Review: ‘The High Republic: Trail of Shadows’ #5 Delivers A Delightfully Noir Finish

Daniel José Older’s Star Wars: The High Republic: Trail of Shadows miniseries has finally reached its end and with it, the Project Luminous team has doled out more heartache in the wake of the devastation wrought on the Starlight Beacon. Following the last issue’s revelations about Dr. Uttersond and the run-in with the Leveler, Emerick and Sian make their way back to the Starlight Beacon, entirely unaware of the disaster about to play out there.

While Older may not give us the kisses that Trail of Shadows fans have been begging for, Emerick and Sian do share a sweet scene at the start of the issue. I will take close friends who care deeply for each other and aren’t willing to consider the future so long as they have a present to focus on. Sian clearly recognizes that she’s caught feelings with an entirely unattainable man and he’s about to go through even more pain once he realizes who all died on the Starlight Beacon.

The final issue of the Trail of Shadows plants the seeds for what’s to come, but it also neatly wraps up what it set out to achieve. We got a rich, enthralling noir tale with two epic new characters that will undoubtedly show up in the future. We also got a lot of great crossovers with Older’s other High Republic-era stories, including The High Republic Adventures and The High Republic Adventures Annual. I am excited to see where things go now that Qort is a newly minted Knight, in the wake of losing his Master to the tragedy on the Starlight Beacon.

I’m not sure who I need to lodge this complaint with, whether it be Older or the ever-talented artist Dave Watcher, but who decided Buckets of Blood needed to be that ripped? I was certainly not prepared for the Jedi to strip out of his robes just before running into a hopeless battle to die. It’s not fair for Master Torban to be that shredded, only to be shredded. Adding this to the list of “Things the Project Luminous Team Must Pay For.”

I hope that, despite everything that occurs in The Fallen Star, there is an opportunity to see more of Emerick’s friendship with Stellan, as well as seeing him interact with Avar and Elzar. It feels like, as far as the stories have progressed thus far, the Jedi Masters have been largely isolated from each other. It’s clear that they all had close connections to one another when they were Padawan and Knights and I’d love to see some of that explored more closely. That thought occurred to me as the mind-altering visions made Emerick see a vision of Stellan begging for help—which made me wonder if Stellan was connected to more than just Avar and Elzar.

Emerick and Sian have been such a breath of fresh air, as they both seem like such grounded characters who managed to still gravitate towards each other, even when they shouldn’t have. Older really knew how to capture that will-they-won’t-they vibe which is so popular in noir films that feature a hardened detective and his sultry, yet deadly accomplice. The High Republic really is just about the pining. And obscenely ripped, uncomfortably handsome blue aliens. And asking the Project Luminous team where to send therapy bills.

The final page of “Dust” (aka the final issue of The Trail of Shadows) states that The High Republic will return this fall with the “Quest of the Jedi” and I’m starting to realize that we’re going to have months without The High Republic to keep us occupied and I’m not ready for its absence.

Star Wars: The High Republic: Trail of Shadows #5 is on sale now.

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Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Marvel.


Star Wars: The High Republic: Trail of Shadows #5

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The final issue of the Trail of Shadows plants the seeds for what’s to come, but it also neatly wraps up what it set out to achieve. We got a rich, enthralling noir tale with two epic new characters that will undoubtedly show up in the future.

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Managing Editor of Entertainment at Your Money Geek | + posts

Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Entertainment at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and News Editor at Collider. She has had bylines at Inverse, Polygon, and Dorkside of the Force. She is also a member of the Hollywood Critics Association.

When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or on her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.