‘Star Wars: The High Republic’ guide: A running list of reviews for all ‘High Republic’ novels
‘Star Wars: The High Republic’ is the biggest ‘Star Wars’ story you won’t find on Disney+
“The High Republic” is the latest “Star Wars” story that no one is talking about.
As all eyes turn to “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” there’s an entirely different “Star Wars” story unfolding called “The High Republic.”
What is ‘The High Republic’?
“The High Republic” is a collection of novels, comic books and audiobooks from Lucasfilm’s publishing arm that tells the story of the “Star Wars” universe 200 years before the events of the prequel trilogy.
- The first phase of the story focused on the Republic’s expansion to the Outer Rim territories and the relationship between the Jedi Knights and the Republic.
- They had to face off with a villainous group of space pirates called the Nihil.
What’s next in ‘The High Republic’?
Phase II of “The High Republic” series will debut on Oct. 22. But it will not follow the same events of Phase I.
- “Phase II will follow a familiar ‘Star Wars’ storytelling order and step into the past — 150 years in the past to be exact — for new tales that serve as prequels to what we’ve experienced so far,” according to StarWars.com.
What to expect from ‘The High Republic’
“The High Republic” story dropped during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although I was sent some early review copies of the novels, I didn’t have a chance to dive into them because of the pandemic.
- Now, I decided to roll through each of “The High Republic” novels ahead of Phase II’s release on Oct. 22. I will offer short reviews of each of the novels as I work through them.
- So, let’s begin our dive into “The High Republic.”
Review: ‘Light of the Jedi,’ by Charles Soule
Friday, Feb. 4, 2022
“Light of the Jedi” is the first novel in “The High Republic” series, and it kicks things off with what feels like a cinematic adventure.
- It begins with the Great Disaster, a moment where a cruiseliner spacecraft is destroyed in hyperspace, which sends pieces of the ship floating across the galaxy. Soon, all planets are threatened by falling pieces of the ship’s wreckage, which could kill billions of people.
- The Republic and the Jedi team up to save people across the galaxy. But a group of marauders — the Nihil — look to use the disaster to extort planets for money and gain influence across the galaxy.
“Light of the Jedi” is such a fun read. You feel like you’re in the middle of a “Star Wars” movie as you see moments of the Jedi, some politics on Coruscant, and a slew of starfighter battles between the Republic, the Nihil and, yes, even the Jedi.
- Most notably, the novel introduces the compelling new villain Marchion Ro, who, true to form, wears a mask and seems to have a taste for control. He’s a compelling new antagonist to the “Star Wars” universe.
- We also meet a few charismatic characters like Jedi Master Avar Kriss and Chancellor Lina Soh, two strong female characters that look to lead the Jedi and the Republic at the same time.
Final thought: “Light of the Jedi” is a worthwhile read for anyone looking to engage with a new “Star Wars” story outside of the main “Mandalorian” storyline and Skywalker Saga. Some prequel trilogy characters show up — what’s up, Yoda? — but it’s a truly unique story that seems so far away from the normal story we’ve been accustomed to. It’s definitely something to pickup if the recent stories have let you down.
Review: ‘A Test of Courage’ by Justina Ireland
Monday, Feb. 7, 2022
“A Test of Courage” is a simple story, one that is meant for middle-grade readers. But it’s an important story to read if you’re interested in how the events of “Light of the Jedi” impact the entire galaxy.
- The story centers around Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh, the youngest Jedi to ever be knighted within the order. She has been tasked with watching over a young girl named Avon, who is the daughter of a senator.
- Soon enough, they find themselves on a poison rain-filled planet with a royal boy named Honesty and a fellow young Jedi named Imri.
- Together, the group must survive the elements of the new planet and find a way home before the dangerous Nihil pirates destroy them.
In large part, “A Test of Courage” is a simple read that won’t take longer than a day to complete. It’s a middle-grade book that has a super basic story about survival. But unlike its predecessor “Light of the Jedi,” this book takes more time with its characters, giving us plenty of time with them. We see these Jedi and their non-Jedi counterparts develop from one end of the book to the other.
- “A Test of Courage” is also important because it shows how the events of “Light” are affecting others. Throughout “Light” we hear how the hyperspace crash is impacting planets. But in “Courage,” we see how that directly hurts people and the scenarios it placed everyone in.
- And Vernestra Rwoh is one of the most likable characters in the “High Republic” storyline so far. She’s young, fierce, intelligent, strong and a leader, a perfect role model for children everywhere. The pages spent on her story are well worth the time.
Final thought: “A Test of Courage” won’t scratch the itch of those looking for a cinematic Star Wars story. But it’s packed with character depth and gives us a few heroes to root for in the larger “High Republic” arc of stories. So if you’re looking for some new Star Wars heroes to celebrate, this is the book for you and your child to read.