Comic Review – The Conflict Between Wookiees and Trandoshans Boils Over in “Star Wars: Yoda” #5

If Star Wars fans know anything, it’s that Wookiees and Trandoshans don’t like each other very much. Well, maybe not all Star Wars fans, but certainly the ones who pay attention to ancillary materials from the publishing and animation worlds– heck, this conflict between species even popped up in last year’s The Book of Boba Fett live-action series.

And that eternal fuel plays a big part in today’s new issue of the Star Wars: Yoda comic book from Marvel, in which the titular Jedi Master tries to quell the animosity between two of his students.

Yoda #5, written by Jody Houser and illustrated by Luke Ross, begins with a flashback-within-a-flashback to an even earlier point in Master Yoda’s Jedi career. He travels to a planet called Alaris Prime (which has previously appeared in a number of Star Wars materials over the years, both in the Legends and Canon timelines), where a fierce battle between Wookiees and Trandoshans has ended with the big fur-covered ones triumphant. However, there was also one survivor on the reptilian species’ side– an infant Trandoshan strong with the Force, which Yoda vows to take back to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to train. Then we cut back to the first layer of flashback, during which Yoda is overseeing the training of Jedi Initiates Gheyr (a teenage version of the same Trandoshan) and Krrsish (a Wookiee who has taken to acting hostile toward Gheyr after he had visions of her turning to the dark side last issue). Yoda attempts to intervene in this conflict by talking with Krrsish, and that briefly seems to work, with the Wookiee apologizing to– and even hugging– his Trandoshan comrade. But things take a turn for the worse when Krrsish has another dark vision and consults with Master Dooku about its meaning.

Dooku tells Krrsish to stay vigilant and keep an eye on Gheyr, with the intent on being prepared if he does eventually need to take action. With that in his head, though, he can’t help but become even more paranoid about his fellow Initiate during a field trip to the planet Corvair II with Master Yoda. Spurred on by yet another vision, Krrsish separates Gheyr from the rest of the group and attacks her, giving us this issue’s cliffhanger ending. I’m really digging this arc of Star Wars: Yoda due to its simple, straightforward story that has a lot to say (through Yoda’s wise words) about putting one's past– not to mention the larger machinations of the galaxy– behind them when they join the Jedi Order. Since we don’t know Gheyr or Krrsish from any other Star Wars stories, I have to wonder how their dispute is going to rectify itself, or if it might actually end in one or both of their deaths or perhaps expulsion from the Order. But other than successfully piquing my curiosity about where this narrative might be headed, House has done a great job of making me care about these characters– I even buy that Krrsish believes he’s doing the right thing by nipping his rival’s potential turn to the dark side in the bud. The interference by Dooku in Krrsish’s path is an interesting one, and can likely be read as an indicator of his eventual fall from grace. Either way, this second arc of the Yoda comic is a fairly insightful peek at the Jedi Master past so far, and I’m definitely intrigued to see where it’s headed.

Star Wars: Yoda #5 is available now wherever comic books are sold.