Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker finally brought the Skywalker Saga to an end, but ironically enough, the franchise's next step forward will be a look back into the past, long before the name "Skywalker" rose to prominence in the galaxy. Star Wars The High Republic will be a series of comics books and novels set 200 years before the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy started, a time when the Sith Empire was thought gone, and the Jedi were strong as a heroic force of peacekeepers.
However, with the Star Wars canon now being what it is, The High Republic inevitably can't just be a story of bright times and adventure as early marketing has advertised. Given what happens to the Jedi Order by the time of Revenge of the Sith, The High Republic must also convey the critical missteps that ultimately led the Jedi Order to doom itself.
Bold New Worlds
There's very little official canon information that is known about The High Republic - but there is some. Besides the timeline (200 years prior to The Phantom Menace), what we know about the High Republic is that it was a golden era of peace, when the Galactic Republic had been formed and solidified, and the Jedi Order had defeated the Sith Empire and was thriving. Other finer details may hold the most potential - namely how this era saw the Jedi branching out and exploring more of the Outer Rim territories.prevnext
This is the period in which we can learn how the Jedi affected so many other races and cultures in the universe - like Mandalore - which would later shift the balances of power throughout the universe. It would be interesting to see how the rival political factions George Lucas introduced in the Prequel Trilogy were shaped by both the Galactic Republic figures and Jedi heroes of the High Republic - and how some iconic enemies (like the Separatist Alliance, or Techno Union) were shaped by the events of this earlier era.prevnext
Adventures with a Price
The point here is: The High Republic is offering Star Wars fans some big adventures - but they must be adventures with a price. For every small story of a young padwan stepping up to become a great Jedi, or how entire teams of Jedi could save an entire system (something we've never really gotten), there must be a darker thematic subtext. What the Jedi effectively do is establish themselves in this era as a galactic police force - which eventually becomes the galactic military force in the time of the Clone Wars. As Master Yoda and others (Obi-Wan Kenobi) realize too late, the Jedi grew to comfortable as soldiers. Even in a time when they are still bright knights, the road to ruin must be paved.prevnext
The Gathering Darkness
The Other Great Opportunity The High Republic Era offers, is to show how the Jedi missed the survival and rebuilding of their nemesis, The Sith. We know from canon that part of what made The High Republic a golden age for the Jedi, was that it came in the period after the Sith Empire had been defeated in the Jedi-Sith War. Only one Sith Lord, Darth Bane, had survived the war, but he managed to figure out the means not only to the Sith's survival, but their eventual destruction of the Jedi Order: The Rule of Two. By the time of The High Republic, the practice of The Rule of Two (one Sith Lord, and his/her apprentice) is well in use, which gives the creators some fun options to play with, as the Sith are still very much still playing possum, and would keep their true nature and powers guarded at all costs.prevnext
The Republic Ties
While Jedi get all the limelight, they aren't the only characters of the Star Wars franchise that fans love. With the High Republic comes an entire new world order of civilization at its height (but still wonderfully vintage in its aesthetic). That brings lots of opportunity for entire new sets of characters related to the politics, military, science, and (of course) underworld that goes along with that civilization. After all: part of the reason the Jedi Order fell with the Galactic Republic is because both became too intertwined, and allowed one enemy to infiltrate and kill them both (Palpatine). The High Republic has to demonstrate the actual Republic side of that story.prevnext
Hints of the Past
The High Republic should not be confused with the era of the Star Wars Old Republic. That latter franchise took place thousands of years before the Skywalker Saga - and is still an era that many fans want to see explored in some new canon projects. With The High Republic planting itself as a skipping stone between The Old Republic and Prequel Trilogy eras, it seems only fair the story of the Jedi steps down a wrong path also include the backstory of how the Order became what it was in the time of the High Republic. That's how The Old Republic can finally start to get the attention it deserves.prevnext
Path to Prophecy
With the Skywalker Saga being the primary focus of Star Wars until now, the canon has become a somewhat bloated and convoluted series of events. While The High Republic will give the canon much more leeway and freedom to play around, this is still franchise timeline that is centered around The Battle of Yavin (where the Death Star was destroyed by Luke Skywalker in A New Hope). So, even with a whole lot of new stories to tell, The High Republic's story must still weave some connective threads to the Prophecy of the Chosen One (Anakin Skywalker), which had been with the Jedi since ancient times.prev