- "We are all the Republic."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh
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.
A golden age
- "You know I envision a galaxy of Great Works — connected and inspiring and filled with peace for all citizens. I believe this is possible, but not because of me, or any special ability of mine. I believe it is possible because of us. Because we can and will work together to achieve it. We are, every one of us, a great work. I see a galaxy where we use our strengths to shore up each other's weaknesses, where we understand and celebrate our differences and hold them up as valuable. We are a Republic where every voice matters, whether in the Core or on the farthest planet at the edge of the Rim."
- ―Lina Soh's speech at the Dedication of the Starlight Beacon
With the Colonies and Core Worlds overpopulated, many poor citizens moved to the dangerous Outer Rim Territories, where the Galactic Republic hoped to expand itself into. Under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh, and due to her projects she called Great Works, the Republic supported the dreams of its citizens, even spreading a slogan that every citizen represented the government. Although the government was not perfect, it was supported by the various species that lived under its rule.
The High Republic Era was considered a time of peace. The Jedi Order was at its height, and incredibly open, diverse, and accepting, as well as following the Jedi Code less dogmatically. Their influence spanned the galaxy, as they had many outposts throughout it. Additionaly, the Starros and San Tekka clans were known to be active during this period. When there was conflict or another type of crisis, one of the earliest of the Great Works, the Salvation-class Republic medical frigate Panacea, was deployed to provide aid. During this time, the galaxy was not as settled as it was by the time of the Galactic Civil War, as areas like the Outer Rim were dangerous and difficult to navigate. In response, an enormous space station called the Starlight Beacon, one of Chancellor Soh's Great Works, was constructed at a great effort and expense and placed in the center of the dark zones. The station would send out a signal that acted as a beacon, helping travelers find their way.
During this era, the Galactic Society of Creature Enthusiasts was founded by a group of scientists and adventurers that were interested in researching and cataloging the myriad of new species that were discovered on the Republic's frontier worlds. The group started with small dinner meetings and a monthly newsletter. Over the centuries, the group expanded to be one of the largest supporters of wilderness preservation and education. The group also produced a large variety of educational programming on the HoloNet. The Society instructed Serv-O-Droid, Inc. to build Safari droids for assignments in dangerous environments. These droids were programmed to autonomously document and interact with wild creaures and report back to the Society.
Crisis amid peace
- "I mean the Republic, building its Starlight Beacon out in my territory. Invading, taking over, with all its rules and laws and particular brand of freedom that isn't free at all. And you Jedi always just behind, absolutely convinced that every action you take is right and good. My family learned that to its cost, long ago."
- ―Marchion Ro, to Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm
A critical event known as the Great Hyperspace Disaster also occurred during this period. The disaster was initiated after the Freighter Legacy Run came apart in hyperspace, causing large pieces of debris to be shot out of hyperspace at near lightspeed and many starships across the galaxy to be suddenly kicked out of hyperspace. The debris primarily threatened the Hetzal system, which was a major provider of foodstuff in the Outer Rim, and the lives of billions of people who lived there. Many Jedi, largely aboard the starship Ataraxia, arrived to help save lives.
Avar Kriss, who was a pre-eminent Jedi Master from the period, became known as the "Hero of Hetzal" for her efforts in leading a group of Jedi to rescue civilians during the Great Hyperspace Disaster. Kriss prevented a giant tank of liquid tibanna from colliding with the Hetzal system's largest star by using her unique ability to create a network with the force to connect Jedi across the system and the galaxy to help move the tank with the force. By changing the tank's trajectory, they prevented the destruction of the entire system that the collision could have caused. However, the Great Disaster would lead to the Emergences, which was a series of disasters in which fragments of the wreckage of the Legacy Run continued to emerge from hyperspace across the Outer Rim Territories, colliding with several planets and other astronomical objects and killing billions. The danger of the Emergences forced Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh to close off several regions of the Outer Rim from hyperspace travel.
