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Star Wars: The High Republic is a publishing project launched in 2020, previously referred to as Project Luminous. The project brings together authors to create an ambitious interconnected story spanning books and comics for all age groups. The High Republic era is set roughly 200 years before the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and features a new diverse cast of characters that will expand over time as the Jedi Order defend the Galactic Republic from new threats brought on by its expansion into the Outer Rim of the galaxy.
Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi is a canon novel by Charles Soule, set 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. The story follows the Jedi Knight Avar Kriss and introduces a new threat to the Republic and the Jedi Order. It was originally set for release in September 2020, but was pushed back to January 2021 due to publishing industry delays brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
After months of speculation, the secretive Project Luminous has been unveiled as a new era of Star Wars publishing: Star Wars: The High Republic. The announcement on StarWars.com promised a new mix of adult and young adult novels and comics set 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menance. The Jedi Order is at its peak, and the Galactic Republic is in an optimistic period of expansion into the Outer Rim of the galaxy, but a new threat is rising that may disrupt that peace and prosperity. Expect there to be rich tales of exploration; charting out the galaxy, meeting new cultures, and discovering what pioneer life in the Outer Rim was like. This is an incredible sandbox for our storytellers to play in, both within publishing and beyond, and we can’t wait to see the great fiction they build within it. James Waugh, Lucasfilm vice president, franchise content and strategy Star Wars: The High Republic will debut at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in August 2020 with Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, which is touted as "a massive interconnected story that’s told across various formats by various publishers". The High Republic has an impressive array of authors lined up, including Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule, so it's going to be a very exciting time for Star Wars readers. For more information, check out the official announcement on StarWars.com.
There is no doubt that Bioware's Knight of the Old Republic was one of the greatest Star Wars video games ever released, and new rumours are circulating that the franchise may be about to be resurrected. What is KOTOR? For those who missed out the first time around, Knights of the Old Republic was a single-player role-playing game set 4000 years before the Skywalker Saga, released on Xbox and PC in 2003. Although gameplay is clunky by today's standards, the story and the interactions that result in your character moving towards the light side or dark side of the Force mean that it is still worth a playthrough. A sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, was released in 2004, and an MMO simply called Star Wars: The Old Republic which was set 300 years later expanded on this era of galactic history. Ultimately, though, all three games and spin-off materials are now considered part of Legends, rather than part of the canon timeline, since the 2015 shakeup of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I won't spoil the plot of either game, because if you don't already know it you deserve to be able to play through the game without known the broader strokes of the plot. What do we know? Well, things are a bit murky to be honest. Rumours of a sequel have circulated for years, with a source close to Bioware leaking in 2017 that the developer was working on a sequel. Kotaku later confirmed the story, but clarified that the project was a prototype that was never greenlit by parent company EA who hold the licence for Star Wars games. In April last year, Kathleen Kennedy told reporters that they had several projects in the works, and that the idea of Knights of the Old Republic had been brought up. A month later, it was reported that Laeta Kalogridis was working on a Knights of the Old Republic movie screenplay. More recently still, the ambitious multi-media initiative Project Luminous was said to be set in a re-imagined Old Republic era called the "High Republic", while Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order features temples left behind by an ancient race of Force users that would be perfect for exploration via a Knights of the Old Republic style RPG. What could the new game be about? While we are taking these rumours with a pinch of salt, it's fun to speculate. The original plan for KOTOR3 would have apparently seen the player face up against an even greater enemy than the Sith we had seen so far in the series, but if there is going to be another Knights of the Old Republic I would think it would be more of a re-imagining rather than a straight sequel, as nothing has really been set in stone for the era since the games were decanonised. As the era is so far removed from established Star Wars canon they could opt for a remake, keeping the main characters (many of whom are beloved by fans), keeping the broad strokes of the story, but reworking the encounters and plot points to suit the new canon. Who would make it? Well, the first two games were developed by Bioware, so they would be the obvious choice. But Bioware has several projects already in the works, namely for the Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Anthem franchises. Recently it was reported that EA were hiring for their Star Wars team at Respawn, so it's possible that the success of Jedi: Fallen Order has allowed them to claim this game, too. This wouldn't be a bad thing as Respawn did a terrific job, although it would mean that the new KOTOR would not have the same feel as it's predecessors. Of course, this new game could always be something else entirely, such is the nature of rumours. I've never played KOTOR, it sounds great! It really is! If you like RPGs and you're not afraid of older games with outdated graphics and clunky interfaces then you'll have a good time. KOTOR and KOTOR2 share some gameplay similarities with Bioware's Mass Effect series. I often see physical copies of both games in pre-owned sections of game stores, but you can also pick them up relatively cheaply on Steam: Knights of the Old Republic on Steam Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords on Steam As a fan of the Old Republic era I'll be keeping an eye out for more news on this.