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SYFY WIRE Star Wars: The High Republic

Star Wars: The High Republic teases ‘interconnected mega-story’ in trailer for new publishing saga

By Josh Weiss
Star Wars The High Republic

Ahead of its wide launch Tuesday, Star Wars: The High Republic released a new trailer for Lucasfilm's epic publishing initiative that will tell all-new galactic stories via a monthly deluge of books, comics, and magazines. Set hundreds of years before the prequel movies, The High Republic takes place during the golden age of the Jedi Order, which finds itself locked in a battle for survival and control of the Force itself.

The trailer promises an "interconnected mega-story," which will be broken up into three, MCU-like phases: Phase I: Light of the Jedi, Phase II: Quest of the Jedi, and Phase III: Trials of the Jedi.

"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," revealed Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain said during a virtual panel Monday. "When we talk about this being a multi-year initiative, that is true. We are absolutely playing the long game here."

First announced last February, the multi-media undertaking (initially called "Project Luminous") was originally supposed to launch over summer 2020. It was eventually delayed to early 2021 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In late June, author Charles Soule, whose Light of the Jedi novel leads the first wave of releases, teased a "moment that changes The High Republic forever." He continued: "The destruction of the Legacy Run is the catalyst for a galaxy-wide disaster," Soule told IGN. "Fragments of the destroyed cargo vessel begin flying out of hyperspace at super-accelerated speeds, meaning that deadly missiles of debris can appear anywhere at any time, from the Outer Rim to the Core. In this moment of crisis, the Republic turns to the guardians of peace and justice — the Jedi."

"It is a time of peace and it is the Jedi Knights at their height," said Siglain. "It is a golden age of the Jedi that we've seen hinted about [but] we've never seen [it] in current fiction. When we were up at the ramps, there were two things that really drove us once we hit upon High Republic. The first one was a quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi where he says, 'For over 1000 generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic ... What does that look like? While we were kicking around those ideas, it was Cavan who asked the question: 'What scares the Jedi?' And we thought, 'Ooo, that's an interesting question.' You put both of those together and run with it, and that became the basis for The High Republic."

Phase 1 of Star Wars: The High Republic kicks off tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 5) with Charles Soule's The Light of the Jedi, Justina Ireland's A Test of Courage, and Cavan Scott's The Great Jedi Rescue. Claudia Gray's Into the Dark arrives Tuesday, Feb. 2. Two comic book series — Marvel's Star Wars: The High Republic (by Cavan Scott and Ario Anindito) and IDW's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures (by Daniel José Older and Harvey Tolibao) release their first issues Wednesday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 21 respectively. You can get an exclusive look inside the Marvel series right here. Scott's second novel, The Rising Storm, goes on sale in July 2021.

And that's just for starters. Other projects include: Out of the Shadows, Ireland's first YA novel for The High RepublicRace to Crashpoint Tower, a middle grade novel written by Older; The Edge of Balance, a manga-inspired comic from Viz Media (Ireland and Shima Shinya came up with the story, while Mizuki Sakakibara was tapped to handle the artwork); and The Monster of Temple Peak, an original graphic novel written by Scott (with artwork from Rachael Stott). Lastly, Scott and Ireland are penning some "Starlight Stories" for upcoming 2021 issues of Star Wars Insider, continuing in the footsteps of Soule, who wrote a story for the 199th issue in December 2021.

The panel also yielded a first look at concept art for new characters like Ty Yorrick, pilot Leox, and the pit crew Bonbraks. To top things off, Lucasfilm announced a bi-monthly show in which host Krystina Arielle will take readers behind-the-scenes of the publushing initiative with exclusive writer and artist interviews.

You can get more info here.