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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Champions of the Force (Jedi Academy #3)-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

Champions of the Force is the final volume in the Jedi Academy trilogy, following Jedi Search and Dark Apprentice. While the first book was pretty exciting, the second was a bit lacking. This book makes up for the lack in the second novel by far. 

With Luke in a coma, the Jedi apprentices struggle to find a way to bring him back. While they perceive Luke as defenseless, his Force ghost fights the evil Sith Force ghost of Exar Kun. Only one can see and hear Luke in his Force state: Jacen Solo, a mere toddler. While Exar Kun uses the forces of Yavin 4 to kill Luke’s physical body, little Jacen makes a stand to keep his uncle safe.

Meanwhile, Kyp still has the Sun Crusher and aims to save his brother and destroy any solar systems with planets with Empire loyalists. Han is the only person who might be able to get through to Kyp, but when he almost has the Jedi apprentice back on the good side, his trick to get him there angers Kyp even more.

The Maw instillation is officially being searched and taken by the New Republic force led by Wedge. They aim to gain the technology and resources that may be useful to them, and then destroy the Maw, but some of the scientists have escaped in the Death Star prototype!

On Kessel, Lando and Mara Jade are aiming to become business partners using the mines of Kessel for its glitterstim in more legal ways than Doole. Speaking of Doole, he is still a problem, having locked himself up in his own facility. Mara and Lando aim to get Doole out, but when the Death Star prototype shows up, they have a bigger problem at hand.  The scientists want to test their prototype on Kessel, but their practice round misses the planet and hits the moon instead, lucky for Mara and Lando.

Maw Instillation turns into a massive battle site where Kyp aims to use the Sun Crusher on it, the Death Star prototype returns to collect their research, and Admiral Daala, who narrowly escaped the scourge of the Sun Crusher, returns to destroy everything in the Maw, including all the New Republic citizens therein.

With Kyp’s quick thinking, the Death Star Prototype falls into the black hole cluster, and Daala manages to escape…AGAIN.

Back on Coruscant, Mon Mothma no longer hides her illness, and Leia is nominated as Chief of State. With the new Jedi, one may be able to heal Mon Mothma, who was poisoned by Furgan. Furgan, who escapes the Sun Crusher and aims to take Anakin Solo from his safe planet. Luckily, Winter has a number of massive tactics and defenses for herself and the infant until help arrives.

In this book, we learn a bit more about the different Jedi apprentices and some of their more unique abilities. It was a good conclusion to the trilogy and leaves a lot of open-ended things that will be explored in further novels, which is nice. We will see Daala again eventually, and we will get to learn a lot more about the Jedi apprentices in both I, Jedi, which takes place during the events of the Jedi Academy trilogy (from a different perspective), and Jedi Academy: Leviathan.

Overall, while the series has its high and low points and is not quite as good as the Thrawn Trilogy, it is still a great installment to the expanded universe and leaves the reader wanting to know more about Luke’s new Jedi apprentices, Han and Leia’s Jedi children, and the New Republic’s endeavors. Overall a wonderful addition to the Star Wars universe that any fan would enjoy!

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 15)

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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Knights of the Old Republic: Destroyer (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Ron Chan, et. al.

This is the eighth volume of the KotOR series of graphic novels. It contains “Masks,” “The Reaping” parts 1 and 2, and “Destroyer” parts 1 and 2. “Masks” is short and revolves around Malak, one of the Jedi Zayne and Jarael previously met in their adventures. Now he is recruiting for the war against the Mandalorians, but Zayne won’t go and he will not allow Jarael to go either. They end up discussing her past of being a Slaver and how it affects her in the present. “The Reaping” had Zayne and Jarael searching for the Crucible, a slaver group that Jarael was once a part of, if nothing more than to bring the group down from the inside. When Zayne brings eighty slaves abourd, his hidden motives are revealed to Gryph, and Jarael reveals who she once was to the rest of the group. “Destroyer” features Zayne being purposely taken in the the Crucible group so that he can get an inside glimpse. When one of Jarael’s enemies manipulates him with the Force, Zayne questions Jarael’s character and why she still have the name meaning “Destroyer,” but Jarael tells him the name has a different meaning: “Protector.” With Zayne and Jarael looking to go their separate ways, what will become of the Crucible?

