It’ll be some time earlier than we see Star Wars again in theaters, however one of many franchise’s extra fascinating publishing experiments is transferring ahead subsequent yr: The High Republic.
During the 2021 San Diego Comic-Con, Lucasfilm unveiled its subsequent section of its prequel High Republic collection, that includes new books and comics from the core story workforce of Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Justina Ireland, and Daniel José Older.
This newest period of storytelling within the Star Wars universe is an enormous, cross-platform occasion — like a mini-connected universe that’s taking part in out throughout novels (grownup, YA, and Middle-grade), and comics, all set generations earlier than the occasions of the principle Skywalker Saga that befell between Episodes 1-9.
Over the years, Lucasfilm has launched a lot of cross-medium story occasions, beginning within the mid-1990s with Shadows of the Empire (which included a novel, online game, comics, and motion figures), X-Wing (video games, comics, and novels), The New Jedi Order (novels), The Clone Wars (novels, cartoons, comics, brief fiction), and extra. The High Republic is the most recent instance of this form of occasion: a sprawling story that’s instructed by means of a lot of works by a workforce of authors — on this case, Gray, Soule, Ireland, Older, and Cavan Scott.
Lucasfilm kicked off The High Republic earlier this yr with an preliminary wave of books and comics: Light of the Jedi by Soule, Into the Dark by Gray, and A Test of Courage by Ireland, and an preliminary batch of comics from Older at IDW and Scott at Marvel. In that batch of tales, they launched readers to a form of renaissance within the Republic’s historical past: an egalitarian interval the place the Republic was slowly increasing its attain into the galaxy’s rim by means of commerce and diplomacy, solely to run into bother once they encounter an organized group of marauders using some new hyperspace expertise, who trigger a devastating hyperspace accident and kick off a battle between them and the Jedi.
The second wave kicked off last month with a novel known as The Rising Storm by Scott, a YA novel known as Out of the Shadows by Gray, a center grey novel known as Race to Crashpoint by Older, and an audio drama from Scott known as Tempest Runner. Following the occasions of the primary wave of books, the Republic, its Jedi, and the terrorist faction generally known as the Nihil proceed to conflict as their chief, Machion Ro units out to unleash a brand new wave of assaults that might splinter the Republic and the work that it’s making an attempt to perform.
During the panel, Scott famous that The Rising Storm kicked off the following massive inciting incident of the wave: an assault on the Republic Fair — an enormous celebration of all issues that the Republic is thought for. It was a narrative of every little thing going incorrect for everybody: the Republic didn’t assume that the Nihil would assault once more, whereas the Nihil believed that by attacking the Republic truthful, they’d set up themselves as a feared presence within the galaxy.
Scott additionally teased what’s to return in his Marvel comedian collection and upcoming audio drama: a Jedi shall be becoming a member of the Nihil, and one notable character will discover themselves in jail, respectively.
Older spoke about how the not too long ago launched Race to Crashpoint tied in with Scott’s ebook: it follows a brand new Padawan, Ram Jomaram, dwelling on the planet the place the truthful is ready to happen, and who has to cope with the eye that that brings, in addition to the rising violence within the galaxy that the Republic / Nihil battle is bringing. Older famous that we’ll see Ram once more within the upcoming High Republic comedian that’ll be launched for Free Comic Book Day, and he’ll seem in another comics that Older is writing for IDW.
Ireland’s subsequent ebook, Out of the Shadows, is due out subsequent week, and follows a hauler named Sylvestri Yarrow, who’s having some bother because the battle escalates: it’s making issues harmful and driving her costs up and she or he’s getting determined for work. She’s attacked by the Nihil and after that, heads off to Coruscant to try to get the Republic to take the menace significantly. That will get “her into a whole mess of political drama,” Ireland says, placing her into contact with Venestra Rwoh (who we first noticed in Ireland’s center grade novel A Test of Courage). “Things start off seemingly one way,” She described, “and then the deeper you get into the story, the more the onion is peeled to reveal something else inside.”
Ireland identified that one of many issues that she beloved in regards to the interlocking storytelling is that it’s a chance for his or her characters to develop as they bounce between adventures and because the motion ramps up.
Charles Soule kicked off the collection with Light of the Jedi, and defined that it was a frightening problem, however “everything I wanted to do creatively” with the Star Wars universe. He’s additionally been heartened by the response to one of many collection central themes: “we are the Republic,” which he says resonated with a lot of readers.
He spoke a bit in regards to the menace that the Nihil represents to the Republic and the way they’re a special form of antagonist: they begin off as a monotonous marauder group, however over the course of his ebook, they’ve begun to evolve and turn out to be extra bold and arranged beneath the management of Machion Ro. Soule says that Machion’s function is nearly ceremonial in the beginning of the ebook, however over the course of the story, he begins to take management and provides them not solely group, however a lethal goal.
Claudia Gray spoke a bit about her YA ebook Into the Dark, and her character creations, Jedi Master Jora Malli and her Parawan Reath Silas. With their relationship having grown and altered over the course of the ebook, she’s excited to see Reath present up in Ireland’s Out of the Shadows.
By the tip of the panel, it was revealed what the following wave of books will appear like: Lucasfilm introduced that the third grownup novel within the collection shall be known as The Fallen Star, and shall be written by Gray. Older will write the following YA novel, Midnight Horizon, whereas Ireland will pen the following center grate, Mission to Disaster. The comedian collection can even proceed, as Soule will write a pair of outsized, 30-page points known as Eye of the Storm that can flesh out the origin story of Machion Ro.
During its panel, the authors supplied the briefest of temporary glimpses into what to anticipate from their upcoming books. Older teased that Midnight Horizon shall be a “chaotic mess in the best possible way”. Ireland jokes that her center grade novel Mission to Disaster “is not ominous at all!” Gray famous that her subsequent installment within the collection is The Fallen Star, which willl end off “Phase 1 of The High Republic.” From the sounds of issues, it sounds as if issues are about to get a lot, a lot darker for the galaxy.
On Twitter, Ireland summed it up in one of the simplest ways attainable:
Lucasfilm hasn’t launched a agency set of launch dates simply but, however famous that the wave will kick off someday in January 2022, giving us loads of time to compensate for the books which have already hit shops.