The Jedi Order, and specifically the Council that leads it, has made a lot of mistakes throughout its long history, especially in the declining days of the Old Republic. And now, a new Star Wars novel is going to explore one Jedi’s attempts to get its members to see just that—with a road trip and a few pirates along the way.
io9 can exclusively reveal that the next major Star Wars novel from publisher Random House Worlds will see writer John Jackson Miller—the author behind Expanded Universe classics such as Kenobi and the Dark Horse comic series Knights of the Old Republic—return to long-form Star Wars fiction for the first time since the 2013 Rebels prequel novel A New Dawn. Miller’s Star Wars: The Living Force focuses on the Jedi Council just one year before the events of The Phantom Menace.
“Many of my Star Wars works have explored what it meant to be a Jedi alone, cut off from the Jedi Order. The organization came in for criticism in those books, and I found myself sympathizing with Qui-Gon Jinn, who felt they’d lost touch,” Miller said in a comment provided to io9. “So when [Random House Worlds] editor Tom Hoeler invited me to develop a story for the Jedi Council in their last year before The Phantom Menace, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
The Living Force will see Qui-Gon, alongside his padawan learner Obi-Wan Kenobi, implore the Jedi Council to think beyond the confines of its chambers at the heart of the galactic core on Coruscant when another ancient Jedi outpost on the planet Kwenn is set to be decommissioned. After Qui-Gon pushes the Order to stop turning inwards and serve the peoples of the galaxy, the entire Council—Mace Windu, Yoda, Yaddle, Depa Billaba, Oppo Rancisis, Even Piell, Yarael Poof, Plo Koon, Eeth Koth, Saesee Tiin, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and Adi Gallia—finds itself venturing to Kwenn on a mission of outreach… except the problem with outreach means that some folks are going to take the rare opportunity of the Jedi Council leaving Coruscant to make a play to wipe out Jedi leadership in one fell swoop.
“With some Councilors trying to see the future while others are reeling under the bureaucratic demands of an increasingly corrupt Republic, Qui-Gon challenges them to get out of the Council Chamber and rediscover the Jedi they used to be,” Miller explained. “Their response is a ‘road trip’ for all 12 Councilors, giving us our first in-depth adventures with many of them—and a look into a side of the galaxy that can’t be seen from their Temple on Coruscant. We also learn what it’s like to live in the immediate pre-Prequel era, whether you’re a civilian, a member of the nascent Republic military, or in the underworld.”
“I’m delighted to return to the Star Wars universe for a story that’s jam-packed with adventures for the Councilors—and for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to boot,” Miller concluded. “As the former later says to the latter in The Phantom Menace: be mindful of The Living Force!”
Check out the full synopsis for the novel below:
In the year before The Phantom Menace, Yoda, Mace Windu, and the entire Jedi Council confront a galaxy on the brink of change.
The Jedi have always traveled the stars, defending peace and justice across the galaxy. But, the galaxy is changing, and along with it, the Jedi Order. More and more, the Order finds itself focused on the future of the Republic, secluded on Coruscant, where the twelve members of the Jedi Council weigh crises on a galactic scale.
As yet another Jedi Outpost leftover from the Republic’s golden age is set to be decommissioned on the planet Kwenn, Qui-Gon Jinn challenges the Council about the increasing isolation of the Order. Mace Windu suggests a bold response: all twelve Jedi Masters will embark on a goodwill mission to help the planet, and remind the people of the galaxy that the Jedi remain as stalwart and present as they have been across the ages.
But the arrival of the Jedi leadership is not seen by all as a cause for celebration. Warring pirate factions have infested the sector in the increasing absence of the Jedi. To maintain their dominance, the pirates unite, intent on assassinating the Council. And they are willing to destroy countless innocent lives to secure their power.
Cut off from Coruscant, the Jedi Masters must reckon with an unwelcome truth: that while no one thinks more about the future than the Jedi Council, nobody needs their help more than those living in the present.
Star Wars: The Living Force is set to release April 9, 2024, and is available for pre-order now.
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