The art is a bit different in this one (different artists do different issues of the comic). The story is interesting in that we get more on the mysterious Jarael, and leads the reader into wanting to find out more and to see what will be come of Jarael…and Zayne.

 

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Star Wars: Darkness (30 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Ray Kryssung, et. al.

This graphic novel consists of issues 32-35 of Star Wars. It features Quinlan Vos and his padawan Aayla Secura after having lost their memories. Quinlan had to be retrained, and when a Guardian from his home planet seeks only him for a mission, the Jedi council is wary, since Quinlan has touched the Dark side and is still very close to darkness. Meanwhile, Aayla hates Quinlan for what he has done in the past, but all Quinlan wants is to find his lost padawan and restore her. When Anzati wreak havoc, and show Quinlan some disturbing memories, he must fight his greatest fear once more, and save his padawan from the darkness!

I was very excited to come across this at a comic book store. I always check the Star Wars selections from the original Dark Horse publications, and I had actually never seen this one before. With the same writer and artists as the Clone Wars, this was a great edition to Quinlan Vos’s character, adding even more detail to an already phenomenally interesting Jedi.

 

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Star Wars: Yoda’s Secret War (0 ABY, Flashback to before the Clone Wars)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron, Kelly Thompson

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Emilio Laiso, et. al.

This is the fifth compiled volume of the Marvel Star Wars series of comics which contains issues 26-30 as well as Annual #2. “Yoda’s Secret War” begins in the present time of the series with C-3PO having been captured by a special squad of stormtroopers and Luke following R2, who refuses to leave his droid friend behind. In his travels, Luke reads from Obi-Wan’s journal and learns of a mission Yoda once went on to save a planet. Luke feels drawn to the same planet and sees the remains from what Yoda left many years earlier. It is a Force-heavy planet with great stone giants that are like mountains, and the people of the planet fighting each other over Force and terrain. “Annual #2” features a bystander, a female engineer, who ends of helping Leia from a tight spot, despite her not really liking Leia.

Overall, the art is splendid in this compilation, but the story is lacking. The “Annual #2” was an interesting addition to Leia’s adventures, but the arc with Yoda was boring and seemed like a tangent in comparison to the new Marvel Star Wars as a story, which was disappointing. I am hoping the next installment will continue with the main story, rather than a past event that was very lackluster.

 

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Poe Dameron Volume 2: The Gathering Storm (30-34 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist(s): Phil Noto, Joe Caramagna

The second installment in the Poe Dameron graphic novel series features Poe continuing his work for Leia and the Alliance, but knowing that there is a potential spy among his Black Squadron is almost too much to bear. When See-Threepio seeks Poe’s help, he finds himself bringing back a droid that may or may not have vital information on Snoke and the First Order, while being followed and tracked by ex-stormtrooper Terex. Terex has his own plans in mind when he aims to bring the entire Alliance to the First Order!

While I enjoyed the first graphic novel, this one seemed to be lacking; but it wasn’t! It was even more interesting than the first volume, with higher stakes for Poe and his Black Squadron! Phil Noto does not disappoint. As he is both the cover artist and issue artist, you can easily judge this book by the cover, because the art is phenomenal, and Marvel knows what it is doing when contracting for the new canon comics!

 

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 14)

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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Knights of the Old Republic: Dueling Ambitions (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Dean Zachary, Michael Atiyeh, et. al.

