“Always in motion, the future is.” – Yoda
Hello, Star Wars fans. Once again, it is an exciting time for the franchise. Finally, the curtain has been lifted and we are allowed a glimpse into what is to come from not only the Lucasfilm Press, but also from Del Rey, IDW Publishing, and Marvel. Later in the year, the Lucasfilm story group will begin to release new stories that will cover a new era of Star Wars lore. This era occurs 200 years before Qui-Gon Jinn discovers Anakin Skywalker. This time frame is now known as The High Republic and the era serves to replace the designation of Project Luminous.
“Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter.” – Yoda
During this time, the Jedi Order is at the apex of their power and influence. The Sith are not a threat and the galaxy is policed by an order that is morally centered. The Jedi are the true guardians of peace and justice. They serve as the protectors of the High Republic. Even though the High Republic and the Jedi are at their greatest point, there are still areas in the galaxy where the safety of the government is not felt. The Jedi seem to police these areas on the fringes of civilization acting as wardens of the peace or possibly even rangers or scouts who venture out into these wild and dangerous areas in the Outer Rim, extending the influence of the Republic.
The High Republic project has enlisted fan-favorite authors such as Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel Jose Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule. The project will result in an interconnected story that spans across multiple formats and reading levels incorporating adult novels, comics, young adult novels, middle-grade novels, etc.
The first wave of books an comics will launch alongside the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim coming in August 2020. This first wave is being called Light of the Jedi. “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were guardians of peace and justice”, stated Obi-Wan Kenobi. The High Republic explores these times. While the Jedi will be featured, there will also be stories that take place outside of the Order and establish new heroes and heroines. It seems that some of the areas explored will continue them of a space odyssey that takes place in a “wild west” of sorts. The Nile (spelling needs some Star Wars flair) will be the main antagonist. Their motto is “you can’t take it with you but we can take it from you.” It seems that these may be pillagers who operate in the Outer Rim resisting law and order. See some of the initial titles are listed below.
Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray (Young Adult novel)
Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland (Middle-Grade novel)
Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures by Daniel Jose Older (IDW Publishing / Comic book series)
Star Wars: The High Republic by Cavan Scott (Marvel comic book series)
Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule (Adult novel, Del Rey)
Light of The Jedi will be the first novel that is released with the date of August 25th. It will precede the Star Wars Celebration by just a couple of days. The book begins with some sort of intergalactic calamity called “The Great Disaster”. This event marks the end of an era of peace and order that had been upheld by the Jedi.
Strong in the Force, these authors are.
Of those covered above, I am particularly excited about Charles Soule’s novel. He has authored several Marvel comic books including some of the most recent in the Star Wars comic book series, Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader. These have all been phenomenal. The Kylo Ren series is selling out on comic book day with each release. The early issues of his latest run are into their third reprint. I can not wait to see what a whole novel from Soule would read like, as Darth Vader #4: Fortress Vader about blew my mind.
I am truly excited to see the return of veteran Star Wars novelist Claudia Gray. Gray has written heavy hitters such as Star Wars: Bloodline and Star Wars: Master & Apprentice. I particularly like how she manages to walk readers through the interpersonal relationships between the characters that we assume to know. However, she explores these characters on a whole new level when she navigates the apprenticeship of Obi-Wan to Qui-Gon in Master and Apprentice. She also does a spectacular job when she delves into the mind of Leia Solo in Star Wars: Bloodline as she struggles to fulfill her responsibilities as a prominent political leader of the New Republic, a mother to Ben Solo, wife of Han Solo, and the daughter of Darth Vader, haunted by his memory.
Daniel Jose Older has already proven his mettle in the Star Wars: Last Shot novel. In this novel, we are given a story that spans across time discovering the relationship between both young Han Solo and Lando Calrissian and their older selves of ten years, who are trying to stop a notorious cyber-terrorist from wreaking havoc across the galaxy with a device that seems all too familiar to Lando. He has been so close to obtaining the elusive bounty for this mysterious transmitter before. But this time his life and the lives of those that inhabit Cloud City are at stake.
Cavan Scott is a returning author to the Star Wars canon as well. He is largely known to Star Wars fans as the author of Dooku: Jedi Lost. I am actually going through this book at the moment and it has been a great read so far. In it, we are able to learn about Dooku’s origins and his rise to be Darth Tyranus. Explore how he was recruited to the Jedi Order as an initiate, the implications of his prestigious pedigree, his flirtation with the Dark Side, and his relationships with people such as Ventress, Yoda, and Jedi Sifo-Dyas.
Let’s not forget the younglings.
While I have not yet read the works by Justina Ireland; I will definitely be looking to sample her works in the near future as we inch closer to August. She has written books such as Star Wars: Lando’s Luck and Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Spark of the Resistance; both young adult novels. Ireland builds context around the morality of Lando in her novel. He is forced to deliver an artifact called the Solstice Globe to the Empire for the Queen of Hynestia to make up for his crimes on her planet. The queen’s daughter, Princess Rinetta, will further their power and standing but in the end, he’s petitioned to do what is right by the princess and to return the artifact to the people who will suffer and die without it.
As a dad with a young reader in the house; I am looking forward to seeing this reading age of books further explored. Some of my favorite Star Wars novels were the Young Jedi Knights books which are now legends. It would be fantastic if Ireland were able to capture similar adventures during this era. I would love to share some of these reading adventures with my girls during our shared reading time.
Games, Movies, and such.
I am sure some of my readers will ask, is there going to be a television series, movie, or video game in this era. Unfortunately, at the moment, these mediums are absent from the announcement. This project is being heralded as an opportunity for authors and storytellers to explore Star Wars unhindered by large movie productions and the various other projects that take place in the Star Wars franchise. This will be a place where storytellers and utilize their creativity to the utmost and describe the Jedi at the peak of their power and then inform us of what exactly they could be made to fear.
All photos courtesy of Star Wars.com.