Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 2)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

 

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Knight of the Old Republic: Commencement (3964-3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (52 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching and Travel Foreman

Knights of the Old Republic: Commencement is the first volume of compiled issues containing the first six issues of the series. This is many years before the events of the movies and features the Padawan Zayne Carrick. Not quite as skilled as his fellow Padawans, Zayne is a bit of a jumbled mess. When he comes across his master and the other Jedi of the council having slain all the other Padawan learners, Zayne makes a run for it. His master and the other Jedi easily find him with their insight of the Force. Now Zayne must find out why the Jedi killed their own. What caused them to turn? When Zayne finds out what happened, he promises that he may just become the Dark Jedi that his master head feared of their Padawans, but it will be at the fault of the Jedi leaders for instigating the darkness in the first place.

This is a very interesting piece in terms of politics, technology, and societal ethics in the Old Republic. It is a great piece of history that has me digging for more, and if you can get your hands on a copy, do it! I like the original Dark Horse versions, personally, but Marvel is re-releasing everything, so these should be attainable. I am excited to see what happens in volume two!

 

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Jedi: Shaak Ti (22 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (Star Wars: Jedi 5 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander and Jeremy Barlow

Artist(s): Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons

Shaak Ti is a part of the Star Wars: Jedi series of comics and can be treated as a one-shot. It is also included in the second volume of the Clone Wars comic under the title “Catspaw.” Shaak Ti is a Jedi Knight that seeks peace and she is rather gentle in the way she goes about doing things, unless of course the circumstance calls for more drastic measures. On the planet, Brentaal IV, mega guns are stopping the Republic from maneuvering on and off planet. Shaak Ti and her clone troopers must disable these guns with the help of some prisoners. Lyshaa is a prisoner who happens to know Shaak Ti because she had previously killed Ti’s Padawan. Ti also encounters fellow Jedi, Quinlan Vos in the prison. Now Shaak Ti must rely on these prisoners to help her disable the mega guns while trying to simultaneously maintain inner peace. This was a very interesting story highlighting the character of a very interesting Jedi.

 

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Kanan: The Last Padawan (Height of the Clone Wars, Rise of the Empire)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Greg Weisman

Artist(s): Pepe Larraz, David Curiel

This is a complimentary piece with the character, Kanan, who appears in the cartoon series, Star Wars Rebels. Before joining the crew of the Ghost, Kanan was a padawan learner under the Jedi Master Depa Billaba. Before the name Kanan Jarrus came to life, he was Caleb Dume. With the execution of Order 66, the death of his master has Caleb run for his life, doing whatever he must to survive. When he meets the smuggler, Janus Kasmir–a Kalleran–he learns that he must do anything to survive, whether it be lying or cheating, but most of all, he must give up his Holocron and Lightsaber. When Kanan is older, a member of the Ghost crew, he finds himself back on the planet that haunted him so long ago.

Overall I really enjoyed the back story we get for a Jedi who survive Order 66. As a watcher of the Rebels series, I was interested to see how a comic featuring the same characters would be. The story is exhilarating, and the art is phenomenal. This is the kind of art that really has you stop and admire some of the scenes, really pulling at the reader’s emotion, before moving on with the plot. I highly recommend this one and I will be keeping up with the future releases as well.

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Star Wars: A Valentine Story  (3 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (1 Issue)

Writer: Jude Winick

Artist(s): Paul Chadwick

This is a one shot special released for Valentine’s Day 2003. Leia and Han are constantly bickering. When it is time for a mission to Hoth, Leia insist’s on going with Han, making Chewbacca fly his own ship. In a storm on the way down to the planet, Chewbacca and Han’s ships re separated. Frantic for his friend, Han runs out into the freezing snow, nearly dying to search for his friend. Leia coaxes Han back onto the Falcon where they share stories and body heat, building their rocky bond.

This is a very sweet one shot with nice artwork and a small background story about one of Han and Chewbacca’s past adventures and well worth adding to any Star Wars collection. This can also be found in Omnibus 2 of At War With the Empire.

 

 

 

 

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