Fans are getting ready to dive into a whole new world and timeline in a galaxy far, far away next year with the introduction of Star Wars: The High Republic. The first installment in the stories is Star Wars: Light of the Jedi, which will kick off the “publishing program that spans multiple publishers and multiple mediums, set in an era that predates even the prequel movie trilogy and shows the Jedi at the height of their powers.”
The book’s author, Charles Soule, “who’s been writing Star Wars comic books for Marvel for the past five years, including his current tenure on the core series,” sat down with THR this week, and described the story, saying, “It’s a disaster movie; it’s a mystery; it’s a race-against-time-team-on-a-mission story.” Set 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, The High Republic takes place in a prosperous, mostly peaceful era in which Jedi Knights serve as sort of sheriffs of the Old West, maintaining justice and order in the potentially dangerous Outer Rim region of the galaxy. When talking about the story, and what we’ve heard about it so far, he said:
“A lot of the teases and such that have been released so far are focused on the character designs or the state of the galaxy … but I can tell you that we’ve all spent most of our time on the story itself. Light of the Jedi, Into the Dark, Test of Courage, the Marvel and IDW comic series … they’re really what The High Republic is. It’s an amazing new time period for Star Wars, but it’s the story that will get fans hooked.”
When asked about making something in the same world as the Star Wars properties we already know, but with enough distance to feel brand new, Soule said:
We needed to make something authentically Star Wars but also brand new and fresh. It was a challenge. We had a lot of ideas on the table, and ended up settling on the High Republic era in part because it allowed us our own corner of the galaxy, where we could use established continuity to some degree if we needed or wanted to, but could also do entirely new things. The elements of the story include bits from literally everyone’s pitches, which is a good thing — from characters to vehicles to creatures, we all were able to contribute our own ideas.
As far as, was there discussion of other approaches — absolutely! We talked about everything. Nothing was off the table. It was a blast. But I’m not going to lay any of that out here — we’re keeping a lot of those ideas in our back pockets for future storytelling in the publishing space, whether in The High Republic or elsewhere.
This is exciting! It was hard to see the Skywalker Saga come to an end with so many fans unhappy about the final chapters in the story, so it’s kind of refreshing to see what new stories they can come up with to tell. As we have seen in The Mandalorian, there are plenty of awesome Star Wars stories when we expand the timelines and characters available to us.
Star Wars: Light of the Jedi is set to be released on January 5, 2021.