Lucasfilm’s fresh new era of the Star Wars franchise, The High Republic, will give fans a peek into the galaxy before the prequels — some 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace and the Skywalker Saga. It’s a very different time period for the Jedi, where the Force-wielding, lightsaber-spinning guardians of peace and justice serve as a kind of Knights of the Round Table for the galaxy.
In a series of Star Wars: The High Republic books, ranging from young adult fare to comics to novels for a more mature audience, fans will be introduced to a new cast of Jedi characters. That includes Burryaga Agaburry, a Force-sensitive Wookiee who will be introduced in the new saga’s first book, Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi.
According to Charles Soule, the author behind Light of the Jedi, Burryaga will wield a lightsaber appropriate for a big walking carpet.
“Wookiees are very, very, very strong and, and a standard lightsaber in the hand of a Wookiee would be like trying to, trying to fight with a toothpick,” Soule said during a New York Comic Con panel hosted by Polygon comics editor Susana Polo. “So they need something that’s a little bit more robust and so Burryaga has a gigantic [...] two-handed lightsaber hilt that is made from materials that are meaningful to him. But it’s not something that your average Jedi could probably use very effectively, even though they can be strong [...] too.”
Soule said that the High Republic project inspired the writing team to craft “really personal weapons” for each Jedi. “Whenever we had the opportunity to make something cool for a Jedi’s weapon, we definitely did,” he said.
Another new character conceived for The High Republic of Star Wars is Vernestra Rwoh, who stands front and center on the cover of the middle grade novel — meaning it’s aimed at kids 8-12 years old — Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage. “Verne” has a somewhat-familiar-but-also-mysterious lightsaber of her own, says author Justina Ireland.
“Verne has a very special modification to her lightsaber and I know if you’ve looked at the cover of A Test of Courage you can see she has the purple lightsaber because we all got to like, pay mad respect to our boy Mace Windu,” Ireland said during the panel. “But there’s also something extra to her lightsaber, but you’ll have to read the books to find out what it is.”
The rest of the new High Republic-era Jedi have their own lightsabers tastes and quirks, too, including the dual-lightsaber wielder Keeve — “she couldn’t quite decide on one lightsaber so she made two,” explained writer Cavan Scott — and Padawan Reath Silas, who prefers not to use his saber until all other options have been exhausted.
Star Wars fans will take their first steps into a larger world of Star Wars when The High Republic launches in 2021.