Possessed by the Drengir, Sskeer has Avar, Ceret, Keeve and the boy called Bartol captured in the vines created by the plant-like creatures.
Remembering her time as a Padawan, Keeve reminisces about a lesson that Sskeer taught her, as she attempted to use the Force to aid her to reach the opposite side of a canyon. As she falls, he catches her and she tries again, taking on his lesson that “there are no shortcuts on Light’s path.”
Avar and Keeve try to reach Sskeer who’s mind is buried behind that of the Drengir possessing him.
He tells them the history of the Drengir, fuelled by the Dark Side they fought alongside the Sith for a time, possessing them as they saw fit, but the Sith fought back and imprisoned them.
Centuries later, the Great Progenitor was awoken by a group of Jedi who were waylaid on a space station (Into the Dark) the rest of the dormant Drengir awoke and began causing their special brand of destruction.
They finally manage to do so and the Jedi are released. Sskeer manages to fight the plant creatures possessing him and joins the Jedi in fighting the creatures. They kill the two Drengir and make their way to the surface where the village chief is beating one of the citizens for talking to the Jedi.
Avar arrives, accusing him of knowing about the Drengir and helping them by sacrificing villagers to them, but she realises that he knew nothing of the monsters, instead he was in league with someone else, and as a ship lands she learns that that someone is The Hutt Cartel.
Meanwhile, on Starlight Beacon, Maru’s autopsy on the murdered Hutt reveals the true cause of its death, a strange plant-like creature.
With Vernestra Rwoh and her Padawan Imri Cantaros assisting, they are soon under attack from the Drengir that has burst out of the Hutt’s corpse (an excellent Alien reference), the Jedi must hold their own and stop the creature from getting out of the quarantine zone and into the Starlight Beacon.
This series just continues to get better, with the horror vibes, the continuing downfall of Sskeer and an (my) extended introduction to the Drengir (I’m only 100 pages through ‘Into the Dark’). Learning their history here was great and I hope we get a more in depth look at them somewhere (probably ‘Into the Dark’). They are vastly different from The Nihil which gives us a decent range of villains and if The Hutt Cartel are joining the ranks of villains in ‘The High Republic’ and I’ve been intrigued by since their mention in ‘Light of the Jedi’.
As always, the art is beautiful, we get some stunning shots of the Jedi in this issue, the group shot of the four Jedi preparing to fight the Drengir is my favourite image from the issue, but Anindito spoils us on every page, another stand out image is Avar Kriss walking into the hut just before the Hutt Ship arrives, and the panel where the Drengir explodes from the Hutt corpse is phenomenal.
I’m continually being blown away by this series. I’ve loved each issue so far and it’s been a great backbone to ‘The High Republic’ initiative, keeping the story going between each round of books (I’d best finish ‘Into the Dark soon) and most of all, giving us a great look into the life of a Jedi at this time period of the Galaxy.
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