he High Republic is without a doubt the biggest and most long-lasting publishing initiative in the current Star Wars Canon. It’s hard to believe that it all started in February 2020 with the announcement of the mysterious Project Luminous. But we are now embarking on the final Phase of The High Republic, and some readers might need a little refresher on what has happened so far.
Throughout books, comics, and audio dramas, we have followed Avar Kriss, Stellan Gios, Elzar Mann, Gella Nattai, Char-Ryl-Roy, and Silandra Sho—and so, so many more—on countless missions to protect the galaxy from the nefarious intentions of both the Nihil and the Path of the Open Hand. It’s virtually impossible to overstate the weight of everything that happened in the first two phases of this magnificent new era.
This guide will break down the most significant plot points of Phases 1 and 2 of The High Republic. We’ll talk about important characters and recap where they stand moving into the beginning of this final Phase. We’ll go over anything else you need to know before picking up your copy of The Eye of Darkness by George Mann in November.
Phase 1 Recap
Phase 1 Wave 1 Recap
Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule opened all of us to the High Republic era with a huge bang. The central event of this Wave was the Great Disaster—the expulsion of The Legacy Run from hyperspace by the Nihil. Debris from the torn-apart hauler emerged into several star systems, beginning with the very crucial agricultural system of Hetzal. The Jedi and their Republic allies immediately jumped into action, led by Jedi Master Avar Kriss, who connected her comrades through the Force to streamline their efforts to deflect the debris.
Through their concerted effort, Master Kriss and the other Jedi were able to save the Hetzal system, but other emergences soon started popping up all over the Outer Rim. Outside the view of the Jedi, the Nihil’s strength grew as they plotted their next move with the help of their mysterious ability to manipulate hyperspace in a way that no one had ever done before. Their next strike followed quickly after the Great Disaster, as they kidnapped a family near the Jedi Outpost on Elphrona, initiating a chase from Porter Engle, Loden Greatstorm, and his Padawan Bell Zettifar.
Even if you don’t remember much about this chase, you undoubtedly remember the devastation of Master Greatstorm’s capture—an event that devastated Bell. Unbeknownst to Bell, Loden was taken to the Eye of the Nihil, Marchion Ro, who immediately confiscated his lightsaber. Marchion and his Tempest Runners Pan Eyta, Kassav Milliko, and Lourna Dee continued their plot to destroy the Jedi and banish the Republic from the Outer Rim.
Shortly after the Great Disaster rocked the Outer Rim, Padawan Reath Silas’ voyage to Starlight Beacon was interrupted by even more debris in the hyperspace lane he and the other passengers of The Vessel were using. In Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark, we followed Reath, Jedi Masters Orla Jareni and Cohmac Vitus, Jedi Knight Dez Rydan, and the quirky but confident crew of The Vessel as they took on a whole new enemy called the Drengir.
Stranded on the long-abandoned Amaxine Station with several other ships cast suddenly out of hyperspace, the Jedi sensed an intense darkness surrounding them. What they sensed turned out to be the ancient evil of the Drengir, an amorphous plant species that wanted nothing more than to consume everything around it.
With the unexplainable death of Dez Rydan and the horrific loss of countless citizens of the Republic throughout the emergences, the outlook at the end of Wave 1 was incredibly bleak, summed into a catastrophic vision Elzar Mann experienced on Starlight Beacon of evil sweeping the entire galaxy.
Phase 1 Wave 2 Recap
The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott kicked off this massively intense Wave with the harrowing tale of the Republic Fair. Even through the fear of further emergences, Chancellor Lina Soh was determined to push progress forward with Starlight Beacon, and the best way to show all galactic citizens they were better off united was to show them the power of their diverse cultures in one place. Thus, the Republic Fair on Valo.
However, while Chancellor Soh and the Jedi planned the fair and its security detail, the Nihil had their own plot brewing. The Tempest Runners would attack Valo during the fair, but their Eye had another task— retrieving a beast that could utterly destroy any Force-user instantaneously. Marchion Ro traveled underground on his home planet to capture one of the species that would become his newest weapon: the Nameless.
While the Republic Fair turned sour, Avar Kriss and Padawan Keeve Trennis led an assault against the Drengir with an improbable ally from the Hutt cartel. Their combined power still left them unable to defeat their mysterious enemy whose reach seemed neverending. These events were detailed in The High Republic comics also by Cavan Scott.
Back on Valo, everything began to fall apart as the Nihil released a toxic gas throughout the fair, causing death, destruction, and confusion. Through intense fighting between Jedi, Nihil, citizens, security officers, and even Chancellor Soh herself, it became apparent that this band of pirates was unlike any who came before them. However, even through all of the madness, Jedi Master Stellan Gios and Knights Bell Zettifar and Elzar Mann carved a path to victory, expelling the Nihil from Valo and providing a small glimmer of hope for the galaxy.
