That was the year Lucasfilm released Star Wars: The High Republic is a new publishing initiative that gives authors the freedom to write stories set decades or centuries before the Star Wars trilogy. These books give Star Wars fans a chance to see the Jedi in a new light, at a time when the threat of the Sith is beginning to undermine them and lead to their downfall. Cavan Scott is one of the contributing writers to Star Wars: High Republic, writing the Marvel Comics series that was running at the time, and the upcoming novel Rising Storm. In the Nation podcast, Scott described what makes writing these days, especially Jedi writing, special.

I think what’s new is that everything is new, Scott says. There are clearly some very recognizable Star Wars elements. There’s the Jedi, there’s the Galaxy, there’s the Republic, there’s recognizable species and aliens, but because this is an era that’s never really been explored in modern canon or the old expanded universe, that feeling is totally misplaced, because when it comes to things that tie you into movies, TV shows, and other things, you pretty much know what’s going to happen to these characters.

It’s also a chance for the Jedi to see them in their best years. In the High Republic, they behave as Obi-Wan Kenobi described them.

The thing about these Jedi is that we know from Obi-Wan that they were the guardians of peace and justice and all the rest, but we never saw them, he said. We see the Jedi during the Clone Wars, where they literally have to fight a war, which forces them to think in a very specific way. Our Jedi have been doing this job successfully for hundreds of years and live in a Republic that is largely peaceful. This is a republic where there is no exodus as they advance to the Outer Rim and the border. So ours has never had to deal with being with large forces. They have to deal with problems, but they are very used to the fact that when a Jedi shows up and draws his lightsaber before he even turns it on, people usually put down their weapons because they know the game is over as soon as the Jedi shows up. Suddenly they find themselves in a situation where they are facing an enemy that is not the same, and in fact the enemy will fire back with his blaster, and he will not respect the Jedi as much as the others.

He goes on to say that it was very interesting to deal with the Jedi Order that has been around for a long time. And I think that’s why I’m a little freer on how they interpret the Jedi Code, how they interpret the Force. You’re very open. You meet people. They are not hidden behind temples or, as in the prequel, when they are literally in the same temple on the same planet. They’re Jedi, stationed all over the galaxy. Where there are many, there is a Jedi outpost. And these Jedi outposts go out with these people, and they go with them, and the people know them, and they respect them, and that’s why the Jedi were able to do what they did, because they’re not some mythical race of space wizards out there.

Unlike Star Wars: The republican means of power are already available.

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