Cavan Scott’s two entries for The High Republic this month are both short-form stories. The Great Jedi Rescue is a short retelling of Light of the Jedi from the perspective of a few Jedi and The High Republic #1 is the first in a comic run and featuring Jedi aboard and surrounding the Starlight Beacon. I am not rating these as one is the first of many issued comics (depending on the length I might do a halfway review) and the other is a light children’s sticker book.
If you are wanting to read all of the High Republic material, consider reading Light of the Jedi before Marvel Star Wars The High Republic comic as there are spoilers. Speaking of which, there will be spoilers in this post so be warned.
Star Wars The High Republic Trial by Ordeal
Even though this will be part of an ongoing series, Star Wars The High Republic #1 is a complete story in itself, including a cliffhanger. We meet Jedi Padawan Keeve Trennis, who is currently partaking (though at first unknowingly) in her Jedi trials on the planet Shuraden in the Republic Frontier. Her Jedi Master Sskeer has brought her to the planet, which is occupied by some interesting sentient flying creatures called the Ximpi, to test her on one trial; however, this quickly turns into a rescue mission as a Ximpi City is under siege by a bunch of migrating insect creatures who are off their migration course thanks to the Starlight Beacon.
This story takes place during the third part of Light of the Jedi after the battle with the Nihil since Sskeer is already missing his arm and is clearly not handling his encounter and the loss of Master Jora Malli well. Avar Kriss, on Starlight Beacon awaiting the Jedi arrivals for the opening ceremony, notices Sskeer has closed himself off through the force. The issue ends on a positive note for Keeve, but on an ominous note for her Master.
For characters, if you have read Light of the Jedi, you are certainly familiar with Master Avar Kriss and Master Sskeer. If not, there are subtle lines that give comic readers a sense of personalities. Avar still comes across as flat but expecting that she will be a big part of this run as well so room for more development. It is a nice introduction to the personality of Jedi Keeve Trennis – a nervous talker who tends to curse a lot but is well meaning. She also seems to have more of a connection to creatures as she uses the force to figure out why the insects are traveling off their migration pattern. Her double-bladed lightsaber is also pretty awesome. We also meet Estala Maru, a Kessurian Jedi Master, who is aboard the beacon and helps Trennis save the Ximpi city. Sskeer also appeared at the end of A Test of Courage, giving advice to Jedi Knight Vernestra Rhow on choosing her Padawan. It will be interesting to see if they further explore his relationship with Keeve Trennis as she moves on within the Jedi Order or if he will continue to close himself off.
Ario Anindito, who has recently contributed to the art of Marvel’s Sword Master English language debut series, does great work here on both characters and world creation. You see all the details on Sskeer’s face and it is the most expression we have ever gotten from a Trandoshan.
Overall, a good start and overview of the three main Jedi this series will be focusing on and the issues they might face.
The Great Jedi Rescue
This children’s book is perfect for adults to get their children for a quick introduction to some of the main characters from Light of the Jedi like Avar Kriss, Burryaga, and Bell Zettifar. It focuses on the Star Wars Moment I referred to in my Light of the Jedi Thoughts but it also gives us a look at characters we have not seen through concept art. We see Captain Casset from the first chapter and an illustration of The Legacy breaking apart in hyperspace and we get a look at the Wookie Padawan Burryaga’s Master Nib Assek. The book also focuses on two other non-human Jedi like Te’Ami (a Duros) and Mikkel (an Ithorian) more likely to pique the interest of young children.
Petur Antonsson’s art style looked familiar to me and, after a quick Google search, I found that he is also the illustrator for the cover of A Test of Courage.
It is great seeing all levels of readership being catered to in this publishing initiative and the interpretation of The Great Disaster with The Great Jedi Rescue is a nice touch to focus on one of the more positive sections from Light of the Jedi. Even though this 24-page sticker book is way out of my age group, I do hope Lucasfilm Press continues adding children’s books throughout The High Republic phases and continue engaging children outside of just Disney+ and film with reading.