The High Republic: The Battle of Jedha Is here! The latest Star Wars audio drama from George Man. It was released in January to kick off the year 2023. However, this is a big year for The High Republic era in Star Wars. With multiple new releases happening and an upcoming Star Wars series, The Acolyte, set in the downfall of the era. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of The High Republic. Our SPOILER-FREE review of The High Republic: The Battle of Jedha is here!
As all of Jedha prepares for its Festival of Balance, the galaxy still reels from the violence on Eiram and E’ronoh. But after foiling a plot to escalate the war between the two planets, the Jedi believe that a lasting peace may be within reach. Master Creighton Sun and Jedi Knight Aida Forte arrive on Jedha with delegations from both planets to formally end the “Forever War.” The Jedi hope that the harmony of Jedha’s many factions and the signing of a peace treaty will create a symbol to the rest of the galaxy of what can be accomplished through unity.
The Battle of Jedha feels like a mid-season finale episode of a TV show in many ways. It’s big, and full of action and it is something we’ve been building up to with the last few entries of the series. It answers some questions, makes some connections and yet we’re left with even more questions, which will hopefully be answered over the remainder of this phase. It’s hard to go into detail on the plot of this adventure, as quite a lot of it feels like spoiler material. To put it as briefly and vaguely as possible, the Jedi are on Jedha to oversee the peace treaty of E’ronoh and Eiram. Some disruption leads to a Jedi investigation, which eventually turns into a full on battle.
It is possible to enjoy The Battle of Jedha without reading the series’ previous entries (Path of Deceit, Quest for the Hidden City and Convergence). The adventure will be even more enjoyable and easier to follow with the context of these stories already established to you. This story follows on from these stories with plenty of in depth connections and reappearing characters. These returning plot points are all re-introduced in a way that doesn’t require readers to be fully immersed in the over-arching story.
Jedha was first introduced in 2016’s ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’. This story explores more of the moon and debuts some new locations and lore for the sacred city. For anyone that wants to learn more of this world after seeing Rogue One, The Battle of Jedha surely delivers. Mann adds so much more depth to this location to make it feel much more lived in and established.
The cast portraying these characters are for the most part solid and do well to immerse the audience into the story. Brandon McInnis and Catherine Ho who portray Keth Cerapath and Silandra Sho respectively are definite standouts. This production having a full cast, as opposed to the lone narrator of other High Republic stories, provides for a stronger connection to the characters. We as an audience are offered a much stronger depiction of these characters.
After a brief introduction in The High Republic: Convergence, Creighton Sun takes the center stage in this story. He resembles a much more traditional Jedi, drawing comparisons to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Stellan Gios. Unfortunately, very few elements of the character differentiate him from these others. While this doesn’t make him one-dimensional, the similarities make Creighton feel less of a unique character. This is not to say he is a poorly written-character at all. Mann does a good job at writing Creighton and manages to make him an engaging protagonist. He is necessary for the flow of the story. However, it can feel like a cliche in the aspect of the universe.
Aida Forte is a much more fun character and feels almost the polar opposite of Creighton. She is more down-to-earth and a less traditional Jedi character. Aida’s relationship with Creighton is engaging. Their different traits and characteristics positively benefit one another. At times, it feels as if Aida is sidelined for other characters and plot points. I would have liked to see much more of her in this story. Hopefully, she can show up in further stories later on.
Like Creighton, Silandra Sho has appeared already in prior stories. However she gets much more depth and characterisation here compared to Quest for the Hidden City. I found her to be a standout character from this story due to her undeniable charm and demeanor. Her depiction here perfectly carries over from her last story which is no surprise as Mann also wrote her in Quest for the Hidden City. The main difference here is that her apprentice, Rooper Nitani is not present. This allows us to see a different side to Silandra, which is a delight to see.
Keth acts as a more human conduit for the reader, being the main non-Jedi character. He’s a very down to earth character which is a breath of fresh air in a story with so many Jedi characters. While readers are able to resonate with the Jedi, due to their culture and other-worldliness that can only go so far. Keth feels much more relatable, as is his relationship with the bizarre droid P3-7A. Made up from scraps of church droids P3’s dialect is purely limited to religious quotes and mantras. Keth’s bond to his robotic companion adds a much deeper emotional core to the story.
The Battle of Jedha Conclusion:
The Battle of Jedha by George Mann is an explosive, essential part of The High Republic mythos. Despite its action-packed nature, it never forgets to have a heart. Like other High Republic stories, the characters and their relationships really add to the experience. That makes this story a must for any fan of the era. Mann expertly ties in plot points from the books that came before in an adventure that expertly sets up the second half of this phase of storytelling.
Want to know what’s next for The High Republic? Be sure to check out all of the Upcoming Star Wars: The High Republic Projects in 2023.