REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The High Republic,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Star Wars The High Republic #3

Star Wars: The High Republic #3 is written by Star Wars lore staple Cavan Scott while Ario Anindito provides art, ink by Mark Morles, colors by Annalisa Leoni, letters by Ariana Maher, and cover art by Phil Noto. It is published by Marvel Comics. Star Wars: The High Republic #3 takes readers deeper into a murder mystery that looks to shake the galaxy worse than The Great Diaster.

Previously in Star Wars: The High Republic #2Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis accompanied Jedi Master Sskeer and Jedi Knights Ceret and Terec Kotabi on a mission investigating a distress signal. When the Jedi team arrived at the signal in question,  they found a  slain Hutt who was transporting the grain used to make bacta. The Hutt and the crew appeared to be attacked by the dreaded Nihil and were ambushed by one left behind. Master Sskeer was able to dispatch the Nihil but not before butchering the attacker in a rage not fit for a Jedi. While the Trandoshan’s action raised questions for Trennis and the state of her master, the Jedi had more pressing matters to attend to.

With Jedi Master Avar Kriss’s help, Trennis and the other Jedi were able to track the grain shipment to Sedri Minor. Here, they hoped to gain more insight into why the Hutt was transporting the special grain and what may have led to the Nihil attack. While Sskeer talking with the inhabitants, one of the Kotbai twins, Ceret, was lured into a grain field by a Rodian. The Force bonded twin was abruptly snatched into the darkness by a vine, vanishing without a trace.

Star Wars: The High Republic #3 opens with a rabid Terec Kotabi who frantically attempts to break free of Marshal Kriss’s grasp. Terec is bonded with Ceret, and whatever has befallen his brother has sent him into a craze. Sskeer is also becoming unbound as the failures begin to pile up for the Jedi Master as the Dark Side appears to be tugging at the fringes of the Trandoshan’s mind. Unable to sit idly by in the chaos, Trennis sets off to investigate the field as she learns from the inhabitants that Ceret is the first of many who have disappeared on the planet.

As the Jedi Knight wades through the rotting fields, she is joined by a human boy looking for his friends. Given that Ceret was also led into the field by a child, the panels quickly turn ominous as Trennis feels the Dark Side growing more and more prevalent the farther the duo goes. When Bartol, the newest of Trennis tagalongs, jumps into an unusual pit only to find herself weakened even further by the presence of the darkness. Pushing further into the unnatural tunnel system, Trennis and Bartol come face to face with a horrific sight. Ceret and one of the last inhabitants are embedded in a wall of vines that wrap their bodies and are woven through their orifices.

The rest of Star Wars: The High Republic #3 is something out of a horror movie. Readers are shown the dreaded Drengir. The amorphous carnivorous sentient plantlike beings have been touted as the second major villain in the High Republic era next to the Nihil. While the ravenous beings have made their presence felt in Charles Soule’s Into the Dark, Star Wars: The High Republic #3 really shows why they will be such a threat to the Jedi of this era.

While the Nihil have been shown as ruthless marauders, the Drengir are more frightening within only a handful of panels.  The Drengir are powerful in the Dark Side of the Force, and while they do not wield it as fans may be used to, they are nonetheless terrifying. Writer Scott builds the tension panel after panel reminiscent of his work in the Tales from Vader’s Castle series. While many of the stories in that series are tall tales with horror embellishments, Star Wars: The High Republic #3 is full-on terror.  Coupled with the work from the art team, the scale that the threat the Drengir brings is real and is enough to terrify even the strongest Jedi Masters of the time.

Overall, Star Wars: The High Republic #3 is a terrifying ride that already pays off the nuggets left in the previous two issues. Trennis continues to embody the best qualities we have come to expect from the Jedi Order as she helps others selflessly and fearlessly. Sskeer madness continues to build as his failures compound. More importantly, the Drengir have reared their ugly heads in the comics. Scott is knocking this series out of the park, and I can’t wait for the next issue.

Star Wars: The High Republic #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars: The High Republic #3
5

TL;DR

Overall, Star Wars: The High Republic #3 is a terrifying ride that already pays off the nuggets left in the previous two issues. Trennis continues to embody the best qualities we have come to expect from the Jedi Order as she helps others selflessly and fearlessly. Sskeer madness continues to build as his failures compound. More importantly, the Drengir have reared their ugly heads in the comics. Scott is knocking this series out of the park, and I can’t wait for the next issue.