From writer Cavan Scott and artist Ario Anindito, with inks by Mark Morales, colors from Annalisa Leoni, and letter by Ariana Maher, “Star Wars: The High Republic” #5 is an entertaining and fast paced chapter in this stellar comic series, although it is slightly bogged down by a bit of an absurd resolution in the book’s final moments. Supported by ever-excellent visual work, this is yet another solid issue in this uncharted era of the Star Wars universe.
“ATTACK OF THE HUTTS! The HIGH REPUBLIC JEDI clash with HUTT forces. GAMORREANS! NIKTO! BATTLE RANCORS! STARLIGHT BEACON over-run by a creeping alien horror! Can VERNESTRA RWOH and her Padawan IMRI CANTAROS find a way to save Starlight’s infected masses? Plus, KEEVE TRENNIS learns the terrible secret MASTER SSKEER has been carrying for so long. Can she ever trust him again?”
Writing & Plot
Cavan Scott has always written fun and tightly paced scripts for this series, and now with “The High Republic” #5 we get more of the same , but with some caveats. This comic is a ride to be sure, full of intense action and high stakes as Jedi all over the galaxy fight off the hordes of ancient dark side plants. There is plenty to grab onto as both a seasoned Star Wars fan and a relative newcomer; watching the Jedi deal with a Hutt warlord and their mass of armed goons, including a freakin’ battle Rancor, is top-notch fun stuff. The dialogue and plot progression are (mostly) solid, retaining a sense of both lighthearted adventure and emotional depth that truly feels like Star Wars. Unfortunately, this comic suffers from a rather strange and sudden turn in the later pages. This deus ex machina-esque moment is delivered in a large blurb of expository dialogue that, on its own, really wasn’t too bad to get through. However, when delivering this sort of game changing bomb shell in this sort of manner, it tends to get lost in the shuffle; especially when it’s a twist that doesn’t have much buildup. It’s an unfortunate distraction that hurts the book’s pacing, but it is bolstered by how fun this issue is overall.
Thanks to the work of Ario Anindito’s pencils and Mark Morales’s inks, “Star Wars : The High Republic” #5 is yet another chapter in this series with outstanding visual work. The detail in the human character and alien designs is still staggering, with animations and expressions feeling distinct and lifelike. Alien beings, from new faces to old classics like Hutts and Trandoshans, are all drawn with care and distinction; by this I mean they didn’t just draw a Hutt and decide to make it look like Jabba, but actually craft a different set of features for this specific character. The environmental design is still top notch, with both the farm-filled planet Keeve Trennis fights on and the Starlight Beacon station having solid design work put into them. Panel and page layouts flow smoothly, maintaining the story’s fast pace with a natural feel to the reading experience. The colors from Annalisa Leoni are vivid and tonally rich, with every space being filled by varying shades. Light reflections and atmospheric hues add depth to every panel, creating a comic with the look of a high production set piece. The letters from Ariana Maher use a soft, easy to follow font that stays dynamic for changing character tones, and utilizes great sound effect lettering that resonates with the audience. This is, unsurprisingly, a great looking Star Wars comic.
“Star Wars: The High Republic” #5 is a sharply paced and action-packed comic that falters due to a strange choice in conflict resolution, but is still entertaining enough to be worth the read. Cavan Scott’s script is still mostly full of fun and smart choices, which make the exposition-laden and very out of left field approach to the issue’s climax a major anomaly. The visuals from Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, and Annalisa Leoni are stellar as always, delivering a properly epic Star Wars experience. Be sure to pick up this latest issue when it hits shelves on 5-12!