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Comic Review: Star Wars #9
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Star Wars #9Star Wars #9
Script by Brian Wood
Art by Ryan Kelly, Dan Parsons, Gabe Eltaeb
Cover by Hugh Fleming
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 11, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

Brian Wood’s Star Wars comic from Dark Horse persists in delivering the punches, with a flavor that will make you hear John Williams’ soundtrack as you read. Recovering from a less-than-stellar episode a few issues ago, Wood has positioned our heroes in a variety of settings, magnifying the risks, and exploring character interrelations where possible.

The Rebel Alliance is in a dire situation as it’s believed a spy is in their midst, tipping off the Empire of their locations and operations. Princess Leia, along with Luke Skywalker, and Wedge Antilles form a new Stealth X-Wing squadron, to take on black-ops missions in an effort to root out the mole. Han Solo and Chewbacca, meanwhile, are on a separate mission for Mon Mothma in the heart of the Lion’s Den: Coruscant aka Imperial Center.

Star Wars #9 opens with Leia returning to the ruins of Alderaan to observe a private moment of remembrance. There she comes across a hijacked Star Destroyer from the Clone Wars era, with one passenger: a lone Alderaanian who is seeking to preserve elements of his planet’s culture and history. But there is more to this character than meets the eye, and Leia’s astromech droid’s concerns are not without reason.

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Comic Review: Star Wars #7
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Star Wars #7Star Wars #7
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Gabe Eltaeb, Ryan Kelly, Dan Parsons
Cover by Rodolfo Migliari
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 10, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

To put it mildly, the previous issue of Brian Wood’s vision of Star Wars was a disappointing installment in the series. While the latest seventh issue of the new Dark Horse line doesn’t see a return to the form seen in the first five chapters, it is much better than #6, and establishes several new elements and movements that begin to move the story along again.

Within the Rebel Alliance, there is a spy of some kind, betraying information to the Empire – the sabotage is preventing the freedom fighters from finding a new base of operations, finding them limping through deep space. While returning to Tatooine to finally lay his aunt and uncle to rest, Luke proposes a covert mission to Leia, in which he and Wedge will infiltrate the Star Destroyer that keeps intercepting their efforts.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy, Book 1
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Star Wars: Legacy, Book 1Star 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.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi – Prisoner of Bogan #5
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Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi: Prisoner of Bogan #5Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi – Prisoner of Bogan #5
Story by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
Script by John Ostrander
Pencils by Jan Duursema
Inks by Dan Parsons
Colors by Wes Dziobha
Cover by David Michael Beck
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 22, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

The concluding issue of Prisoner of Bogan continues the extraordinary level of storytelling and artwork we’ve come to expect from the Dawn of the Jedi series. Set tens of thousands of years before the events of the movies we all know and love, the series is essentially pre-history for the Star Wars galaxy, referencing many elements from all areas of the Expanded Universe, conspicuously the Rakatan Empire from Knights Of The Old Republic.

The precursors of the Jedi, known as the Je’daii, are at a turning point of their times past and existence. For millennia they have striven to keep balance between the Light Side of the Force and the Dark Side of the Force. But an outsider alien rich in the power of the Dark Side, a Force Hound bound to the Rakatan known as Xesh, crash lands on the Je’daii home planet of Tython, forcing everything into imbalance.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi: Force Storm #3 and #4
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Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi – Force Storm #3Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi – Force Storm #3 and #4
Written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
Pencils by Jan Duursema
Inks by Dan Parsons
Colors by Wes Dzioba
Cover Art by Jan Duursema
Dark Horse Comics
Issue #3 Release Date: April 18, 2012
Issue #4 Release Date: May 16, 2012
Issue #3 Cover Price: $3.50
Issue #4 Cover Price: $3.50

The intriguing basis for Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi continues to be its greatest selling point: this is a time before Jedi and Sith, and before the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force was so diametrically opposed to each other. This is the Star Wars galaxy before it was the Star Wars galaxy; where the Balance of the Force is beyond important and more significant to the plot than what it was in the films.

Issues #3 and #4 of Dawn Of The Jedi: Force Storm continues this universe revealed in the opening chapters of this series, which seems to be serving as a “Book of Genesis” for the Jedi Order. Complete with references to and cameo appearances of the Rakatan Empire, Dawn Of The Jedi covers an immeasurable amount of ground that is sometimes a little too much to digest.

Xesh, a Force Hound for the Rakatan Empire (basically a Force-sensitive warrior who tracks down Force energies for the Rakatans), finds himself on Tython. His mere presence there ignites a gigantic Force Storm, of the likes has never been seen in the galaxy, nor probably would ever be seen again. Members of the enigmatic Je’daii Order find themselves corrupted by Xesh’s Dark Side leanings, and torn away from the doctrine of keeping the Force in balance.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi #1
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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi #1Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi #1
Story by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
Pencils and Cover Art by Jan Duursema
Inks by Dan Parsons
Colors by Wes Dzioba
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 15, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

The debut issue of Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi is, in essence, a Creation Myth, telling the very beginnings and origins of the Jedi and the Sith. Set tens of thousands of years before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the story tells of how the original order, called the Je’daii, came into being, and how their approaching conflict with the Rakatan Infinite Empire set their course away from balance and into division.

Dawn Of The Jedi, for the Star Wars continuity geek (such as myself – I like to consider myself a bit of an in-universe SW historian) is a dream come true – the publication we’ve long waited for. From start to finish, Dawn Of The Jedi #1 is chock full of new information about the deeply unexplored ancient history era of the Star Wars universe, providing a solid glimpse into a time where swords were used instead of a lightsaber.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 11: War
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Star Wars: Legacy, Vol. 11: WarStar Wars: Legacy, Vol. 11: War
Written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
Pencils by Jan Duursema
Inks by Dan Parsons
Colors by Brad Anderson
Cover Art by Jan Duursema
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $19.99

When I found out that the Star Wars Legacy series was coming to an ending, I was not amused. I had fallen in love with the series, and wished it would continue, but all good things – actually, in fact, all the best things, must come to an end; or in this case, a conclusion. The Legacy series had everything against it in the beginning – a Skywalker tale set over a century after Return of the Jedi seemed (to many, including myself) a tacky, desperate move by Dark Horse. But something very odd happened:

It worked.

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