Out this week is the latest collection of Star Wars: The High Republic. Captured in volume 3 are issues #11-15 along with the two-part story Eye of the Storm. This era of Star Wars is brand new and only so far explored in novels, comics, and now the recent Disney hotel, but it’s still Star Wars to its core.
This collection opens with Star Wars: The High Republic #11 and reprints all of that series up to issue #19. Written by Cavan Scott, this is very good episodic storytelling. Scott is always good for a solid cliffhanger and then proceeds to not deliver on that cliffhanger in the following issue for at least a few issues. It makes the anticipation all the more exciting and fun.
As someone who doesn’t read these comics regularly, I can say it’s very easy to like these Jedi characters. There’s the main crew who are our main heroes, one of which is definitely toying with going too far with her Jedi powers at times. Taking place 200 years before the prequel series, these tales are far back enough to let anything go. The universe is also different with different kinds of enemies. Serving as the first phase of this era of Star Wars, it’s just the beginning before we reach more familiar territory.
Ultimately this chunk of the story focuses on our heroes trying to figure out how to stop something truly awful and evil in the universe. They serve as almost cowboys of justice and their six-shooter is replaced by a lightsaber. I can’t say this series explains well enough what this threat is, but ultimately most will be satisfied with the lightsaber fights.
The fight scenes are well crafted and drawn by Georges Jeanty and Ario Anindito with colors by Carlos Lopez and Jesus Aburtov. Inks are by Karl Story, Victor Olazaba, and Mark Morales giving the book a darker tone. These Jedi are facing a threat that’s truly threatening to all life and end up fighting at night, or in the dark recesses of spacecraft. The slightly cartoony look to the character faces makes the stories feel like they’re geared for all ages.
Travis Lanham and Ariana Maher letter the issues (with Maher on the last two issues of the second series collected here). There are good sound effects, playful word balloon usage, and a clean look. It’s rock solid.
Next up is Charles Soule and Guillermo Sanna’s High Republic: Eye of the Storm #1 and #2. As AIPT’s Ryan Sonnerville put it, this is a two-parter that continues to build interesting corners of lore into the universe. Its main purpose is to establish a new villain to the Jedi known as Marchion Ro. This is the kind of tale that’ll pay off later since it feels untethered from continuity. It’s hard enough to understand how this all fits given it’s set hundreds of years in the past before the films, but here it’s even more difficult. Spaceships and even the aliens are unfamiliar too.
Star Wars: The High Republic Vol. 3: Jedi’s End continues to build out the far-reaching past of what we know about Star Wars. In many ways, it’s doing the heavy lifting to craft better stories for the future. That can make the enjoyment of it feel a bit delayed or if you’re like me and focus on the films and television shows, a bit in the dark. The Jedi are cool as hell in this story, but how it fits and why we should care remains to be seen.
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