But that would be far too happy an ending for a book set in the High Republic era, wouldn’t it? That’s why the Jedi not only chased the Nihil off of Valo but also followed them to their base on the planetoid Grizal. A new battle quickly erupted, and for a moment Bell Zettifar’s hope of rescuing his master was fulfilled—Loden Greatstorm fell from the Gaze Electric and briefly joined the other Jedi in their fight. Alas, that momentary joy was quashed when Marchion Ro unleashed a Nameless, instantly turning Loden into a frozen husk and causing the remaining Force-users to retreat.
Phase 1 Wave 3 Recap
The final events of Phase 1 in Claudia Gray’s novel, The Fallen Star, devastated all of us. With the book’s title, we all knew something catastrophic would happen, but the death and destruction aboard Starlight Beacon was genuinely harsh. As fate would have it, many Jedi and other essential characters from these stories were stationed on the beacon to celebrate its grand opening, including Elzar Mann, Orla Jareni, Bell Zettifar, Burryaga, Indeera Stokes, Stellan Gios, and the crew of The Vessel. Falsely believing that Lourna Dee was the Eye of the Nihil, Avar Kriss was off hunting her down.
The chaos kicked off quickly with countless refugees arriving at Starlight Beacon fleeing more Nihil attacks from all over the Outer Rim. In that confusion, a Nihil hauler made it onto the station with seven Nameless creatures stowed away in the ship’s cargo holds. And on top of that, two rathtars also became loose amidst the panic. The Nihil began attacking Starlight Beacon from within, cutting off communication and power between all sections.
As the devastation grew, all hands were on deck, because Starlight Beacon began plummeting from its orbit around Eiram—a planet that became much more significant in Phase 2. As it fell, the station split into two separate pieces, and the two Jedi leading the salvation effort, Stellan Gios and Bell Zettifar, were trapped on opposite sides.
Luckily, the Hero of Hetzal Avar Kriss returned from her mission to capture Lourna Dee and destroy the Drengir (for now?) just in time to help warn the citizens of Eiram and help the people trying to escape from Starlight Beacon. No matter how in tune with the Force Avar, Stellan, and Bell were, though, the beacon did fall. Crashing into the ocean on Eiram, Starlight Beacon was utterly destroyed with many victims still trapped inside the station—including Stellan Gios.
The remaining Jedi watched from the shore as years of work were washed away and so many friends were lost. The Nihil had dealt a direct blow to the Jedi and the Republic, and they had hit hard. The supposed golden era of the High Republic was over, and the Nihil were ready to prove the true veracity of the Nameless.
Extra Phase 1 Info
Now that we’ve covered all the most significant plot points of Phase 1, there are a few more things you’ll need to remember.
Throughout this Phase, we saw the strength of the friendship between Avar, Elzar, and Stellan—and the romantic feelings between Avar and Elzar. It seems evident that Avar and Elzar had a romantic relationship as Padawans then cut things off as they grew older. But Elzar still had intense feelings toward Avar, which hindered his ability to progress as a Jedi. He couldn’t live without her by his side, but she couldn’t allow that kind of distraction—one strictly forbidden by the Council—to affect her.
With the fallout of that relationship, Elzar felt strong pulls to the dark side, eventually seeking help from Wayseeker Orla Jareni. But it wasn’t enough. Elzar had multiple dark visions throughout Phase 1, all culminating in the final hours as Starlight Beacon fell. Fueled by adrenaline and trying to save the station, Elzar Mann attacked Chancey Yarrow, believing that she was part of the Nihil attack. Only after killing her in cold blood did he learn she was also trying to save the beacon. This final betrayal of Jedi philosophy is sure to be a driving force behind Elzar Mann’s character in Phase 3, and it will be interesting to see how Stellan Gios’ death affects both Elzar and Avar moving forward.
Phase 2 Recap
Phase 2 Wave 1 Recap
As you know, the authors of The High Republic rewound the dial of time for Phase 2, taking us back 150 years before the Great Disaster. This period was a time of great strife for the galaxy, both in the Republic-controlled sectors and the Outer Rim. Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland introduced us to the Path of the Open Hand and the Mother, the leader of this anti-Force-user cult.
Marda and Yana Ro—a very interesting surname—both lost their first loves at an immensely crucial time for the fate of the galaxy, and that heartbreak proved to be devastating for more than just the two cousins. The rage over the deaths of Kevmo and Kor pushed Marda and Yana in very different directions, leading Yana away from the Path and forcing Marda further into its clutches.
While the beginning of that rage was sparking, the longstanding war between neighboring planets Eiram and E’ronoh forged on despite the feelings of both planets’ heirs, Phan-tu Zenn and Xiri A’lbaran. Even with the help of Chancellor Greylark’s son Axel, a small band of Jedi, and Chancellor Mollo, it seemed like all hope of peace was lost between the two planets.
Xiri and Phan-tu were the first ray of light cast over Eiram and E’ronoh, and the Jedi would not allow that light to die out, no matter what hardships befell the peace talks. This perseverance was especially true of the young Jedi Knight Gella Nattai who used her smarts and the wisdom of Jedi Masters Creighton Sun and Char-Ryl-Roy to uncover the plot Axel Greylark had been spinning throughout their entire mission.
