Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Should You Read It?

Genre: Science-fictionImage result for the last jedi novel

Rating: 5/5

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the first film-to-novel adaptation in the Star Wars saga that I greatly enjoyed.

It was a quick and easy read–if you have seen the movie. If for some reason you have not seen the movie, this book might actually be a bit hard to follow. There is a big disconnect when transferring something from screen to print and vise versa. While you get the eloquent descriptions of the action written in the book, it is still very different than seeing those actions set in motion on the screen. While the descriptions are relatively vivid, they are not detailed enough to give face to the characters for one who may not have seen the movie. It doesn’t often reflect on how they look, although there is a lot with body and facial expression.

The Last Jedi novelization is extended to the movie (are all copies extended edition? I don’t see why they wouldn’t be). There are a number of “deleted scenes” that were wanted in the movie, but the movie is already the longest of the saga so far, and the extra bits had to be cut for the sake of time, but these scenes will likely be featured in the DVD/Blu-ray extras as well.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the feelings and the connections between the characters that can be expressed in the third person limited scope of this novel. One example is the connection between Finn and Rose. While their “side quest” feels pointless since it does not succeed, that is actually one of the elements that makes The Last Jedi unique–not every plan is going to work, and their plot line demonstrates this reality. During their quest to find a master codebreaker to get them aboard the massive star destroyer Supremacy to nullify the tracking beacon they use to find the Resistance, Finn and Rose seemingly do not like each other. We get a bit less of Finn and a bit more of Rose in the third person perspective. Rose complains internally (and externally as well) about how much Finn praises and has hope in Rey. As their journey progresses, we see the internal feelings begin to bloom as Rose finds herself attracted to Finn. We also get a lot of internal thoughts on her deceased sister, Paige, and aspect that we don’t really get to see as much in the movie, developing Rose as a character more so that the visual version did.

Then we have the main plot with Luke/Snoke/Kylo/Rey/Leia, those involved more closely to the Skywalkers and have larger involvement in the Skywalker plot line. While the movie version did a very interesting job of portraying the relationships between Snoke/Kylo and Rey/Kylo, the book was more interesting in that, once again, we get the third person limited perspective where we see inside the character’s heads as to their true feelings and thought processes. Snoke has slightly more information given through his way of thinking, Kylo’s actions are more sound through his reasoning behind them, and they whole Kylo/Rey (or ReyLo, if you will) has much more meaning behind the words on the page.

When comparing The Last Jedi to The Force Awakens, while I find Abrams to be a better director, I found that the main plot of The Last Jedi was more interesting and there were a number of opportunities for character development in the main plot that changes the perspective of the reader/viewer. Hardcore Star Wars fan that I am, when The Force Awakens came out, I did not have any favorite new canon character (Mara Jade is my personal favorite character and always will be, followed by Thrawn). But with The Last Jedi, the character Development of Kylo Ren has me very intrigued and has enlightened me with a third favorite Star Wars character. Within the novel, although it is shown in the movie as well, there is an exorbitant amount of internal conflict going on in the young man, and his struggles leave room for a lot of development. I also like how we get more of his past, and there is an anti-hero element to his own story. Being an anti-hero doesn’t mean he is evil, but rather he finds that he is doing the right thing in his own way, perceiving the ways of the Resistance as those that would be “bad” or “evil.” This potential for development, whether he has a change of heart, or in the end, wins (that would be interesting indeed), the space for development through the final installment leaves delight and intrigue for those who want to see something not so cliche.


Star Wars: Bloodline-Should You Read It?

Image result for bloodline star warsGenre: Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

28 ABY

Family is more than blood, but for Senator Leia Organa, her bloodline continues to haunt her as she aims for a time of peace with the New Republic.

Leia commemorates her father, Bail Organa, with a speech and statue in his honor. Her words ring true, but if the people ever found out that Darth Vader was her father, they would be wary and distrustful of the new leader.

While Leia thinks about resigning from her position, her husband, Han Solo, is a starship racer. The two do not get to see each other often, not to mention being distanced from their son, Ben.

