The second comic series from The High Republic era recently launched, as The High Republic Adventures, written by Daniel José Older, launched at the beginning of the month.
The Adventures Star Wars comics are typically geared toward a younger audience and have typically been one-shots in the past, but this issue set up a story that will seemingly run across a number of issues. And though it’s target audience is definitely younger, it still told a great story – and will involve Yoda quite a bit, it seems!
Let’s dive in to a review of the first issue.
The Great Disaster strikes the Trymant System, and there is only one Jedi transport close enough to help: the Star Hopper, a training ship for Jedi Padawans. Jedi Master Yoda trains padawans on this ship, alongside Master Torban Buck (whose nickname is, curiously, “Buckets of Blood”). Even though the padawans – and we primarily focus on Lula Talisola in this issue – don’t feel up to the task, Yoda realizes that it’s their responsibility to help if they can. So they head for the Tryman System to try to help the people in the wake of the Great Disaster.
On the planet, we focus on a young Mikkian girl named Zeen Mrala, who tries to hide her connection to the Force. As the people on the planet scramble to avoid the Disaster and evacuate, the Nihil arrive to take one of the elders away. The Jedi Padawans then arrive and try to help, and they wind up facing off against the Nihil. Meanwhile, Zeen reveals herself to be Force-sensitive to save others, while Lula faces her fears and jumps into the fray anyway.
But the group is soon surrounded by the Nihil, and Marchion Ro then shows up, ordering his forces to kill them all.
I really liked how this story centered around the two main characters of Lula and Zeen, both of whom are strong with the Force yet hesitant. Lula doesn’t feel ready to tackle a mission like this yet, while Zeen doesn’t feel ready to show her skills yet. Both of them are forced to confront those hesitations and fears for the sake of saving others, which is great. It’s a great lesson about facing the insecurities that you have about yourself, but especially when it comes to helping others.
And like all of the High Republic stories so far, this one’s plot is heavily impacted by the Great Disaster. We get to see the aftermath of it on the very first page of this issue, and that’s what gets the Jedi involved. I’m really excited that this series will focus on Yoda, who during this period is one of the most powerful and most respected Jedi in the Order, but who has taken a leave from the Council to train Padawans. So we see that here, and he’s training them alongside Torban Buck – and yeah, I really am curious how a Jedi got the nickname “Buckets of Blood,” as that doesn’t sound very Jedi-like to me. But back to Yoda, I’m glad that it doesn’t seem they’re over-using him during this era, but at the same time I’m glad that they’re not totally shying away from him either. I think they’ve really handled him perfectly so far, and I can’t wait to see more.
But Yoda isn’t in this issue very much, and instead it focuses on the dual perspectives of Lula and Zeen, which converge by the end of the issue – due to the threat of the Nihil. It’s unclear what the Nihil want on the planet and with the elder they try to take, but obviously something is going on, since Marchion Ro himself shows up. That suggests that this is more than mere chaos-causing or ally-protecting, as there has to be a bigger picture at play that we don’t know yet.
One of the things I liked most about this issue might sound surprising, but it’s that it ended on a cliffhanger. It seems that this is a story that will continue across a number of issues in this series, and that’s a great thing! Like I mentioned at the beginning, these Adventures comics typically are one-shots, and while they work fine on their own, I think the potential is so much stronger when they can tell a running story with the same characters. That’s what they’re doing here, and I’m curious to find out what the Nihil are up to, and how the Jedi Padawans will get out of this one.
Keeping up the terrific start to the High Republic storytelling, the Adventures series had a good first issue, and has me excited to see more.