The marauder group known as the Nihil were soon discovered to be responsible for the tragedy. Using their powerful Path engines, which allowed them to travel through hyperspace in unorthodox and inexplicable ways, one of their Stormships ended up in the Legacy Run's path in hyperspace, as had been orchestrated by the Eye of the Nihil, Marchion Ro. Ro had a personal, family history with the Jedi and thus wanted to destroy them. He also hated the Republic, believing it did not offer true freedom, which was a common sentiment among the Nihil. Being able to know when the next emergences would appear, several groups of Nihil attempted to extort planets that they knew would be hit by offering to stop the debris in exchange for money. Marchion Ro and the Nihil also staged a raid on the planet Elphrona, kidnapping the Blythe family in order to lure the Jedi stationed on the planet to the planet's outpost in order to capture at least one of them. Ro successfully captured Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm, though the other Jedi, including his Padawan Bell Zettifar, believed him to be dead.
In response to the disaster, the Republic and the Jedi worked together to confront the Nihil at the Kur Nebula, marking the first time the Jedi had performed a military action in generations. Joined by forces from the planet Eriadu, the Republic and the Jedi defeated the Nihil in what would be known as the Battle of Kur. However, Marchion Ro had secretly deliberately only sent one section of the Nihil, known as a Tempest, to the Nebula, that being Tempest Runner Kassav Milliko's Tempest. As Ro had planned, this convinced the Jedi that the Nihil had been defeated, when in reality just a third of them had been sacrificed. After the battle, the hyperspace lanes in the Outer Rim were then reopened. The Dedication of Starlight Beacon then occurred, and the station was opened to the galaxy.
During the Great Disaster, an ancient species of amorphous sentient carnivorous plant-like creatures known as the Drengir were accidentally awakened aboard the Amaxine space station in the Outer Rim when travelers forced out of hyperspace were forced to stop of the station. Both the Jedi and the Nihil fought the Drengir aboard the station, with the Jedi even decompresssing the entire station to suck the Drengir out into space. While the Jedi believed they had seen the last of the Drengir, the events on the Amaxine station awakened many sleeping Drengir across the Outer Rim and Hutt Space, causing a crisis. The Jedi of Starlight Beacon were sent to confront the Drengir on many planets and save lives. The Jedi would even join forces with the Hutt Cartel to fight against the Drengir after the Jedi conducted a mission to world of theirs called Sedri Minor to investigate the Drengir and came face to face with hutt leader Myarga. The Hutts agreed to the alliance because their homeworld of Nal Hutta had been devastated by the Drengir as well as many planets fo theirs in Hutt Space. After the Jedi fought alongside the Hutts against the Drengir on many planets across the Outer Rim, Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis was able to discover the location of the Drengir leader, the Great Progenitor, on the Wild Space planet Mulita after reaching into the Drengir's hive mind. This led to the Assault on Mulita, where the Jedi of Starlight Beacon, many from the postings across the Outer Rim, and the forces of the Hutt Clan engaged in an all out assault against the Progenitor, until she was finally captured and put in stasis. However the alliance between the Jedi and the Hutts was broken over a moral quarrel over whether or not to kill the Progenitor.
