idnight Horizon turned out to be one of the sleeper hits of the first phase of The High Republic. It had all the makings of a great Star Wars book: awesome Jedi, great action, highly developed characters, and… connections to Solo: A Star Wars Story? Yes, you readthat correctly. It’s safe to say that a lot happened in this book, but we’re here to help you sort through it all with a chronological timeline of everything that happened in the latest High Republic entry from Daniel José Older.
This summary was originally written by Charles Hanckel for the Midnight Horizon Roundtable on The Living Force and was adapted by Emma Parke for use on Youtini's YouTube Channel.
While Midnight Horizon employs the use of multiple flashbacks, the events below are presented in chronological order according to the events of the book.
FULL SPOILERS AHEAD
The Padawan of Master Yoda, young Kantam Sy must shoulder high expectations. Yet, on a routine visit to the planet Endovar, Kantam meets a circus performer named Aytar and feels an instant connection. The two spend a night flirting and Kantam realizes that, despite being so far ahead of their peers, Yoda has not yet knighted them because he sensed something like this might happen. Kantam and Aytar’s connection soon blossoms into a true relationship, and Kantam knows they must inform Yoda. After one last sparring session, Kantam lays their lightsaber at Yoda’s feet and walks away from the Jedi Order. However, Aytar struggles to accept the pressure of that decision, and breaks things off.
Now without any ties, Kantam spends the next few years traveling the galaxy, working various jobs. While on Naboo, they discover a young Force-sensitive orphan—none other than Lula Talisola. Feeling called back to the Order, Kantam delivers Lula to Yoda on Endovar. Upon their return, Kantam is knighted and Yoda lectures them on a Master’s role of learning from their Padawan.
Years later, on the planet Corellia, a Grindalid bodyguard named Prybolt is troubled when his client, Nomar Tralmat, hasn’t returned from a meeting. Against instructions, he interrupts the meeting and finds his client being beaten by a group of Nihil. The Nihil kill Prybolt—though not before he can send a holo reporting his findings—and the client disappears.
On Starlight Beacon, Ram Jomaram struggles with a sense of emptiness brought on by all the horrors he has had to witness at the hands of the Nihil. Before he can contemplate this too much, he is whisked away to a mission briefing by Lula Talisola and Zeen Mrala. At the meeting, the Jedi are shown the holo of Prybolt’s death and are asked by Coronet City’s Minister Fendirfal to come investigate. Kantam Sy, Zeen, and Ram all agree to go.
Reath Silas’ life is nothing like he expected. Rather than a studious Jedi academic buried in the archives on Coruscant, he has made a new home out on the frontier, fighting alongside the other Jedi of Starlight Beacon. Despite being confident in what brought him there, he cannot see a clear path moving forward. Though he needs guidance, he can’t bring himself to confide in his master, Cohmac Vitus, who also seems troubled. Fortunately, they are both offered a distraction when they’re asked to join the mission to Corellia.
Alys “Crash” Ongwa and her crew from Supreme Coronet City Diplomat Protection are still reeling from the loss of their agent, Prybolt. To regain their reputation in the public eye, they thwart a staged attack on a local popstar (and friend of Crash) named Svi’no. Shortly thereafter, Crash is visited by Mother Fastidima, the head of the Grindalid clan of which Prybolt was a member, and is told that she has 3 days to find Prybolt’s killer or else she will pay the price herself.
Reath stumbles upon Cohmac tearfully communicating with the Jedi Wayseeker Orla Jareni. Cohmac reveals that he has been struggling with an intense sadness, the source of which is unclear, and Orla has been helping him meditate on it. Reath decides he cannot further burden his master by bringing up his own uncertainties.
Zeen and Lula meditate together, unsure about their next steps. Zeen is to go to Corellia, though she yearns to remain with Lula, who has been tapped to lead the task force in charge of finding Krix (Zeen’s ex-childhood-friend-turned-Nihil). As everyone prepares to leave, intelligence comes through revealing the location of Krix’s hideout. Zeen goes with Lula to join the assault on Krix’s base. The remainder of the Jedi head to Corellia.
