Lucasfilm’s next big Star Wars project, The High Republic will begin with a series of books and comics. The first title, Charles Soule’s novel Light of the Jedi, hits shelves on August 25th and is expected to establish the setting and core conflict between the Jedi and the “space Vikings” known as the Nihil. But The High Republic won’t remain exclusive to print for long, as we’ve already heard rumors of video games, TV shows and full-fledged movies in various states of development.
This all fits neatly into Lucasfilm’s philosophy of “unified canon,” in which every release is considered to be as canon as any other. It’s a strategy that’s seen characters move between TV shows, games and movies, with recent talk of the hero from Jedi: Fallen Order possibly appearing in a Disney Plus series.
Now, we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who said [SPOILERS] would be revealed as a traitor in Rise of Skywalker and that Rey is Palpatine’s [SPOILERS] months before the movie released – that Lucasfilm is continuing in this pattern. From what we understand, they plan to adapt Light of the Jedi and are eyeing Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker for a lead role. If this is the case, smart money says she’s playing the blonde Jedi front and centre on the book’s cover, who writer Charles Soule has revealed is named Avar Kriss. And remember, while the studio has said that none of the High Republic novels will tie-in with future movies or shows, that doesn’t mean there can’t be straight-up adaptations of them. And this is apparently what they plan to do.
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Jodie Whittaker bears a definite resemblance to the character art on the book, too, and with the Thirteenth Doctor expected to regenerate in the finale of 2021’s season 13 (which will shoot in 2020), she’ll be free to put down the Sonic Screwdriver and pick up a lightsaber. Then again, she’s only one actress that the studio is eyeing at this time and they could end up going in a different direction.
In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how Lucasfilm’s creative team works with what is essentially a blank slate for storytelling. I’m thinking that their new freedom will allow them a lot more latitude and control over bringing characters from various mediums together, which should benefit everyone. At the end of the day, though, I can only hope that they learn from the mistakes of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and formulate a long-term arc rather than making it up as they go along.