The best Star Wars story of each month in 2021

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT key art. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd.
THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT key art. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. /

While there were no new Star Wars movies in 2021 and only one episode of live-action television was released —The Book of Boba Fett premiere — it was still a great year for new Star Wars content, with a variety of new stories being released every month.

A lot of the new content came from The High Republic publishing initiative that kicked off in January. Set more than 200 years before The Phantom Menace, The High Republic begins in a golden age for the Jedi and the Republic. The highly interconnected story was primarily told through novels and comics that were released throughout 2021.

In addition to The High Republic, Star Wars reached new heights in animation through The Bad Batch and the anime anthology series Visions.

We will rank the best Star Wars story of each month in 2021. The best story of the month is based on the stories that were most engaging, creative, well-developed, and in some cases, those that had a larger impact on Star Wars storytelling.

This does not mean that stories not featured on this list were not good; it is simply a celebration of the stories that stood out the most during each month in 2021.

January: Light of the Jedi 

The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
Photo: Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi – Book Cover.. Image Courtesy Disney Publishing Worldwide /

Charles Soule’s novel Light of the Jedi had the difficult task of kicking off an unfamiliar era and massive publishing initiative. Light of the Jedi does a remarkable job of pulling this off, leaving fans deeply invested in the new characters, new era, and eager to explore more.

The number of new characters and elements is overwhelming at first, but the horrific Great Disaster is a perfect way to get it all started as the story begins with a high-stakes crisis that forces individuals in many different parts of the galaxy to work together. How the Jedi and the Republic respond is inspiring and makes it clear how they are not the Jedi and the Republic that fans are used to seeing.

The relationship between Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm and Padawan Bell Zettifar is particularly well-developed, as is the introduction of the High Republic´s big bad Marchion Ro. All of this culminates in a heart-stopping third act that ends with hard-won victory and a sense that the real danger has only just begun.

February: Into the Dark

into the dark star wars claudia grey
Discover Disney Lucasfilm Press’s ‘Star Wars The High Republic: Into the Dark’ book by Claudia Grey on Amazon. /

After the massive scale and scope of Light of the Jedi, Into the Dark by Claudia Gray offers a more intimate story that still has a significant effect on the larger galaxy. Each character feels unique and fun, from the bookish Padawan Reath Silas who would rather read than be on an adventure, to the delightful Geode who may look like a rock but is far more.

Stranded aboard an Amaxine Station because of the Great Disaster, and surrounded by hidden danger, the book builds with the suspense and pacing of a horror story. This buildup pays off with the introduction of the monstrous Drengir, who go on to play an important role in many other High Republic stories.

Into the Dark also begins to show the cracks forming in the Jedi Order. This is best shown through Cohmac Vitus and Orla Jareni’s disagreements and frustrations with the limits the Jedi Order places on their emotions and their relationships with the Force.

March: The High Republic Adventures #2

In the second issue of The High Republic Adventures, Daniel José Older blends action, character development, and mystery together for an important and exciting story.

Even though this is a comic series aimed at a younger audience, it is still highly consequential and relevant to the overarching narrative of the High Republic. It features Jedi Master Yoda and the High Republic’s main antagonist Marchion Ro.

As the Nihil attack and the citizens of Trymant IV deal with an Emergence from the Great Disaster, the Jedi leap into action to save the people of Bralanak City.

During all this chaos, best friends Zeen Mrala and Krix Kamerat are torn apart. With Zeen using the Force and now deemed a liar and a traitor by her people, the compassionate Lula Talisola and the Jedi take in Zeen while the betrayed, hurt, and confused Krix joins the Nihil.

This issue highlights the bravery of many Jedi Padawans in this era, tears apart the friendship that is the emotional crux for much of The High Republic Adventures, establishes Yoda’s place in the High Republic, and deepens the mystery surrounding Marchion Ro.

April: The High Republic #4

MARVEL’S STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #4. Photo: Marvel/Lucasfilm. /

Issue #4 of Marvel’s The High Republic comics was one of the strongest issues in the series so far. It begins with an important flashback that provides more depth and backstory to the relationship between Keeve Trennis and Sskeer.

