The High Republic authors had the huge task of reshaping how we see Jedi, and Light of the Jedi author Charles Soule explains how they differ from the ones in the prequels.
In The High Republic series, a handful of authors were given the huge task of building a brand new Star Wars world by scratch. As a result of their work, the High Republic era was formed, and they created a world that exists 200 years before The Phantom Menace. What’s different this time around is that the galaxy is in a period of peace, and they have an honest Republic to thank for that.
This sets the backdrop for how the High Republic era Jedi act when it comes to saving the day. And because The High Republic is a literary series, we get the chance to go in-depth and behind-the-scenes of what it’s like to be a Jedi and how they functioned in this pre-prequels era. As you read the first novel in the series, Light of the Jedi, you see there is a noticeable difference between these Jedi and the ones in Episodes I-III. And to help explain that, author Charles Soule shared how he views these early-era Jedi.
Speaking to Polygon in an interview, Soule shared that these Jedi do follow the same rules and take the same vows as they did in the prequels. But in one way or another, they’re able to take a broader approach to the interpretation of these rules when it comes to enacting them. Here’s what he had to say:
"The Jedi are all over the galaxy, helping people in all sorts of different places, and the way the Jedi at outposts in the Outer Rim and helping people there might look at the rules of the Order might be a little different than the way that they’re interpreted in the prequels or in Coruscant.Not in any blow-it-all-up-do-whatever-the-hell-you-want kind of way, but certainly the idea of connection … the Jedi understand its importance and understand how it matters to the universe, and matters to the relationships of the vast majority of people. This is going to a place I did not expect this interview to go, but like love, in some ways, it’s also about letting go. It’s about letting people be who they are and supporting them through that journey, which is the opposite of attachment. And so I think it’s very easy for a Jedi to love, it’s just you have to love without being controlling and love without being afraid of losing somebody, which is something Jedi are good at, and Sith are bad at."
There are many parts in the novel where you do get the sense that these Jedi really value connection, even taking things slowly. You especially notice that at the very beginning of the book when they’re faced with taking on the Great Disaster. (For spoilers, you can read our detailed summary of the book.)
That approach is completely different from their new foes, the Nihil. And as Soule describes in the interview, they’re more of a “throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks” type of organization. Not all of them are as meticulous and calculating as the Jedi. And they’ll try just about anything to ensure they get the upper hand.
Still, that only makes for interesting interactions between the Jedi and the Nihil in the book. And Soule’s done an excellent job of painting a picture of these High Republic Jedi.
Star Wars: Light of the Jedi is out now wherever books are sold.