Metaverse 2020 – What We Learned from Lucasfilm Publishing’s “Star Wars: The High Republic” Panel

This afternoon Lucasfilm Publishing held its first of several panels scheduled for New York Comic Con / MCM Comic Con’s Metaverse virtual convention: a preview of the multi-platform initiative known as Star Wars: The High Republic.

Participating in the Star Wars: The High Republic Metaverse panel were authors Claudia Gray (Star Wars: The High Republic – Into the Dark), Charles Soule (Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi), Justina Ireland (Star Wars: The High Republic – A Test of Courage), Daniel José Older (IDW’s Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic book), and Cavan Scott (Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic comic), plus Lucasfilm Publishing’s executive editor Jennifer Heddle and creative director Michael Siglain. In the bullet-point list below, I’ve collected some of the more interesting tidbits of information we learned during the presentation.

Watch Star Wars: The High Republic Writers Explain the New Characters and Major Conflict:

  • Susana Polo from Polygon served as moderator, and introduced the premise of The High Republic, along with the panelists. Jen Heddle was unable to make it to the recording of the panel.
  • “The Great Disaster” is the big inciting incident for The High Republic, says Michael Siglain. The Jedi answer a cry for help from a supply ship that undergoes a tragic journey.
  • Older says Yoda is hanging out with young Padawans in training when The Great Disaster hits. The other other fallouts that happen and Yoda must deal with them. The Padawans learn lessons from these travails.
  • Justina Ireland says these Jedi are not the Jedi of the prequels. Everyone looks up to them and expects them to be heroes.
  • Claudia Gray says the characters in her novel are caught up in the disaster. They have to drop out of Hyperspace into a place with its own mysteries and dangers.
  • It’s a time of peace. Everyone is happy, and the Jedi are not “doomed” at the outset of this story.
  • Cavan Scott talks about the brand-new Jedi appearing in his story. She is assigned to a massive space station called Starlight Beacon that serves as a sort of lighthouse for space travelers.
  • The story gets into how different Jedi perceive the Force differently. Avar Kriss is very instrumental to the way the Jedi respond to The Great Disaster. She perceives the Force as music, while the Wookiee Jedi sees the Force as a great forest, and himself as one leaf on a great tree, etc.
  • One Jedi is not as strong in the Force as the others, and has to work a little harder to use it.
  • Geode is a character from Into the Dark that Michael Siglain says is “one to watch.” There’s also a pet called Cham-Cham in the comics that Older compares to a chihuahua. Another creature is a dog-like hound named Ember.
  • A pair of Jedi twins are so interlinked that they basically serve as one mind in two bodies.
  • Ireland discusses how difficult it was to come up with new stories and characters that honor everything that has come before in Star Wars, including the original Expanded Universe.
  • The Wookiee Jedi Burryaga Agaburry must use a gigantic two-handed lightsaber that is made from materials that are meaningful to him. It’s not something that an average Jedi could use. Each Jedi has a very personal weapon like that.
  • The High Republic is a golden era of the Jedi, and the color gold is used to represent that in the lightsaber hilts and elsewhere.
  • The creative team started with the question “What do we love about Star Wars?” Siglain says every one of the authors has knocked it out of the park.
  • References to The High Republic and teases for story elements have been peppered throughout recent Lucasfilm Publishing projects. “It’s all connected.”
  • Cavan Scott will be writing the next Star Wars: The High Republic adult novel, Justina Ireland is writing the next YA novel, Daniel José Older is writing the next middle-grade novel, and a serialized story by Charles Soule is coming to Star Wars Insider Magazine.

Star Wars: The High Republic launches on Tuesday, January 5 with Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.