Star Wars: The High Republic‘s opening novel, Light of the Jedi, featured the tragic death of a Jedi Master at the hands of the Nihil, the dark side space pirates who serve as the story’s new antagonists.
As you’ll know, the publishing initiative consisting of dozens of novels, comics, audio books and more will take fans to an era known as the High Republic, 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga. In this period, the Galactic Senate is relishing in its most glorious hour, with the Jedi Order maintaining peace and security throughout the Core Worlds at the height of their power.
Although, the debut novel by Charles Soule all but depicts that the Republic is not as invulnerable as one would imagine. In fact, after the government launches Starlight Beacon to the Outer Rim, with the purpose of realigning the far-off planets to the system, a terrible incident – known as the Great Disaster – compels spacecrafts in different parts of the galaxy to abruptly jump out of hyperspace. The Jedi Knights quickly get to work and start to mount rescue operations, though their efforts are cut short when the Nihil arrive.
In one of the book’s defining moments, a Jedi squad led by Jora Malli engages the space pirates in their cruisers, but the enemy surprises them with a seemingly impossible technology.
The “Path Engine” is a device that allows these mercenaries to travel short distances via hyperspace. The maneuver makes it so that their fighters appear out of thin air to raid and disappear just as quickly, confusing the enemy and outflanking them. The fleet of Jedi cruisers never sees this coming when dozens of Nihil fighters warp into their path and one of these fighters breaches Jedi Master Jora Malli’s spacecraft and kills her, making her one of the first Jedi casualties in this brand new story.
When Star Wars: The High Republic initially introduced the Nihil, fans doubted that a bunch of space pirates could ever go toe-to-toe with the Jedi. But now, it’s become clear that they’re more than capable of holding their own against the Order and their skilled warriors. As such, it’ll be interesting to see how their next standoff goes down.