Star Wars The High Republic: Light Of The Jedi – Charles Soule (Del Rey / Century)

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Something about this book, feels a bit special as it represents the beginning of a whole new chapter in Star Wars history, that promises to take us back to two hundred years before Anakin Skywalker was even a twinkle in Palaptine’s midichlorian meddling mind. But who have Disney tasked with such a responsibility? Giving the Star Wars universe a new start point, is a job that is not to be taken lightly and requires somebody with a history within the saga as well as a skilled hand in penning an entertaining narrative. Step forward Mr Charles Soule, the absolutely perfect choice for this assignment.

So just where does Soule start in a universe full of infinite possibilities and an endless array of characters and species that we have all come to know and love. Well, he’s chosen to plonk us smack bang in the middle of an often mentioned, but rarely seen part of Star Wars lore, the High Republic era, where Jedi Knights were at the peak of their powers, in their roles as keepers of the peace and the galaxy was a prosperous and secure place to be. Until now that is. The Legacy Run, a massive freighter carrying over around 9,000 passengers is making a routine run around the Outer Rim at light speed, when the seemingly impossible feat of putting an obstruction on it’s route causes the freighter to break up, sending massive projectiles hurtling towards several planets. Such an act of terrorism is unheard of, so the Jedi are dispatched to try and prevent several catastrophic disasters whilst uncovering a plot that will have repercussions throughout Star Wars history.

The book plays out almost like a disaster movie, each chapter giving us a countdown to the point of catastrophe. This makes for a very intense reading experience, something which has become Soule’s calling card. His take on the Jedi of these times makes for an interesting read, as we are out of our comfort zone here with a uniformed, almost military like take on the galaxy’s finest warriors. The evolution of the Jedi is something I am particularly excited about seeing in this series and Light Of The Jedi makes for a great starting point. As in any Star Wars tale there are strong characters and as always, Soule develops the main players at a pace that doesn’t feel like they are being forced upon us.

Light of The Jedi is the new start in our beloved universe and fans need to get onboard now as this world is developing fast. It’s new, it’s brave and it’s slightly unfamiliar, but it’s Star Wars and its fans are always clamouring for more stories to fill the blanks, so here’s your first step. A riveting adventure that elevates Charles Soule to the lofty heights scaled by messrs Filoni, Favreau or dare I say it Lucas… Chris Andrews

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