fter a memorable debut in early 2021, the creators behind the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing initiative left us on the edge of our seats with questions. 

Just who were these new villains, and what did they want? 

What is with these carnivorous plants? 

Is Loden Greatstorm going to be alright? 

Will we get to see more Geode?

With only a short respite after the Great Disaster, a harrowing introduction into the Nihil, and discovering the Drengir, Wave 2 gave us answers.  

BEWARE! Full High Republic spoilers ahead!

The Republic Fair

Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm opens months after the Great Disaster. Chancellor Lina Soh is determined to carry on with the Republic Fair to showcase the Republic’s accomplishments and its potential for a brighter future – and to show the Nihil that the Republic would not live in fear. 

The Nihil did not get the message, and as the fair opens to great pomp and circumstance, they attack. Chaos reigns, and many die – very nearly including the Chancellor herself. The Jedi and Republic forces fight off the Nihil, but not before the fair’s destruction is broadcast across the galaxy. The threat from the Nihil seems anything but subdued. 

Along the way, we meet Ty Yorrick. While no Jedi, she wields both the Force and a lightsaber, which attracts the attention of Elzar Mann and Stellan Gios. The Nihil’s attack keeps them from investigating. Yorrick lends the Jedi a much-needed hand and, in the four-part The Monster of Temple Peak miniseries, Scott sheds more light on Yorrick’s origins—hopefully paving the way for more of her in Wave 3.

During the battle, we also encounter Padawan Ram Jomaram. Briefly introduced in The Rising Storm, he’s one of the main characters in Daniel José Older’s Race to Crashpoint Tower. Along with new friends Lula and Zeen, Ram finds the Drengir helping the Nihil. Together, the Padawans convince the Drengir to abandon their attack on a critical communications tower. Ram repairs it, allowing the Jedi to call for help before joining Lula, Zeen, and their friends.

The Jedi chase the Nihil to their base on the planet Grizal in hopes of dealing them a final blow. All too briefly, we even harbor hope that Bell Zettifar will rescue his former Master, Loden Greatstorm, from captivity. But Marchion Ro, Eye of the Storm and leader of the Nihil, has one last surprise – the Great Leveler. A mysterious creature that Ro retrieved from icy slumber, the Leveler overwhelms Force-sensitive beings. It gives Bell and Mann horrifying visions and turns Greatstorm into dust.

The End (?) of the Drengir

Meanwhile, in Scott’s The High Republic comic series, Marshall Avar Kriss continues to lead the fight against the Drengir in a controversial alliance with the Hutts. On Starlight Beacon, young Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis and her former master Sskeer venture into the Drengir Root Mind, where Trennis learns the location of the Great Progenitor. The Jedi unite to face the Progenitor and bind it in a status field, cutting it off from the Root Mind and seemingly ending the Drengir.

Free to focus exclusively on the Nihil, Kriss sends Trennis and another Jedi, Terec, undercover to infiltrate the marauders.

The Fall and Return of Lourna Dee

Reviewing footage from the attack, the Republic and Jedi believe (wrongly) that Lourna Dee, one of Ro’s Tempest Runners, is the Nihil’s leader. In Scott’s Tempest Runner, they catch up with her as Ro abandons her to her fate. 

Before being taken captive, Dee stages her death and assumes a false name, so the Republic won’t realize who they have in custody. As flashbacks lift the curtain on some of Dee’s backstory, we follow her time aboard the prison ship Restitution. Ultimately, Dee takes control of the ship, offering fellow inmates the opportunity to form her new Tempest.

Having returned to the Nihil, Dee takes the Great Leveler out for another test. When Trennis and Terec have their cover blown, she has her chance. Terec, like Loden Greatstorm, begins to calcify and, shockingly, so does their bond-twin Ceret—light-years away on a Jedi cruiser. Tennis faces bewildering and horrifying visions before Marshall Kriss and Master Sskeer arrive and intervene.

Despite the Jedi’s best efforts, Dee escapes with the Leveler. Kriss, increasingly at odds with the Jedi Council and her old friend Stellan Gios, is even more determined to pursue Dee to the ends of the galaxy. Gios, meanwhile, is desperate to learn more about the weapon that poses such a threat to the Jedi. In the first installments of Daniel José Older’s Trail of Shadows, commissions Jedi Investigator Emerick Caphtor to find out whatever he can.

New Friends—and Old Friends Turned New Enemies

As the fair opens and then descends into madness, Older’s The High Republic Adventures, Padawans Farzala and Qort join with the crew of the Vessel on a sensitive mission to visit the Hutts in their capital city. Predictably, things go sideways when Jabba tries to sabotage the Jedi-Hutt alliance, but the Padawans—with the rock-steady help of Geode—rise to the occasion.

Meanwhile, in Justina Ireland’s Out of the Shadows, Vernestra Rwoh and her Padawan Imri Cantaros have been sent to Coruscant, where they investigate a dispute between two powerful families, the Grafs and the San Tekkas, over a seemingly empty patch of space. Teaming up with Syl Yarrow, they eventually discover that the Graf family and Syl’s mother were in league with the Nihil. Rwoh also finds Mari San Tekka—the captive “Oracle” that provided the Nihil’s Paths through hyperspace. Rwoh frees San Tekka from her prison and unnaturally prolonged life, but not before receiving the Oracle’s final path.

With Qort and Farzala back on Starlight, Lula’s former best friend Krix Kamerat finds he still needs to prove his worth to the Nihil. Ro sends Kamerat to raid Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana. The lone Jedi on the planet, Master Sav Malagán, successfully fends off the advance strike, and Masters Torban Buck and Kantam Sy soon arrive with the Padawans to help. It turns out to be something of a homecoming and coming of age for Qort. Kamerat fares no better in his follow-up raid and retreats—but going back to Ro empty-handed may be the least of his worries.

Wave 3 of Star Wars: The High Republic Phase I kicks off in January 2022 with Claudia Gray’s The Fallen Star and Charles Soule’s Eye of the Storm series. See all the upcoming High Republic and other Star Wars releases on Youtini’s Release Schedule, and pre-order today!

Karl joined Youtini in 2018 as a writer, has been a Content Manager since 2020 and the Editor-in-Chief since 2023, where he brings his passion for Star Wars literature and storytelling to the team. He enjoys both Legends and Canon, and is always on the lookout for hidden gems in the Expanded Universe. Karl’s goal is to help fellow Star Wars fans discover new and exciting stories within the galaxy far, far away, and to share his own perspectives on the beloved franchise. Whether it’s through written reviews or podcast appearances, Karl is dedicated to helping the Youtini community explore and appreciate the vast world of Star Wars literature.