Story: Cavan Scott
Art: Ario Anindito, Mark Morales
Colors: Franke William
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
What They Say:
STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC PHASE TWO FINALE! The LEVELER has been unleashed in a secret Jedi vault on JEDHA. Jedi Knight VILDAR MAC has risked everything to defeat the PATH OF THE OPEN HAND, but in the face of tragedy, can he resist the lure of the dark side? Jedha’s Battle for the Force reaches its epic conclusion!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The High Republic era continues to be something I’m fascinated by but hasn’t really become something that I’m just heavily into yet. I’ve dabbled in a couple of books and several comics, but it hasn’t had that gateway that’s worked for me where I’m really invested in following it. Cavan Scott’s involvement in the novel side definitely has made for some solid comics in the previous run and my hope is that as time goes on and they all get a better handle on the larger approach, things move in more interesting directions. Scott brings things to a close here, albeit somewhat predictably, while also setting the nod that we’ll see more of it in the future. This issue has Ario Anindito on the book with Mark Morales and that’s welcome as they definitely have a good handle on the look of the property while also bringing in something that feels just a touch different in how it’s grounded and detailed.
The final issue in this run, it plays out largely as you’d expect a finale to by going big but showing plenty of heart throughout it. With Tey not really dead, we saw Vildar essentially lose it over this latest perceived death and his taking the Dark Side glove and using it against the Herald drives the first half well. He’s intent on killing him and we see a lot of things falling out with the rest that are operating in the vault and how Tey, who wasn’t really dead, doing his best to put things right against and to try and reach Vildar before he goes totally off on the Herald. It’s done well with some solid pacing and it manages the characters here well enough, though the subordinates that the Herald works with don’t register all that much and are just kind of placeholders to keep it from being all about the core trio going up against each other.
That Vildar comes out on top, and faces down his anger, is no surprise. It would have been more of a surprise, and more interesting if he gave in to it but I understand why they avoid doing that, for better and for worse. So what we get is him and Tey returning to Jedha with the captives and explanations of what’s gone on and how deep it goes, from the recent chaos to thefts going back months and months. It helps to ease the tension and slides into the epilogue in the way that you’d expect. Everyone working together, tensions dropping, and a sense of purpose through setting up a celebration event and bringing new blood into the Convocation in order to get new voices to guard against future problems. It’s amid the chaos and ruins of part of the city, and the deaths of several leaders and important people, but it puts a cap on the first days of Vildar being in Jedha and facing some serious problems when all he wanted was a quiet time.
This High Republic series had me quite interested in it from the start by looking at Jedha at this time, the various factions, and a worn down Jedi just trying to live life for a bit without anything to cause him serious problems after all that he’d seen. What we got didn’t deliver on some of the promise of it or the things I had hoped for but it had some decent fun along the way and expanded on this era decently enough to make me more interested in it and some of the players. I’m definitely game for another round to see more of what Vildar, Tey, and Matty can get up to and to explore some of them more, especially with Matty and digging into Vildar’s past a bit more. It’s a solid enough piece overall that will certainly appeal to High Republic era fans.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 24th, 2023