- "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field, created by all living things…"
- ―The quote originally used to introduce the project at Celebration Chicago
Star Wars: The High Republic, first announced as Project Luminous, is an ongoing multimedia project primarily featuring work from writers: Cavan Scott, Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Daniel José Older, and Justina Ireland. It spans many different storytelling formats, including comics, novels and audio plays, to tell one cohesive overall story set in the High Republic Era, two centuries prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. The project's official release was in 2021 although the first official branded material for the project was already released prior in December of 2020, in the form of a short story. Details about the project were first revealed at a press event on February 24, 2020, with its launch originally planned for later that year. However, the release was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea of Project Luminous came from Lucasfilm Publishing's creative director, Michael Siglain, who individually approached each author in the summer of 2018 about getting to work on what he then called the All-Star Initiative. To Cavan Scott, Siglain revealed the project over breakfast, while both were at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, but he didn't say who else would be working on Luminous yet.
A few months later, in September of 2018, all five of the authors who had signed on for Luminous were taken to Skywalker Ranch in California, where they began to flesh out the story beyond the project parameters. They were also joined by the Lucasfilm Publishing editorial team and Lucasfilm Story Group. They stayed for a few days, spending most of their time discussing the project, but they also got to see a 4K screening of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. They then went to Skywalker Ranch one more time in March of 2019 and saw a 4K cut of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
Project Luminous was revealed on February 24, 2020. In an announcement trailer, Project Luminous's name was revealed as being Star Wars: The High Republic. James Waugh, Lucasfilm's VP for Franchise Content and Strategy, explained that, with the end of the Skywalker saga looming with the release of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, the publishing branch of the company brought in some of the authors who had worked on previous tie-in materials and allowed them the creative freedom to fill-in the gaps with Star Wars stories beyond the reach of the films and the Skywalkers. Pablo Hidalgo, of the Lucasfilm Story Group who was involved in the Project Luminous writers' room, described the early process as giving the writers a blank slate and allowing them to choose what they wanted to write about and when. Eventually, the idea came from one of Obi-Wan Kenobi's earliest lines about the Jedi in A New Hope, about the Jedi being "the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." Michael Siglain also explained that the story truly began to come together with the question "What scares the Jedi?"
Star Wars Insider announced that it would be releasing a line of High Republic short stories exclusive to the magazine, beginning with the short story "Starlight: Part One: Go Together" in Star Wars Insider 199.
One day prior to The High Republic's launch with Charles Soule's Del Rey novel, Light of the Jedi, on January 5, 2021 (initially planned for August 25 of the previous year), a live stream was held on YouTube hosted by Kristin Baver and featuring the five High Republic authors and Michael Siglain, Director of Creative Franchise for Disney–Lucasfilm Press. The panel features a trailer, a discussion between the authors about their collaboration, covers and details for upcoming stories and concept art. In addition, Siglain revealed that the story would be divided into three phases:
- Phase I: Light of the Jedi (confirmed by Michael Siglain, Director of Creative Franchise for Disney–Lucasfilm Publishing, to run from "2021 into 2022.")
- Phase II: Quest of the Jedi (confirmed to start in October 2022)
- Phase III: Trials of the Jedi
In the same announcement, Michael Siglain confirmed that new stories would be released on a monthly basis, and a webseries called The High Republic Show, hosted by Krystina Arielle, would be aired bimonthly, featuring deep dives into the creative process behind The High Republic, including interviews with the authors, artists and publishers of the initiative.
On January 4, 2022, on the eve of The High Republic's first anniversary, the five authors once again united on an episode of The High Republic Show to discuss the last remaining projects of Phase I (which ended on March 2 with the release of the final issue of Cavan Scott's Star Wars: The High Republic comic series and Charles Soule's Eye of the Storm), and to divulge the first information about Phase II. Four new authors were announced as joining the initiative: Zoraida Córdova, George Mann, Tessa Gratton, and Lydia Kang. Other projects from the original five were also unveiled, such as Daniel Jose Older's new High Republic Adventures being the first new Dark Horse Comics series since 2015, Cavan Scott returning to a new The High Republic comic series, and Soule following his Eye of the Storm series with the origin story Star Wars: The High Republic — The Blade about Phase I character Porter Engle. The five authors also revealed that Phase II would be taking place 150 years prior to the events of Light of the Jedi.
