The Star Wars Project Luminous reveal left us with even more questions than answers, but some details surrounding the “Starlight Beacon” are in plain sight.
Last Monday, the Star Wars franchise took its first step into a larger world with the unveiling of Project Luminous: a multi-platform publishing initiative taking place in The High Republic, set 200 years before The Phantom Menace. Although each new story focuses on different characters, they are seemingly interconnected by one mysterious place: the Starlight Beacon.
So what is the Starlight Beacon exactly and how might it fit into the larger narrative of Luminous? Here’s what we know so far.
It might be the site of the “Great Disaster”
On August 25, Charles Soule will kick off the new era with his first Star Wars novel, Light of the Jedi. It serves as an introduction to the time period but also sets forth the events of the “Great Disaster.” Little is known about this seismic event other than it is the catalyst for the Jedi to take action in a time when they’re at the height of their influence.
The Starlight Beacon, described as “quite literally a beacon of hope” at Luminous’s invite-only panel, floats in orbit above the four main Jedi protagonists on the cover of Soule’s book. The tallest point twinkles with light and shares the design of the Jedi Temple’s central tower, indicating its cultural significance.
On last week’s episode of The Star Wars Show, concept art of the space station was shown at the mention of “the Great Disaster,” and a visual effect was added to make the Beacon’s spotlight grow brighter.
If the Beacon represents hope, what better chance do the Jedi’s enemies have than to snuff it out and cause a galactic tragedy?
The Starlight Beacon acts as a pathfinder
In Soule’s Star Wars No. 2 comic, Rebellion commander Grek introduces a plan named “Operation Starlight” to help take down the Empire. The plan’s name is derived from the days of the High Republic when he says the galaxy was not as settled and the Outer Rim was dangerous to navigate.
The High Republic has even been described as the “wild west,” further emphasized by Pablo Hidalgo, Lucasfilm’s Senior Creative Executive of Franchise Story & Content, in the Luminous reveal video: “The threat and the tension really comes from the Republic’s borders, because the Republic does not extend from one side of the galaxy to the other.”
To help guide travelers through an unmapped galaxy, Grek says the Republic built “a huge space station at great effort and expense and placed it in the center of the dark zones,” which acted as a “beacon” to send out signals—the galaxy’s very own lighthouse. This station had an “inspiring name, fitting its purpose,” an obvious reference to the Starlight Beacon.
It’s clear the High Republic is a time of vast expansion that may lead to the creation of new hyperspace routes as we know them today. The Starlight Beacon appears to be critical component of that objective. Without it, though, the galaxy’s travelers have no guiding light.
A looming disaster indeed.
Cavan Scott will take us inside the Beacon
Author Cavan Scott’s new comic series, “The High Republic” will bring us aboard the Starlight Beacon and follow a group of Jedi seeking to come together after the Great Disaster. Featured on the comic’s cover are the Nihil, a new group of baddies likened to “space vikings” that are threatening the Republic’s borders.
It’s possible the Nihil infiltrate the Starlight Beacon and are the architects of the Great Disaster.
So what’s next?
Details around the Star Wars High Republic will continue to drop throughout the year in the lead-up to August’s much-anticipated launch. Just a few days after Light of the Jedi releases, we’ll likely see a Project Luminous panel at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim as well.
Stay tuned to Dork Side of the Force for more coverage.