Dank theories

High Republic concept may reveal the next Star Wars movie's epic cast

Is High Republic really just a new series of books from Lucasfilm, or is this announcement hiding something even bigger?

Star Was just delivered the mother-load: a sprawling new interconnected universe of Lucasfilm books exploring the age of the High Republic roughly 200 years before Anakin Skywalker was ever “born.” There’s no official plan for a High Republic movie or Disney+ show (at least not yet), but as some eagle-eyed fans have pointed out, there may be a new Star Wars movie hiding in plain sight among this High Republic concept art.

Three High Republic “characters” in particular look a lot like real-life actors who might at the opportunity for a Star Wars role.

This might be the weakest of the bunch, but I’m sharing it first because it comes from another fan (and not my own theory-addled brain). Best known for her role as the scientist Juliet in Lost, Elizabeth Mitchell could easily take on the role of a Jedi leader in the time of the High Republic.

Next up, and my personal favorite, is it just me or does this Jedi look a lot like David Harbour?

Oooh! Purple lightsabers!Lucasfilm

The Stranger Things star is already joining the Marvel universe with Black Widow. And with Stranger Things presumably wrapping up relatively soon and his Hellboy movie a flop, Star Wars feels like a logical next step for Harbour. He's the Jedi dad we never knew we needed.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

Finally, this one stumped me for a minute. I knew I recognized this guy, but I couldn't remember where he came from.

New Star Wars, who dis?Lucasfilm

Then it hit me. That's Joe Bernthal. AKA, the Punisher from the Marvel/Netflix universe.

Picture this, just with fewer skulls and more lightsabers.Netflix

Considering that Disney killed Bernthal's Marvel TV show as part of its streaming war with Netflix, the least the company could do is give him a role in Star Wars, right? Plus, the idea of an edgelord Jedi who plays by his own rules and isn't afraid to get some blood on his cloak sounds incredible — even if that last bit probably won't fly in the era of Disney Star Wars.

With Bernthal, Harbour, and Mitchell (or, if we're feeling really generous, Jodie Whittaker) all lined up, a High Republic movie could be truly incredible. Of course, you could accuse me of just fan-casting, but there's reason to believe High Republic is more than just a series of books.

With the next Star Wars movie set for December 2022, Disney is likely racing to line up a cast and finalize a plot. After all, these movies take a while to make, and if we learned anything from The Rise of Skywalker, it's that you can't rush the process or you'll end up with something half-baked.

So is it just a coincidence that these High Republic book covers might just double as a secret movie casting announcement? (Or, at least, a way to test the waters and see how fans might react to the actual reveal.) We'll have to wait and find out, but I won't be totally shocked if David Harbour shows up at Star Wars Celebration with a lightsaber next year.

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