9 best characters introduced in 2022 Star Wars novels

Star Wars: The High Republic: Path of Deceit, written by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland. Image courtesy StarWars.com
Star Wars: The High Republic: Path of Deceit, written by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland. Image courtesy StarWars.com /

2022 proved to be an excellent year for new Star Wars novels. It featured the last wave of novels in Phase I of the High Republic and the first wave of novels in Phase II of the High Republic. Iconic duos like Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi got their own novels, while duos fans usually don’t see like Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian also got to team up.

Many of these novels featured familiar characters, from original trilogy-era characters like Luke and Lando, to prequel-era characters like Padmé Amidala, to previously introduced High Republic characters such as Kantam Sy and Vernestra Rwoh. However, many new characters were also introduced in Star Wars novels this year, with 9 in particular standing out.

It is important to keep in mind that this list is subjective. These are my 9 favorite characters introduced in Star Wars novels this year and your list of favorite characters introduced this year will likely be different than mine. The important thing is to celebrate the many great characters being added to Star Wars publishing!

Warning: This article contains spoilers from numerous Star Wars novel released in 2022.

9. JJ-5145 in The Fallen Star

The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray mainly featured characters introduced in previous novels and comics from Phase I of the High Republic. Of the new characters introduced in The Fallen Star, JJ-5145–nicknamed Forfive–was the standout.

Elzar Mann sends the droid to Stellan Gios as a practical joke, with Forfive following Stellan around Starlight Beacon, cheerily giving advice, and sincerely offering “to label, prioritize, sort, file, collate and otherwise organize every aspect of your existence.”

Forfive begins as a comedic character showing the playfulness in Elzar and Stellan’s friendship. As the story progresses, Forfive becomes a valuable asset to Stellan as he tries to protect those in peril from the sabotage of Starlight Beacon.

By the end of the story, Forfive has become far more than comic relief or a valuable asset. Stellan ordered him to take the last escape pod from Starlight Beacon and told Forfive that he was a gift for Elzar, along with delivering Stellan’s lightsaber to Elzar.

Forfive was loyal to Stellan until the end and will forever remind Elzar of his dear friend and Stellan’s courageous sacrifice. Forfive made the emotional ending of The Fallen Star hit even harder and it will be bittersweet to likely see him alongside Elzar in Phase III of the High Republic.

8. Sister in Queen’s Hope and Brotherhood

Sister is not a major character in Queen’s Hope by E.K. Johnston or in Brotherhood by Mike Chen, yet the introduction and inclusion of the character is an important step forward for transgender representation in Star Wars. As a transgender female clone trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic, it is heartwarming to see how her brothers have embraced her as one of their own and view her as an equal.

The same can be said in her interaction with Anakin Skywalker when she is introduced in Queen’s Hope. Just as Anakin speaks to Captain Rex as an equal in The Clone Wars, he speaks with Sister as an equal in Queen’s Hope. By seeing how Sister and the other clones are developing individual identities so quickly, Queen’s Hope helps explain how Anakin so quickly becomes comfortable with working and fighting alongside them as seen in The Clone Wars.

Sister is also seen briefly in Brotherhood. It is great to see the same transgender character appear in 2 Star Wars novels in the same year. Hopefully, transgender characters will not only be included in future Star Wars novels, but will have increasingly larger roles in the overall narrative.

7. The Mother/Elecia Zeveron in Path of Deceit & Convergence

As the primary antagonist of Phase II of the High Republic, the Mother/Elecia Zeveron feels all too real. While leading the anti-force cult known as the Path of the Open Hand, the Mother weaponizes people’s beliefs. She manipulates her followers’ faith to serve her own desires and quest for power.

Like many real-world villains, the Mother will smile and seem kindly, generous, and benevolent while she’s really planning to stab you in the back for her own gain. In some ways, this makes her even more formidable than the Phase I primary antagonist Marchion Ro because she is not as obviously villainous and can deceive others more easily.

Between her appearances in Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland and Convergence by Zoraida Córdova, the Mother is shaping up to be quite the memorable villain.

6. Ruug Quarnom in Brotherhood

Ruug Quarnom in Brotherhood goes a long way in changing how Star Wars fans see Neimoidians. Through Nute Gunray and other high-ranking members of the Trade Federation, the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars primarily portrayed the Neimoidians as cowardly and greedy individuals, with Qui-Gon Jinn even saying early on in The Phantom Menace that “These Federation types are cowards.”

The honorable Neimoidian character Ruug helps to shatter these stereotypes. Despite being a member of the Neimoidian Royal Guard, she doesn’t blindly follow what she is told. She is determined to learn the truth of who is behind the bombing on Cato Neimoidia, even when it means repeatedly risking her own safety.

It would be much easier to hate Obi-Wan Kenobi and blame him, the Jedi, and the Republic for the bombing. Instead of doing what is easy, she takes the more difficult path of working with him so the truth can be brought to light, conflict can be de-escalated, and cycles of violence can end.

Ruug’s open-minded, brave, and honorable ways help to prove that Neimoidians are more than the stereotypes shown previously.

