Chaos is coming to the High Republic. Claudia Gray’s The Fallen Star hits bookstores on January 4th, and with it, the beginning of the end to this phase of stories. The Nihil, led by the dangerous Marchion Ro, are vying for complete control of the galaxy, and the only ones standing in their way are the Jedi. Ro has always been a very mysterious character — figuring out what he’s up to has been an issue for the Republic, and even his own people.
We recently got our first look at the novel, and now we have another peek, courtesy of The Wrap. This time, it’s a glimpse into what the Eye of the Nihil is planning. The Wrap also talked with Claudia Gray to discuss the book. The author is very happy with what the High Republic has produced so far, and can’t wait for audiences to see what’s next.
“It’s been an incredible ride–more all-encompassing than I ever imagined way back at the beginning, when [Director of Creative Franchise at Disney] Mike Siglain first mentioned the idea of a multi-platform story years ago (could it have been 2015? Possibly!) In many ways it doesn’t feel like an ending at all–there’s so much more story, and so much still to come. But my hope is that The Fallen Star gives readers a powerful sense of closure for this first story arc, and this core group of characters.”
Here is a piece of the excerpt:
“It is almost time, my lord,” said Thaya Ferr.
Marchion Ro gave his underling the slightest nod as he stared into the depths of the holographic star chart. His preselected targets glowed red among the whiter stars, and he studied each one in turn.
These were ordinary worlds. Large and prosperous enough to be of note at least to neighboring systems, not so large as to have strong planetary defenses or to draw undue attention. He walked through the holographic chart, imagining the suns and planets pushing apart to let him pass.
The worlds he had chosen shared two things in common: First, they all had good communications systems that would allow them to reach officials on Coruscant within minutes.
Second, they were all very, very far from Starlight Beacon.
He smiled his bloodless smile. “Begin.”
Aleen: a planet neither particularly obscure nor noteworthy. Although Aleen had been racked by wars in its distant past, it was now a place where nothing of significance had happened in a very long time—even by its own inhabitants’ reckoning—and nothing of significance was anticipated for perhaps an even longer time to come. The legends of the wars were enough to make every soul on Aleen satisfied with an uneventful life.
Yeksom: one of the longest-standing Republic member worlds on the Outer Rim, one that had suffered terrible groundquakes in recent years. The Republic was helping the planet rebuild, but it was a protracted, painstaking process. Its people remained guarded, uncertain, sad-eyed; everyone had lost someone in the quakes, and grief veiled the world’s gray sky.
Japeal: a planet on the frontier, newly bustling, with no fewer than three small space stations in various stages of construction. Its temperate climate and plentiful water practically invited settlers to find a place they might call their own. Dozens of species set up storefronts and eateries; engineers mapped bridges and roads; families put finishing touches on brand-new, prefab homes.
Tais Brabbo: Anyone on Tais Brabbo who wasn’t up to no good had taken a wrong turn somewhere. Rumor had it the Hutts had considered moving some operations onto Tais Brabbo but decided against it—the place was too corrupt even for them. It was a good place to get lost, and on any given day it housed millions of souls who wanted nothing more than to remain out of sight of any authorities more powerful than the ineffectual local marshals.
On each of the these very different planets, under four different shades of sky, millions of very different individuals were going about tasks as divergent as spinning muunyak wool or taking bounty pucks when they each heard the exact same sound: the thudding hum of spacecraft engines descending.
All those millions of people looked up. They all saw Nihil ships streaking down out of the sky—numerous as raindrops—the beginning of the Storm.
You can check out the full excerpt on The Wrap, where it’s revealed that all Ro wants is for those that escape the attacks to go to Starlight Beacon. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in conjunction with the plans the Jedi are forming in their own attack on Nihil space in Marvel’s The High Republic comic. You can check out our review of the latest issue here.
Star Wars: The High Republic – The Fallen Star will release on January 4, 2022.