EW has the exclusive cover reveal and the first excerpt of the new High Republic YA-anthology featuring tales by all your favorite Star Wars authors.
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Since The High Republic's debut with 2021's Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, Lucasfilm has explored a whole new era of Star Wars stories. It's an era where Jedi are bountiful, bacta hasn't been invented yet, and hyperlane exploration is at its peak. But even though the Sith are barely a whisper in the Force, the Jedi still face all sorts of villains who threaten the peace and prosperity of the High Republic. 

So far The High Republic stories have involved the best and brightest Lucasfilm Publishing has to offer and Phase II is in high gear with Lydia Kang's upcoming Cataclysm set to be released on April 4 (You can listen to EW's Dagobah Dispatch interview with Kang here).

There has been an almost overwhelming amount of Phase I and II novels and comics already, but EW has an exclusive except and cover reveal for the next big project: Star Wars: The High Republic: For Light and Life (out 9/5/23), a YA anthology featuring stories by High Republic authors Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Lydia Kang, George Mann, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule. Here is the first look at the cover below:

Star Wars The High Republic Tales of Light and Life
The exclusive first look at the cover of 'Star Wars The High Republic Tales of Light and Life'
| Credit: Disney Lucasfilm Press

About the new anthology, Michael Siglain, creative director, Lucasfilm Publishing says "Star Wars: The High Republic: For Light and Life has a little bit of everything. It features all of our High Republic authors in one novel and includes stories from every Phase of the initiative. We'll get glimpses of stories yet to come, see events that happened in between our novels and comics, shine a spotlight on certain characters, and even learn the fate of others. I think fans will find it both exciting and unexpected." 

EW also has an exclusive excerpt from Claudia Gray's phase 1 story After the Fall, which takes place the day after the Republic's Starlight Beacon has been destroyed by the havoc-wrecking Nihil in Gray's novel The High Republic: The Fallen Star.

After the Fall by Claudia Gray excerpt

One Day After the Fall of Starlight 

Affie Hollow was only seventeen years old, but she had known true danger. Darkness. Even desperation. 

Yet she had never experienced a day as bleak as the one that followed the fall of Starlight Beacon. 

She stood on the surface of the planet Eiram early that morning, a cool day on which no sun seemed to shine from the pale sky. Her damaged ship, the Vessel, remained not far from where she had originally landed after their last-minute escape from the plummeting space station. Nobody was allowed to leave yet—hyperspace lanes were being patrolled, and all of Eiram was surrounded by the thousands of ships that had come to help the dying station. All those pilots were probably still waiting for something to do. Some way to feel as though they hadn't completely let everyone down. 

Or maybe that's just me, Affie thought. 

Once again, for what felt like the hundredth time, Affie's mind flooded with the image of her pilot and best friend, Leox Gyasi, manually prying open the station doors so the last ships trapped on board might escape—then losing his grip and flying backward into bright blinding light—

"Hey," Leox said, startling Affie back into the present. Thanks to an old-fashioned parachute, the only sign of his brush with death was a long scrape along one cheekbone. "You heard anything about—uff." He laughed as best he could with Affie hugging the breath out of him. "It's okay, Little Bit. You can stop hugging me every time you see me. We're all okay." 

Affie nodded as she reluctantly let go. "But so many people aren't. The dead—on Starlight, on this planet, from the Nihil attacks—did we lose thousands? Tens of thousands? And there's nothing we can do."

At the Vessel hatch stood their navigator and comrade, Geode, whose wordless sorrow seemed more eloquent than anything Affie could say. Leox's crooked smile faded as the three of them took in the scene of devastation that stretched out before them. 

They'd landed on a small plateau, one that looked down on the coastal city and the broad stretch of ocean beyond. The waves broke around an enormous, jagged, carbon-scored metal hulk that was barely recognizable as the bottom half of Starlight Beacon. All the great meeting halls for dignitaries across the galaxy—the offices of Republic officials and the Jedi Knights—were just wreckage for sea creatures to swim through now. The breeze still carried the acrid scent of burned wire and plastics; Affie didn't want to think of what else polluted the air.

One day earlier, Eiram's coastline city Barraza had been a lively place, lined with pavilions to provide vacationers with food, drink, and music; just beyond it had stood several important civic buildings. The massive wave that had surged to shore upon Starlight's fall had devastated those buildings, shattering windows and toppling columns; the pavilions had been washed out to sea entirely, leaving only a few tilted stakes and pillars jutting up awkwardly from the junk piles washed atop the sand. That space was now filled with makeshift shelters, provision depots, and mobile clinics. From this distance, Affie could just make out the tiny, zipping glimmers that revealed the paths of pill droids hurrying from doctors, toward patients. The devastation, and the places hurriedly set up to handle the aftermath, stretched out as far as her eyes could see.

It took Leox a long time to speak again, but when he did, he'd regained some fragment of his usual ease. "No, there's nothing we can do for the dead. But there's always something we can do for the living. So how about we go on and do it?"

Reprinted from "After the Fall" by Claudia Gray from Star Wars: The High Republic: Tales of Light and Life (Disney Lucasfilm Press) Written by: Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Lydia Kang, George Mann, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule. Cover illustrated by Tara Phillips, designed by Jake Bartok.

For more discussions on Star Wars: The High Republic and all the latest news from a galaxy far, far away, listen to EW's Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.

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