The young Jedi padawans of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures have grown up a bit in the past year, and now they're being sent off on a mission that will introduce them to one of the most beloved new faces in Star Wars canon: Maz Kanata.
But as the first few pages of October 6's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #9 reveal to us, one of these Jedi students was practically raised by Kanata.
What a childhood it must have been growing up around that bar.
Set 2--+ years before the original Star Wars film in an era known as 'The High Republic,' Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures centers on a group of Jedi learners stationed at a space station known as the Starlight. The High Republic era depicts a time in which the Republic is at its heights, but are dealing with one of its first major challenges - a band of marauders from the Outer Rim known as the Nihil.
Writer Daniel José Older and artist Toni Bruno are taking the padawans to Maz Kanata's homeworld of Takodano to help shore up the local Jedi temple's defenses against the Nihil.
Newsarama spoke with Older ahead of October 6's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #9 for more.
Newsarama: This series just began a new arc, which goes into full gear with October 6's Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #9. What can readers expect in this storyline, Daniel?
Daniel José Older: From here on out, everything gets bigger, more dangerous, and the stakes get higher as we race toward the end of Phase I of the High Republic.
Starting with the last issue, we see the Padawans and Zeen have matured a lot in the past few months, and the problems they face grow accordingly. Also, we get a lot more info about Qort and where he’s from in the upcoming issues.
Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #9 preview
Newsarama: How would you describe the camaraderie between these Padawans of your book?
Daniel José Older: I think the friendship they share is the very beating heart of this story. They’ve been through so much together, saved one another’s lives multiple times, and all those experiences have really brought them closer than they already were. It’s one of my favorite parts of writing them - the closeness they share.
Newsarama: Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #9 will feature a trip to Takodana - the very same planet where Maz Kanata's castle. Han Solo said Kanata had run that place for over a thousand years, and High Republic is about 300 years pre A New Hope I believe. What can you tell us about their journey there - and any chance they might sneak into Maz's bar without being carded?
Daniel José Older: [Laughs] Takodana is one of my favorite Star Wars planets, so I was really excited to get to set a story there. And you can’t write about Takodana without having the pirate queen Maz Kanata in there somewhere!
That said, we’ll also meet one of my favorite new Jedis to write, and a close friend of Maz’s: Sav Malagán. She’s Kyuzo and definitely walks her own path, and even has a really cool lightsaber that I got to design for her.
Newsarama: She was sen briefly in the last issue. Speaking of epic Jedi, in Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #6 you introduced someone named Tal Bota. He was revealed in flashbacks and holo vids, but I kind of need to see more of him. Any chance of that in this series or somewhere else?
Daniel José Older: [Laughs] No immediate plans, but I’m sure there will be more Tal Bota in the future, yes.
Newsarama: You recently added someone to the cast - Ram Jomaram, from your junior novel, Race to Crashpoint Tower.
Daniel José Older: Yes! The Free Comic Book Day issue introduces Ram Jomaram to the comic book world. When we met him [in that prose novel] he was pretty much just interested in staying in his garage and tinkering with tech. But the galaxy had other plans for him, of course, and now he’s joining the other Padawans on Starlight.
Newsarama: I've enjoyed Yoda's appearances in this series - any chance we could see more of him going forward?
Daniel José Older: [Laughs] Thank you and no comment
Newsarama: Hmm… speaking of mentors, the mentor/apprentice relationship between Marchion Ro and Krix is pretty wrenching in a way I can't take my eyes off it. Where is that going in future issues?
Daniel José Older: I appreciate that, because it’s an aspect I’ve really put a lot of thought into and one I want to get right. We really see Krix go through some heavy changes in the first part of the series, and that only intensifies moving forward. I think there’s something very diabolical about getting to see Ro take someone under his wing, appear to be kind, but in an incredibly twisted way that’s only sending Krix down a terrible path.
Newsarama: Big picture, what can people look forward to in future issues of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures?
Daniel José Older: One of the great things about writing this series is we get to really hit on major, important beats in the larger meta-saga of the High Republic. So as we move toward the epic finale of Phase I, get ready for lots of ratcheting up in everything going on. The Padawans and their friends are making moves as a cohesive team now; they’re not the same nervous kids we met in issue 1.
Of course, their enemies are just as savvy and extremely brutal. I’ve been planning this arc for a long time and it’s really exciting to see it come to a head. New alliances will be formed, new plots hatched. There is betrayal, epic battles, and wild chases. Plus, of course...BUCKETS OF BLOOOOOOD!!!
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