Star Wars The High Republic: The Fallen Star Fragment

The Jedi defend what’s left of Starlight Beacon. Image: Del Rey/Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The High Republic may be barely a year old now, but already its golden age crumbling, which sets the stage for the long decline of the Jedi and the Republic that we finally see the end of in the prequel trilogy. See the horrors the Jedi face in the latest novel, The Fallen Star, in this exclusive preview from io9!

“Anyone who has seen the cover art of The Fallen Star knows that the crises facing our Jedi in this book are serious. Deadly serious. I’m not going to lie: there will be casualties,” Claudia Gray, one of the… main team of writers behind The High Republic and the author of this final pivotal chapter, io9 told via email. “This is the part where I have to say I’m sorry I hurt readers, but let’s face it… I LOVE it. Not because I’m a sadist, but because every writer hopes that readers will be deeply involved with their characters, and because these are the events that The High Republic has been leading up to for a while, and the stakes have to be so high. ”

Image: Del Rey/Lucasfilm

The fallen star the third phase begins of The High Republic’s debut chapter, preparing the armed forces of the Republic and the Jedi Order—who have uncomfortably pushed themselves from their explorer roles into military leaders even hundreds of years before the Clone War that would keep them low—on the battle against the sinister pirates of the Nihil. Encouraged by their attacks on the Republic’s diplomatic, festive fair during the The Rising Storm events, the Nihil are supported by a deadly new weapon discovered by their leader, Marchion Ro, a weapon that has the horrifying ability to wrest the Force itself from a Jedi.

“For a while, Marchion Ro’s secret weapon has been coming out of the shadows bit by bit (both literally and figuratively) — and that process takes a big step forward in The Fallen Star,” Gray teased. “What can separate a Jedi from the Force? The Jedi have no idea — and no way to fight it.”

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Get a taste of the terror that awaits the Jedi – and one master in particular, Indeera Stokes – in an excerpt from The Fallen Star below, which makes its debut on io9!

Indeera Stokes walked forward through relatively empty, quiet corridors. This floor was largely used for storage, and she was equally appalled that they had not been able to build temporary shelter below for the refugees on board. So much space, and the dock got so crowded…

– but those people had their ships, which they mostly wanted to stay close by. And while some of these compartments were empty, others were filled with valuable components that couldn’t just remain available to everyone.

You’re distracting yourself, she realized. You are musing and brooding instead of opening yourself up to the Force. That’s not going to help.

Do your job.

Indeera took a deep breath and reached out to her feelings. What she found was…

-was nothing.

The Force didn’t speak to her here. There was the weakest. . . call it a whisper. . . proof that she hadn’t lost her mind, that the Force always went on as it should. But for the first time since she was a youth, Indeera struggled to connect with the Force.

Its sheer inaccuracy tripped her. Indeera stopped and put a hand on her head. She had to concentrate. Why couldn’t she think? She should have eaten sooner – it was hard to shake the thought of being hungry –

Her comlink buzzed. Indeera recorded it. “Stokes Here -”

“Help me.” The sheer terror in Regal Coll’s voice sent chills down Indeera’s skin. “Please – please – help me!”

Indeera turned on her heels and ran back the way she’d come, determined to track down Regal. What happened to him? She was suddenly very afraid of him, more afraid than she’d ever been, not even her own life. Her boots banged against the floor as she turned and then headed in that direction, looking for the path she’d seen Regal take before. This seemed to be the right direction. . .

Her steps slowed. Indeera swung back and forth until she finally tripped and had to scramble against the nearest wall. She couldn’t see Regal, though she knew he could only be a few feet in front of her. Why was it so dark in here?

The lights were on, but it was as if – as if she couldn’t absorb the light –

Indeera’s eyes widened as the floor began to melt. While the walls changed color and shape. She knew she was hallucinating, but knowing didn’t help; the reality was nowhere to be seen. This phantasmagoria surrounded her, shut her up, took away all that was true and good.

The floor slapped her cheek, kicked her shoulder, pushed her hip. Indeera clawed weakly at her lightsaber beside her, but she couldn’t wrap her hand around it, and what else would it do? There was no enemy to fight against. There was no place to stand.

There was no Force to guide her. It was gone, gone, gone forever, and she hadn’t known it was possible to feel so scared, so alone.

Tears welled up in Indeera’s eyes, blurring everything around her until she couldn’t see anything.

Star Wars: The High Republic: The Fallen Star will be released on January 4.

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