New Star Wars show explores the most mysterious era in franchise history
Children truly are the future.
After the prequels and multiple tv series set in the pre-A New Hope era, Star Wars fans shouldn’t have that many questions about what life was like before the Empire took over. However, there’s one blind spot we fans have: we don’t really know what life is like as a child Jedi. We see plenty of adolescents venturing out into the field, and some brief scenes of young padawans training, but we’ve never really seen a show dedicated to a Jedi growing up in the Republic — let alone one set during the peak of the Republic.
It seems like this gap in world-building is about to be filled, and the result could change Star Wars forever...
As part of the Disney-branded television panel at D23, the company announced Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, a new animated series targeted toward younger viewers. The show will air on Disney Junior and Disney+, and will follow “a group of Younglings as they embark on missions and ultimately learn the valuable skills needed to become Jedi: compassion, self-discipline, teamwork, patience, and friendship.” It is set during The High Republic era.
Child Jedi have a complicated history in Star Wars. Sure, there’s Grogu, who is technically a child Jedi, but he’s also more than 50 years old in The Mandalorian. Other than that, the majority of kids in the Jedi Academy we’ve seen have been in conjunction with Order 66: There’s young Reva in the opening of Obi-Wan Kenobi; the poor youngling in Revenge of the Sith who ends up on the wrong side of Anakin’s saber; and Jedi: Fallen Order protagonist Cal Kestis, who we see just barely escape the Purge in flashbacks.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time a kid Jedi show has been in development. There was supposed to be a padawan spinoff of The Clone Wars, but it never made it to production. Instead, the scripts were used for an arc following The Gathering, a Jedi ritual where younglings travel to Ilum to find their Kyber crystals for their lightsabers.
But there’s one huge difference between that arc and this new kids’ show: Young Jedi Adventures is set in the High Republic era, the golden age of the Jedi, centuries before the prequel era. The High Republic is now getting its moment in the spotlight as it’s the center of a multi-media project approaching its second of three phases across novel, young reader book, comic, and audio adventure formats.
Though it’s hard to believe, Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures is the first time we’ll see a show focused on the High Republic and that could result in the TV debut of some High Republic Jedi the fans of the books have gotten to know well. It doesn’t matter that it’s a show aimed at preschoolers — all Star Wars show have the potential for some huge cameos.
If you’re not a huge High Republic fan and feel a bit daunted by the scope of the project, Young Jedi Adventures may be the perfect place to start. Star Wars is for everyone, and that means young fans get a show aimed just at them — but there’s nothing keeping older fans from tuning in to see how it handles a new era of history.
Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures will premiere on Disney Junior and Disney+ in 2023.