Blasting off into a bold new era of Star Wars storytelling, Disney's Lucasfilm has already begun the initial launch round for its Star Wars: The High Republic lineup of novels, books, and comics, with its intertwined stories spread across multiple publishing platforms. Set 200 years prior to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace during the Jedi Knights' prime years, these epic new space opera tales unspool while the mystic enforcers were the official guardians of peace and justice for the Galactic Republic before the dark times.
To create the roster of official tie-in print releases for The High Republic initiative, Lucasfilm Publishing chose Charles Soule (Light of the Jedi), Justina Ireland (A Test of Courage), Claudia Gray (Into the Dark), Cavan Scott (Marvel's Star Wars: The High Republic), and Daniel José Older (IDW's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures) to lead the charge into this unexplored corner of the galaxy far, far away.
IDW's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic series arrives with its debut issue this coming Wednesday, and SYFY WIRE is offering an exclusive peek inside the exhilarating young-adult offering, alongside a complete page breakdown by Older (Star Wars: Last Shot), its main orchestrator.
Older will be joined by acclaimed artist Harvey Tolibao (Danger Girl Trinity, Green Arrow) for a thrilling tale set in the glory days of the High Republic, as a team of inexperienced Padawans race to Trymant IV to aid its residents following a vicious attack by the Nihil, a band of ruthless marauders.
Padawans Lula, Farzal, and Qort attempt to assist as many injured and frightened citizens as they can. During the chaos, Zeen and Kriz, part of a faction that dislikes and fears the Jedi, must decide if they can ultimately accept the peacekeeper's valiant efforts, or try to rescue the planet by themselves.
Read below for Older's intriguing dissection of the creative process and story content in pages 6-9 of IDW's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #1...
PAGE 6: "This page is where we first get a sense of the Nihil in this saga — although we don’t know it’s them yet — and I love how devastating and chaotic that ship is amidst all the other destruction going on. This is also, in a sharp contrast, where we first meet Cham-Cham, who is Zeen’s pet cru. It’s a stark gigantic-to-tiny jump between the two panels, a horrific moment becomes a tender one, and then immediately the creepiness of the Spider Cruiser becomes even more urgent. Those legs!"
PAGE 7: "The Padawans have been anxiously awaiting their first call to action and now it’s here, so the panels feel appropriately explosive and exciting. Lula takes their little speeder through some fancy flying maneuvers to avoid falling debris and gets to have a moment of feeling accomplished. Meanwhile, on the ground, Zeen and Krix proceed cautiously toward the Nihil ship, and we can already see how Krix is more inclined to trust them while Zeen is more cautious."
PAGE 8: "I love the detail and elegance Harvey brings to this page, especially because it contrasts so perfectly with the gritty, punk rock industrial vibe of the Nihil. They look like classical mythological figures in his rendering, especially with Zeen’s Medusa-like Mikkian tendrils. In the bottom panel, we meet Elder Tromak, and the way the Nihil are around him, it’s not clear whether they’re protecting him or capturing him, which is exactly the right dynamic, because it’s a little bit of both."
PAGE 9: "Again the Spider Cruiser looms over everything, reminding us just how dangerous these guys are. Meanwhile, there’s a really excellent flow following Zeen and Krix across these first three panels right up to the Nihil, and it speaks perfectly to how Krix is leading the way while Zeen is kind of caught up in his forward motion, a little against her will. And then boom! They bump right into the cold reality of what’s going on: the Nihil have come to take one person only and it’s not them.
"For this last panel, which closes out the first half of the issue, it was really important to get it from the POV of these two young people trying to escape tragedy and being told no by an uncaring guardian. The Nihil raider is looking directly at us, the readers, with his gas mask and big weapon, and saying, 'Good luck with the apocalypse!'"
IDW's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic series arrives with its debut issue on Feb. 3.