Disney has announced a new publishing initiative for its Star Wars expanded universe, titled Star Wars: The High Republic. Designed as an interconnected series of books, novels, and comics, the series will be set about 200 years before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in a “golden age for the Jedi.”
As the company’s press release notes, “This period on the Star Wars timeline will not overlap any of the filmed features or series currently planned for production” — meaning that The High Republic will be limited largely to print stories for now, not the next big-budget Star Wars movie or Disney Plus show. Still, if the stories do well and resonate with fans, there’s no reason to assume that The High Republic era won’t make the jump to film at some point down the line.
The High Republic stories will see the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic at the height of their powers. The Jedi of this era are compared to the Knights of the Round Table, the “guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy.” They’ll face off against new villains, Nhil, described as invading “space vikings” dedicated to causing chaos.
It’s not the first time the Star Wars franchise has tried to build out an interconnected story universe like this. Previous efforts included the multimedia project Shadows of the Empire, which saw a novel, comic books, toys, a video game, and even a soundtrack released to tell a storyline set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
There was also the New Jedi Order series of novels, which saw over a dozen authors come together to tell a unified story across 19 novels of the Jedi and the New Republic facing invasion from outside the galaxy.
More recently, there have been the “Journey to Star Wars” publishing initiatives, which saw the release of novels, comics, and short stories designed to connect the new sequel trilogy films to the movies that came before.
To start the line, Lucasfilm has announced five new titles spanning the entire Star Wars publishing empire:
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule (an adult novel)
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray (a YA novel)
- Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland (a middle grade novel)
- Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older (a comic book series from IDW)
- Star Wars: The High Republic by Cavan Scott (a comic book series from Marvel)
“We are so excited to be opening up such a rich, fertile era for our authors to explore,” commented Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “We’ll get to see the Jedi in their prime.”
The release of the first wave of Star Wars: The High Republic stories will start in August, just in time for the annual Star Wars Celebration convention.