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.
Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 2: Flashpoint (3964-3963 BBY)
Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)
Writer: John Jackson Miller
Artist(s): Michael Atiyeh, Harvey Tolibao, Brian Ching, et. al.
This is the second installment of the Knights of the Old Republic graphic novels featuring the three parts of “Flashpoint,” “Homecoming,” and “Reunion.” Flashpoint is three issues compiled together featuring the space base, Flashpoint, where the Mandalorian’s have taken refuge. One of them, Doctor Demagol, seeks stray Jedi to experiment on them. When Zayne Carrick’s ship is taken by a Mandalorian, they end up working together to save the Jedi. “Homecoming” features some back story on Zayne’s mater, Lucien, and how his family is rich and has a very high influence on money and Jedi. Lucien’s master, Haazen, is a filed Padawan. This family influence ties in to “Reunion,” where we meet Zayne’s father, coincidentally banking on a high traffic investment planet. He was given the position by Lucien’s family in order to lure Zayne into trap without being noticed. Zayne catches on to he trap before it is sprung and saves his father, delivering him and his family to Dantooine where they will be safe.
Miller is pretty good with giving us the story of these long-ago times in the Star Wars universe; he gives just the right amount of information for us to get a good idea of what happened during the Mandalorian war. The art is okay, but I especially like how the light sabers are yellow, and the characters all have their own unique physical traits to make them interesting. I especially like Jarael and am looking forward to seeing more of her, as well as finding out if Zayne will ever be released from the crime he did not commit.
The Clone Wars Vol. 4: Light and Dark (22-21 BBY)
Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)
Writer: John Ostrander
Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons, Thomas Giorello
The pictured volume is the special 30th anniversary hardback edition of The Clone Wars Vol. 4: Light and Dark. It contains the issues “Republic 54: Double Blind,” “Jedi: Aayla Secura,” “Jedi: Count Dooku,” and “Republic 63: Striking from the Shadows.” So far, this is by far the most interesting of the Clone Wars volumes. We see lot of Aalya Secura and a lot of Quinlan Vos, two characters that grow more and more interesting as the story progresses. Aayla is worried about her master, Quinlan, who is acting as a double agent for the Republic. Only two or three Jedi know of Quinlan’s plans to get close to Dooku, so many Jedi believe he really is falling to the Dark Side. When Dooku questions Quinlan’s loyalty, he tells of Tinte’s plot to have Quinlan’s parents murdered, enticing the rage from the Dark Side that Quinlan has built up, lending him to kill, something Jedi do not do. (Tinte is a relative of Quinlan’s, holding a ruling seat on his planet).
As I said before, this is by far the most interesting of the Clone Wars volumes thus far. The art is fantastic and the characters are extremely interesting. It’s the first volume that really gives us some insight into the other Jedi, really giving time to tell their stories so that we may be drawn to them as characters. I must say, this volume has really highlighted Quinlan in a way that makes me extremely interested in what he is going to do next; I wish they would take the time to do this for all the key Jedi in the Clone Wars!
Star Wars: Purge (21 BBY)
Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)
Writer: John Ostrander, et. al.
Artist(s): Douglas Wheatley, et. al.
Purge is a graphic novel compilation of one-shots that take place after the fall of the Galactic Republic. The first one-shot is “Purge,” where Darth Vader goes to asset-up meeting of the few remaining Jedi after Order 66, and he does as the title indicates: he purges them, slaughtering all the remaining Jedi he can find. The second issue following is “Purge: Seconds to Die.” This one was the most interesting of the one-shots. Sha Koon, niece of Plo Koon, strives to continue being a Jedi. She does not want to go into hiding, and this places her against Darth Vader. While she questions the dark side of the Force, she has a Jedi vision of all the great things to come, including Luke’s rebuilding of the Jedi through both Luke and Leia’s children, as well as the Force users Luke seeks to bring to his future Jedi academy. Sha Koon can die knowing the Jedi will rise again. The third story is “Purge: The Hidden Blade.” Vader is sent to a distant planet to guard an Imperial manufacturing facility against the planet natives. He doesn’t care much for this mission until he finds out that two Jedi are in league with the planet’s natives. And we all know what happens with the Jedi. The final installments are “Purge: The Tyrant’s Fist, Part 1,” and “Purge: The Tyrant’s Fist, Part 2.” This two-part conclusion leads us to the rise of the Galactic Empire with Vader seeking out and purging one last Jedi on a planet where the citizens’ seek to keep the Jedi’s existence a secret.
The art styles vary among the issues, since each issue has a different writer and artist team. The uniqueness of putting all these one-shots into a collective piece is fantastic. If you are a Vader fan, this is for you. If Order 66 hurts your soul, this will be hard to read, because it can be a little bit more graphic in some places as well as tragic.
Star Wars: Chewbacca (0 ABY)
Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)
Artist(s): Phil Noto, Ariel Olivetti, Jordan D. White
This miniseries takes place right after the Battle of Yavin. After the destruction of the Death Star, Chewbacca finds himself crash-landed on an Imperial-occupied planet where he meets a slave worker girl, Zarro, who wants to free herself and her father from the mines. When Zarro escapes, she runs into Chewbacca and begs him for help. Reluctant at first, Chewbaca recalls his own time in slavery and chooses to help Zarro. With Chewbacca’s experience in combat (mostly against Imperials), he sure knows how to rough some guys up. He is also a very tactical planner, thanks to the many predicaments he has had to get out of with his partner, Han.
This comic is artful and builds an enticing relationship between two characters of different species, but similar backgrounds. I really enjoyed the aspects of Chewbacca that we get to see in this comic, things we don’t get as often in some of the other books or movies. Even though Chewbacca speaks Whookie, the portrayal of his speech is perfect, and the way his fur is drawn is amazing. Overall, this is a great comic if you are looking for some more to Chewbacca’s character.