Star Wars High Republic Era Explained: Everything to Know About ‘The Acolyte’ Timeline

Welcome to the golden age of the Jedi Order

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Lee Jung-jae in "The Acolyte" (Disney+)

Disney+’s latest Star Wars series “The Acolyte” is taking new fans and seasoned vets to a galaxy far, far, far away as the first live-action film or show to be set during the High Republic era. It’s a time period removed from the film and TV shows seen thus far and shows a “Star Wars” universe in a much different state – to say nothing of how much more foothold the Jedi have on affairs across the galaxy.

Here’s what you need to know about The High Republic era before you dive into “The Acolyte.”

Where does The High Republic fall in the Star Wars timeline?

Years in the Star Wars universe are denoted as Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) and After the Battle of Yavin (ABY) – the Battle of Yavin being the first major victory for the Rebellion in the Galactic Civil War and marking the destruction of the first Death Star in “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

The High Republic period lasted from about 500 BBY to 100 BBY. “The Acolyte” takes place around 132 BBY which is about 100 years before the events of “The Phantom Menace.”

What is the High Republic era?

The High Republic era was a time known for massive exploration and scientific advancement. The Galactic Republic was seen as a beacon of hope and there was very little governmental corruption for much of the era. It was a largely peaceful time that saw the the Republic expanded further and further from the Core Worlds and into the uncharted parts of the Outer Rim Territories known as the Galactic Frontier.

This expansion led to what came known as the Great Hyperspace Rush. The Republic needed new and safe hyperspace lanes for travel and trade into these Frontier planets and it sparked a mass rush to map and claim unknown routes for profit.

This mass rush to the Frontier coupled with a weak communication network at the time led to an uptick in piracy that the Republic had to contend with while working on their expansion.

The starships at the time were also different. Jedi and pilots weren’t flying into battle in X-Wings, Y-Wings, and A-Wings but in Vectors and Longbeams. The healing substance bacta – which is seen used throughout the Skywalker Saga – had also just been discovered.

What did the Jedi Order look like?

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Carrie-Anne Moss in “The Acolyte” (Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Jedi were at the height of their power and influence during the High Republic period. The High Republic is often also described as the golden age of the Jedi Order. Their influence reached across the entire galaxy and they didn’t just call the Coruscant Temple home, they had Jedi outposts dotting multiple planets.

The individual Jedi also had much more autonomy than they did by the time The Clone Wars began – largely because the Order was much more open and accepting. Jedi were allowed to dedicate themselves to become things like Wayseekers, which meant they could ignore the will of the established Jedi Council and go where the Force itself dictated almost like Jedi nomads.

Notably – and unlike how we saw them during the prequel series – the Jedi operated completely independently from the Republic itself.

Are there any familiar faces around in The High Republic Era?

Because of the time period, many of the recognizable faces from the Skywalker Saga and surrounding stories were a thing of the far future during the High Republic, but there were a few familiar faces living in the period.

Yoda was already a full-fledged Jedi Master during the High Republic era and has popped up in a number of stories told during the time.

Maz Kanata – seen first in her outlaw castle on Takodana in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – earned most of her acclaim as a pirate queen during The Great Hyperspace Rush. One of her chief hyperspace prospectors was Dexter Jettster, who fans first met giving Obi-Wan information from his diner in “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.”

Although he was merely a baby during the official time period of the High Republic (500-100 BBY), Count Dooku was born in 102 BBY.

Where else can I find High Republic Stories?

The High Republic began with a series of adult, young adult and childrens books along with various ongoing and limited series comic book runs. The primary adult novels are currently in their third phase of the planned story.

If you want to know more about the High Republic, read these books:

Phase I:

  • “Light of the Jedi” by Charles Soule
  • “The Rising Storm” by Cavan Scott
  • “The Fallen Star” by Claudia Gray

Phase II:

  • “Convergence” by Zoraida Cordova
  • “Cataclysm” by Lydia Kang

Phase III:

  • “The Eye of Darkness” by George Mann
  • “Temptation of the Force” by Tessa Gratton
  • “Trials of the Jedi” by Charles Soule

The 2023 video game “Star Wars: Jedi Survivor” also included High Republic connections when Order 66 survivor Cal Kestis – played by “Shameless” alum Cameron Monaghan – discovers a High Republic Jedi Knight sealed in a bacta tank but still alive.

When does “The Acolyte” take place?

“The Acolyte” takes place in 132 BBY meaning the end of The High Republic era is right around the corner. It’s unclear what exactly brings an end to this golden age but the synopsis for the series mentions dark side powers are being discovered at the edge of the galaxy. With Sith not around during this era, it certainly seems that their appearance brings an end to The High Republic.

We’ll find out when “The Acolyte” premieres on June 4 on Disney+ and rolls out new episodes weekly.

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