The High Republic Adventures #1

by Ellie J. on February 03, 2021

Marvel's series set in the new Star Wars era the High Republic started last month, and now it's IDW's turn! I'll be the first to say that the mainline Star Wars Adventures series from IDW hasn't been... particularly good. It's had some good stories here and there, but it's largely felt like inconsequential filler that even the target audience, kids, probably wouldn't like. But this series? It's much different. It has just one ongoing story, and because it focuses on completely original characters, it can tell whatever stories it wants that feel like they actually matter.

The focus of this first issue, and presumably the next several issues of the series, is on Lula Talisola, a Jedi padawan that's been journeying around the Galaxy with Grandmaster Yoda! Yoda, Lula, and the other padawans Yoda's been training are the only ones close enough when a rogue Emergence appears at Trymant IV. For those who have no idea what that is, you'll have to check out the novel Light of the Jedi for the full context, but basically? This ship called the Legacy Run was destroyed by a group of pirates called the Nihil while in hyperspace, and pieces of it have been exiting hyperspace at hyperspeed randomly, killing millions of people. 

The difference here is that this one is rogue. At the end of Light of the Jedi (spoilers), the Jedi found a way to predict and track the remaining Emergences, but this one came as a complete surprise. So for now, Yoda and Lula are on their own. But this issue isn't just about Lula, there's a parallel story in it about a girl named Zeen Mrala; she's a Mikkian on Trymant IV, and she's Force-Sensitive. But the people of Trymant IV forbid the use of the Force, so she's been keeping it a secret. But when the Nihil attack the planet too, using the Emergence as cover, Zeen is forced to reveal her ability to help the Jedi, betraying her best friend Krix. 

The issue ends on a cliffhanger, with the two parallel stories colliding. Zeen and the Jedi are both surrounded by the Nihil, and their leader... Marchion Ro! Ro appeared in Light of the Jedi too, and in that novel he instantly became the newest iconic Star Wars villain. And here, in comic aimed towards kids, he's making his second appearance! This is why I love this issue. It's still at it's heart a comic book aimed towards kids, but it still feels significant and important, which is something I couldn't say about the mainline Star Wars Adventures series. Beyond the awesome story, the art was also really good; again, it was much better than the art typically seen in the Adventures series, and I hope that's kept up. I can't wait for the next issue!

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