The High Republic is a broad swath of time in the Star Wars universe timeline. The Acolyte takes place at the tail end of the High Republic, in roughly 132 BBY. This is one hundred years before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (32 BBY). “BBY” is an abbreviation for “before the Battle of Yavin,” or the climactic battle in Episode IV: A New Hope where Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star. This is not dissimilar to the concept of BCE or “Before Common Era.” Without further ado, let’s dive into the history of the High Republic leading up to The Acolyte

Officially, the High Republic spans the years 500 – 100 BBY. The High Republic is preceded by the Old Republic, whose dates are still nebulous at this time. Officially, in the Star Wars Timelines book, the Old Republic is folded into the “Early History” section (c. 26,000 – 501 BBY), which also includes the earliest part of Star Wars history: the Dawn of the Jedi. As the Old Republic and Dawn of the Jedi periods get more exploration in future projects, we’ll get a better sense of their exact dates. That said, the first iteration of the Galactic Republic is said to have formed in 1,000 BBY. So that is a potential benchmark for the Old Republic. The High Republic period precedes the Fall of the Jedi from c. 100 BBY to 19 BBY, which roughly corresponds to the prequel films.

Is Yoda Alive During The Acolyte‘s High Republic Era? Which Familiar Star Wars Characters and Groups Exist at This Time?

Speaking of the prequel films, there are some familiar faces in the High Republic. Yoda was middle-aged in 382 BBY, at roughly 514 years old. (He was born in 896 BBY and became a Jedi Master by 796 BBY). Even in his middle age, Yoda was already reclusive, preferring to teach younglings instead of involving himself in Republic politics.

Yaddle, a member of Yoda’s species on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace, was only around 250 years old in 382 BBY. Yoda was a wise stalwart in the Order. However, Yaddle was a proactive force of nature on the battlefield when it came to protecting the galaxy’s most vulnerable. (The High Republic novel, Cataclysm by Lydia Kang, is full of such moments.)

The Nihil attack the republic at a festival in star wars the rising storm during high republic era in timeline
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What differentiates the High Republic is a powerful new ethos that spread across the galaxy at the time: “We are all the Republic.” The Republic had made immense progress in bringing planets in the Mid Rim and Outer Rim into the Republic. Under Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh, the Republic celebrated its new cosmopolitan and multicultural state through events like The Republic Fair (231 BBY). Sadly, the Nihil, a pirate group, cut The Republic Fair’s festivities short. The Nihil were in direct opposition to the ethos of the Republic, seeking to sow as much chaos as possible. 

Who Are the Jedi and Villains During the High Republic Era?

It might seem strange to imagine Star Wars with a non-Sith villain. But the truth is that the Sith were not an active threat during this point in the universe’s timeline in the High Republic era. The Sith were defeated thousands of years earlier. The Jedi during the High Republic certainly had no reason to think that the Sith would become a political threat. That said, the Sith had allied themselves with an alien humanoid plant species called the Drengir in about 2,500 BBY. After lying dormant for thousands of years, a group of Jedi reawakened the Drengir in 232 BBY. The return of the Drengir forced the Jedi to reckon with the remains of Sith temples across the galaxy. 


One of the Jedi featured in The Acolyte, Vernestra Rwoh, was born in roughly 249 BBY, making her about 117 years old at the time of The Acolyte. After becoming a Jedi Knight at fifteen years old, Vernestra witnessed some of the Jedi’s greatest challenges during the latter half of the High Republic. Vernestra was seventeen when she first crossed paths with the Nihil in 232 BBY. She would lose her former mentor, Stellan Gios, when the Nihil destroyed the Republic’s Starlight Beacon satellite base in the Outer Rim in 230 BBY. 

The destruction of Starlight Beacon also marked a turning point in the Nihil’s tactics against the Jedi and the Republic. With creatures known as the Nameless, the Nihil’s leader, Marchion Ro, struck fear deep into the hearts of the Jedi Order. The Nameless were tentacled beasts with a ravenous appetite for any Force-sensitive being. After they finished “feeding” on a Force-sensitive, their victims were nothing but calcified husks. Even the most powerful Jedi Grand Masters were utterly helpless in the presence of a Nameless, as the creatures disrupted the Jedi’s ability to connect with the Force. At this point in time, the fate of the Nihil and the Jedi Order before The Acolyte is still unknown.

There are two upcoming adult novels that will likely wrap up the conflict (Temptation of the Force by Tessa Gratton and Trials of the Jedi by Charles Soule) within the next year. If The Acolyte intends to build upon the deep worldbuilding of the High Republic novels and comics, then it would be strange if the series didn’t mention the Jedi Order’s clashes with the Nihil and the Nameless. Facing an abject horror like the Nameless isn’t something you walk away from without a few ghost stories lingering around.

We will certainly learn more about the High Republic era and the overall Star Wars timeline through The Acolyte series.