Back at Star Wars Celebration, we were teased with an upcoming multimedia project called “Project Luminous”, with very little information being told other than the names of some of the authors involved. This morning I woke up to find that Lucasfilm had finally announced just what Project Luminous would be: a series of books and comics creating a series called Star Wars: The High Republic
“Later this year, Lucasfilm will launch an epic new era of Star Wars storytelling that will be explored through multiple voices in adult and young adult novels, children’s books, and comics from a variety of publishers including Disney Lucasfilm Press, Del Rey, IDW Publishing, and Marvel.
Star Wars: The High Republic, which has previously been referred to as “Project Luminous”, will be set in an era when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are at their zenith, about 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. This period on the Star Wars timeline will not overlap any of the filmed features or series currently planned for production, giving creators and partners a vast amount of room to tell Star Wars stories with new adventures and original characters.”
This announcement is not a massive surprise for readers of the wider canon, as a number of recent stories – many written by authors who are part of this project – made references to the High Republic.
So first of all, I’m super excited to be getting some content that is in a new era for us. Up to now, everything has fallen into a span of just over 70 years, so to have this series be completely separate allows us to see the galaxy in a different way without being too tied to the stories that have come before, while still incorporating a couple of characters like Yoda and Professor Huyang (the cover for A Test ofCourage has a similar-looking droid on it). Likewise, I’m super stoked to see a series of connected stories, as we have not had enough of this in the new canon, with it only really being in the last couple of years that we have had any sequels or connected stories (other than the Aftermath Trilogy). As someone who will be willing to read adult novels, books for younger readers and comics, this connectivity thrills me, but I also hope that they get the balance right so that people who are more limited in what they read will not miss out. Finally, with rumours abound of other movies/series in production, I like how the announcement states that this will not overlap with anything “currently planned for production” as it means that we may see new eras in other stories as well, while they are not ruling out the possibility of placing on-screen stories in this era down the line.
The one thing that does worry me is that this is set to be set approximately 200 years before the Skywalker Saga, which doesn’t feel very long to me. It doesn’t feel like much changed about the galaxy/technology/people (aside from the obvious) over the 70-ish year Skywalker Saga, whereas the descriptions I have heard make it sound as if the Republic’s spread is much narrower, with much of the galaxy still unexplored and the galaxy in their prime. I wonder if 200 years is really long enough ago for such drastic changes to feel natural and can’t help feel that this may have worked better 500-700 years ago, which would still be hundreds of years after the “extinction” of the Sith. Adding to this, for the antagonists they will introduce – called the Nihil and likened to Viking raiders – to feel significant, it is hard to imagine that everything can happen and be fixed in just 200 years. However, with big Star Wars names like Claudia Gray, Cavan Scott and Charles Soule involved and likely working closely with the Story Group, I have faith that they will make this work.
What are your thoughts on the announcement?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…