Star Wars: The High Republic will kick of the next era of Star Wars stories as a new publishing initiative from Lucasfilm. Set 200 years before the events of the Skywalker saga, the galaxy is at peace, but an event known as The Great Disaster is about to unfold, threatening many planets across space.
In the New York Comic-Con panel for The High Republic initiative, authors Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, and Cavan Scott got together with Michael Siglain, Director of Creative Franchise at Disney–Lucasfilm Press to discuss new details about the first wave of books and comics they’re working on to kick off this older era of Star Wars adventures.
Before we get to the new details, let’s have a refresher on The Great Disaster that serves as the inciting incident for The High Republic, which also has a whole excerpt leading up to the event available online.
A massive passenger and cargo ship known as The Legacy Run encounters an obstacle while traveling through hyperspace channels that still need to be carefully navigated during this time. This results in a massive explosion of fragments of the destroyed cargo, smaller vessels, and anything on board, sending huge pieces of debris flying through the galaxy at super-accelerated speeds, creating a threat that can strike anywhere at anytime. Enter the Jedi, the guardians of peace and justice, who must do what they can to quell the threat of this disaster.
Charles Soule will kick off The High Republic with his novel Light of the Jedi on January 5. There’s also an illustrated middle-grade novel called Test of Courage by Justina Ireland arriving on that same day. Star Wars: The High Republic – Into the Dark, a young adult novel by Claudia Gray will arrive after that in February, and sometime later, we’ll have IDW Comics doing The High Republic Adventures with Daniel José Older and Marvel’s simply titled series Star Wars: The High Republic by Cavan Scott.
How Jedi Perceive the Force Differently
With the Jedi being at the height of their power, we’ll learn a lot more about the Force. Though we’ve seen it used in a variety of ways, including moving objects large and small, communicating telepathically, seeing into the future, and even creating a much stronger connection between Rey and Kylo Ren as a dyad in the Force. But one thing The High Republic will show us is how Jedi perceive the Force differently.
For example, in Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi, Avar Kriss, one of the brightest, most noble examples of Jedi-hood, sees the Force as music. Hearing the song of the Force, she sees the Jedi as having different tones and instruments, creating this larger orchestra across the galaxy. In the same book, we have the Wookiee Jedi Padawan named Burryaga Agaburry, who sees the Force as a great big forest, and he’s merely a leaf on a large tree in the middle of that forest, which is in an even bigger world and so on and so forth.
In Justina Ireland’s Test of Courage, the 16-year old Jedi Knight Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh perceives of herself as a small stream that flows into a river which flows into the sea that is the Force. Then, in Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark, we have Padawan Reath Silas, who perceives the Force as a spider web, strong at times, but also delicate, and it can even be difficult to see even when it’s right in front of you.
Meanwhile, in Marvel’s High Republic comics, Keeve Trennis sees the force as a tapestry, with different threads that weave throughout the galaxy. But she has yet to figure out where her thread lies in this tapestry and is always trying to make sense of it. Then, in IDW’s High Republic Adventures, we have a Jedi named Lula, and since she wants to be the best, she sees the Force as a mountaintop to be climbed, where she becomes more skilled as she climbs higher and higher in her understanding.
For the Jedi, the Force is only small and personal, but also simultaneously immense. As Soule noted during the panel, the fact that they can come up with so many different metaphors to describe how the Jedi perceive the Force shows just how big it really is. If you missed the concept art for almost all of the characters discussed above, head over here to check that out and learn more about each of them.
Unique, Modified Ligtsabers
Along with their unique perceptions of the Force, we also have some interesting lightsabers that we haven’t seen before. Just recently, we got a look at the lightsaber wielded by lightsaber belongs to Stellan Gios. It’s essentially the lightsaber version of a medieval sword, a Star Wars version of Excalibur in a way, and you can see what that looks like above. But there are some other unique lightsabers floating around The High Republic as well.
Not all Jedi are human, and when you have a Padawan Jedi who’s also a Wookie, you need a lightsaber that matches his size. As Soule explained, a normal-sized lightsaber for a Wookiee would be like waving a toothpick around, so Burryaga gets a much bigger, heavier duty, two-handed lightsaber that human Jedi would not easily be able to wield.
This far in the past, some Jedi were innovative enough to use two lightsabers, and one of them is Keeve. But what’s cool about Keeve’s double lightsabers is that they can also be put together as a double-bladed lightsaber. Vernestra also has a specially modified lightsaber, but Justina Ireland wasn’t yet allowed to reveal what that is just yet.
Finally, Michael Siglain said more books for 2021 are already on the way, as well as a new story in Star Wars Insider:
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