s anticipation builds for Star Wars: The Acolyte, understanding its backdrop — the High Republic era — is essential. This guide explores the period roughly 100 years before The Phantom Menace when the Jedi and the Republic were at their zenith. Please note that this article contains mild spoilers up through the end of Phase I of Star Wars: The High Republic.

Concept art of Jedi of the High Republic.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

The State of the Galaxy before The Acolyte

The High Republic era signifies a peak in culture, technology, and understanding of the Force. It was a time of great expansion for the Republic, marked by the outreach efforts of Pathfinders and Hyperspace Prospectors. These pioneers explored unknown regions and facilitated the Republic’s growth by establishing new trade routes and outposts. Their work set the stage for the era's technological and cultural flourishing.

Map of the Star Wars Galaxy
Image Credit: DK Publshing/Lucasfilm

The State of the Republic before The Acolyte

During the High Republic, the Republic thrived under the leadership of figures like Chancellor Lina Soh, who envisioned a galaxy united in peace and prosperity. The period featured significant events like the construction of Starlight Beacon and the Republic Fair on Valo, which showcased the unity and peace of the expanding Republic.

The Starlight Beacon space station from Star Wars: The High Republic
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

The State of the Jedi before The Acolyte

During the High Republic era, the Jedi Order was more interconnected and powerful than at any other point. Jedi like Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann were central figures, embodying the Order’s philosophy and expansive reach. Their efforts to spread the light side of the Force were evident in events such as the Republic Fair, which symbolized their commitment to galactic harmony.

Jedi Orla Jareni (left) and Avar Kriss (right) from Star Wars: The High Republic
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Master Yoda was also active during this period. However, his involvement in the documented events of the High Republic has so far been sparse. As one of the most revered Jedi Masters, Yoda’s influence and teachings were undoubtedly foundational to the Order’s operations during this era. As we near the end of the High Republic publishing initiative and look toward The Acolyte, there is anticipation and hope that Yoda’s role will become more pronounced. Will we gain deeper insights into his contributions and perspectives during this pivotal period?

Concept art of Jedi Master Yoda during The High Republic Era.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Vernestra Rwoh

Vernestra Rwoh, a prodigious Jedi Knight, rose quickly through the ranks due to her exceptional skills. Trained under Stellan Gios and faced with numerous challenges, her journey highlights the evolving nature of the Jedi Order and her personal growth. 

We already know that a much older version of Vernestra Rwoh will appear in the show. Her story, filled with trials and accomplishments, could be pivotal in linking High Republic's values and challenges to what we expect to be darker themes in The Acolyte. Based on her character arc so far, we’re expecting a much different version of the character than the one we first met in Light of the Jedi.

Jedi Vernestra Rwoh as seen in concept art (left) and live action (right), portrayed by Rebecca Henderson.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

The Sith in Canon and Legends

While specific details about the Sith during the time of The Acolyte remain shrouded in secrecy, the era's apparent tranquility suggests that they were likely operating from the shadows. A “phantom menace”, if you will. According to established lore, the Rule of Two — a doctrine central to the Sith philosophy — is still in effect during this era.

The Rule of Two states that only two Sith Lords can exist at any given time: a master to embody the power and an apprentice to crave it. This system was instituted by Darth Bane, a legendary figure in Sith history, as a means to preserve the Sith order following their near extinction. This constant threat ensures that the master must always be vigilant and cunning, fostering an environment of mutual distrust yet cooperative survival.

Sith Lord Darth Bane.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Darth Bane’s book trilogy is technically “Legends” (no longer Canon). Nevertheless, Bane has appeared in The Clone Wars and has been mentioned in recent comics. He even appeared in the reference book Secrets of the Jedi. Will his legacy cast its shadow over The Acolyte?

One character we do know a bit about is Darth Krall, originally known as Radaki. A former Jedi Master, he became disillusioned with the Jedi Order’s prohibitions on retaining family ties and wealth. He abandoned the Jedi and joined the ranks of the Sith as Darth Krall. His defection made him one of the infamous Lost Twenty, a group of Jedi who left the Order over ideological differences.

Sith Lord Darth Krall.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Darth Krall’s story primarily unfolds in The High Republic media, including a mention in Cavan Scott’s audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost and appearances in The High Republic comic series where he appears in visions. His character exploration delves into themes of belief, betrayal, and the consequences of breaking away from the Jedi teachings.

Additionally, characters like Darth Plagueis and Darth Tenebrous may enrich the narrative with their complex histories and philosophies. Darth Plagueis, known as a Sith Lord who mastered the dark side power to influence midichlorians to create life and prevent death, casts a long shadow in the lore as the master of Darth Sidious. Darth Tenebrous, another influential Sith, is recognized for his role as Plagueis's master and his focus on extending Sith knowledge and power through science and manipulation of the dark side. Beyond that, not much of their stories has been brought into the current Canon.

Cover of the Essential Legends Collection edition of the novel Star Wars: Darth Plagueis (left) and an image of Sith Lord Darth Plagueis.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Showrunner Leslye Headland has said, "There's also some EU [expanded universe] lore that I decided to put in because I thought it was so cool and no one told me I couldn't… There are a couple of really big EU ideas that are utilized both early on in the series and later in the series." Time will tell exactly what that means, but fans are waiting with bated breath to see if the infamous Sith duo, whose stories have not yet been deeply explored in Canon, will appear in The Acolyte.

Screen capture of a possible Sith Lord teased by a trailer for the TV show Star Wars: The Acolyte.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

A trailer for the show has intriguingly teased the emergence of a potential new Sith, promising a fresh and compelling twist in the saga. The character's name and other details remain a mystery at the moment.

The Acolyte: Tying It All Together

The Acolyte is set to explore the darker aspects of this era. Leslye Headland's comments about working other lore into the series suggest revisiting other dark-side characters from the EU. This could bridge the gap between Canon and beloved Legends, enriching the tapestry of Star Wars storytelling.

Promotional art for the TV series Star Wars: The Acolyte.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

Where to Start in The High Republic Series

For those new to the High Republic, Youtini's reading order offers a curated experience emphasizing storytelling quality. Begin with Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, which sets the stage for the era with the pivotal Great Disaster event. Following this, Youtini recommends continuing with a mix of novels and comics that build on this foundation, enhancing the narrative depth and understanding of the era.

For a concise guide and further reading sequence, check out Youtini’s “Getting Started with The High Republic Guide.” It outlines the optimal reading order and answers frequently asked questions to enrich your journey through this expansive Star Wars era.


While understanding the High Republic can greatly enhance your viewing experience, Leslye Headland has noted that reading the books is not a prerequisite for enjoying The Acolyte. This guide aims to provide a solid foundation for both new viewers and seasoned fans, ensuring everyone can appreciate the show’s narrative depth regardless of their familiarity with the High Republic literature.

Tune in when The Acolyte premieres on June 4th on Disney+. Be sure to join us in Youtini’s Discord as we uncover the secrets and witness the evolution of the Sith through this exciting new chapter in the Star Wars universe!

Steven joined Youtini as a Marketing Advisor in 2022, bringing his expertise in fashion and destination marketing to the team. He also uses his photography skills to help with e-commerce and visual content creation. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, he is excited to be a part of the Youtini team and contribute to the growth and success of the community. Steven is passionate about bringing positivity to the Star Wars community and is always looking for ways to help others discover and enjoy the vast world of Star Wars.