Like a wise (but scruffy-looking) man once said, “It’s true… All of it!”. Yes, after months of hearing rumours and following breadcrumbs, Lucasfilm has finally unveiled the truth behind the super-secretive Project Luminous initiative. And exactly as we had been hearing, this will be a brand new line-wide, cross-publisher initiative to introduce the brand new era of Star Wars set in the now officially revealed High Republic.
As the announcement video explains, since 1977 when Obi-Wan Kenobi spoke about Jedi being the defenders of the galaxy for over a thousand generations, we’ve never really seen that. This is where the High Republic comes in. Set approximately 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, the many comic books and novels set in the High Republic will tell of a golden age of Jedi and the “secret history of the galaxy”. It’s a time of unparalleled peace and order, but this idyllic High Republic isn’t all-encompassing. On the edges of the Republic is a “wild west-styled new frontier of expansion, patrolled by a different type of Jedi, ones more akin to Texas rangers.
It’s also here where we find the new big bads of the Star Wars world, The Nihil, who are described as “space vikings” who live by a motto of “You can’t take it with you, but we can take it from you”. Don’t they just sound lovely? They may not be the only evil out there though, as one of the main inspirations for this entire High Republic era was the question of “What scares the Jedi?”, which will apparently get answered. This may tie into what Lucasfilm is calling “The Great Disaster”, which is the inciting event that kicks off all this storytelling and set the galaxy on a dangerous path.
To tell this story, Lucasfilm assembled a writers’ room consisting of established Star Wars writers Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule and gave them total narrative freedom. Coming from very diverse backgrounds, the writers all had very different ideas for Star Wars and out of that melting pot evolved this line-wide initiative that will tell “vast interconnected stories, across multiple years”. Initially, these stories will focus on a core group of characters – not just Jedi, but also new smugglers, scoundrels, and bounty hunters – before expanding over time. These stories will also be spanning various genres, making them appropriate for different demographics. As Lucasfilm claims, the High Republic will contain a “Star Wars story for everyone”.
And all of this kicks off at Star Wars Celebration in August 2020 where the first set of comics and books will be launched in an event (very clumsily titled) as Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi. This is being described as “a massive interconnected story that’s told across various formats by various publishers”. The first wave of these books and comics have already been announced, an adult book with the exact same title as the event. Because that’s not confusing at all.
Here’s the list of announced titles with their promo art:
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule (Adult novel, Del Rey / available for pre-order)
- Star Wars: The High Republic by Cavan Scott (Marvel comic book series)
- Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older (IDW Publishing comic book series)
- Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland (Middle Grade novel, Disney Lucasfilm Press / available for pre-order)
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray (Young Adult novel, Disney Lucasfilm Press / available for pre-order)
I have to say, I’m pretty stoked with all of this. A brand new era of Star Wars, completely free of any existing plot lines, is an exciting thing. The last time the franchise was allowed free rein like this, we got the incredible Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars Legacy comics from Dark Horse Comics. What I’m most hyped for is Lucasfilm’s claim that they want to use their Star Wars publishing lines as an “incubation place” for future stories. While the Disney era of Star Wars has seen an unprecedented level of crossover between the films and books/comics, it’s usually only been one-way, at least in any notable sense, as the films drove the narrative and characters. Potentially having that the other way around is very intriguing.
What do you guys think of the new High Republic era for Star Wars?
Last Updated: February 25, 2020