Star Wars: The High Republic #3 (May 2021)

There Is No Fear – Chapter III: Down Below

Writer: Cavan Scott, Art: Ario Anindito, Inks: Mark Morales, Colours: Annalisa Leoni

ALL-NEW SERIES CONTINUES! A DARK MYSTERY ONLY THE JEDI CAN UNRAVEL…BUT AT WHAT COST? A planet stricken by a mysterious blight. One JEDI missing and another driven insane. What horror lurks in the darkness beneath the rotting crops? Death is averted, but a terrible union is formed. Can KEEVE TRENNIS protect an innocent life while facing betrayal from within her own order?

Marvel.com official solicitation

Three issues in and the story is starting to pick up pace.  Ceret, a Jedi twin, has gone missing on the planet Sedri Minor, a farming planet where one of the ingredients for Bacta is grown.  A team led by Avar Kriss, the Marshall of the Starlight Beacon, has arrived to investigate and there is clearly a darkness growing there.

Keeve, the newly knighted Jedi, is offered food by various towns people and finds out that the crops are rotting in the field and more people have gone missing.  When she asks why the Jedi haven’t been contacted to help a local youth says they can’t.  They are interrupted by the Kal Sulman, the community leader, who makes out that there are no problems and they don’t need the Jedi. Keeve sees straight through this and heads into the fields to investigate by herself.  She encounters a daring young local named Bartol who is looking for a missing friend and they soon find themselves exploring underground tunnels.

Back on the Jedi ship Terec, Ceret’s twin has passed out and Avar Kriss is concerned.  Sskeer doesn’t know why but Kriss says he should feel it because it’s the Dark Side.  Sulman intervenes to say he doesn’t want them on his planet and that they are adding to the problem.  He doesn’t like the fact that Keeve is investigating and Kriss says that they will go and find her together.

In the tunnels below the fields Keeve and Bartol are making there way through roots and find Ceret and and Bartol’s friend hanging from vines that have entwined them.  The friend is dead but Ceret is hanging on to life and as the vines come to life he utter’s the warning that “No meat is safe”. At that moment the Drengir, a planet based Dark Side monster, that looks like a cross between a triffid and Audrey II, bursts forth.

Terec springs to life because of the connection to their twin.  Sskeer tries to calm him but Terec has been infected by the Drengir and exhales spores all over him.  At the same time Ceret turns on Keeve and Bartol in the tunnels.  The Drengir make the offer it Keeve to join them or become food.  Keeve is succumbing to the monster and calling out for help when Kriss bursts through the ceil and slices one of the Drengir clean in half. She uses the force to free Ceret from the mind control but as they turn to flee their escape is block by Sskeer who is now controlled by the Drengir complete with regrown plant arm.

The Drengir are a new villain to the Star Wars universe and are unlike anything we have seen before. We are used to seeing the Jedi do there mind trick on the weak minded but it is rare that something does the same to them. They are also naturally strong in the Dark Side but as of yet we don’t know if the can control the Force. The concept is similar to ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ and it will be interesting how this threat moves forward.

Now that we have spent some time with these characters their personalities are becoming defined. It’s good to have some Star Wars where we don’t know where our leads stories are heading.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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