Star Wars: The High Republic has finally launched. This new chapter in the franchise is set hundreds of years before the Skywalker saga in a period where the Jedi were ascendant, giving creators room to tell new stories that don’t need to fit into the increasingly cramped existing continuity. The much-hyped line recently began with two novels and a children’s book: Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi, Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage and Cavan Scott’s The Great Jedi Rescue. We also now have the inaugural issue of Marvel Comics’ The High Republic comic-book, which gives us our first taste of a new version of Yoda.
Being set so many years before the movies means that the vast majority of familiar characters won’t have been born yet, but the long-lived Yoda is here around the height of his powers. As he’s merely 700 rather than 900 years old it feels strange to describe him as ‘young’ Yoda, but even so, our initial impressions are that this is a subtly different character than the one we know.
Check out his debut below:
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While still using his walking stick, this Yoda is clearly a lot more sprightly and active. But the most interesting aspect is how the series will approach Yoda’s philosophy. Light of the Jedi explains that Yoda is on sabbatical in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of Force and the Jedi’s place within it. We’ve always known Yoda as the old master with all the answers, so seeing how he got there should add some more depth to his character. Plus you can bet that at some point he’s going to whip out that green lightsaber and show off his kickass Attack of the Clones fighting moves.
The first arc of The High Republic centers on the establishment of Starlight Beacon, a Jedi space station on the far frontier of the republic. It seems that this base is destined to play a major part in the over-arching story, though given that there’s no sign of it by the time of The Phantom Menace it’s safe to assume there’s no happy ending here. Even so, I can’t wait to see what role this Yoda plays in it.
Star Wars: The High Republic is out now in novel and comic-book form. Next up is Claudia Grey’s Into the Dark, releasing on February 2nd.