At the same time as the Drengir crisis, the Nihil would also reemerge, and had not been defeated as the Jedi and Republic had thought. The mauraders had helped seed the Drengir across the Outer Rim to distract the Jedi from their next target: The Valo Republic Fair. The Republic Fair was another one of Chancellor Soh's Great Works meant to unite the galaxy and show that they had recovered from the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the Emergences. Representatives and showpieces from all over the galaxy were present at the fair, including the Togruta government, who the Republic wished to recruit into the Republic. However, the Nihil destroyed and devastated the fair, killing hundreds of thousands. The marauders had also disabled communications on the planet so that they could not call for help. The Nihil also targeted a research vessel that was a showpiece at the fair called the Innovator. Which was created by the Cyclorrians for the Republic as a symbol of progress. However, the vessel sank in Lake Lonisa during the Nihil attack. Th Nihil would also spread a giant War cloud of toxic gas across the entire fair and destroy sky islands known as the World Pavilions that represented the different planets of the Republic. After communications were restored by Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram, the Nihil would eventually be stopped by the Jedi, Republic, and Trogruta forces, but would not be defeated, as many escaped. This included the Tempest of Pan Eyta, who would later attack the Cyclor shipyards with the intention to further damage the power and the respect of the Republic. But the Galactic Republic and the Jedi helping them were prepared and retaliated against the Nihil, completely decimating and defeating Pan Eyta's Tempest. The Jedi were able to locate the Nihil's base on Grizal after placing Jedi stowaways aboard a Nihil ship, allowing them to activate a homing beacon upon their arrival on the planet. Once the signal was received, Jedi Master Stellan Gios and his Red Group departed the ongoing Battle of Cyclor, arriving at Grizal and assaulting the base. During the attack, Jedi Knight Bell Zettifar was briefly reunited with his thought-dead Master, Loden Greatstorm, who had been a prisoner of the Nihil. However, Marchion Ro unleashed a living weapon called the Great Leveler against the Jedi, killing Greatstorm and traumatizing Zettifar. In the aftermath, the Jedi assumed that the Twi'lek Tempest Runner Lourna Dee, who had escaped the battle, was the true leader of the Nihil. As a response to the attack on the fair, the Republic launched a campaign called Operation: Counterstrike to wipe out the Nihil.
During Operation: Counterstrike, the prestigious Graf family partnered with the Nihil, specifically Tempest Runner Lourna Dee, to develop hyperspace technology. To persue their efforts, the Nihil offered to give scientist Chancey Yarrow access to the hyperspace 'oracle' Mari San Tekka so that she could develop the gravity well projector that she had always wanted to develop. Yarrow successfully developed her gravity well projector in the form of a space station known as the Gravity's Heart in the Berenge sector. The station had the ability to pull starships out of hyperspace from all over the galaxy and bring them to the Berenge sector, and did so on a few occasions. After the station was discovered by a group of Jedi and destroyed by the Republic Defense Coalition, Yarrow took up work for the Grafs, who still wished to experiment with hyperspace.
As part of Operation: Counterstrike, the Republic and Jedi engaged the Nihil on various fronts, including on the planets Carlac, Magaveene, and in the Dreighton Nebula. The Republic and Jedi also battled the Nihil in the Galov system, where the marauders were attempting to take over the space station Relay Post Epsilon One. The Jedi and the Republic won the battle and incorrectly believed that they killed the leader of the Nihil in the form of Lourna Dee, but the Nihil still managed to destroy the station. The Jedi of Starlight Beacon also went against the wishes of the Jedi Council and performed an infiltration of the Nihil by having Jedi Knights Keeve Trennis and Terec go undercover within the organization. However the Jedi were discovered on the planet Xais after former ally the captured Myarga the Hutt revealed the Jedi's identities. The Jedi attempted to escape, but were stopped by a still-alive Lourna Dee, who used the living weapon known as the Great Leveler against the Jedi. However, Jedi aboard the Ataraxia arrived to Xais to rescue Trennis and Terec, but they were unsuccessful in capturing Dee, as she escaped. The Jedi also defended against a Nihil attack on Takodana, defeating the Nihil, but not before they blew up the Jedi Temple on Takodana. This attack was carried out by a specific Nihil cell was led by Krix Kamerat, who several Jedi from Starlight Beacon had been fighting and searching for for a while. The Jedi of Starlight Beacon eventually traced the headquarters of the Nihil cell led by Krix Kamerat to the planet Dol'Har Hyde. The Republic and Jedi battled the cell in the air over Dol'Har Hyde, before a group of Jedi led a ground assault that led to the capture of Krix Kamerat.
