the starwars saga has one of the largest connected universes out of any modern pop culture media franchise. the starwars Expanded Universe is nearly as old as the films themselves; the first spinoff novel, Alan Dean Foster’s Splinters of the Mind’s Eyewas released only months after the original A New Hope hit theaters. In the decades since, starwars storytelling has expanded to include many additional novels, comics, video games, and multimedia projects.
When Disney purchased Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in 2012, a new official canon was launched. Previous stories in the Expanded Universe were rebranded as “Legends” content, replaced by the new stories released since. Disney divided the new starwars stories into six official eras: “The High Republic,” “The Fall of the Jedi,” “The Reign of the Empire,” “The Age Of Rebellion,” “The New Republic,” and “The Rise of the First Order. ”
Lucasfilm launched The High Republic multimedia project in 2021. Originally titled “Project Luminous,” the connected storyline tells a series of interconnected stories through various novels, young adult books, comic series, audio dramas, short stories, and webisodes. The High Republic project consists of three phases. Phase I, The Light of the Jedilaunched with a novel of the same name by Charles Soule in January 2021. Phase I will wrap up later this year.
It may seem like a challenge to keep up with all the content under the new project, but the main events in The High Republic occur in the adult novels. The Light of the Jedi novel was followed by Cavan Scott‘s The Rising Storm and Claudia Gray‘s The Fallen Star. These books chronicle the main events, but a series of young adult novels explore some of the side characters. The young adult novels Into the Dark, Out of the Shadows, and Midnight Horizon Follow a brave Jedi Padawan, who leads a daring team into unexplored territory.
Marvel Comics has continued to run an official The High Republic series since January 2021. The first storyline, “There Is No Fear,” was recently concluded. The next arc is set to begin in June. A second official phase, known as The Quest of the Jediis scheduled to launch this fall with Zoraida Cordova‘s new The High Republic: Convergence. In addition to the upcoming novels, young adult books, and comic book continuations, Phase II will also include an official artwork book and illustrated archive.
The High Republic era takes place approximately 200 years before the events of the Skywalker saga. The Galactic Republic is in an era of peace. The Jedi Order believes that the Sith have been vanquished for 800 years. It is an exciting period for the Republic, as new hyperspace technology has allowed for more exploratory missions. The Republic is unveiling a new space station called Beacon Starlightwhich is intended to reach planets in the Outer Rim that have never interacted with the larger civilization.
However, as is usually the case in a starwars adventure, tragedy strikes. In an event referred to as the “Great Hyperspace Disaster,” there is a major disruption in the galactic hyperspace lanes. Several spaceships are abruptly taken out of their predetermined routes. The infrastructure of galactic traffic is immediately thrust into chaos. In the aftermath, the Republic transport vessel Legacy Run is destroyed, and the Hetzal system is ravaged by debris. It’s the most devastating conflict in the starwars timeline since the days of the Old Republic.
The Jedi Order is dispatched to discover the origins of the crisis. While the Sith are still in hiding, a new villainous group revealed themselves: The Nihil. Described as “Space Vikings,” the Nihil are a band of pirates that come from the furthest reaches of the Outer Rim. They have accessed technology that allows them to disappear within hyperspace without a trace. The leader of the Nihil, also known as “The Eye Of The Nihil,” is a marauder named Marchion Ro. Ro harbors a lifelong hatred of the Republic and Jedi.
One of the most exciting aspects of The High Republic is the introduction of new characters. Opening up the starwars universe to stories outside of the Skywalker saga has allowed the universe to feel more expansive. It is also refreshing to see a conflict that doesn’t fall back on lightsaber duels between Jedi and Sith. We actually get to see what it looks like when the Jedi are keepers of the peace, and not soldiers on the frontlines.
However, that doesn’t mean that The High Republic doesn’t feature any familiar faces. Yoda is a major part of the ongoing comic book series, and other prequel characters like Jedi Master Yarael Poof have also appeared. It is likely that the subsequent phases will explore the rise of the Sith, and how they began infiltrating the Galactic Republic before the events of The Phantom Menace.
The High Republic will soon be coming to Disney+. russian-doll creator Lesley Headland is set to be the showrunner on an upcoming series titled The Acolyte. Not much is known about the series, but it has been described as a “mystery thriller” set 100 years before The Phantom Menace.
Star Wars Eras, Ranked From High Republic to Age of Rebellion