We’ve heard the rumors for years: Lucasfilm is developing Old Republic! Old Republic is coming to Disney+! A brand new Old Republic movie trilogy is coming! Keanu Reeves is cast as Revan!
If it’s an Old Republic rumor, it’ll make the rounds on social media.
I haven’t been shy about saying that I hope this is coming at some point and that I think this is a great time period in which to tell stories. It certainly is, and I certainly hope that we get that in the future.
However, I’ve started to realize something else lately. We’re not ready for new stories about the Old Republic yet.
When we say we want the Old Republic, what we really mean is that we want stories about Darth Bane, Revan, Malak, and the characters surrounding them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting that. They’re awesome characters and there have been compelling stories around them in the past.
What we have to understand, though, is that those stories wouldn’t be re-told as we have known them. If a character like Revan would appear on screen, his story would most likely be drastically different from what we’re familiar with. I would be totally on board for this, but I can’t help but think that I’m in the minority on that. The other possibility would be that Old Republic stories would be told, but with a focus on brand new characters. Again, that could be very exciting and I’d be happy to explore it. But would the general concensus among fans then become, “Well, okay, but where’s my favorite character?”
Yet another issue is that The Old Republic, the online MMO, is still going. So any Old Republic content that comes out separate from that will inevitably be compared to it, and it won’t matter that the game isn’t canon and hasn’t been canon for years. You would essentially have new, official Old Republic stories being told alongside new, unofficial Old Republic stories, at least for as long as the game stays in active development. That’s a recipe for confusion that I’m sure Lucasfilm would be happy to avoid.
Add to the equation that the High Republic seems to be the primary focus in publishing coming up in the near future. While there would still be room for Old Republic stories to come out around the same time as later phases of the High Republic, I would think you would want the Old Republic to have its own focus.
And so, that leads me to what I think the strategy around the Old Republic should be. Nothing. Nothing at all, at least for the foreseeable future.
Star Wars needs a break from covering time periods that contained known characters from Legends. That was really the trickiest thing about the sequel trilogy. How do you tell new stories and convince fans of what came before to buy into the new stuff? It’s hard. And Lucasfilm will be facing a very fervent fan base when or if they decide it’s time to re-tell the Old Republic. On the heels of just finishing up the sequel trilogy, I think it’s just too soon to jump into that same situation a second time.
So what can the strategy be, then? Lucasfilm is already going the route of the High Republic, which I think is incredibly smart. It allows them to tell the new stories they want to tell with the added benefit of being in an era that has never been explored in Star Wars before.
There’s also the possibility of exploring the galaxy post-Rise of Skywalker. What is going on politically? Where are the main characters? Are the Jedi taking shape again? What new threats might still be out there? Or there’s the possiblity of going all the way back to the beginning. What did the galaxy look like in its earliest days? There were rumors of a Jedi and Sith origin movie at one point. Make that one happen.
The Old Republic has been home to some incredible stories over the years. It can be that again, and I think one day we will get to see those stories be told. But for now, let’s find new eras to explore with new characters to get to know. It’s a big galaxy with a rich history and bright future. Let’s not get caught up in Old Republics or Ages of Rebellion.