The Acolyte: What To Expect From The ‘High Republic’

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In just two days, ‘The Acolyte‘ has already generated significant buzz with its marketing campaign. A poster showcasing a lightsaber with a haunting blood trail and a trailer featuring a formidable team of Jedi hint at a darker thematic direction for the show.

Notably, ‘The Acolyte’ is set within the ‘High Republic’ era, spanning from 200 to 100 years before the events of ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace’. But what exactly is the ‘High Republic’ era?

Introduction to The High Republic

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
Jedi Master Sol (hey, that’s the Squid Game guy!)

The High Republic era stands as a pinnacle for the Jedi Order, where peace reigns across the galaxy. Surprisingly, this significant period remains relatively obscure to the general public, primarily existing within the realm of books and novels.

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'

Numerous Star Wars novels delve into the rich tapestry of this era, with one standout title igniting the entire series: ‘Light of the Jedi’.

(The picture on the left shows the ‘Light of the Jedi’ novel)

At its core, ‘Light of the Jedi’ unfolds as a gripping disaster narrative. In a catastrophic turn of events, a colossal vessel succumbs to a terrorist attack, tearing itself asunder. The resulting debris hurtles out of hyperspace, careening across the galaxy at light speed, leaving destruction in its wake. This unforeseen calamity presents the Jedi with their first major challenge during an era otherwise characterized by tranquillity.

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
The attack is known as ‘The Great Hyperspace Disaster’

Is It a Smart Choice?

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'

Was it a smart choice to incorporate the High Republic into a TV show? Absolutely. For the past 20 years, Star Wars has been tightly bound to the Skywalker Saga, resulting in a tangled and often confusing timeline.

Consider the experience of a fan of ‘The Mandalorian’, tasked with explaining its placement in the timeline to a friend: “Well, it takes place roughly five years after the original trilogy, which itself occurs about 30 years after the prequels, but it’s situated approximately 40 years before the sequels.” It’s a convoluted mess!

Consider the experience of a fan of ‘The Mandalorian’, tasked with explaining its placement in the timeline to a friend: “Well, it takes place roughly five years after the original trilogy, which itself occurs about 30 years after the prequels, but it’s situated approximately 40 years before the sequels.” It’s a convoluted mess!

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
This is the way. A complex way. But still the way. 

By breaking free from the complexities of the Skywalker era, the introduction of the High Republic offers a fresh start and a more straightforward narrative for newer fans to follow.

The Fall of The High Republic

Now, was it a smart choice to include the final days of the High Republic in a TV show? Frankly, it’s a bit underwhelming. Watching Jedi battling their corrupted counterparts wielding red lightsabers feels tiresome and uninspired.

However, in the earlier days of the High Republic, the narrative was brimming with creativity and introduced a captivating array of adversaries for the Jedi to contend with.

Let’s delve into some of these intriguing foes:

Exhibit A: The Nihil – A formidable group of space pirates with a rebellious streak, plundering whatever they desire. They were the masterminds behind the devastating terrorist attack that sent debris hurtling through the galaxy at lightspeed.

Exhibit B: The Drengir – A chilling and sentient species of carnivorous plants that embarked on a ruthless conquest, seizing control of entire planets with their insatiable hunger.

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
The Drengir

Exhibit C: Path of the Open Hand – An extremist cult dedicated to preserving the purity of the Force, adamantly opposing any interference by the Jedi or others.

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
Path of the Open Hand (their real crime is how they terribly name their cult)

Given these dynamic adversaries, it’s somewhat disappointing that the trailer for ‘The Acolyte’ showcased yet another wielder of a red lightsaber. With such rich and diverse villains at their disposal, it feels like a missed opportunity to explore more unique and compelling conflicts.

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
On second thought… maybe I will change my mind

Conclusion

The Acolyte: What To Expect From The 'High Republic'
The ‘Old Republic’ novels and video games

Prior to Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars, the franchise boasted a wealth of novels and video games that expanded its rich lore, including the beloved ‘Old Republic’ era, set a staggering 10,000 years before ‘Star Wars Episode I’.

However, with Disney’s takeover, the ‘Old Republic’ was deemed non-canon, making room for the introduction of the ‘High Republic’. For many long-time fans, the ‘High Republic’ may seem like a cheap knock-off of its predecessor.

Indeed, the ‘High Republic’ has not garnered the same level of acclaim and success as the ‘Old Republic’. Consequently, Disney faces the daunting challenge of winning back the trust and enthusiasm of fans, a task that rests heavily on the success of projects like ‘The Acolyte’.

In essence, ‘The Acolyte’ represents more than just a TV show; it’s a crucial opportunity for Disney to demonstrate its commitment to honouring the legacy of Star Wars while forging new and captivating narratives for both old and new fans alike.

Author

  • Muzhameer Putra

    Student by day, writer by night. If it's cinematic, I'll get it right. I'm a big fan of superheroes, cinemas, science, and history. But most of all, I just love good stories.

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