This volume of KotOR features “Prophet Motive” parts 1 and 2, “Faithful Execution,” and “Dueling Ambitions” Parts 1-3. “Prophet Motive” Gryph, Zayne, and Jarael have a long-running plan to dismantle a shady auctioning syndicate that utilizes slaves. When their plans are found out, Gryph and Jarael must disguise themselves, and their Mandalorian friend finds himself in a bind for refusing to remove his armor. In these issues, Jarael demonstrates a potential to use the Force, and Rohlan pushes her further to utilize these newfound powers. “Faithful Execution” is a short issue featuring unique art by Dean Zachary, art that makes the characters appear softer, rather than having the sharp angles. This issue involves Zayne and crew coming across a ship of suffocated people, with a lone survivor and a droid. When Zayne suspects the droid of the murders, the real murderer comes forth when Jarael is in trouble. In “Dueling Ambitions,” Zayne finds himself face-to-face with one of his childhood icons in a dueling arena, excited to race and be a part of the duels, even though they can be very deadly. When the truth is revealed, that those in the duels are slaves that are forced to fight and race, Zayne makes it his ambition to free them, but he also learns Jarael’s secret of the past!

Having the different artist in one of the issues was an interesting and pleasant twist, and this new arc of Zayne, Gryph, and Jarael’s adventures shows promise. For the first time, I am extremely eager to see what happens next in this series, especially where Jarael is concerned.

 

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Jedi Academy: Leviathan (12 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: Kevin J. Anderson

Artist(s): Dario Carrasco Jr., Mike Heike, Ray Murtaugh, et. al.

When a mining planet sends out a distress signal, Leia calls Luke to send out some of his Jedi Trainees to investigate. While Kyp and Dork 82 arrive too late, they find that the planet is inhabited by ancient monsters that seemingly collect the souls of those they devour. While the Jedi are too late, Kyp knows that he must defeat the leviathans and release the souls of the victims and rid make the planet safe for the next settlers who choose to live there.

This is a single volume following Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy (and is preferred to have read I, Jedi and the Callista trilogy as well). It features some of the main Jedi that Luke brought to his new academy on Yavin 4 including Kyp Durron, Kirana Ti, and Streen, and introduces us to Dorks 82, who hopes to have some connection with the Force as his predecessor did. The art is good and the story adds just a bit more to the training of the new Jedi.

 

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Doctor Aphra: Aphra (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Kev Walker, Marc Deering, Antonio Fabela, et. al.

Doctor Aphra is an archaeologist. After faking her death with Darth Vader, she now continues to hunt around the galaxy for rare artifacts that she can sell for a high price. Black Krrsantan still helps her out in hopes of getting what she owes him, but when her Doctorate is disabled by her father, she must comply to his wishes before she can be reinstated. Searching for hints to a lost civilization on Yavin 4 brings the Empire down on them,. but unlocks a great historical mystery.

This is one of the best installments to the new canon with a great character. Aphra is a fantastic edition to the story: her character is interestingly developed with her own unique qualities that make her stand out from other characters in the series. The art is superb, as usual, and I cannot wait for the next one!

 

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The Star Wars (No Timeline)

Publisher: Dark Horse (8 Issues)

Writer: J. W. Rinzler

Artist(s): Randy Stradley, Mike Mayhew

This is Star Wars before it was revised to become the beauty that it actually is, based on the original draft by George Lucas. The story is pretty much completely different, featuring the Jedi-Bendu who once guarded the Emperor before the rise of the Knights of Sith.  Annikin Starkiller is the hero of the story with an older Luke Skywalker as the mentor/master. Annikin and Luke must now protect the princess of Aquilae, Leia, from the Empire. In this version, Han is a Urellian, a race that hunts Wookies on their home planet of Yavin. Darth Vader exists but is off screen most of the time, commanding his Sith from afar.

Despite the original story by George Lucas being awful, they at least got some of the top artists from the Star Wars line of comics. There is some action, but the story itself is so dry compared to its multiply drafted-over counterpart. While this is an interesting piece in the creation history of Star Wars itself, it is not worth the read if you are looking for extended universe qualities about characters you are already familiar with and want to know more about.

 

 

Star Wars: Rebel Rising-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Young Adult Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

Rebel Rising is a part of the Rogue One story line in the Star Wars franchise. This book can be found in the young adult section of your local book store, and is written for more of a teen audience, which made this a fun and unique read in addition to the Star Wars collection of books.

