Over the decades, the Star Wars canon has changed, with certain stories and characters — like Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker’s evil clone Luuke and his wife Mara Jade Skywalker — being relegated to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, often referred to as Star Wars Legends.
Recently, however, the creatives behind the Star Wars franchise have been bringing an increasing number of Legends tales back to the existing Star Wars canon.
Mara Jade, for example, seems rife for her live-action debut alongside Grand Admiral Thrawn in Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s The Mandalorian saga, and director Patty Jenkins is set to take inspiration from the Rogue Squadron novels in her upcoming Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (2023) movie.
Now, the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia initiative has brought a terrifying Sith monster back to the current canon. The Leveler was introduced in Cavan Scott’s novel “Rising Storm”, and then appeared again in Daniel Jose Older and David Wachter’s Marvel Comic “Star Wars: Trail of Shadows #1″.
From what we know so far, Levelers were once an imminent threat across the Star Wars galaxy, but they have been largely forgotten by the High Republic’s Golden Age of the Jedi Order. However, this terrifying Sith monster is once again posing a problem for Jedi Knights.
A dormant Leveler was awoken by the space Vikings known as the Nihil, and it proved itself the ultimate Force predator, effortlessly consuming a powerful Jedi Master. Intriguingly, the Leveler bears striking similarities to a beast seen in the old Expanded Universe, suggesting Lucasfilm has brought a monstrous creature back into canon.
Hailing from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the terentateks were fearsome beasts who consumed the blood of Jedi. “The terentatek is a predator, and we are its prey,” Jedi Knight Deesra Luur Jada explained. There were several version of terentateks in Legends, with many resembling rancors…
Although High Republic stories are set about 200 years before the Skywalker Saga begins with Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), it is fascinating to discover how creatures like Levelers foreshadowed, and prepared for, the reign of fan-favorite characters like Darth Maul, Darth Vader — who will soon be coming back to the Star Wars universe when Hayden Christensen returns in Obi-Wan Kenobi — and Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious centuries before they existed.
This wave of High Republic materials has promised to reveal the greatest threat to the Jedi at this point in the Star Wars timeline and it certainly seems possible that the beast known as the Leveler will play a key role in propelling the rise of the Sith moving forward.
More on “Star Wars: The High Republic – Trail of Shadows #1″
Marvel’s official description of “Trail of Shadows #1” reads:
JEDI KNIGHT AND PRIVATE EYE TEAM UP TO UNCOVER A MYSTERY THAT WILL CHANGE THE HIGH REPUBLIC FOREVER! A Jedi Master is dead. Another is in a state of complete shock. It’s a murder the likes of which the Jedi Order has never seen before. There are no leads. There are no suspects. There is no motive. But Jedi Investigator EMERICK CAPHTOR must solve the case before it’s too late. The fate of the Jedi, the Hutts, the Nihil and everyone in the galaxy, hangs by this tangled thread of lies and deceit. Emerick will need to dive into the darkness, testing himself and his Jedi ideals like never before. He’ll need help. Luckily, Private Eye SIAN HOLT lives in the dark. Together, they’ll follow this trail of shadows wherever it leads. If they can work together, that is.
Do you think the Leveler will play an important role in the Star Wars franchise moving forward?