I generally avoid any excerpts from upcoming novels, I usually struggle to get through them because they are usually from some point into the book where the story is established and you have zero context.
But, Charles Soule and IGN have dropped the opening chapter of the upcoming and sadly delayed ‘Light of the Jedi’, the first book in the ‘High Republic’ publishing initiative.
The chapter sets the whole series up, it details the build up to a Hyperspace event that has been mentioned in previous promotional material where the ship ‘Legacy’s Run’ crashes into an unknown object which is going to cause problems across the Galaxy that the Jedi are called in to help with.
We get the equivalent of the opening crawl, setting the scene, the Outer Rim is unexplored, the Jedi Knights are the great protectors that we heard about in An New Hope’. The Galaxy is at peace and Chancellor Lena Soh has promised to bring those Outer Rim worlds into the Galactic Republic with the aid of the Jedi and various outposts such as the Starlight Beacon.,
We meet a great character, Captain Hedda Casset, who we get to know so brilliantly in such a short space of time, Soule perfectly establishes her character, her personality and her experience as a pilot and when the ship comes across the anomaly her reaction is so on point, I actually found myself caring greatly for Hedda and her crew, despite the very short amount of time we had to get to know them.
This is a true credit to Soule’s writing. Whilst he is a novelist, his career has been predominantly comics and I feel that his experience in comics has really given him the ability to write these kinds of characters who are fully fleshed out in the short time frame. Just look at some of his work in Star Wars, he really let us get to know and care about a lot of different characters through lol of his different runs, and whilst I may not have been a fan of all of his work, I can still appreciate the craft and his talent.
What this excerpt has really done is made me want to read ‘Light of the Jedi’ even more. I was truly gutted when they announced that ‘The High Republic’ was delayed until next year, and it’s obvious that this is down to the global pandemic and not a problem with writing or editing. I imagine that Lucasfilm and Del Rey are planning some sort of big launch that COVID-19 got in the way of. The original release was due to be just before SWCA this year, and as that’s been cancelled (a decision made a while ago I reckon and only released recently) where that big launch could have taken place they had to change the plan. And honestly, January 5th cannot come fast enough.
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