Star Wars High Republic is a multifaceted publishing campaign designed to introduce a new era into the Star Wars mythos. It currently includes books and comics, but a Disney+ show and more is on the horizon. (More here.)
The High Republic Era was a period of time that lasted around two hundred years in which the Galactic Republic was said to be at its height. It was also a golden age for the Jedi, who were significantly more active throughout the galaxy, and a time of expansion and exploration in the Outer Rim Territories.
Importantly, The High Republic exists a few hundred years before Luke Skywalker. The old Star Wars “Expanded Universe” has been out for some time now, but the release of Charles Soule’s new Light of the Jedi novel kicks off this new expansion of the Star Wars universe, an era more prequel even than the prequels that has no overlap with Luke Skywalker’s saga.
First Impressions of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
I’m incredibly excited about this new era of characters, creatures, and cultures it will open up to us. I’ve also finished reading the introductory novel for The High Republic: Light of the Jedi. What follows is a quick, non-spoilery review.
Light of the Jedi is no a page-turner, which I realize can be received as a negative. But I don’t mean it in that way at all. I turned the pages of Light of the Jedi slowly, savoring every page.
Its 370 pages are packed with new characters and starships. I wanted to visualize each one so I read the book with my iPad next to me, opened up to Wookieepedia, allowing me to really immerse myself.
The book introduces Longbeams, Vectors, Vanguards, and a brand new threat that wonderfully – at least from my perspective – is not the Sith. Are you curious about the look of a Vector? Well, savor the book and soak up the new High Republic goodness!
Light of the Jedi also skips between at least 10 point of view characters, so it reads slowly as a result of that as well. In other words, you want to take your time to get to know the new characters. But Soule does an excellent job of establish all those new characters, and telling the story from so many sets of eyes is a brilliant way to build out a whole cadre of new faces for this new era.
The High Republic: The Acolyte
But we’ve received hints that the Sith won’t stay fully hidden during the High Republic era. In fact, an upcoming Disney+ television show is thought to focus on that.
The Acolyte was announced at the latest Disney investors meeting and will be set in the final years of the High Republic, putting it a little closer to the events in the prequels.
The High Republic is a time of prosperity for the Jedi, who have been peacefully protecting the galaxy for 800 years after the fall of the Old Republic and their last interactions with the Sith Empire.
But Lucasfilm shared that The Acolyte will focus on the emergence of “dark side powers” in those waning years of the High Republic. And since “acolyte” is a term sometimes used for Sith apprentices, the Disney+ series could be the connective tissue that connects the High Republic era to the rise of the Sith, as seen in the prequels.
High Republic, Mixed Reception
As a result, The High Republic is already receiving pushback. For some it’s not Skywalker-y enough. For others it’s…well, it is unclear about what they are unhappy about but you guessed it: Star Wars fans are angry and are spreading their frustrations online. We truly live in the most annoying of timelines.
Thanks for nothing, Large Hadron Collider.
First of all, SHUT IT, NERDS, I REALLY LIKE THIS NEW HIGH REPUBLIC ERA AND I’LL LIKE WHAT I LIKE!
There. That’s taken care of.
Second, I know what some of you are going to say. Oh, Nerds on Earth, why are you being so defensive? Oh, Nerds on Earth, why are you barricading yourself in your house with your High Republic comic books? Oh, Nerds on Earth, is that a moat around your house… filled with hungry dianogas? Are those creatures even in existence in the High Republic era?
And where could you have possibly gotten so many? That is a lot of dianogas. And how can one household possibly generate enough trash to feed them all? To which I say: You know what? It’s the pandemic, isn’t it? Everyone is trapped at home so the trash is piling up more. The dianogas are eating well!
This new High Republic era introduces great new characters and settings, opening up worlds of storytelling possibilities. Star Wars fans are eating well as well.