To cite Jonah Hill in That is the Finish: “One thing not that chill occurred.” In quite a lot of methods, Claudia Grey’s The Fallen Star is the top—not less than, the top of the primary section of The Excessive Republic. For the previous 12 months, the Mission Luminous group has been delivering new novels and comics, creating top-notch tales and compelling characters that we couldn’t assist however develop connected to. With the ominous poster that accompanied the discharge of The Fallen Star, demise was anticipated, however the demise toll was far increased than any of us may have anticipated.
The Fallen Star marks a fairly appreciable shift in the established order delivered within the earlier grownup novels. The place Gentle of the Jedi set the scene for the glory of the Jedi, and The Rising Storm began to chip away at their perfection, The Fallen Star delivers a fairly devastating blow to not simply the Jedi Order as an entire, however to the group of Jedi which were the central focus of the story. The stakes are considerably increased and the losses—each bodily and as a disaster of religion—will undoubtedly have a long-lasting impression on the way forward for The Excessive Republic. We’ve got handed the purpose of no return and from this second ahead, the scene has been set.
Grey does fairly properly with balancing an unlimited array of characters and their very own distinctive voices; switching seamlessly between world-weary Jedi Masters, victorious Nihil, and the younger solid of characters which were a guiding mild all through this primary section. Grey was tasked with fairly the problem, and he or she succeeds in wrapping up a whole 12 months of multi-media publishing whereas setting the scene for the following writer to select up the baton.
As a warning, this overview will comprise spoilers from this level ahead. It’s practically inconceivable to debate The Fallen Star with out revealing some particular particulars. Nonetheless, I’ve endeavored to color with broader strokes right here and never get too deep into the minutia of the novel. Regardless, learn forth at your individual peril.
Initially of the novel, we’re reintroduced to Elzar Mann who remains to be actively struggling from his brush with the darkish aspect. Whereas he’s in a markedly higher headspace due to Stellan Gios’ fast considering and the help of Orla Jareni, Mann has not fairly discovered his manner again to secure floor. Given how issues actually spiral uncontrolled for him in the direction of the third act of the novel, together with dropping certainly one of his essential help techniques, I’m eager to see how his journey performs out within the subsequent section. Maybe we must always have listened to the theories that the fallen star wasn’t simply in regards to the Starlight Beacon’s destruction, however the demise of a fairly stellar Jedi.
All through the novel, Claudia Grey makes use of a extremely intelligent literary allusion to represent the connection between Elzar Mann, Avar Kriss, and Stellan Gios. Significantly with Stellan, it’s stated that he noticed his reference to Elzar and Avar as a constellation of stars; and in the long run, Avar displays on this by saying that he’s now their polestar. It’s a wonderful, and in the end, bittersweet comparability, given the way in which issues work out. I’m a sucker for any comparability to celestial our bodies, however at what price?
Talking of Elzar Mann and Avar Kriss, I’m unsure what to make of their relationship anymore. I appreciated how Claudia put to phrases how the Jedi—in all of their “no attachments” nonsense—have gotten away with having intimate relationships. With the devastating lack of the Starlight Beacon, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if this duo will lean on one another for help and I hope it’ll discover the place which may lead. We’ve got seen what occurs when romantically-inclined Jedi incur painful losses ( you Anakin Skywalker) and I actually do fear that Elzar is headed down an identical path. These are a few of the most participating themes which were explored in The Excessive Republic and it’s enjoyable to see these authors method the Jedi with nuance and expose their infallibility.
Our fallen star of the Jedi isn’t the one casualty of this horrible assault—in actual fact, it might nearly be simpler to record off who survived the ordeal. A few of which had been minimize down with out quite a lot of character work or backstory, whereas others, like Stellan, felt simply firstly of their arc. Stellan particularly had such a wonderful storyline all through The Fallen Star. He’s grappling with newfound obligations, attempting to deal with all the pieces he’s been by way of, and attempting to maintain it collectively for Avar and Elzar’s profit. There’s some nice storytelling that Grey employs as she picks at Stellan’s battle with Avar and, in doing so, exposes a few of the points I personally have with Avar. Her actions really feel led by self-righteousness, and he or she has been appearing out each irrationally and vindictively. The mistaken Jedi remained on the Starlight Beacon and I do marvel if Avar will present any signal of feeling that manner in future tales or if she is just too self-absorbed to see it that manner.
There are some moments of hope within the ultimate act, not less than the place Burryaga is anxious. Whereas the Wookiee Jedi seems to be lifeless, there was no physique, and Bell Zetifar is decided to verify that he’s really one with the Power earlier than mourning his loss. Whereas Burryaga’s destiny could also be unconfirmed and this cliffhanger may very simply be setting Bell up for an additional devastating loss, it was written in a far much less definitive manner than Stellan’s demise. With a demise toll as excessive as The Fallen Star’s, it’s good to not less than have one character we are able to hope for a miraculous survival from.
