By George Bate
At last, the long-awaited Project Luminous has finally been revealed as Star Wars: The High Republic, a series of comics, books and more set approximately 200 years before The Phantom Menace. Debuting this August, this publishing campaign will feature adult, teen and children’s stories from an array of publishers, including Marvel, Disney Lucasfilm Press, Del Rey, and IDW Publishing. Starwars.com notes that no currently planned films or TV shows will be set in The High Republic as to give the authors of these new works creative freedom to explore the characters and stories they want with fewer restrictions.
Star Wars: The High Republic will primarily follow a “group of heroes,” who are part of the Jedi Order at their peak power in the galaxy. The Jedi are akin to “Jedi Knights of the Round Table,” with the King Arthur legend clearly serving as an influence. The inspiration came from Ben Kenobi’s quote in A New Hope, “For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace.” The High Republic is this era in which the Jedi Order guarded the peace, and these stories will delve into this deeper.
The emphasis is not only on Jedi in these new stories, however, as bounty hunters, smugglers and scoundrels will also feature in leading roles.
The villains in The High Republic will be the Nihil, referred to as “space Vikings,” a collective of pillagers from different species and homeworlds. The story will begin after a galaxy-impacting event known as The Great Disaster.
The High Republic era was first referenced in the Dooku: Jedi Lost audiobook, before also being mentioned in Charles Soule’s Star Wars 2 and The Rise of Kylo Ren 2.
The initial projects set within this era will be written by a range of seasoned Star Wars writers, including authors Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule. Their projects include:
⁃ The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule (Adult novel)
⁃ The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray (Young adult novel)
⁃ The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland (Middle grade novel)
⁃ The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older (IDW Publishing comic series)
⁃ The High Republic by Cavan Scott (Marvel comic series)
The High Republic era will kick off this August at Star Wars: Celebration Anaheim, where I’m sure there will be further announcements about future High Republic projects.
Concept art and news courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney, and Starwars.com