The High Republic has been with us for over two years and has given us several books and numerous comic issues since January 2022. Chronicles of the Jedi: An Illustrated Guide to the Galaxy’s Golden Age is the initiative’s first reference book. It explores the incredible events and characters of the era, featuring tons of new art from the golden age of the Jedi. Written by Cole Horton and published by Titan Books, Chronicles of the Jedi is available now in the U.K. Additionally, it will release in other countries later this year.
Unlike most books of the era, this book does not feature an original story. On the contrary, it retells the current stories of the initiative in the context of an in-universe report. This means the book would theoretically exist within the Star Wars galaxy and only explore the events that the Jedi know. Jedi Master Harli Cogra is our guide and this report’s in-universe author. The book is set not long after the events of the most recent book in the timeline, Midnight Horizon.
It covers almost every existing story and lore piece in the High Republic initiative. Master Cogra details many aspects of the era. However, this consists of recaps of the major stories of the initiative’s first phase. There are, however, a few pages detailing the currently revealed events of phase two.
As stated before, this book does not tell an original story. Its purpose is to retell and recontextualize the events of the currently released media of the era. That being said, there are a few tidbits here and there that are more explored here than they are in the books. For example, Chronicles of the Jedi gives us a rundown of the era’s acting Jedi High Council members, something we have only seen on The High Republic Show on the Star Wars Youtube channel.
Here we get a basic understanding of these Jedi and their distinct characteristics. There is also an excerpt explaining why this era is a golden age for the Jedi despite so much violence and chaos. I know that this is a question that many fans have asked. Therefore, I was very happy with how this book explored that.
Gorgeous new pieces of art from artist Yihyoung Li fill this book. Almost every page features images of some kind. If you are simply a fan who likes to see this era detailed and illustrated, you will get a lot out of this book. The initiative has been groundbreaking in its amount of concept art for various characters. This book even features art for unseen characters like Regald Coll and Dez Rydan. This marks the first official depictions of these characters.
There are plenty more pictures of other characters that don’t have much art, such as fan-favourite Jedi Elzar Mann. The art of Chronicles of the Jedi features character pieces and depictions of events, vehicles and locations too. Every piece of art acts to immerse the reader into the world of the High Republic, and it does so with great effect.
The book features new pieces of art and a variety of illustrated inserts, including some charred notes written in Aurebesh recovered from various battlefields. If you don’t feel like translating the fictional language of Aurebesh, fear not, the words are printed on the back in whichever language your copy of the book is in.
That is not all. There is also a Galactic Map detailing where in the galaxy the major planets of the era are located and showcasing Nihil territories. If you’ve been keeping up with The High Republic books, you’ll already know much about the events showcased in this book. However, inserts and inclusions like these help to show a different perspective on the things we have already seen.
Chronicles of the Jedi: An Illustrated Guide to the Galaxy’s Golden Age has something for everyone. First and foremost I would say that this book is for people who haven’t read the entirety of the High Republic initiative but want to know about the events and stories of the era. There are already a lot of books and comics in this era, and it’s unfair to expect all fans to have digested all that material. This book provides a fun, easy and cost-effective way to get the rundown on the galaxy’s golden age.
Die-hard fans of the era will find very little new content outside of the odd tidbit. However, the vast amount of new art makes this a wonderful addition to the initiative. As someone who has consumed almost every piece of High Republic media, re-exploring these events through a different lens was an absolute joy.