This novel features Jyn Erso for the ten years she spends between the time of her mother’s death and the time that she truly joins the rebellion. When Jyn is taken from her hiding place by Saw, a Clone Wars veteran, she finds she could learn to care for him as if he were family, but Saw has treated Jyn as a rising rebel rather than a daughter. At times, he does claim her as his daughter and he ingrains into her that she must never share her true identity, since her father is working for the Empire.

Jyn learns how to use a blaster and how to fight and defend using hand-to-hand combat. She becomes antiquated with a number of rebels that begin forming small strikes against the Empire, and she even demonstrates her strength against them, proving her worth to join Saw and the rebels on a mission.

When a mission goes sour and the rebels find a traitor in their midst, they must be careful. When the wrong person is accused, the real spy makes himself known, and Jyn is separated from Saw. She spends a year with the Ponta family (Hadder and his mother, Akshaya), finding new meaning to life, and even romance.

Even though Jyn constantly warns Akshaya that the Empire will eventually come down on their planet, the trader does not listen. When the Empire strikes, Jyn must make a new start yet again. Finding jobs hard to come by, Jyn resorts to working codes for the Empire and even selling out rebels, until she lands herself in the Imperial prison on Wobani.

This book is fun and fast-paced with the perfect type font, line spacing, and writing style for a young adult audience and it works for any Star Wars fan as well. There are some time skips that make the book feel rushed, which was noticeable and a bit of a bummer, and there isn’t anything that particularly stands out that makes the book great. Rather, it is the build and background that is placed upon Jyn’s character that makes this book more interesting, especially since we know the events that happen right after the books ends.

All in all, I would recommend this book for Star Wars fans of all ages, whether they be new fans to the franchise or veterans. It was a great installation to the series, to be sure!

Dark Apprentice (Jedi Academy Trilogy #2)-Should You Read It?

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Genre: Science-fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

11 ABY

Happy 40 year anniversary to the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, released on May 25, 1977! In honor of the anniversary, I ensure that a fresh Star Wars Post makes it onto my blog on May 25th. This post features the second novel in the Jedi Academy Trilogy: Dark Apprentice, preceded by the first in the trilogy, Jedi Search. While not quite as interesting as the events and characters in the first novel, this one still has quite a bit of merit.

The New Republic has taken the Sun Crusher, and in retaliation, Admiral Daala is wreaking havoc across New Republic worlds, including Akbar’s home-world. After his ship is tampered with during a peaceful political talk with a new planet of people, Ackbar crashing into their sacred building has the New Republic remove him from his post, no longer an admiral. Now residing on his home-world, Leia and Ackbar fight against Daala’s assault.

While this battle rages on Mon Calamari, Luke is on Yavin 4 training his new Jedi apprentices. Little does Luke know that a couple of his Jedi are looking to the Dark Side. Gantoris on the Eol Sha people sees visions of dark power, and when he chooses to embrace the Dark Side, it is too much, and his body gives out. Now this dark being has found its way to Kyp Durron, who claims the Sun Crusher can be used against Daala and the rest of the Empire remnants, and that Luke is not teaching his new pupils what they need to know.

Meanwhile, Leia is aiming for peaceful negotiations with various planets while trying to be a good mother at the same time, and the one who sabotaged Ackbar’s ship has found Anakin Solo’s whereabouts!

When Luke finds out about the destruction of the Eol Sha people, wiped out by Daala in an act of pure guerrilla warfare, Luke cannot keep up with the fading Empire remnants and his pupils turning to the Dark Side. When Luke aims to fight whatever this looming darkness is, he falls into a comatose state, leaving his apprentices to fend for themselves, and leaving Kyp to do as he pleases with the Sun Crusher as he aims to exact revenge and save his brother.

All in all, this book was still pretty decent. I was not as interesting as the set-up and character introductions in Jedi Search, it has potential to lead into a climactic finish, and it does keep the reader wanting to know what will happen with many of the characters, including Luke, Kyp, Anakin, Daala, and Mara. Yes, Mara Jade make an appearance in this novel, as Luke is aiming to get her to join his Jedi Academy, and the plays between Mara and Lando are hilarious. Overall, a decent sequel to a decent Star Wars trilogy that any fan would find interest in.