1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Books The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Todd the Jedi , Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Spokesman of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008

    Young adult novel. Gray says the main character channels a bit of Matthew McConaughey. Out October 13.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  2. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Sounds promising, and I have loved everything by Claudia Gray so far. I expect compelling characters in a setting I am excited to see.
  3. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    I’m glad this had a little more info. We know Coruscant is the capital, the Jedi are at here, and some “galaxy-wide disaster” knocks ships out of hyperspace.
    JediBatman and devilinthedetails like this.
  4. Guidman

    Guidman Skywalker Saga Mod and Trivia/Book Host star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 29, 2016
    This book had me at Claudia Gray. Certainly out of all of the Project Luminous material, this is at the top of my list.
  5. The Regular Mustache

    The Regular Mustache Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 22, 2015
    Well alright alright alright.
  6. mattman8907

    mattman8907 Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 17, 2012
    you know i was using the force long before I became a Jedi.
  7. Maythe14thBeWithYou

    Maythe14thBeWithYou Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2014
    So when is this taking place exactly?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
  8. Krueger

    Krueger Chosen One star 5

    Aug 9, 2004
    Well, the whole era is apparently 200 years pre-TPM. I would imagine there's a bit of wriggle room.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
  9. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    While I remain ambivalent about this project, for those in the UK, the Empire (aka Amazon) is flogging this for £12.18.
  10. Maythe14thBeWithYou

    Maythe14thBeWithYou Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2014
    Yea, I l like Claudia Gray, I loved Bloodline and Master & Apprentice (which I read very recently) but am a bit ambivalent about the era in question.
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  11. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    One of the things I love about Claudia Gray's books are the memorable characters she develops, so my hope is she'd be able to firmly establish part of the base of new characters in this era.
  12. Maythe14thBeWithYou

    Maythe14thBeWithYou Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2014
    I agree, in both Master & Apprentice and Bloodline she created very real emotions and characters.
    Ghost, Jedi Ben and Iron_lord like this.
  13. Maythe14thBeWithYou

    Maythe14thBeWithYou Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2014
    Ok, I just pre-ordered the book as well as the Soule one! I'm quite behind on my SW reading so I'll have a lot to read to keep me occupied before then.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  14. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    I will be getting this, regardless of the era.

    *gets his One Canon hat ready*
  15. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2007
    Apparently the release of this book was pushed to 2021 without anyone noticing. What a shame. I was looking forward to listening to this one in October.
  16. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Spokesman of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    The whole project was pushed to 2021, there was a big announcement some time ago.
  17. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 30, 2016
    Many people noticed, that happened all the way back in May.
  18. Maythe14thBeWithYou

    Maythe14thBeWithYou Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2014
    Yea, I noticed, Amazon lets you know.
  19. Chris0013

    Chris0013 Jedi Master star 4

    May 21, 2014
    May be interested...CG usually does a good story. But disappointed that there is still no Lost Stars sequel.
  20. TiniTinyTony

    TiniTinyTony JCC Game Winner star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Mar 9, 2003
    I always take retailer release dates with a grain of salt, so with that in mind, Target and Amazon both say Feb 2, 2021.
  21. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 12, 2011
    Spoiler warning: The article contains plot details from Into the Dark.

    Padawan Reath Silas is much more interested in studying in the Jedi archives at the galactic capital of Coruscant than in taking part in any adventures. However, when his Master, Jora Malli, requests his presence in the undeveloped frontier, he reluctantly yet respectfully accepts and departs on a starship into the unknown.

    In Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark, the third book hitting bookshelves in February 2021 as part of The High Republic initiative next year, Claudia Gray explores this new era in Star Wars as only she can. And the adventure quickly goes sideways when a catastrophic event reroutes Reath’s vessel to an abandoned space station, forcing our hero to venture out of his comfort zone, trust in the Force, and learn what it means to be a Jedi Knight. recently spoke with Gray to learn more about this bold new chapter, the inspiration for some of her characters, and the collaborative nature of The High Republic. You’ve long been considered one of the premier authors in Star Wars with your genre-influencing take on characters. And now you’ve got the opportunity to continue that tradition with Star Wars: The High Republic: Into The Dark. What has the response been like for you since the announcement in February?

