The High Republic has exploded its way into all corners of Star Wars since its inception back in 2021. Mainly keeping to books and comics, it has since ventured into animation, video games, and soon-to-be television with the release of The Acolyte in 2024. If you know me and my reviews by now, you know how much I love this new era of Star Wars. But even so, keeping up with the plethora of characters and their appearances can be difficult… until now. Thanks to the Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia, I, and everyone else for that matter, will be able to keep them all straight in our heads!
The pros of Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia
Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia is the latest in the supplemental media for the publishing initiative. Written and created by Megan Crouse and Amy Richau and featuring over 275 characters from all corners of The High Republic, this book is filled with references, lore, and characters that appeal to any level of fan.
You can tell from the start, this book was created with a lot of love and attention. From the foreword celebrating the High Republic as a whole, down to the characters featured, pulled from stories ranging from one shot comics to a VR game. The book is well produced, just as much of the rest of the initiative, and every page feels special when it is so jam-packed with information and overviews of characters. This book is for fans of the High Republic, created by fans of the High Republic.
The High Republic Character Encyclopedia is split into several easy-to-follow categories showcasing the Jedi, the villains, and the civilians of the High Republic. Some main characters are given double-page spreads in the book, truly delving into them and their journey. Even minor characters, who may just get a paragraph or two, are also included and as well researched as the more significant characters. We’re also given a timeline of the events of phases 1 and 2, stitching together the proper order in which everything took place.
One great part of the encyclopedia is the fact it contains a few teases of some new characters for phase 3 of the High Republic, which began with Eye of Darkness. They are just small teases and only really impact the next couple of books and comics. However, it’s great to get these glimpses of what’s to come and see the upcoming characters. The book expands past just the books and the comics, giving full pages to characters from video games and animation as well. This shows how connected the initiative is becoming.
The cons of this new Star Wars guidebook
Despite the book being so well crafted and written, there are, unfortunately, a few issues. The main problem is the lack of pictures of some characters presented in the book. This mainly deals with characters from phase 2 of the High Republic, which never seemed to get as much attention as phases 1 and 3. This led to a lack of concept art for some main characters of the phase. Whilst this is not an issue with the creators of the book, it still makes the book feel like something is missing. You never get to see what these characters look like, when you can easily see it for most of the others.
One other minor issue is an issue I have with other books of a similar genre released recently, is the fact that it has come out too early. I appreciate there are many characters in phases 1 and 2 alone, I wish that they had waited until phase 3 had wrapped up and released the book as a final compendium to the initiative as a whole. We could get a second book, (which would include The Acolyte and other projects) but having one complete book would have been amazing to look through and truly appreciate the grandeur of the High Republic. This is only a minor issue for me, though, and I still do appreciate the book for what it is.
Final thoughts on Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia
Despite the lack of artwork on some characters, truly making this book perfect, I would still highly recommend it. This book works in so many ways for different levels of fans. It is a great book to introduce someone to the world of the High Republic (though be warned, spoilers are plenty). But also as a companion as you read the books and comics themselves, so you can remember who everyone is and where they come from.
It is truly a testament to the power and popularity of the High Republic that a character guide can be made from mainly books and comics. This is a trend I hope will continue, with hopefully a second one of these guides in a few years!
My Rating: 7/10
Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia is available now! Do you plan to pick this one up? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or on The Cosmic Circus Discord!