Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Ario Anindito
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Annalisa Leoni
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: March 3, 2021
The High Republic is in motion and this comic has been showing bits and pieces of what this new era of Star Wars has to offer. The series started on a hopeful note as a new Jedi Padawan was knighted into the order only to then leap to danger with her former master Sskeer and two twin Jedi. We saw a glimpse of the series’ new galactic threats, the Nihil, ruthless and vicious raiders. Now Star Wars: The High Republic #3 will take readers to meet the next big threat to face the Jedi.
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From the beginning the comic resumes back on the farming world of Sedri Minor, where the whole cast try to calm down one of the Jedi twins who’s lost his brother. Through their connection, the twin is experiencing great darkness, one he’s never felt before. The Jedi’s investigations are off to a rocky start as their trust, confidence in the Force, and overall patience is tested.
The book follows main character Trennis Keeve as she gets to meet the locals, who are nice enough with a couple exceptions. Keeve can feel that something is off and continues to look for further answers only to find more than she expected. While back at their ship, Jedi Marshall Avar Kriss helps calm the raving twin and is about to chew out Sskeer for his conduct in the previous issue. But she’s informed by Starlight Beacon, the Jedi’s space station in the Outer Rim, of their findings from the past attack. From there, the Jedi Marshall goes to go look for Keeve.
Meanwhile, Keeve is doing something very irresponsible and beyond reckless. However, she eventually discovers exactly what it is that’s troubling Sedri Minor: the Drengir. These new beings are depicted as dangerous, sentient, carnivorous alien flora with a connection to the Dark Side of the Force. Sadly, once again, the new villains are underwhelming. The book ends on a cliffhanger that was pretty much spoiled by the upcoming covers shown in the previous issues.
The Drengir are fine new additions to Star Wars but nothing about them screams big galactic threats. Their motivations are pretty run-of-the-mill for evil plant monsters: to eat all “meat”. It’s either join them or nourish them. Their abilities are also pretty standard, nothing too crazy there, and the Dark Side abilities they exhibit so far are not all that impressive. The book tries to portray an eerie atmosphere around these beings, and while the art in this book is good, it doesn’t make the Drengir as terrifying opponents. Especially when they meet lightsabers, though they’re not so easily beaten.
One problem here is how much the book tries to make Jedi Master Sskeer appear broken and potentially traumatized by his past encounter. In some parts it comes off genuine and in others it’s very heavy-handed, especially when the Jedi Marshall is about to reprimand him. It’s clear from the second issue he is volatile when around the Nihil, but the way he was tempted by the Drengir to join them was far, far too quick and unsatisfactory. At least for this reviewer’s liking.
Another problem is how irresponsible Keeve is in this comic. Not that she goes investigating on her own. That’s practically Hero 101. It’s that she lets a little boy tag along with her when she knows she should send this boy home. Not only because the Jedi twin is missing but she was told by one of the locals that their own little boy went missing before him. And she had several opportunities to send him back. By not doing so, Keeve endangered this boy who was almost close to getting eaten by the Drengir. However, I don’t really expect the series to have the Jedi Marshall chew her out for it.
The Star Wars: The High Republic #3 continues to introduce more of the new villains of this era who continue to disappoint. The art is good but there are moments in this comic that don’t feel too developed or well-thought out. Fans of the High Republic may enjoy this, but it’s not a strong recommend to those waiting on the fence.