Star Wars Revealed the Sith Aren't the Universe's Darkest Evil

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures: The Monster at Temple Peak #3-4, on sale now.

Throughout the Star Wars saga, a recurring theme, particularly in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, is that evil can take many forms, through action and inaction, inspired in part by people's fear. Emperor Palpatine, for example, is far from the only evil in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, he just happens to be the one most readily, or at the highest level, capitalizing on its resident monsters. And there are many monsters in Star Wars outside of the purview of the Sith. Sometimes, though, the hunters can be the bigger threat.

The Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures: The Monster at Temple Peak miniseries seems at first to be a monster-hunting adventure, but it has evolved into an exploration of that idea of a shapeless evil. In fact, it even capitalizes on the Palpatine dynamic: that the fear of greater evil can, and usually does, inspire the worst in sentient life.

RELATED: A Powerful Star Wars Monster Revealed a Secret Power - And It Changes Everything

At the beginning of the miniseries, Layton Wyke brings in Ty Yorrick to stop the Gretalax -- an ostensibly monstrous beast -- from terrorizing the small community of Wyke's Town. In the finale, Ty Yorrick discovers the truth: the Gretalax is not a monster, and the true monster at Temple Peak is Layton Wyke.

There are hints that the Gretalax is not truly a monster throughout the Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures: The Monster at Temple Peak miniseries by Cavan Scott, Rachael Stott, Vita Efremova, Nicola Righi, Johanna Nattalie, Riley Farmer and Heather Antos. However, the Gretalax's more gentle nature becomes apparent in the third issue. The Gretalax saves Layton's young niece, Pela Wyke, and they also establish a psychic link through the Force with Ty. Through their connection, the Gretalax reveals the truth, which Ty confirms in the finale.

RELATED: Star Wars Rebels Theory: Ezra Actually Saved Thrawn From Palpatine's Wrath

The Gretalax is technically two creatures; the Greta and the Lax. The Greta only rampaged because their mate, the Lax, was taken captive by Layton. Thus, Layton Wyke captured and attacked the Gretalax despite the fact that they are sentient creatures. His plan was similar to poachers and hunters in the real world; he wanted to lure the Gretalax out so that he could use their horns to make his people strong enough to defeat any invaders. Through her wits, Ty is able to save the Gretalax and expose Layton’s treachery.

Part of the horror of Layton's actions stems from the Gretalax's true gentle nature. Through the Force, the Gretalax has healing powers, and they are able to save Pela, despite the fact that Pela literally fell off of a mountain -- a fall that would kill most people. If Layton had approached the Gretalax peacefully, he would have gained a strong ally to keep his town safe. After his defeat, Pela makes it clear that she and the people of Wyke's Town will no longer threaten the Gretalax, and they may ally with the Gretalax in the future to keep both the Gretalax itself and their community safe in the future.

RELATED: New Star Wars Comics to Be Published by Dark Horse in 2022

The Gretalax's tale might be part of an initiative within Star Wars media to focus more on the creatures of the galaxy. The microseries Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures also focuses on some creatures that might be deemed monstrous, such as wampas and nexu, but the series features a more nuanced portrayal of these creatures. Similarly, Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures: The Monster of Temple Peak subverts the audiences' expectations of monsters and reveals that ordinary people can be monstrous instead.

While the Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures: The Monster at Temple Peak miniseries' nuance portrayal of monstrosity seems like a side adventure in the Star Wars: The High Republic subseries, Layton Wyke’s actions are driven in part by fear of the Nihil. This does not excuse his cruelty or his actions, but it does show that the Nihil are driving seemingly average people to commit terrible acts out of fear.

Similarly, Emperor Sheev Palpatine rose to power precisely because he inspired ordinary people to support escalating cruelty due to fear. Thus, while Star Wars often focuses on the grander evil of the dark side and the Sith, Star Wars: The High Republic: The Monster at Temple Peak ultimately shows that sometimes evil can be more mundane but just as dangerous.

KEEP READING: EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Celebrates Life Day With Star Wars First Look

Marvel's Strongest Cosmic Power Is Eating Iron Man Alive - in a Good Way?
Related Topics
About The Author
image
Jennifer Roy (229 Articles Published)

Jennifer Roy is a children's literature scholar and a freelance writer. She currently is focusing on writing content for CBR. She received her Ph. D. in English in 2020. A common thread of her scholarly work is a focus on the use of adaptation and particular motifs to tell and retell stories. You can find her on twitter at @jen_d_roy.

More From Jennifer Roy

You May Like Also

  • Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • A Powerful Star Wars Monster Revealed a Secret Power - And It Changes Everything
  • Star Wars Rebels Theory: Ezra Actually Saved Thrawn From Palpatine's Wrath
  • a fall that would kill most people
  • New Star Wars Comics to Be Published by Dark Horse in 2022
  • creatures that might be deemed monstrous
  • Emperor Sheev Palpatine rose to power
  • the dark side and the Sith
  • EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Celebrates Life Day With Star Wars First Look
  • Hardware: Cowan & Thomas Reveal a Dangerous Future Ahead for Curtis
  • star wars: the high republic
  • Marvel's Star Wars Changed a Major Original Trilogy Quote... for the Better?
  • DC's The Flash #776 Comic Review
  • Hawkeye Once Served Jury Duty for Loki's TVA
  • Star Wars’ Deadliest Jedi Killer Is Worse Than Any Sith
  • Spider-Man's Strongest Multiverse Villain Defeated Hulk and the MCU Superman - But How?
  • The 'Eco-Terrorist X-Men' Escaped Marvel's Death Sentence - Can They Be Redeemed?
  • DC's The Flash #776 Comic Review
  • DC's Robins #1 Comic Review
  • IDW's TMNT: The Last Ronin Design Archive #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Star Wars Life Day #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Hulk #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Darkhold: The Wasp #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel Teased Hulk's Two New Powers - And They Make His Super-Strength Look Puny
  • The Marvel Multiverse's Biggest Danger Is an Evil Fantastic Four
  • Marvel May Face a Dark Future by Erasing the Most Dangerous Parts of Its Past
  • Top Comic Book Storylines: 9-7
  • How Did a Forgotten Daredevil Villain Turn Marvel's Kate Bishop into Hawkeye
  • Trial of Magneto: Scarlet Witch Battles Old Lady Wanda in an Epic Throwdown (EXCLUSIVE)
  • Wonder Woman's Unstoppable New Enemy May Be Diana's Doomsday
  • Major Issues: Hulk Smashes Into the Final Frontier & X-Men's Dark Secrets Surface
  • Marvel Comics May Explain No Way Home's Invisible Spider-Man Theory
  • Marvel Reveals Spider-Man's and Darkhawk's New 'Abilities'
  • What Is Marvel’s 'Forbidden' Universe - and How Did the MCU's Eternals Find It?
  • DC's Amazons Have a Fight Club (But Wonder Woman Isn't the Champion)
  • Watch full movie for free, click here daily update 👉 https://justwatch.cc