    Claudia Gray: It’s been really overwhelmingly positive. I have to say that I tried not to look at it too much either. You don’t want the burden of expectation to color the creative process, if that makes any sense. If I’ve really thought hard, like, “Wow, there are this many people looking forward to this” every single time I sat down to write, nothing would get written. It would be very bad. So I’ve been really excited to see the enthusiasm out there for it and the interest. But, I’ve also kind of taken a step back, too. I just want to kind of be in that space. The High Republic is a place where we kind of get to let our imaginations run wild, I suppose. I love that. It’s a really unique opportunity because you’re all creators, but you’re also fans.

    Claudia Gray: Yeah, I’ve said before, if I had understood how many people read Star Wars books before Lost Stars, I don’t know if Lost Stars could ever have ever gotten written. I read Star Wars books and I understood on one level, but I did not get it on another. Just did not. Absolutely. So now, of course, you’re literally in this brand new place. What has the collaboration been like for you and your fellow authors?

    Claudia Gray: Honestly, I think the [author] Slack channel is the most fun part of this entire thing. At this point we know what’s going on with everybody’s kids and everybody’s dogs. And I get advice from Justina Ireland about baking sometimes. And she’s really good! I’ve spent quarantine getting competent at it and, God help me, I have done it. And that was knowledge I was not meant to possess, I don’t think. [Laughs]

    It’s really great being able to talk about not just The High Republic, but to sort of have this community of authors. We weigh in with advice on each other’s other projects and things like that. So it’s been a really fascinating process. I did not realize how collaborative it would be. I mean, I didn’t think “I will be talking to at least a couple of these people pretty much every day.” And I do. We’re obviously not going to go into spoilers so that everybody can enjoy the book, but what can you talk about regarding how the book has evolved since the announcement?

    Claudia Gray: It’s not like there was an idea of the book before there was the collaboration or before there was the universe. It grew very organically out of that, like what are the different stories we need to tell in this universe? With this being a new cast of characters, and all the different starter books, we get to introduce our own people, their own situations, but it’s all part of this one big puzzle. And so I got to have a little side quest; I think the young adult novel could kind of count as that. It’s separate from a lot of the things that are going on, but there are also some setups for a lot of things that you’re going to see later. Is that vague enough? [Laughs] That’s perfect. It’s like you’ve done this before. [Laughter] So when you’re crafting this overall story, I would think that one of the biggest challenges has got to be covering familiar territory like the Jedi, Coruscant, how the Jedi work, etc. You’re using a fresh coat of paint since we’re a long way from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and the Jedi council we are so acquainted with. Talk about the challenges of that.

    Claudia Gray: Yeah. It is very different because with every other Star Wars project I’ve worked on, I’ve gone back to the source material a lot and been like, “Okay, I’m going to listen to Qui-Gon talk for a while; I’m going to spend more time with Princess Leia. Oh, hardship.” [Laughs] And that isn’t something that we have here, you know, you’re drawing from the entire universe, but you don’t sort of have that touchstone where you go and listen to this one character’s dialogue. And so, on the one hand, that’s a little bit scary because you like having that sort of guide. But on the other hand, it’s very liberating because you really get to create these characters from the first whiff of an idea to the entirely, hopefully three-dimensional final result. That’s got to be exciting and daunting.

    Claudia Gray: Yeah. Yeah. Both of those things. It definitely is. And it was kind of fun being able to start the book on Coruscant with the stuff that’s a little more familiar, [then] Reath and the others go into the unknown, which is sort of what we’re doing with this project, I think. Speaking of the unknown, we’ve got a whole new cast of characters that are sure to be exciting additions to the Star Wars universe. So let’s just go ahead and break down these characters a little bit. First, we’re going to start with Jora Malli. Her confidence and her poise strike me right away as does her teaching style. What sets her apart from the Jedi Masters that we have already met?

