Thursday, April 18

Qui-Gon Challenges the Jedi Council in First ‘Star Wars: The Living Force’ Excerpt

The first excerpt for Star Wars: The Living Force has been released. John Jackson Miller’s return to long-form Star Wars has been hotly-anticipated since the novel’s announcement, soon coming to shelves on April 9. The book, taking place one year before The Phantom Menace, has been described as a “road trip” with all twelve members of the Jedi Council. Their destination is Kwenn, home to an old Jedi outpost. Inciting this rare event is Qui-Gon Jinn, who challenges the council that the Order doesn’t care about the people like it once did. shared the excerpt and a sneak peek at the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition. It contains a new poster insert with a colored map of Kwenn on the flip side. Random House Worlds isn’t pulling any punches in its marketing of The Living Force, announcing other goodies that can be redeemed simply by pre-ordering the book. We’ll run down all of that after the excerpt.

“I thank all of you.” Qui-Gon bowed. He started to turn to leave the Council Chamber—only to gesture with his hands. “Help one person. A Jedi needs no permission for that.”

“It seems we have been given a challenge,” Mace said with no little amusement after the doors closed behind Qui-Gon. “I can’t imagine how improving lives never occurred to us.”

Light laughter followed—but not from everyone. “We all respect Master Qui-Gon,” Ki-Adi-Mundi said. “But we have heard this before from him, many times.” He crossed his arms. “The Jedi Order serves society—but it is not a government agency.”

Yoda looked up from his contemplation. “Not of the Order does Qui-Gon speak. He means individual Jedi.”

Ki-Adi-Mundi nodded deferentially. “It is true—stories of Jedi who are isolated from the Order have always fascinated him. And his master, too, if I recall. They show what good could be done without our cares of state. But members of the Jedi Council are capable of considering the galactic and the local. Indeed, it is our job.”

Saesee shrugged. “This is classic Qui-Gon. Nothing new.”

“I disagree,” Mace said, pausing a moment as he mused. “This was different. We are different.”

The others stared at him in surprise. Depa looked at him searchingly. “Go on, Master.”

Mace looked around. “You all know I protect the traditions of the Order. There is wisdom in them. And yet even I can see it: We rarely act as individuals. Our responsibilities mount—but this body remains the same size. Members of the Council are bound to Coruscant more than ever before.” He gestured to the holographic figures. “Just three of us are away—and only Master Billaba is undertaking investigative work.”

“And I have spent three hours in hiding attending this meeting,” Depa said. “And forgive me—but only now, near the end, have we come to the productive part.”

“A part that was never on the agenda,” Yaddle said. She looked to the center of the room. “Qui-Gon sees our condition clearly. But I am not sure what to prescribe.”

Adi Gallia raised her datapad and spoke with hesitation. “I’m reluc­tant to bring matters back to business, but the chancellor’s office pro­vided us this year’s final list of suggestions regarding Jedi assets.”

Piell snorted. “Final as a politician’s promise.”

Mace waved his hand. All the members had a good understanding of the nature of the Senate, and a healthy skepticism. He quite agreed with Piell. But calling attention to that served no purpose at the moment. “Continue, Master Gallia.”

“We covered the locations where the Senate expects growth,” Adi said, “where its requests for Jedi aid are likely to expand. As usual when that happens, we compile a list of outposts that Jedi no longer frequent, either for research or for other activities, to balance the need.”

“Our study has been completed?” Mace asked.

“Just now.” She read as information scrolled across her datapad screen. “Janaus. Lesser Tontakoh. Barayfe.”

Yarael chortled. “Does anyone live in those places?”

Adi paused, and her eyes widened.

“What is it?” Mace asked.

She looked up. “Kwenn.”

Stunned silence.

Oppo was the first to break it with a half-whispered “No.”

His shock was shared by Council members young and old. “That one’s been open for nearly two hundred years,” Piell said.

“Almost exactly,” Eeth responded. “This would have been the bicen­tennial of its founding.”

“Present, several of us were,” Yoda said. “A symbol, at the edge of Hutt space.”

Plo nodded. “A grand gesture. It showed there was no place we would not go.”

“And it crowned what was yet another great achievement, on the planet itself,” Yaddle said. “A monumental work that this Order—including one of us here—had much to do with.”

Her eyes turned to Oppo—as did those of several others who knew his role. But the holographic figure appeared lost in thought. “Many were involved,” he finally said, before looking away.

Even the more taciturn members seemed affected by the news. “I first visited Kwenn as a Padawan,” Saesee recalled.

“We have all visited,” Ki-Adi-Mundi added. “Some, many times.”

Yarael seemed thunderstruck. “I loved the repertory theater there.”

Mace couldn’t argue with the others’ concerns, but he also couldn’t help but notice something. “Our experiences there are many. But how recent are any of them?”

“Not very,” Adi said after consulting the study. “The surrounding sys­tems haven’t had active relic excavations in years, and our missions in the area have declined just as trade has. And leaving facilities in unsta­ble regions unattended for too long puts the materials inside them at risk.”

Mace nodded. “That’s why we closed Tharben and Keldooine—and just now, Ord Jannak. Those I understood. But has Kwenn changed so?”

Adi tilted her head. “Between pirates and taxes, the Ootmian route is out of favor. Traffic at the Kwenn Space Station is down; I suspect the same for the planet below. Corporations leave, then the people. That’s what Master Qui-Gon saw.”

Read the rest of the excerpt on For those who pick up their books from Barnes & Noble, you will find a new poster inside. On the flip side of the poster is a map of Kwenn. Check out both below:

There will be a black-and-white map of Kwenn in every copy of The Living Force, but Barnes & Noble’s will be in color with the above notes. Miller had this to say on the inclusion of the map:

If Barnes & Noble isn’t an option, maybe you’ll be interested in the limited editions provided by Inkstone Books and Goldsboro Books. You can find out more about those editions at the links provided.

Star Wars: The Living Force will be available on April 9, 2024 and is available for pre-order now. No matter the method you pre-order, don’t forget to submit your receipt to Penguin Random House. They are offering signed bookplates until April 16. You can do that here.