The story only gets even better from there as it seems like Sskeer has succumbed to the Dark Side and the influence of the Drengir, until he strikes against the Drengir and frees the Jedi they hold captive.

At the end of the issue, Cavan Scott fully leans into his penchant for horror stories as the Drengir burst out of the Hutt corpse on Starlight Beacon and begin attacking the Jedi there. As if this isn’t enough of a cliffhanger, an army of Hutts and their Rancors arrives on Sedri Minor, the planet where Sskeer, Keeve, Avar Kriss, and the bond-twins Ceret and Terec were just freed from the Drengir.

This issue featured some great relationship building, genuinely shocking plot twists, and tantalizing cliffhangers that leaves readers wanting more. The Drengir began to feel like more of a threat, as did the Hutts of this era.

May: Episode 1 of The Bad Batch: “Aftermath”

the bad batch
The Bad Batch premiere “Aftermath” /

“Aftermath” is the strongest premiere of a Star Wars animated series so far. At 70 minutes, the episode had plenty of time to reacquaint the audience with the Bad Batch while also setting up the new characters and emotional stakes for the rest of the series.

By tying the beginning into Order 66, The Bad Batch had a heartbreaking beginning that forever changed the lives of the clones and the Bad Batch. The lovable, brave, and mysterious Omega immediately stood out as the show’s best character. The episode wasted no time and hit the ground running.

The premiere made it clear that the series was far more than a Clone Wars spinoff. It was a story about found family and broken family, a story exploring how clones–especially those who didn’t participate in Order 66–moved forward after the purpose they were created for had been fulfilled.

“Aftermath” also began to share a rare look into the Republic’s transformation into the Empire and how swiftly they asserted control over the galaxy in their earliest days.

June: The Rising Storm

THE HIGH REPUBLIC: THE RISING STORM cover art. Photo: Del Rey Books. /

The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is one of the best Star Wars books ever written. It takes some of the best characters from Light of the Jedi–such as Elzar Mann, Bell Zettifar, and Marchion Ro–and makes them even more compelling, while also adding new and intriguing characters like former Jedi and current monster hunter Ty Yorrick.

The novel builds to the Republic Fair with a sense of dread and forced optimism. As soon as the Nihil attack the Republic Fair, the novel hits a relentless pace that it maintains until the very end. Many individual Jedi and leaders of the Republic rise to the occasion with innovation and courage in the face of brutal devastation.

Just when the reader thinks the worst is over, a terrifying new evil is released and the most heartbreaking moment so far in the High Republic occurs, leaving readers emotionally crushed and desperate to learn what will happen in the next High Republic adult novel.

July: Episode 12 of The Bad Batch: “Rescue on Ryloth”

The Bad Batch. “Rescue on Ryloth.” Courtesy of
The Bad Batch. “Rescue on Ryloth.” Courtesy of /

The strongest moments of “Rescue on Ryloth” didn’t come from the Bad Batch, but from a young Hera Syndulla and the clone Howzer.

Years before becoming a famous rebel pilot, a young Hera flew to save her parents from the Empire. It is heartwarming to see Hera coming into her own as a pilot and leader from such a young age.

In another inspiring moment, the clone Howzer stands before his fellow clones and delivers a stirring speech about how blindly following the Empire is wrong, that they have lost their way, and that they need to stand up for what is right.

With his words alone, Howzer is able to convince many of his brothers–who still have their inhibitor chips–to stop following the Empire.

This is a game-changing moment that shows the power of words, that not all clones who still have their inhibitor chips are lost, and that family never gives up on each other.

This is where the important thematic connection to the Bad Batch comes in. Just as Howzer didn’t give up on his brothers, Hunter begins to realize that he shouldn’t have given up on Crosshair.

August: Episode 15 of The Bad Batch: “Return to Kamino” 

A ship arrives at Kamino. “Return to Kamino.” The Bad Batch. Courtesy of
A ship arrives at Kamino. “Return to Kamino.” The Bad Batch. Courtesy of /

While fans expected the season finale to be the episode that hit the hardest, the penultimate episode “Return to Kamino” ended up hitting much harder. Omega, the Bad Batch, and the audience finally got to see things from Crosshair’s perspective.