Lei’s murder of Jabba actually proves joyous by another smuggling cartel. She also shares with someone her secrets about being tortured by Darth Vader (although she still aims to hide his connection to her by blood). Of course, her bloodline is found out and exposed to the public, even as Leia has decided to continue her campaign to remain a senator. The people take this news rather negatively, and Leia loses many of her supporters, but just because she is the daughter of Darth Vader does not mean she has ill intentions. Leia has always been an advocate for the people, thinking of the greater good for all. Ben has to hear about his grandfather through the media, and Leia must console him from afar, the family dysfunction already deep in the works.

Throughout the novel, the beginnings of the First Order are introduced, with sound reasoning behind their motives, so keep an eye out for the characters involved in that and how they are developing their forces to form a new power. These threats to the New Republic are imminent, but the Senate does not take them seriously and refuses to take action. Thus, Leia forms her own organization: the Resistance.

Claudia Gray is a great writer. Having been selected to write more than one of the new canon books shows her prowess with the world of Star Wars. She brings the characters to life in a way that some Star Wars writers do not accomplish quite as well, and she makes the complexities of politics easy for any reader to understand. The reflections to events from the original trilogy are always exciting, and this is a nice connection to the new trilogy in that it is with the Journey to The Force Awakens line of publications. Overall, pretty interesting read, especially for anyone who wants a bit of lead-up to the new political organizations and characters in the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars: Phasma-Should You Read It?

Image result for phasma bookGenre: Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

“Because it makes it clear that you can’t win against Phasma. Not you. Not anyone. No one will go as far as she will to survive” (338).

That quote, in essence, sums up Phasma’s character just right. Everything about Phasma, including all instances in this novel as well as her Marvel graphic novel, suggests that Phasma is a survivor. With this information, do not let the events in The Last Jedi fool you!

This story takes place both 34 ABY (present time of the novel) and roughly 24 ABY (the past events in the novel). In this novel we are introduces to Resistance spy, Vi, who gets captured by the red stormtrooper, Cardinal, aboard the Star Destroyer, Absolution. Cardinal, a man of high command and power who trains children in preparation to be transferred to Phasma’s training unit on the Finalizer, has brought Vi aboard without anyone else knowing. If someone found out what he was up to with his prisoner, there would be no mercy.

Cardinal knows that Vi has vital information about Phasma, information relating to Armitage Hux’s father, Brendol. When Vi can obviously tell that Cardinal has never actually interrogated anyone before, she gives him the amusement of Phasma’s story, learned from visiting Phasma’s home planet, Parnassos, where someone who was one close to Phasma still resides.

Vi tells what she learned about Phasma, a ruthless warrior of the Scyre, people who live off of what little there is in the jagged, rocky area, fighting with a rival clan, the Claws. One day, rule is handed over to Phasma and her brother, Keldo, but the two do not see eye-to-eye on everything. When Brendol Hux’s spaceship crash-lands on Parnassos, and his escape pod lands near the Claws, Phasma aims to help him find his ship, her ultimate goal to leave the forsaken planet behind.


In their adventuring along the way to the crash site, Phasma’s people, Brendol, and his two stormtroopers, encounter beetles that seek any kind of moisture and if they get a hold of something living, the person basically turns into water. Interestingly enough, the death of Brendol Hux is later discovered to have been brought about by one of these freakish beetles…

The party also comes across more than one mining facility on the planet, later finding out that one of the facilities had a nuclear accident with inevitably destroyed the habitats of the planet in its entirety.

Phasma and Brendol also come across some hostile people, beings just aiming to get by in their known world, and when Phasma shows her true strength and ability to follow orders, Brendol finds that she may be a great addition to the First Order. This book is relatively hard to summarize given the events are somewhat in order and somewhat out of order as well as going back and forth from past to present. Even so, some of the facts that come to light about the characters and the First Order are very interesting.

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Back on the Absolution, Cardinal seeks proof that Phasma killed his leader, Brendol, and when he approaches Armitage Hux with the information he has found out, it is clear that Armitage and Phasma were in on Brendol’s death together, and nobody else in the First Order knows about it.

