'Star Wars: The High Republic' revealed: New books will introduce a bygone Jedi era

"Star Wars" is launching a new storytelling initiative dubbed "Star Wars: The High Republic."
"Star Wars" is launching a new storytelling initiative dubbed "Star Wars: The High Republic." (Image credit: Lucasfilm)

"Star Wars" is starting an epic "storytelling initiative" to fill out the history of the franchise some 200 years before the events of the 1999 movie "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."

The franchise began in 1977 and has been releasing a new film every year since "The Force Awakens" in 2015. "Star Wars" is well-known for portraying the ongoing battle between lightsaber-wielding Jedi knights and forces of evil. But the new books and comics come from a happier time, Disney Publishing Worldwide said in a press release.

"'Star Wars: The High Republic' is set in an era when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are at their height, serving and protecting the galaxy," Disney said in the statement. "This is a hopeful, optimistic time, when the Republic and the Jedi are noble and respected."

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As for why the series is set so long before the movies, Disney said it would be so the timeline "will not overlap any of the films or series currently planned for production." The comic-publishing program is planned in several phases; the first one will be called "Light of the Jedi." Other titles include "Into the Dark" and "A Test of Courage."

"We are so excited to be opening up such a rich, fertile era for our authors to explore," Kathleen Kennedy, president of the production company Lucasfilm, said in the statement. "We'll get to see the Jedi in their prime."

Many well-known authors are participating in the project. They include Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older and Cavan Scott. Comics and books will be released at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in August 2020, and some of the titles are available now for pre-order, Disney added.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace