T

ake a deep breath: The High Republic is about to get even darker (somehow). The beginning of Wave 3 is now less than a month away, and Claudia Gray is gearing up to break all of our hearts with The Fallen Star. However, the book’s first official excerpt released today feels almost hopeful, despite what will come soon after.

In this new excerpt, the Jedi score a victory against their enemy … but it’s no secret among those following the stories of The High Republic that things aren’t going to stay as hopeful as they begin.

You can read part of today’s excerpt below.

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The Longbeam cruiser slipped into the Nefitifi system as smoothly and silently as a sharp needle piercing black cloth. Only a few million years before, a star in this previously binary system had exploded, leaving behind a nebula of extraordinary scale. Trails of deep-purple and dark-blue gases laced between the planets, radioactive and opaque, hiding the entire system within swirls of mist.

Many smugglers had, in the past, taken advantage of that mist.

The Jedi now believed the Nihil were using it, too. It was their last place to hide.

“Any signals?” Master Indeera Stokes asked her Padawan.

Bell Zettifar, next to her, shook his head. “Nothing on any frequen­cies. It’s completely quiet out there.”

“It shouldn’t be.” Master Nib Assek shook her head, her gray hair painted silver by the shadows in which they stood. (When a Long­beam ran on half power to avoid attention — as this one now did — lighting dimmed accordingly.) “Gunrunners have used this part of space for a long time. You’d expect beacons, tagged cargo in asteroids, something of that sort. Instead . . . nothing.”

Bell glanced over at a fellow Padawan, the Wookiee Burryaga, who stood by Master Assek’s side. Their shared look confirmed that they understood what was implied: The Nefitifi system was too quiet. Find­ing no activity here was like landing on Coruscant and finding it de­serted: proof positive that something was very wrong.

Here it could only mean that the Nihil were near.

“They must be using silencers,” Bell said to Master Indeera. “Satel­lites or shipboard?”

“Shipboard, I suspect. We’ll soon find out.” His Master squared her shoulders; her Tholothian tendrils rippled down her back. Bell felt the shiver of anticipation that went through the Jedi cohort aboard; the Force was warning them of what was about to come. Master Indeera put her hand on her lightsaber hilt. “The other Longbeams report sim­ilar readings — or lack thereof. The Nihil must be very near.”

Finally, action. A chance to move on the Nihil. Bell had wanted this — needed it — ever since the loss of his former Master, Loden Great­storm. Not for vengeance. Greatstorm would never have wanted that. For the knowledge that Bell had done something, anything, to counter­act the evil that had robbed his Master of his life. The Nihil were al­ready beaten, it seemed — Master Avar Kriss seemed on the verge of capturing their leader, the Eye, at any moment — but neither Bell nor the rest of the galaxy would be at peace until the threat had been laid to rest forever.

The debacle at the Republic Fair months ago could’ve damaged con­fidence in the Republic — and in the Jedi — past repair. Instead the Nihil were now on the run. The corner had been turned. This entire part of the galaxy would soon be wholly safe once more.

Once everyone else had regained their confidence and security, maybe Bell would, too.

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You can read the full excerpt on StarWars.com.

The first book in the next wave of The High Republic arrives January 4, 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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Our Verdict

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Plot
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Characters
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Originality
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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.