The fifth issue of Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic picks up right where we left off in the last issue, on the planet Sedri Minor with the arrival of the infamous Hutt Cartel.
Marvel's Star Wars: The High Republic #5
We learn that the colonists have made the decision to trust the Hutts to protect them, in return for the colony’s grain. This, naturally, causes conflict between Jedi Master Avar Kriss and the boarish Myarga the Benevolent. Avar Kriss attempts to negotiate with the Hutts, but Jedi Master Sskeer is quick to attack — evidently still feeling the effects of the Drengir.
Aboard the Starlight Beacon, the Jedi aboard are met with a daunting challenge as they are overwhelmed by the Drengir onboard. My heart clenched as Imri was pierced by the Drengir, especially after growing so attached to him in Star Wars: A Test of Courage. Even in agony, he jests, “Xenobotany was never my strong suit.” Fortunately, Vern was there to save him and I can delete my drafted tweet yelling at Cavan Scott for hurting my sweet boy.
Ceret and Terec continue to be very interesting characters and I hope that they have a larger role in the upcoming novels. Their connection and how they seem to interact with the Force and communicate with one another is unlike other Jedi we’ve seen in the past.
It’s actually rather heartbreaking to read Keeve’s narration text as she grapples with the loss of the Master that she once knew. But the real heartbreak comes from Sskeer’s confession that he has felt the Dark Side take root within him because of the Drengir. There’s some really beautiful dialogue that pairs with this revelation, that offers a really intriguing description of how the seeds of the Drengir (and the Dark Side) grow within.
“There are larger forces at play. Dangers to both Republic and Hutt Territories.”
As reports of the Drengir taking over the Frontier continue to come in, Avar Kriss suggests that the Republic and the Hutts work together to face this advisory. A suggestion Myarga seizes on when faced with the potential of tackling the Dengir on Sedri Minor alone. The Jedi and the Hutts fighting side-by-side? Who could’ve imagined it, save for the spectacular team behind The High Republic era. That’s one way to get a Jedi on a Rancor I guess. Next issue, I do believe.
Sskeer comes to a conclusion with Keeve which ultimately saves the day. If you’ve ever watched a horror film where they convince their attackers that they are just like them (think covered in blood and guts to avoid zombies) that’s exactly the plan Sskeer comes up with. And it works! Convincing the Drengir that everyone is infected already causes a retreat, but at what cost?
I did question the choice of title for this issue. Attack of the Hutts. Yet Sskeer — a Jedi — takes the first shot under the thrall of the Drengir, which both the Jedi and the Hutts are ultimately fighting against. I am actively resisting the urge to get into my Jedi Colonialism Discourse. Especially seeing, as anticipated, Speaker Sulman had his own nefarious plans at play, which included working with the Hutts just to get rich and mistreating anyone who spoke out against him. Everything is Republic propaganda to me.
Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic has helped connect the first three novels by showing us the characters and their xenobotany nemesis in spectacularly drawn panels, bringing to life the names and places we’ve only read about before. As we countdown to the next wave of High Republic era novels, I’m left wondering if the Drengir will be a prominent threat in the next novels or if the Nihil will take centerfold once more.
Cavan Scott, Ario Anindito, and Phil Noto have outdone themselves yet again with Star Wars: The High Republic Issue #5. From the engaging and visually stunning art to the clever and page-turning words — Star Wars: The High Republic comics have it all.
Star Wars: The High Republic #5 is on sale today.