The Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comics continue to strike a balance of being heartwarming and intense. Issue #11 strikes this balance particularly well as an especially wholesome and ominous installment.
Much of the issue focuses on an event aboard Starlight Beacon known as the Great Jedi Rumble Race. It is a race whose only rule is that there are no rules. Lighthearted chaos ensues as Buckets of Blood and the Jedi Padawans race to the finish line.
The race shows the Jedi being competitive, including the mechanically savvy Ram Jomaram riding a droid with augmented starfighter parts attached to it and Buckets of Blood using the Force to shove the Padawans back so he can win.
But the race also shows many of the Jedi united and laughing. After everything Qort has gone through in previous issues, it is particularly nice to see him choosing to run alongside his friends even though he has the speed to win the race alone.
It is refreshing to see these characters simply having fun without having to deal with any danger. Between the Nihil, the Drengir, the Hutts, and other threats, these Jedi have been inundated with danger. They deserve this time filled with simple joys.
However, trouble is brewing, because while the Jedi laugh and Buckets of Blood enjoys some buttery baked goods, the Nihil Sabata Krill reveals her plan to orchestrate the deaths of Zeen Mrala and Krix Kamerat.
Sabata will ensure that Zeen and Krix cross paths. As a member of the Nihil whose authority and strength are constantly being challenged, Krix will not want to show weakness, even if it means killing his old friend Zeen.
Sabata knows that the Jedi adore Zeen and is confident that her death will cause the enraged and heartbroken Jedi to kill Krix in retaliation. In one fell swoop, Sabata believes she can eliminate Krix and manipulate the Jedi into losing control.
As delightful as the Great Jedi Rumble Race is, this sinister plot and an impending sense of doom hangs over the event, especially when the story shifts to the perspective of Lula Talisola. Lula is particularly close with Zeen and has taken her under her wing. She even worries about what she would do if she loses someone she loves, which could happen if Sabata’s plan comes to fruition and Krix kills Zeen.
There are two issues left before Phase 1 of The High Republic Adventures ends. Since the story began with Zeen and Krix, it only feels right that the story is bringing its focus back to them, and building toward a tense and possibly deadly reunion that will test many of the characters from these comics.
Issue #12 of The High Republic Adventures will be available on January 12, 2022.