Star Wars: The High Republic #15 is written by Star Wars lore guru Cavan Scott while Ario Anindito provides art, ink by Mark Morales and Victor Olazaba, colors by Carlos Lopez, letters by Ariana Maher, and cover art by Phil Noto. Published by Marvel Comics, Star Wars: The High Republic #15 brings one of the final stories from phase one of Projector Luminous to an end as Starlight Beacon plummets toward its own end.
Following the successful capture of the dreaded Lourna Dee in Star Wars: The High Republic #14, Mashal Avar Kriss, Jedi Master Sskeer, and Jedi Keeve Treenis returned to the horrific sight of Starlight Beacon to barrelling the planet Eiram. This placed our unsuspecting heroes at the heart of the events The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray. While The Fallen Star gave readers a macro look at the tragedy, Star Wars: The High Republic #15 shows small intimate moments that will shock even those who read the novel.
Star Wars: The High Republic #15 wastes no time jumping readers back into the thick of it. Just as the newly arrived Jedi were looking for ways to help Starlight Beacon, they were descended upon by the mysterious Leveler creatures. Throughout phase one, fans have seen these creatures wreak absolute havoc on the Jedi of this era. The secret weapon of the Nihil drains the Force directly from the Jedi leaving them nothing by empty husks.
Artist Ario Anindito’s characterization of this husking process has always made the threat of the Drengir look like house plants. Star Wars: The High Republic #15 raises that to another level, no pun intended, as the beast begins to feed on Keeve Trennis. The panels are straight out of a horror movie and if not for Jedi Master Sskeer, I may have to put down the issue and recover if Trennis was husked. Thankfully, Trennis’s former master came to the rescue as Sskeer’s Magrak Syndrome that has severed him the Force makes him immune to the powers of the Leveler. It’s here that Star Wars: The High Republic #15 really shines as a final issue.
Looking back, writer Cavan Scott has been preparing readers to experience our favorite Jedi of this era in their best moments in Star Wars: The High Republic #15. One of the most prolific looks at the Force has been during the Project Luminous media. Each Jedi sees the Force in their own unique way and it drives their connection to it deeper and deeper. Whether a choral song or a vast ocean, the look of the Force has been amazing to see. Regardless of the outlook, one thing remains the same: The Force moves in mysterious ways. Star Wars: The High Republic #15 blends these new concepts and the old in a way that shows that the Force has a plan for all of us.
Sskeer’s disease had left him in all intents of purposes a husk of his former self without the Force. However, without the Force Sskeer is able to protect his fellow Jedi and combat the beasts that no other Jedi could. Trennis has had lingering self-doubt since issue one but has slowly started coming into herself as the best the Jedi Order has to offer. The confident embrace of her abilities and the Force as a whole allows for her to save the ones who seem unsavable. Avar Kriss on the other hand has been a slowly declining path going from the Light of the Jedi to a Jedi who has been close to throwing away her morals against the Nihil. Despite her personal transgressions, Kriss is still is able to be the beacon of the light to inspire those around her because she believes in the Song of the Force.
There is no happy ending to Star Wars: The High Republic #15. The conclusion of The Fallen Star all but secures that before the first page. That is not to say, the final issue isn’t everything that the series has embodied. At its core, Star Wars: The High Republic has been the Jedi dealing with their misgivings, realizing that they are not infallible. There is tragedy despite all of their immense power. It takes a special Jedi to see the light after the numerous catastrophic events and existential crises that have taken place since The Great Disaster. Star Wars: The High Republic #15 proves Keeve Trennis is that Jedi. With phase one coming to an end, I am not sure when we will see these characters again but when we do, I look forward to seeing Keeve Trennis take her place as the true Light of the Jedi.
Star Wars: The High Republic #15 is available now wherever comics are sold.