It’s going to be a big year for Star Wars on the printed page. This week Lucasfilm publishing revealed a number of key players on both the light and dark sides of the Force from the highly anticipated projects Star Wars: The High Republic multi-platform initiative from a variety of authors and Star Wars: Shadow Fall – An Alphabet Squadron Novel by Alexander Freed– both coming this summer.
Star Wars: The High Republic, told across a series of novels and comic books from multiple publishers, takes place two hundred years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and features plenty of new Jedi characters, as it is set during the period when the warrior-monk guardians of the Republic were still at their height.
In the above concept art released yesterday on StarWars.com, we get our first looks at Star Wars: The High Republic’s main cast of Jedi Knights.
- Avar Kriss is “the brightest, most noble example of Jedi-hood. She always tries to see the good in people and situations, and never puts herself first. She is invigorated about life on the frontier and the challenges it brings, and is an inspiration for those who work with her. She is compassionate, not dogmatic, and always ready to sacrifice herself over others. Avar Kriss is the best of the best.”
- Loden Greatstorm is “a Twi’lek Jedi Master, and is considered to be one of the best teachers in the Jedi Order. Strong and wise, with a good sense of humor, Loden looks at every moment as a learning experience, always trying to better himself and those around him, especially his Padawans.”
- Keeve Trennis “is a young firebrand Jedi, believed to have a great future ahead of her, if only she would believe it herself. Quick-witted and more impulsive than she should be, Keeve has only been a Jedi Knight for a few weeks and is a little starstruck around Avar, knowing many of the great things Kriss has done in the past. She is determined to prove herself to Avar and the other legendary Jedi stationed on Starlight Beacon, but first she must learn to trust in herself as much as she trusts the Force.”
- Stellan Gios “is an optimistic and well-respected Jedi Master. Stellan came up through the Order with Avar Kriss, and although they are often on different assignments for the Jedi or the Republic, when the two work together they are a powerhouse team of two noble heroes in action. Strong in the Force and a natural teacher, Stellan is currently stationed at one of the Jedi Temple outposts on the distant planet of Caragon-Viner.”
- Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh is “a newly-minted Jedi Knight. Vernestra, Mirialan, was Padawan to Stellan Gios. She works hard and is devoted to the Jedi Order, more so than most others her age. At sixteen she is one of the youngest Knights in a generation. She struggles to fit in with the adults while also setting a good example for the younger Jedi.”
What they’re saying:
- Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain: “Readers will see a very wide variety of Jedi in this era. This is a hopeful, optimistic time, when the Jedi are good and noble, and we want to reflect that in their characters while still giving them enough depth and dimension so that their individual personalities and idiosyncrasies shine through. The Jedi Knights of the High Republic are both aspirational and inspirational. In short, they’re the good guys.”
- Writer Cavan Scott: “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making our Jedi feel like real, rounded individuals. They are all different, approaching the Force in individual and unique ways and yet are united with a common goal. They serve not out of unwavering dogma, but a deep passion to protect light and life. And they’re all at different stages in their individual journeys. Some have experience on their side, some have the exuberance of youth. Some are still finding their place in the Order while others step naturally into leadership roles. Some may not have chosen to work with the Jedi they’ve been posted alongside, but all are dedicated to be a guiding light for the galaxy. Individually they are strong, together they are invincible, but like the best heroes they each have lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. Exciting times lie ahead.”
Star Wars: Shadow Fall is the direct sequel to Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron and features the return of Soran Keize, an ace pilot and leader of the Galactic Empire’s elite Shadow Wing of TIE fighters. Bookseller Barnes & Noble is releasing an exclusive edition of the novel which will include a series of bookmarks highlighting the characters of New Republic pilots Chass na Chadic and Kairos, alongside the villainous Keize.
What they’re saying:
- StarWars.com: “In Shadow Fall, book two of the Alphabet Squadron trilogy, we’ll not only see more of our New Republic pilots, but also get a deeper look into what the Imperial Remnant is up to. Major Soran Keize is now back in command of Shadow Wing, and the experienced commander is desperately trying to give the directionless Imperial unit something to fight for. As some members of his unit turn to specters of the past for comfort (like those creepy Palpatine messenger droids), Soran decides to give Shadow Wing a future — by targeting Alphabet Squadron and the other New Republic fighters under the command of General Hera Syndulla.”
Star Wars: Shadow Fall is scheduled for release on Tuesday, June 23, while the first Star Wars: The High Republic book, entitled Star Wars: Light of the Jedi by author Charles Soule, is set for Tuesday, August 25.