Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: The High Republic) – Charles Soule

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 381
Release Date: January 5, 2021

Two hundred years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in the era of the glorious High Republic, the noble and wise Jedi Knights must face a frightening threat to themselves, the galaxy, and the Force itself….


From Book Sleeve:
It is a golden age. Intrepid hyperspace scouts expand the reach of the Republic to the farthest stars, worlds flourish under the benevolent leadership of the Senate, and peace reigns, enforced by the wisdom and strength of the renowned order of Force users known as the Jedi. With the Jedi at the height of their power, the free citizens of the galaxy are confident in their ability to weather any storm. But even the brightest light can cast a shadow, and some storms defy any preparation.


When a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace tears a ship to pieces, the flurry of shrapnel emerging from the disaster threatens an entire system. No sooner does the call for help go out than the Jedi race to the scene. The scope of the emergence, however, is enough to push even Jedi to their limit. As the sky breaks open and destruction rains down upon the peaceful alliance they helped to build, the Jedi must trust in the Force to see them through a day in which a single mistake could cost billions of lives.


Even as the Jedi battle valiantly against calamity, something truly deadly grows beyond the boundary of the Republic. The hyperspace disaster is far more sinister than the Jedi could ever suspect. A threat hides in the darkness, far from the light of the age, and harbors a secret that could strike fear into even a Jedi’s heart.

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Light of the Jedi was my first Star Wars novel and it will be my last. Light of the Jedi had tremendous opportunity to expand the Star Wars universe with new and interesting characters in a time where the Skywalkers are not the central characters. Unfortunately, Light of the Jedi offers too big a story to be contained by a few central characters, so none of the characters were developed.

The first few chapters of the novel attempt to situate readers in the world. Those first few chapters introduced a lot of characters that were killed by the end of the chapter. It was incredibly frustrating getting through those chapters since it became formulaic quickly: introduce new characters to establish a specific plot point, action, characters killed.

Light of the Jedi gives readers too big a story. To fully communicate all the moving parts of this story, multiple POVs is required. Unfortunately, with so many POVs, readers never get the chance to experience character moments because the pace is moving too quickly as there was too much plot to cover. The only character I started to feel some semblance of connection to was one of the characters introduced in the first chapter who was quickly killed off.

Light of the Jedi did some interesting things with the Force, but, again, it was done through characters that were never developed beyond their name and their rank within the Jedi.

Overall, Light of the Jedi is a missed opportunity. It’s too big a story that tried to focus on everything as opposed to bringing the story down to a character level so that readers could explore the world and plot through specific characters’ emotions and experiences. 

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Have you read Light of the Jedi? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “Light of the Jedi (Star Wars: The High Republic) – Charles Soule

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