On Gus Talon, one of Corellia’s moons, a labor dispute has broken out and turned violent. A Nihil agent named Sabata Krill is in charge of ensuring the dispute pulls as many of the Jedi and law enforcement officers from Corellia as possible. Crash arrives at the Coronet City Jedi Temple and meets Ram and Reath, who she immediately employs to help with her investigation. As a show of good faith, she sneaks them into the local shipyards to see the construction of the Republic’s new Purgill-class cruisers—the exact model of the Halcyon—and introduces them to Shug Drabor, the architect behind the ships. While there, they also inspect a mysterious ancient fighter called an Eviscerator. That evening, a meeting is held by the upper crust of Coronet City, including the City Fathers—the recognized leaders of the most important operations within the city—and Minister Fendirfal. Crash’s crew is also there, acting as bodyguards for some of the attendees. Crash attempts to get the patrons drunk so that someone may let slip some information about what happened to Prybolt. Another rival bodyguard, Dizcaro, reveals that his firm has taken over security duties for the upcoming Finance Ball. Distraught, Crash punches Ovus, one of the City Fathers, when he makes an inappropriate joke about Prybolt’s death. A massive fight breaks out.
Elsewhere, Zeen, Lula, Qort, and Farzala lay siege to Krix’s stronghold and manage to capture him. Despite this victory, Zeen struggles with the thought of something bad happening to her friends. She reflects on growing up and trying to suppress her Force abilities before finally confronting Krix in the brig. She is able to trick him into revealing that something important is happening on Gus Talon. Armed with this new information, she heads to Corellia to assist. But just before leaving, she is finally able to put a name to her feelings toward Lula: love. She departs the ship, leaving Lula to transport Krix back to Starlight Beacon.
After the fallout of assaulting a City Father and losing out on a contract to Dizcaro, Crash has to find a new way to get her crew into the Finance Ball. She decides to create an irresistible new entertainment act. Having grown to trust the Jedi, Crash reveals the full video of Prybolt’s death, which shows Sabata Krill following him down the alley. The Jedi begin to realize the extent of the Nihil’s involvement on Corellia. They agree to Crash’s plan and offer up the newly arrived Zeen to pose as a fake pop star by the name of Mz. Z. Crash is able to use her media contacts to spread the word about Mz. Z and get her hired overnight.
Kantam and Cohmac are alerted to a potential hostage situation by Minister Fendirfal and leave immediately to investigate. Once there, they both sense a terrible disturbance in the Force and realize it has something to do with Starlight Beacon. They discover the Nihil amassing a force at the local police barracks and manage to stow away aboard one of their transports as it heads off to wreak unknown havoc. Kantam grows worried as he senses Cohmac becoming more and more unbalanced. Crash and her crew make final preparations at the site of the Finance Ball, but they’re stunned when the organizer reveals that the party is a Nihil-themed masquerade ball. Suddenly, as the doors open, masses of people sporting Nihil masks flood the event space. In the midst of the party, whispers begin to spread about something happening to Starlight Beacon. The holo news is pulled up and shows Starlight burning. The Jedi struggle to maintain balance as they watch their home destroyed.
Crash and Dizcaro meet in private and realize that one of their clients must be working with the Nihil. Dizcaro is alerted that Ovus requires the room for a meeting. Crash hides before Ovus arrives. He’s joined shortly by another being who emerges from a hidden door. The two argue over the Nihil activity on Corellia, with Ovus claiming he only agreed to small Nihil strikes and the other man claiming responsibility for getting Ovus his position as a City Father. The mysterious figure storms out to the main party, addresses the crowd, and removes his mask to reveal he is actually Nomar Tralmat. He praises the Nihil and urges others to align with them. When Ovus speaks out against him, Tralmat pulls a blaster and fires at him, but Dizcaro dives in front of Ovus, taking the blaster bolts instead. He dies instantly.
