Star Wars: The High Republic Revealed!
Well, fans have been waiting a long time for this! Announced last year at Star Wars Celebration, “Project Luminous” promised to bring authors Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, DJ Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule together in an effort to tell a series of stories about the Jedi. Up until this evening, fans knew almost nothing, other than the name of the project and the authors helming it. Tonight, StarWars.com revealed Star Wars: The High Republic!
This video and the participating authors were introduced this evening at panel to unveil Star Wars: The High Republic. Lucasfilm has poured a lot of resources into this publishing project and The High Republic will introduce an entirely new era of the Jedi. This will be a time when the borders of the Republic are threatened. Amy Ratcliffe noted in her live-tweet the era would have an element of the Wild West and the Jedi would be play a law enforcement type role.
Between Amy, Clayton Sandell, and Star Wars Explained being kind enough to live-tweet the event, we learned a few details. We are introduced to the era after a terrible, natural disaster which shifts the state of the galaxy. The Jedi and Republic face a marauding group of Viking-like villains called the Nihil. The High Republic takes place two-hundred years before the events of the prequels.
The High Republic will arrive in August and is scheduled to be released in tandem with Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.
Light of the Jedi, a novel by Charles Soule from Del Rey, will kick off this era. Soule revealed very little about his story, but did confirm the cataclysm which shapes The High Republic occurs early in his novel. This is notably Soule’s first Star Wars related novel, though he’s written five different Marvel Star Wars titles and his own novels, Oracle and Anyone. Soule is easily one of the best writers working on Star Wars. It’s set for publication August 25th.
A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland arrives September 8th. The author mentioned main character is sixteen. Ireland noted this is more serious than her other work. Her first Star Wars novel, Spark of the Resistance, was very good so I look forward to read more of her original characters set in the universe. This middle-school novel is available from Disney Lucasfilm Press. Here’s the official synopsis:
When a transport ship is abruptly kicked out of hyperspace as part of a galaxy-wide disaster, newly-minted teen Jedi Vernestra Rwoh, a young Padawan, an audacious tech-kid, and the son of an ambassador are stranded on a jungle moon where they must work together to survive both the dangerous terrain and a hidden danger lurking in the shadows….
Claudia Gray, who needs no introduction to Star Wars fans, continues the story with Into the Dark. Gray is a gifted writer and this YA novel sounds like it will shine. The premise of a group of Jedi exploring an abandoned space station is certainly an original one. Into the Dark will be released October 13th. The synopsis:
Padawan Reath Silas is being sent from the cosmopolitan galactic capital of Coruscant to the undeveloped frontier—and he couldn’t be less happy about it. He’d rather stay at the Jedi Temple, studying the archives. But when the ship he’s traveling on is knocked out of hyperspace in a galactic-wide disaster, Reath finds himself at the center of the action. The Jedi and their traveling companions find refuge on what appears to be an abandoned space station. But then strange things start happening, leading the Jedi to investigate the truth behind the mysterious station, a truth that could end in tragedy….
In addition to the novels, Marvel and IDW announced their own titles, set in the new era. Cavan Scott, who has been a regular writer on Star Wars Adventures, will write the titular series for Marvel. It’s said to mostly take place on a space station called Starlight Beacon, which is something of a symbol of hope in the era. There was no information about The High Republic Adventures by DJ Older, published by IDW. The cover looks great, though. No publication dates revealed, but expect them to launch in August or September.
StarWars.com also released this concept art. Note the costumes of the Jedi are much more vibrant, with elegant stitching and symbols. This era looks beautiful.
Our friend Clayton Sandell got a good shot of the Nihil concept art. These villains are certainly a departure. Kathleen Kennedy asked the writers what would scare the Jedi and the Nihil are the answer. It will be interesting to see if they have a connection to the Force or not.
Clayton was also able to grab a shot of droids and citizens of the galaxy during this era. The costume design is very impressive. Definitely a more civilized age. Ian McCaig, who conceptualized the visuals of Darth Maul and Padmé Amidala, returned to lend a hand.
These novels are only the first phase of this giant project. Look for more publications from publishers such as Titan, DK, Insight Editions, Abrams, Viz, and B&M. This is possibly the largest publishing endeavor in Star Wars history and Lucasfilm is pulling out all the stops to usher in a new era of Star Wars storytelling.
Make sure to head over to StarWars.com for the full article and pre-orders.
Star Wars: The High Republic launches this August at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.