In the last chapter, we learn how Phasma got her chromium armor as well as when she got the beetle to ultimately kill Brendol. A year after joining the First Order, she is promoted to Captain. She heads back to her home planet of Parnassos, un-buries Brendol’s ship, what is believe to be the Emperor’s old Naboo Yacht, takes some of the chromium plating from the ship, heads to one of the mining facilities, and develops her own set of armor using the metal from Brendol’s downed ship…once belonging to the Emperor. WHOA! And she grabs a beetle to bring back with her. Little does she know that her once-friend, Siv, is still alive, living in one of the mining facilities, and has shared Phasma’s story with Vi. No matter what, Phasma will not allow anyone to live who know of her past or what she looks like underneath her armor.


Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 18)

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.

Image result for darth vader imperial machine

Darth Vader Dark Lord of the Sith: Imperial Machine (19 BBY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues + “No Good Deed” Extra)

Writer: Charles Soule, Chris Eliopoulos (“No Good Deed”)

Artist(s): Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, et. al.

This graphic novel takes place right where Revenge of the Sith leaves off, with Palpatine telling Vader that he is responsible for killing Padme in his rage. Vader then attack Palpatine in another fit of rage, but the master subdues the apprentice and tells him to a Sith Lord acquires his own lightsaber (by taking the lightsaber of a Jedi and adding the blood from their dead body to the mix to give it that lovely crimson glow). With the Jedi Purge, there are only so many Jedi left for Vader to choose from, making his quest a bit more of a challenge. Vader seeks information from an old Jedi base being guarded by clone troopers and learns of a Jedi who took the oath, but did not partake in anything else involving the Jedi, honing himself as a fighting machine. When Vader finds this Jedi, the two fight to the death, and Vader even brings down the innocent lives of those unfortunate enough to be near their fight. Upon his return, he is challenged by a Sith Inquisitor, yet another one of Palpatine’s ploys. Now Vader has seen the Inquisitorius, those who have reason to hunt and kill any remaining Jedi. The short at the end, “No Good Deed,” features Vader aiming to rest, and the fate of any who disrupt him in his quest to meditate.

Once again, the new Marvel line of comics astounds me with its masterful team of writers and artists. Soule brings us yet another masterful story about master and apprentice and how Vader, still relatively young and new to the power of the Dark Side, obtains his lightsaber and continues to grow in power. The introduction of the Sith Inquisitor (from Rebels) was a nice touch and I am hoping for more story about him as well in coming issues. Despite my sadness at the Darth Vader line of comics being discontinued (or ended?), this is a good one to take the place of the need to see more of Vader and his story.


Image result for rogue one marvel

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (0 BBY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues + Special)

Writer: Jody Houser, Duane Swierczynski (Cassian & K-2SO Special)

Artist(s): Emilio Laiso, Paolo Villanelli, Rachelle Rosenberg, et. al.

This adaptation from the movie features Jyn Erso and her quest to save her father, the man who has designed the Death Star. When her mission turns into getting the plans for the Rebellion, Jyn and Cassian team up to take the first step in bringing the Empire down.  The neat thing about this adaptation is that it comes with “Cassian & K-2SO” Special #1, the story of how Cassian meets his soon to be droid friend while on a mission with two other Rebels. Aiming to reprogram an Imperial droid proves to be a challenge, but well worth it when a new friend is gained from the hardship of the mission.

Being an adaptation, there are a few things that need to be moved around ever so slightly to maintain the flow of the graphic novel. While the art is once again beautiful, thanks to the awesome teams Marvel has for its new line of Star Wars comics, it does not have quite the same feeling as a visual space battle with the sound effects that come with shooting and blowing things up. The Vader scene at the end was still beautiful, but not as heart-pounding as its visual counterpart. Overall, a great adaptation to review the story swiftly if one does not want to take the time to watch the whole movie again (but who wouldn’t?).


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Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)

Writer(s): Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Marco Checchetto, Andrea Broccardo, et. al.

