Order 66 is the most cataclysmic event in the Jedi’s history, but it’s hardly their only tragedy, and Star Wars is finally showing one of the worst.
- Star Wars is finally exploring the catastrophic event known as the Great Disaster, which occurred during the age of the High Republic and had a lasting impact on the Jedi Order and the Outer Rim.
- The Starlight Beacon, which was destroyed by the Nihil, played a crucial role in connecting the Outer Rim with the inner planets and was seen as a pillar of light by some and as a monument of oppression by others.
- The Great Disaster made the Jedi afraid and was one of the greatest threats they had faced since the reign of the Sith Empire, paving the way for the more well-known tragedy of Order 66.
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Warning! This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight #1 Order 66 was the massacre of the entire Jedi Order through the use of Clone Troopers under the direct control of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious, and while that moment in Star Wars history was indeed a dark one for the Jedi, it wasn’t the only one. In fact, centuries before Order 66, there was another event that was catastrophic for the Jedi – and Star Wars is finally exploring it.
During the age of the High Republic, Jedi were more prevalent in the galaxy than they ever were before or sense. Indeed, it was the height of the Jedi Order, as the peacekeepers of the galaxy were stretched far and wide across the cosmos, helping those who would have otherwise been forgotten. There was even an outpost set up by the Republic in conjunction with the Jedi Order known as the Starlight Beacon, which was placed within the Outer Rim. The Starlight Beacon allowed faster responses to outlying planets within the Republic’s jurisdiction. However, some species saw it not as a pillar of light, but as a monument to oppression, sparking its destruction by the hand of a group of extremists, which became known as the Great Disaster. While this event is something fans have heard about before, the Great Disaster is finally being fleshed out to its fullest extent, as teased in a new preview for Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight.
Star Wars’ Pre-Order 66 Jedi Disaster Is Finally Being Explored
In a preview for Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight #1 by Charles Soule and Ibraim Roberson, readers are faced with the fallout of the Great Disaster, as well as the details associated with it. The Starlight Beacon was destroyed by the dangerous marauders known as the Nihil, who then proceeded to take control over that region of space, even going so far as to block hyperspace routes. A great number of Jedi were killed, and all who remained were brought back to Coruscant for fear of their safety in the Outer Rim.
While so far it seems the Great Disaster was far less catastrophic than Order 66, the reaches of its impact are still being felt in Star Wars canon to this day. The Starlight Beacon made the Outer Rim a priority in the galaxy, and better connected those worlds with the higher-profile inner planets. However, as current Star Wars fans are painfully aware, the Outer Rim is generally forgotten by whatever government is in power at that time, which is why those planets are mostly controlled by crime syndicates. The destruction of Starlight Beacon seemingly cursed those planets to that fate, which they’ve endured for centuries.
Not only was the Great Disaster a tragedy with lasting impact for the wider galaxy, but it also did something to the Jedi Order that few events or entities have done before: it made them afraid. A lot can be said for the use of fear in one’s enemy during times of conflict, and this preview made it clear that the Jedi were afraid by what transpired with the Starlight Beacon. Practically since the reign of the Sith Empire, this event was the greatest threat the Jedi had faced, and the greatest threat the Order would face until the fateful Order 66. And now, Star Wars is finally showing this immensely dark moment in Jedi history.
Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight #1 by Marvel Comics is available October 4, 2023.