because nothing exciting ever happens in the Outer Rim?

Of course there’s a new threat to galactic peace. And they appear in the form of the Nihil, a group comprised, basically, of pirates and marauders. They’re different than anything we’ve seen before. They’re not the Sith. They’re not the Empire. They’re not the First Order. But their leader is a puppet master who I’m kind excited to see moving forward. I want to know where his plans are taking him. Because we really just get a taste of who he is in this first novel of the High Republic era.

We’re also introduced to a number of Jedi characters… some of whom you really shouldn’t become attached to. But that shouldn’t be a problem since Jedi are discouraged from forming attachments in the first place. I say that because one of the frustrating aspects of this book, especially early on, was that Charles Soule would introduce the reader to these seemingly compelling characters only to have them disappear from the narrative altogether. I could say how or why they disappear… but I don’t want to spoil anything. Assume what you want.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I think I like it better than any of the new Star Wars canon novels that I’ve read thus far. Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy (now under the Star Wars Legends banner) is still the gold standard in my book, but I’m looking forward to how the rest of this High Republic storyline plays out.

Have you read Light of the Jedi or any of the other material coming out as part of the High Republic line of books and/or comics? Let me know what you think down in the comments!

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