This 5-issue compilation consists of “The Screaming Citadel Part I,” “Star Wars 31: The Screaming Citadel Part II,” “Doctor Aphra 7: The Screaming Citadel Part III,” “Star Wars 32: The Screaming Citadel Part IV,” and “Doctor Aphra 8: The Screaming Citadel Part V,” in that order. It is encouraged to not only have read the previous five volumes in the main Star Wars Arc, but to also have read the first volume of Doctor Aphra to get a good handle on the characters and events leading up to Luke and Aphra temporarily joining forces. Aphra, an archaeologist, has found an old Jedi artifact that contains the knowledge of a Jedi. Recognizing that Luke needs training, she offers to take him to The Citadel of Ktath’atn, where the Queen collects rare and unique lifeforms as slaves (and feeds off of Jedi essence, if a Jedi ever happens across her path). Aphra aims to exchange Luke for knowledge of opening the Jedi artifact. She double crosses Luke and the queen over and over again. When the brain controlling hive creatures that the  queen uses get both Luke and Han (who came with Sana and Leia to save Luke from Aphra’s plans), they must learn to trust Aphra to save everyone under the control of the hive creature. When Aphra shares the Jedi artifact and its contents with Luke, the Jedi finds that whatever resides within is no longer a Jedi, and its way is not the way Luke was meant to be taught. After defeating the queen, some citizens of the citadel come across her body, and what was once thought dead aims to seek revenge.

I absolutely loved this graphic novel. The whole art was intricately woven with the story-lines of Luke and Aphra, and the art is extremely aesthetically pleasing, especially that of the Queen and whatever her race it. This queen of the citadel was portrayed in a way that actually has me, as a reader, fear her. It was also interesting to bring Luke and Aphra together, developing an interesting relationship, and showing some potential major changes to Aphra as a person when she realizes a bit too late just how amazing Luke is. This volume has me itching for the next for both Star Wars and Doctor Aphra!


Image result for captain phasma marvel

Star Wars: Captain Phasma (34 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (4 Issues)

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist(s): Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa, et. al.

This story features what happens to Captain Phasma after she is placed in the trash compactor of the Starkiller Base by Hand and Finn. Phasma is a survivor, and she will do anything to put the blame on someone else to have lowered the shields of the base that let the rebels in. When one man deserts the base in its impending doom, Phasma has a TIE pilot bring her to tail the man, aiming to find him, accuse him of lowering the shields, and to kill him, leaving no witnesses, because Phasma is a survivor. When her tailing leads her to a desolate planet, she is reminded very much of her own home planet (something that is extremely evident after reading the Phasma novel). She has minor sympathies for the poeple of the planet, but only in reminiscence, because in the end, Phasma does whatever she needs to do to survive. When she confronts the escaped man, she tells him the same story she will be repeating to General Hux about the shields being released, but when the pilot with her overhears, Phasma must also shoot the young female TIE trooper. Nothing will ever get in the way of Phasma’s survival.

I really liked this graphic novel because I feel like Phasma is too down-played and needs more to develop her character. As a character who will do anything to survive, she is ruthless and rather frightening. Once again, Marvel’s creative team brings a beautiful work to life. I only wish this were one or two issues longer, maybe adding more to Phasma’s past as revealed in her novel, or maybe adding more to her relationship with the TIE pilot. Either way, it was still enough to get the vibe that it will take a lot to bring Phasma, the Scyre warrior, to her grave.

Star Wars: I, Jedi-Should You Read It?

Image result for i jediGenre: Science-fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

11 ABY

This novel partially takes place during the events in the Jedi Academy trilogy, taking in the perspective of Corran Horn, a Jedi candidate.

Before going to the Jedi Academy, Horn is caught up in a mission with Rogue Squadron when they are attacked by a pirate gang associated with a larger pirate group called the Invids.

When returning from the mission, Horn comes home to find that his wife is missing, assumed to be taken by the Invids, and now he must find a way to save her. To do that, Horn takes the suggestion of going to Luke’s Jedi Academy, for Horn has shown instances of Force sensitivity that make him prone to becoming a Jedi. When Horn ends up at Luke’s Jedi Academy, some of the same events from the Jedi Academy Trilogy are replayed from another perspective, making this part of the novel both interesting and repetitive at the same time. During his training, Horn takes on the name Kieran Halcyon, a name linked to his own Jedi lineage of the past. He experiences the events involving the rise and fall of Exar Kun, a Sith Lord who once ruled over Yavin 4, and the events of Kyp Durron under the influence of Kun, reclaiming the Sun Crusher and destroying the Carida system. He also has a deep conversation with my favorite character, Mara Jade.

