The announcement of The Monster of Temple Peak came at the beginning of The High Republic launch and was publicized as an origin story for the saber-for-hire.
There was already mystery surrounding her from her introduction in Rising Storm: A Tholothian with a saber who is not a part of the Jedi Order but has had training. Stellan Gios deduced that she was once in the Jedi Order but never knighted. She was also on the cover of the flagship novel of Wave two, boosting her importance in The High Republic stories even more. And with The Monster of Temple Peak, we begin to fill in the blanks of Ty’s past, but it is not quite an origin story.
**Mild spoilers for The Monster of Temple Peak**
After Ty kills a monster in a botched job, she and her droid, KL-03, get commissioned by people living in Wyke Town on the planet Loreth to capture a monster they say is attacking them without provocation. Ty immediately senses something is off but uses her Varazeen stones to decide whether to take the job. She does and heads to the snowy mountain to find the beast called the Gretalax.
While on her journey, we begin to see flashbacks of her time as a Padawan under Jedi Master Cibaba and her friendship with Padawan Klias Teradine.
Part of Ty’s isolation comes from past trauma of exploring an abandoned cave of dark side acolytes with Klias, who is intent on getting himself and Ty (Tylera in the past) killed in the pursuit of knowledge of the dark side. This is the weakest section of the series for reasons that I will get into in the character section, but luckily far more time is spent with the present conflict of monster hunting.
There are many close-up panels in this run, particularly of Ty when she is remembering her past or deciding her next steps. I doubt it is by coincidence, and it highlights the true benefit of having a publishing initiative that interweaves characters between novels and comics, adding more layers to their journeys.
Let us first look at the past characters. In Rising Storm (and to a lesser extent Race to Crashpoint Tower), Ty does not like to talk about her past in the Jedi Order, and that some traumatic event took place that caused her to either leave or get kicked out. We also know that she is conflicted throughout the novel on whether she is doing the right thing. And we know that she likes to work alone. And Ty blames her indecisiveness and lack of conviction for what happened to Klias.
Sticking in the past, we also meet Ty’s Master, Cibaba, who encourages Ty to follow her own path and berates Klias for his lack of humility. Klias is monotonous, which lessens the emotional impact Scott is attempting for someone with whom we are to believe Ty would have an attachment. From the scenes we get, I am not sure why they are even friends. But maybe that is the point, that Ty was never really his friend, just someone he could manipulate. If this is the inciting incident that drives Ty away from the Order, however, we need a more fleshed-out Klias the next time we see him.
In the present, Ty is still indecisive and makes decisions through her sun and moonstones like a Magic-8 Ball to tip the scale in either direction. One turn of the stones takes her to Loreth where she finds herself on a mountain chasing a monster and running into Drewen, a Segredo who can appear invisible and has followed Ty hoping to be trained. Drewen has his own tragic backstory and seems like a “plant and payoff” character. Then there is the monster itself, and I am glad that the first Ty-focused story makes it clear that there are complexities in her line of duty and her intention is never to kill sentient beings.
There is little development for the villagers, only to provide exposition and a catalyst for Ty to go on her physical and mental journey. Although, the series does open things up to see more from these villagers and Loreth.
The most fascinating contribution to canon in this series is the introduction of the Yallow Fellowship, a dark side organization that existed and died out before the events of The Monster of Temple Peak. There is little information given about them, just seeds planted and hints of their dark side artifacts. It sounds like something that could be an entire separate comic series and feels significant for canon moving forward.
The Segredo species are all but extinct by the Clone Wars, so Drewen’s introduction does not feel contained within this story and he is an opportunity to learn more about this species. Ty’s job description as a monster hunter opens the door to either meet new canon monsters or learn more about the existing species we have come to love over the years. I will keep it spoiler-free on the secrets of the Gretelax, but we do learn more about a beast that has appeared in canon. The Gundarks are extremely valuable alive during this time and the intended buyer, Triv Blago, is a prominent illegal animal trader that has earned the attention of the Jedi Order.
The stones Ty uses are Varazeen, and a villager is surprised to see anyone outside the Cabarka union use them. None of these terms (Varazeen or Cabarka) have appeared in canon before, and both are mentioned in passing conversation. But because the purpose of the villagers in this series is to provide exposition and a ticking clock for Ty, these name drops probably mean something.
The Monster of Temple Peak shows that Ty could be a key figure in exploring the vast species of creatures in the Star Wars universe in an intricate way. There is no indication from Lucasfilm Press that there will be another short series with Ty (the end takes a page from the MCU with the line “Ty Yorrick will return!”). How and when is still a mystery as she now has some friendly acquaintances within the Jedi Order (Elzar and Ram), but I am sure a monster, or two, will be involved.