The High Republic is ready to kick off in 2021 with novels and comics, possibly followed by an upcoming animated show that's rumored to be in the works. This era of Star Wars is set 200 years before the Skywalker Saga and is told to be the height of the Jedi Knights. January 5, 2021 will kick off the series with the release of two novels, "Light of the Jedi" and "A Test of Courage." Star Wars fans that will read the books are set to meet a whole new batch of Jedi, but one familiar face is set to appear.
At the spry age of about 700 years old, Jedi Master Yoda will return to Star Wars canon. As we know from The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda told Luke, "For 800 years have I trained Jedi." Yoda is set to already be a well-respected member of the Jedi Council and, according to Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic creator Daniel José Older said, “The High Republic Yoda is a journeyman out in the galaxy.” Yoda is set to be most heavily featured in The High Republic Adventures comics.
Stephanie Hans, an illustrator working on the upcoming Star Wars: The High Republic comics, recently tweeted a variant cover of issue #1 featuring Yoda. The comic is set to release January 6, 2021. Here are the images Hans released:
The full cover shows Yoda and Avar Kriss posing together, lightsabers in hand.
A textless version of the cover offers a better look at the background behind the duo.
An initial sketch offers a look into Hans' conception of the piece.
WHAT THIS MEANS
It is important to note that Marvel Comics has officially said Yoda will be seen most in The High Republic Adventures comics and that this is a variant cover from The High Republic. Nevertheless, Yoda hasn't been a huge part of The High Republic marketing thus far; rather, Disney has been promoting new character being introduced in the new era.
With the series taking place 200 years before The Skywalker Saga, The High Republic's creative team will have to be careful with how they utilize Yoda. Being that the Jedi is one of the most recognizable Star Wars characters to ever grace the screen, it makes sense for his likeness to be used in marketing, covers, and stories for this new era. If Marvel Comics and publishing wants more casual fans to pick up any of these new Star Wars books, featuring a familiar green face like Yoda is a safe bet.
From a story perspective, a younger rendition of the character presents exciting opportunities for the stories being told around him. We got a glimpse of what the vertically challenged Jedi could in battle with a light saber, but these comics should offer an even greater look. If Jedi are at the peak of their powers, we could assume Yoda could be in a similar era of his Jedi career. An agile, witty, backwards talking Yoda sounds like a dream for any Star Wars fan. During the prequel trilogy, Yoda had to be forced to wield his green-lit saber and fight Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. From everything we've seen from The High Republic so far, the Jedi of this time don't seem shy about whipping out their laser sword to complete their mission, and we can only hope won't be shy to slay some dark-side fools.