The High Republic publishing project will start this August, covering the events that occur 200 years before the prequel era. Several notable Star Wars authors are taking part, and one of them, Justina Ireland, sat down with Polygon to talk about the opportunities and challenges that came with Project Luminous.
“I’m always interested in the past and what happened before to make things the way they are in the modern era. So, to me Star Wars history is perfectly my jam. It is a complete Venn diagram of all things I want,” she told Polygon.
Ireland’s initial contribution will be Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage, a middle grade novel which will premiere at Celebration this August. She was up to the challenge of creating all new material within the universe. “I do think it’s great to have the opportunity to say, ‘OK, this is new ground, how do we interpret this time period?’”
These stories will be completed separate from the Skywalker saga, following the Jedi in the prime of their existence. “We haven’t really seen the Jedi as being awesome,” Ireland continued, “,,,even in the prequels, Episodes 1 through 3, they’re kind of … a little jerky, right? They’re kind of on their way down.” She’s got a point – the prequel era Jedi Order was its own worst enemy, blinded by arrogance. They couldn’t sense the powerful Sith Lord within their own government until it was too late.
It will be refreshing to see a fresh group of Jedi, with a new set of struggles. Ireland added, “It’s going to be exciting to see Jedi who are confident in their role in the galaxy and confident in the way that they know they’re doing the right thing.”
Ireland also spoke about the process of writing with a story group and making sure her work aligned with the current canon. “I think, in the fandom, there’s this perceived idea of Story Group as like the traffic cops of storytelling, but for me, it’s not true. They’ve always been more like an encyclopedia of storytelling.” The authors themselves were also very collaborative, with Ireland saying, “We talked to each other every day about stories.”
This is a great way to keep stories within the project consistent. Star Wars fans are all about detail, as we’ve seen throughout the years. Overall, this is going to be an exciting new era of storytelling for the SW universe, with new characters to love. Ireland’s book has an all-new cast, in fact, all characters created by her or brainstormed by the group as a whole.
If you want to read the full interview – it’s lengthy but absolutely worth the read – hop over to Polygon and see what Justina has to say. Keep an eye out here for more updates on the High Republic initiative as we learn more.
May the Force be with you!