The High Republic: Temptation Of The Force Shows That Love Is What The Jedi Need To Save The Star Wars Galaxy – SlashFilm


I think more than any of the books in “The High Republic,” this one wears its theme on its sleeves in really fascinating ways. Virtually every character in the book grapples with love in some form or another, good and bad. The villain, Marchion Ro, has an obsession with power and control, which manifests as his love for those things. For his chief political ally, Ghirra Starros, she’s confronted with her love of her daughter over her duty to her boss. Cair San Tekka and Xylan Graff are a married couple who treat each other in the most horrible ways in the name of their love. Jedi legend Porter Engle, the Blade of Bardotta, pursues some sense of revenge. Each of their stories intertwine and each characters struggles with what that desire means to them. Of course, there are the standard “Star Wars”-scale galactic conflicts through the course of the book. There are thrilling lightsaber battles, space fights, and adventure enough to go around, but this book really gets to the heart of what “Star Wars” really means.

Rian Johnson so perfectly encapsulated in the lines of Rose Tico in “The Last Jedi” when she told Finn, “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not by fighting what we hate. But saving what we love.”

This is how Luke Skywalker saved Darth Vader. The inverse of this is how Anakin Skywalker transformed into Darth Vader in the first place. This idea is the thumping heartbeat of the entire “Star Wars” saga and Tessa Gratton so elegantly put it to work in this novel in ways that felt surprising, refreshing, and eloquent.

It’s not neat and tidy, and it doesn’t mean the same thing to every character, and that’s part of what makes it so well wrought. Each character grapples with it in different ways and they each come to different understandings, allowing the reader to make up their own mind about which kinds of love are most important and powerful. Ultimately, though, it’s the power of love between Elzar and Avar that becomes most meaningful.

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