    Claudia Gray: I think what sets her apart is in some ways what sets the Jedi at large apart from what we’ve seen so far, because we’re at the height of the Jedi’s sort of…power and influence isn’t the word. That’s not exactly what I mean, but you know, the cracks aren’t showing the way they are in The Phantom Menace. This is them at their height and there’s a confidence and an ease and a surety of purpose that the Order at large has and that most — not all, but most — of the individual Jedi have. And I think that comes through with Jora Malli. She is very, very sure not only of what she’s trying to do with her student, her apprentice Reath, but to her, this all fits together seamlessly in a way that we really don’t see later on by the time of The Phantom Menace. Like I said, the cracks are showing. You’re kind of seeing the Jedi really at the Republic’s beck and call. And that wasn’t [always] the case. It’s, I think, maybe a little bit more of a spiritual discipline in the High Republic era. Very well said. I guess I would equate it to a gravitas of competency that exudes from her.

    Claudia Gray: Yeah. She’s on the Jedi Council. And she’s not only a Jedi and a Jedi Master, she is somebody that is at the very pinnacle of this organization at the height of its power. So yeah, she should come across as somebody very much in control. How would you describe Reath Silas?

    Claudia Gray: Reath is almost like if you made Hermione Granger a boy and put him in the Star Wars universe. [Laughs] He’s reading Hogwarts: A History or I guess Jedi Temple: A History. [Laughs] He believes in the rules for a reason.

    He wants everything to go according to plan, but just like Hermione, he also gets why sometimes you have to bend the rules a little bit and does not lack for any amount of courage. Did I read in an interview that you compared one of the characters in Into The Dark to Matthew McConaughey?

    Claudia Gray: [Laughs] The character who’s [inspired by] Matthew McConaughey is one of the non-Jedi characters. He’s the pilot of the ship that our Jedi take to the frontier. And I was trying to think like, “Okay, I want a pilot and he’s an independent pilot. And I want him to be a little bit of, kind of a rogue type, but he can’t be Han Solo.” And I was like, “What’s the kind of personality that might do that and be very, very distinct?” And then just the thought, like, give Matthew McConaughey a spaceship. Just to do it. [Laughs]

    Claudia Gray: [Laughs] And, from that moment on, I was like, “Oh, this makes me very, very happy.” I hope other people are going to enjoy him too, because I have a blast with him! Reath has a much more cerebral approach, which I really love as well as the work ethic that is separate from his Force strength. Can you talk about the inspiration for that?

    Claudia Gray: That kind of evolved out of it. Characters usually start with one bit of inspiration and…they develop their own personality as you write. And Hermione, obviously, is one of the best witches of her age. But, I thought it would be kind of interesting to have a Jedi and somebody who is a good Jedi, who isn’t quite as strong as the others are and not everything comes as easily to him.

    He obviously made the cut, I guess you would say, but he has to work a little harder. And like you said, take a cerebral approach to what might be instinctive for somebody even stronger in the Force. As you begin to see in the book, there are ways in which that pays off for him. You know, if everything comes easily to you, when you run into that first obstacle, it can completely throw you off. Whereas when Reath runs into a problem, he’s like, “Right. We’re going to figure out solution A, solution B, solution C. Try all three solutions and see what’s best.” You know, he’s not going to be thrown in the same way. And right now, I think, as a Padawan, he sees himself as compensating. But I think as that character goes on, we’re going to see that being one of his greater strengths. I do love that you’ve managed to [create] this delicate balance of internal conflict without a ton of insecurity. And I think that’s a very fine line.

    Claudia Gray: Yeah. I mean, he knows exactly what he possesses and doesn’t possess. But he also knows like, “This is how I make up for it. This is how I compensate. This is how I do what I do,” and that’s a lot that he got from Jora Malli. Absolutely. Shifting gears a little, let’s talk about Dez Rydan. What makes this Jedi Knight tick?

    Claudia Gray: Dez, I think, is really the embodiment of what we were talking about earlier. That total confidence that the Order has. He’s young, he’s talented. He’s just become a Knight in the last few years. He’s always ready for the next challenge, the next adventure. And he has that energy about him. I think he really embodies that more straightforwardly than any of the other characters in Into The Dark.

