The High Republic is the next exciting initiative to come out of Lucasfilm, bringing Star Wars fans an entirely new era in the galaxy far, far away. The series takes place in a time when the Jedi and the Republic are at their peak, enjoying a period of peace as revealed by the project's 'opening crawl.'
The new initiative will be set around 200 years prior to the events of The Phantom Menace, according to a promo video about The High Republic. The project will also be taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, splitting its narrative into three phases.
A launch event for The High Republic recently occurred in tandem with the release of Charles Soule's Light of the Jedi, the first of many new Star Wars books. Author Claudia Gray spoke about her own novel, Into the Dark, and revealed that one character was inspired by Matthew McConaughey.
More inspirations have been revealed, including historic time periods that have influenced The High Republic as a whole...
During the launch event for The High Republic, author Charles Soule discussed his and Lucasfilm's inspirations for The High Republic Era.
Soule talks about how two versions of Camelot influenced the tone of the series, one of which being the Knights of Arthurian Camelot:
"The analogues that I know that I used as touchstones and I think we all, sort of, drew from in different ways were the ideas of Camelot -- two Camelots. One is Arthurian Camelot, which, you know, King Arthur and the Knights and going on quests. And sort of this time of pomp and chivalry and codes and all of that, but with an eye towards, sort of, great drama and optimism."
The other Camelot that was used in the development process was 1960s America, specifically the time period in which John F. Kennedy was President, which is often referred to as Camelot:
"And then the other is the early 1960s America, also called Camelot, the other Camelot. When the Kennedys were in the White House and it was, generally speaking, not for everybody, obviously, but for many people it was seen as a time of optimism and expansion for America. The Moon program began, Apollo began, you know by the end of the decade we'll be on the Moon, various things like that. It was a time when many, many things seemed possible and there was a reason to be optimistic and a reason to push forward."
Soule then went on to compare these periods to The High Republic itself:
"And The High Republic in many ways is similar. Chancellor Soh has a program of great works, which are huge galactic programs that are designed to, kind of, bring things forward and do cool things. And its just, kind of, a tonal shift from anything we've seen before in Star Wars. There's no Galactic Civil War, there's no shadow of the Sith all over everything. Like everybody's like 'Okay, let's do some cool stuff.' And they do. And that's the stories that we're telling."
The full interview and launch event can be viewed below:
WHAT THIS MEANS
Charles Soule indicates here that The High Republic will be purposefully distinct from anything that Star Wars fans have seen previously in the Skywalker Saga. Whereas Episodes I-IX covered a long period of war and strife, The High Republic seems to cover a more peaceful time in the Star Wars universe.
The prequel era, particularly Star Wars: The Clone Wars, detailed the downfall of the Jedi and how their hubris blinded them from what really mattered. The High Republic, on the other hand, appears to follow the Jedi in their prime, when they were still bastions of hope and protectors of the less fortunate. This could indicate that the initiative is heading towards a tragic end, in which the Jedi are overcome with narcissism.
In the meantime though, The High Republic, for now, should offer an optimistic look at the Jedi, portraying them as the heroes that many hoped they would be. It will be interesting to see if there are any direct allegories between the Kennedy Administration and the High Republic, whether this is purely tonally or also politically.
The High Republic novel Light of the Jedi is available now.