More and more it seemed that the Jedi would spread their light throughout the galaxy and make life better for all. Wasn't that why the Republic had undertaken construction of Starlight Beacon?
he galaxy is a peaceful place.
The Jedi number in the thousands, the Republic expands its vision for prosperity through the use of the Starlight Beacon, and the Sith are thought to have been eliminated for centuries.
In other words, all is well.
That is, until it isn’t.
Light of the Jedi tells the tale of the disruption of the galaxy’s equilibrium as a cataclysmic catastrophe shakes the Republic to its core. And that’s just the beginning.
Featuring one of the most memorable villains who is at once terrifying and compelling going up against without a doubt the most interestingly diverse order of Jedi to ever coexist, the creatives behind the scenes of the development of The High Republic have struck gold in more ways than one.
The first wave of High Republic titles consists Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, Into the Dark by Claudia Gray, The Great Jedi Rescue by Cavan Scott, Marvel’s The High Republic ongoing series from Cavan Scott, The High Republic Adventures from Daniel Jose Older, and “Starlight”—a series of short stories from Charles Soule, which tie into Light of the Jedi. From there, a whole slew of content releasing in the summer has also been announced—even a manga and a graphic novel—continuing “Phase One: Light of the Jedi” into 2022!
In the initial announcement trailer, the Jedi of the High Republic are described as both Knights of the Roundtable and Texas Rangers—fitting descriptions for the heroes we encounter now that we’ve had access to the stories themselves. The Jedi are less homogeneous than we find in the Prequel Trilogy, ranging from adventure-seekers to archivists; armed with crossguard hilted lightsabers to double-bladed sabers, riding space horses and accompanied by fire-breathing dogs; Jedi from species we rarely see in such a role—such as a Trandoshan Jedi and a Wookiee Padawan—with a 15-year-old Jedi Knight passing the trials much earlier than we’ve ever seen before. Also, Jedi Wayseekers operating out from under the umbrella of the Jedi Council.
It’s truly an exciting era for those looking to see Jedi in action.
The villains are also excellently conceived. Without spoiling anything consequential, we encounter the Nihil, at first appearing to be just another criminal syndicate, but with powerful secrets behind closed doors. Described as “space Vikings,” the Nihil’s creed is, “You can’t take it with you, but we can take it from you.” Yes, we’ve seen alien invaders disrupting the stability of the Republic before. But there’s enough originality about the Nihil to set them apart—diverse in species (even a Gungan!), equipped with pieced-together boxy chunks of various ships, geared up with tattoos and brutalistic gas-masks, with a super-secret lair with shielding that gives it the illusion of being exposed to open space. Not to mention possibly the most complex and maniacal villain in the history of the EU in Marchion Ro. . .
In some ways, The High Republic is the most ambitious publishing initiative in the history of the Expanded Universe—spanning Del Rey, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, Marvel, and IDW comics, and short stories in Star Wars Insider Magazine, launching with a myriad of titles with more on the way and no end in sight. Formerly known as Project Luminous, The High Republic creative team consists of high-profile authors with a wide range of talents—Charles Soule, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, and Cavan Scott—under the creative direction of Michael Siglain with guidance from the ever-elusive Story Group.
In a way, the project is reminiscent of the New Jedi Order in its scope and its disruption to the homeostasis of the Expanded Universe, but is also more focused and yet more open-ended: only five authors are at the reigns this time making for more cohesive collaboration and stylistic unity, and yet multiple media are coming together for dynamically expansive synergy! Throw in concept art from the likes of Ian McCaig and the announcement of an animated tv series and the High Republic is easily one of the most promising Star Wars projects in development.
As an era previously unexplored in Canon and Legends, The High Republic is set nearly 300 years before the Phantom Menace and shows the Jedi at the height of their power. They are diverse not only in gender and species, but in their interpretation and connection to the Force unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The galaxy feels wide-open as the Republic looks to expand into the frontier of Wild Space and as the Jedi explore the hidden depths of the Force. Not to mention an early appearance of a young and spry Master Yoda and Yarael Poof (who doesn’t need more Yarael Poof?!), and it’s easy to see the storytelling potential of this prequel to the Prequels we all know and love.
We’ll continue to update this collection as new titles are announced, but in the meantime you can check out our reviews on Light of the Jedi and A Test of Courage.
This post is sponsored by Patreon contributor JG Carse.
Our team is hard at work building out this collection. Stay tuned!