Operation: Counterstrike was a success, and after several missions and battles the Jedi and the Republic largely fractured and defeated the Nihil, leaving them running scared. One example of this was the Nihil Tempest Runner Kara Xoo, whose entire tempest was reduced to just those aboard her ship the Poisoned Barb. Kara Xoo started kidnapping children from the planet Dalna in an attempt to increase the Nihil's numbers and raise true Nihil who were passionate about the cause. But her efforts were discovered and stopped by Jedi stationed on Dalna and Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh. However, a Nihil scientist named Zadina Mkampa activated a crystalline power matrix that she had built that was tied to Dalna's crust, activating the planet's volcanic systems and causing a series of groundquakes and volcanic eruptions that threatened to devastate the planet. In response to this and Xoo's attack on the Dalnan Capital city of Saludad, the Dalnan evacuation was initiated. The Dalnan evacuation was when Starlight Beacon was towed to Dalna primarily by the MPO-1400 Purgill-class star cruiser Halcyon, though with the help of other ships, so that all of Dalna's citizens could be evacuated to the station before they could be killed by the disasters caused by the Nihil. It was organized by Jedi Padawan Imri Cantaros. The evacuation was a success, and most of the people were saved. During this era, the planet Eiram also experienced a catastrophic cyclone natural disaster that devastated much of the planet. Starlight Beacon was subsequently towed again to the planet to assist with the recovery and rebuilding of the planet.
With the Nihil largely scattered, Master Avar Kriss gathered a group of Jedi to pursue the Nihil Tempest Runner Lourna Dee, who they still mistakenly believed to be the Eye of the Nihil. Using a Nihil path engine that they recovered from the Battle of Grizal, the team of Jedi traveled aboard the Jedi starcruiser Ataraxia to the Great Hall of the Nihil in No-Space, which was the Nihil's main base. They fired at the Hall without provocation, which was unusual for Jedi, taking the Nihil by surprise. They then boarded the Hall and battled with the many Nihil stationed there, including Tempest Runner Zeetar, who Kriss killed by reflecting his flamethrower fire back at him. The Jedi were sent throughout the hall to secure various areas of it while Kriss went to find Dee. The Nihil stormships present were ordered to fire on the Hall by a desperate Lourna Dee, forcing the Jedi to have to save themselves and many Nihil from getting sucked out into space. Master Kriss confronted Lourna Dee, attacking her in a rage and engaging in lightsaber combat, before defeating her. Kriss had to be talked down from killing a defenseless and defeated Dee in anger by Jedi Keeve Trennis. Kriss successfully captured Dee and detained her aboard the Ataraxia, planning to bring her back to Starlight Beacon. The Jedi left this critical battle with many Nihil prisoners onboard and incorrectly believing they had defeated the organization.
Return of the Nihil
Fall of Starlight Beacon
One of the most critical series of events during the High Republic Era would begin when Marchion Ro initiated a series of aerial attacks upon the planets Aleen, Yeksom, Japeal, and Tais Brabbo. The attacks caused a refugee crisis as many left those planets and go to Starlight Beacon and various Jedi Temples for help, though this was exactly the intended effect that Marchion Ro was hoping for. The Nihil attacked many of the Jedi temples that the refugees went to in order to send a message, including the Chespea Temple. Afterwards, Ro sent a team of three Nihil zealots on a mission to Starlight Beacon with the objective to sabotage the station and release powerful creatures onto the station known as the Nameless, which were the same species as the Great Leveler and acted as living weapons by affecting Jedi's connection to the Force. The presence of the Nameless on the station successfully disturbed the Jedi's connection to the Force, thus weakening them significantly as well as preventing them from discovering or sensing the coming danger.
The plan worked, and the infiltrators successfully caused an explosion on Starlight Beacon, which rocked its engineering station and caused an immense amount of radiation to be released that practically divided the station into two halves: upper and lower. Those on the lower half managed to establish communications outside of the station with the help of the small starship called the Vessel and its crew. However, the explosion had caused Starlight Beacon to start drifting towards the surface of Eiram, the planet it was orbiting which was still recovering from a brutal natural disaster. After the explosion took place, the Nameless were released onto the station, which generally weakened all of the Jedi and limited their ability to help. Many Jedi were also attacked and killed by the Nameless and turned into calcified husks just as Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm had been. However, Jedi Master and Starlight Head of Operations Estala Maru managed to singlehandedly hold the two halves of the station together with the force, all alone until Master Avar Kriss arrived and activated her network, connecting the Jedi on the station to help Maru. Meanwhile, Kriss's team of Jedi that had just returned from the Battle for No-Space helped rescue people on the top half of the station by leading them to the cruiser Ataraxia or to escape pods. But the Jedi eventually lost control of the Ataraxia when it was taken over by an escaped and rogue Lourna Dee.
