Earlier this week, Lucasfilm assembled a team of creatives to help the studio launch its next big initiative. The announcement unveiled details about Star Wars: The High Republic, a publishing project that is fleshing out an entirely new era of the Star Wars mythos, one in which no project, film, television show, or book has visited before. That's largely in part the single-most-important reason why adventuring into The High Republic is a worthy endeavor for Lucasfilm, regardless of platform.
The High Republic era takes place about 200 years prior to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and as evidenced by the events of the prequel, the Sith were thought to have long been extinct when Darth Maul unveils himself. That means that yes, there will not — or, at the very least, should not — be any Sith involved in the stories involved in this new era, at least in the proper physical sense. It's a peak time those of in the Jedi Order; a time in which the Jedi have never been more prosperous.
Since George Lucas introduced Star Wars in 1977, fans of the franchise have been treated to 11 movies and hundreds of episodes of television between The Clone Wars, Rebels, and the like. With each entry we've gotten to date, everything has somehow led back to the Skywalker Saga and the story that all started with Anakin Skywalker. Now, the Star Wars story team can go outside that single narrative and explore uncharted waters.
The current situation should allow the creators involved to seriously exercise their creative chops. While they're still under the Star Wars brand, there's not a super tough narrative or continuity in place. Setting The High Republic at least 200 years before The Phantom Menace gives this team of writers and artists a certain level of freedom without adhering to the same arc we've seen for 40 years.
That alone is something that should excite most fans of the Star Wars franchise. Let's compare it to Lucasfilms' sister company in Marvel Studios. There was a clear moment the studio let filmmakers essentially have free reign over their movies — see Thor: Ragnarok or Black Panther — and each time, it resulted in a movie that felt entirely different from any other entry in the MCU.
The High Republic is something entirely new to all of us — a foreign land to any ffan of the Star Wars universe. It's perfectly acceptable — some might even say it's natural — to resist change; but at the very least, The High Republic is so far "out there," we should all be willing to see where this adventure goes.
The High Republic also serves as the first major foray into a series of stories outside of the Skywalker Saga.
Star Wars: The High Republic officially kicks off this August with Light of the Jedi, a novel by Charles Soule.