Note: While this review remains relatively spoiler free regarding Red Harvest, it contains several big spoilers about the plot of Death Troopers.
The word “prequel” is a bit of a dirty word in the world of Star Wars. So when it was announced that, Joel Schreiber, for the follow up to his first foray into the Lucasvesrse, would be writing a prequel, there was more than a bit of skepticism about how that would work. Fans of Schreiber and Star Wars can rest easy. Though not the Empire Strikes Back level sequel we may have all wanted, using the word prequel is not a derogatory term in this case.
This prequel to Death Troopers takes us back to the “Old Republic” thousands of years before the events onboard the Purge. The story takes place predominantly on the planet Odacer-Faustin at the Sith academy. Here we learn the origins of the mysterious “sickness” that turns all of those infected by it into one of the shambling undead. A young Jedi named Hestizo Trace with a very specific set of Force powers is thrust into the fray opposite a powerful Sith Lord, looking to unlock a long lost Sith secret. (If zombies are showing up in Star Wars you had to know that the Sith were somehow involved). For the first time, both Jedi and Sith alike are exposed to the monstrosities, but the horrors that are unleashed may be too much even for the the most powerful Force users to control.
Unlike Death Troopers which opted for a more narrow scope of events, confined (literally) to a prison barge and subsequently a Star Destroyer, Red Harvest takes a more classic Star Wars approach which a plot that sweeps across vast swaths of the galaxy and encompasses a far greater array of factions. Since those factions now include the Jedi and Sith, we finally get to see what happens when zombies meet the business end of a lightsaber. Odds are we’ve all imagined how that might look, and Schreiber depicts it in every gorey fantastic detail that will make you squirm with delight.