STN 314: The High Republic & Goodbye 2020

Star Wars: The High Republic is here! Mike Celestino (Laughing Place / Who’s The Bossk Podcast) and Drew Kaplan (Star Wars Maven) join Sarah and Richard on a spoiler-free discussion of the first three High Republic novels. They also share highs, lows and personal highlights of 2020. GOODBYE 2020 and welcome 2021! Keep reading below to learn more about The High Republic.

Star Wars: The High Republic

The High Republic is a collection of interconnected stories for adults, teens and kids from a variety of publishers including Disney/Lucasfilm Press, Del Rey, IDW Publishing, and Marvel. The initial books and comics come from fan-favorite authors such as Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soul. 

These stories are set 200 years before the Skywalker Saga, when the Jedi Order and Galactic Republic are at their peak. Think of the line Ben Kenobi tells Luke in Star Wars, “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights have been the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy…” THIS time period is what Ben was referring to as told to us by Michael Siglain, Director of Creative Franchise at Disney–Lucasfilm Press. The High Republic is established in the Core worlds, but places like the Outer Rim are considered the frontier.

Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

Publish Date: 1/5/21
Story Overview: It’s a golden age. Worlds under the republic flourish, and the Jedi keep the peace and help expand the Senate’s and High Republic’s reach to the Frontier. Starlight Beacon, a space station in the (outer rim) is about to open, extending the Republic’s reach even further. But this is when a great disaster occurs – a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace. The Jedi work together to deal with the fallout and discover the cause of this hyperspace disaster. Meanwhile a sinister threat starts to form on the edges of the galaxy, in the form of the Nihil – a group of marauders with a dark secret. 

How does this fit into Star Wars? Light of the Jedi establishes the Jedi, the galaxy at this point in time, and spends 100 pages detailing the Great Disaster, and fallout from the great disaster. Then the book turns into a “murder-mystery” of sorts as it explores the mystery behind the great disaster and establishes the Big Bad of this era – The Nihil.

Interesting Passages:

“The Force sang to Jedi Master Avar Kriss, a choir that was the entirety of the Hetzal system, life and death in constant, contrapuntal motion. What Avar heard as a song, Elzar Mann saw as a deep, endless, storm-tossed sea. The Wookiee Burryaga was a single leaf on a gigantic tree with deep-dug roots and sky-high limbs. Douglas Sunvale saw the Force as a huge, interlocked set of gears, made of an endless variety of materials from crystal to bone.”

A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland

Publish Date: 1/5/21
Story Overview
: Vernestra Rwoh has just become a Jedi Knight at age fifteen, but her first real assignment feels an awful lot like babysitting. She’s been charged with supervising eleven-year old aspiring inventor Avon Starros on a cruiser headed to the dedication of a wondrous new space station called Starlight Beacon. But soon into their journey, bombs go off aboard the cruiser. While the adult Jedi try to save the ship, Vernestra, Avon, Avon’s droid J-6, a Jedi Padawan, and an ambassador’s son make it to an escape shuttle, but communications are out and supplies are low. They decide to land on a nearby moon, which offers shelter but not much more. And unbeknownst to them, danger lurks in the forest…

How does this fit in to Star Wars? The events within this book occur entirely within the timeline laid out in Light of the Jedi.

Into the Dark by Claudia Gray

Publish Date: 2/2/21
Story Overview:
Padawan Reath Silas is being sent from galactic capital of Coruscant to the undeveloped frontier—and he is not happy about it. He’d rather stay at the Jedi Temple, studying the archives. But when the ship he’s traveling on is knocked out of hyperspace in a galactic-wide disaster, Reath and his fellow Jedi and travelers find refuge on an abandoned space station. But then strange things start happening – mysterious dark side visions.  The Jedi investigate the station, and an ancient mystery is revealed that could harm The  Republic on a huge scale.

How does this fit in to Star Wars? Events within this book occur immediately after and part of the fallout of the Great Disaster detailed in The Light of the Jedi.

Interesting Passages:

The Vessel bucked under them like a blurrg having a bad day,’

Into The Dark by Claudia Gray

“The Jedi elders have identified three main kinds of Force artifacts,” he said to the assembled group in the comm area. “There are artifacts that contain certain memories or even personalities of past Force users. There are artifacts that enhance a Jedi’s ability to use the Force. And then there are artifacts that hinder or confound that ability—Force dampeners, you could call them.”

The first issue of Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic comic, story by Cavan Scottl releases January 6, 2021. The IDW High Republic Adventures comic series, story by Daniel Jose Older, comes out Feb 21, 2021. 

Publish Dates and New Announcements as of 1/4/21

The press event livestream revealed even more about even more books coming in the summer and we also got more of an idea of the scope of this project. Here is everything you can look forward to for Star Wars: The High Republic.

  • StarWars.com will join the High Republic initiative with a brand-new bi-monthly show. Host Krystina Arielle, will take fans behind the scenes with creators, artists, and authors in the new series Star Wars The High Republic Show
  • Star Wars Insider magazine will publish “Starlight Stories” in most issues moving forward, beginning with #199. This is a series of tales written by Justina Ireland and Cavan Scott. 
  • Race to Crashpoint Tower – a middle grade novel by Daniel Jose Older releases 6/29/21
  • The Rising Storm – adult novel by Cavan Scott releases 7/6/21
  • Out of the Shadows – a YA novel by Justina Ireland releases 7/27/21
  • The Edge of Balance by Shima Shinya and Justina Ireland is a graphic novel in manga format. No release date set.
  • The Monster of Temple Peak graphic novel by Cavan Scott, art by Rachael Stott. No release date set.

And Lucasfilm publishing creative director Michael Siglain revealed that we are in the first phase of a multi-year project rollout.  Currently, Phase 1 will be all this year and part of 2022. And he also gave us names of each phase! 

  • Phase I: Light of the Jedi
  • Phase II: Quest of the Jedi
  • Phase III: Trials of the Jedi

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