Whether you already love Star Wars: The High Republic or want to give it a try, here’s everything you need to know about this exciting period of Star Wars storytelling.
In 1977, audiences heard that “for over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice.” What was Obi-Wan Kenobi actually referring to? Now we know.
Centuries before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and the rise of Palpatine’s Galactic Empire, there was a true golden age of the Jedi Order. With glimmering golden robes and a hopeful Order at the precipice of change, this period of previously unexplored time in the galaxy far, far away has now been deemed as Star Wars: The High Republic. The program was constructed to have a story and a format for everyone, with tales told in adult, YA, and middle grade novels, comics, manga, and more. Each format can be read on its own or readers can check out more than one format to get more of the story.
The stories of The High Republic (sometimes abbreviated as “THR”) range around 150 to 300 years before the birth of Anakin Skywalker, and span all types of mediums and genres, from adventure to horror to romance. It has become a wide canvas for authors and creators to explore across books, comics, video games, series, and more.
With The High Republic’s third phase beginning in November, there is no better time to catch up and immerse yourself in this wonderful and sprawling story; but if you haven’t read anything, you can still pick-up these new books and jump right in. For those curious, here’s everything you need to know about The High Republic.
This time period of The High Republic is one of prosperity and growth for the Republic — a galactic renaissance. As such, its leaders want to expand that peace to worlds farther away from its capital of Coruscant. As part of this endeavor, they also aim to create a symbol of hope and connection to these far worlds: the Starlight Beacon, a gleaming space station.
Star Wars fans have often heard of Outer Rim worlds in the galaxy far, far away, familiar locations like Tatooine. At one time, though, these worlds were not part of the larger Galactic Republic. They were part of a near-endless frontier, somewhat akin to our historical Wild West, with the Jedi attempting to bring their light to the dark corners of the galaxy.
The technology during this time is also different than fans might remember: Hyperspace lanes are still being charted, bacta is a new medical advancement, and Jedi fly into battle in their sleek Vector starfighters.
Our story begins with the Great Disaster, in which the Jedi arrive to save the day. From there, we see the cause of that tragedy and how it impacts the Jedi, the Republic, and this particular corner of the galaxy.
While attempting to bring peace to the Outer Rim, the Jedi, typically guardians of peace and justice, discover evil that they are not prepared for: the marauding Nihil, the plant-creatures called Drengir, and the Nameless — thought to be creatures of myth that feed on Force-sensitives, and the monsters of bedtime stories to scare younglings — all start a fierce battle for control of the Force itself.
This is the start of the story of The High Republic, which has been broken into three phases, a familiar trilogy structure: Phase I: Light of the Jedi, Phase II: Quest of the Jedi, and Phase III: Trials of the Jedi.
One of the best parts of the entire High Republic initiative has been the introduction of brand-new characters, alongside some younger versions of familiar heroes like Yoda, Maz Kanata, and Dexter Jettster. Their lives interconnect throughout multiple stories, but you can follow your favorites down their individual journeys. Here are some of the main players.