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ave 3 of The High Republic is less than a month away, and Star Wars storytelling is somehow going to break our hearts more in 2022 than it did this year. While Claudia Gray will kick things off with The Fallen Star in January, Justina Ireland will follow up with another installment soon after in Mission to Disaster.

The first chapter of the thrilling middle-grade adventure features Avon Starros, who readers first met in Ireland’s first High Republic contribution A Test of Courage earlier this year. You can read part of today’s excerpt below.

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Avon Starros did not bounce. The only daughter of Senator Ghirra Starros and youngest member of the illustrious Starros Clan of Hosnian Prime did not jump for joy or leap in excitement. She was, in a word, a scientist.

But Avon found herself bouncing down the hallway all the same.

“Really? Today? I can finally try synthesizing a Starros crystal today?” Avon said, following her mentor, Professor Glenna Kip, toward the lab in Port Haileap. The outpost wasn’t much more than a rest stop for the ships going to and returning from the farthest edges of the galaxy, but it was also home to the research lab of Professor Kip, a well-known scientist.

“Yes, today,” Professor Kip said, a smile splitting the silver-lined green of her face. “You can prepare your samples, and we’ll get to it after the midday meal.”

“Yes! Thank you, Professor Kip. I’m going to go get everything ready now, and I’ll see you after lunch.”

Avon hustled down the hallway toward the lab. After months spent memorizing the basic structure of kyber crystal molecules, analyzing the atoms, and testing energy refraction and the like, Avon was finally about to do the one thing she had wanted to do from the first moment she had stolen Padawan Imri Cantaros’s broken lightsaber: make a reproduction of a kyber crystal.

The construction of the lightsaber seemed relatively straightforward, and Avon couldn’t help wondering if it was possible that maybe the kyber crystals could be used for different applications. After all, she had no use for a laser sword—she was a scientist, not a Jedi—but it would be nice if perhaps there was some way to use a kyber’s focusing abilities to harness the ambient energy of space.

With so much random radiation and the like just floating around, could they somehow duplicate the kyber’s structure to direct that energy to power entire planets?

Avon thought so, even if no one else did.

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You can read the full excerpt on Nerdist.

The second book in the next wave of The High Republic arrives February 1, 2022. You can view our complete Book Profile for more details and pre-order your copy now.

For a complete list of recent and upcoming Star Wars book and comic releases, visit our regularly updated Release Schedule.

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Meg is a writer, podcaster, and photographer. She lives in Illinois with her dog and medal-worthy book collection, and believes any conversation in which Star Wars references are applicable is one worth having.