The writers behind Lucasfilm’s new publishing initiative Star Wars: The High Republic have announced that the narrative, taking place 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, will give us a fresh understanding of the living Force.
A lot of people have argued over the years that the galaxy far, far away belongs in the science fantasy genre as opposed to science fiction, mainly due to the concept of the Force, which is a magical and mysterious entity that bestows the Jedi with their unique abilities. As Ben Kenobi explained in the Original Trilogy: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his powers. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
But beyond that philosophy, George Lucas tried to give this more depth by introducing the concept of Midi-chlorians in the prequels. Though the idea demystified the Force and received backlash from fans, it’s safe to say that after all this time, we have a general understanding of what the Force encompasses in the world of Star Wars. Or at least, that’s what we thought.
It would seem, though, that The High Republic is going to change how we recognize the mystical bond between “all living things.” As writer Charles Soule decided to explain during Lucasfilm’s New York Comic Con virtual panel, Light of the Jedi will introduce us to a knight named Avar Kriss, who basically perceives the Force as music and calls it “the Song of the Force.”
But this is where it gets really interesting, as Soule further noted that every Jedi has their own understanding of the Force, and what we’ve seen so far was just Yoda’s way of interpreting it.
“Through the manuscripts we see that other Jedi also have their own way of relating to the Force,” he continued. “Because the Force is obviously an energy field that binds and connects all things as Yoda describes it, but that’s Yoda’s perception of it. Whereas Beryago, who is a Wookie Jedi, he sees the Force as a great forest, because he’s obviously from Kashyyyk and he’s a forest being. So, he sees himself as one leaf on a great tree that’s part of a great forest that’s part of a great world that’s all just all interconnected.”
Justina Ireland, another one of The High Republic‘s writers, gave an example of this phenomenon as well, noting how her character Vernestra experiences the Force.
“For Vernestra, she sees herself as a small stream that flows into a river which flows into a sea. And that for her is the Force. This idea of all these differentiated, different waters coming together into the crater.”
That’s certainly a new way of interpreting things. Of course, we already knew that Star Wars: The High Republic would present us with a different generation of the Jedi, one that works like the “Knights of the Round Table” in the Galactic Republic’s golden age. As such, it’ll definitely be interesting to see how differently they think and operate from the Jedi we’ve come to know and love in the Skywalker Saga.