Halcyon decides that Luke’s methods of training are too slow and inadequate for his needs, so he leaves with the training he has to continue the search for his wife. Before aiming to infiltrate the Invids, Halcyon visits his step-grandfather on his home-world, Corellia, but getting in is challenging, since he was once a member of CorSec, a detective-like company. On Corellia, Halcyon seeks more information about Nejaa Halcyon, the Jedi ancestor of Corran Horn. To learn more about his ancestor is to learn of the past and new tricks to bring with him to infiltrate the Invids and get his wife back.

To get deep within the Invids and close to the leader, Tavira, Halcyon demonstrates his skills as a pilot in one of their lesser squadrons, enough so he can be upgraded to the squadron the partakes in important raids and convenes directly with Tavira. With a plot to set himself up to fight a mysterious Jedi, Halcyon finally builds his own lightsaber and gets some Jedi robes, finally dawning the identity of a true Jedi and what it means to be one with the Force. Luke has been waiting for the right time to join Halcyon to infiltrate the Invids, save Mirax (the wife), and set the new republic back on course.

Overall, this book was a decent read, but not imperative to the events in the Star Wars universe. Sadly, the most interesting part of this book was the retelling of the events in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, which was a pretty great trilogy and, even though it was repetitive, it was still an enjoyable refresher of the events from another perspective. The rest of the novel, the story arc of infiltrating the Invids and saving Mirax, was actually bland enough to postpone my reading of the novel for a couple of months before I could pick it up again. It was relatively decent once I did pick it up again, but still not exciting enough for me to want to keep the book, reread it, or important enough to the main story arc of the old canon. All-in-all, I think Star Wars fans would still relatively enjoy this novel, but it is otherwise a novel that is unnecessary and it is not dire that it be read.

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 17)

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: War (3962 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Andrea Mutti, Michael Atiyrh, Pierluigi Baldassini, et. al.

This is the 10th and last compiled volume in the KotOR series of graphic novels. It contains “War” parts 1-5. While Zayne Carrick has been on a number of adventures throughout the galaxy, the Mandaloriean war has continued all the while. Now the Jedi have offered to help in the war, but Zayne was drafted from his home planet into the fray. When Dallan Morvis, a Republic commander, does not see eye-to-eye with Zayne’s way of doing things and even finds Zayne to be a jinx, their mix-up in the war becomes even more problematic. Taken in by a Deveronian Mandie whose child Zayne saved, Morvis and Zayne must try to work together rather than doing things their own way, or they will never get out of the Mandoaide alive!

While the cover art on this volume is amazing, the interior art does not match up with the presentation of the characters on the cover (witch is never the case, but Zayne could have at least still had long hair in the interior). The story was a nice added bonus to the KotOR series in that the two main arcs are finished, but we get to see an aspect of the war that had been hanging overhead throughout those main story arcs in the first place. All-in-all a nice conclusive volume.


Image result for star wars marvel darth maul

Star Wars: Darth Maul (Approximately 35 BBY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Artist(s): Luke Ross, Rod Reis, Jordan D. White (editor), and Heather Antos (assistant editor)

This story follows Darth Maul in his early days as Darth Sidious’s apprentice, before the events in The Phantom Menace. Darth Maul is itching to kill some Jedi, but Sidious asks him to be patient, that the time is not right just yet. Since he cannot kill any Jedi just yet, Darth Maul spends his time hunting down crime lords, even though that does not satiate his blood lust. One of the crime lords that Darth Maul pursues has a captive Jedi Padawan up for sale to the highest bidder. This catches his attention. Not only is it a crime lord that he can punish, but he can take the opportunity to go behind his masters back and practice his skills against an actual Jedi.

When this series was first announced, I was very excited, because I feel like we do not get enough information on Darth Maul and that he could have been an even better character, given the chance of development. I was somewhat disappointed in that the context was not what I was expecting. I think I was expecting something like the story of how Maul ended up with Sidious, or something along those lines. Despite the slow start, semi-interesting-but-kind-of-not plot, and development of Maul not being what I was expecting, it was still interesting to see what drives him and to get even a slight glimpse into his past as a Sith apprentice.



