This article has been submitted by guest contributor Michael Shorkey. I have added some information for titles from the Disney Parks Blog.
Star Wars: The High Republic Faces a High Amount of Backlash
Lucasfilm Publishing has come out with a big trailer announcing the Launch of the High Republic Era, an Era in Star Wars set Hundreds of Years before the Prequel Trilogy. Here we are most likely going to see a large amount of new material from various partners and publishers to try and get this to be “The Next Big Star Wars Event” being an “Interconnected Mega-Story”, but this “Era” has seem a TON of pushback from the Star Wars community.
Here’s an excerpt with the book information from the Disney Parks Blog:
“In this new saga, five high-profile, fan-favorite Star Wars authors tell an epic, interconnected story – across multiple publishers and formats for different age groups – establishing a new timeline of Star Wars storytelling for generations to come. This initial release of Star Wars: The High Republic works include Light of the Jedi, an adult novel by Charles Soule; A Test of Courage, a middle grade novel by Justina Ireland, and a Marvel comic book series and children’s picture book, both by Cavan Scott. Additional titles will come in February including Into the Dark, a YA novel by Claudia Gray, and The High Republic Adventures an IDW comic series for fans of all ages by Daniel José Older.”
Here’s the synopsis from The Disney Parks Blog:
“The era of The High Republic takes place centuries before The Phantom Menace and the prequel trilogy, during a golden age of the Republic, when the Jedi Order are in their prime. Noble and wise, the Jedi serve as protectors in a much more peaceful and prosperous time in the galaxy. The story begins as the Jedi face The Great Disaster, an intergalactic catastrophe that spins the galaxy in a dangerous new direction.
You’ll be introduced to a new group of courageous heroes, as well as menacing villains. The young, diverse Padawans run the gamut of skill, devotion, and personality. Keep a look-out for Burryaga, a Force-sensitive Wookiee who is skilled with a broadsword-like lightsaber in Light of the Jedi; Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh, a teenage Jedi Knight with a lightwhip in A Test of Courage, and even some familiar faces like Yoda.
With new heroes comes a barrage of new villains to terrorize the galaxy including the Nihil—dangerous marauders who wreak havoc from the Outer Rim- and the menacing Drengir, a carnivorous plant-like species with tentacles and teeth!”
Last Year in 2020 when the project was first announced many Star Wars fans were put off by the project as they saw it as Disney’s “Replacement” to the Extremely Popular “Old Republic Era” from BioWare and EA. Characters like Darth Revan and Bastila Shan still have much fanfare in the SW community. But what set a lot of people off was the fact that many could see this was an excuse to push for “Diversity”.
A White Board surfaced online from a list of things the writers plan to use for the High Republic. Things they had on the board included “Representation/Diversity”, “Not Pro-War” and “Dinosaurs”? Other things that threw people off were the “Rival Houses” which lead to people drawing comparisons to Harry Potter and its Four Houses.
This High Republic is being seen as another half-baked attempt by Lucasfilm, and those who support Kathleen Kennedy, to try and stay relevant. But many of the things established in the Old Lore (Expanded Universe) and even the Actual Continuity of the films are being changed or thrown out. In the Launch Trailer the narration states that the Jedi are “Battling for control of the Force Itself” which many have said that sounds more like what a Sith would say, as “Only Sith deal in Absolutes”. Jedi appearing in large battles like armies when Mace Windu said “We are keepers of the Peace, not Soldiers”.
Another thing is all the Lightsaber Colors. Now in the old EU Lightsaber Colors determined what Type of Jedi you were, Blue meant you were good with a Lightsaber, Green meant you were good with using The Force, Yellow meant you went on Secret Missions and were always hidden, and Purple, the rarest color, was sort of a combination of Green and Blue. But here We see Yellow, Purple and Orange everywhere.
One last thing I’d like to mention is the “Diversity”. Star Wars has ALWAYS been diverse. Men, Women, Robots, Aliens and all other forms of Science Fiction Life you can find. When these people say “Diversity” they only mean “Human Diversity”, despite having multiple characters of Asian, African and multiple other ethnicities throughout the Lore and stories. If anyone from the Lucasfilm Story-Group took the time to read an old EU book or play an old EU video game you’ll find TONS of diversity, everywhere.
In closing the High Republic looks like it will be a colossal failure like most of Kennedys other projects. Not to mention many speculated that the character “Avar Kriss”, shown Front and Center at the reveal last year was made just to give Brie Larson a staring role in a SW Project, but is the Lucasfilm Civil War stories are to be believed that project might not happen.
Everyone out there who hasn’t played the Old Republic Games yet, I Highly recommend you do. They’re on Steam and are backwards compatible on Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S. You’ll have lots more fun with those games than this.
Michael Shorkey bio:
“Independent Film Writer, Independent Film Maker and Film Historian. Hardcore Disney Admirer and Greatly Respects the Legacy of Walt Disney, George Lucas, J. R. Tolkien and many others. Has written a number of articles for smaller websites and is currently in the process of launching my own production company. I have a great Passion for storytelling and believes that with a paper and pencil you can many any work of art, no matter where you come from, be it in the written word or in drawing.”
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