The second season of Star Wars: The High Republic kicked off with an unexpected turn that even George Lucas would find shocking: the Jedi are now involved. The first official tie-in novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster, was released in 1978. The novel came out long before The Empire Strikes Back premiere, giving Star Wars the distinction of being the oldest transmedia franchise. But George Lucas never felt constrained by the so-called “Expanded Universe” novels. However, he was not averse to borrowing concepts he liked from them.
After Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm, the company decided to remove the previous Expanded Universe from the Star Wars canon. However, since then, the studio has expanded the Star Wars franchise via several successful Disney+ series. As a result, it has further cemented Star Wars’ transmedia legacy.
Lucasfilm Publishing, however, has maintained its role as an industry leader with the launch of Star Wars: The High Republic. This epic tale seems to relate to the narrative that how the Force lost its equilibrium hundreds of years before the Star Wars: Episode I events. To fully grasp the Chosen One prophecy in Star Wars, this book is required reading.
Path of Deceit, a young adult novel by Justina Ireland, kicked off the second part of Star Wars: The High Republic. It instantly gets clear that this is a story George Lucas would never have told. Zallah Macri, a Jedi Knight, and Kevmo Zinc, her Padawan, are the novel’s two main characters. Readers will get quite attached to them as the story progresses. In particular, Kevmo Zinc’s issues with attachment are a joy to read about. The first three-quarters of the novel is a typical, low-key Jedi adventure. Then there is a sudden and unexpected turn of events. Ireland places her characters in direct contact with the horrific beings the Jedi will come to call the Nameless, the greatest predators of the Force. Both Zallah Macri and Kevmo Zinc perish in the terrifying final third of Path of Deceit.
This is a dramatic choice that George Lucas would never make. That’s not a knock; it’s proof that Star Wars has outgrown its creator. The plot of Path of Deceit is intriguing, the characters are likable, and the final revelation is performed with great dexterity. Phase II of Star Wars: The High Republic has begun brilliantly, adding to the project’s growing reputation as one of the most successful new endeavors since 1988.