The authors of The High Republic described the new ways Jedi of The High Republic era perceive the Force at New York Comic Con.
In the world of Star Wars storytelling, the second season of The Mandalorian is probably the most hotly anticipated project fans are waiting for right now, but right behind that is 2021’s epic multi-publisher project The High Republic. Formerly titled Project Luminous, The High Republic is set to be its own massive Star Wars saga taking place 200 years before the Skywalker saga. The galaxy is at peace, and the Jedi are the guardians of peace and justice when an event known as The Great Disaster threatens multiple worlds and their inhabitants. The Jedi are called upon to avert the potential casualties of the disaster.
The authors of The High Republic at New York Comic Con
The authors behind the project, which include Charles Soule, Daniel José Older, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, and Cavan Scott, were recently a part of a Star Wars panel at the virtual New York Comic Con event, and one of the aspects of The High Republic they discussed was the unique glimpse fans will get into how the Jedi perceive the Force.
The Force has always been the concept that draws fans most to the stories told in the Star Wars universe simply because it expands what is possible. If Star Wars is fantasy, and many, including creator George Lucas, would argue that it is, then the Force is Star Wars’ unique magic system. With it, we’ve seen people move objects without touching them, use telepathy, and project an avatar of themselves across the galaxy, among other abilities.
The metaphors of the Force
The High Republic, according to the authors, promises to expand our ideas of the Force by giving us a deep dive into how individual Jedi uniquely perceive the Force. Charles Soule, whose novel Light of the Jedi will kick off The High Republic saga, said, “We have really tried to lean into the idea that every Jedi has their own connection to the Force and that allows them to experience it in their own way, which has really been great for storytelling.” He continued to share that “for each of [the Jedi in The High Republic stories], it’s a very personal connection.”
The authors then shared a series of metaphors that describe the different ways their Jedi characters perceive the Force. Avar Kriss, a Jedi in Soule’s novel, “perceives the Force as basically music. She calls it ‘The Song of the Force.’ “And so for her, all the different Jedi have their own songs and instruments and it all comes together into this great symphony of dissonance and assonance, and all these beautiful things that she’s able to perceive – the way the Force connects these things as music.”
Another of Soule’s characters, a Wookie Jedi Padawan named Burryaga, “sees himself as a small leaf on a great tree that’s part of the great Force, that’s part of the great world, that’s all interconnected.”
Reath Silas, a character in Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark novel, sees the Force as a spiderweb. “[In] some ways it’s very strong, and in some ways, it’s very delicate and it can be difficult to see,” Gray shared.
Keeve Trennis is a character in Cavan Scott’s upcoming The High Republic comic series and, according to Scott, she “sees the Force as a tapestry, this massive work of art that spreads across the Universe, full of different threads, with the wool and the waft. The thing that’s key is that she still has to find her own thread in that, so she can feel overwhelmed by stepping back and seeing the picture and not seeing how she fits into it.”
Lula, a Jedi Padawan in Daniel José Older’s The High Republic Adventures, is an ambitious character trying to prove herself. “What she knows, is she wants to be the best, she wants to excel in all the ways and she loves the Jedi Order,” Older said. “So she sees [the Force] as a mountaintop, somewhere to get to, to get better and better at.”
Vernestra, a character in Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage, “sees herself as a small stream, a stream that flows into a river, that flows into the sea, and that’s what the Force is for her. A sea that has all these different waters coming into it.”
It’s hard to imagine Star Wars without the Force. When George Lucas envisioned the concept for A New Hope, it was little more than the ability to move objects with your mind and trick the weak-minded into doing your bidding. The idea itself, however, held so much potential, and Star Wars creators over the years have continued to expand upon it in new and innovative ways. The High Republic promises to take it in a new and exciting direction, expanding its potential even further.