In the aftermath of the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair on Valo, Grand Marshal Avar Kriss leads the Jedi of Starlight Beacon in a search for Lourna Dee, who is believed to be the Eye of the Nihil. Jedi Council member Stellan Gios is forced to take over her position on the Starlight Beacon as Kriss leads an unauthorized mission to capture Dee just as the Nihil execute a number of strikes at seemingly random points across the Outer Rim.
As refugees flood the station, the Jedi aboard have a growing sense of unease, unaware that Nihil saboteurs have infiltrated the station and brought with them creatures that can damper their connection to the Force and destroy them utterly. As the saboteurs execute their plan, the Jedi scramble to protect the civilians stranded on Starlight while struggling to combat the greatest threat they have ever faced.
It was released on January 4, 2022.
Tropes in this novel include:
- Anyone Can Die: A number of major characters are dead by the end of the novel, including Stellan Gios, Orla Jareni, Nib Assek, Estala Maru, and Chancey Yarrow.
- Badass Boast: Marchion Ro's broadcast to the galaxy at the end of the novel: "I do not wish to rule the galaxy. If I did, you would be under my boot even now. But I will take what I wish, when I wish it, and no one will stand in my way—Republic, Jedi, or anyone else. They cannot stand in my way. The Nihil have proven our power, and we will use that power however we choose. This galaxy—This galaxy is mine."
- Bottle Episode: The majority of the novel takes place aboard the Starlight Beacon, with only a few cutaways to other locations where characters are reacting to the news about what is happening on the station.
- Call-Forward: While investigating the Nihil infiltrators on Starlight Beacon, Bell and Burry unleash six Rathtars that were inside a shipping container into the station’s cargo bay and instigate a situation that directly mirrors the sequence aboard the Eravana in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Colony Drop: The sabotage of Starlight Beacon sends a portion of it down towards a major costal city on Eiram and will kill hundreds of thousands if not stopped.
- Contrived Coincidence: The Nihil saboteurs file a fake cargo manifest claiming that they are transporting Rathtars to discourage anyone from getting too close to their ship. A second ship also claiming to be transporting Rathtars is briefly mentioned as being docked in the same bay. After discovering the deceit on the Nihil ship, Bell and Burryaga assume that the other vessel was also a Nihil ship with a similar faked manifest. As it turns out, it was transporting Rathtars and they accidently unleash six of them, turning an already dire situation even more horrific.
- Downer Ending: Although the Jedi do manage to evacuate a number of civilians and prevent the wreckage of Starlight Beacon from crashing into any populated areas, Marchion Ro's plan succeeds. The greatest symbol of both the Republic and Jedi is destroyed, several Jedi are dead or missing, including Stellan Gios, and Marchion reveals himself to the galaxy and declares his intent to make the galaxy his. And if you thought there was a silver-lining with the apparent death of the creature presumed to be the Great Leveler in the crash, Marchion then reveals that not only were there multiple creatures of the same species deployed on the station, he knows how to replace them.
- Face Death with Dignity: Master Imgree and her Padawan on Chespea are killed via orbital bombardment by the Nihil alongside the rest of the Chespea Temple. Imgree senses what is coming and calmly tells her Padawan to send a message to the Temple on Coruscant about what is going to happen, which he bravely does just before being incinerated.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Stellan Gios stays aboard Starlight Beacon to ensure that it doesn't crash into Eiram's coastal cities and perishes along with it.
- Internal Reveal: The Jedi and Republic finally figure out that Lourna Dee is not the leader of the Nihil, and Marchion makes a broadcast to the galaxy to claim credit and show himself at the end of the novel.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: The Jedi aboard the Starlight Beacon are all plagued by a sense of dread and unease that dampens their connection to the Force. At first, they assume they are exhausted and the refugees aboard the station are creating a general sense of despair, but they quickly realize there is far more happening after pinpointing a place on the station the feeling is coming from and Regald Coll becomes the first victim of the creatures causing it.
- Never Found the Body: Burryaga is assumed dead after they are carried away by Rathtars and the section of the station they were in is subsequently exposed to the vacuum of space, but their death is never confirmed, and Bell Zettifar resolves to not give up looking for them.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Elzar unwittingly makes things worse when he brutally murders Chancey Yarrow, realizing that not only did she and Nan already kill the actual Nihil saboteurs, they were actually trying to save the station.
- The Reveal:
- It is revealed that Senator Ghirra Starros is a spy for the Nihil, which contextualizes some of their behavior in prior novels and explains how Marchion Ro got a lot of his information.
- Throughout the novel, several Jedi are picked off by a creature that is suggested to be the Great Leveler. At the end of the novel, Marchion Ro reveals that the Leveler is not a one-of-a-kind specimen; there were multiple members of its species deployed on Starlight, and Marchion knows where to get more of them.
- Simultaneous Arcs: The final issues of both Star Wars: The High Republic (2021) and The High Republic Adventures, the last two issues of Trail of Shadows, and Midnight Horizon all take place within the same timeframe as The Fallen Star.
- Suicide Mission: The three Nihil saboteurs sent to destroy Starlight Beacon know there will be no coming back from it, and in fact sabotage all of the ways they could escape in order to ensure no Jedi or civilians make it off Starlight.
- Too Dumb to Live: When Koley Linn goes off the deep end and tries to take hostages, Geode gets between him and a baby. Having had enough of the unassuming rock, he tries to gun Geode down at close range, forgetting until it's too late that Affie had told him that Vintians are not only mostly unaffected by blasters, but they are also capable of magnetically sealing themselves to deflect the shots back. This results in Koley killing himself with his own blaster fire. In short, Koley killed himself shooting at a rock.