The time has come.
At long last, The High Republic will be launching several of its first wave of books. The Lucasfilm publishing initiative, which will be spread out across three phases that will span many years to come, strives to tell a thrilling new story set 200 years before The Phantom Menace.
The High Republic kicks off with Charles Soule's Light of the Jedi, which will detail the "Great Disaster" event that propels the narrative and pushes our new heroes into action.
Coming in February is Claudia Gray's Into the Dark, a young adult novel featuring a Jedi padawan and a crew of rogues aboard their ship.
Gray, known among the Star Wars readership as one of the best current authors for work on Lost Stars, Bloodline, Leia: Princess of Alderaan, and Master & Apprentice, took part in The High Republic's launch event and detailed what fans can expect from her highly anticipated book. Among many things, we'll be introduced to a pilot inspired by a famous actor...
During the Star Wars: The High Republic Launch Event, author Claudia Gray revealed that a new pilot in her novel Into the Dark was inspired by actor Matthew McConaughey.
Gray explained that she didn't want to have a knock-off version of Han Solo piloting the novel's vessel:
"I didn't want to do somebody that was gonna be just like Han Solo. And I definitely didn't want to Diet Han Solo. He's kind of a rogue, but he's a less interesting.
The author wanted to find the right template for this character, Leox Gyasi, and landed on inspiration from McConaughey in his early career:
"So what is a template for a pilot who has some of this scoundrel energy and isn't Han Solo at all? And somehow my brain was like, 'you need to give 1990s Matthew McConaughey a spaceship and see what would happen'."
And how well does that go?
"That unfolds as you might think, in ways that are glorious and maybe a little bit less so."
WHAT THIS MEANS
It's been a long time coming for The High Republic. The publishing initiative, once known as "Project Luminous" in a time that now feels so distant, is upon us, and we're on the brink of being introduced to countless new characters who will make their unique mark on the Star Wars universe.
There have been many takes on the "rogue pilot" trope in Star Wars since Han Solo broke new mold in the Original Trilogy, but '90s Matthew McConaughey being an inspiration is certainly an original idea. The actor was known as the young "cool dude" of that era, and the look combined with influence from his performances in films like Dazed and Confused should make for an interesting character, though Leox likely won't be encountering any outer space bookshelves like McConaughey did in Interstellar.
As was previously mentioned, Claudia Gray has been one of the best and most consistent writers under the canon's publishing campaign, and Into the Dark has naturally been one of the most anticipated pieces to come from The High Republic's first wave of stories as a result. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait just a little longer for this one, as it'll be hitting a month later than tomorrow's new arrivals, but if Gray's track record is anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait.