At Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023‘s High Republic panel fans got another sneak peak at forthcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte and a bonus surprise – Vernestra Rwoh, one of the early characters from the novels, will make the leap to live action, played by Canadian actor Rebecca Henderson. Lucasfilm Publishing Creative Director Michael Siglain also went over the concluding parts of phase II and disclosed the entire phase III slate of novels for adults, YA, and middle grade.

The Acolyte creator, showrunner, director and writer Leslye Headland made a surprise appearance immediately after the online livestream – which covered the publishing schedule – concluded and following a second screener of the teaser footage from Friday’s Lucasfilm Showcase talked more about the High Republic TV series, her love of reading Star Wars tie-in novels growing up, and that – despite the series being set very late in the High Republic timeline – a more mature Vernestra Rwoh will be a part of the series, played by Headland’s wife Rebecca Henderson.

Vernestra Rwoh made her first appearance in the January 2021 middle grade novel Star Wars: The High Republic – A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, part of the first phase of High Republic novels (set around 200 years before the Phantom Menace movie) and the first High Republic novel for the middle grade market. Rwoh is a Mirialan Jedi Knight and very early in her career in the novel. The live action version will have her portrayed as much older, much more experienced and – according to Headland – emblematic of the crossroads and journey on which the Jedi are travelling in the forthcoming series which is much closer to the end of the High Republic era (which spans 300 years).

Headland also said that The Acolyte will aim to bridge the High Republic era with the Fall of the Jedi era (i.e. the first six episodes of the Skywalker Saga covered in the movies) of the new Star Wars timeline.

For a publishing initiative that has only been in existence barely two years, it has already accrued a strong fan following – something that was noted by the panel with its enthusiastic audience already cosplaying their favourite characters and cheering every tease and announcement. With Lucasfilm Senior VP of Franchise Content and Strategy James Waugh saying the initiative’s success had given them “license” to keep going, and that this was still only the beginning.

The conclusion of Phase II is called The Night of Sorrow. Phase III: Trials of the Jedi will kick off with George Mann’s The Eye of Darkness in November 2023. Phase III takes place one year after the fall of Starlight Beacon in Claudia Gray’s The Fallen Star (2022) and is expected to run through to Spring 2025 – a more spread out schedule that Waugh indicates is designed to give new fans a chance to catch up on the story thus far.

The High Republic covers a timeline that stretches 350 to 50 years prior to events in Episode I: The Phantom Menace and is defined as when the Jedi Order was at the peak of its powers. It launched with Phase I: Light of the Jedi in early 2021, followed by Phase II: Quest of the Jedi (set 150 years before Phase I) in fall 2022. It is a multimedia initiative that includes novels, comics, manga, audio dramas, short and serialised fiction in Star Wars Insider magazine. Young Jedi Adventures, a children’s animated cartoon, and The Acolyte live-action TV show, will see it expand to television.

High Republic

Star Wars: The High Republic – Phase III: Trials of the Jedi Novel Slate [Fall 2023 to Spring 2025]


  • The Eye of Darkness, by George Mann (Random House Worlds), November 14, 2023
  • Temptation of the Force, by Tessa Gratton (Random House Worlds), Summer 2024
  • Trials of the Jedi, Charles Soule (Random House Worlds), Spring 2025


  • Defy the Storm, by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland (Disney/Lucasfilm Press), March 12, 2024
  • Tears of the Nameless, George Mann (Disney/Lucasfilm Press), Fall 2024
  • Into the Light, Claudia Gray (Disney/Lucasfilm Press), Spring 2025


  • Escape from Valo, by David José Older & Alyssa Wong (Disney/Lucasfilm Press), January 30, 2024
  • Beware the Nameless, by Zoraida Córdova (Disney/Lucasfilm Press), Spring 2024
  • A Valiant Vow, by Justina Ireland (Disney/Lucasfilm Press), Spring 2025