The High Republic Continues
The High Republic Continues
The past several years have been an amazing era for new Star Wars comic and novel content and my absolute favorite by far has been that of the High Republic. This era takes place almost 500 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, with phase two of the High Republic taking notes from how the films handle their story. Setting us another 150 years prior to the events of the first book Light of the Jedi (which is fantastic, please read it!). New threats, unknown regions, a juvenile galactic government and being introduced to new Jedi characters to fall for, and new threats to hate. It is an era of exploration in the universe, many of the outer rim worlds that we have come to love in the original saga haven’t been settled yet, even planets we know from the prequel trilogy aren’t what we know them to be. In this article we’re walking you through a galaxy far away in phase two of the High Republic!
(Warning of potential spoilers ahead!)
Path of Deceit is the first book in this phase, introducing us to a Jedi order ready to explore and navigate the ever expanding galaxy. The planet Dalna which had been introduced in phase one has become of interest to the Order, and Jedi Master Zallah Marci with her padawan Kevmo Zink set out to investigate claims of stolen force artifacts. Kevmo meets a young girl named Marda Ro, where it is revealed that Marda belongs to the force cult known as Path of the Open Hand. The cult believes that the force should be free and that the Jedi disrupts that freedom, causing incalculable devastation across the galaxy. The only way for them to spread that message is to go to the Convocation of Jedha(from Rogue One!), a group of force scholars from different sects that discuss the force. This book was a strong start to the phase, with a surprisingly sound argument on why the Jedi are using the force wrong. Kevmo Zink begins to believe in the Path’s message. With that major ideological difference, it set the Path up to be a more dangerous enemy for the Jedi then even the Sith. In the author’s opinion this has been the best book of this already great phase so there really is no better place to start!
Convergence is the primary catalyst for this group of comics and novels. Focusing on two outer rim worlds of Eiram and E’ronoh, who have been locked in a war for centuries, Jedi knight Gella Nattai volunteers to help seek a resolution to the war and help restore the hyperspace lane between the two planets. We know from phase one how nasty these wars between these two planetoids can be so seeing more of an insight of their geopolitics was a treat. Convergence plays out much like a Romeo and Juliet inspired story, with the two heirs to the throne of each planet working to undo generations of warfare trauma. With these two planets so ingrained in hatred and war towards one another, it’s up to them to heal their worlds with a possible peace treaty to be signed at Jedha. At its heart this is a romance novel, filled with mystery, action and betrayal. My first thought is how will this connect and effect the larger narrative and by the end I realized how much consequence this book will have to come.
All roads lead to Jedha, the comic follows Jedi Master Vildar Mac, as he journeys to the sacred moon of Jedha. Where he finds that even though it is supposed to be a place of enlightenment and learning, the peace is very fragile between the sects of force followers. The smallest of events could set the whole moon off. It was cool to visually see Jedha in this era, and understand its importance outside of the two or three lines we had about it in Rogue One. The issue introduces us to a lot of new concepts to the idea of the force and how different sects view it. It was also the hardest to see how this fit, seeing that the next two books had been announced already. Without spoiling the last entry yet, once again I should have never doubted the writing team on this one. Cavan Scott writes even more engaging Jedi to follow with Ario Anindito’s art further enhancing it. Come into any Bedrock City to pick up the single issues or add it to your pull list, or keep an eye out from the first trade paperback release this May!
Quest for the Hidden City is the young reader’s entry to this era, and this book was everything that they teased us with over the summer. An Indiana Jones style adventure book through and through. This really showed us how the Jedi and the Republic work together in exploring the unknown parts of the outer rim. When a Jedi Path Finder team goes missing and their dismembered astromech is found, Jedi Knight Silandra Sho and her padawan Rooper Nitaniare sent to find the missing team. Filled with new species just now being introduced to the Star Wars universe and high stakes tension, Silandra is quickly becoming my favorite Jedi in this era.
If you’ve heard me talk about the High Republic at all, you know very well who one of my favorite Jedi from phase one is. Porter Engle plays a more grandfatherly mentor role in phase one but we now get to see him in his glory days in this mini series set in phase two of the High Republic era. With his fellow Jedi Knight Barash, they travel the galaxy exploring the Outer Rim. One issue in and I’m so excited to see the action packed adventure that Porter goes through, and see if there are enemies that even he can’t defeat.
All roads converge on Jedha, this audio drama is the final part of this group of books. Following several characters we’ve been introduced to this phase; Silandra from Quest from the Hidden City on her pilgrimage to better understand her place in the force, Marda Ro (from Path of Deceit) who is seeking to spread the message of the Path, and representatives from Eiram and E’ronoh (from Convergence) looking to end their war and sign the peace treaty. When something derails the signing of the peace treaty and events on the moon caused by the Path, war comes to Jedha. This audio drama was exhilarating from start to finish, and immerses you in the action from start to finish. I have long been an audiobook advocate and this format blends seamlessly with this world and I can’t wait to see what the next group of novels and comics they announce for this era of the High Republic. For any and all things Star Wars, be sure to go to your nearest Bedrock City and add to your pull lists before they’re gone!