Star Wars: The High Republic is a multi-year initiative that will span three distinct phases over the course of the next few years.
Phase One gave us a good taste of what the High Republic has to offer, as well as what we can hope to see in the next phases that are already in the works. Spanning over a galaxy, there are tons of new planets, creatures and characters to discover! In Phase One alone we were introduced to so many new faces, both Jedi and their enemies, showcasing a vast and diverse cast to learn about.
From Phase One there are plenty of characters to pick and choose some favorites, but for the sake of a more refined list, I have decided to add my top 10. Each character has impressed me in various ways, from their feats in the galaxy to their command of the Force, and all were judged based mostly on their impact on the galaxy and on the Star Wars universe.
Caution there are spoilers for Phase One in each of these rankings, be warned!
Honorable Mention: Lina Soh
I think I admired Lina Soh’s character more when I heard she had begun making trying to draft up peace treaties between the Quarren and Mon Calamari on the planet of Mon Cala. We have seen how tense that relationship is in the Clone Wars at the coronation of Prince Lee-Char, so I definitely commend her for even attempting this.
But it’s not the only thing she’s done. She had the Jedi establish outposts the further they expanded into the Outer Rim worlds as they tried to connect each planet to the Republic. In order to continue this exploration and unification of other planets, she helmed the Starlight Beacon’s creation in an attempt to connect an entire galaxy.
“This station will be a symbol of the Republic in the Outer Rim. A place where we will celebrate our union and help each other to make it grow. It will send out a signal for anyone in this sector to hear at any time. The beacon. The beacon of the Republic. The sound… of hope.“
I think she may be one of my favorite Supreme Chancellors in Star Wars that I know about.
#10: Bell Zettifar
“Aren’t you, Ember? Aren’t you a good girl?”Bell Zettifar to his charhound Ember
Bell Zettifar experiences a well-tuned character arc in his appearance in The Light of the Jedi. Starting off as a young Padawan who struggled with learning the teachings of his Master, Loden Greatstorm, to becoming a more confident and capable Jedi, Bell blossomed by the novel’s end.
He was a part of the Republic response team during the Great Hyperspace Disaster, confronting attacking pirates with his Master in defense of a large group of civilians. Along with Burryaga, Bell had a feeling that something was wrong with the Starlight Beacon and in the events that followed he proved himself useful by calming down patients and building a bomb to deter the medical tower from impacting the Starlight Beacon.
His ingenuity and resilience in both his actions and words make Zettifar a loyal Jedi, much like his charhound Ember!
#9: Vernesta Rwoh
“She’s very young: most 16-year-olds in the Jedi Order are Padawans still. She took her testing early, so she’s a bit of a prodigy. She doesn’t know anybody else who is as young as she is so she kind of sticks out, and that gives her her own set of challenges to deal with. So how is she a Jedi Knight in this order that is being led by amazing Jedi?”
Vernesta Rwoh is an extraordinary character that made great strides as the youngest Jedi Knight of her generation at just 16 years old. However, what sets Vernesta apart is her exceptional talent with her Force ability that allows her to sense any threats through the Force and even use this sense to navigate ships in hyperspace. She took the test to become a Jedi Knight quite early, making her a prodigy among other Jedi which set her apart from her peers.
In Rwoh’s first mission as a Jedi Knight, she had a Force vision which told her the design for making her lightsaber into a lightwhip — a heavily modified lightsaber variant with multiple plasma blades. She is the first ever known Jedi to have this, despite its history dating back to the Sith Wars where lightwhips were associated with the Nightsisters of Dathomir.
Her abilities as a Force user, as well as a young Jedi warrior, make her an inspiring and engaging character that truly embodies the best qualities of the Jedi Order.
#8: Burryaga Agaburry
“He is amazing. He’s very sensitive. He’s a very, very sensitive Jedi.” -Charles Soule, author of The Light of the Jedi.
I remember when Project Luminous was first teased at Star Wars Celebration in 2019. It showed us the various covers of the first rounds of novels to come out for Phase 1. Burryaga was featured in the Light of the Jedi cover, and everyone was ecstatic to know more about this character. He is the second Jedi we have seen in Star Wars media wielding a crossguard lightsaber, with Kylo Ren being the first back in The Force Awakens in 2015, and one of the first Wookie Force users to make such a prominent appearance.
