Have you read the High Republic? Maybe you’re like me and you’ve been asleep at the wheel when it comes to Star Wars literature. Back in the day you read everything Star Wars. The Thrawn trilogy. The Jedi Academy trilogy. The X-Wing series. One-off books like The Truce at Bakura and The Courtship of Princess Leia, but somewhere around the prequels you moved on. You sensed that the writing was getting weaker and the stories weren’t as cohesive. If that’s the case, then you’re in luck because an EU successor has arrived.
Back in February 2020, Disney announced a project that it had dubbed Luminous. The stated goal of this project was to provide a connected storyline with interconnected stories told through various media. It wasn’t apparent at the time just how large and interconnected this project would turn out to be, but now its ambition is clear. Renamed The High Republic, this once fledgling padawan of a project has turned itself into a full scale master and EU successor.
The High Republic: What Is It?
Star Wars: The High Republic is a new series of comics, stories, and novels set in the Star Wars universe. It takes place between 350 and 50 years before the Skywalker Saga. The series is a planned collection — in the same vein as the Clone Wars multimedia project — that’s divided into three phases. The first phase (called “Light of the Jedi”) ran from December 2020 through November 2022. The second phase (“Quest of the Jedi”) started in October 2022 and is still running. The third phase (“Trials of the Jedi”) hasn’t been detailed yet.
Each phase of the High Republic consists of three primary waves (adult novels, young adult novels, and middle-grade novels) in addition to young reader books, comics, reference books, manga, audio dramas, and web series. It’s also been reported that the upcoming TV series, The Acolyte, will be based on characters during this period.
Why Is It Called The High Republic?
The High Republic, in addition to being the name of the umbrella project, is also a reference to the time period during which the stories take place. This era is one of great prosperity and peace, marked by the absence of the Sith, who are considered extinct. The Republic and the Jedi Order are at their height in these centuries. They’re overseeing the Core worlds with unwavering stability while also expanding out into the Mid Rim and Outer Rim.
The early focus of the first phase is on the Starlight Beacon, which is a space station constructed on the Galactic Frontier, and a systems-wide disaster that’s initiated by the antagonistic Nihil, a sort of space clan of Viking marauders. The second phase moves back in time, to about 150 years before the first phase. It introduces readers to the Drengir, which are a race of plant-like creatures with connections to the Dark Side of the Force.
EU Successor? Really?
Yes, The High Republic is a true EU successor. For one, the characters and storylines are ongoing, crossing over from one novel and author to another. Two, the writing is consistently good. Obviously, there are reading levels (the waves), which may limit how many books you check out, but the same dichotomy was in play with the EU. Remember the Young Jedi Knights series? Three, the whole series has been planned and mapped out, with a definite beginning, middle, and end. While that may seem like a departure from the EU, which featured more autonomy with trilogies and duologies, this is a good thing because it sets and manages expectations. You know what you’re getting into. You can budget accordingly.
Perhaps the only negative with the High Republic is its naming structure. It can be hard to figure out if a novel is adult, YA, or middle grade. It’s like Apple with iPad versions. But if you’re an adult reader, I can help you out. The three you want to read in Phase 1 are: Light of the Jedi, The Rising Storm, and The Fallen Star. In Phase 2, those would be: Convergence, Battle of Jedha (to be released on February 14), and Cataclysm (to be released on April 4, 2023). If you want to read more than the top tier, you should check out our High Republic reading list.
- Star Wars Creator Gap: Sourcing A New Lucas - March 24, 2023
- In Darth Plagueis, Star Wars Canon And Legends Collide - March 24, 2023
- Treachery Afoot In Thrawn: Treason - March 23, 2023