When Lucasfilm finally announced what they were planning with Project Luminous, detailing the new publishing campaign that would culminate in The High Republic, I was thrilled. It’s an era we’ve yet to explore in canon or legends, and it’s far enough removed from the Skywalker saga to be a wholly new story for Star Wars – but not so much that the galaxy far far away is an unfamiliar place. And now, almost a year later, the first wave of titles has been released. I’ve read them all. And I enjoyed them enough that I’m currently going through them a second time. Each title has its strengths and its weaknesses, but the project as a whole paints a wider, more immersive picture of the galaxy – one that is meant to be experienced as a collective, and by only reading one novel or comic from the series would be doing yourself a disservice.
So here I am, coming at you with another timeline. Fans of our Complete MCU Timeline Explained series will hopefully enjoy this article enough to give it a big thumbs up, as I put a lot of thought into where everything occurs, as you’ll see shortly. Heads up though, there will be minor spoilers for all titles, as each revolves around three primary events, the Great Disaster, the Battle of Kur, and the Dedication of the Starlight Beacon. Some titles are very specific as to the amount of time that elapses between beginning and end, while other titles are less interested in giving you exact timeframes – and this actually causes what I perceive to be some pretty big plot holes in the narrative. I’ll elaborate on those timeline inconsistencies between books at the end of the video as it gets pretty spoiler heavy.
So when does the High Republic take place? The events in this era are said to occur some 200 years before the start of the Prequels. The reference book, The Star Wars Book, claims the Dedication of the Starlight Beacon occurred 232 years before the events in the original Star Wars film. So 232 BBY, Before the Battle of Yavin – but at what point in the year any of the events occurs? No idea. So we placed the earliest event on day one of the year, unless more info is given to us. This list includes all canon novels, short stories, and comics released to date. If you’re interested in any title, click on the link to find a copy. Let’s begin.
Technically, the third novel to be released, Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark, begins at the very least 2 days prior to the start of anything else in this era, and ends short hours before other books, like Light of the Jedi. It does fit on the timeline earlier, but if this is your first time reading through any of these novels, I recommend you holding off on this book until after you’ve read Light of the Jedi. I’ll explain why in just a minute.
The first true title on this reading order is actually a short story written by Charles Soule called Starlight: Part One – Go Together, published in Star Wars Insider #199. We follow the husband and wife duo Joss and Pikka Adren, the team of contractors tasked to oversee the construction of the Starlight Beacon. Starlight is a Republic Space Station in the outer rim that’s been commissioned by Chancellor Lina Soh to oversee the Republic’s expansion out of the core worlds and into frontier space. It will serve many purposes, once completed, but most notably it will house one of the biggest Jedi Temples in the galaxy, and the Jedi will serve as beacons of hope to a new corner of that galaxy. Joss and Pikka Adren are finishing the final touches on Starlight when something goes horribly wrong. This short story takes place over 2 hours, roughly, and ends where our next title begins.
The novel that’s headed this entire High Republic initiative is Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi, which is the next title on our list. A massive galaxy wide event shakes the Republic to its core and forces all the hyperspace lanes to close. Somehow the impossible has happened, and a large ship has been derailed from hyperspace, and has sent its many sections splintering across the galaxy, emerging at top speeds at random locations, to devastating effect. These emergences would later be called the Great Disaster, and its individual emergences are often highly deadly, especially when they appear near inhabited systems. The first of these emergences finds its way to the Hetzal System, and thankfully there are Jedi in the vicinity who have just come from checking in on the completion of the Starlight Beacon project who are able to find ways to aid those in need. Alongside them are Joss and Pikka Adren, whom we previously met in the ‘Go Together’ short story. The book is broken into three parts, and the first part encompasses the initial events leading up to the Great Disaster and the Jedi’s involvement in the Hetzal system. It’s important, in my opinion to read this novel before diving into any of the other High Republic novels, as it introduces the galaxy anew to the reader. It’s packed with exposition, and introduces many of the characters and Jedi that we’ll likely be following throughout the following novels. Avar Kriss. Burryaga. Elzar Mann. Sskeer. Jora Malli. Loden Greatstorm. Bell Zettifar. And many, many more. There are a number of point of view chapters ranging from Jedi, to non force sensitives, and even a significant portion to the emerging threat in the galaxy, the Nihil. The Nihil, a unique band of space pirates have become a name to be reckoned with in the outer rim, and despite the hyperspace lane closures they seem to have a mysterious and heretofore undiscovered grasp of hyperspace travel and are led by the sinister Marchion Ro. The galaxy-wide scope of the troubles the Jedi face in Light of the Jedi make this a unique place to start this new era of Star Wars, as you meet most of the major players, and understand what’s at stake. The novel occurs over a period of roughly 35 days and ends at the Dedication of the Starlight Beacon.
By the way, if you don’t already have an Audible account, and want to give this book a try for free, click the link for a 30-day free trial. Star Wars audiobooks are on another level, with music and sound effects attached to the production. Usually the novels use music from the movies in the background, but there are some brand new songs composed for this book. I highly recommend it on Audible. Clicking the link gives you access to any one free book, or 2 if you already have a Prime membership, and you’ll also help support us here at Geekritique.
