BY MATT TUCK
Have you ever wanted a dose of horror and suspense in a Star Wars comic? The High Republic #3 does just that, and it is a breath of fresh air that circumvents the Star Wars formula while remaining true to the franchise’s overarching themes.
STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #3
Written by Cavan Scott
Art by Ario Anindito
After first appearances propelled the two opening issues of High Republic to the top of the sales charts, the third chapter adds a horror story to the galaxy far, far away.
Every issue of The High Republic manages to get better. The first issue felt more in line with George Lucas’ prequels as action stories meant for kids. High Republic #2 hinted at a more mature turn, but I honestly did not think the powers that be would allow it. After all, Star Wars has a tradition of being family friendly, overly so at times. While there is no overt violence or gore in High Republic #3, keeping it firmly PG-13, this most definitely was a horror comic, and I thoroughly enjoyed the direction.
So far, High Republic tells the story of a newly-christened Jedi knight, Keeve. She’s young, hip and a little edgy. Then there is Sskeer, a humanoid lizard who happens to be Keeve’s Jedi master, as well as Keeve’s fellow Jedi knights, Ceret and Teret, the jovial, inseparable (and at times, insufferably sweet) twins.
Together, the four venture to Sedri Minor, a small planet that comes across like a humble Midwestern farming town. Just like a Stephen King novel, people start disappearing. First, it is Ceret. Then we learn that others have gone missing. As the local Speaker refutes the Jedi’s attempts to aid Sedri Minor, Keeve begins to unravel the mystery that leads to the Dark Side and a monster that is a cross between Little Shop of Horrors and The Thing.
In another title, I may not have been so impressed. But this is Star Wars, and I had grown accustomed to it being geared toward the younger crowd. While this issue will still appeal to teenagers and young-adult audiences, the added horror and suspense element is something I did not expect from Star Wars, particularly in the Disney era.
Overall, this was an entertaining story with more of a horror theme that helps High Republic stand out from the multitude of Star Wars titles on the market, and that’s not to mention the volume of past SW titles from its Dark Horse days. Is it the greatest Star Wars story ever told? Not so far, but this was an enjoyable read that had me wanting more by the last panel. What else could I ask for?
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.