Comic Review – It’s the Calm Before the Storm (But Not Really) in “Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures” (2023) #6

Today saw the release of issue #6 in Phase III of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures from Dark Horse Comics, and below are my brief recap and thoughts on this installment.

In the recent past I’ve half-jokingly critiqued writer Daniel José Older for including too many group hugs in his Jedi stories, so you can imagine my delight when I saw the cover (pictured above) of this month’s issue of The High Republic Adventures (2023), which begins on the planet Eriadu. There, Lula Talisola, Zeen Mrala, and their Jedi friends have taken a bit of shore leave after the space-prison-break events of the past few issues. An opening monologue from Lula serves as a bit of a recap (I’m now assuming this issue will kick off one of the trade-paperback collected volumes of this comic) and reminds readers that she has decided to leave the Jedi Order to be with Zeen. This immediately makes me wonder how– or if, I suppose– this decision will be squared with the events of an upcoming The High Republic novel, but that’s not out yet so I won’t say why in this review. Anyway, Talisola is happy that she’s mostly been given her memories back thanks to the help of her allies and is also excited to be participating in an energetic ball-based sport on the planet’s surface– games and activities among the Jedi being another of Older’s tropes.

Everyone seems to be enjoying their well-deserved break until a hologram from Master Yoda comes in, informing the group of the Nihil’s first Stormwall expansion, which sets the events of this comic a bit earlier in Phase III than the novels are up to right now. Yoda reassures them that if the Stormwall were to expand further to occupy Eriadu, the Republic and the Jedi Order would have their backs, but his speech is then interrupted by the arrival of the Star Hopper, an academic cruiser used by the Republic that disappeared with the destruction of the Starlight Beacon space station. Markings on the bottom of the ship indicate it has now been commandeered by the Nihil, so Lula, Zeen, and their friends jump into action, approaching the Star Hopper in full force using a much smaller transport, but with the intent of showing up the Nihil’s act of “psychological warfare.”

There’s a bit of action before the duel ends with the Nihil fleeing the battle, and Lula says she is satisfied with having made them run– and ready to face any further opposition that may come with occupation of Eriadu. So it seems like even though she’s leaving the Order, she and Zeen are going to stick around and help out anyway? Doesn’t that basically make them Jedi in everything but name? I’m not sure if that’s the question Older wants us to be asking, but I hope he follows up on it in future issues anyhow. As for this issue as a stopgap, I don’t know if I personally found the stalemate ending satisfying, but I guess it’s always nice to see what this group of Jedi gets up to between their more life-and-death missions. I also want to say I’m glad that Harvey Tolibao has seemingly returned as the main artist for this title, as even though it took me a while to fully warm up to his work, I do think his style fits the tone that Older is going for in the writing. Plus, I really dig the helpful map of the Occlusion Zone included in these pages.

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

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.