‘Star Wars’ Project Luminous Will Show the Jedi in a Way Fans Have Never Seen Before

Star Wars has been a staple in pop culture since 1977. It hasn’t faded but has instead grown decade after decade, continually enticing new generations with the Force, lightsabers, and the galaxy far, far away. Now, in the biggest shift in the history of the franchise, Project Luminous was just announced. It’s a new initiative that will not only take a look at stories 200 years before The Phantom Menace but will also focus on published works instead of films or series. With this, we can also expect very different kinds of Jedi. 

'Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi' book cover.
‘Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi’ Book Cover | Lucasfilm Ltd.

Project Luminous is a collective of writers creating stories in the High Republic era of Jedi

On Feb. 24, Lucasfilm held a press conference and shared a video on YouTube that announced Project Luminous, which is a “multi-year publishing program,” according to a press release. It gathered multiple storytellers and gave them a “blank slate” to create the Star Wars they wanted to see. Some of the upcoming authors include Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Justina Ireland, Daniel Jose Older, and Cavan Scott.

Between novels and comic books for kids, teens, and adults, Project Luminous is creating narratives around a core group of Jedi during the High Republic era. “We are so excited to be opening up such a rich, fertile era for our authors to explore,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “We’ll get to see the Jedi in their prime.”

How are these Jedi different than what we’re used to?

So why are these Jedi so different from the ones we all grew up on? For one, this takes place two centuries before the prequels. This time period is much more serene and peaceful than what Star Wars has shown thus far. In the prequels, you had the Clone Wars and in the original trilogy the Galactic Civil War. And then in the sequels, there is a violent struggle between the First Order and the Resistance. All while the Sith are either lurking in the shadows or directly in power. 

Both the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order “are at their height, serving and protecting the galaxy,” according to the press release. Both are “noble and respected” and the Jedi are the Jedi Knights of the Roundtable. It’s not clear yet if that means it’s the same Jedi Code or the same system of Padawan and Master. But these Jedi are true peacekeepers and Space “rangers,” protecting the fringe planets from conflict. 

Where are the Sith? Who are the villains?

The Sith aren’t visible in the High Republic era. The Sith were supposed to have gone extinct 800 years or so before this era, so the Jedi don’t see an imbalance in the Force nor do they face Sith outright. However, we know the Sith do return, at least by The Phantom Menace, so they’re there somewhere. The question is: will these Jedi Knights notice anything?

The real bad guys at the moment are the Nihil. The creators consider them “space Vikings” and they have a motto of “You can’t take it with you, but we can take it from you.” Their look was designed by concept artist Iain McCaig, who designed Darth Maul, the Zabrak that went on to become an integral part of the prequels. 

But it’s not just the Nihil and possible lurking Sith that these new-old Jedi have to face. The story starts with the Great Disaster, which will rock the High Republic’s peaceful world. “It wouldn’t be Star Wars without adventure,” the video stated. “There is definitely a series of events that will spin the galaxy into a dangerous new direction. It will give the opportunity for heroes to rise up.”

The creators also teased their “Eureka!” moment for the story happened when they asked, “What’s something that scares the Jedi?” Whatever it is, it sounds pretty bad and wicked. 

With this completely new landscape to tell stories in Star Wars, it seems like a great time to be a fan of the franchise.