With the sequel trilogy officially wrapped up, and the concluding season of The Clone Wars now released to Disney Plus, there’s not a lot of Star Wars on the immediate binary sun horizon. The Mandalorian is currently scheduled for an October 2020 release, and one of the first season’s many directors in Taika Watititi (of Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit fame) just signed on to direct a film.
But during this lull in seeing new Star Wars on screen, a collection of some of the most esteemed novelists who’ve written stories about the franchise are churning out a bookshelf’s worth of books and comics set in an unexplored era as part of a collaborative effort. This effort is referred to as the High Republic.
What is the High Republic Era in Star Wars?
The Star Wars expanded universe, now renamed as Legends after Disney’s fresh wipe of what is considered canon or not, has covered seemingly all eras within the series’ timeline. Video games, comics, and of course, books have told countless stories from the Old Republic (set thousands of years before the films), the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire (the prequels and originals era), and the New Republic (sequels and beyond).
In the original Star Wars film, Ben Kenobi talks about a time when Jedi were protectors of peace in the galaxy. A time before the prequel films era, when Jedi are primarily just serving as generals in a massive war. It is this time, 200 years before the chronological start of the films, when the High Republic took place.
This has been widely touted as the “golden age” of Jedi and the Republic, and when the expansion of the Outer Rim territories began to unfold. In the announcement of the High Republic publishing campaign, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, “We’ll get to see the Jedi in their prime.”
All the stories will interconnect regarding an event known as “The Great Disaster”, which will unite the Jedi together to try and aid in recovery efforts. It will feature new characters and stories that won’t overlap with other canon Star Wars productions.
What Can We Expect to Read From Star Wars: The High Republic?
A number of books and projects have been announced, with some available already to pre-order.
Light of the Jedi is an adult novel written by Charles Soule, a well-established and tenured comic book writer who has done Star Wars comic series for Marvel such as Lando, Obi-Wan & Anakin, Poe Dameron, and most recently, The Rise of Kylo Ren. Light of the Jedi will follow Jedi Avar Kriss, who actually appeared via holocron in Soule’s The Rise of Kylo Ren #3 comic.
Speaking of comics, two different comic series set in the High Republic are coming. One of which is another Marvel series, written by Cavan Scott, who has written a plethora of Star Wars books and comics over the years, including a moving chronicle of a Sith Lord in Dooku, Jedi Lost. Scott has previously done comics for IDW Publishing, who are creating their own High Republic comic series, written by Daniel José Older, a terrific fantasy writer who wrote Star Wars: Last Shot in 2018, a tie-in to the critically acclaimed Solo film.
In addition, two young adult novels are available for pre-order. A Test of Courage is written by Justina Ireland, best-selling writer of Lando’s Luck and Spark of the Resistance. Into the Dark is being written by Claudia Gray, who’s written numerous excellent Star Wars stories in just the past decade, such as Lost Stars, Bloodline, Leia, Princess of Alderaan, and Master & Apprentice.
The three novels are all available for pre-order already, but it as announced on StarWars.com that they would be pushed back to 2021 releases days Light of the Jedi and A Test of Courage will release on January 5, 2021, and Into the Dark releases February 2.