For a long time now, a brand new large-scale initiative within Star Wars has been rumored. Initially titled “Project Luminous”, this new initiative was rumored to exist within an all-new era in the Star Wars universe, one that’s only been spoken about in passing until now. Welcome to the High Republic.
First of all, if the sentence “Jedi Knights of the Round Table” doesn’t get your blood pumping, you have a huge dump in your pants. I don’t think I’ve had my imagination run wild like this about what’s possible with Star Wars since I first laid eyes on a lightsaber as a kid. Lucasfilm and their all-star team of writers have made it clear that this isn’t just a one-off story either – it looks like the High Republic setting will encompass books and comics, and possibly even television, film, and maybe even video games.
So, what is the High Republic, and where does this fit into the larger Star Wars canon? I’ve seen lots of tweets confusing this with the Old Republic, but that is not the case. The High Republic era takes place roughly 400 years prior to The Phantom Menace (Episode I) and The Clone Wars, whereas The Old Republic takes place 4,000+ years before the Battle of Yavin in the original Star Wars (Episode IV). Is there still some possibility for breadcrumbs or hints at characters or themes from KOTOR? Sure. Do I personally want that? Not really.
I’ve already said this before, but I don’t think we need a rehash of The Old Republic. The series and stories it created are already legendary, and cemented as canon in fans’ minds regardless of what Lucasfilm or Disney says. The High Republic, however, opens up the possibilities for a whole new type of Jedi to exist. The Republic itself is significantly smaller, the borders and worlds beyond are significantly more dangerous, and the Jedi themselves patrol the galaxy as – and I shit you not this is a quote from the trailer – Texas Rangers.
So at the end of the day, we don’t really know exactly everything that’s in store for this new era of Star Wars stories just yet. We’re definitely in for some new written and illustrated content, but I truly hope the scope of the initiative formerly known as Project Luminous doesn’t end there.