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Jedi Council: Acts of War (33 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: Randy Stradley

Artist(s): Davide Fabbri, Christian Dalla Vecchia, Dave McCaig, et. al.

This graphic novel compiles “Acts of War” parts 1-4. In this comic, Mace Windu is left with figuring out which Jedi to dispatch to hunt down the Yinchorri, a more violent race that fights against the Republic. While the Jedi are against killing other living beings, when the Yinchorri attack the Jedi Temple, Yoda shows no mercy. Among four planets, the Jedi must weed out the base of the Yinchorri and put an end to their violent acts once and for all. Little do the Jedi know that Palpatine is using the Yinchorri to deplete the Jedi and put his plans into further action, while his apprentice yearns to join the action.

I actually thought this graphic novel was very interesting. We get to see some iconic Jedi in action that we do not see many details of in other comics (including the Clone Wars). Seeing Palpatine and Maul on the sidelines of this event was likewise a nice way to spice up the conflict of the story as well. I really enjoyed the art and found that the different races among the Jedi were depicted well and in an interesting way.


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Star Wars Legacy: Broken (130 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander and Jan Duursema

Artist(s): Dan Parsons, Brad Anderson, Adam Hughes, Michael David Thomas

This volume contains issues 1-3 and 5-6 of “Star Wars, Legacy.” This story follows the descendant of Luke Skywalker, Cade Skywalker. When the Sith rise once more, they aim to destroy the Jedi similar to events of the past. After reviving his master from death and going out to avenge his the death of his father, Cade’s presence vanished from the world, but his master senses he is still alive. Meanwhile, the Sith lord Darth Krayt takes over as the new Emperor, and has a bounty out for the previous Emperor and his daughter. Seven years pass and Cade is a bounty hunter with two others who picked him up from space. Jedi are worth more in their bounties, but when Cade gets mixed up with a princess, his friends find out his Jedi heritage, the Sith make their appearance, and he is reunited with his old Jedi brethren. Now Cade must help bring down the Sith and live up to the legacy of the name Skywalker.

I dove into this series not having read any of the novels after about 20 ABY, so I wasn’t sure if I would like this or not without some of the previous Legacy context. On the contrary, I really loved this! Cade (is hot) is an interesting character, and so are his companions. Even the Sith are portrayed in a unique and beautifully artistic way that adds an extra dynamic of enjoyment to this comic. While is appears to repeat some of the same plot from the original Star Wars movies, this has great potential for character development and plot deviation, so I am pretty excited to see where this will go.

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 16)

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.

Image result for knights of the old republic demon

Knights of the Old Republic: Demon (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Michael Atiyeh, Michael Heisler, and Benjamin Carre

This volume contains parts 1-4 of “Demon.” Event though Zayne and Jarael have parted ways, their paths will cross once more, because the Mandalorian Demagol is on the loose! When Zayne sees the man behind Demogol’s mask, he is astounded, and the truth clicks immediately. Demagol has switched places with Rohlan, the Mandalorian he thought was his friend. Demagol is actually Jarael’s first teacher, under another name, and Jarael is more than willing to follow him, but with his Sith artifact, Jarael might fall to the Dark side. Now Zayne must capture Demagol and save Jarael from a terrible fate.

While there is still another volume to this series, this volume is conclusive in the Jarael/slaver arc. Compared to previous volumes, this volume seems to have more on the line for the characters, and whatever happens here will define their fate. Another nice addition to Jarael’s character development as well, since she is so interesting (I mean, how often do you see Arkanian Offshoots in the rest of the Star Wars universe?)


The Stark Hyperspace War (44 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse ( 4 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Davide Fabbri, Christian Dalla Vecchia, et. al.

This volume actually starts as taking place during the Clone Wars, but, the main story about the entitled war is a flashback to 44 BBY, which entails most of the graphic novel. The Stark Hyperspace War is a war that was triggered by a smuggler names Stark, who has taken possession of all the bacta (the healing component that the galaxy uses the most) in hopes of basically monopolizing the resource and gaining a bunch of money from it. When the Republic joins the Trade Federation, they hope that this alliance will prevent a war from breaking out, but some of the Trade Federation leaders seem unable to embrace the severity of the issue, as well as wanting money for themselves too. Obi-wan and Quinlan are dispatched with their Jedi Masters to the bacta-producing planet in hopes that they can quell the war before it starts or escalates!

