Star Wars: The High Republic #1 Review

by NumidianPrime on January 06, 2021

Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Ario Anindito
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Publisher: Marvel

This week is a big landmark for both Star Wars comics and Star Wars publishing in general because it sees the start of the new High Republic initiative, launching Star Wars storytelling back several centuries to a new era of prosperity for the Jedi and the galaxy at large. Among the releases this week is The High Republic #1, Marvel's new ongoing comic and its contribution to the overall initiative. 

The series stars Keeve Trennis, a new Jedi Padawan apprenticed to Trandoshan Master Sskeer. Keeve is a very fun character who has a lot more personality than I had been expecting. Her inability to stop herself from swearing in awkward situations and excitement over meeting famous Jedi is very charming, and her committment to helping those in need no matter what solidifies her as a true Jedi. I'm really looking forward to following her growth over the course of her journey. Sskeer himself is a very cool character as well. We haven't seen many good Trandoshans like him, much less Jedi, and he brings something that feels new to the table.

The plot of the issue ends up being a fairly self contained story, which is good for a big landmark issue that has to sell this brand new time period and story to the readers. The Ximpi provide good comic relief and the threat Keeve has to solve is engaging while also tying in nicely to the greater story of both the comic and the initiative. The last section of the issue made me very happy for multiple reasons, from exciting plot developments to fun character crossovers, not to mention the very intriguing ending. 

The tie-ins to the rest of the intiative were very rewarding for someone who's been following all of it, but I also think someone could enjoy this story without closely following the others. The short inclusion of Yoda was a nice touch, giving the readers a familiar face in the middle of these unfamiliar times, places, and characters to ground them and solidify that this is a part of the same Star Wars tapestry that we all know and love. I'm very happy with how this comic directly follows on the events of the big adult novel Light of the Jedi. I expected to have to wait until the following major novel to find out what happens next but having the ongoing comic continuing past it in the meantime almost makes it feel like the story never ends. That said, if you do plan on following all of the stories, I recommend waiting until you've finished Light of the Jedi to start the comic, because it does have several spoilers for the novel. 

I have to give a big shoutout to the entire art team (Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, and Annalisa Leoni) because this issue had some of my favorite art for Star Wars comics in recent memory. I've looked at black and white previews for this issue for months now but the quality of the art didn't click for me until I read the complete issue in full color. The quality of the art style and colors definitely gives the series a feeling of elevated importance, like a major event. Every character design and location is very nice to look at and I hope I can expect this level of quality from the entire series. It's also nice to get good visualizations of the era's new concepts, like Starlight Beacon or the Jedi's Vector starfighters. 

Overall I thought this was a fantastic start to an exciting new initiative. If the rest of the series is anything like this issue, it'll definitely be my favorite of the current Star Wars comics and it might end up ranking high on my favorites of all time. The month-long waits between issues has never felt longer because I can't wait to see where this series goes from here. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside