Another year, and another San Diego Comic-Con that didn’t get to happen because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately for us, there’s still [email protected], a virtual event put on this weekend by Comic-Con International that brings together assorted panels from a wide variety of pop-culture creators on YouTube.

This afternoon saw the [email protected] 2021 panel for Star Wars: The High Republic— the ambitious multi-platform initiative currently underway from Lucasfilm Publishing. In the bullet-point list below, I’ve enumerated some of the more interesting tidbits and factoids to come out of this presentation featuring The High Republic authors Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule.

Watch Star Wars: The High Republic – We Are All The Republic! | [email protected] 2021:

  • Moderator Krystina Arielle (host of Star Wars: The High Republic Show on the official Star Wars YouTube channel) introduced the panelists and recapped The High Republic so far.
  • Cavan Scott (author of Star Wars: The High Republic – The Rising Storm) talked about the attack on the Republic Fair and how the Nihil used it to their advantage. He also talked about how he maps out each story and weaves the characters’ paths through each other. He says he used The Empire Strikes Back as a template of how to write a Star Wars sequel with everything inverted from the first installment.
  • According to Scott, each The High Republic book and comic is written as though the reader hasn’t read any of the others, giving them a chance to catch up before diving into the new developments. He also hinted that a Jedi joins the Nihil in the Marvel comic.
  • Daniel José Older talked about Star Wars: The High Republic – Race to Crashpoint Tower and the new Jedi Padawan character Ram Jomaram, introduced in that book. Older says Ram will return in the Free Comic Book Day issue of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures. “There’s lots more Ram to come.”
  • The next section of The High Republic Adventures follows Farzala and Qort as they deal with the Hutts, and Star Wars: The High Republic – Trail of Shadows is “dark, moody, and complex. There are so many twists and turns. This goes even deeper into the noir of Star Wars.” Midnight Horizon will be the next young-adult novel in The High Republic timeline.
  • Justina Ireland talked about Star Wars: The High Republic – Out of the Shadows, which focuses on the character of Sylvestri Yarrow, who goes to Coruscant to warn the Republic about the threat the Nihil poses. Vernestra Rwoh and Imri Cantaros also play major roles. She hopes readers will enjoy seeing a little bit more adult version of Vernestra, who has gone through a few tragedies. “Our characters get to grow.”
  • Ireland also talked about the non-Jedi, non-Nihil characters we meet in Out of the Shadows. “These are people who are just living their lives, and they have other concerns outside of the Jedi. This has always been my favorite part of Star Wars.”
  • For Star Wars Insider magazine, Ireland and Scott are writing slice-of-life type stories set around the events of The High Republic. “You might see some of the characters from other books in the Insider stories as well.”
  • The manga Star Wars: The High Republic – The Edge of Balance takes place on the outskirts of the galaxy and focuses on a Jedi who’s being pushed to her limits.
  • Justina Ireland is also writing the middle-grade novel for wave 3, entitled Star Wars: The High Republic – Mission to Disaster.
  • Charles Soule talked about his approach to writing in general and specifically for Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi. He says he hears from people every day telling him how much they enjoyed the book and that the message of “We are all the Republic” resonated with them.
  • Soule explained who the Nihil are and how their motivations evolved as The High Republic story continues to unfold. The Nihil were designed to function as a society with some rules and a hierarchy that they follow. Marchion Ro is the “Eye” of the Nihil, who provides hyperspace routes called “Paths” that make them very difficult to defeat. “Much of Marchion’s backstory has yet to be revealed.”
  • Speaking of which, Soule is writing an upcoming Marvel comic miniseries called Star Wars: The High Republic – Eye of the Storm, which will focus on Marchion Ro.
  • Claudia Gray talks about her work on Star Wars: The High Republic – Into the Dark, and how she was relieved at the fan response to the novel. She says the character of Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus might get along with Qui-Gon Jinn if they existed at the same time, while Obi-Wan Kenobi would share a desire for order with Reth Silas, though Reath has a hesitancy about adventure that Obi-Wan never had. “Reath is going to keep growing and changing. It’s going to be really fascinating to see where he ends up.”
  • Gray says Geode is the most fun character to write. She was surprised by how much expression she got out of him. The most challenging character to write for her is Cohmac, because she had to figure out where he was in his journey.
  • Claudia Gray is writing the third Del Rey novel that finishes phase one, entitled Star Wars: The High Republic – The Fallen Star. This wave is due out at the beginning of 2022.

Star Wars: The High Republic – Out of the Shadows will be published this coming Tuesday, July 27, with much more content on the way very soon.