One of the highlights of Star Wars’ High Republic publishing initiative has been seeing the Jedi at their height, before bureaucracy and tradition became more important than fulfilling their mission. That’s made for some interesting explorations of the Force, and the depth that the mysterious power truly has. In Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic #5, we see another side of what the Force means to the Jedi.
The series first story arc wraps with this issue and it’s a big moment for these characters. It also sets up a transition between the first phase of the initiative and the beginning of the second stage, starting next month. Cavan Scott, Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, Annalisa Leoni, and Ariana Maher bring us this action-filled story of galactic conflict.
The Hutts have brought war to the Jedi. However, the criminal empire has no idea of the massive threat of the parasitic Drengir. Now their only hope is Keeve Trennis and Sskeer, but the cost could be too great for even the Jedi.
Scott wraps up this arc with a big action story, but he’s able to center it on the characters. He uses Master Kriss for the heavy lifting for the fight with the Hutts, allowing the emotional core of the story to focus on Trennis and Sskeer. The duo has been the emotional core of the story, and giving them a moment to reconnect brings the arc full circle. It gives the reader time to see more about the Force, and the characters’ relationship to it, all while facing the threat of the Hutts and Drengir. It’s a fun adventure, which advances the story of the heroes as people as much as it does the plot.
Anindito and Morales’ line work is a bit more rough and significantly looser than it has been for past issues. For the slower moments, they do a solid job, allowing the characters to come through along the story. However, for the bigger action moments, the figures start to lose detail and some of the action is unclear. At one point for example, we see a minor Jedi character swing her lightsaber, and the blade changes shape mid-swing in a way that isn’t clear whether its intentional or a stylistic choice. However, Leoni’s colors are very good throughout, and Maher blends sound effects into the art in a way that makes them more cinematic.
I’m glad to hear this series is continuing past the initial arc. It’s been a unique take on the Star Wars universe. Though it hasn’t been perfect, it’s been enjoyable throughout.
Star Wars: The High Republic #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.
The Jedi face the Hutts and the Drengir in a three way war. Scott creates a strong emotional core for the heroes. The art is solid but falls short in a few moments. Overall though, it’s a great climactic story for this opening arc.