• James Hewlett

A Whole New Era

Updated: Jan 12

Please bare in mind that all I’ve not read much yet.

This week a whole new era of Star Wars started with the release of Light of the Jedi, the first novel set in ‘The High Republic.’

Also release was the first junior readers book, A Test of Courage, and first issue of the ongoing comic series from Marvel. The start of next month sees the resale of the first young adult novel Into The Dark and that, as well as another comic series aimed at younger readers, is the first wave in this new publishing initiative.

So far I’ve read the opening chapters of Light of the Jedi and the first issue of the comic.

The High Republic is set a little over two hundred years before the events of The Phantom Menace, making furthest back the timeline has been taken since the canon reset with the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm.

All the stories are tied together with events that are happening on a galactic scale and characters from one can pop up in another, but each book or series is its own entity and can be read on its own without needing to know what happened in the other.

The opening chapters of Light of the Jedi set the stage for the events of the whole era it seems; the Jedi, guardians of peace and justice for the ever expanding Republic, are launching a grand space station that will be a beacon for the outer rim as it is being explored and mapped out. There is then a mysterious and disastrous even that seemingly pulls many, possibly all, ships out hyperspace all at once. This unexpected change in velocity causes massive destruction and death and appears to be tied to an insurrection of some sort by a villainous faction.

I’m no further in than seeing this great disaster play out from a few perspectives so far but I’m loving how Charles Soule is writing it so far.

I don’t know if it’s just because I’m also watching the new season of The Expanse at the moment but the style of sci-fi writing feels more similar to that. Well... no, that’s not true. It’s not the hard sci-fi of The Expanse, it’s still very much a space fantasy, but the talk about ship travel feels fresh for Star Wars.

It is striking a great balance between being something completely new, not tied to any existing material, while also harkening back to the old days of the previous expanded universe stories in publishing style.

I’ve not seen anyone disappointed with any of the stories so far, so it seems it is striking that very rare balance of pleasing the majority of fans.

I’m really looking forward to reading more and I’ll probably write about this again before the blog wraps up.


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