Star Wars: The High Republic author Charles Soule recently confirmed that The High Republic is Lucasfilm’s creation of new version of Star Wars.
Soule spoke about The High Republic during Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The High Republic Live Stream Launch Event.
At the beginning of the discussion, Soule is asked by Lucasfilm’s Kristen Baver what his reaction was when he was first pitched The High Republic.
He initially responded by stating, “I did run. I ran into my Blu-ray player whatever you want to say.. The first place you began when you’re building a new era in Star Wars is the stuff that already exists.”
“So I know I started by watching all of the movies again. And really focusing on what I thought was impressive about Star Wars, what was meaningful about Star Wars to me,” he continued.
Soule then stated, “This job was to make something that was authentically Star Wars from the ground up, but also really fresh and new and special and powerful.”
He would later confirm that he was initially pitched with creating his own Star Wars.
Soule explained, “I just started by looking at Star Wars and digging in deep and thinking about, if I really had this opportunity that Michael described to me, to make kind of our own Star Wars, which is sort of what it was, and has become. I can’t believe it’s actually happening.”
He then concluded, “What would that mean to me? I started with the source material and went from there.”
To further clarify this point, fellow The High Republic author Claudia Gray would also answer the question revealing she looked at other franchises and properties outside of Star Wars for inspiration.
Gray stated, “I probably had, it’s not the opposite reaction, but it’s going to sound like it is. I started asking myself, ‘What were the things I loved in other epic sagas.'”
“I loved Star Wars, have loved it for years, had been writing it for some time, and felt like I was immersed in that. But what were the other things that drew me to other media whether that’s Dune or the Arthurian legends, or whatever. What are the big epic qualities that pull you in or at least pull me in. That was where I began, I think,” she elaborated.
To further emphasize how this is a brand new Star Wars, another The High Republic author, Cavan Scott, would describe just how the Jedi operate during this new era.
Scott stated, “This is the golden age of the Jedi, this is when they are at their height. These are peacekeepers who have pretty much done their job exceptionally well. There’s been peace for hundreds and hundreds of years.”
“And so the galaxy has entered a period of prosperity, of progress, and that’s changed the way the Jedi view themselves, view the Force, and in some cases even view the laws of the Jedi as well,” he continued.
He then elaborated, “But most importantly, it’s changed the way the Jedi operate, they are not hidden away in temples. And there is not just one temple on Coruscant. There are outposts and temples on every major planet in the Republic.”
“And the Jedi are out with the people, they are part of life. People are used to seeing them, and the people love them. And that gives a special responsibility to these Jedi. To perhaps being a little more flexible in how they work. But also above all, to be the beacon of light they need to be in an ever-growing galaxy,” he concluded.
Remember, The High Republic is supposed to be set only 200 years before The Phantom Menace. It’s hard to imagine that people in the galaxy would have completely forgotten the Jedi in just three or four generations if they were out in the public and had temples on every single planet.
Yet, we know people did indeed forget about the Jedi and people who could wield the Force by the time of the Empire. Admiral Conan Antonio Motti points this out in a debate regarding the power of the Death Star with Darth Vader and High General Cassio Tagge.
He tells Darth Vader, “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels’ hidden fortress.”
This idea would then be echoed by Grand Moff Tarkin who told Darth Vader, “The Jedi are extinct. Their fire has gone out of the universe. You my friend are all that’s left of their religion.”
What do you make of the fact that The High Republic was initially pitched as the creation of a new version of Star Wars? Does this surprise you?