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Star Wars' High Republic Explained & Release Guide (Books, Comics & Show)

Star Wars is exploring the High Republic Era in a bold new transmedia initiative. Lucasfilm Publishing has a history of blazing the trail for the Star Wars franchise, breathing new life into Star Wars back in 1991 and ultimately leading George Lucas to return for the prequel trilogy. Now that the Skywalker saga is over, the books and comics are again expanding Star Wars in a new direction.

In 2020, rumors began to circulate about a mysterious "Project Luminous," an initiative that was expected to open up a whole new time-period for Star Wars. This was ultimately revealed to be Star Wars: The High Republic, a transmedia initiative that will explore the galaxy roughly 200 years ahead of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. The story is principally being told in a range of comics and novels, and even a new range of Star Wars Manga comics. What's more, there will even be a Disney+ TV series set at the tail end of the High Republic era, Star Wars: Acolyte, although this seems to be set apart from the main initiative and instead is simply taking advantage of the brand.

Related: All 10 Upcoming Star Wars Shows Explained

With that being said, here is everything we know about the High Republic so far, including the confirmed release schedule and what to expect from future Star Wars stories.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi handed Luke Skywalker his father's lightsaber in the first Star Wars film, he told Luke it was "an elegant weapon for a more civilized time." The High Republic is that "more civilized time," an age when the Republic was strong and confident and the Jedi were its guardians and peacekeepers. The Republic is pushing ahead with a project of "Great Works," including an expansion into the Outer Rim.

One of these "Great Works" is the construction of Starlight Station, a hyperspace beacon to help navigate in the turbulent and treacherous Outer Rim territories. Unfortunately, as seen in Charles Soule's Light of the Jedi and Claudia Gray's Into The Dark, there are terrible threats lurking in the shadows out in the Galactic Rim. These include a marauding group of space Vikings known as the Nihil, who possess the technology to manipulate hyperspace itself - and who are tied to a horrific disaster that kicks off the story of Star Wars: The High Republic. But the Nihil may be the least of the threats facing the Jedi, as they stumble upon an ancient ally of the Sith as well.

Star Wars: The High Republic is a multi-year initiative that is broken down into three phases:

  • Phase One: Light of the Jedi
  • Phase Two: Quest of the Jedi
  • Phase Three: Trials of the Jedi

The first phase began in January 2021, and will run for roughly two years; it's been sub-divided into three segments purely for ease of planning. This means the whole initiative may well continue for up to six years - and it is sure to inspire countless side-stories and creative new concepts.

Related: Star Wars Confirms The Greatest Threat Of The High Republic

Phase 1 of Star Wars: The High Republic is centered on introducing the key characters and threats of the High Republic Era. It includes:

  • Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, published on January 5, 2021. This kick-starts the entire initiative, introducing many of the main Jedi as well as the Nihil. The first third of the book is occupied with the Great Disaster, demonstrating the sheer power of the Jedi as they battle against impossible odds.
  • A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, published on January 5, 2021. This junior novel introduces Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh, a prodigy in the Force and one of the youngest to ever pass the Jedi Trials.
  • The Great Jedi Rescue by Cavan Scott and Petur Antonsson, published on January 5, 2021. This is a young-readers' book inspired by the opening chapters of Charles Soule's Light of the Jedi.
  • Into The Dark by Claudia Gray, published on February 2, 2021. This sends Padawan Reath Silas on a mission to the Outer Rim - one that gets caught up in the Great Disaster. He and his traveling companions find themselves stranded on what appears to be an abandoned space station, and soon discover a terrifying new dark side threat.
  • In addition, Marvel Comics is publishing a High Republic ongoing series by Cavan Scott and Ario Anindito, while IDW's The High Republic Adventures ongoing is by Daniel José Older and Harvey Tolibao. Marvel's series began on January 6, 2021, while IDW's launched on February 21, 2021.

The second phase of Star Wars: The High Republic builds on everything that has already been established, with the Jedi conducting a quest into Wild Space in order to defeat a race called the Drengir, ancient allies of the Sith. In addition to the ongoing comics by Marvel and IDW, it includes:

  • The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott, published on June 29, 2021. This continues the main story from Light of the Jedi.
  • Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older, published on June 29, 2021. This middle-grade novel stars a Jedi with an unusual Force connection to technology.
  • Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland, published on July 22, 2021. This young-adult novel continues the story of Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh.
  • The Monster of Temple Peak by Cavan Scott and Rachel Stott, published on August 11, 2021. This will be an original graphic novel.
  • Tempest Runner by Cavan Scott, published on August 31, 2021. This audio novel explores the Nihil, starring one of their lieutenants.
  • The Edge of Balance by Justina Ireland, Shima Shinya, and Mizuki Sakakibara, September 7, 2021. This will be the first-ever Star Wars original Manga.
  • Showdown at the Fair by George Mann and Petur Antonsson, published on October 5, 2021. This 8x8 storbook sees the Nihil attack the Republic Fair.
  • Trail of Shadows, by Daniel José Older and David Wachter, published on October 6, 2021. This sees a Jedi and a detective team up to solve the murder of a Jedi Master.

Lucasfilm has only just begun to confirm releases that will be part of Star Wars: The High Republic phase 3, including:

  • The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray, published on January 18, 2022. This will continue the main arc, and face the Jedi against their greatest threat.
  • The Eye of the Storm by Charles Soule, published in January 2022. This will reveal the backstory of Marchion Ro, leader of the Nihil.
  • Midnight Horizon by Daniel José Older, published in 2022.
  • Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland, published in 2022.

The High Republic Era appears to run to just decades before the prequel trilogy, and Lucasfilm Publishing has already released a Chinese canon web novel called The Vow of Silver Dawn by "His Majesty The King." This stars a young Jedi Padawan who is separated from his Master and confronted with the reality of the dark side. It was published from December 17, 2020, through to January 4, 2021, with Padawan Sean suffering a form of religious crisis when his faith in the Force is tempted.

Related: Star Wars' High Republic Show Can Redefine Jedi & The Force

Finally, and most intriguingly, Lucasfilm has confirmed they are working on a Disney+ TV series called Star Wars: The Acolyte. This female-centric Star Wars TV show is has been described as "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." Little has been revealed about Star Wars: The Acolyte to date, but it's generally assumed to reveal the activities of the Sith that ultimately led to the fall of the Jedi Order. It will be interesting to see how Star Wars: The Acolyte builds upon the mythology established during the transmedia project, and bridges the gulf between these books and comics and the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

More: The High Republic Show Is The Biggest Test Of Star Wars' Future

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