Star Wars: The High Republic #4 (June 2021)

There Is No Fear – Chapter IV: Song Of The Drengir

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

THE JEDI TURNED AGAINST EACH OTHER?! AVAR KRISS and her band of brave JEDI helpless in the clutches of a traitor in their midst. STARLIGHT BEACON under attack from an insidious foe. Danger from an age-old enemy. Who is really pulling the strings on the distant planet of SEDRI? Plus: The secret history of the terrifying DRENGIR revealed.

Marvel.com official solicitation

If you like your Star Wars on the weird side then ‘Star Wars: The High Republic’ is the book for you. Where the films are about as mainstream as you can get the comics have always been able to push it a bit more with what they can get away with and Cavan Scott is starting to push. It all start conventionally with a flashback of the Trandoshan Jedi Master Sskeer training his padawan Keeve. She is about to jump between mountains and has no faith in herself but Sskeer believes in her. She falls and he catches her, he is always there for her.

Cut back to the present storyline and things aren’t looking so rosy. Keeve, along with the Jedi Avar Kriss and Ceret, has been captured by the Drengir, a species of killer plants who want galactic domination. It’s like the scene from the end of ‘Aliens’ when Ripley finds all the colonists strung up so they can be impregnated. The Jedi are just hanging upside-down awaiting there fate while Sskeer, who has been possessed by the Drengir and now has a plant for an arm, looks on and does an exposition dump on the new threat. They are an ancient evil that had once spread across the galaxy and teamed up with the Sith until they were betrayed. Eventually they were defeated by the Jedi and fell quiet but now their progenitor has be awoken again and she has woken them all.

The next scene also draws from the ‘Alien’ franchise as we witness an autopsy of a Hutt. The Jedi scientists, unaware of the Drengir threat that has emerged. While searching for the cause of death of the Hutt the corpse starts to move. Then, with another borrow from the ‘Alien’ franchise, another Drengir explodes from the dead Hutt’s chest.

Back on the infested planet it looks like time is up for the Jedi as the Drengir are about to feast. Keeve desperately tries to talk Sskeer out of doing whatever it is he is going to do. It turns out that Sskeer had allowed himself to be taking over just so he could understand the weaknesses of this plant based threat. Now with Sskeer back on the side of good the Jedi make short wok of the Drengir. The next step for the Jedi is to find out who on the planet knew what was going on. While interrogating the local wannabe crime boss Aver gets the call about Drengir attack on Starlight Beacon and this is quickly followed up with Keeve announcing that the next threat has arrived, the classic Star Wars setup with action on multiple fronts. This leads to the last page splash page of a Hutt with a top knot, roboarms, and a spike hover podium riding into battle flanked by two rancors being riden by two Gamorreans. As I said, this is only something you could get away with in comics and Scott, along with Ario Anindito’s art, make it work.

After the creepiness of the Drengir it looks like will be adding a more traditional Star Wars foe to the mix in the next issue but the more rancors the better. Great Star Wars weirdness that always stays of the right-side of fun.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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