Though this didn’t solve the problem of peace between Eiram and E’ronoh, it did push the cause forward to resolve the matter once and for all in the holy city of Jedha.
The Battle of Jedha Recap
The Battle of Jedha was the center point around which all the events of Phase 2 connected. The representatives from both Eiram and E’ronoh arrived with trepidations about the peace treaty but still were willing to commit if the other side held up their end as well. Though the Jedi and the Republic were present at the meetings, the whole thing was supposed to be mediated by Morton San Tekka.
As soon as the treaty talks began, however, bombs exploded throughout the city, killing Morton and causing both sides to blame the other for halting peace. The Mother and her Path immediately chose sides on Jedha as well, blaming the Jedi and releasing the Leveler within the city. But even they weren’t able to get away completely—Marda, and the Mother escaped Jedha with half of the rod used to control the Leveler, leaving the Herald behind in the custody of the Guardians of the Whills. Unbeknownst to them, Yana also stayed behind on Jedha and broke the Herald out of his prison, taking the other half of the rod with her.
With the hopes of peace dashed, the representatives from Eiram and E’ronoh left the planet to continue their feud. The Jedi were left once again with nothing to show for their work, but they did see the massive threat the Path of the Open Hand posed—and they were ready to investigate.
Phase 2 Wave 2 Recap
Cataclysm by Lydia Kang finished off the adult duology of Phase 2, and it did not disappoint. Following the Battle of Jedha and the failed treaty signing between Eiram and E’ronoh, everything seemed in shambles—all the work that Phan-tu and Xiri had put in, as well as the strings pulled by Gella. The treaty was not signed, and the two worlds resumed their war. But it was not over there.
The Path of the Open Hand revealed themselves during the Battle of Jedha, and neither the Jedi nor the Republic liked what they saw. Both factions raced to Dalna to investigate the mysterious cult and its leader, and that is where the Jedi’s one true power over the rest of the galaxy—the Force itself—became their greatest weakness. The Mother released her Leveler along with many other Nameless creatures, killing several Jedi, and the Path members became a militia, believing they were performing the will of the Force by battling those who seek to abuse it.
Meanwhile, cousins Marda and Yana Ro once again were at odds with their own motivations for saving the Path. While Yana still longed to escape Dalna and start a new life somewhere else, Marda grew angrier and angrier. During the Night of Sorrow, Marda destroyed her allegiance to the Path of the Open Hand and started her own faction, the Path of the Closed Fist. Once the dust settled, Marda led the Leveler into the chamber where the Jedi were holding the Mother and released the beast on her, confirming for Marda that the Mother had been manipulating the Force the entire time.
Though the Battle of Dalna was eventually a success for the Republic and the Jedi, there was little to be won. Marda escaped on the Gaze Electric with the Leveler, and Yana finally separated her links to Dalna and her cousin.
Among the fallen of the Night of Sorrow were Jedi Knight Aida Forte and Masters Char-Ryl-Roy and Orin Darhga. But even with the Nameless on their side, the Path of the Open Hand was not strong enough to overcome the joined forces of the Jedi, the Republic, and the newly married Phan-tu and Xiri.
Additional Phase 2 Info
Much like Avar and Elzar in Phase 1, Jedi Knight Gella Nattai experienced the pull of forbidden love in this Phase. While working to make peace between Eiram and E’ronoh, Gella was deceived by Axel Greylark as he attempted to woo her into giving in to him. We later learned that Axel was working for the Mother, yet another pawn in her game. But Gella stayed faithful to her teachings and forced Axel to pay for his crimes, even through their allyship in the Battle of Dalna. After her dealings with Axel in Convergence, Gella pledged herself to be a Wayseeker, eager to learn more of the ways of the Force.
Another important aspect of this Phase to remember is the massive reveal of the Mother’s family ties at the end of Cavan Scott’s The Path of Vengeance. Jedi Knight Olivah Zeveron realized that not only was the Mother—whose real name was Elecia—Force-sensitive. She was her sister. And that one piece of lore clicked so many pieces into place in the Phase 2 puzzle. Elecia watched the Jedi take her sister as a young child while she was “not good enough” to be chosen. She spent her entire childhood dreaming of her sister studying the Force while she was left behind. And thus, she founded the Path of the Open Hand and used her own abilities to influence her closest followers against the Jedi by making them believe the Jedi were abusing the Force.
The reveals in Phase 2 provided some answers to our original questions from Phase 1, but there are still so many loose ties that Phase 3 can spell out for us. How did Marda’s Path of the Closed Fist become Marchion’s Nihil? How does the Drengir fit into this web of enemies? How will Avar, Elzar, Bell, and the others rebuild? And what is Marchion Ro planning next?
And now we’re ready for Phase 3! This final Phase of The High Republic has been a long time coming, but we are so excited to see what these authors do with the characters we already know and love so much.
If you’re still hungry for more, check out our High Republic HQ for our recommended reading order, reviews, and the latest in High Republic news. And, as always, for light and life!