*** This post includes spoilers for Light of the Jedi and The Great Jedi Rescue***
The High Republic era is underway, kicking off a multi-year publishing initiative that explores a great era for the Jedi and the Republic.
Set 200 years before The Phantom Menace, we got the first two novels last week with Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi and Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage. But we also got a children’s book, The Great Jedi Rescue written by Cavan Scott and illustrated by Petur Antonsson, which re-tells some of the events from Light of the Jedi.
This book tells the story of the Great Disaster and the crisis in the Hetzel system, specifically of the Jedi rushing in to save the day. So this book doesn’t offer anything new, but it does re-tell the events in a simple, straightforward way that is easy to understand for all audiences. It’s a way for kids to keep up with the massive event(s) that start this High Republic era, without having to get into the novel with is clearly geared toward adult readers. I think that makes sense, and I still enjoyed this short read as a refresher of what happened.
But the best part about this was definitely the illustrations. It’s really cool how much concept art they have been releasing for the High Republic leading up to the launch, showing us a bunch of the characters and ships. That’s especially helpful since these are almost all new characters. I actually have a folder on my phone of these concept art images so that I can quickly look them up to help visualize certain characters when I’m reading these books. For many of us, it’s always helpful to be able to visualize what these characters look like, and they’ve been really helping us do that.
And that’s why I loved this short children’s book: it features really great illustrations showing what happens, but also showing these characters, ships, and places. The art is really well done and really helpful.
So if you’ve read or are going to read Light of the Jedi, you won’t need to read The Great Jedi Rescue, as it just re-tells the same story of the Great Disaster and the Hetzel crisis. But with that said, I would still highly recommend this book. If you’re not going to read Light of the Jedi but still want to know about this Great Disaster that is so monumental for the whole High Republic era, this one will help give the basics (though there will be more details you’ll still be wondering about). Or, if you’re like me, maybe you just want to have a quick read refreshing what happened and actually showing it in terrific artwork.
It’s very simple and well-done, and it doesn’t cover anything new, but I still really enjoyed it.