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Watch Polygon’s new look at the characters and lore behind Star Wars: The High Republic

The Great Disaster strikes at New York Comic Con

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

As a part of this year’s all-digital New York Comic Con experience, Polygon had the chance to sit down with the masterminds behind Star Wars: The High Republic, to pick their brains about what comes next for the Star Wars universe.

Previously teased as the mysterious Project Luminous, the new era of Star Wars storytelling is on its way in 2021. And in the video above, the story architects of Star Wars: The High Republic as they introduce the heroes of a brand new saga, set centuries before the Skywalker saga, and reveal details of the central event that forever changes the galaxy far, far, away. Moderated by Polygon’s comics editor, Susana Polo, the panel features writers Claudia Gray (the YA novel Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark, Charles Soule (the novel Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi), Justina Ireland (the middle grade novel Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage, Daniel José Older (IDW comic series Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures), and Cavan Scott (Marvel comic series Star Wars: The High Republic), along with Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain.

Here’s a taste:

Ireland’s A Test of Courage will introduce Vernestra Rwoh, a prodigy who’s achieved the rank of Jedi Knight at the tender age of 16. “She’s spent her entire life working towards being a knight,” said Ireland, “and she’s managed to get there ahead of her peers. That gives her this idea of having a great responsibility at hand. When we meet her, that’s really what she’s fixated on, living up to the idea of the Jedi.”

Image: Lucasfilm

Gray and Older are both taking the reins on new Padawan characters in their series for younger readers. Reath Silas is “marooned in a place that has its own mysteries and dangers that he has to deal with far away from his master,” according to Gray, while Lula Talisola is living the dream of any Padawan: traveling around the galaxy with Yoda and a bunch of other Jedi in training.

“They’re almost on a gap year, you know, learning about the force in the galaxy and what it means to be out in the world,” Older said, when the Great Disaster throws galactic civilization into disarray and Lula must use all her Jedi skills earlier than expected.

Early concept art of Keeve Trennis from Star Wars: The High Republic Image: Lucasfilm

Scott’s Marvel Comics series will also feature an inexperienced Jedi in Keeve Trennis, whose ideas about the future are uprooted by the Great Disaster, when she’s assigned to a bustling space station instead of a lonely outpost. “Suddenly she finds herself with some of the key Jedi of the era. The people she looked up to as heroes are now her peers, and so she has to cope with that, especially when she starts meeting some of the people that were involved in the Great Disaster and helped so many people in the Great Disaster,” Scott said.

These books are just the beginning of the High Republic, Siglain announced at the close of the panel. Scott will pen another novel for Del Rey, and Justina and Older will write two more novels for younger readers, coming down the pipe from Del Rey and Disney-Lucasfilm Press. And, in another kind of return to a classic age of Star Wars storytelling, the Star Wars Insider magazine will once again be home to short fiction.

“I’m really happy to announce that serialized fiction is coming back to that magazine,” Siglain said. “starting in December with a High Republic story that’s going to be written by Mr. Soule.”

For more big reveals, funny stories, lots and lots of lightsabers, you can watch the entire panel above and check out our other coverage of NYCC 2020.

Cham Cham looks like a cross between a bat and a pig, with a scorpion tail.
Meet Cham Cham, an adorable but untrustworthy pet character from Older’s High Republic Adventures.
Image: Lucasfilm
Farzaza, a character with pointed, animal-like ears, and Lula Talisola, from IDW’s Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures.
But Lula Talisola is the comic’s real star.
Image: Lucasfilm/IDW Publishing
Avar Kriss in gold and white hooded Jedi regalia.
Avar Kriss is among the most respected Jedi Knights of the High Republic era.
Image: Lucasfilm
Avar Kriss in brown and white Jedi traveling clothes.
She’ll debut in Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi.
Image: Lucasfilm
Keeve Trennis, a brown-skinned Jedi in gold and white robes.
Keeve is a young Knight thrown into the deep end with some of the most famous Jedi around.
Image: Lucasfilm
Keeve Trennis, a brown-skinned Jedi with curly hair, in black and white traveling clothes. Image: Lucasfilm
Yoda, with his wooden cane, in gold and white robes.
Yoda might not be a baby in the High Republic era, but he’s still younger than we’ve ever seen him before.
Image: Lucasfilm
Yoda, in brown robes, brandishing a green lightsaber. Image: Lucasfilm.

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