Months ago at NYCC Lucasfilm Publishing teased us about Project Luminous. All we knew was that it would be a new Star Wars story arc told through the pages of multiple publishers, from Del Rey to Marvel Comics. Last night we finally learned the nature of the project and its subject matter: The High Republic. So what does this mean for Star Wars storytelling going forward?

First and foremost, it means a full commitment to a new era of an expanded Star Wars universe. While there have been plenty if tie-in comics and novels within the new Disney canon, each and every one of them still have ties to the existing Star Wars universe. Even The Mandalorian, though separate storytelling, is chocked full of references to the original trilogy. Not so with The High Republic.

Star Wars: The High Republic
Image: Lucasfilm Publishing

The Era of The High Republic

Set two hundred years prior to the events of The Phantom Menace, these new stories will focus on the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order at the pinnacle of their existence:

Star Wars: The High Republic features the Jedi as we’ve always wanted to see them — as true guardians of peace and justice. This is a hopeful, optimistic time, when the Jedi and the Galactic Republic are at their height. But of course, into this glorious new era something wicked this way comes.”

~ Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain

It seems that the narrative will focus on the Republic’s expansion into the Outer Rim. That we know is home to such familiar planets as Tatooine, Jakku and Dathomir. The Nihil, which creators describe as “space Vikings,” will serve as main villains for The High Republic. The stories will span adult and young adult novels and comic books, to start.

The High Republic
The Nihil. (Image: Marvel Comics.)

For those that only view Star Wars as the feature films, this news likely won’t impress. That’s too bad for them. For those of us that were fans of the old Expand Universe, and such things as stories of the Old Republic, this brings forth an exciting new era for the Star Wars franchise.  

This is an incredible sandbox for our storytellers to play in, both within publishing and beyond, and we can’t wait to see the great fiction they build within it.”

~ Lucasfilm vice president of franchise content and strategy James Waugh

Neither can we, James.

The new Expanded Universe begins with Charles Soule’s novel Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi this August.