Those two words consumed the minds of Star Wars fans for months. Hints were dropped. Possibilities were teased. But Del Rey kept the project’s details a secret right up to the official reveal.
We knew the moment that reveal hit Twitter that The High Republic would change Star Wars publishing forever. And it still will. Once it’s finally out in the world.
When we learned the first High Republic book wouldn’t arrive in our mailboxes until January 2021 instead of its original August 2020 release date, we came to accept that months of waiting would stand between us and Charles Soule’s first Star Wars novel.
And then he surprised us. Well, Del Rey did. IGN? It was a team effort.
On Monday, IGN published an exclusive interview with Soule (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith) about his upcoming book -- the launch title of the High Republic era. Along with the interview came an even bigger surprise: The book’s entire first chapter.
Star Wars: The High Republic - Light of the Jedi kicks off the multimedia publishing initiative with a story set 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace in what Soule calls “the catalyst for a galaxy-wide disaster.”
“The opening beats of Light of the Jedi depict an epic disaster,” the author told IGN, “and a heroic, thrilling response by both the Republic and the Jedi to save lives and end the crisis. It's just the beginning, though. The Legacy Run disaster kicks off a much larger story; it really is just one piece of a much bigger saga.
And on that ominous note, here’s the opening crawl to the entire High Republic era:
“The Force is with the galaxy.
It is the time of The High Republic: a peaceful union of like-minded worlds where all voices are heard, and governance is achieved through consensus, not coercion or fear. It is a time of ambition, of culture, of inclusion, of Great Works. Visionary Chancellor Lina Soh leads the Republic from the elegant cityworld of Coruscant, located near the bright center of the Galactic Core.
But beyond the Core and its many peaceful Colonies, there is the Rim—Inner, Mid, and finally, at the border of what is known: The Outer Rim. These worlds are filled with opportunity for those brave enough to travel the few well-mapped hyperspace lanes leading to them, though there is danger as well. The Outer Rim is a haven for anyone seeking to escape the laws of the Republic, and is filled with predators of every type.
Chancellor Soh has pledged to bring the Outer Rim worlds into the embrace of the Republic through ambitious outreach programs such as the Starlight Beacon. Order and justice are maintained on the galactic frontier by Jedi Knights, guardians of peace who have mastered incredible abilities stemming from a mysterious energy field known as the Force. The Jedi work closely with the Republic, and have agreed to establish outposts in the Outer Rim to help any who might require aid.
The Jedi of the frontier can be the only resource for people with nowhere else to turn. Though the outposts operate independently and without direct assistance from the great Jedi temple on Coruscant, they act as an effective deterrent to those who would do evil in the dark.
Few can stand against the Knights of the Jedi Order.
But there are always those who will try….”
You can read the full first chapter of Light of the Jedi on IGN’s website.