Disney / Lucasfilm has lifted the veil on the secret project formerly known as Project Luminous, and it’s called Star Wars: The High Republic.
But it sounds like storytelling by corporate committee, and we’re not completely sold on the project.
The High Republic will visit an unexplored era of Star Wars history, taking place around 200 years before The Phantom Menace.
Here’s more information from StarWars.com …
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.
The publishing initiative is going to be spread across something like 10 publishing partners including Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing and Del Rey.
While it’s an interesting concept and time period to visit, given that the “Skywalker Saga” has ended with The Rise of Skywalker, we definitely have some concerns.
The trailer started with a Brand Manager, not a Story Teller.
Probably the worst foot to start on from a cynical fan’s perspective, the first introduction to this publishing initiative is a Lucasfilm brand manager talking about corporate synergy and strategic partnerships. We then cut away to a room full of people writing marketing bullet points down on a whiteboard.
This doesn’t sell me on the story. This is a marketing pitch. And with Disney already being accused of milking the Star Wars saga dry, it’s not really a good way to get old fans back on board.
Maybe it’s a sad comment on the current state of Disney as a company — sales over story. But even if that is the case, I don’t want to peek behind that curtain.
Too many cooks in the kitchen.
Again, we’re not hearing from a story teller with a clear story to tell.
Star Wars was always story first. George Lucas told you his ideas, and you believed him. He respected story telling, and movies and merchandise were a means to an end.
It could be argued that John Favreau and Dave Filoni have that “storyteller spark” as well, as The Mandalorian seems to be story first, merchandise second (despite the glut of Baby Yoda merchandise coming our way.)
But Disney wants sales first, and they’ve seemingly enlisted an army of writers to make this High Republic thing all things for all people.
There doesn’t seem to be a unified vision. It’s “spray and pray” in the hopes of finding another ember of hope in the declining Star Wars franchise.
It further negates the Expanded Universe.
Star Wars fans are a force in and of themselves. Many were very passionate about the Expanded Universe (the Star Wars stories that took place outside the movies before Disney bought Lucasfilm) and were upset when Disney simply “snapped” it all away.
While Disney’s post Return of the Jedi canon certainly has its own share of fans, the decision to undo decades of stories set in the Expanded Universe did not start the relationship between Disney and the Star Wars fandom off on a very good foot.
And now it looks like Disney’s High Republic era will essentially supplant the incredibly popular Old Republic stories, and that might not go over well… especially if the Disney stories are received less favorably than the Old Republic stories that preceded them.
Even MORE Baby Yoda?
Disney just can’t get enough of the accidental breakout star of The Mandalorian (and current savior of the franchise) the Child known as “Baby Yoda.”
And it would appear that another “Yoda Child” could appear in the High Republic era, as a Yoda tot was spotted in some concept art.
Just… stop it, Disney.
Will the next Star Wars trilogy be based in the High Republic era?
It would appear that Disney is already eyeing up the High Republic era for movies and TV series, as the books were referred to as “an incubator” in the trailer.
Oh joy. More marketing speak.
It’s too early to tell, as Disney honestly doesn’t seem to know what to do with Star Wars these days. But books are far cheaper to produce than movies, so it’s possible they’re throwing spaghetti against the wall at this point to find a path forward for Star Wars.
And if they High Republic books and comic books don’t sell that well? There’s always Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.