Light of the Jedi marks the first phase of the new High Republic multi-platform Star Wars storytelling experience. In an effort to bring Outer Rim worlds into the fold of the Republic, a Jedi-led Republic outpost called the Starlight Beacon has been created with the mantra, “We are all the Republic.” Colonists from the Republic journey to Outer Rim worlds, and it is from this path that a colonist ship suffers a terrible accident in Hyperspace that causes a catastrophic cascade effect along Outer Rim systems.
The Republic’s adversary in this Golden Age is not the Sith, but a anarchic group of marauders a la Vikings crossed with Mad Max called The Nihil. The Nihil are beings of any race or planet who have adopted the philosophy of take what you what, when you want, no matter the cost. The Nihil are chaotic, yet have some semblence of leadership under Marchion Ro, or The Eye, whose family has kept the secrets of hyperspace paths for years. Paths between Hyperspace and away from the Republic’s interference.
While I am excited for a new era of Star Wars storytelling, Light of the Jedi fell short for me. Too many characters meant a plot-driven story, although I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since it is a Star Wars book. Some character POVs were introduced for a chapter and then they were gone. I felt like I didn’t get to spend time with anyone long enough to really know or care about who they were or what happened to them. The first half of the book was far more engaging since it dealt with the hypserspace accident and fallout. After that, the book seemed to plod along somewhat aimlessly with no real emotional anchor.
Light of the Jedi ended with a set up for the second book, but I’m not sure if I feel invested or care enough to pursue it further–sadly.