It is an interesting time for the Star Wars universe. We sit a little over a month away from season 2 of The Mandalorian, but that will only entertain us for 8 weeks. What about after that? The next movie will come out Force knows when, and future Star Wars shows for Disney+ keep getting bumped back. Fortunately, we have a whole new time in Star Wars history about to open up. The foundation layer of that new era recently sat down and talked about what is to come, including a bit more about the evils endangering the Republic. The Hollywood Reporter and Charles Soule talked about the High Republic series about to launch.
Soule Talks High Republic – Launching an Era
Charles Soule wrote the first book that launches this new era in January. He along with four other authors needed to create a new universe. Soule give some insight into how it came about:
We needed to make something authentically Star Wars but also brand new and fresh. It was a challenge. We had a lot of ideas on the table, and ended up settling on the High Republic era in part because it allowed us our own corner of the galaxy, where we could use established continuity to some degree if we needed or wanted to, but could also do entirely new things. The elements of the story include bits from literally everyone’s pitches, which is a good thing — from characters to vehicles to creatures, we all were able to contribute our own ideas.Charles Soule
He talks about nothing being off the table, from characters to ships to species. They made one big pot of ideas to draw from and created the story from that. Soule went on to talk about how he wrote the first book. He wanted it to be a story that stood out and read slightly different. He said the following:
I also wanted to try some new things within my own novel-writing style — experiments with pace and tension and intercutting and the way secrets get revealed. The structure of the novel is unusual, in some ways, but I got that from the Star Wars films, really. If you break down Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the timeline doesn’t make a lot of sense — but it still works. Light of the Jedi has some of that going on. It’s elastic — the story can stretch and pull as needed, and then at the end, it all snaps together for what I hope is one hell of a punch.Charles Soule
Soule Talks High Republic – Disaster Strikes
One of the big challenges to this new universe was how do you create an antagonist that has not been done dozens of time before. The Sith were off limits because they still hid in the shadows. The Republic celebrated its most prosperous time, so what could threaten them? Soule talks about where he started:
Those are all mapped out — there’s a document with all of it laid down. The “Great Disaster” that opens Light of the Jedi is one of those. I thought it would work because of the things you cited — the idea of having a lot of people involved in one event that operates on a galactic scale seemed very appealing. I could introduce a large cast in a very organic way, in various locations from the highest levels of galactic government to the “Jedi on the street” as they respond to the disaster.
Plus, it’s a chance to show heroism in many different ways. Light of the Jedi has plenty of lightsaber action, but that’s not the only way to solve problems, and you don’t need the Force to be a good person. There’s a sort of slogan that pops up in the book: “We are all the Republic,” and the Great Disaster seemed like a perfect way to reflect that idea.Charles Soule
Soule Talks High Republic – Who Challenges the Jedi?
And that is only half the story. A disaster strikes, but on top of that is a new foe worthy of a Jedi. Soule spills a little more detail on the baddies of the High Republic universe. The enemy of the Jedi is the Nihil:
I mean, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the story here. We haven’t talked about the Nihil — the main villains of the piece, who are a group of anarchic marauders with some unique abilities that make them very powerful and very dangerous in this era. I wanted to paint them as truly frightening — the villains we’re used to seeing in Star Wars at least have some sort of loyalty to an ideology or code … the Nihil do not, except perhaps to do whatever they want whenever they want, and to destroy anyone or anything that opposes that goal. They have a deep and detailed history that will be explored throughout the initiative — the Nihil and what they get up to is one of the coolest parts of the whole thing.Charles Soule
Soule Talks High Republic – How Will It Unfold?
The one thing that Soule did not address was how this story will unfold. We know it sprawl out over a series of books and comics (no video productions – yet), but will fans need to buy both the comics and the books to follow along, or will each tell a different story?
I speculate here, but with the way Soule described certain aspects of ‘Project Luminous’ it may play out like this. Imagine The Emipre Strikes Back. Perhaps the books will tell the story following ‘Han and Leia’. The comics will then cover the same story and time following ‘Luke’. Who knows, but we only need to wait until Jan 5th. Charles Soule’s book, Light of the Jedi will launch the new era.