The Nihil could have a major presence because the architects within the destruction of the Starlight Beacon, however they don’t really seem fairly often in The Fallen Star. Grey makes some attention-grabbing selections with the Nihil, together with creating Nan additional, who she first launched in her younger grownup novel Into the Darkish. Reasonably than being an adoring and dependable follower of Marchion Ro, her story takes a brand new path as a prisoner of the Republic, the place she is pressured to work with Chancey Yarrow to get off of the Starlight Beacon and survive the Nihil’s plot to destroy it. Her fealty to Marchion stays, however on a way more subdued degree. I actually preferred Nan when she was first launched and I hope she will get an opportunity to essentially shine within the upcoming novels and phases. I’m unsure if she’ll stay loyal to Marchion Ro, nevertheless it appears like she could. Star Wars solely has a handful of feminine characters and even fewer morally gray ones, so Nan makes for a refreshing deviation from the established order.
Talking of Marchion Ro, I used to be reasonably intrigued by the association that he has with Senator Ghirra Starros, not simply because the Nihil having a spy within the Senate is fascinating, however as a result of we get affirmation that it’s not simply the Jedi getting motion in The Excessive Republic. It’s additionally reasonably indicative of the place Marchion’s headspace is—he may care much less about her, he solely cares about energy and revenge. We additionally see a lot of this relationship (for those who’d name it that) by way of the eyes of Thaya who, in quite a lot of methods, fills the void left by Nan, nevertheless, she doesn’t wax and wane philosophically about Marchion’s hair and pores and skin. I hope Thaya continues to work alongside Marchion Ro, as their dynamic was simply as intriguing as his ploy with Starros.
Marchion Ro’s “display screen time” in The Fallen Star could also be restricted within the novel, and definitely, a few of his scenes felt somewhat surface-level intimately, however that’s possible as a result of it’s constructing to one thing bigger for him and, maybe, it is going to be paid off in Charles Soule’s upcoming Eye of the Storm comedian ebook collection. This novel gave an excellent take a look at how he’s coping with the ramifications of Lourna Dee’s mutinous actions and the way he’s spiraling somewhat to take care of management of the Nihil. To not get to “I miss Ben Solo” on this overview however Marchion Ro has a really comparable vibe—he appears like a scared boy in a masks, spinning uncontrolled as he tries to make a reputation for himself and show everybody mistaken. It might be endearing if he wasn’t the reason for a lot demise on this ebook.
I do suppose that The Excessive Republic has made a number of minor missteps, that are maybe solely blatant to readers who spend nearly all of their time embedded within the fandom. The period has heralded itself as certainly one of inclusion and illustration, however the demise toll in The Fallen Star primarily encompasses characters which were pushed to the forefront due to what they symbolize. The crew of the Vessel practically loses their heroic ace pilot—who’s actually ace—whose fake-out demise is performed up for shock worth and equally appears inconceivable. Chancey Yarrow, a triumphant Black lady in STEM is killed fairly horrifically by certainly one of “the nice guys.” And eventually, we’re nonetheless unsure in regards to the fates of Ceret and Terec—two of the three non-binary Jedi within the period—and so they’ve been primarily fridged in the meanwhile.
Clearly, a personality’s identification shouldn’t be plot armor, and The Fallen Star makes it clear that nobody is protected, nevertheless it nonetheless leaves me somewhat pissed off that these characters have been paraded in entrance of followers who had been desperately seeking to see themselves within the galaxy, solely to observe their tales get minimize down earlier than they ever go anyplace. None of this feels malicious, however I do hope The Excessive Republic continues to be aware of those selections.
As the primary within the three ultimate installments of Part I, The Fallen Star units the stage for extra devastation, fairly seamlessly paying off the build-up of the final two waves, and the comics, whereas delivering heartfelt and heartbreaking storytelling. The Excessive Republic as an entire has been an excellent tapestry of tales, which have now been torn asunder. I stay up for seeing the place the Jedi go as they shift into the Jedi Quest section of Mission Luminous, however I’m equally excited to see how Marchion Ro’s newfound energy fits him. Will the ability go to his head and can he be the following to fall? Finally we all know the world state of the way forward for the galaxy, however there are nonetheless centuries to go and many years of mayhem to wreak within the meantime.
Star Wars: The Excessive Republic: The Fallen Star is on bookshelves on January 4th.
Star Wars: The Excessive Republic: The Fallen Star
The Fallen Star units the stage for extra devastation, fairly seamlessly paying off the build-up of the final two waves, and the comics, whereas delivering heartfelt and heartbreaking storytelling.