Writer Justina Ireland recently provided an update on her upcoming Star Wars: The High Republic novel titled A Test of Courage.

Ireland spoke with StarWars.com, who detail that the book “follows a cast of diverse kids including a young Jedi Knight and a more anxious Jedi Padawan, the quiet son of an ambassador, and a sassy tech-kid and her droid.”

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“As they head to the launch of the Republic and Jedi’s incredible Starlight Beacon, disaster strikes and they find themselves stranded on a peculiar jungle moon,” they add.

In the interview, Ireland would initially respond to a question about what it was like writing A Test of Courage. She stated, “t was pretty amazing, honestly! Imagine getting a chance to create the characters you want to see and putting them in a galaxy full of space wizards and the like?  One that you’ve spent your entire life dreaming about? Yeah, amazing is the perfect way to describe it but also falls so far from the actual depth of emotion involved.”

She then revealed her desire to have a Funko Pop! of one of the characters, Vernestra Rwoh. She said, “All I’m saying is that if there’s ever a Vernestra Rwoh Funko Pop!, I’ll be unbearable to live with.”

Ireland then confirmed that the book will feature a character named Avon Starros, who is an ancestor of Sana Starros, a character that first appeared in Marvel’s recent Star Wars comics. 

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Starros first appeared in the comics claiming to be the wife of Han Solo, although she later reveals that she only pretended be Solo’s wife for a robbery job the two did together.

The character would later appear in the Doctor Aphra series, as she traversed the galaxy hunting the one-time servant of Darth Vader.

As for Avon Starros, Ireland said she “is only 12 and so not at all the person she will one day become.”

She added, “But! For those wondering how the Starros go from this fairly affluent clan of politicians and scientists to scum and villainy, there is a story arc for that!”

Ireland then discusses Vernestra Rwoh, the main Jedi character in the novel, “That’s the crux of Vernestra’s character arc: How do you balance being so good at things with the very real problem of having very little real world (galaxy!) experience?”

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“It’s a bit of a Doogie Howser, MD problem: You can be really good at your job even if you are still very young, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t going to doubt your abilities,” Ireland states.

She then adds, “For Vernestra, these judgements don’t bother her very much because she is very in tune with the Force and devoted to being a Jedi, but they do give her things to ponder and consider as she grows into herself.”

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Ireland previously detailed how Rwoh deals with the Force saying, “For Vernestra, she sees herself as a small stream in a stream that flows into a river which flows into a sea. And that for her the Force is this idea of all these differentiated, different waters coming together into the crater.”

“I think that’s one of the things that’s kind of cool about dealing with so many Jedi is we don’t get that one perception of what the Force looks like,” She continued.

Ireland added, “So for each of them it’s a very personal connection, which you kind of would think it would be. But it’s also great because it’s fun because you can kind of foreshadow some character arcs a little bit with how they see the Force as well.”

Here’s the official description for A Test of Courage:

“When a transport ship is abruptly kicked out of hyperspace as part of a galaxy-wide disaster, newly-minted teen Jedi Vernestra Rwoh, a young Padawan, an audacious tech-kid, and the son of an ambassador are stranded on a jungle moon where they must work together to survive both the dangerous terrain and a hidden danger lurking in the shadows….”

The book will be 240 pages long and is expected to be released on January 5, 2021. Disney says its targeted for children aged 8-12 years old.