Shortly after, even though there had been a great effort, the top half of the station would inevitably separate from the lower, and when it did quickly fell into the atmosphere of Eiram and burned up, killing all those who were left on board. Several disputes and conflicts occurred on the lower half of the station between the different groups of people that had different ideas of how to escape, causing violent situations and adding to the chaos. But Padawan Bell Zettifar managed to rig an explosion to separate the medical tower from the rest of the station, and get all of the patients in it to an Eiram medical vessel. Meanwhile, two former Nihil who had been prisoners on the station, Chauncey Yarrow, an engineering and technological genius, and Nan, a talented spy and informant who previously worked for Marchion Ro, discovered that they could prevent the station from crash landing on Eiram by activating its thrusters. The two accessed the controls and Yarrow managed to begin to use them to activate the thrusters. But Chauncey Yarrow was killed by Jedi Master Elzar Mann, who mistakenly believed that Yarrow was a Nihil saboteur. This prevented any hope of the station not crash landing on Eiram, and forced Jedi Master Stellan Gios had to manually control the thrusters so that Starlight Beacon would land in the ocean and not on the city. Many had received word of the disaster to the communications from the Vessel and had arrived to help, but were left helpless to watch the destruction of the station. Even though Master Gios sacrificed himself to have the station crash land in the ocean of the planet Eiram, enormous waves still rattled the coastal areas and the water purification plant was destroyed again, but the complete destruction of the city was prevented. The Jedi who had made it to the surface and survived helped with the rebuilding effort of the coastal areas of Eiram and its cities.
Eye of the Storm
Meanwhile, Marchion Ro had tasked Krix Kamerat and subsequently one of Kamerat's collaborators, Sabata Krill, with a long-term plan that began with leading a group of Nihil to the core world of Corellia. The Nihil slowly began to grow their influence on Corellia and brought more and more Nihil to the planet as well as spread the ideology to people on the planet with the help of Corellian elites like Nomar Tralmat. Sabata Krill and the cell deliberately stirred up a union dispute on Corellia's moon Gus Talon by faking attacks by protestors, successfully drawing the Corellian Jedi and Corellian Security Forces away from Corellia. The ultimate plan was to wait for the destruction of Starlight Beacon and then steal a fleet of MPO-1400 Purgill-class star cruisers and Republic Longbeam cruisers being built in the shipyards of Coronet City. They planned to then travel in them to Starlight Beacon to appear as if they were Republic arriving to offer help, but then actually bomb the station more. However, a group of Jedi that traveled to Corellia to investigate the Nihil on the planet uncovered this plot through undercover missions and espionage and joined some Corellian citizens to fight against the Nihil and stop their plan from coming to fruition. When the Nihil unexpectedly faced this resistance, their plan shifted from bombing the Beacon before it crashed to bombing the crashed wreckage and surrounding areas of the Beacon's crash. However, the Jedi and the contingent Corellian citizens that they gathered fought the Nihil in a long battle. The Jedi and Corellians eventually managed to defeat the horde of Nihil that had been secretly brought to and infiltrated Corellia, and disabled or destroyed the star cruisers and Longbeams that the Nihil planned to steal. With the leaders of the Nihil on Corellia dead or captured in the aftermath of the battle, and a large amount of the Nihil fighters killed, the Nihil cell on Corellia fell apart and scattered.
