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Literature / Star Wars: Into the Dark

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Star Wars: Into the Dark is a Star Wars: The High Republic novel written by Claudia Gray.

Reath Silas is the proud apprentice of Jedi Master Jora Malli, and is more than happy to spend the rest of his life on Coruscant, splitting his time between important missions across the planet and research in the Jedi Archives. But with the construction of the Starlight Beacon, Master Jora has been tasked with leading the Jedi Temple on the station, which will require her Padawan join her. Despite his protests, Reath travels to the Beacon in the company of Jora's old apprentice Dez Rydan, Jedi Wayseeker Orla Jareni, and several frontier cargo haulers who have never even heard of the Jedi.

On their way to the Beacon, the Great Disaster strikes, and everything changes. Reath and his party find themselves trapped on an ancient space station filled with secrets, as well as panicked refugees and stranded pirates. And there is something wrong with the station itself... a Dark Side power that the Jedi can feel, but cannot find.


It was released on February 2nd, 2021.

Tropes in this book include:

  • Accidental Kidnapping: The pirates kidnap the respective monarchs of Eiram and E'ronoh. However... they kidnapped the wrong queen of Eiram — the queen they got was the queen consort, not the queen regnant.
  • Appeal to Tradition: No-one on Eiram or E'ronoh can even remember why they hate each other anymore. It's just sort of become a tradition. After a moment's consideration, Monarch Cassel - not one of the galaxy's shining beacons of intelligence - admits this is a pretty stupid reason to keep it going.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Independent Wayseeker Jedi have meditated on high peaks, joined revolutions against tyrants, and became Alderaanian singing sensations.
  • Broken Pedestal: Affie adores her adoptive mother... until she figures out the reason her parents died working for her was because they were indentured servants.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Reath and co. end up on the Amaxine station where Snoke lived in the The Rise of Kylo Ren comic, which was written by fellow The High Republic writer Charles Soule. This puts Snoke claiming to be a gardener and the rogue plant life onboard in a different light now that we know the station was used to seal away the Drengir...
    • Additionally, in Bloodline and The Rise of Kylo Ren, the ancient Amaxine were rumored to have left the Galaxy to continue their conquest elsewhere. This book mentions this same rumor.
  • Celibate Hero: Affie asks Reath if the Jedi's no-attachment rule means no sex. Reath then remembers Jora's very long speech about the difference between "celibacy of the body and purity of the heart", but instead opts to give Affie the short answer, which is "basically".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The ability of the Amaxine station's launch pads to (apparently) fry anyone caught in them. Reath uses it to kill the Drengir.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What the Drengir subject Dez to after he is transported to their world using their poisons and other methods. The results aren't pretty, as they cause the already injured Jedi Knight to become fully delirious and able to be manipulated into fighting Reath, and somehow managed to weaken his connection to the Force
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Reath mentions having mastered Gatalentan meditations. Gatalenta is the homeworld of Amilyn Holdo. Evidently, Claudia Gray likes referencing Gatalenta at least once in each of her books.
    • In Chapter 2, a variation of the polystarch portion bread from The Force Awakens is introduced. Apparently, the pink ones make sticky buns.
    • Dez Rydan feared that his connection to the Force had been severely damaged by his treatment at the hands of the Drengir, leading him to decide to swear the Barash Vow. This vow was shown in the comic series Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, written by The High Republic writer Charles Soule.
    • The majority of the book is set on a deserted, ancient space station said to have once belonged to the Amaxine, an ancient group that Claudia created as backstory for Bloodline. Even more significantly, the space station was seen in comic form last year in The Rise of Kylo Ren, as Snoke’s home. All descriptions of the space station are identical to how it appeared in the comic.
  • Cryptic Background Reference:
    • Orla and Cohmac are pleasantly surprised to learn that they'll be flying on the Vessel together, and they make references to them both having sworn off returning to the space where Starlight now stands. Cohmac has decided that he's going to stop "running" from whatever made him do so in the first place, stating that "in the end, we always come back to the beginning", and Orla agrees, saying that "it's time for [her] to bring things full circle". Reath and Dez are as perplexed about this as the reader, but don't pry due to it being a private matter.