But his lightsaber is not the only reason he is named here on this list. His Master, Nib Assek, and Burryaga helped in the rescue effort to save the Hetzal system during the Great Hyperspace Disaster. It was his observations and connection to the Force that allowed him to discover the hyperspace anomalies within the system and convey that the starship fragments had survivors on board.
He is a resilient and compassionate Jedi, despite him having a hard time connecting with people due to his language barrier. But his Master, Nib Assek, learned Shryiiwook in order to properly train her student and make sure Burryaga became a formidable Jedi.
#7: Loden Greatstorm
“Loden…Greatstorm? By the Path, that’s too perfect. It’s truly a great pleasure to meet you, my friend. I think we will accomplish wonderful things together.”
Loden Greatstorm is considered one of the greatest teachers in the Order and was constantly improving both himself and other Padawans so all may benefit from the gift of learning. He took Bell Zettifar as his Padawan, raising him to make his own decisions under his guiding watch. Stating that any task he gives his students can be accomplished completely by the student, and they do not need to be handheld to success.
A Jedi that was keen on defending all life, even the greedy or cruel beings, believed that it was the Jedi’s responsibility and their own views should not come before this. He truly embodied true Jedi morals of being peacekeepers and forces of good across the galaxy.
His teaching methods and overall power and prestige in comparison with other characters made him a valuable asset to the Order, with his teaching impacting the generations that followed.
#6: Elzar Mann
“I guess I’m dead then. If I was alive, believe me, you’d know my name.”
Elzar Mann was a Jedi that confused both his allies and enemies, being somewhat of a controversial Jedi that embodied similar traits to Anakin Skywalker’s rebellious ways of using the Force. But this trait truly separates him from others in the Order as a “tinkerer” of the Force who tried different ways to manipulate it to do new things, expanding its use and versatility. To me this made him much more interesting and entertaining to read about, knowing that this man had influenced countless generations of Jedi down the line, including his interaction with Luke Skywalker in the 20th edition of Star Wars, by Marvel Comics.
This theorizing allowed the Jedi Order to rediscover abilities and connections to the Force that had been lost with time, such as the “mind touch” and a force bond with his close friend Avar Kriss. Of course, this meant his connection to the Force was deep, much like an endless and bottomless sea to which he often described it, a power that could never be depleted.
He is a bit of a maverick, with a tendency to push boundaries of acceptable behavior, but not all Jedi are perfect, and Elzar Mann is still considered a powerful Jedi.
#5- Reath Silas
“It seems like adventure keeps finding me, whether I want it to or not.”
Reath Silas was quite busy as a Padawan.
From accidentally releasing the Drengir on the Amaxine space station to fighting in the Assault on Mulita and the subsequent capture of the Great Progenitor to destroying the Nihil weapon called the Gravity’s Heart, Reath had made a mark as a capable warrior amongst the Jedi.
In order to follow the wishes of his late Master, Jora Malli, he abandoned the comfort he found in the Jedi Archives and instead stationed himself at the Starlight Beacon. He made several allies on his journies, including Vernesta Rowh and her Padawan Imri Cantaros, who often joined him on his missions.
This young man was even Knighted by Master Yoda, as well as Masters Kantam Sy and Cohmac Vitus right after the destruction of the Starlight Beacon. Because of this he easily takes the spot of my favorite Padawan of Phase One, being well-versed from his time in the Jedi Archives to his considerable achievements on the battlefield.
#4: Ty Yorrick
“Moons we go to Loreth, Suns we head to Toydaria.”
Before her career as a saber-for-hire and monster hunter, Ty Yorrick previously known as Tylera, was a Jedi Padawan before her departure from the Order.
She was in mercenary work for nearly a decade under Caratoo’s band where she fought countless creatures across planets and became a name to be feared. She chooses to walk her path alone, spare for her two astromechs: the admin unit KL-03 and the astromech droid R0-VR. This self-imposed exile comes from her traumatizing experience with then fellow Padawan Klias Teradine after she was forced to kill him after he was taken over by the Yallow.
Her pain at the loss of her friend pushed her towards honing her skills as a warrior, facing her fears and channeling her emotions into the betterment of others who were affected by these monsters. She didn’t cross paths with the Jedi again until the Republic Fair on Valo, and then again at the realization that the Drengir were both a real and serious threat that became something she could no longer ignore.
Ty Yorrick is the first mercenary Jedi that I have heard of, and because of this, I ranked her in my top 5. Her personality, character story, and overall power as a monster hunter make her a force to be reckoned with and an entertaining hero.