I actually picked this graphic novel up because Quinlan is my favorite Jedi from the Clone Wars era, so anything involving him usually piques my interest. While the art in this was good and the writing was classic Ostrander style, the story itself felt a bit lacking. The stakes didn’t seem high enough to give it the title of a “war,” and there was a lot of political conversations and less action than I would have liked from this volume. Other than that, still a nice edition to the Jedi adventures before the Clone Wars era.


The Thrawn Trilogy (Graphic Novel Collection) (9 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (18 Issues [6/title])

Writer: Timothy Zahn, Mike Baron

Artist(s): Olivier Vatine, Fred Blanchard, Ellie DeVille, et. al.

This graphic novel trilogy follows the same story as the three novels, but with a few things switched around a bit for the sake of visual flow. In short, Heir to the Empire introduces us to Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has seemingly taken the Emperor’s place, and some members of the New Republic have a hard time believing that there could possibly even be another Grand admiral that they did not know about. We are also introduced to Mara Jade, former Hand to the Emperor and a current second to Talon Karrde, a renowned smuggler. Thrawn has a plan to take the Emperor’s old cloning facility on Wayland, steal some fabled dreadnaughts, and create a whole new army, but cloned Jedi Master C’baoth stops him. With his wit, Thrawn aims to use the Jedi Master to his needs, but he will need some ysalmiri (creatures who naturally reject the Force) to help him keep control over the Jedi Master. Meanwhile, Leia is pregnant with Jedi twins, and Luke is being hunted by both Thrawn and Mara! The main feature of Dark Force Rising is basically a race to see who can find the fabled Katana Fleet with its 200 Dreadnaught class ships first, the Empire or the New Republic. With Thrawn having his own secret Intel within the palace on Coruscant, nothing is safe to speak of. And of course, it all wraps up in The Last Command, where Luke must face himself, and Mara must come to terms with whether she can kill Luke Skywalker as the Emperor’s last command. To see more full summaries of the actual novel (since the story is the same, just adapted, in the graphic novel) just click the highlighted links in the passage.

Some things about the graphic novel: it is very text-heavy with an annoying font. The amount of text per page is nearly overwhelming, since I red graphic novels for the art as well. The font is confusing, because the H’s look like U’s and I had to reread a few different things. The art is older too, the images not representing the characters in a very attractive light, but the space ships and battles (and basically everything except people) are finely detailed, which is nice. The flow is also confusing at many times, because the way the speech bubbles are drawn and the way the dialogue is supposed to go is not clear at all, and I reread many of those parts as well. Overall, a cool collectible to have, but possibly not worth the time it takes to read because of the text-heavy convolutedness of the graphic novel. Try the novels, though; I greatly enjoyed those!


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Star Wars: Union (19 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: Michael A. Stackpole

Artist(s): Robert Teranishi, Christopehr Chuckry, et. al.

This graphic novel takes place after Luke and Mara have already had numerous adventures, reflecting on how their relationship started as one of hate. “Union” brings Luke and Mara together on their wedding day. Like most weddings, a lot of set up is involved, and it is being broadcast across the galaxy, for a Jedi and a once-Imperial Agent are joining together for the rest of their lives. Mara shows her girly side with friends and searching for the perfect dress, and Leia aims to have the location perfectly set up for her brother. Despite their union, some Empire remnants find this to be an appalling affair and aim to kill those involved.

I enjoyed this four-part series in seeing Luke and Mara together at last, with my favorite character becoming Mara Jade Skywalker. The art is decent, but I feel like Mara wasn’t portrayed well, that she was too soft and feminine. Despite it being a wedding, Mara should still be headstrong and sharp. One of the other interesting things about this book is that a bunch of characters from previous novels (Talon, Kam, etc.) make appearances, so it is good to have read a good number of the novels from the Thrawn Trilogy onward. All in all, it was a decent read and shows that even 19 ABY, there are still conflicts between the New Republic and the remnants of the Empire.