REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The High Republic-Trail of Shadows,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Star Wars The High Republic-Trail of Shadows #1 - But Why Tho

Star Wars: The High Republic-Trail of Shadows #1 (Trail of Shadows #1) is written by Daniel José Older, illustrated by David Wachter, colored by Giada Marchisio, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It is published by Marvel Comics. After the fallout of the Republic Fair, Jedi Knight Emerick Caphtor is asked to investigate and see if the Nihil have a weapon that could topple the Jedi Order. Sian Holt, an extremely skilled private detective, is also assigned to the same case. But both Caphtor and Holt encounter a number of threats, as well as shadows from their past.

Trail of Shadows has been described as a noir set in the Star Wars universe and contains nods to the other High Republic novels including The Rising Storm, where the Republic Fair took place. Older splits the story between Caphtor’s investigation and Holt tracking an old friend of hers, with each tale leading to an action-packed confrontation. Older is definitely well versed in both the tropes of Star Wars and noir stories; scenes take place on the lower levels of Courscant and in dark alleys, and there’s plenty of twists and turns to be found. A creepy element is also at work with the addition of a creepy rhyme that Caphtor and Jedi Master Stellan Gios heard in their youth. Older posted a video with the rhyme on Twitter, and believe me when I say it’ll both haunt your dreams and plays a major role in the story.

Wachter illustrates the book with a more refined style than his work on IDW’s Godzilla comics-which makes sense, as he’s dealing with humans and aliens instead of a massive radioactive lizard. Both of the book’s protagonists have their own unique visual flair as well; Caphtor wears the golden and cream robes/armor of a Jedi Knight and is a Black man in his mid-30’s with graying temples. He also is accompanied by his droid Q2, who bears a resemblance to BD-1 from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order but has the temperament of K2-SO from Rogue One. Holt is an Asian woman around the same age, clad in blue robes that would make Padme Amidala jealous-and is skilled with a blaster.

Rounding out the artistic team for Trail of Shadows #1 are Marchisio and Sabino. Marchisio’s colors really add the noir elements to the issue; shadows loom everywhere, and what’s hiding in them isn’t pretty. A battle between Caphtor’s forces and the Nihil takes place on the rusty red desert planet of Vrant Tarnum, with Caphtor’s golden lightsaber blade blocking blaster fire and his allies immediately identifiable by their white jumpsuits. To further differentiate between the two protagonists, Sabino gives them different caption boxes; Caphtor’s are golden while Holt’s are light blue, matching their color and offering a contrast between the two-a contrast that will no doubt deepen when they meet face to face.

Star Wars: The High Republic-Trail of Shadows #1 combines the world of the High Republic with a noir tale, adding elements of horror along the way. This series is off to a great start, and the ending suggests the mystery has only begun.

Star Wars: The High Republic-Trail of Shadows #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars: The High Republic-Trail of Shadows #1
4.5

TL;DR

Star Wars: The High Republic-Trail of Shadows #1 combines the world of the High Republic with a noir tale, adding elements of horror along the way. This series is off to a great start, and the ending suggests the mystery has only begun.