“Most Jedi have felt the temptation of the dark side. It is only natural. But we resist it. It is a deliberate path to the dark, not a series of bad days. Being a Jedi is about choosing the light over and over again.“
Sskeer was a Jedi Master who faced a great many challenges in his charge of a Jedi against the mighty Drengir.
Sskeer lost his left arm to Nihil pirates as well as witnessing the death of fellow Jedi Master, Jora Malli, which caused him to slowly lose his connection to the Force due to the progression of his Trandoshan primal instincts. This resulted in him putting his young Padawan, Keeve Trennis, through the Jedi Trials sooner than planned, watching her become a Jedi Knight. All of these events began to test Sskeer’s devotion to the Light Side of the Force, tempting him to succumb to the Dark Side.
Eventually, Sskeer was infested with the Drengir and decided to embrace this parasite in order to fully understand the threat the Jedi faced and better help them to defeat the Drengir. After a struggle to help Sskeer regain his true consciousness, he told them of the Drengir’s motivations and history before forcing the monsters to the surface.
His character is a model of self-sacrifice and atonement for his past mistakes, making Sskeer a relatable character and a unique Jedi. He had a certain wisdom and way of telling truths that made his character quite special.
#2: Marchion Ro
“Your belief is irrelevant, Master Jedi. Truth is truth”
The man himself, the orchestrator of the Great Hyperspace Disaster.
Also known as the Eye of the Nihil, Marchion Ro was a significant disruptive voice against the Republic as he attacked their hyperspace lanes and soon after profited from their eventual blockades. The Nihil was a marauder group that he inherited from his father and grandmother after his father’s assassination by one of the previous Nihil leaders.
Some of the traits that make Ro so dangerous are his abundance of patience and strategy. Constantly outmaneuvering and tricking the Jedi into believing whatever story he constructs. Such as faking their destruction in a “Republic trap” that allowed him to hunt down an ancient relic to be able to control a Nameless creature.
This thing is one hell of a family heirloom.
Referred to as the Great Leveler, this Nameless creature has the ability to nullify a Force-sensitive’s connection to the Force by overwhelming their senses. The Ro family believed this creature to represent balance and was revered by the ancestors of the Eye of the Nihil.
Ro would continue to find and unleash other Nameless in order to exact his family’s revenge, eventually releasing them upon the Starlight Beacon in which the Leveler was no doubt present.
Marchion Ro is a terrifying enemy to have, with his ability to change the balance of the war to even the odds for his allies. His well-thought-out plans and overall effectiveness in their execution easily places him at the #2 spot.
#1: Avar Kriss
“Whenever you feel alone…whenever darkness closes in…hear our signal and know that the Force is with you. This is our promise. This is our covenant. For light and life…“
Avar Kriss was a name well known to all Jedi, and most especially to the Nihil.
She was a leader in most battles and major events that happened on and after the Great Hyperspace Disaster, eventually becoming the commander of the Starlight Beacon. After the dedication ceremony of the Starlight Beacon, Avar Kriss was named Marshal in lieu of a position on the Jedi Council. Her unwavering leadership placed her at the helm of the Republic’s response to the Nihil marauders, using her powers with the Force to help them achieve great victories.
Kriss possessed a Force gift never before seen in Star Wars media before. She viewed the Force as a sweet song which allowed her to detect and bond with multiple Force-users through a “network”, giving Jedi instructions with emotions and sensations that would then guide all who could feel it. This gift gave her the ability to lead Jedi even if she was not directly there, giving her immense advantages in battle. This coupled with her ability to use the Force to float as well as summon large rainfalls demonstrated a dense connection to the Force that only added to her prestige.
She is not without fault though, acting on her rage and rising pressure to succeed in her fight against the Nihil. Going to great lengths to stop Tempest Runner, Lourna Dee. Attempting to bring down her ship as she attempted to escape and then denouncing Sskeer as a Jedi pending a final Jedi Council decision for questioning her in her pursuit of Dee.
Her leadership and steadfast attitude no doubt were crucial for the Jedi to achieve victory against the Drengir and Nihil forces, unifying an Order under the light of the Beacon.
Phase One: No Shortage of Great Characters
So, what did you think?
Do you agree with my rankings, or would you have switched any characters around?
The characters in Phase One are numerous and diverse, truly becoming a galaxy filled with unique faces and souls that I can’t wait to learn more about.
Treat yourself and read up more about these characters and those they interact with before the complete Phase One book releases on August 15, 2023. I definitely will be picking up my copy!
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