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The next big thing in Star Wars has been delayed until 2021

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Star Wars: The High Republic line of books and comics has been pushed back to 2021, it's been revealed. Originally intended for release in August 2020, the books were all set in an unexplored part of Star Wars lore – 200 years before the movies began, when the Jedi were experiencing better days.

While it was announced strictly as a publishing initiative that included comics from Marvel, it's not impossible that the setting could appear in a movie or TV show down the line.

"Given these unprecedented times, we have made the decision to move the launch of Star Wars: The High Republic to 2021 to ensure that the launch is as grand and epic as it deserves to be," said Lucasfilm Books' Creative Director Michael Siglain. 

The delays mean the Charles Soule book Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, and Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, move back to January 5, 2021. Finally, Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark has a release date of February 2, 2021.

Why Star Wars books might actually matter more now

The Star Wars books have traditionally lived separately from the movies, and that's unlikely to change that much in the near future. That said, a recent Slashfilm story suggested that actor Timothy Olyphant will turn up in The Mandalorian season 2 as Cobb Vanth, a character specifically from a book.

Assuming that's true, that perhaps speaks to the sensibilities of executive producer Dave Filoni, who knows and appreciates Star Wars lore on a level that's likely above the filmmakers who come to the series. That's because George Lucas was Filoni's mentor, and between his animated series The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, he's spent years immersed in Star Wars' mythology.