Hey! It’s some new Star Wars stuff!
Star Wars: The High Republic, which has previously been referred to as “Project Luminous”, will be set in an era when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are at their zenith, about 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. This period on the Star Wars timeline will not overlap any of the filmed features or series currently planned for production, giving creators and partners a vast amount of room to tell Star Wars stories with new adventures and original characters.
An epic publishing campaign, The High Republic will roll out across multiple comics, novels, TA novels, and children’s books. I, for one, am pretty stoked about this.
Perhaps it’s because I remember the “Dark Times” between 1983 and 1991 when there were hardly any NEW Star Wars to be had. From the publishing of Timothy Zahn’s Heir To The Empire novel all the way up to the conclusion of the New Jedi Order series of books I read my fair share of the Expanded Universe novels. So the Star Wars books (AND comics) have always been pretty near and dear to me. At their best, they embodied the spirit of the Star Wars story and at their…not-so-best they were wacky disposable pulp sci-fi. Which, now that I think of it it’s still pretty on-brand for Stars Wars.
However, not everyone shares my excitement.
When Star Wars became part of the Disney monolith the old Expanded Universe was promptly chucked in the bin which some fans took exception to. Perhaps it was because The Maker, George Lucas, had previously stated that these stories were to be considered canon and that Disney’s First Order of business was to de-canonize them. Personally, I always felt that Lucas saying the Expanded Universe was canon was in response to the question, “These stories are really real, right? They count?” to which he responded, “Uh-huh, yeah sure, they totally count.” before going back to writing about trade disputes or Gungans.
Canon or not, the old Expanded Universe books are still around and they’re now being published under the “Legends” banner. Most Expanded Universe hardliners are acting like Disney has revised history and refuses to acknowledge their existence and if someone DOES acknowledge them it’s a transgression punishable by death…or 90 days in Disney Jail (not sure which is worse). The truth is that Disney has freely borrowed from some of the best parts of the old Expanded Universe in the last few years. Grand Admiral Thrawn popping up in Star Wars: Rebels springs to mind.
To a certain extent, I get it. A lot of fans spent massive amounts of time investing in the old Expanded Universe to the point where their identity gets wrapped up in it. Being told that something doesn’t “count” anymore has got to be crushing, I’m sure. I do take issue with the plethora of hot (garbage) takes dismissing The High Republic completely before the ink has even been committed to paper.
One of the creators involved in The High Republic, Charles Soule, has been hyping Project Luminous on his Twitter for months now. Seeing a creator that excited about something they’re working on is pretty great and it totally worked on me. It sucks to see what I believe to be a microcosm of belligerent assholes vocally dissenting to something new and different when literally all they want is a big-screen adaptation of a video game that came out twenty years ago. If it’s not for you, move on. It’s not going to lessen your enjoyment of what’s come before it and if your enjoyment is so heavily tied into making people hate something they love…well, I can’t help you.
Look for more on Star Wars: The High Republic soon!