The next title you’ll want to read is Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark, a self contained adventure that is heavily derailed by the events of the Great Disaster and the Battle of Kur. Though this story begins slightly before Light of the Jedi, Into the Dark doesn’t do much in the way of explaining the events occurring on the other side of the galaxy, and it may come across as unsatisfactory if you’re waiting to figure out the overarching mystery, which is why I don’t place this book at the start of this reading order. The story follows 17 year old apprentice, Reath Silas, whose Master, Jora Malli was recently assigned to command the Jedi quarter of Starlight Beacon. Master Jora heads out on the assignment early, and Reath follows her some days later. He’s joined by several Jedi: Dez Rydan, the adventurous former padawan of Jora Malli, Cohmac Vitus, a Jedi Folklorist, and Orla Jareni, a Wayseeker Jedi. Piloting the vessel to Starlight are Leox Gyasi, Affie Hollow, and Geode, who become integral in aiding the Jedi to safety after the Great Disaster knocks them off course. While awaiting for the hyperspace lanes to reopen they make their way to an ancient abandoned space station, where they find a dark presence that has gone undisturbed for centuries. This book is also our first introduction to the Drengir, a sentient race of plant life steeped in the Dark Side of the Force. Into the Dark takes place over roughly 37 or more days, ending at the Dedication of the Starlight Beacon, but also introduces a number of timeline plot holes. We’ll discuss those in more detail later.
Justina Ireland’s middle grade novel, A Test of Courage, comes next on our timeline. Newly Knighted Jedi Vernestra Rwoh, along with young apprentice Imri Cantaros, are stranded on a toxic jungle moon after their ship, headed for Starlight, is destroyed by the Nihil. Now they must find a way off the moon, while also keeping their other party members, the mechanically minded Avon Starros, her droid J-6, and the sullen Honesty Weft, alive. This novel is perhaps the most descriptive of the books in terms of what occurred on each day, so counting the 8 days from start to finish is pretty clear. The story ends likely the day after the Starlight Beacon Dedication Ceremony.
For our fifth item on the list is Cavan Scott’s The High Republic #1, published by Marvel Comics. Apprentice Keeve Trennis and Jedi Master Sskeer are cutting it close to missing the Dedication ceremony of Starlight, but Keeve Trennis is attempting to complete her Jedi Trials before they leave the planet Shuraden. But in so doing Keeve must attempt to save a nearby Ximpi City from destruction! The issue ends, like most titles on this list – at Starlight Beacon, and spans just a bit more than 9 hours. More on this in a moment.
Next we jump away from the comics and back to a short story, Starlight: Go Together – Part Two, which effectively serves as an epilogue to Light of the Jedi. Joss and Pikka Adren are asked to join a meeting with top ranking politicians Lina Soh, and Izzet Noor, along with Admiral Kronara, and Jedi Master Avar Kriss to discuss the threat posed by the Nihil pirates. Their help during the Great Disaster and their quick thinking in the Kur Nebula battle make contractors Joss and Pikka Adren uniquely placed to remain at the forefront of the burgeoning problems facing the Republic. This occurs the morning after the Starlight Beacon Dedication Ceremony.
The High Republic #2 likely occurs that very same day, and sees the newly knighted Keeve Trennis take on her first mission, alongside Sskeer and the Jedi twins Ceret and Terec. The mystery takes them to some pretty horrific scenes, and Master Sskeer is acting strangely irrational.
Daniel José Older’s first issue of The High Republic Adventures, published by IDW, is currently the last on our list. The story follows Master Yoda and a group of younglings, who’ve recently visited Starlight Beacon, attempt to aid the victims of a new hyperspace emergence, but they meet some unexpected foes in the Nihil along the way. This also, probably, occurs the day after the Starlight Dedication.
And that’s it so far. Now for plot holes, so the next section is spoiler heavy. Plot holes are unfortunately one of the more unavoidable things when it comes to collaborative storytelling, as it’s so difficult to keep everything in place. The biggest plot hole for me occurs with the Battle of Kur. In Light of the Jedi, the Battle of Kur sees the deaths of Jedi Master Jora Malli, along with Nihil Tempest Runner Kassav Milliko, and occurs near the end of the novel. Much occurs between the Jedi convening on Coruscant at the start of Part 2, and the the Battle of Kur, and presumably this Battle occurs some days before the Starlight Dedication. This notion of it occurring shortly before the dedication is furthered in A Test of Courage, whose length spans just over a week, and the Nihil featured at the start of the story are under the impression that Kassav is still alive, so this checks out. But reading Into the Dark creates some serious issues. We hear that the Jedi are convening in Coruscant in Into The Dark, and some short days later, presumably, Reath Silas learns that his Master, Jora Malli is dead. At the end of the novel, instead of jumping several days to the Starlight Dedication, it says that several weeks pass. In this instance I believe Into the Dark is at fault.
A second plot hole opens up between A Test of Courage and The High Republic #1. At the end of A Test of Courage, Keeve Trennis and Sskeer save the stranded teens and bring them to Starlight Beacon on their way back from the planet Shuraden and the book says the journey took almost two days. In The High Republic #1, the Jedi are worried about Keeve and Sskeer because they cannot ascertain their whereabouts and the Starlight Dedication is 9 hours away. Keeve reaches out to Starlight at that point, so they now know of their location. This means that it cannot possibly be almost 2 days between the forest moon that Vernestra and friends are and Starlight Beacon, because the comic clearly says it needs to be under 9 hours.
All in all, the series is a great read, despite some pretty clear timeline errors. I highly recommend checking it out. Thanks as always to our Patreon members, who help keep the lights on each month. If you’d like to support us here at Geekritique more directly, please consider a small donation through our Patreon link. Are you curious as to where WandaVision takes place on the MCU timeline? Click this video right here, or find out what we think is the true origin of Grogu in this video right here. Thanks, have a good one.