Comic Review – The Jedi Scramble to Recover During the Battle of Jedha in “Star Wars: The High Republic” (2020) #6

In the cliffhanger ending of last month’s issue of Star Wars: The High Republic from Marvel Comics, Jedi Knight Vildar Mac found himself buried alive beneath the collapsing almshouse occupied by the Force cult known as the Path of the Open Hand.

And as issue #6 of the second volume of this title set hundreds of years prior to the events of the Skywalker Saga begins, chaos has still engulfed the streets of Jedha City.

Out in the desert, another Jedi named Oliviah Zeveron assists Master Leebron in recovering from the collapse of Jedha’s ancient Jedi Guardian statue. Then they receive a call for help from Padawan Matthea “Matty” Cathley, who is struggling to free Vildar from the debris, along with the others who are trapped. Meanwhile, Mac tries to enlist the Path members to help him, though several of them are still distrustful of the Jedi’s Force-manipulating ways. Over at the Temple of the Kyber, the former Guardian of the Whills Tey Sirrek has escaped from his cell, but finds himself compelled to help his captors escape danger in the wake of the recent explosion. Under the rubble, Vildar flashes back to his childhood when his village was attacked by a Sorcerer of Tund and a Jedi came to the rescue, sensing something in Mac and encouraging him to pursue a life with the Order. Several of these disparate threads come together when Tey and the Guardians show up to help unbury the victims of the almshouse collapse, and Matty convinces the non-Force-users to concentrate their wills on the Jedi in order to give Vildar the extra strength in the Force he needs to escape.

At that point it just becomes a matter of finding a place where bystanders can hole up until the battle is over, and Vildar Mac decides that place is the local bar known as Enlightenment, which is run by the Villarandi Kradon Minst. Enlightenment was heavily featured as a location in the audio drama Star Wars: The High Republic – The Battle of Jedha, so it makes sense that it would reemerge here as a potential safehouse for those attempting to evade the turmoil in the Jedha streets. Vildar throws Kradon’s previous insistence that Enlightenment is a “sanctuary” back in his face, and the gathered masses take up residence in the bar as they wait for the conflict outside to blow over. It’s a fun, intriguing ending for this issue, and the cover of next month’s installment promises that we’ll be spending more time in Enlightenment, a prospect that I find especially appealing. In the meantime, I thought writer Cavan Scott and artist Ario Anindito once again did an excellent job putting this issue together, and I loved seeing how all the various participants in these rather dire circumstances on Jedha were dealing with the confusion and discord. Plus, now we have the backstory for how that collapsed Jedi statue from Rogue One fell in the Jedha desert. I really enjoy when Star Wars gives us connective tissue like that, and this sort of history is a big part of the appeal of The High Republic in general.

Star Wars: The High Republic #6 is available now wherever comic books are sold.