    • Cohmac's internal monologue mentions that his Knighthood trials were just a formality after the Eiram-E'ronoh crisis, an incident he was involved in that resulted in the twin planets losing their moon and it being replaced by Starlight.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: The epilogue to the flashback story reveals the real perpetrator behind the kidnapping plot was the Hutt Cartel. As it turns out, the Hutts had hired the Directorate to destabilize the situation between the two feuding planets in the Outer Rim, knowing the crime syndicate would attract too much heat. The information the Jedi recover from the Isamer's hideout leads to the entire Directorate being dismantled, creating a crime syndicate power vacuum in the Outer Rim that will eventually be filled by the Hutt Cartel.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Of course, all the Jedi Padawans learned at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Reath is friends with Imri, and though he knows Vernestra, they just seem to be acquaintances.
  • Evil vs. Evil: It is revealed that ones who sealed away the Drengir were in fact the Sith. They could not destroy the Drengir, instead using Dark Side sorcery to contain them.
  • Flashback: The book is interspersed to flashbacks to twenty-five years ago, showing Orla and Cohmac as padawans during the Eiram-E'ronoh crisis.
  • Last Villain Stand: During the Eiram-E'ronoh crisis. The Jedi (comprising of Orla, Cohmac, and Orla's master Laret Soveral) eventually ambush Isamer (leader of the Directorate, who kidnapped the royals). However, he refused to surrender, and instead shot at the captured royals, forcing Laret to cut him in half, killing him. His shots still found a target, and killed Monarch Cassel.
  • Literal Disarming: In order to save Nan from a would-be kidnapper, Reath uses his lightsaber to slice the guy's arm off.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Cohmac's master Simmix was killed during the Eiram-E'ronoh crisis, and Reath discovers that his master Jora Malli was killed.
  • Moral Myopia: The Nihil, again. They accuse the Jedi of "murdering" the Nihil who were trying to kill everyone on board the station for the express purpose of using the station as a base to raid and pillage the Outer Rim.
  • Mysterious Past: Reath's fellow Jedi companions are all troubled by something relating to their service as a Jedi.
    • Orla believes going to Starlight will give her the closure about whatever made her become a Wayseeker in the first place and if it was the right decision.
    • Cohmac has decided to confront whatever made him swear off returning to Eiram and E'ronoh (where Starlight is located), believing that finally facing his demons will give him peace.
    • Dez mysteriously resigned from a mission on Zeitooine, apparently because his frustration was at risk of becoming anger and worse, but he is unsure if this was the right choice.
  • Never My Fault: Nan's would-be kidnapper has the gall to be offended that the Jedi try to stop him kidnapping someone, and that they sliced his arm off in the process. Orla points out by his standards, the victim was just within her rights to not be kidnapped.
  • No Macguffin No Winner: Reath realizes the Drengir and Nihil could both use the power of the Axamine station to devastating effect, so he removes the reason it's useful by sending every escape pod shooting off, hopefully into the unknown.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Nan and Hague are actually Nihil, pretending to be a little girl and her elderly protector.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Drengir are nigh-immortal Botanical Abominations with an insatiable thirst for murder and torment, are so cruel that despite not being Force-wielders they are suffused with the Dark Side, and are so crazy that even the Sith decided the best way to deal with them was to seal them away.
  • Power Floats: downplayed; Cohmac demonstrates the ability to levitate several times, including using this to intimidate the refugees into cooperating after they immediately start raiding the station
  • Psychological Projection: One Nihil scoffs at the Jedi kindness, saying that they clearly just found it convenient to play the hero at the time. Considering that the Nihil in question had been pretending to be nothing but a friendly and helpful refugee, it's clear he's just assuming that they were doing the same thing he had done.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Something is sealed on the abandoned station, steeped in the Dark Side. The Jedi identify the cans as four idols, imbued with Force energy. They resolve to get them off the station and back to the Jedi Temple, where they can be safely handled. It turns out that the idols were not the containment vessels, but rather sealing the Drengir on the station. With the idols removed, all the Drengir that were mistaken for trees are free to move.
  • Sequel Hook: With a dash of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. In an attempt to defeat the Drengir, Padawan Reath Silas scatters a number of hyperspace pods across the galaxy. He does not, however, take the time to check whether all the pods are empty - and it's reasonable to assume some of them contained seeds. That would explain where the seeds in Dark Legends came from, and why Drengir are suddenly growing on other worlds as well.
    • The last scene of the novel involves Nan speaking with Marchion Ro as he is informed about what happened at Amaxine station and hints that he has a plan for the Jedi
  • Sex Equals Love: Discussed. Leox wonders how Jedi can be loving if they're not allowed to love individual people, then Affie points out that this trope is not true.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Into the Dark starts with the Great Disaster, just as with Light of the Jedi, A Test of Courage, and The High Republic Adventures. Chapter 1 mentions that Imri and Vernestra have already left Coruscant for Starlight, indicating Into the Dark starts a little after A Test of Courage.