Love it, hate it, or – like me – find yourself somewhere in the middle, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out and has brought an end to the Skywalker Saga. That’s not an end to Star Wars though. While the franchise is slowing down on the big screen now that its central story is wrapped up, the Disney-owned Lucasfilm still has lots of plans for Star Wars.
So far, besides for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor series on Disney+, we know very little about those plans. Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were developing a new trilogy before they bailed to focus on a Netflix deal; The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson is reportedly working on a different trilogy, though he’s been sounding uncertain of it lately; and Marvel boss Kevin Feige is supposed to be developing his own standalone project. A new rumour popped up over the weekend though that could shed massive light on where Lucasfilm is planning to take the Star Wars films, and it sounds pretty intriguing.
Jason Ward of MakingStarWars.net (who is a very well-known figure in the Star Wars community and a reliable scooper) claims that he has an inside source who has informed that the new series of Star Wars films will be set in the High Republic era. If you just went “the what now?”, then you’re not alone. Set approximately 400 years before the events of the Prequel Trilogy, this High Republic is set in a very unknown period on the Star Wars timeline. For reference, the much-beloved Old Republic era of the old Star Wars expanded universe stories (now titled Legends) is set 1000 years before the Prequels, and even the Legends stories have never really touched on what came half a millennium later.
This would be an era when Darth Bane had already established the Rule of Two for the Sith, but these Dark Side Force users would still be waiting in the shadows. The only character we know for certain will be around during this period would be a relatively “young” Yoda, doing whatever he did as a Jedi. Don’t expect to see mid-life Yoda though. As Ward explains, the High Republic era would mean completely new lead characters – some being Jedi, and some not – as well as new technology and overall aesthetic.
That’s not all that will be new though. According to Ward’s sources, Lucasfilm will be taking an entirely new approach to making Star Wars movies. Gone will be the trilogies we’ve come to know, and instead this will be the start of a new series of interconnected movies that tell their own stories but build on each other, forwarding the universe with each instalment, just like Disney’s mega-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This may very well be why Kevin Feige was brought onboard by Lucasfilm, but according to Ward’s sources, it could have been Benioff and Weiss’ films that would have kicked off this new Star Wars era. There were also rumours early in 2019 that Laeta Kalogridis had been working on a film script set in the Old Republic, but that could have been just a misunderstanding as previously we used to refer to everything before the Prequel Trilogy as the Old Republic since we had no other name for it. Maybe this is a High Republic story as well?
Where things get really interesting (as if they weren’t interesting enough already), is that Ward’s sources were sort of corroborated by a different report from Ziro.hu about the mysterious Project Luminous.
Announced back at the Star Wars Celebration expo in April last year, Project Luminous is the brainchild of Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain and will feature the works of writers Cavan Scott, Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Daniel José Older, and Justina Ireland in some form of crossover event for all the Star Wars novel and comic book publishing lines. It’s also been hinted that Project Luminous will somehow change our understanding of the Force (though probably not with midichlorians).
The event had a date of 2020 attached to it, and that’s all the info we have. Or had, as Ziro.hu’s report (from a source that was 100% spot on before) revealed this:
Our informant said that the new, connected multiplatform story will be set 300-400 years BEFORE the Skywalker-saga. The plot would involve a group of Jedi setting out to explore the then-unknown regions of the Galaxy (Timothy Zahn’s Outbound Flight might come into mind, which also deals with the Jedi exploring what lies outside the edges of the Galaxy). According to our informant, the Jedi would get involved in numerous adventures and conflicts with three different types of enemies, the darkest being ancient evils, Sith gods of some sort.
As far as we know, these stories would be separate, but also connected, similar to the MCU. The more one would see, the more it could be enjoyed, with the different plots culminating in the style of the Avengers movies. The main Jedi characters would also have different strengths and powers, similar to superheroes.
That lines up perfectly with Ward’s own report, meaning that we could be seeing a franchise-wide collaborative effort to introduce this new High Republic era and a brand new MCU-like approach to Star Wars. Disney is definitely not deaf to fan disappointment (The Rise of Skywalker is a testament to them trying to reel in lost fans) and they have to look at the MCU’s seemingly infallible approach and want the same for Star Wars, so this makes total sense.
According to Ziro.hu though, Project Luminous will truly only kick off in 2021 with a Star Wars video game of some sort. This follows on from the success of Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, the first proper single-player Star Wars video game in ages, which made a big splash late last year. I would definitely not say no to the studio handling whatever this rumoured new video game is.
Meanwhile, the report claims that the previously mentioned 2020 date will actually just be the official full announcement of what Project Luminous entails. This matches up to a report from The Hollywood Reporter that Lucasfilm will unveil its future plans as early as sometime later this month. Plans that could see this video game, as well as the novels and comics, setting up elements for the films to eventually explore further. We know that Disney already has three untitled Star Wars films pencilled into their release calendar for December of 2022, 2024, and 2026 respectively. Films that could see us getting… high on Star Wars again.
Last Updated: January 6, 2020