Star Wars: The High Republic #1 (March 2021)

There Is No Fear – Chapter One: Trial By Ordeal

Writer: Cavan Scott, Art: Ario Anindito, Inker: Mark Morales, Colours: Annalisa Leoni

BEFORE THE SKYWALKER SAGA! THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE JEDI! A new era of STAR WARS storytelling begins. It is centuries before the SKYWALKER SAGA. The JEDI are at their height, protecting the galaxy as REPUBLIC pioneers push out into new territories. As the Frontier prepares for the dedication of majestic STARLIGHT BEACON, PADAWAN KEEVE TRENNIS faces the ultimate choice — will she complete her Jedi Trials or rescue the innocent from disaster? New Jedi! New ships! New evils to fight! official solicitation

Ever since the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm there has been a part of the fanbase that has accused them of being creatively bankrupt. It was deemed that they were telling too many story that people didn’t want and explaining things that were unnecessary. These fans have already been proven wrong by the success of ‘The Mandalorian’ but know Lucasfilm are trying something different and it will be interesting to see how it is accepted.

This issue, written by Cavan Scott, launches the comicbook side of the High Republic initiative. Set around two hundred years before ‘The Phantom Menace’, this is a story that will be told across all forms of publishing. The Jedi are expanding through out the galaxy, there are advancements in hyperspace travel, and bacta has just been invented. The Starlight Beacon, a spacestation that will help spread the word of the Republic, is just about to open in the Out Rim and will be the home of various Jedi.

Scott’s story follows a young padawan named Keeve Trennis, and her master Sskeer, as she is taking her Jedi trials. We have always been told that being a Jedi is all about protecting and here it is on fall display. Keeve has befriended a small impish creature called Kanrii and has to interrupt her trail to save his city from a swarm of space locust. She solves the problem by connecting to the force for an answer. This takes us back to our original explanation of the force in ‘A New Hope’ that it surrounds and binds everything.

On Starlight we are introduced to two Jedi, Estala Maru and Avar Kriss. Maru appears to be the information keeper for the station and Kriss a high ranking Jedi and both are concerned for Sskeer. The Jedi have just suffered loses in The Great Disaster and they are worried about the effects it is having on him. Sskeer was physically injured in battle and lost an arm but being a Trandosian this will grow back. It’s the mental toll of the battle that is weighing on him.

It’s at this point where we get our one bit of familiar Star Wars as Grandmaster Yoda visits the Starlight Beacon. He may be two hundred years young but he is still the Yoda we know and love, it is unclear if he is leading the Jedi at this time but he is on the council. He is just passing through to bestow the rank of Marshal of the station on to Avar Kriss. Up until the second season of ‘The Mandalorian’ I don’t think Marshall was a rank in Star Wars but now they are everywhere. This title really hammers home the vibe of Star Wars being a western in space and the Outer Rim being the frontier.

When Keeve returns to Starlight with Sskeer she thinks she has done wrong by abandoning her trail. She is surprised when Kriss knights her but soon realise that saving the city was her actual trail and that Sskeer saw it all through the force before it actually happened. It feels like this series is going to lean heavily into the force and what it means to everyone. In a way these Jedi in the Outer Rim will be missionaries preaching the ways of the light side.

The only downside of this issue is that we aren’t introduced to any villains. The Nihil, who we have been told are the antagonists of this era, that were introduced in the book ‘Light Of The Jedi’ are nowhere to be seen. The focus of this issues was setting up our heroes so hopefully next issue we will get the villains.

It looks like we are in for a treat a little longer ago, in the galaxy far, far away.


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