Star Wars: The High Republic is opening up a whole new era of the Star Wars franchise, by looking at an era in the new Star Wars timeline that's set 200 years before the Skywalker Saga. In the time of the High Republic, The Jedi Order is robust and strong, helping to maintain peace and order throughout the Republic. Within this much more expansive version of the Jedi Order, there is also a much greater variation in belief when it comes to how to interpret the Force, and a Jedi's role. The new novel Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark has now opened the door to the infamous "Gray Jedi" finally getting explored in canon.
Warning: Star Wars: The High Republic SPOILERS Follow!
Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark is the new YA novel by Claudia Gray. The book brings together four Jedi - Padawan Reath Silas, and Jedi Knights Cohmac Vitus, Orla Jareni, and Dez Rydan - for a voyage from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to the new Starlight Beacon in the Outer Rim Territories. When a major disaster shuts down all hyperspace travel, the ship the Jedi are riding on (piloted by some scrappy smugglers) is forced to make an emergency diversion to an abandoned space station.
The main plotline of Into The Dark deals with the mystery of what this remote station is, how it plays a pivotal role in the smuggling world, and why it is infused with a powerful dark side presence. However, the character arcs for the three main Jedi protagonists (Orla, Cohmac, and Reath) also speaks of something else: fundamental doubt in the teachings and mandates of the Jedi Order. By the end of the book, all three Jedi have had their faith in the Order fundamentally shaken.
Orla Jareni becomes a "Wayseeker," i.e. a Jedi who operates outside the mandates of the Jedi Council, following his/her own individual path through the Force (a la Ahsoka Tano). The mission on the station brings up all kinds of bad history Cohmac experienced years before, with the death of his master. As someone obsessed with the larger mysteries and mysticism of The Force, Cohmac is left uncertain about whether or not the teachings of the Jedi Order are the correct ones. Finally, Reath Silas finds out his master also died while he was on the mission, and her other student, Dez Rydan is forced into a sort of meditative retirement by the traumatic events of Into The Dark. Reath never wanted to go to the Outer Rim (he is a book nerd who loves the Jedi library), but in honor of his late master and Dez he heads to the frontier anyway. Feeling profound loss and confusion, Reath latches on to an equally confused Cohmac to be his new master.
"Gray Jedi" have long been a controversial part of Star Wars lore. They've never been official canon, but within the Star Wars "Legends" stories, Gray Jedi have taken two forms:
- Jedi who walk the line between light and dark side, without being corrupted.
- Jedi who operated outside the mandates of the Jedi Council.
So far, Star Wars: The High Republic hasn't mentioned the Gray Jedi directly, but the seeds are certainly being planted, as Into The Dark made uncertainty in the Jedi Order a central theme of its story, with plenty of room to grow in later tales.0comments
Star Wars: The High Republic's creators have also stressed that part of the intrigue with this new storyline is that Master Yoda's views have not yet become the main interpretation that the Jedi Order follows. We know that the Order will be reduced and/or splintered in the centuries ahead, and Gray Jedi could be key in helping to show how the Jedi went wrong and allowed the Sith to return and destroy the Jedi Order.
Star Wars: The High Republic novels and comics are now on sale. You can order / pre-order them here on Amazon now.
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