While the ‘Star Wars’ films kind of petered out and ‘The Mandalorian‘ soared on Disney+, there doesn’t seem to be much new live-action material set in the Galaxy Far, Far Away anytime soon, as Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated that for the foreseeable future, the conglomerate was focusing on bringing more ‘Star Wars’ properties to the small screen. But both upcoming shows, ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi‘ and ‘Cassian Andor‘ have been delayed for additional pre-production and fine-tuning. Perhaps it’s time to get old school… REALLY old school.
Disney has announced ‘Star Wars: The High Republic’, an ambitious publishing initiative that will include both traditional books (for adults and younger readers) and comics (from both Marvel and IDW), set 200 years prior to ‘The Phantom Menace’. The series will depict the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order at the height of their power and influence. The story (stories?) will be told in waves, with Wave One being dubbed “Light of the Jedi.” It was stressed that ‘The High Republic’ is strictly a publishing project, with no plans currently in place to translate it to either live-action or animation, on the big screen, or on Disney+. (Emphasis on “currently.”)
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Lucasfilm has been teasing this project since last April, although at that time it was operating under the codename “Project Luminous.” One incredibly optimistic element is that it appears that the writers have been given the freedom to tell stories they want to tell using ‘Star Wars’ as the backdrop. So far, that has actually worked out quite well with ‘Rogue One’ (hey, I like it) and ‘The Mandalorian’.
Lucasfilm LTD’s Kathleen Kennedy stated:
“We are so excited to be opening up such a rich, fertile era for our authors to explore. We’ll get to see the Jedi in their prime.”
Lucasfilm Creative Director Michael Siglain added:
“It’s a golden time. A time of peace and prosperity… a time when the Jedi really are galactic guardians, stewards of peace and justice.”
The first project will be a novel entitled ‘Light of the Jedi’ by Charles Soule who previously wrote the comic books ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith’, ‘Star Wars: Lando’, ‘Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin’, and ‘Star Wars: Poe Dameron’. ‘Light of the Jedi’ will follow “a different kind of Jedi, one that patrols the frontiers, a sort of Texas Ranger.” It was also teased that the story kicks off with a cataclysmic event referred to as “The Great Disaster.”
“You see a lot of Jedi coming together to handle it. How would the Jedi handle something galactically terrible on a moment’s notice? That scene opens the novel and it goes from there… the whole [saga] builds from that.”
In the aftermath of “The Great Disaster,” a new force of evil arises, The Nihil, who are compared to “Space Vikings” and were intended to contrast with the rigid Empire and their clean-cut Stormtroopers. Artist Iain McCaig, who worked on the design of Darth Maul, was brought in to design The Nihil, among other aspects of this new project.
“Hyperspace is something [the Nihil] are able to use and access that makes them very, very dangerous. They’re not a bunch of uniformed soldiers serving a higher purpose. They’re unified, but they’re also all out for themselves.”
What else can fans expect from ‘The High Republic’?
- ‘A Test of Courage’ by Justina Ireland (‘Star Wars: Lando’s Luck’), a middle-grade book.
- ‘The High Republic’ by Cavan Scott (‘Star Wars Adventures’), a Marvel comic series.
- ‘Into the Dark’ by Claudia Gray (Star Wars: Master & Apprentice), a novel.
- ‘The High Republic Adventures’ by Daniel Jose Older (Star Wars: Last Shot), an IDW comic series.
‘Light of the Jedi’ (the novel) will be released on August 25 of this year. These five projects comprise all of the “Light of the Jedi” storyline.
Below you can watch the trailer announcing this ambitious publishing project:
Are you looking forward to this story of the earlier days of the Jedi?