After the destruction of the beacon, Marchion Ro revealed himself to the galaxy in a broadcast in which he told the galaxy that he was the leader of the Nihil and outlined his goals. Chancellor Lina Soh wanted to strike back against the Nihil, after the destruction of the beacon and asked Jedi Council for help. But the Jedi refused, as in response to the Nihil's weaponization of the Nameless aboard Starlight Beacon, the Jedi sent out a recall beacon, urging all Jedi to leave the Outer Rim and come to Coruscant to keep them safe from the uniquely targeting threat. Even though the Jedi could not help them, Soh and the Republic did send the Republic Defense Coalition Outreach Fleet to strike back against the Nihil and limit their power and influence in the Outer Rim. But unbeknownst the Republic, Marchion Ro had developed technology known as stormseeds. They had the power to destroy starships traveling in hyperspace through certain designated areas of the galaxy that they were activated in. Ro successfully used them against the Republic Defense Coalition Outreach Fleet and destroyed it. Ro managed to use the stormseeds to cut off ten Outer Rim sectors from the rest of the Republic. This changed the face of the galaxy, restricting Republic interference and presence in the outer rim and establishing the Nihil as the absolute controlling power in the Outer Rim during this time.
Late High Republic Era
In the late High Republic Era, Count Dooku was born and taken in by the Jedi Order. Near the end of the High Republic Era, Dooku passed his Initiate Trials and was taken in by Yoda as his Padawan. At this time, stories were told among Jedi Initiates about Klias Teradine, who was a Padawan who lived during the High Republic Era and also discovered the Bogan Collection.
- "In the days of the High Republic, the galaxy was not as settled as it is now. Areas like the Outer Rim were dangerous, hard to navigate. So the people of that time built a huge space station at great effort and expense and placed it in the center of the dark zones. It sent out a signal that acted as a sort of beacon, helping travelers find their way. They gave that station an inspiring name, fitting its purpose."
The First Battle of Geonosis was the largest deployment of Jedi since the High Republic Era. Long after the High Republic Era, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and the galactic explorer Lor San Tekka traveled to a Jedi outpost on the Outer Rim planet Elphrona, located on the edge of the Unknown Regions. Given its distance from the Core, San Tekka speculated that the outpost could have been built during the High Republic Era.
Behind the scenes
- "I think we're seeing this now in the world we're living in, which is that disasters are large scale catastrophes test systems. The way you can see the strength of a system, a government, a society—of its tools against the scope and scale of that catastrophe is to throw a disaster at it. So, the point of Light of the Jedi, in many ways, is to introduce the High Republic to a readership, to an audience. To show what it is capable of when it's at its height, and when things get really bad, here's how it solves problems."
- ―Charles Soule, author of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
The High Republic Era was first mentioned in the 2019 audiodrama Dooku: Jedi Lost, but it was not identified until the 2020 comic The Rise of Kylo Ren. It first appeared in a flashback in the comic "The Lost Stories, Part 1," published in Star Wars Adventures (2017) 30. The era is set to make its first on-screen appearance in the upcoming television series The Acolyte, which is set at the end of the time period. An upcoming game called Star Wars Eclipse will also be set during the era.
Notes and references
- The Star Wars Book dates the start of the High Republic Era to approximately 300 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to approximately 300 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas.
- The Vow of Silver Dawn is set towards the end of the High Republic Era and takes place about fifty years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas date to 32 BBY. Therefore, the High Republic Era ended around 82 BBY. states that
- The Rise of Kylo Ren 2
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- Star Wars (2020) 2
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
- The High Republic 6
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
- The High Republic: Mission to Disaster
- The High Republic 13
- The High Republic: The Fallen Star
- The High Republic: Midnight Horizon
- The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 2
- Galactic Society of Creature Enthusiasts Activity Book
- The High Republic: Into the Dark
- The High Republic 5
- The High Republic 8
- The High Republic 9
- The High Republic: Tempest Runner
- The High Republic: Out of the Shadows
- The High Republic 9
- The High Republic 10
- The High Republic 11
- The High Republic 12
- The High Republic Adventures 10
- The High Republic 14
- The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 5
- The High Republic 15
- Dooku: Jedi Lost
- Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy
- "The Lost Stories, Part 1"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 30