The Star Wars universe is set to expand with The Acolyte, which takes place during the High Republic era. To be specific, The Acolyte unfolds a century before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It marks the first time that the High Republic era has been shown in a live-action Star Wars film or television project. The High Republic has been fleshed out through dozens of comics and novels already. It began with with Charles Soule’s book, Light of the Jedi. (This is a great starting point for fans looking to get a deeper sense of the High Republic). Because of the novelty of its setting, casual fans may wonder what connects the High Republic to the Star Wars universe they already know. Luckily, there are quite a few familiar characters from Star Wars movies who were active during the High Republic. 


Yoda from star wars universe in high republic era shadows of starlight
Phil Noto/Ibraim Roberson/Marvel

Our favorite wise little green guy was a member of the Jedi Council during the High Republic. He had already been training younglings before the High Republic period even began. Yoda wasn’t particularly active far from Coruscant. But he did come to the Jedi’s rescue during a battle on the planet Dalna in 382 BBY (“before the Battle of Yavin” in Episode IV: A New Hope).

The High Republic is at least a century before any other live-action projects. However, Yoda’s calm and sagacious demeanor is a constant. On the Jedi Council during this period, Yoda was joined by familiar faces from The Phantom Menace such as Yarael Poof (the Quemerian Jedi you might remember as “long neck guy”) and Oppo Rancisis (the hairy Thisspiasian Jedi). 



One of the best parts about the Star Wars High Republic is that it has given characters with fleeting appearances in live-action films the chance to shine. This is certainly the case for Yaddle, who appears on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace. She is of the same species as Yoda, but is considerably younger. Like Yoda, Yaddle mentored younglings during the High Republic. However, she was adept at training younglings with dangerously strong Force powers. As the Cataclysm novel by Lydia Kang shows, Yaddle was able to mentor powerful young Force-sensitives with a firm hand and a refusal to treat them in a condescending manner. 

During the Jedi’s battle on Dalna in 382 BBY, Yaddle was utterly ruthless in protecting her youngling ward, Cippa. She snapped two battle droids in half with a wave of her arm. Yaddle also sent a member of the Path of the Open Hand flying through the air for several seconds before he hit the ground.  After two Path members stunned Cippa, Yaddle threw them into the air. The move knocked their heads together “so painfully hard, it sounded like an ax hitting wood,” before dropping them, unconscious, onto the boarding ramp of a ship. While Yoda’s prowess as a Jedi has never been questioned, it’s time for Yaddle’s talents to be celebrated, too.

Maz Kanata 

Michael Atiyeh/Toni Bruno/Dark Horse Comics

Lupita Nyong’o’s character, Maz Kanata, was utterly charming in her brief appearances in Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. But Maz Kanata’s lore runs much deeper than the pieces we get in the sequel trilogy. In fact, she’s been active as the galaxy’s resident pirate queen since around 873 BBY. That is nearly four hundred years before the start of the High Republic! In 873 BBY, Maz moved into her castle on the planet Takodana. It is the same castle we see her living in in The Force Awakens. From her home base, Maz built her powerful network within the galaxy’s criminal underground. Maz’s pirate adventures during the High Republic can be found in Dark Horse Comics’ 2021 Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures series by Daniel José Older and Harvey Tolibao. 

In High Republic YA novels such as Out of the Shadows and Defy the Storm, Maz is an important ally to the Republic in their fight against the oppressive Nihil pirate organization. While Maz herself is a pirate, the interests of the Republic aren’t exactly contrary to her own. Maz’s smuggling network was a great help during the Nihil’s war against the Jedi and Force-users at large. 

San Tekkas

Marvel/Phil Noto

Remember the old man played by Max von Sydow who dies at the very beginning of The Force Awakens? His name is Lor San Tekka, and the San Tekka family was immensely powerful during the High Republic. The family made their wealth as hyperspace prospectors during the early part of the era. That is, they identified “lanes” in hyperspace that made traveling across different parts of the galaxy safe, as well as efficient. 

The Star Wars High Republic novels feature numerous characters from the San Tekka family, ranging from politicians (Vellis San Tekka), to musicians (Cair San Tekka), to rogue deputies (Jordanna Sparkburn). The San Tekkas were close allies of the Jedi during this period. This makes it unsurprising that Lor San Tekka was willing to die to protect the location of Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens

The Hutt Clan

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The Hutt crime lord family has deep roots in the galaxy. In fact, the fella you might know as Jabba the Hutt was actually born all the way back in 600 BBY! While Episode VI’s Jabba Desilijic Tiure needed a few centuries before he became the leader of the Hutt Clan, the Hutt family had a formidable influence on galactic politics during the High Republic.

As the political power of the Republic expanded across the galaxy into the Outer Rim during this period, they came closer and closer to a region called “Hutt Space.” Hutt Space was controlled by, you guessed it, and the Republic risked confrontation with the family if they crossed into their borders.