Longtime Star Wars scribe John Jackson Miller is returning to a galaxy far, far away next year with a brand-new novel titled Star Wars: The Living Force. Set one year before The Phantom Menace, Miller will be taking readers on what is being described as a “road trip” with each member of the Jedi Council while one member of the Order fears they are about to decline into nothing. The Living Force will be released on April 9, 2024.
Miller is the brain behind the beloved Kenobi novel, Dark Horse’s Knights of the Old Republic comic, and the first novel in canon, A New Dawn. This is his first long-form Star Wars project since A New Dawn‘s publication in 2013.
iO9 broke the news of Random House World’s next novel, along with a look at the full cover and synopsis. Check them both out below, followed by some comments from Miller on what to expect:
In the year before The Phantom Menace, Yoda, Mace Windu, and the entire Jedi Council confront a galaxy on the brink of change.
The Jedi have always traveled the stars, defending peace and justice across the galaxy. But, the galaxy is changing, and along with it, the Jedi Order. More and more, the Order finds itself focused on the future of the Republic, secluded on Coruscant, where the twelve members of the Jedi Council weigh crises on a galactic scale.
As yet another Jedi Outpost leftover from the Republic’s golden age is set to be decommissioned on the planet Kwenn, Qui-Gon Jinn challenges the Council about the increasing isolation of the Order. Mace Windu suggests a bold response: all twelve Jedi Masters will embark on a goodwill mission to help the planet, and remind the people of the galaxy that the Jedi remain as stalwart and present as they have been across the ages.
But the arrival of the Jedi leadership is not seen by all as a cause for celebration. Warring pirate factions have infested the sector in the increasing absence of the Jedi. To maintain their dominance, the pirates unite, intent on assassinating the Council. And they are willing to destroy countless innocent lives to secure their power.
Cut off from Coruscant, the Jedi Masters must reckon with an unwelcome truth: that while no one thinks more about the future than the Jedi Council, nobody needs their help more than those living in the present.
In the past number of years, Lucasfilm Publishing has not been afraid to explore the fall of the prequel era Jedi, with Inquisitor: Rise of the Red Blade being the most recent example. Qui-Gon Jinn has also been at the center of much of the debate, and Miller took notice. He compared his approach to Qui-Gon to the way he tackled Obi-Wan in Kenobi, saying:
“Many of my Star Wars works have explored what it meant to be a Jedi alone, cut off from the Jedi Order. The organization came in for criticism in those books, and I found myself sympathizing with Qui-Gon Jinn, who felt they’d lost touch… So when [Random House Worlds] editor Tom Hoeler invited me to develop a story for the Jedi Council in their last year before The Phantom Menace, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
With some Councilors trying to see the future while others are reeling under the bureaucratic demands of an increasingly corrupt Republic, Qui-Gon challenges them to get out of the Council Chamber and rediscover the Jedi they used to be. Their response is a ‘road trip’ for all 12 Councilors, giving us our first in-depth adventures with many of them—and a look into a side of the galaxy that can’t be seen from their Temple on Coruscant. We also learn what it’s like to live in the immediate pre-Prequel era, whether you’re a civilian, a member of the nascent Republic military, or in the underworld.”
Star Wars: The Living Force will be available in all forms on April 9, 2024 and is available for pre-order now.
Nate uses his love for Star Wars and movies in general as a way to cope with the pain of being a Minnesota sports fan. When he’s not at the theater, you can usually find Nate reading a comic, listening to an audiobook, or playing a Mario video game for the 1,000th time.