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The Skywalker Saga has come to an end, and yet, we know that Star Wars as a franchise will continue on. While we still don't know what the future holds for Star Wars on the big screen, one recent rumor indicated that future films could take place in an era of Star Wars being called The High Republic, while the Star Wars publishing side was teasing something called Project Luminous. As it turns out these two concepts were actually one and the same, and the next major endeavor in the galaxy far, far away will take place largely in books and comics.
So what exactly is Star Wars: The High Republic, what will it entail, and what does it mean for the future of Star Wars? Let's break it all down.
What Was Project Luminous?
First, a bit of background. Project Luminous was announced at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April of 2019. At the time, no details about exactly what it was were revealed. We knew only that, due to being an initiative of Lucasfilm's publishing arm, that it would be based on the page, rather than the screen. Several authors who had previously written other Star Wars books, like Claudia Gray, Cavan Scott and more were confirmed to be part of this new project, but what it was, and when we would see it, remained a mystery for several months. Then in February of 2020, Project Luminous was given its new name, Star Wars: The High Republic.
When Is Star Wars: The High Republic Set?
Star Wars: The High Republic will be a series of stories, covering both traditional books and comics that will tell the story of a part of the Star Wars universe that we have never seen before. Specifically it will take place 200 years prior to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The prequels told the story of the fall of the galactic republic, and so these books will cover a period when the republic, and the Jedi are both at the height of their power.
What Is Star Wars: The High Republic About?
Taking place hundreds of years prior to the first Star Wars film, The High Republic promises to create a new cast of characters that we've never met before and tell stories in a galaxy that looks different from the one that we know. The High Republic is just the setting for what will be a variety of different kinds of stories. Some will focus on Jedi, to be sure, but others may focus on different sorts of characters. The books and comics won't be a single continuous story, but instead a variety of different stories that are simply all taking place in the same era.
Having said that, there will be a core group of heroes that we're likely to see cross among multiple books, though exactly who these characters will be we don't know. There also will be an inciting incident for The High Republic. Right now, it's simply being called The Great Disaster. We don't know if this is some sort of natural galactic phenomenon or something man made, but this event will be the catalyst for everything that comes after it.
In the promotional video for the High Republic, they're being called both the "Jedi of the Round Table," implying a group of virtuous heroes trying to do good in the galaxy, as well as being compared to Texas Rangers. The frontier of the High Republic is like the wild west, and it's the job of the Jedi to keep law and order. There will also be new villains. They're called the Nihil and they're being called "space vikings." Based on concept art the group is made up of a collection of different alien races.
What Books Will Be Part Of Star Wars: The High Republic?
So far, five books have been officially announced that will be part of the first collection of High Republic stories. Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray is a young adult novel that will tell the story of a Jedi padawan named Reath Silas who finds himself on the frontier of the galaxy when the great disaster strikes. Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland is a book meant for even younger readers, that will follow a group of young people left to fend for themselves following the same calamity.
Two different comic book series have been officially confirmed as part of The High Republic, the simply titled Star Wars: The High Republic by Cavan Scott and Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older. The one confirmed adult novel, which likely will be as close to a "beginning" as the High Republic will have is called Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. This is just the beginning of the books and comics that will take place in this era, from all indications The High Republic is being planned to go on for several years.
Could We See Star Wars: The High Republic Movies Or Series?
While Star Wars: The High Republic is being called a "publisher-led" initiative, that very description would indicate that seeing The High Republic in other forms of media is certainly possible. In The High Republic's video announcement this whole thing was specifically called an "incubator" which would imply the idea could grow much further. In the same way that Star Wars movies have led to a number of successful books telling wholly original stories, it seems quite possible, even likely, that successful books could lead to films if the audience shows enough interest in the idea.
When Will You Be Able To Read Star Wars: The High Republic Books?
The first batch of Star Wars; The High Republic books, are set to go on sale during Star Wars Celebration Anaheim which takes place August 27-30th 2020. However, Charles Soule's Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi actually has a listed publishing date of August 25, two days before the celebration begins. Some of the announced books might be available at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim itself early, but the rest of the new titles have publishing dates throughout the fall of 2020.
Certainly, a new series of books, comics, and maybe more that is dealing with an era completely removed from the Star Wars we know gives the creative folks working at and with Lucasfilm a massive blank canvas on which to build. While there will certainly be familiar elements, like droids, spaceships, and Jedi, we're sure to see a lot that's brand new as well. Star Wars: The High Republic sounds like everything Star Wars fans have been waiting for.