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The Prequel to the Prequel’s Prequel

Hmmm, I think I got that title wrong. I wanted to write something catchy but obviously language puzzles are not really my thing. In case of Star Wars storytelling backwards in time, this triple 'prequels' looks fine, but again if I put all the main Jedi characters of various ages in chronological order, i.e. something like this: Gella > Avar > Anakin > Luke > Rey, then it does look like that I missed one more word 'prequel' in it. Or.. well.. if we consider Rey's story to be the only sequel to the first prequel's main story in this thread, which started with "A New Hope", the very first movie of the franchise that initiated it all... then I could be correct after all.. Right? Oh, darn it, let it be... So, let's explore the latest prequel in the galaxy far, far away and long time ago, minus 150 years.

Minus 150 years means, 150 solar cycles of the Coruscant, capital of the Republic, an entire planet evolved into one giant city, before the phase I in the Star Wars canon, described in the books started with "The High Republic: Light of the Jedi".  Phase II consists of two (adult) books, "The High Republic: Convergence" and "The High Republic: Cataclysm" and it is placed officially around the year of 382 BBY (382 Coruscant's years before the battle of Yavin within "A New Hope").

After finishing the books, I couldn't shake the same feeling I had after watching "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story". Due to early history of VFX in creating the movies, the very first trilogy came, from this distance, not visually great and had a hard time conjuring the "wars" part from the title. Don't take me wrong, when I was young and saw "A New Hope" for the first time - I watched it with my mouth wide open almost entire duration of the film. The second trilogy jumped into a trap of using too much of visual effects which in result looked more like fairytale then anything else. The latest trilogy came to fix things a bit, but still in my mind only "Rogue One" rendered the war as it should be - as a brutal and believable one with tremendous action and fabulous ending. In the world of the "Star Wars" books that belong to the same franchise canon, "The High Republic: Cataclysm" provided the same feeling as "Rogue One" once did. The latest book fully justified the entire "Star Wars" premise. There were moments during the reading that I couldn't believe that words alone were capable enough to portray the battle of such epic proportions using only reader's imagination and nothing more.

Behind the pen of the latest novel was Lydia Kang and comparing to the prequel book and those three from the phase I, the "Cataclysm" is perhaps the best of them all. Sure, Lydia's storytelling is perfect with lots of characters well described but she was in luck - the story that ended the first phase of the High Republic era had it all, already mentioned fast paced action described in great detail, interesting and respectable villains and multiple storylines from protagonists belonging to the "good guys" (or to the Light side of the Force, to be exact), including both the Jedi and people originated from the Republic forces and those from planets Eiram and E'ronoh whose backstory is the backbone of the entire phase. If we add young(er) Yoda and Yaddle fully included in the story, the author really had an easy task to pack one of the most interesting Star Wars books to date.

Surely, the end is not concluded and we are left with many loose ends on both sides (villains and heroes) but that was to be expected. As hinted in previous books, the Leveler (a Nameless species), with the ability to overwhelm Force-sensitives and nullify their connection to the Force is something I am sure we will encounter again in the future. The future of Star Wars canon that is, as it is absent from the movies and I guess their fate will be resolved in the void after the phase 2 and the Battle of Yavin or time described with 0 BBY. 

To me, one of the main interesting facts after reading all five Star Wars Adult books from the High Republic times and those I also read and don't belong to the canon or directly to the official franchise was the need of picturing all the species from the galaxy far, far away. The history of watching movies helped a lot, but I definitely needed to do a little research to find out what all the species look like to allow my imagination to be as accurate as possible while reading.

The images I chose to illustrate the text of this blog story are not entirely accurate as they belong to different Star Wars concept arts but the High Republic stories are still very young and we will have to wait for the future movies for more photographic details. I, for one, would definitely want to see at least one movie dedicated to this events in the upcoming years.

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