'Star Wars: The High Republic' Details Revealed: First Story Is A Race Against Time, And The New Villains Sound Especially Dangerous

Early this year, Lucasfilm finally pulled back the curtain on a mysterious project they'd been working on which was codenamed "Project Luminous." The company announced Star Wars: The High Republic, a medium-spanning storytelling initiative comprised of books, comics, and potentially even video games, TV shows, and movies. The first project chosen to launch this new initiative is Star Wars: Light of the Jedi, a novel by Marvel's Star Wars comic writer Charles Soule. In a new interview, Soule teased some details about his new book and hinted at the massive scope of the interconnected narrative. Read his quotes below.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Soule explained how this extensive new initiative came to be, and teased fans with what they can expect from his new book, Light of the Jedi:

"My personal mandate for Light of the Jedi was to explore genre in a way we hadn't directly seen in the franchise – to bring the concepts of Star Wars to places that would feel fresh and cool. It's a disaster movie; it's a mystery; it's a race-against-time-team-on-a-mission story."

"It all begins with Light of the Jedi," he said later in the interview. "The heroes, the villains, the worlds, the concepts, the weirdness (Ensign Peeples!), the sacrifice and heroism and tragedy and inspiration...it all starts with this book, and it goes to incredible places. The scale of this whole thing is wild. This is not small. It's an epic, from start to finish."

He also described the series' villains, the Nihil, as a "group of anarchic marauders with some unique abilities" who, unlike many Star Wars villains we've seen so far, don't have any "loyalty to an ideology or code...except perhaps to do whatever they want whenever they want, and to destroy anyone or anything that opposes that goal." He also said the baddies have a "deep and detailed history" that will be explored throughout the entire High Republic narrative.

Set 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, The High Republic takes place in a prosperous, mostly peaceful era in which Jedi Knights serve as sort of sheriffs of the Old West, maintaining justice and order in the potentially dangerous Outer Rim region of the galaxy. We know the action of this interconnected narrative experiment kicks off when The Legacy Run, a ship carrying thousands of passengers, encounters an obstacle while traveling through hyperspace. Unable to maneuver around it, the ship is ripped apart, and fragments of the destroyed cargo vessel begin flying out of hyperspace at super-accelerated speeds – and they could land anywhere at any time, equally likely to crash into an Outer Rim planet as they are to burst into the Core of the galaxy on planets like Coruscant. You can read more about that event, which Soule calls the "Great Disaster," here.

Star Wars: Light of the Jedi will be released on January 5, 2021.