Chaos erupts at the ball. Nihil reveal themselves and hurry to get Tralmat out. They escape through a window and flee across the rooftops. Reath, Ram, and Zeen give chase. They follow the Nihil all the way to the Finance Tower, where they then witness a gigantic Nihil troop transport preparing to take off. Reath barely manages to get on board before it sails into the night. Crash is sickened by the fact that she has been protecting people who are involved in so much evil. She dissolves her company on the spot, denounces her duties as a bodyguard, and hurries off to pursue Tralmat. She meets up with Zeen and they follow a group of Nihil into the underground tunnels. On the way, Crash puts out a distress call on all comm channels about the Nihil invasion and requests anyone on Corellia who can fight to come and assist.
The Nihil transport with Kantam and Cohmac aboard arrives at the Corellian shipyards and lands. Kantam realizes that the Nihil don’t want to destroy the ships, but rather to commandeer them and fly them to Starlight Beacon disguised as Republic aid. Ram also arrives at the shipyards and alerts Shug Drabor to the Nihil’s plans. Drabor and his crew of Anzellans start dismantling the flight controls of the ships as quickly as they can. The Nihil and the Corellians all converge on the ships and a massive battle ensues. Cohmac and Kantam emerge from hiding and carve a path through the Nihil forces. As they are about to be overwhelmed, Reath leaps from his Nihil transport and lands on the battlefield to join them.
Grindalids ambush Crash in the tunnels. She informs them that she has almost caught Prybolt’s killer and suspects it was Tralmat. The Grindalids agree to help by allowing Crash and Zeen to ride on their backs through the water to catch up to the Nihil. The Jedi and Corellians valiantly defend the ships, but are greatly outnumbered. Reath is seriously injured and nearly killed, but just as he is overrun, Shug Drabor appears in a mechanized load lifter to save him. Ram arrives and helps Reath onto a ship, where he hides him in a cargo hold with some bacta packs.
As the Republic forces dwindle, Kantam orders the ships be destroyed rather than let the Nihil have them. The Corellians gather at Kantam and Cohmac’s location. Despite their efforts, they suddenly hear a ship taking off and realize they’re too late. Ram hurries to the Eviscerator and takes off after the stolen Longbeam. He’s able to destroy the Longbeam’s hyperspace engine, but in the time it takes, one of the Purgill cruisers also takes off. Reath wakes up in the cargo hold and can feel the ship underneath him moving. He stumbles to the bridge and finds Sabata Krill and a group of Nihil. He realizes that he’s aboard the stolen Purgill cruiser. Ram comms him and tells him to leave the ship immediately. Ram then bursts through the cruiser in the Eviscerator just as Reath jettisons himself out of an airlock. Ram rescues Reath from his freefall and they both return to the planet’s surface.
Crash finally catches up to Tralmat in the tunnels. He admits to working with the Nihil, which led to Prybolt’s death. As soon as does, Mother Fastidima rises from the depths and bites his head off. Her children attack and rip up the rest of the traitor’s body.
Kantam, Cohmac, and the Corellian defenders make a final push against the Nihil, knowing they’re likely to die. When yet another ship takes off, Kantam grabs it with the Force. Despite their best efforts, it is about to slip away…until it suddenly becomes weightless. Searching for the source of their newfound power, they spy a hooded Master Yoda emerging from the Nihil war cloud. Yoda rips the ship out of the sky and launches an offensive against the Nihil, single-handedly turning the tide of the battle. The Nihil scatter.
With Corellia safe for the time-being, everyone gathers at Crash’s childhood home. The Jedi all sense the exact moment of Starlight’s destruction and all of the death that comes along with it. Despite that galaxy-shifting incident, there is still room for celebration as Reath is officially Knighted. But immediately afterwards, Cohmac announces that he is leaving the Jedi Order and Zeen vows to find Lula, even though she is among those who were aboard Starlight listed as missing and presumed dead. Crash and her crew, meanwhile, announce their intent to stay on Corellia and fight against Ovus, who is trying to consolidate power in the wake of the Nihil’s exodus.
Yoda orders all Jedi to return to Coruscant to regroup. He claims to have found evidence of a new threat to the entire galaxy—a threat that may prove to be the end of the Jedi.