Star Wars: Legacy, Book 1 Story by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema Art by Jan Duursema, Brad Anderson, Sean Cooke, Adam Dekraker, Travel Foreman, Dan Parsons, Ronda Paterson, Colin Wilson, Cover by Adam Hughes Dark Horse Comics Release Date: June 5, 2013 Cover Price: $34.99
There are very few series within the Star Wars Expanded Universe that are universally celebrated by fans, so much so that their content would stand up on its own in film adaptations. Star Wars: Legacy is one of these. Boldly setting the storyline 125 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the creative team of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema established a new saga in the Star Wars universe that fans have since embraced as some of the most outstanding Expanded Universe material since Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy.
Star Wars: Legacy, Book 1 collects the first three volumes of the Dark Horse series (nearly 20 issues, massing an impressive hardcover collection of 482 pages!), and is most certainly a must-read for any Star Wars fan. The series follows Cade Skywalker, descendant of Anakin and Luke, though ripped from his original destiny to become a Jedi, he finds himself torn between the light side and the dark side of the Force, unwilling to face his future, and tormented from visions of the ghost of Luke Skywalker appearing before him.
Some 130 years after the Battle of Yavin, Cade’s father, Kol, was united with the Yuuzahn Vong in a reconciliation mission named the Ossus Project, using their biotech to heal planets ravaged by war. Unbeknownst to the allies at the time, a new breed of Sith lords, considered the army of the One Sith led by Darth Krayt, had sabotaged the project, ruining planets instead of healing them.
The disaster steers into causing a new war between the Galactic Alliance (the former Republic) and the Fel Empire (which grew out of the Empire). Backed by the One Sith, Coruscant fell to the Empire, forcing the Galactic Alliance to flee. After taken, the Sith order a new Jedi Purge, mirroring Palpatine’s claims to power over a century before. After most of the Jedi are killed on Coruscant and across the galaxy, the Sith storm to their final target: The Jedi Academy on the planet Ossus.
While a few Jedi escaped the homicidal rampage led by Darth Nihl, Kol Skywalker was killed – a death witnessed by his son. Cade also escapes, though is believed dead and/or missing by the Jedi. In what becomes a twist in his destiny, he is picked up by a group of pirates lead by the mercenary Rav. As Cade grows to adulthood, he forms a group with Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue, and becomes a bounty hunter and smuggler.
Meanwhile, Darth Krayt ousts Roan Fel from the leadership of the Empire, and declares himself Emperor. The galaxy now finds itself in harshly similar circumstances to a century before – a Sith Lord ruling the galaxy in a tyrannical Empire, the Jedi all but extinct with most of the survivors in hiding, and a Skywalker about to face his destiny.
The writing of Legacy is super-tight and exceedingly solid. There are numerous connections and references made to countless aspects of the Star Wars universe – from elements of the movies, to aspects revealed in the Expanded Universe. The plot is exciting, placing an unusual protagonist who wishes to avoid the so-called destiny that is demanded of him by the Jedi; and a villain that rivals that of the Emperor and Darth Vader.
Additionally, there are numerous subplots that arise during the course of the series that are also of importance to both the development of the story and its conclusions across many story arcs. The legacy of the Fel Empire plays a significant part, as do the Imperial Knights, who are essentially Jedi in Royal Imperial Guard armor with silver lightsabers, sworn to protect the true Fel Empire. Elements of the underworld arise in certain parts, and other factions such as the Mandalorians play an important part later in the series.
But the main point is that Ostrander and Duursema are both spot on in their story structure. Star Wars has always been the story of a Skywalker’s journey coming to a head with a Sith Lord, set on top of a backdrop of a galactic civil war. In Legacy, the creative team have established some incredibly endearing characters that have since become favorites among fan circles, with a storyline that is just as exciting and thrilling as watching the movies.
Jaan Duursema takes on the main artist role, predominantly in the penciling field, and as such, works effectively with Ostrander’s script, having both of them developed the story. The artwork has ALWAYS been solid throughout the Legacy series, with some of the most impressive work you will ever see in any comic book, period. The attention to detail is significant, as are the regular tips-of-the-hats made towards other aspects of the saga.
Star Wars Legacy was a revolutionary entry in the chapters of the Expanded Universe. It’s captivating and magnetic, with exceptionally strong writing, and beautiful artwork. And although Star Wars fans already love this series, believe me when I say that general comic fans will also find Legacy to be an amazing read. If you’ve never read it, consider this collection to be a must-read experience.