Star Wars: The High Republic takes the franchise back 200 years before the events of The Skywalker Saga, to a time when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order were flourishing side-by-side. The Jedi and Republic venture to establish a new base in the Outer Rim territories - a region that is still very much the galactic Wild West. The new novel Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark explores the underworld of smugglers and criminals that exist on the edges of the High Republic - including this era's version of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who are just as fun as their Skywalker Saga counterparts!
Warning: Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark SPOILERS Follow!
Into The Dark follows a group of Jedi traveling to the new Starlight Beacon base on the Outer Rim. To make that journey, the four Jedi commission passage aboard a spaceship called The Vessel, which is captained by an odd rascally character named Leox Gyasi. Leox is a hippie-ish type character who is based on a young Matthew McConaughey - and definitely feels like one. Where Leox differs from Han Solo is in his attitude and swagger: Leox is basically a spice-head, which is about as close as Star Wars get to having a pot-head character; Leox is wise and cunning in his laid-back way, making him one of the most talented (if unassuming) smugglers around. And whereas Han Solo shoots first, Leox is a pacifist. The beach-bum captain doesn't really pick up a blaster to fight during Into The Dark, despite being imperiled by both savage space pirates (The Nihil) and terrifying dark side creatures (The Drengir). All things considered, Leox, is fun addition to the Star Wars tradition of Han Solo or Poe Dameron.
The "Chewie" to Leox Gyasi's "Han" is Geode, a member of Star Wars: The High Republic's new species of sentient rocks, the Vintians. Geode is a scene-stealer every time he pops up in Into The Dark. Apparently, Vintians resemble an actual boulder so closely, that none of the Jedi characters in the book ever seem able to spot him actually moving or communicating. Regardless, Geode proves to be a highly skilled pilot, who is always exactly where he needs to be when the situation calls for it. Geode also manages to exude plenty of personality without ever saying a word. He's caring when a hard shoulder is needed to cry on, but also unrepentant in his schemes as a profit-seeking smuggler. And, in a climactic fight scene, Geode proves to be a powerful ally on the battlefield. The fact that author Claudia Gray brings the character to such vivid life with minimal movement and no talking is a small miracle.
Leox and Geode are spiritual successors to Han Solo and Chewbacca, but the Vessel's crew gets even more dynamic with the inclusion of young Affie Hollow. An orphan who was adopted by the leader of the Byne Guild organization, Affie is a scrappy and sharp-tongued foil to Leox and Geode's chill vibe. Much of Into The Dark also focuses on Affie having to come-of-age and realize that the smuggler's world that she, Leox and Geode work in is more shady and underhanded than she ever imagined.
Star Wars: The High Republic - Into The Dark is now on sale. You can order it here on Amazon.
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