Star Wars’ High Republic Enters Its Second Saga

Star Wars’ High Republic Enters Its Second Saga
Inset of the cover of the novel Out of the Shadows. (Image: Lucasfilm)

When Star Wars’s High Republic saga began, it was a breath of fresh air. Happier, less uptight Jedi; new, interesting villains; and nary a Skywalker to be seen. But while the first “chapter” of the overall saga is coming to a close in a few months, the High Republic itself isn’t going anywhere — Lucasfilm has announced a new slew of comics, novels, and more detailing the next chapter in the series, which seem to be set around…a galactic Fair?

It’s true! As revealed by today, the event that crops up the most in these upcoming stories is the Republic Fair, meant as a symbol of the unification and inclusion of the Republic and its newest member planets, as well as a place to share knowledge, technology, and even…uh…seeds! It’s a real county fair, it’s just that the county is tens of thousands of light-years long. Of course, to the two new villains fighting the High Republic that emerged in the first wave of stories — the plant-like, life-consuming scourge called the Drengir and the space marauders known as the Nihil — a symbol like this is the perfect opportunity to strike at the heart of their enemy.

Here are nine of the next wave of High Republic adventures…

Image: Lucasfilm/MarvelImage: Lucasfilm/Marvel

First up, Marvel’s High Republic comic enters a new story arc in issue 6, which seems to be called “Heart of the Drengir.” It’ll be released June 2, featuring this glorious Phil Noto cover of a Jedi Master Avar Kriss riding a rancor, Daenerys-style. Here’s the somewhat overwrought official description of the series’ Jedi fighting the sentient, anthropomorphic, plant invaders called the Drengir:

The REPUBLIC FRONTIER in crisis! The JEDI of STARLIGHT BEACON join forces with their most feared enemy to face the terror of the unstoppable DRENGIR horde.

AVAR KRISS and her new allies fight nightmarish creatures on a harsh lava world. Can young Jedi KEEVE TRENNIS save her former master from the darkness?

Also who or what is the GREAT PROGENITOR?!

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

Next up: Issue #203 of Star Wars Insider will include a new serialised story titled “Hidden Danger” by High Republic co-mastermind Justina Ireland, beginning June 8.

In preparation for the Republic Fair on Valo, the Agrarian and Agricultural Alliance is having their annual seed bank conference on Starlight Beacon. This is a chance for the agricultural experts from all over the galaxy to come together to discuss experimental farming techniques and sustainability. Administrator Velko Jahen and Starlight Beacon’s Head of Security Ghal Tarpfen have been stressed nearly to the breaking point with ensuring the safety of the Starlight while also making certain that the conference goes off without a hitch. And the pair will be pushed to the limit when the Drengir slither onto the scene… 

Image: Lucasfilm/Del ReyImage: Lucasfilm/Del Rey

The Rising Storm is a full-on adult novel from Cavan Scott, who pens this follow-up to Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi, who effectively kicked off the High Republic saga. This time, the space marauders called the Nihil are planning to attack the icon of unity and inclusiveness the “Republic Fair” is meant to represent, which feels strangely pertinent in some way. Hmm. It’ll be out June 29.

Following the dramatic events of Light of the Jedi, the heroes of the High Republic era return to face a shattered peace and a fearsome foe.

In the wake of the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the heroism of the Jedi, the Republic continues to grow, bringing more worlds together under a single unified banner. Led by Chancellor Lina Soh, the spirit of unity extends throughout the galaxy, with the Jedi and newly established Starlight Beacon station at the vanguard.

In celebration, the chancellor plans “The Republic Fair,” a showcase of the possibility and peace of the expanding Republic — a precept the Jedi hope to foster. Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, Elzar Mann, and others join the event as ambassadors of harmony. But as the eyes of the galaxy turn toward the Fair, so too does the fury of the Nihil. Their leader, Marchion Ro, is intent on destroying this spirit of unity. His storm descends on the pageantry and celebration, sowing chaos and exacting revenge.

As the Jedi struggle to curb the carnage of the rampaging Nihil, they come face to face with the true fear their enemy plans to unleash across the galaxy. The kind of fear that even the Force cannot shield them from.

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

Daniel José Older pens Race to Crashpoint Tower, a tale for middle-schoolers about a young Jedi trying to help saving the Fair and the day during the events of the aforementioned Rising Storm adult novel. Frankly, it seems quite cute, especially thanks to Petur Antonsson’s art. It’ll come out June 29, too.

