It will still be many months until the next Star Wars movie or TV show comes along, but tomorrow. A new era of Star Wars storytelling begins – for those who are willing to engage with it.
That’s when Lucasfilm launches Star Wars: The High Republic, a cross-platform publishing initiative featuring stories set centuries before the events of the Skywalker Saga, taking place in the pages of books, comics, magazines, and eventually forming the backdrop for at least one Disney+ show. Today, the company unveiled a new trailer and some additional details about what to expect. Including the fact that this multi-platform story will play out across three distinct “phases.”
Star Wars: The High Republic Trailer
I’ve personally never taken a dive into the deep extended universe of Star Wars reading materials. But the concept of a battle in which “control of the Force itself” hangs in the balance sounds like an intriguing way to draw in new readers. We’ve already reviewed the three books that will kick off this new publishing initiative. And I encourage you to read that write-up.
But the biggest news of the day came during an hour-long live-stream with authors and creatives who worked on The High Republic answering questions about it and laying out some details about what is to come. Specifically, The High Republic will be split into three phases, taking a page out of the Marvel Studios playbook. The announced titles are part of the first phase, which extends into 2022. This image showed off the subtitles for each phase. Providing hints at the types of storytelling arcs we’ll see as the series progresses:
It’s not surprising that Lucasfilm would crib from Marvel in this regard. But I find it to be a little exhausting. Can’t they just…tell stories? Will the promise (threat?) of a multi-year onslaught of stories inspire casual readers to take a step closer, or recoil in horror?
Anyway, it looks like Star Wars readers will have plenty to consume in the coming years. Phase One is set to extend into 2022 (although that vague description means the phase might end at this time next year, or it could continue all the way until December 2021). Let’s assume each phase lasts for a year and a half – that would mean this initiative will last into 2025. That sounds like the timing could line up with when audiences might get to see The Acolyte. The live-action Disney+ series directed by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll), which we know will focus on the emergence of dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. That’s speculation on my part. But it would make sense for this story to be winding down on the page when that show begins.