A new era of Star Wars stories is on the way with the Lucasfilm publishing initiative known as Star Wars: The High Republic. The first book, Star Wars: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, is slated to arrive in January 2021 after being pushed back from an initial release later this year. But fans can get a taste of the new story, beginning 200 years before the events of The Skywalker Saga, thanks to a recently released excerpt that establishes the world and teases the impending galaxy-wide disaster at the center of the story.
IGN has released a Star Wars: Light of the Jedi excerpt that sets the stage for this period of time in the Star Wars universe, teasing the inciting incident that kicks off this new era of stories. Before the first chapter begins, the book opens with this preface that feels like an extended opening crawl:
The Force is with the galaxy.
It is the time of The High Republic: a peaceful union of like-minded worlds where all voices are heard, and governance is achieved through consensus, not coercion or fear. It is a time of ambition, of culture, of inclusion, of Great Works. Visionary Chancellor Lina Soh leads the Republic from the elegant cityworld of Coruscant, located near the bright center of the Galactic Core.
But beyond the Core and its many peaceful Colonies, there is the Rim—Inner, Mid, and finally, at the border of what is known: The Outer Rim. These worlds are filled with opportunity for those brave enough to travel the few well-mapped hyperspace lanes leading to them, though there is danger as well. The Outer Rim is a haven for anyone seeking to escape the laws of the Republic, and is filled with predators of every type.
Chancellor Soh has pledged to bring the Outer Rim worlds into the embrace of the Republic through ambitious outreach programs such as the Starlight Beacon. Order and justice are maintained on the galactic frontier by Jedi Knights, guardians of peace who have mastered incredible abilities stemming from a mysterious energy field known as the Force. The Jedi work closely with the Republic, and have agreed to establish outposts in the Outer Rim to help any who might require aid.
The Jedi of the frontier can be the only resource for people with nowhere else to turn. Though the outposts operate independently and without direct assistance from the great Jedi temple on Coruscant, they act as an effective deterrent to those who would do evil in the dark.
Few can stand against the Knights of the Jedi Order.
But there are always those who will try…
If you want to read the entire first chapter of Star Wars: Light of the Jedi, you can head over to IGN. We recommend you do that before you continue reading after the concept art below, because we’re going to dig into that first chapter and what it means for the future of these Star Wars stories, so beware of spoilers for the opening chapter below.
That image above is a piece of concept art that appears to show the massive long-haul freighter at the center of the first chapter. Though there’s a chance this could be a space station that plays a part in the story, especially since it’s prominently featured on the cover of the book as well.
The excerpt from Star Wars: Light of the Jedi follows Captain Hedda Casset as she commands The Legacy Run with more than nine thousand souls onboard heading to the Outer Rim in an attempt to start a new life, no matter how risky or dangerous it might be.
It’s established that hyperspace is still something that people are still trying to understand. There are hyperlanes for fast travel across the galaxy, but it’s still not easy to navigate. Even the droids tasked with calculating the coordinates can make mistakes, and if ships go off the marked routes, then you could end up lost in space. Even the well-traveled hyperlanes were dangerous, and there aren’t many routes mapped leading out to the Outer Rim.
The Legacy Run finds out just how dangerous hyperspace travel can be when some kind of obstacle appears in the hyperlane they’re traveling on. Though Captain Casset tries to maneuver the ship out of harm’s way, the freighter isn’t in prime condition, and it ends up being torn apart in hyperspace. According to Charles Soule, this is “our first look at the moment that changes The High Republic forever.” The author explained:
“Fragments of the destroyed cargo vessel begin flying out of hyperspace at super-accelerated speeds, meaning that deadly missiles of debris can appear anywhere at any time, from the Outer Rim to the Core. In this moment of crisis, the Republic turns to the guardians of peace and justice—the Jedi.”
Though that sounds like quite the epic disaster, Soule also added, “It’s just the beginning, though. The Legacy Run disaster kicks off a much larger story; it really is just one piece of a much bigger saga.”
As for what that bigger saga might be, we’ll probably have to wait until the book comes out in January 2021 to find out more. Star Wars: Light of the Jedi is available for pre-order right now.
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