Star Wars: The High Republic: Into The Dark

Padawan Reath Silas is being sent from the cosmopolitan galactic capital of Coruscant to the undeveloped frontier—and he couldn’t be less happy about it. He’d rather stay at the Jedi Temple, studying the archives. But when the ship he’s traveling on is knocked out of hyperspace in a galactic-wide disaster, Reath finds himself at the center of the action.

The Jedi and their traveling companions find refuge on what appears to be an abandoned space station. But then strange things start happening, leading the Jedi to investigate the truth behind the mysterious station, a truth that could end in tragedy….

Author: Claudia Gray
Release Date: Feb 02, 2021
Page Count: 352 Pages
ISBN: 9781368057288

Into the Dark is the newest installment in the big The High Republic initiative and the latest Star Wars novel from fan-favorite author Claudia Gray. The story follows Padawan Reath Silas, young pilot Affie Hollow, and their friends as their journey to the opening of the Starlight Beacon is interrupted by the Great Disaster. The team is stranded with a number of other strangers on an ancient space station in unknown territories, where they are faced with a new threat.

The premise of getting stranded on a spooky space station like that is a really interesting way to kick off the story, and it will be doubly exciting for Star Wars fans who might recognize both the space station itself and the people who built it. The atmosphere and tone of the station is something I don’t think we’ve seen much of in previous Gray books and Into the Dark is definitely at its strongest there.

The characters are definitely Gray’s specialty in all of her books and that’s still true here. Reath and Affie are two more in a line of relatable and well-developed leads with strong arcs. I think there could have been a little more memorable interaction between the two after the start but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where each of them go in future books. I like that even though they each grew over the course of this story, there’s still lots of room for future character arcs and they can continue to grow over time. With so many characters in this initiative and more being introduced in every book, I’ll be interested to see how they’re all juggled in the future.

The supporting characters are pretty good as well. Leox and Geode especially are fun and bring a nice sense of deadpan humor to the book. The other Jedi in the team aren’t quite as memorable but they each had their moments. I didn’t think the flashback story landed quite as hard as the rest of the book but I did like how it all tied back in at the end.

The Drengir are an interesting new kind of villain that don’t feel like anything we’ve seen before and I like what they bring to the initiative. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go in the comic and how their story ends up playing into the rest of the plot. The Nihil don’t get as much focus in this book but they still play a role and continue to be great villains for this time period. Each story we get with them builds up my enjoyment of them more.

The crossovers with the rest of the initiative are very well done. This was actually the first book I read in the line and I thought it worked really well as a starting point even though it’s the last of the first wave to be released. Though it tells its own satisfying story, it also feels almost as important to the overall plot of the initiative as Light of the Jedi does with its new information on the Nihil, Drengir, Starlight Beacon, and more. It’s also nice to get a story in this time period that doesn’t just focus on the Jedi and gives us a more scoundrel/civilian perspective.

Overall I don’t think this is one of my favorite Gray books but even when she isn’t at her best, her books are still a notch above the rest. I also don’t think I can express just how much I’m enjoying The High Republic so far. It all manages to feel very new and different while at the same time grounding itself in the Star Wars we all know and love. I’m very excited to see where Reath goes in Out of the Shadows, what Gray ends up writing next for the initiative, and where this overall story goes.

Guest review by Numidian Prime. Thanks to Disney Books for the review copy.

Star Wars The High Republic: Into the Dark
  • Hardcover Book
  • Gray, Claudia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 02/02/2021 (Publication Date) - Disney Lucasfilm Press (Publisher)