The beginning of Star Wars: The High Republic may have been delayed until next year, but that’s not stopping Lucasfilm from teasing what’s in store for the major new publishing initiative set 200 years before the events of The Skywalker Saga. Though the new initiative will mostly focus on an entirely new roster of characters, there’s a certain Jedi who has been around the galaxy long enough that he was already part of the Jedi Council during this time.
An upcoming comic book series by Daniel José Olde called Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures will introduce us to a younger version of Yoda. Granted, he’s only 200 years younger, so he doesn’t look remarkably different, but he will have a new wardrobe, as illustrated in new concept art that has just been revealed.
Though Yoda is 200 years younger, it’s not as if he’s a hotshot cocky young Jedi or anything like that. But he is “a journeyman out in the galaxy.” Older explained to StarWars.com:
“While he’s already a respected member of the Jedi Council at this point, we meet Yoda in IDW’s The High Republic Adventures series doing what he loves best: looking out for the young folks — in this case, a group of Padawans traveling around the galaxy to learn the ways of the Jedi with a hands-on approach. The Force study abroad program, basically.”
Since it’s two centuries in the past, Lucasfilm saw an opportunity to revamp Yoda a little bit. They knew they didn’t need or want to give the character a complete overhaul, but his face looks slightly younger, and he does have a couple new wardrobe options.
Troy Alders, Lucasfilm art director, knew this was “a daunting and enormous responsibility to embark on and get right,” so they went to the man who previously had to figure out how to give us a younger Yoda.
Star Wars film concept artist Iain McCaig was brought in to help out. Alders said, “His age, as far as the way that his hair and face look, is maybe just slightly younger, but fairly close to his look in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” So McCaig was consulted for the new look, and Lucasfilm publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas and Star Wars: Dark Legends artist Grant Griffin also helped finalize the new design.
Yoda doesn’t look quite as old, but he still has plenty of wrinkles. Though it might not seem like the image above is an updated version of Yoda, Alders notes some of the subtle changes with this first look:
“This mission outfit, with just tonal markings on the robe, are inspired by the Jedi Temple architectural details. Many new fans may not even notice these very subtle additions.”
Meanwhile, there is another different look showing what Yoda wears in the Jedi Temple, pictured above. Alders says the more elegant robes help define this “special time of the golden age of the Jedi.” He added:
“Dressing Yoda for this epic time period, and creating designs adorned with gold, using beautiful fabrics and details, is something that he and all of the Jedi very much deserve, and the end result, I think, is gorgeous, and really celebrates this exciting and visually rich, gilded era.”
Since Yoda has been seen in pretty much the same Jedi robes and cloaks during his entire time in The Skywalker Saga, it’s admittedly a little strange to see him in those more elegant robes. Still, it’s nice to see the thought process that went into his look during this very different era in the Star Wars timeline.
If there’s one thing that Lucasfilm has always been great about, it’s the meticulous planning of the look and feel of Star Wars, especially in the planning stages. It would have been nice if they took that much care in planning a cohesive overarching narrative for the new trilogy instead of flying by the seat of their pants, but what’s done is done. All hail The High Republic!
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