Synopsis: The High Republic is set centuries before the SKYWALKER SAGA. The JEDI are at their height, protecting the galaxy as REPUBLIC pioneers push out into new territories. As the Frontier prepares for the dedication of majestic STARLIGHT BEACON, PADAWAN KEEVE TRENNIS faces the ultimate choice — will she complete her Jedi Trials or rescue the innocent from disaster? New Jedi! New ships! New evils to fight!
In this opening chapter of The High Republic. We’re introduced to Keeve Trennis. A young Padwan who is undergoing her final Jedi trails under the mentorship of Sskeer. The action takes place on a small planet called Shuradan, which is where The Jedi have decided to build Starlight Beacon. While training on the planet. Keeve is faced with finishing her trials or saving a Ximpi city from an insect invasion. She has little time to choose and must act immediately.
The artwork from Ario Anindito is probably the high point of this book. To begin with, the artist’s interpretation of the characters is a pretty strong point. I particularly enjoyed how well-drawn the lightsabre duel between Keeve and Sskeer was. Additionally, all the action sequences throughout were nicely done and had that cinematic quality that only comics can provide outside of the cinema.
Furthermore, the drawing of a younger Yoda was pretty impressive. Especially when it came to the little green man’s movements.
Generally speaking, I’ve never been a fan of the Star Wars expanded universe because I never read any of the novels and only sampled a few of the comics. In fact outside of the actual movies and TV properties. I never even bothered with the comics until around 5 – years ago.
So, when it comes to The High Republic. I didn’t really have any expectations or any knowledge of what came before. To begin with, the story in this book is just the opening chapter of six parts. Cavan Scott does a pretty good job of introducing the new characters. And the world-building is fairly well done. But am not really at a place where I am too invested in the characters. Firstly, the character of Keeve Trennis felt a little generic, but thankfully she isn’t a mary sue. At least not as far as I can see. The character I felt most intrigued by was Sskeer who is basically a Lizard that has only one arm and has some issues, which will get explored in later issues. I found the little aliens irritating. Which I suppose was their purpose.
As far as the action goes. There is plenty of it and it is illustrated beautifully by the artist. But one thing that stands out is the fact that writer Cavan Scott doesn’t really have a proper understanding of how Lightsabres work. In the sequence where Keeve is climbing the needle, she slips and manages to stop sliding down it with her lightsabre. This would have happened. Because the lightsabre would not have stopped as it is shown. It would have carried on sliding down the needle. So we are sort of left to assume that Keeve somehow used to force to enable her lightsabre to act as a brake.
To sum up, this isn’t a bad story. But it’s not the best thing have read either. The character of Keeve feels like your stereotypical girl next door. Nothing really stands out about her other than her Jedi stuff. I can’t really see her becoming as popular or as liked as an Ahsoka Tanu for example. But maybe I am being a bit unfair. I feel it was a bit of a mistake having her pass her Jedi Trails so fast. It may have been better to have introduced her at an earlier stage in her Jedi training. Much like how Ahsoka is introduced to us in the Clone Wars movie.
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