No matter how you felt about the Skywalker saga, whether you were enthralled with it or burned out by it, there was one question we all had: what's next? The second that the closing credits rolled on The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars entered uncharted waters. Sure, we knew that The Mandalorian would be getting a second season and The Clone Wars was returning for a final season, but there was still a void there. Then there was "Project Luminous", which was announced at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, but we knew very little about it. That all changed today with the big reveal at StarWars.com. Welcome to Star Wars: The High Republic.
While I won't repeat what the entire video just showed you, The High Republic will span across multiple publishers, telling stories for all ages and feature quite a few new characters. That means new villains, new Jedi and could give Star Wars more of a grassroots feel. What I mean by this is, more of a "what's going on in your own backyard" type of feel. The fate of the galaxy is at stake, sure, but what about your own planet? Your own community? It feels like The High Republic will actually take a chance at telling those stories. Here's the only problem that I see...
While it's great that there will be so many new novels, graphic novels, comics and more...how connected will this all be? We're getting the impression that these stories will span many age ranges and mediums. How lost will we be if we don't read the novels? What holes will there be if you don't read the comics? I realize that is a potential problem regardless of this initiative, but these are new characters that we're talking about. This is a vast undertaking, with the introduction of what seems like an entirely new cast of characters. There is a high risk, high reward gamble at play here, but you have to fall in love with a handful of these characters to want to continue past one book, nevermind several other stories. Finding the time to get everything in would be difficult for even the most hardcore Star Wars fan. So while they stopped short of saying "it's all connected", that's the vibe that I'm getting.
We know that this all starts in August of 2020 with Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi which will be a novel by Charles Soule published by Del Ray. We will also be getting a comic book series from Cavan Scott through Marvel and another comic by Daniel José Older through IDW. Then there are the YA stories, with a middle grade novel from Disney Lucasfilm press titled Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage from Justina Ireland and a YA novel from Claudia Grey titled Into The Dark. The release dates for these other projects have yet to be revealed.
I think any Star Wars fan would think that this is cool, and a great effort to expand the franchise in a major way after the end of it's biggest and longest story. I also think that the fandom is, for the most part, past the point wanting to consume something simply because it's Star Wars. The amount of entertainment options is larger than ever before, and the competition for eyes and ears of fans has never been bigger as a result. There will be a lot of pressure early on for The High Republic to grab the attention of current fans and also set the tone for the future generations of the fandom. I, for one, hope that this is the start of a hugely successful initiative that we will be talking (and arguing) about for years to come. May the force be with us all!
Photo Credit: StarWars.com