The vast majority of Star Wars fans come into the franchise via the movies only and never dig into the comics, novels, and other media. So, Star Wars: The High Republic, a new multi-media project that is set 200 years before Luke Skywalker is an entire mystery to the vast majority of the Star Wars fanbase.
Many likely haven’t even heard of it. And if they are vaguely familiar, they likely have questions. Well, read on.
Star Wars: The High Republic
The High Republic Features Jedi at their Heights
From Wookiepedia: “The High Republic Era was a period of time that lasted for around two hundred years between approximately 300 BBY and 82 BBY 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.”
In short, Jedi are abundant in the High Republic era. They are also respected and admired in the era. Citizens look to them for protection, governments look to them for advice, and the Master / Padawan institution works.
There is some grey at the edges of course, but the light side of the force is strong and trusted in the High Republic era. And, frankly, it has been refreshing to have the Jedi depicted as competent, successful, and helpful.
Seriously, there are a LOT of Jedi
And there are a LOT of Jedi! Each piece of the multi-media project introduces its own Jedi characters, so the books and two comic books series each introduce their own cast of Jedi. And that’s only the ones I know about!
With each Jedi Master, there is usually a Jedi Knight or Padawan that is introduced as well. Then there are Council Jedi and Jedi serve in the Outer Rim, that is just being explored in this era of Star Was. In particular, there is the Starlight Beacon, an outpost that serves as a symbol of hope in the Outer Rim and several Jedi serve there.
It’s exciting. If you are curious about some of these new Jedi, check out this list of 7 of the most prominent Jedi.
There are Brand New Villains
Star Wars: High Republic isn’t the same tale of Jedi versus Sith. In fact, I can’t even recall the Sith being mentioned much at all, and there certainly aren’t actual Sith in conflict with Jedi. Instead, there is a new antogist in the era. And they are great.
The Nihil are the antagonists. Movie watchers saw the remains of them in the movie Solo, although that band of outlaws were just pretending to be Nihil and were Robinhood-like characters instead. But the head gear look persists from the High Republic to Solo.
Marchion Ro is the leader of the Nihil, a band of outlaws, robbers, smugglers, and no-gooders in the Outer Rim that have a code much like that of the Ravagers in Guardians of the Galaxy: Steal from everybody. The Nihil do this through manipulating hyperspace lanes, which allow them to appear at unforeseen times in unforeseen places, making hit-and-run raids on settlements of starships.
They are excellent antagonists.
It Adds New Ships, Aliens, and Items into the Star Wars Galaxy
The Nihil ships are savaged and stolen, often having modifications on their ships that allow for boarding and pillaging, much like The Reavers in Firefly. So, their ships aren’t necessary memorable, except for their gnarliness.
But the Jedi have a starship that is unique to them and can only be powered up through the insertion of an un-ignited lightsaber in a compartment in the cockpit. It is a uniquely nimble ship, with controls so subtle that only a Force user can pilot it.
But the High Republic also introduces enough new alien races to fill the Mos Eisley Cantina several times over. It’s exciting and opens up brand new corners of the Star Wars galaxy.
It is Featured Now in Books and Comics
Although a Disney+ show is in production, Star Wars: The High Republic is just in print for now.
- The main book series is excellent and is being released as a trilogy. Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule was first. That was followed by Rising Storm. The third installment of the trilogy will be The Fallen Star.
- Two YA books are available as well: Into the Dark and Out of the Shadows.
- The comic book titles are selling out every issue. Marvel’s is simply titled Star Wars: The High Republic. IDW publishes a comic for young readers called Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures.
There is something for all ages to read.
But a TV Show has Been Announced
But I mentioned a show is coming! Details are scant right now, but it is encouraging that The High Republic is getting a full treatment. Disney+ Star Wars content has been excellent thus far, so we can only hope that the High Republic show is just as good.
No official releases date for now.
There is One Old Friend in The High Republic
Remember, Yoda’s species lives a long, long time, mainly to their diet of frogs, I suppose. That means Yoda is alive and well during the High Republic Period. But I’ve only just noticed mentions, I haven’t seen him given full attention in the books I’ve read. But maybe he appears in the others! Regardless, it is good to know an old friend is around and well.