The High Republic was first mentioned in the April 30, 2019 audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott. It was first identified as the High Republic Era in the January 8, 2020 comic issue The Rise of Kylo Ren 2 by Charles Soule.
Also mentioned in Dooku: Jedi Lost are Padawan Klias Teradine and Jedi Master Trennis. Teradine discovered the Bogan Collection and was expelled from the Jedi Order. Trennis became one of the Lost Twenty who left the Jedi Order. Keeve Trennis is a Jedi character in The High Republic comic series, although she has not been explicitly confirmed as the same person.
Starlight Beacon was indirectly mentioned in the comic Star Wars (2020) 2, written by Charles Soule and was also published by Marvel Comics on January 29, 2020, and its name was given in the project's official reveal on February 24, 2020.
A female Jedi seen in a holocron in The Rise of Kylo Ren 3, a comic written by Soule and illustrated by Will Sliney and released on February 12, 2020, was confirmed by Soule to be Avar Kriss, a character in The High Republic: Light of the Jedi.
In the announcement trailer for the High Republic project, concept art of entities labeled "Nameless" can be seen. These beings were mentioned in two of Cavan Scott's works, the aforementioned Dooku: Jedi Lost and the fourth issue of the comic series Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle.
|Color code key:|
|AN||Adult Novel [hide]||YA||Young Adult Novel [hide]||JN||Junior Novel [hide]||YR||Young Reader [hide]|
|SS||Short Story [hide]||SSC||Short Story Collection [hide]||AD||Audio Drama [hide]||RB||Reference Book [hide]|
|OC||Ongoing Comic Series [hide]||MC||Comic Miniseries [hide]||CC||Comic Collection [hide]||MV||Manga Volume [hide]|
Phase I: Light of the Jedi
Phase II: Quest of the Jedi
Phase III: Trials of the Jedi
|Color code key:|
|AN||Adult Novel [hide]||YA||Young Adult Novel [hide]||SS||Short Story [hide]||SSC||Short Story Collection [hide]|
|OC||Ongoing Comic Series [hide]||MC||Comic Miniseries [hide]||CC||Comic Collection [hide]||VG||Video Game [hide]|
The upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte will be set late in the High Republic Era, and the Chinese-language web novel The Vow of Silver Dawn, which began releasing chapters on December 17, 2020, is said to be set at the end of the High Republic Era. The short stories "A Bitter Harvest" and "A Coruscant Solstice," published in Dark Legends and Life Day Treasury respectively, are set during the era. The Star Wars Adventures 6 comic strip "Tales of Villainy: The Gaze Electric" was written by Older and focuses on the Nihil, being set before The High Republic Adventures 1.
The reference book Star Wars: Jedi Artifacts features extensive information about artifacts from the High Republic Era, though it is not considered a part of the official multimedia project. The one-shot comic Life Day 1 features the short holiday story "Deck the Halls," written by Justina Ireland. It is set following the events of The High Republic: The Rising Storm, and focuses on Jedi Master Nib Assek and her Wookiee Padawan Burryaga Agaburry investigating Drengir activity on Kashyyyk.
- The High Republic Free Digital Sampler
- Characters of Star Wars: The High Republic
- Star Wars: The High Republic Show
- The High Republic – The Edge of Balance/Guardians of the Whills
Notes and references
- High Republic author Justina Ireland on exploring and inscribing a new era of Star Wars on Polygon (Backup link)
- How 'Light of the Jedi' Kicks Off 'Star Wars: The High Republic' on The Hollywood Reporter (Backup link)