5. Komat in Shadow of the Sith

Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher features many familiar characters such as Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, Ochi of Bestoon, a young Rey, and Kiza from Chuck Wending’s Aftermath trilogy, but there are also some new characters such as Komat.

Like Kiza, Komat is a former member of the Acolytes of the Beyond. Despite previously belonging to a group that worshipped the Dark Side of the Force, Komat is now filled with a sense of serenity and peace. These traits go a long way in helping Lando as he wrestles with the search for his daughter and later on the failure of saving the family Lando and Luke were pursuing (young Rey and her parents).

Komat is an example of “paying it forward” as Luke saved her life years ago, which led her to renouncing being a member of the Acolyte of the Beyond, and instead went into exile on the planet Polaar. Now she is able to pay it forward by helping Luke and Lando in their mission and later by helping Lando recover and center himself moving forward.

Despite Polaar being a world poisoned with distrionic radiation, Komat has made the planet home for herself alongside the duelist droid KB-68, a pet targon named Sekhmet, and the mouse droid M-1. Adam Christopher teased on Twitter that he has a story idea in mind for following Komat and her companions further, which elicited an enthusiastic reaction from many fans due to the positive reception toward Komat’s character.

4. Kevmo Zink in Path of Deceit

There is something undeniably charming about the energetic, eager, and optimistic Padawan Kevmo Zink in Path of Deceit. He is so full of life and curiosity and you want nothing but the best for him.

Even when good things happen with Kevmo, there is a sense of dread hanging over him throughout the story. Those who have read Phase I of the High Republic know that the Path of the Open Hand will lead to the Nihil and know that the ruthless Marchion Ro is a descendant of Marda Ro, which adds an underlying tension to all of his interactions with Marda and the Path of the Open Hand.

The innocent, lovable nature of Kevmo makes his tragic fate truly devastating, a cruel twist of fate, the devastation of which may even be on par with the fate of Loden Greatstorm in The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott.

3. Yano Ro in Path of Deceit

Yana Ro feels like a perfect follow-up to what was established in the Eye of the Storm comics by Charles Soule, which showed that Marchio’s Ro species (the Evereni) are typically cutthroat individuals who will do whatever is necessary to survive. Unlike her devout sister Marda, Yana is not a true believer in the Mother or the Path of the Open Hand. For Yana, the Path of the Open Hand is simply a means of survival, and when she tries to escape the cult, she is ultimately left with no choice but to stay, once again for the sake of her survival and the survival of her sister.

With the other 2 point of view characters in Path of Deceit (Marda and Kevmo) being so sweetly naïve much of the time, it is important to have a pragmatic character like Yana who sees things for the way they are. Yana helps the reader truly understand why she and other Evereni throughout the galaxy’s history feel they cannot rely on anyone but themselves and how difficult it can be for them to survive.

Yana’s relationship with the Nautolan Kor Plouth also provides more positive LGBTQ+ representation in Star Wars. Her relationships with her girlfriend and her sister–both of whom are more idealistic than her–show how much Yana cares about those closest to her and that she’s not just fighting to survive for herself.

2. Marda Ro in Path of Deceit

Given the calculated and merciless nature of Marchion Ro, it came as a surprise that his ancestor Marda Ro is a sweet, innocent, and naïve individual. In the eyes of the Mother, this makes her perfect for the Path of the Open Hand, someone who will fully embrace and devote herself to the Mother and the teachings of the anti-Force cult.

What the Mother doesn’t like as much is how influential Marda can be. Everyone can see how genuine Marda is in her beliefs and her devotion, making her far more powerful and potentially influential than the Mother could ever be, something that Marda herself is unable to currently recognize in full.

There is also her burgeoning relationship with Kevmo, a relationship that opens her eyes to possibilities and ideas that she never dreamed of before, making it all the more heartbreaking to see her have all the wrong takeaways from Kevmo’s tragic fate.

As Phase II continues, Maarda is arguably the most intriguing character to keep an eye on given the enormous power she doesn’t realize she has and how this will pave the way for her descendant who will go on to terrorize the galaxy.

1. Mill Alibeth in Brotherhood

Zabrak Jed Initiate Mill Alibeth in Brotherhood may be young, but she is wise beyond her years. While most of the Jedi embrace their sudden transition from peacekeepers into generals and soldiers without a second thought, Mill has the wisdom and awareness to question this jarring change.

Mill is relatable to many readers because she feels like an outsider, even among her fellow Jedi Initiates. This makes it all the more moving to see her connect with Anakin Skywalker, another Jedi who often feels like an outsider.

Through her deeply empathic abilities, Mill is able to understand and even relate to Anakin more than almost any other character. It is beautiful to see her helping Anakin and to see Anakin helping Mill learn to trust herself and better control her abilities. Mill paves the way to make Anakin a better teacher during his time with Ahsoka Tano.

Mill is a remarkable character and Star Wars need more of her.

Next. 6 High Republic questions answered in Star Wars: Path of Deceit. dark