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How To Get Your Hands On Star Wars: The High Republic

"For over a thousand generations," Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope, "the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." But the vast majority of the time audiences have spent with the Jedi has found the order in at least some state of decline, with the prequels depicting the fall that left them little more than a myth by the events of the original trilogy.

On January 5, that changes. The Star Wars franchise is set to launch a new age of storytelling called The High Republic, a massive, interconnected collection of books and comics that will follow a cast of Jedi and non-Force users as they navigate a different period of galactic history, and several new threats. What was the galaxy like before it was consumed by the Clone Wars? What were Jedi like when the vast majority of their time and resources weren't being spent fighting a grand, galaxy-spanning conflict? What does the Order look like when it's not facing its doom? We're about to find out.

Here's what we know about Star Wars: The High Republic.

What is The High Republic?

The High Republic is set roughly 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, though the era's timeline is said to continue up until about 50 years before the events of the film. Though it still says "Star Wars" on the tin, this is meant to be a period of relative peace in the galaxy, allowing the Jedi heroes to do more than serve as generals in some grand galaxy-spanning struggle. Instead, we'll get to see them venture forth as explorers, adventurers, and problem-solvers.

To mark the new era, The High Republic is determined to add new spheres of influence to the potent blend of Westerns, samurai films, and World War II battles that sparked George Lucas' original vision. Chief among those is a medieval sensibility. The antagonistic raider gang the Nihil are described in promo materials as "space Vikings." The Jedi we meet are meant to be treated as "the Jedi Knights of the Round Table" in a galaxy where peace is not the same as the absence of conflict.

How long that peace holds is anyone's guess. The existence of, as the voiceover in the trailer puts it, "an evil that threatens all we know," certainly makes it seem as though the stakes are going to escalate quickly. That threat might turn out to be the already-announced Drengir, an invasive species of sentient plant life.

What books are launching the High Republic era?

The High Republic era kicks off January 5 with the release of the first three books set during its time period, each aimed at a different age group. Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi is a novel written by Charles Soule that follows the Jedi as they scramble to respond to an interstellar disaster, a ship destroyed in hyperspace that leaves behind a storm of shrapnel that threatens entire systems. Star Wars: The High Republic – A Test of Courage is an illustrated middle grade novel by author Justina Ireland featuring a group of young protagonists forced to work together to survive in the hostile environment of a jungle moon. Star Wars: The High Republic – The Great Jedi Rescue is a children's book written by Cavan Scott that follows the Jedi leading an evacuation on Hetzal Prime. 

Star Wars: The High Republic comic book, written by Scott, will launch January 6. Another comic book series featuring Padawans training under Yoda and written by Daniel José Older has also been announced. A young adult novel, Star Wars: The High Republic – Into the Dark, written by Claudia Gray, publishes February 2. Scott's Star Wars: The High Republic – The Rising Storm, the second adult novel in the series, is scheduled for release in July.

Will the High Republic come to screens?

It's a lot of content, and that's just the first phase of a much bigger plan. But we do already have confirmation that the High Republic will extend beyond print. One of the many new Disney+ series announced by Lucasfilm in December was The Acolyte, a "mystery-thriller" steered by Leslie Headland, creator of Russian Doll. The show's description promises "a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era."

Of course, with series like Rangers of the New Republic, Ahsoka, Lando, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and many more still set to take place in or around the time of the Skywalker Saga, it's safe to say Disney and Lucasfilm are not fully closing the book on the more classic forms of Star Wars storytelling. But for audiences (and creators) interested in Star Wars, the galactic sandbox has just gotten bigger.

A full list of available and soon-to-be available Star Wars: The High Republic books and comics is available at Disney Books.