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?
The 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.
Rich with Force Lore. An all-new Star Wars era. Some of the most compelling original EU characters ever written. And the start of a multi-year, multimedia story.
Set two hundred years before The Phantom Menace, Light of the Jedi kickstarts the High Republic publishing program with the lauded and legendary comics writer Charles Soule's first prose Star Wars novel. The book follows Jedi Master Avar Kriss, Padawan Bell Zettifar, and a ragtag band of evil space Vikings as they navigate the explosive Great Disaster rocks the galaxy to its core.
Part of the first wave of High Republic titles, Justina Ireland delivers the middle-grade title, A Test of Courage. Surprisingly young prodigy Jedi Knight Vesnestra Roh is charged with the protection of Avon Starros, an adventure-seeking Senator’s daughter, on their way to the dedication of the Starlight Beacon. The Nihil, villains established in Light of the Jedi, infiltrate their transport ship and their sabotage rips the ship apart. . . leading Vernestra and the traumatized crew to take on an evil beyond anything they could have imagined.
Somehow Cavan Scott managed to crank out yet another High Republic title, this time for the younglings. The main character is Burryaga, (also known as Burry), the extremely empathetic Wookiee Padawan introduced in Light of the Jedi, who has to save the people of Hetzal Prime from the great hyperspace disaster looming large on the horizon.
Marvel’s brand-new ongoing series is at once a follow-up to Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi and an original adventure. It follows Avar Kriss from Light of the Jedi as she takes on a leadership role on Starlight Beacon, but its main protagonists are her friend Stellan Gios and newly minted Knight Keeve Tennis. It explores the aftermath of the Great Disaster as the Jedi have to save and inspire the lost and hopeless out on the frontier. Keeve is determined to prove herself to the all-star Jedi she’s paired with, such as Avar Kriss. Plus we get lots of action with our first-ever Trandoshan Jedi, Sskeer.
Though not necessary, The High Republic comic is best enjoyed after reading Light of the Jedi.
The initial Young Adult title in the High Republic era comes from Claudia Gray, following Jedi Padawan Reath Silas (who Gray describes as Hermione Granger in Star Wars) as he departs on reluctant adventure to the frontier. . . which quickly goes awry as the Great Disaster destabilizes hyperspace travel throughout the galaxy. Reath is joined by a small team of Jedi, including a pair of Masters whose past haunts them as the mission transpires in an eerily similar manner. The ragtag bunch of adventurers must take on a mysterious and unseen enemy from deep within an abandoned space station on the edge of known space. It's a little bit spooky, more of a mystery than a classic adventure novel, a side mission in comparison to Light of the Jedi, but with ramifications on the larger story to unfold in the future.
Into the Dark is best enjoyed after Into the Dark by Charles Soule, though it is not necessarily an essential prerequisite.
This epic magazine series has run for 200 issues and features a massive compilation of non-fiction, behind-the-scenes, introspective character analysis, news, and even explosive short stories! Insider is even publishing all-new fiction that ties into the ongoing High Republic initiative starting with issue 199.
Daniel José Older’s first High Republic title is the ongoing comic series for younger audiences, The High Republic Adventures from IDW. None other than Master Yoda himself takes the reigns in this series. He’s aboard an academic cruiser, The Starhopper, with a crew of Jedi younglings when their field trip turns into a life-and-death adventure when they come up against the Nihil. Lula Talisola is the protagonist, the leader of the Padawan squad, who now has the challenge of moving beyond the classroom into the battlefield. Plus new Jedi Temples, a kind-hearted Chagrian Jedi known as BUCKETS OF BLOOD, and the dynamic art of Harvey Tolibao, and IDW’s series certainly has a lot of promise for fans both young and old alike.
Cavan Scott has a great love for monsters and the weirdness of Star Wars. Throw in a little High Republic and you get Force-sensitive monster hunter Ty Yorrick! Not to be upstaged, the novel’s protagonist is Stellan Gios (from the Marvel comic) as he goes to the Republic Fair. Though not a direct sequel to Light of the Jedi, Rising Storm is the second major adult novel of The High Republic. Featuring the return of Padawan Bell Zettifar!
The Rising Storm is best enjoyed after Light of the Jedi and the first arc of Marvel's High Republic series.
Older is writing a middle grade book, Race to Crashpoint Tower. It focuses on the Republic Fair and a new mechanic Jedi, Ram Jamoram, wants to hide in his garage. Crashpoint also contains new creatures, the Bonbraks, who hang out with Ram in his shop, and it’s a good thing because we needed some cuteness to balance out the Nihl and the Drengir! The story follows Lula Talisola (from Older’s High Republic Adventures from IDW) who hangs out with Vernestra Rwoh (from A Test of Courage). Plus a new droid! Who doesn’t love a new droid?
Justina Ireland focuses on Vernestra Ro (and also Yoda) in the second High Republic Young Adult novel. She follows up on the characters from Avon Starros and Vernestra Rwoh from her middle-grade book, A Test of Courage. But this time they’re alongside Reath Silas as the authors show how characters can cross over between formats and authors can handle one another's characters. Plus all-new, unannounced characters!
One of the only books of its kind, The Monster of Temple Peak is the original first graphic novel of the High Republic era—as well as the first Star Wars graphic novel in years! It follows monster hunter Ty Yorrick and is a prequel to Rising Storm (also by Scott). Synergy!
For the first time ever, The High Republic delivers an original manga (not an adaptation of an existing novel). The story is a collaboration between Ireland and Japanese writer Shima Shinya and the art is from Mizuki Sakakibara. The Edge of Balance is the first in a new series! The High Republic continues to press the limits of collaboration and a true multimedia experience.