Last week news came that a new Star Wars movie is in the early stages of production. It is set to be directed by J.D. Dillard and written by Matt Owens (Luke Cage). Today came the news that Lucasfilm would create a multimedia sub-universe called The High Republic. It is basically a series of interconnected comic and novels for adults and young adults and children. The storyline is set roughly 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace.
The novels and comics will be written by a diverse set of writers, some of whom have already left a mark on Star Wars. These include Claudia Gray and Charles Soule. The first wave of titles is set to arrive in August, in time of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. The first title will be an adult novel called Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. The subtitle ‘Light of the Jedi’ may in fact also be the subtitle of this wave. Then there is Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark. It is YA novel by Claudia Grady. Last year I review her novel Master and Apprentice.
The High Republic comics
We are also getting two comic series. The first is Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older and published by IDW. The second looks more gritty and is just known as Star Wars: The High Republic. It is written by Cava Scott and is published by Marvel Comics. One notable absence from this list are video games. That is hardly surprising as EA has managed to bungle producing any sizeable quantity games. Now don’t get me wrong. I liked Battlefront 2 despite the poor PR choices and I gave a review for Jedi Fallen Order but that does not even equal the number of games that have been cancelled.
Jedi Fallen Order had a companion comic strip set a few decades before the events of the game. I prefer to see more of such cross-media releases instead of everything existing as a separate thing. I hope Lucasfilm can create its own version of MCU phases, which won’t surprise me as Kevin Feige is now attached to Lucasfilm.
Exploration in Star Wars
Despite what The High Republic is not we do know what it is. It is a bold attempt at exploring a new era in the Star Wars canon. The period of around 200 years before the events of the Prequel Trilogy is practically unexplored. As the title of this sub-universe suggests the Jedi are at their prime. It will be interesting to see how effective the Jedi order can be if it fully flexes it force muscles.
That said, there can be no story without conflict. I do not doubt that the Sith may make an appearance in the background – manipulating events. Various Lucasfilm luminaries such as Kathleen Kennedy and publishing creative director Michael Siglain have given quotes as to what we can expect. However, a quote by Lucasfilm vice president, franchise content and strategy James Waugh caught my eye. “So expect there to be rich tales of exploration; charting out the galaxy, meeting new cultures, and discovering what pioneer life in the Outer Rim was like”
I personally like that exploration part, it feels a little bit like the Dark Forces storyline with Kyle Katarn. I had actually hoped that Rian Johnson’s trilogy would move into that direction, but we will never know. Tomorrow Star Wars content will arrive tomorrow with my review of the third issue of the Star Wars 2020 comic.