The second issue of Daniel José Older’s Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures recently released, and it picked up exactly where the previous issue left off.
That, in and of itself, is very welcome! The Adventures comics have not always been this way, instead sometimes winding up as one-shot stories that change from issue-to-issue, but I think they’re strongest when carrying on a multi-issue story. That’s the case here, and it sees a familiar face steal the show: Grand Master Yoda.
Let’s dive in!
When we last left our heroes – namely the Jedi padawan Lula Talisola and the Mikkian Force-sensitive girl Zeen Mrala – they were surrounded by the Nihil. The Jedi padawans, training with Jedi Masters Yoda and Torban Buck, were close enough to lend aid to Tyrmant IV in the wake of the Great Disaster, but they encounter the villainous Nihil. The padawans resolve to fight while the Nihil prepare to wipe them out… until Yoda and Buck show up. They lead the padawans into battle, quickly winning.
Meanwhile, Marchion Ro prepares to take one of the planet’s elders with him (apparently the reason for the Nihil coming to the planet at all), and the elder insists on taking a young boy named Krix with him – who is a friend of Zeen. When she sees her friend being taken, she enlists the Jedi’s help in saving him. Yoda springs into action, sneaking aboard the Nihil ship while the other Jedi continue fighting. Yoda finds Krix, but the boy does not want to come with him, since Zeen lied to him in not telling him she was Force-sensitive. Instead, Krix alerts the Nihil of Yoda’s presence, and the Grand Master has to escape.
Back on the planet, the Jedi discuss what has just happened with Zeen, and discover the truth behind Buck’s nickname “Buckets of Blood.” The Nihil take out a Republic Medical Cruiser before jumping to hyperspace, fleeing the system with the elder and Krix. The Jedi take Zeen with them and head for the Starlight Beacon.
This was another strong issue, and obviously it’s very cool to see Yoda spring into action during this brand new era. We knew that he would be more of a central figure in this Adventures series, but he has been referenced and made a few cameo appearances in other High Republic media as well. But here, he arrives to save the day. He fights against the Nihil, helps his Padawans, and sneaks aboard the Nihil ship to try to save a young boy. In all of this, it’s really cool to see the familiar and beloved Jedi Master at work. The era is in a really great position to explore new characters and places, because it’s a totally different time period – and most of the characters we know aren’t even alive at this point, so it erases even any temptation to bring them in. But Yoda is one of the few we know, and rather than serving as a detriment, it helps strengthen the era’s storytelling by connecting us to a familiar face while still focusing on other characters.
So I think the way Yoda has been handled so far has been perfect, but I’ll also say that it’s great seeing him in a more prominent role here. It made me happy as a Star Wars fan.
In many ways this issue was wrapping up the cliffhanger ending of issue #1, so there was a lot of resolution. We got resolution on the Nihil attack on this planet, and we found out why Torban Buck is nicknamed “Buckets of Blood” – it’s because, as a healer, he wants to keep the blood inside the body. Turns out he’s not a great warrior after all. We also saw Marchion Ro a bit more, which is great (I’m really interested in seeing more from him after reading Light of the Jedi), and it looks like we may have a new Jedi-in-training in Zeen Mrala (we’ll have to see).
At the end of the issue, they arrive at the Starlight Beacon, so I assume that will be a focal point of the next issue. I’ve really enjoyed the first two issues of this series and am excited to read more!