    But there comes a time, like I said, if you’re really, really talented and you don’t run into obstacles and then you hit an obstacle, sometimes you haven’t developed the tools to deal with it. No spoilers! No spoilers. Orla Jareni is a Wayseeker. What can you tell fans about Orla and her role?

    Claudia Gray: Well, like we were talking about before, the idea of the Jedi Order at this time, they’re a little more spiritual. They are not quite as beholden to the Republic. And also they’re not as firmly centralized as we see by the time of The Phantom Menace. I mean, there’s still the Jedi Council, Coruscant is still the main temple. But individual temples are a little bit more independent and Jedi themselves can be a little more independent.

    By becoming a Wayseeker, you don’t leave being a Jedi. But you kind of step away from the Order and you just listen to the Force and do what that calls on you to do for a while. And a lot of times it’s a very solitary quest, but it takes all different shapes depending on which Jedi is individually doing this. It’s somebody who is forging their own individual bond with the Force and acting independently of the Order while still, at the same time, being aligned with the Order. Most Wayseekers are going to come back eventually, whether that’s after three months or ten years. Finally, how does it feel to define a new era in Star Wars through The High Republic?

    Claudia Gray: I’m very grateful that I am not doing that alone. I’m very grateful that we’ve got Charles Soule and Cavan Scott and Daniel José Older and Justina Ireland all in this with me, because that is way too much responsibility for anyone to have! [Laughs] And I’m so glad I don’t have it, but playing a part in it and being along for the ride, that has been an honor, really to be chosen for that and to get to do it.

    Into the Dark arrives February 2, 2021, and is available for pre-order now.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  22. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Spokesman of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    Saw copies of this on a cart at my B&N, so the stores have them, and people might have snagged them as well. (I didn't though, damn hardcovers)
    darthcaedus1138 likes this.
  23. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    :_| Damn, likely be second half of Feb at the earliest on this side of the water.
  24. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 12, 2011
    At that moment, Reath’s attention—and everyone else’s—was distracted by a ship flying through the spaceport, rather low, then landing squarely on the pad where their transport ought to have been. It was an unusual ship, at least to Reath: its plating was dark blue, and its cockpit and engines both rounded to the point of being bulbous. Either it had been built a very long time before, or the beings who built it didn’t bother keeping up with technological developments—which was a troubling thought. As it settled onto the pad, the Jedi all exchanged glances.

    “Looks more like a transport ship than a passenger craft,” Master Cohmac said.

    “Who cares? It can make hyperspace, can’t it?” Dez grinned as displaced air ruffled their hair and robes with a hiss.

    Reath frowned. “Maybe?”

    No sooner had the ship settled onto the platform with a heavy metallic clunk than the hatch popped open. From it emerged a young girl—possibly Reath’s age, no more than a year or two older, with tan skin. Her long brown hair hung free as she strode toward them wearing a normal pilot’s coverall, an unusually neat, pressed one, in the same distinctive shade of blue as the ship itself. On the sleeve was stitched a star-shaped crest in dark orange. She put her hands on her hips and studied them all as though disappointed. “You’re the passengers for Starlight? I thought we were picking up a bunch of monks or something. You look . . . normal.”

    “We are your passengers, and could be called monks of a sort,” said Master Cohmac without any sign of surprise and only a slight pause before asking, “Are you the pilot?”

    She grinned and pointed her thumb at the door. “Of course not. I’m the copilot, Affie Hollow. He’s the pilot.”

    A teenage copilot seemed questionable to Reath, but when he looked in the direction she was pointing, all those questions vanished, replaced by far more pressing ones. Questions like: Is that man’s shirt open to the waist? Is he holding out his arms to us like he wants a group hug? Does he want a group hug? Is that guy on spice?

    No—how much spice is that guy on?

    “Beautiful children,” said the pilot, with a laconic drawl and a huge grin. “I’m Leox Gyasi, and I hereby welcome you to the vessel.”

