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Review - Shadows of the Light in Marvels The High Republic #15

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The High Republic' started by SWNN Probe, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. SWNN Probe

    SWNN Probe Seeker

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    We've reached the end of Cavan Scott's The High Republic Marvel series, as well as the first phase of The High Republic. Scott never shies away from telling tragic stories, but his ability to claim hope within them never ceases to amaze me. As Avar Kriss, Keeve Trennis, and Sskeer arrive at Starlight Beacon, they see the symbol of hope in flames, plunging towards its death. The celebration from Lourna Dee's capture is over, and now the Jedi must find a way to save whatever light and life remains. This connects to the final act of Claudia Gray's The Fallen Star, so if you haven't read that beware of spoilers. As usual, SPOILERS AHEAD....



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    There is little subtly in the terror of this final issue, in both Scott's writing and the vivid art by Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, Victor Olazaba, and Carlos Lopez. Keeve finds herself facing the Leveler. This is the closest look we've had at the specter taunting the Jedi. Avar and Sskeer are able to break through the hold it takes on Keeve, bringing her back to the crisis on Starlight Beacon. Keeve is saved, but Nooranbakarakana fell to the Leveler. Realizing the Leveler will continue to pursue and distract them, Sskeer makes a difficult decision.



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    The destruction of Starlight Beacon keeps taking. Sskeer stays true to the Force and knows this is his chance to let Keeve grow beyond. His soul and spirit will live in her, and the Jedi ideal of masters holds true: We are what they grow beyond.



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    If there is one thing to celebrate from this issue it's Lourna Dee abandoning the Nihil. Like Cavan Scott, I'm cheering for Lourna Dee always. While she's been presented in most High Republic stories as a clear villain, Scott's Tempest Runner informs us of Lourna's past and her path to the Nihil. If you've experienced Tempest Runner (Check out our review if you're curious), you were likely cheering when Lourna rejected her role in Marchion Ro's plan. It will likely be some time before we know where Lourna is heading, but I'm looking forward to the continuation of her story.



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    Master Maru Estala does his best to hold the station together. All technological interventions have failed, so the Jedi look to the Force. Avar and Keeve can sense his struggles to keep a hold on Starlight Beacon's integrity. Avar sends Keeve ahead to search for more survivors as she reaches into the song of the Force to unite whatever Jedi are left aboard.



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    This brings Avar's role full circle, connecting back to Charles Soule's Light of the Jedi when she united the Jedi Order through the Force to prevent a cataclysm from the Hyperspace Disaster. Though Avar can't stop their collective beacon of hope from burning up, she can bring the Jedi back into the light for just a moment. Scott's words and the collective work of the artists elevate this moment as one of the best in The High Republic. It's a fitting tribute to the stories we've had so far and a bit of hope for what is yet to come.



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    Ceret and Terec live! Just as Keeve is about to be crushed under an explosion within Starlight Beacon, the twins emerge and protect her. They've survived the Leveler. Unfortunately, we don't get much more than this so we'll have to wait for future stories, hoping to learn how it affected them. Trying not to make too many predictions about the future, but I suspect the twins will have a much larger role in future stories, as well as Keeve.



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    The epilogue of the issue shows more than it says. Keeve finds resolve in the tragedy while Avar seems absolutely broken. There's no doubt this is the most devastating blow to the galaxy from the Nihil, and their shadow now looms over everything the light touched.



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    This image speaks for itself. The Jedi have lost so much. The Republic has lost so much. The path forward is an uncertain one, with new truths the next phase of stories will reveal, and a future which will only set the stage for the darkest chapter of the Jedi. Light and life feel more like an interlude when considering the greater context of The High Republic.



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    The High Republic has given us some of the best writing in Star Wars, so far. There is very little I didn't enjoy from the trove of stories by Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, DJ Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule. I'm so excited for the next phase of stories, but I'll be anxiously awaiting the continuation of so many characters I've grown to love in these first ones. Cavan Scott's contributions to this moment in Star Wars are immeasurable, and he's proven continuously his stories are for all Star Wars fans. The foundation all of these authors established will elevate the next stories and Star Wars storytelling for so many fans for decades beyond. We are all these stories, for light and life.


    <p style='text-align: center;']RATING: 8.5/10</p>


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    #1 SWNN Probe, Mar 21, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2022
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