SPOILER REVIEW: "The High Republic #5: Attack of the Hutts" by Cavan Scott
As I stated on the last episode of Beyond the Blast Doors, this "High Republic" mainline series is absolutely where it's at right now!! The plot is incredibly intriguing, surprising, heart-breaking, and super intense. This particular issue, #5, certainly does not let up! We see Sskeer struggling hardcore with his mental connection to the Drengir. We continue to see what Imri and Vernestra are getting up to (so cool that they carried over characters from a middle grade novel--A Test of Courage--to adult comics). We meet a new Hutt and discover that the people of Sedri Minor had brokered a deal for Hutt protection in exchange for grain payments. We basically see all hell breaking loose only for Keeve to save the day with a "mind touch" a.k.a. "Jedi mind trick." I found myself fully swept away into the world of this issue and am very much so enjoying my journey through the High Republic era!!
Myarga the Benevolent is the Hutt making claim to Sedri Minor and she's brought a whole hoard of rancor-riding mercenaries with her to take up the fight. It appears the Jedi are done for...until the Drengir come out of their hidey hole deep beneath the planet's surface and begin their own assault. As the Drengir ramp up their attack, Avar Kriss does her darnedest to convince Myarga that they need to team up if they are to defeat the new beasties.
Before the Drengir fully make their appearance, they do make their presence known through Sskeer who is still fighting a mental battle with their psychic connection to him. The Trandoshan still has a Drengir arm and apparently it can do crazy things, like extend and shoot out from his body to attack, a skill he uses against Myarga. Eventually, Keeve slices the extended "arm" off only to have it turn into a sharp scythe. The Force abilities possessed by these plant creatures is simply miraculous...and terrifying.
We even learn why Sskeer has been acting so strangely in this series. It's not just the PTSD and it's not just the Drengir mental connection, he's actually losing his connection with the Force!!! He didn't want to tell Keeve because he didn't want her to be ashamed of him. He really does seem like such a teddy bear...when he's not possessed by evil plants...
So how did Keeve save the day? She convinces the Drengir, by way of mind-touching Sskeer, that all the beings they are currently hunting are unclean--"The harvest is rotten. It will poison you all. You need to run. You want to run." With the Drengir fighting Sskeer's own mind every step of the way, him not having a strong connection to the Force, and Keeve mind-touching with all her might, poor Sskeer looks like he may not make it out of this fight alive. *tear!!* I really hope some miracle happens and we get more Sskeer because I have found his story to be one of the most fascinating in this publishing campaign.
A lot happened in this issue and I found it utterly enthralling. I love the inclusion of a new Hutt character, the depth to which we're getting to know Sskeer, and the connections between High Republic material. It's all just so good and I highly recommend it to any and everyone. If you had to focus on only one section of Star Wars canon right now, I would definitely say go for the High Republic!
MY SCORE: 9/10 as I genuinely enjoyed every aspect of this issue!!
"The High Republic, There is No Fear - Chapter V: Attack of the Hutts" written by Cavan Scott, illustrated by Ario Anindito, Mark Morales, and Annalisa Leoni
I am so excited to have joined the Beyond the Blast Doors Star Wars conversation! As a person who is deeply passionate about every aspect of the galaxy far, far away, I'm always looking for ways to spread my Star Wars joy and love.
I've spoken at cons and written articles on a variety of Star Wars topics but one of my biggest passions is the canon literature. I hope to help you find your way through the Maelstrom because what is out there is truly amazing!