    There was a brief pause, which made Reath feel better; even experienced Jedi weren’t totally sure how to approach this guy. Dez finally stepped forward with his usual charm. “Dez Rydan. A pleasure to know you. What’s the name of your ship?”

    Leox and Affie shared a glance, clearly in on a joke that was about to be sprung. “Already told ya,” Leox said. He was a tall, tan, and rangy human, and his wavy dark blond hair looked as though it might not have been combed recently. Possibly ever. “Our vessel is called . . . the Vessel. I named it not for the container itself, but the space within the container that gives it its value and purpose. To remind me to look beyond the obvious, you know?”

    That sounds like Master Yoda on spice, Reath thought. Which was either a very good sign or a very, very bad one.

    “Love it,” Orla said with apparently genuine relish. “So, can we see our bunks?”

    Affie made a face. “About that. We’re really more of a transport ship”—Master Cohmac gave Dez a look that seemed to say, Just our luck—“but we’ll set up some partitions and cots for you.” Affie’s narrow face lit up when she smiled. “Just because we’re a last-minute substitution doesn’t mean we can’t make it comfortable.”

    Leox cut in: “That is, if you’re not super particular about your personal definition of ‘comfort.’ ”

    Orla was the first to head toward the gangway. “We are Jedi, Mr. Gyasi. We don’t require pampering.”

    Affie wrinkled her nose. “So, are the Jedi monks or not?”

    That stopped Reath short before he realized what this must mean. If they didn’t even really understand what the Jedi were . . . “You guys have to be from out on the frontier, huh?”

    “To us, it’s not a frontier, son.” Leox led them all after Orla into the Vessel. “It’s home. But if you mean we’re not used to this stretch of the galaxy, that’s the truth. Never been this close to the Core before, not by a long shot.”

    “The Byne Guild handles shipping throughout the sector.” Affie sounded proud. “We’re just one of the Byne Guild’s ships—one of the smaller ones, honestly—but Scover Byne still gave us the first-ever mission to Coruscant.”

    Reath, embarrassed by his tactlessness about “the frontier,” was eager to move the conversation forward. He felt sure that this was his opening to ask more about Leox and Affie, their ship, and why they’d earned this particular honor. He also found himself eager to explain the Jedi Order to people who somehow had never heard of it.

    But all conversation came to an end as Leox and Affie stopped their group at the edge of the cockpit. “And this here,” Leox said with a grin, “is our ship’s navigator, Geode.”

    Standing in one corner of the cockpit was a rock.

    About as tall as and slightly wider than Reath himself, dark gray, with rounded edges and a flinty, flaky surface. Impressive, as rocks went. But still, it was just a rock, wasn’t it? Reath frowned, sure this was some kind of weird joke.

    “He’s a Vintian, from Vint.” Leox lazily wrapped an arm around the rock’s “shoulders,” just like anyone would with a friend. “Geode’s a nickname, by the way. Turns out you can’t pronounce his name correctly unless you don’t have a mouth.”

    Reath tried to parse that, and failed. His main consolation was that Dez and Master Cohmac looked as confused as he felt. Orla Jareni, however, wore another of her knowing grins.

    “Geode, huh?” she said. “Pleased to know you.”

    Affie briefly patted Geode’s side. “He’s a little shy at first, but just wait until he gets to know you.”

    Leox cackled as he began leading them from the cockpit into the ship. “Yeah, you just wait. But I don’t want to give you fellas the wrong idea. Geode’s a wild man, for sure, but when it comes to steering the ship, he’s all business.”

    “Solid, you might say.” Orla raised an eyebrow. “Very well. Let’s get a look at our bunks.”

    “Well, we sort of have to create your bunks before you can see them,” Affie admitted. “Might as well get started.”

    Great, Reath thought as he turned to follow the others. Not only am I headed to the back end of the galaxy, but the job of getting us through hyperspace belongs to a rock.

    Sometimes the Force had a sense of humor.
  25. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2007
    ‘Is Amazon that slow in the UK?
    whostheBossk likes this.