New Era of ‘Star Wars’ is “Untethered” and “Unchained”

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Characters from the 'Star Wars' High Republic Era

Credit: Lucasfilm

Yesterday, the Star Wars team officially announced the launch of The High Republic publishing initiative, which was originally slated to debut last year but faced coronavirus delays.

In the official live stream regarding the launch, numerous Star Wars writers shared their thoughts about the previously unexplored era of the Star Wars timeline — and to say they are excited about what’s next in the Star Wars universe would be an understatement.

Related: Three Ways ‘The High Republic’ Will Test the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Charles Soule, Justina Ireland, Cavan Scott, Daniel José Older, and Claudia Gray all participated in the live stream from remote locations, sharing details about new Star Wars characters and the stories they are excited to tell through various printed media, including Marvel Comics, children’s books, novels, and — a surprise announcement — “The Edge of Balance” manga from Viz Media featuring a tale written by Ireland and Shima Shinya and artwork by Japanese artist Mizuki Sakakibara.

CNET shared details about The High Republic following a conversation with members of the creative team and they are as excited as the Star Wars writing staff, noting that the series:

…feels like Star Wars unchained. Set 200 years before The Phantom Menace [Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)], the earliest movie in the timeline, the project combining novels, children’s books and comics is untethered from the Skywalker Saga. There are no whiny Chosen Ones, scheming Sith Lords or angry wannabe Darth Vaders creating a sense of dark inevitability…

…The Jedi of the High Republic are a bunch of awesome space wizards bringing justice with the Force, and it feels like they’re having fun every step of the way.

For them, the Jedi Order has been around for thousands of years. They have no concept that there’s ever going to be anyone who’s going to be able to stand up to them,” Cavan Scott, author of Marvel’s High Republic comic series…

the high republic
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Intriguing ‘Star Wars’ Character Has Key Connection to ‘The High Republic’

According to the January 4 live stream event, Star Wars fans can expect numerous new characters — including Padawan Reath Silas, Padawan Keeve Trennis, a new squadron of pilots named Leox, Geode, and Affie and a character with the ominous moniker “Buckets of Blood” — and at least one brand new species, never before seen in a galaxy far, far away.

The High Republic — which will last for years in Marvel Cinematic Universe-like phases — is said to be an “interconnected mega story.” During yesterday’s panel, Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain shared:

“Phase I runs through 2021 into 2022. I’m not going to tell you how far it goes into ’22, but I can say that there will be a steady stream of books, comics, and magazines coming your way on a monthly basis, which is really exciting. When we talk about this being a multi-year initiative, that is true. We are absolutely playing the long game here.”

high republic cover
Credit: Lucasfilm

Although it is, officially, a publishing initiative, The High Republic has already been more highly publicized than any other Star Wars story or graphic novel in recent memory, leading fans to suspect it could ultimately become much more than just a series of books and printed media.

As a matter of fact, this era — the apex and golden age of Jedi culture — has already bled over into Lucasfilm’s upcoming slate of Disney+ Star Wars series with The Acolyte. According to the official Star Wars Twitter account:

Leslye Headland brings a new @StarWars series to @DisneyPlus with The Acolyte. “The Acolyte” is a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.

Related: Next Star Wars Saga rumored to take place in High Republic Era and will include a young Yoda

Rumors already abound that the dark mystery series could showcase the rise of Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious’s master — and murder victim. Intrigued yet?

There’s really no telling just how far The High Republic can take the Star Wars galaxy, with one iconic character — Grand Master Yoda — along for the ride every parsec of the way. Maybe we’ll even finally see a live-action portrayal of Jedi Knight turned Sith Lord, Darth Revan — here’s looking at you, Keanu Reeves.

Are you excited about The High Republic? Which High Republic adventures are you most looking forward to? We can’t wait to learn more about this incredible, previously unexplored Star Wars storytelling age!

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