The franchise Star wars has always been characterized by having a gigantic multimedia universe, where the films mark a main line that are expanded in other media through games, series or novels. In this last field is where the saga has always been very strong, and that is had its rebirth after the appearance of the famous Thrawn Trilogy that gave the exit point of the Expanded Universe (currently known for the most part as Legends, although it should be noted that not everything that Legends supports was part of the Expanded Universe). After the purchase by Disney, much of this material was decanonized in order to enjoy “creative freedom”, and it is now that Products that explore totally new eras have started to come out.
The High Republic, which has finally kept its original title in Spain, is an era set between 200 and 50 years before Episode I where peace reigned during the Republic. Originally advertised as Project Luminous, it was raised as a project focused on comics and novels that finally if he will make the leap to the small screen thanks to one of the future projects that Lucasfilm has in its plans (“Star Wars: The Acolyte”). But now it’s time to talk about its starting point: Light of the Jedi.
In this novel written by Charles Soule, an author well known to Marvel followers thanks to his stages with characters such as Daredevil or Inhumans, puts us at the beginning of the Starlight Station, a space beacon that aims to serve as a base for the Republic in the outermost regions of the galaxy. Everything seems to be working fine, until a catastrophe of unfathomable levels that will require the cooperation of all those who are available, because if it is not acted quickly it will cost the lives of billions of people. With this premise we have the beginning of a frenzied novel, which during its first chapters is not going to give the reader a break. The action continues from one page to another, where a large number of new characters for readers make an appearance and that given the constant happening of events It can get a bit confusing at certain times until we get used to the names and to be able to differentiate each one of them.
Soule is an author who has been skillfully handling the Star Wars franchise for years, so has the tone of the story perfectly taken and knows how to convey that aura that makes the galactic saga so special. The personalities of the protagonists are well defined and there is no character that is not interesting to read, I have especially enjoyed the appearances of Sskeer and Burryaga (who despite being a written novel, its design makes me automatically like the characters) and especially Avar Kriss, who carries great weight of the novel throughout history.
Another aspect that I was very curious about in this new stage were the enemies to fight. In the saga there have always been the Sith as background villains, either in the eras of the Old Republic where the Order had hundreds of members or in well-known times where the Rule of Two stated that there could only be one master and one apprentice. But if we take into account that when Darth Maul appeared, the Sith had been missing for a millenniumWho was going to be able to fill this gap? This is where they arise the Nihil, some space pirates who acted during these years of the High Republic, who, to the surprise of those who write these lines, more than meet the expectations generated. These characters develop very interesting dynamics among the members of this side, as well as giving situations where they really show off the definition that was given to them when this project was announced: Nihil are space vikings.
At a global level we have a very solvent space adventure novel. You don’t have to be a connoisseur of the expanded universe current of the saga to arise from a totally new point and never before explored where beyond some planet or reference to well-known characters they go along their own line. In addition, and as a characteristic part of the saga, these references function to a greater extent as a reward for those who are followers rather than as a “punishment” for new readers.
The book, at the same time, It is the beginning of this new era that has already been continued by several novels focused on different audiences.. After Luz de los Jedi we can jump to A Test of Valor or In the Dark, two novels published in Spain by Planeta Junior that, unlike Luz de los Jedi, do not present the classic book format (I do not know if in the original edition it’s like that) and what break with aesthetics in order to get the full stage.
At the translation level, the book meets expectations. No particularly noticeable flaws though still largely failing that there is no common style guide for all readers and makes common terms between different books change from novel to novel. Something that we will not notice if we simply read this first book, which can function as a self-concluding novel, but which is already something to which Planeta should be finding a solution at this point.
In conclusion, The news of the Star Wars saga could not be in better hands, and right now we have a luxurious opportunity to jump into the novels of the saga and discover a totally new world for those who only know the movies and series. And remember, this has only just begun.
May the force be with you!