The Republic Fair is coming! Visitors from all over the galaxy are travelling to the planet Valo for a massive, awe-inspiring festival celebrating the Republic. While his fellow Valons prepare for the fair, Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram is hiding out in his favourite place: a dingy garage filled with mechanical parts and tools. But when a security alarm goes off on the nearby hilltop nicknamed Crashpoint Peak, he ventures out with his trusty droid V-18 to investigate. There he discovers that someone has knocked out Valo’s communications tower — a frightening sign that Valo, and the Republic Fair, are in danger. Sure enough, as Ram races to warn the Jedi, the dreaded Nihil unleash a surprise attack! It’s up to Ram to face down the enemy at Crashpoint Tower and send a call for help to the Republic. Luckily, he’s about to get some assistance from unexpected new friends…

Image: Lucasfilm/IDWImage: Lucasfilm/IDW

Not to be left behind, IDW’s all-ages Star Wars comic series The High Republic Adventures also begins a new, Fair-related story arc in issue #6, written by Older. It arrives July 7.

As the galaxy prepares for the Republic Fair, Qort and Farzala leave their Padawan friends to join Leox Gyasi and the crew of the Vessel on a secret mission for the Jedi. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out: literally everything.

Image: LucasfilmImage: Lucasfilm

Author Justina Ireland will write the YA novel Out of the Shadows, a follow-up to her first High Republic YA novel Test of Courage, in which young Jedi Vernestra Rwoh meets up with padawan Reath Silas from Into the Dark. It’s out July 22.

The darkest secrets are the hardest to bring to light….

Sylvestri Yarrow is on a streak of bad luck with no end of sight. She’s been doing her best to keep the family cargo business going after her mum’s death, but between mounting debt and increasing attacks by the Nihil on unsuspecting ships, Syl is in danger of losing all she has left of her mother. She heads to the galactic capital of Coruscant for help, but gets sidetracked when she’s drawn into a squabble between two of the Republic’s most powerful families over a patch of space on the frontier. Tangled up in familial politics is the last place Syl wants to be, but the promise of a big payoff is enough to keep her interested…

Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh has been summoned to Coruscant, but with no idea of why or by whom. She and her Padawan Imri Cantaros arrive at the capital along with Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus and his Padawan, Reath Silas — and are asked to assist with the property dispute on the frontier. But why? What is so important about an empty patch of space? The answer will lead Vernestra to a new understanding of her abilities, and take Syl back to the past…and to truths that will finally come out of the shadows.

Next, the High Republic gets its first audio novel, courtesy of Cavan Scott, titled Tempest Runner. It has no promo art, a release date of Augist 31, and this vague summary:

As one of Marchion Ro’s most trusted allies (well, as far as Marchion trusts anyone) Lourna Dee has carved out a place for herself as a leader among the Nihil. But it’s lonely at the top, and a Tempest Runner like Lourna is always watching her back for threats — whether those threats are from the Jedi or her fellow Nihil.

Image: Lucasfilm/Viz MediaImage: Lucasfilm/Viz Media

Next, Star Wars returns to manga courtesy of co-writers Justina Ireland and Shima Shinya and manga artist/Marvel collaborator Mizuki Sakakibara. The first volume arrives on September 7, courtesy of Viz Media.

In the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace Disaster, young Jedi Knight Lily Tora-Asi is assigned to help displaced civilians relocate to Banchii, a planet in the Inugg system far in the Outer Rim. While balancing the arrival of incoming settlers and teaching the Padawans on their Temple outpost, Lily must also confront an attack by the insidious Drengir and, after the events of the Republic Fair, deal with the growing threat of the Nihil. But the dangers to Lily and her Padawans are much closer than she thinks….

Finally, there’s Showdown at the Fair, an “8×8 Storybook” by George Mann, starring everyone’s favourite Wookiee Jedi, Burryaga Agaburry.

The Republic Fair has come to the planet Valo, and everyone is celebrating. Until the dreaded Nihil launch a surprise attack and Burryaga the Wookiee and the other Jedi of the High Republic must save the day!

I was under the impression that 8×8 books were made primarily for scrapbooking and as photo albums, so I assume I am missing something. We’ll find out on October 5.