When Star Wars The High Republic began,, Disney announced a whole slate of different books and comic series that fans could look forward to. There were novels, ongoing comics, children’s books, a VR game, and some comic mini-series, that would all join together to make one exciting new era to explore. After a long wait the first of the comic mini-series is finally here; Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures – The Monster of Temple Peak by Cavan Scott.
Having written the main series of comics with Marvel since the beginning of The High Republic, this new title definitely feels like a different kind of animal from the regular The High Republic Adventures series. Scott instantly brings a very different feel to the book, one that sets it apart from others, and this is in large part due to the type of story it’s telling, as well as the characters it’s focusing on.
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Whilst the other comic series have been exploring the Jedi order, the forces of the Nihil, and the monstrous Dengir, this book is setting itself apart from the wider universe, for the first issue at least, by taking a look at someone who isn’t involved in the bigger story. We join Ty Yorrick, a former Jedi padawan who’s left the order and become a monster hunter on the Outer Rim of the galaxy.
Ty instantly stands out as someone different, a new kind of protagonist that we get to follow. In the rest of the Star Wars universe we either see Jedi as respected leaders and advisers, helping those in need, or brave freedom fighters battling against the forces of the Empire or the First Order. Here, Ty is just someone trying to get by. She has Jedi powers, and a pretty cool light sabre, but she isn’t a part of anything bigger than her day to day life of travelling the galaxy trying to earn some credits. We get hints that there might be something more to her leaving the Jedi than simply walking away, and she seems to want to avoid running into any of them, but she’s certainly not on the run like some of the other heroes in Star Wars.
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It’s incredibly refreshing to have a light side Force user who’s not trying to bring peace to the galaxy, who isn’t fighting against evil, but simply living their life. It’s also something that feels really new, a part of this universe that we’ve never really had the chance to explore much. There have been hints that people have walked away from the Jedi order before (the Lost Twenty in the prequel era for example), and we’ve seen a few people who have turned their backs on the Jedi, but they invariable come to end up as part of the bigger story, battling on the side of good or evil (Count Dooku, Asaaj Ventress, and Ahsoka Tano immediately come to mind). I’d not only extremely excited to see what led Ty to leave the order, but what her life outside of it is like.
Ty is joined on her travels by her droid, KL03, or Kayel for short. She seems to be left behind to look after Ty’s ship whenever she’s out doing things, communicating with Ty from safety, but rather than being a helpful voice in her ear Kayel seems to be something of a scolding mother figure. She’s constantly reminding Ty that she needs to be focusing on the job at hand, and that they need to be earning money to keep the ship running. It’s a nice dynamic, and one that I hope we continue to explore as the story progresses.
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The art of the book is absolutely gorgeous, with Rachel Stott bringing some wonderfully clean and crisp line-work to the illustrations. Stott fills every panel with detail, making it feel like a big, lived in universe; but is also able to bring a lot of energy and movement to the action sequences. Vita Efremova and Nicola Righi supply the colours for the book, and do a great job. The issue takes place across several environments, and they all manage to look and feel different, in large part thanks to the colour work being done.
Star Wars The High Republic Adventures: The Monster of Temple Peak is one of the better entries in the entire High Republic series to date, and easily the most entertaining first issue across the different comic series. It’s taking readers in some exciting new directions, and I’m eagerly anticipating the next issue.
Star Wars The High Republic Adventures: The Monster of Temple Peak is out now from IDW Publishing.