Star Wars: The High Republic #1 features a stunning scene in which readers finally get to see just how a Jedi experiences the Force!
This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The High Republic #1 by Cavan Scott and Ario Anindito.
Star Wars has finally revealed what it looks like to experience the Force as a Jedi. When Obi-Wan Kenobi introduced Luke Skywalker to the Force in the first Star Wars film, he described it as “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” It was a rather basic, utilitarian view of the Force, but it laid the foundation for every Star Wars story that has followed. Until now.
According to Lucasfilm, Star Wars: The High Republic will redefine our understanding of the Force. Speaking at The High Republic panel at New York Comic Con 2020, author Charles Soule – project lead of the entire project – revealed our traditional interpretation is shaped by Yoda’s relationship with the Force. But the current range of stories set in the High Republic Era – some 200 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace – take place before Yoda’s teachings became so dominant. In the High Republic Era, every Jedi was encouraged to explore their own unique relationship with the Force.
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Star Wars: The High Republic #1, by Cavan Scott and Ario Anindito, reveals the intimate relationship between Padawan Keeve Trennis and the Force. Trennis has been sent to the Outer Rim world of Shuraden in order to undergo her Jedi Trials, but they are interrupted when a swarm of star-locusts called the Ridadi sweeps across the planet. The creatures navigate by following the magnetic pulses of stars, and the Republic’s new Starlight Beacon has disrupted them. Trennis learns this when she uses the Force to connect with the swarm in a stunning scene, beautifully realized by the artistic team of Ario Anindito, inker Mark Morales, and colorist Annalisa Leoni.
The image is absolutely beautiful and unlike anything ever seen before in Star Wars. This is a time well before the Force lost balance and the shroud of the dark side fell across the galaxy, and consequently, the Jedi had a closer relationship with the Force than in the main Skywalker saga. Trennis’ feat is impressive, because she begins by connecting with the Ridadi, identifies the signal they are now following, and traces it to its source. Notice her perception of Starlight Beacon, which is almost wraith-like, fitting with the fact it is an artificial construct and thus not so luminous in the Force.
The whole scene is absolutely stunning. It’s fascinating to see how Keeve Trennis perceives the Force; the eddies and swirls of color and power that surround her, the spectral visions of the artificial environment that is Starlight Beacon. While there have been scenes like this in the various Star Wars novels, the advantage of comics is that they are a visual medium, and so they can realize this in such a beautiful way. This scene alone makes Star Wars: The High Republic #1 unmissable reading.
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