Today saw the release of issue #1 of Phase III of Marvel’s main Star Wars: The High Republic comic book, and below are my brief recap and thoughts about this installment.
With Charles Soule’s Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight miniseries having started last month and George Mann’s Star Wars: The High Republic – The Eye of Darkness novel due out next week, we have officially entered Phase III of Lucasfilm’s ambitious multi-platform initiative, which launched back in 2021. But the centerpiece of The High Republic for me has always been Cavan Scott’s comic book for Marvel, so I couldn’t be happier that this title is back for another run. The High Republic Vol. 3, #1 begins a year after the destruction of the Republic Space Station Starlight Beacon (see the end of Phase I, if that makes sense). Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis is still having nightmares about having left her Trandoshan Master Sskeer to his apparent doom at the claws of the vicious Force-eating creatures called the Nameless, while her Republic Longbeam the Gios (named after another Jedi Master killed at Starlight Beacon) patrols the Occlusion Zone between Republic space and the Occlusion Zone claimed by the ruthless band of marauders known as the Nihil and their leader Marchion Ro.
But when the Jedi aboard the Gios are alerted by Coruscant to a potential alliance between the Hutt Cartel and the Nihil, they take it upon themselves to intervene. Scott and his talented artists Ario Anindito and Jim Towe then cut to the planet Ballum, where representatives from the Nihil have indeed arrived to meet with Skarabda the Hutt, bringing a Nameless along with them. This meeting is tense even before the Nihil try to take the Hutt’s territory by force, and then both parties are interrupted by the sudden arrival of the Gios. A big battle ensues, with at least one (though possibly two) Jedi biting the dust. This issue then ends with the big, climactic reveal of the return of a villain from Phase I, though that’s kinda spoiled by the cover.
At this point I feel like I’m never not going to enjoy Cavan Scott’s comic writing– he strikes such a perfect balance between drama and action, and all the dialogue just flows so well from him. Plus the back half of this issue is just chock full of amazing, jaw-dropping moments that lead me to believe we are in for an extremely exciting, white-knuckle Phase III. I love that the Hutts are involved, and at least one of those Jedi deaths I mentioned above is fairly shocking, so I hope it sticks. Fans know by now that between this, the other comic series in The High Republic, and the novels, there’s a lot to keep up with if you want to stay on top of things, so as they say in the comic-book world, right now is an ideal jumping-on point.
Star Wars: The High Republic #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold.