Star Wars: This High Republic #1
After being delayed months and months, The High Republic is finally here. The bold new project has tendrils in every corner of the Star Wars literary universe. The series revolves around various Jedi in the golden age of their order, about to find out their galaxy and The Force itself is in danger. The Marvel series leads the way with their offering, a story of a Padawan on the verge of greatness and the perils that lie ahead.
This series is only part of a much larger multimedia print campaign set in the same era. It encompasses not just comics, but novels, YA fiction, children’s books, manga, magazine short stories, and reference books as well. The plan is to release three major even chapters over the course of the next year and a half. It is a bold project that will expand the current Star Wars canon much further than the timeline of The Skywalker Saga for the very first time in new canon. This is not the first time Lucasfilm has accomplished a project of this scale. There was a huge multimedia campaign around Shadows Of the Empire in the 90’s and again for The Clone Wars between the release of Attack Of the Clones and Revenge Of the Sith. However, this is the first time since Disney bought Star wars in 2014 that they have attempted it again. Marketing to all age groups is the key strategy here. This series appeals to the more adult reader where IDW will bring out a more kid friendly comic addition. The big difference here, as opposed to other similar projects, it that this has no related video games or toy lines. This massive undertaking exists in print alone. That is until the announced High Republic era show Acolyte come out on Disney+ in the future.
The best part of the initial issue it that is sets the tone and introduces characters and settings all while being a self contained story. The overall plot of High Republicrevolves around a new Jedi space station set up one the edge of the galaxy to maintain a better control over The Republic at large. The Jedi stationed there must become peacekeepers, not based in the galactic core, but in the outer rim instead. This is very similar to the plot of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and although there will be those who scoff at that comparison, it is really great praise. DS9 is considered a fan favorite and offered a locale that opened up a lot of story possibilities that other Trek show could not. The issue focus on Padawan Keeve Trennis and her being tested by her master. She is a brave and capable student, though prone to cursing Star Wars profanities and improvising on the fly. Although the story is self contained, it gives the audience a change to briefly meet the other Jedi that will be in the series, including a younger Yoda at the spry age of 700. Certainly these characters will get their own chance to be in the spotlight as the series moves forth.
The High Republic endeavor is fascinating, but Marvel aims to give it a very unique offering to the project as a whole. Assembling a new creative crew seems to be their starting point. Cavan Scott has loads of experience not only with Star Wars, but has represented many franchises faithfully. Inker Mark Morales also has a ton of Star Wars street cred as well as working for pretty much every major publisher. Artist Ario Anindito has been more close to the Marvel titles specifically, and ensures that the art looks not only appropriately Star Wars but also unmistakably Marvel, which he indeed achieves. All three seem to be firing on all cylinders. Over all the gang has pulled off an impressive start for the comics portion of the project in its story and art. It is sure to be a strong pillar of the High Republic movement in general, but certainly will add its own flavor to the larger meal.
The stage it set in not only this comic series, but the other interconnecting stories of The High Republic movement. Strangely, this particular issue givers a ton of setting and character introduction, but does not at all reveal the villains of the era yet. This kind of mystery is sure to baffle the Jedi of The High Republic as well as readers. That is, of course, until those villains reveal themselves at last.
Star Wars: The High Republic #1: For Light and Life!
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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