The High Republic is introducing us to the Jedi in a period where we’ve never seen them, and that has given the authors some freedom to get creative while sticking to the heart of what the Jedi are supposed to be in the first place.
One interesting example of that is coming up in phase two of the High Republic era, which is set 150 years prior to phase one (thus making it around 350 years prior to The Phantom Menace). This latest era of the story will begin this fall, and one of the first books to release will be Quest for the Hidden City, written by George Mann and releasing on November 1. Mann joined some of the authors of the High Republic on the latest episode of The High Republic Show recently and introduced one of the book’s main characters: Jedi Master Silandra Sho.
Interestingly, Mann revealed that Sho uses a shield in combat, saying that “she’d rather be the shield than the sword.” She is also known to use the Force to fling the shield around when it comes to combat situations, so it sounds like a Jedi version of Captain America. Here’s a look at concept art of the shield:
What’s especially interesting about this is that it’s very much keeping with the idea that the Jedi are keepers of the peace rather than soldiers and that they are to use the Force for knowledge and defense rather than for attack. Used properly, that’s precisely what lightsabers are supposed to be used for, as they are a powerful defensive weapon. So Sho’s use of the shield isn’t in contrast to the lightsaber, but it does highlight all the more what the Jedi are supposed to be.
I’m really intrigued to hear about how it all plays out in practice, but I like the idea quite a bit. We’ve had a Jedi wielding a lightsaber whip (in Vernestra Rwoh), so why not a Jedi carrying a shield? This feels like a great way of introducing a creative and unique new element while staying faithful to the Jedi at the core. But we’ll have to see how it works out in this story.
This period in the galaxy is a time of great exploration and expansion for the Republic, so the Jedi and Republic form pathfinder teams to explore the further reaches – and Mann said that Quest for the Hidden City begins as one of those pathfinder teams has gone missing, with no one knowing what happened to them. So Silandra Sho leads a team to go to the planet to find out what happened to the team and to finish their mission. There’s a mystery aspect to it, and it certainly sounds like there will be many opportunities for her to use the shield.