Crosshair revealed that his inhibitor chip had been taken out a long time ago, proving that he had been making his own choices for a while now, and not just been acting under the influence of the chip.

Even more impactful was Crosshair sharing how he felt abandoned and betrayed by his brothers. This recontextualized much of the season as many episodes featured Clone Force 99 risking a lot to help people they barely knew while never making the effort to help Crosshair.

To dig the knife in even deeper, the Empire blew up the cloning facilities on Kamino. The only home the clones ever knew was destroyed in a devastating moment that further solidified that the Clone Wars were over and it was the Empire’s galaxy now.

September: Episode 5 of Visions: “The Ninth Jedi”

“The Ninth Jedi.” Star Wars: Visions. Courtesy of
“The Ninth Jedi.” Star Wars: Visions. Courtesy of /

Every episode of Star Wars: Visions offered something unique and fascinating. Out of all the episodes, “The Ninth Jedi” was one of the best due to its characters, world-building, and the unexpected directions it took as the beginnings of a much larger story.

Lah Kara and Margrave Juro are two of the best characters in Visions‘ first season. Despite her inexperience, Kara’s eagerness to help and rise to the occasion is inspiring. She is a hero who is easy to root for and to like. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding Margrave Juro is riveting and subverts fans’ expectations.

Things only get more intriguing with the reveal of the true motivations behind the “Jedi” who spent most of the episode waiting for their lightsabers.

The lightsabers changing color based on the individual holding it is a brilliant idea that works perfectly for this story. This is one of many ways that this episode and Visions as a whole benefits from existing outside of canon.

“The Ninth Jedi” feels like the ending of a first chapter, but also that it is like a pilot episode in a story that is only getting started.

October: LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales

LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales
LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales. Photo: Disney+. /

Even though LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales is not considered canon, it is a delightful, fun story that teaches an important lesson about fear. It is the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season through family-friendly spookiness, adventure, and corny jokes that connect to the prequel, original, and sequel trilogy eras.

References to The Shining, The Lost Boys, ¨The Monkey’s Paw, and other famous horror and Halloween stories add humor and help the story feel timeless. In terms of the characters, it is most welcome to see fan-favorites like Poe Dameron and Graballa the Hutt again, while Tony Hale and Christian Slater deliver excellent voice performances for Vaneé and Ren respectively.

November: Star Wars #18

Star Wars #18, part of the War of the Bounty Hunters event. Photo:
Star Wars #18, part of the War of the Bounty Hunters event. Photo: /

Star Wars #18 by Charles Soule delivers the long-awaited meeting between Leia and Qi’ra. It is fascinating and satisfying to see these formidable women–who fans usually associate from different eras of Star Wars–meeting and interacting with each other.

Despite some significant fundamental differences, there is a sense of respect that develops between the two of them, along with the makings of a potential alliance.

In terms of story, this comic issue does a great job of tying up loose ends from the War of the Bounty Hunters while planting the seeds for Qi’ra’s next comic series Crimson Reign.

December: Episode 1 of The Book of Boba Fett: “Stranger in a Strange Land”

The Book of Boba Fett
(L-R): Temura Morrison is Boba Fett and Ming-Na Wen is Fennec Shand in Lucasfilm’s THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

The Book of Boba Fett premiere is dominated by flashbacks. While some of the flashbacks might seem a bit slow-paced, they are crucial to bridging the gap between Boba’s story between Return of the Jedi and his return in The Mandalorian. The flashbacks are already beginning to make sense of why Boba wants to rule with respect instead of fear and why he wants to be an honorable crime lord in a cutthroat world.

In the present storyline, Boba and Fennec Shand continue to have an excellent dynamic. It is also really fascinating to see the normally confident bounty hunter feeling a bit like a fish out of water as he becomes a crime lord. He is already struggling to navigate the delicate balancing act of being a leader, especially in the criminal underworld. Being merciful inspires loyalty, but it can also be viewed as a sign of weakness. Being humble can earn respect, but it can also signal that he is afraid to showcase his power.

The premiere did a good job laying the groundwork for the rest of the season. With most of the footage from the trailers already shown in the first episode, the future episodes are open with countless possibilities.

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What were your favorite Star Wars stories of 2021? Let us know in the comments!