Star Wars is officially hard at work on its next era of storytelling, and it won't be too long until The High Republic tells stories from around 200 years prior to the start of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. That makes this publishing initiative far removed from most familiar aspects of The Skywalker Saga. With that distance, there's a real opportunity for change in the film world to revolutionize what we know as a Star Wars movie if the next trilogy also comes from this era.
Right now, we don't know for sure when or even if Star Wars will set a movie in The High Republic era, but with Lucasfilm fully on board with this multi-platform initiative, I'd imagine it has to come eventually. I'm personally hoping it's sooner rather than later due to the ways it could fundamentally change and enhance the future of Star Wars cinema as we know it.
The High Republic Is Set In A Time Where The Jedi Are Thriving
To say The High Republic is a great time to be a Jedi is an understatement. The galaxy at large is at peace, thanks in large part to the destruction of the Sith Empire. That's not to say there aren't a few outliers hanging out in the far reaches of the galaxy, but for the most part, the Jedi are the dominant force in the battle between the light and dark side in this era.
That shift in power dynamic means that not every storyline has to hinge on the fate of the galaxy. Perhaps the story could be more personal to a small group of Jedi, or maybe even paint the order as the "bad guys" to a no-good smuggler trying to make some credits. It's hard to make stories like this meaningful when the bad guys are in power because every hero's cause has to be impactful and noble to the massive war, but with peace in the galaxy, there's freedom to tell stories with a smaller scope and give them more attention.
There's A New Villainous Faction Of "Space Vikings"
Crime syndicates and villains outside of the Empire and First Order have been around the Star Wars lore for a long time, but they never really get a lion's share of movie screen time. Jabba The Hutt's true power as a crime lord was never touched on in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and while Solo: A Star Wars Story seemed primed to put crime syndicates at the forefront of its story, any plans for sequels have died.
I've always loved the storytelling potential of lesser criminal organizations in Star Wars, and there's some real potential in the The High Republic's Nihil. The concept art of this viking-like faction looks like the world of Mad Max has come to life in Star Wars, and I'm eager to see how they pose a threat to the era of peace. They may not be as fearsome as the First Order or have a weapon as devastating as the Death Star, but they have to be a major problem for somebody, right?
The Opportunity To Flesh Out Major Dark Side Lore On Screen
We're still in the dark about all the events that transpire in The High Republic, but knowing what comes after has confirmed one thing: the talk of the Sith's destruction has been highly exaggerated, and while the Jedi are living large and protecting the smaller issues in the galaxy, a great power is slowly building within the dark side.
I'm referring, of course, to the continual line of Sith that eventually led to the rise of Sheev Palpatine. Palpatine is estimated to be in his 40s at the start of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, so I wouldn't expect to see him around. I am willing to bet, however, that Darth Plagueis could come into the story as one of the most fearsome dark dide users out there. The High Republic introducing Plagueis could be huge for the film universe, and an important character worth showing on the big screen.
The Opportunity To Tell Disconnected Stories
The High Republic is a period of relative peace in Star Wars which, as I touched on earlier, means there's no larger cause to call the galaxy to action. That's incredibly liberating in regard to Star Wars, which has been in a near-constant state of war since Episode I. It's really hard to pull the story away from an intergalactic conflict of that magnitude, which inevitably makes all stories in Star Wars connected in some way.
I know it sounds blasphemous to say in this MCU film era, but Star Wars would be much better if it were disconnected. This is a vast and expansive universe that has felt small due to the Skywalker Saga, and now it can flourish and branch out in The High Republic. I'm not saying characters can never cross over, but I'd also like to see eventual stories that may get adapted for the big screen to be entirely disconnected from each other. It's probably wishful thinking if another trilogy is on the way, but we can all dream!
There's A Chance On The Film Side To Adapt Stories From Pre-Existing Lore
One of the biggest advantages Star Wars will have should it make a High Republic-set movie is that there will be a healthy amount of lore already from in the time period. That's unfamiliar territory for the world of Star Wars, which has more often than not let its films lead the way and let the books and comics fill in the blanks and flesh out the rest.
After the divisiveness of the sequel trilogy, it's the smarter play for Star Wars to try what it's doing with The High Republic first. This method could help determine what stories the Star Wars fandom responds to, and create a bible of sorts that the movie timeline can reference in order to stay on course with its story-telling. For better or worse, I don't think anyone wins when the screenwriting is as reactive to fan response as it felt in the Sequel Trilogy, and if The High Republic is the home of the next eventual Star Wars trilogy, I think there's less a chance of that happening with established material.
We still don't know what the next Star Wars movie will be about, but CinemaBlend will keep an ear to the ground and speculate on it in the meantime. Stick with us for more news on the Star Wars front, and for the latest news happening in movies and television.