By George Bate
On the eve of the big launch of the High Republic era, Lucasfilm kicked things off with a special live stream event full of new announcements, concept art, covers, conversations, and more. Hosted by StarWars.com’s Kristin Baver, the official launch event was led by Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain and featured the range of High Republic authors: Charles Soule, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Cavan Scott, and Daniel José Older.
We’re going to break down some of the highlights of the event.
New trailer for The High Republic
The launch event featured a fantastic cinematic-style trailer for The High Republic publishing initiative. The trailer labels the initiative as “an interconnected mega-story…during the golden age of the Jedi” chronicling a conflict that threatens “the survival of the Republic, the fate of the Jedi, [and] for control of the Force itself.” Most of the images shown in the trailer are cover art or concept art we’ve previously seen, but the dramatic music and theatrical narration add a certain weight to the stakes at hand and the grandness of the projects that will follow.
First looks at new characters
Concept art of and information about new characters were also revealed during the live stream event. These include Ram Jamoram, Ty Yorrick, Leox Gyasi, and the Bonbraks, all of which you can see below. The stories of how authors like Gray and Older conceptualized their new characters were fascinating to hear, especially Buckets of Blood…
The Phases of the High Republic
Siglain revealed that The High Republic will encompass three waves of publications spanning several years. This first rollout of projects are part of Phase I, termed Light of the Jedi. Phase II is titled Quest of the Jedi, whereas Phase III is titled Trials of the Jedi. We’re not sure yet what these phases entail, but they certainly give off an MCU-style vibe that we’re excited about.
New projects unveiled
The highlight of the event for us was the announcement of a slew of new High Republic projects coming our way. Having really enjoyed what we’ve read so far in the High Republic era, the new projects on the horizon excite us even more.
One of the projects is a graphic novel titled The Monster of Temple Peak. The graphic novel is written by Cavan Scott and includes art by Rachael Stott. The cover art alone is brilliant to behold.
Justina Ireland’s contributions to the High Republic era continue with Out of the Shadows. This was perhaps the most interesting title to be unveiled at the event. We had the chance to read Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage recently and really became invested in the narrative and the characters, especially Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh. Whereas A Test of Courage was a middle-grade novel, Ireland will be shifting audiences slightly to continue the adventures of Vernestra and company with this YA novel.
Speaking of middle grade novels, Daniel Jose Older is writing Race to Crashpoint Tower. This book takes place at the same time as Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm, also releasing this summer.
Finally, Shima Shinya and Justina Ireland will pen a new High Republic graphic novel titled The Edge of Balance. Unlike the Marvel and IDW comics releasing, The Edge of Balance is told in manga format and, from the cover art, it’s looking to be a beautiful work.
Images courtesy of StarWars.com