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Archive for February, 2008

Book Review: I, Jedi

I, Jedi, written by author Michael Stockpole, follows Corran Horn’s quest to become a Jedi and rescue his wife, Mirax Terrik, from the hands of a pirate coalition named the Invids. Released in early 1998, I, Jedi is the first and only Star Wars book written in first-perspective to ever be released.

When Corran Horn returns home after weeks of hunting Admiral Leonia Tavira’s Star Destroyer Invidious, Corran Horn comes to the shocking realization that his wife has been kidnapped. Corran learns that while on a mission for Republic Intelligence head General Cracken mission to track down the Invideous, Mirax vanished.

After hearing his wife scream his name through the Force, Corran decides to pursue Jedi training before confronting his wife’s kidnappers. Horn travels to Yavin 4 to begin training at Luke Skywalker’s newly formed Jedi Academy, and immediately begins having problems with Luke’s way of teaching.

Under the alias of Keiran Halcyon, Corran is confronted by the spirit of ancient sith lord Exar Kun, who is set on turning all of Luke’s students to the dark and using his new disciples to once again rule the galaxy. After Corran and Luke’s students defeat Kun’s spirit, Corran decides to leave the academy and pursue other ways of hunting down his wife. Armed with new information involving Mirax’s whereabouts, Corran sets his plan to infiltrate the Invids and destroy the pirate coalition from the inside out.

After donning the persona of Jenos Idanian, Corran joins an Invid pirate group dubbed the Survivros and quickly climbs the ranks to the Invid’s most prestigious fighter group, Bolt Squadron. Once dirtside on the pirate’s base on Courkrus, Corran donnes his Jedi robe and begins to terrorize the pirates, quoting that doom has coom to Courkrus, and all their victims shall be avenged.

After Corran single-handedly brings down the entire pirate coalition under his Jedi persona, Admiral Tavira sends her group of Jensaaria Jedi to kill him. Assisted by Luke Skywalker, Corran defeats the jedi sect and learns that Mirax is being held in stasis on Tavira’s base on  Susevfi. With the assistance of fellow Rouge pilot Ooryl, the two assault the base and rescue Mirax. When Admiral Tavira shows up in orbit with her star destroyer Invideous, intending to raze the base before they can escape, Corran uses the Force to project an image of the Sun Crusher firing at Tavira’s ship to cause her to retreat.

I thought this book was a fun, action-packed read. With Corran Horn being one of the expanded universe’s most interesting and diverse characters, it was fun to read a book in which the story is told in first-perspective. My only complaint in this book is the ret-conning it did with the Jedi Academy storyline which also ran through Kevin J. Anderson’s three-part Jedi Academy series, in which Corran wasn’t present.

With Michael Stockpole being the main author of the X-Wing series, I could really tell he had fun writing this book with the characters he’d created for his previous Star Wars projects. This book includes a lot of funny instances that don’t come off awkward and cheesy, something most author’s don’t pull off as well as Stockpole has.

Overall, I think this is truly one of the best Star Wars books ever written.

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Empire #37 was is the second issue in the five-part Wrong Side of the War comic book arc, in which Luke Skwalker and a team of Rebel commandos go undercover to rescue Jorin Sol, a Rebel tachician in Imperial custudy.

 The team sneak into the Imperial base on Kalist lV and begin in implemant their plan to free Jorin Sol. Things go terribley wrong when Luke is recognized by an old friend, Janek Sunber, who is enrolled in the Imperial Army. While initiating their plan, the Rebel commandos find large work forces of Jabiimi people who are enslaved by the Imperials. While Deena Shan, undercover as an Imperial science officer, feeds false information concerning Rebel bases to the Imperials, the rest of the Rebel team hatches a plan to free the slaves from the prison while they rescue Jorin Sol.

While the story is entertaining, the thing that really makes this issue for me is Davide Fabbri’s art. Fabbri pencils and colors all five issues in this arc with his trademark clash between realistic and cartoon styles, with colors and lighting that really portray the mood of the story. The cover by David Michael Beck, protraying the Duros rebel commando Mouse, adds a nice touch to the front of the issue, making it an excellent display peice.

I did really enjoy this issue’s story, which is a mix of both humor and seriousness. It’s interesting to see both sides of the confilct, as the story focus shifts back and forth from Janek “Tank” Sunber and the rebels, both storys of which will collide in the dramatic conclussion in the end of the Wrong Side of the War.

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Overkill, released in early 2006, was a fun, humerous action-packed Boba Fett one-shot. Contrary to what you might think, Boba Fett played a rather minor role in this one shot as the main story features a political struggle between the Imperials and the royal family of Troska.

When the local Imperial commander, Buzk, blockades a shipment of fuel from the royal family’s refinery, a luitenant named Manech and his friend Kelmont take matters into their own hands and hire the most deadly man in the galaxy- Boba Fett- to end the dispute. Fett destroys the family’s refinery, initiating a conflict that soon turns to all-out war between the Imperial garrison and the local militia.

When Fett takes the battle to the royal family’s palace, and Commander Buzk intends to finish off the Royal Family before Fett has the pleasure to. Fett takes palace, and Imperial forces arrive to arrest Buzk for abuse of power.

While the story is a little hard to get into at first, Francisco Ruiz Velasco’s art really adds a nice touch to the feel of it. The cartoony style of Velasco’s art, combined with the political yet interesting story make for a nice comic book stand-alone story.

Though I would have enoyed seeing a little more of Boba Fett, the character created for this story are very funny and origanal. Overall, I’d consider the art and story in this stand-alone to be excellent, all of which is made better with the presence of the coolest Star Wars character to date, Boba Fett.

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Book Review: Fury

Darth Cadeous continues his fall to the dark side in this very dark, high-paced seventh book in the Legacy of the Force book series The Jedi are now in hiding, the Jedi Temple on Corascant seized by the Galatic Alliance Guard. Cadeous rules the Galactic Alliance Guard in a manor comparable to that of Darth Vader, carelessly killing officers, family and friends who get in his way.

When Tenel Ka, the ruler of the Hapes Consortium, pulls the Hapan Battlefleet out of Jacen’s command, Jacen decides to kidnap his daughter, Allana, and use her as a hostage. After the Correlians fire the newly-repaird Centerpoint Station at the Galactic Alliance’s flagship, the Anakin Solo, Darth Cadeous brings the battle to the Confederacy in an attempt to capture the large super weapon. The Jedi mount a mission to destroy the station and save Allana from Jacen, knowing that Darth Cadeous undoubtedly plans to take control of Centerpoint Station and use it to destroy the Confederacy.

Meanwhile, Jaina, Zekk and Jag have tracked Alema Ra to Lumiya’s secret base inside the astroid feild orbiting Bimmiel. A huge, force-power battle ensues, with Jaina and Zekk battling Alema’s force-phantoms inside the asteroid’s abandoned mining tunnels. When the asteroid self destructs, Jag ends up killing Alema using his mandalorian crush-gauntlets in a fist-fight. The three escape with the help of Jaina’s parents, leaving the exploding asteroid just in time.

When Jacen mounts his attack to seize Centerpoint, and the Confederacy realize that the defeat is immanent, the correlian commander in charge of the station sets the station to fire on Corascant. After the Jedi successfully retrieve Allana from the Anakin Solo, the large superweapon misfires, destroying itself and the Galactic Alliance fleet in the process.

 The book ends with Jaina realizing she’ll have to be the one to take down Jacen, who has thus far thwarted every capture and assassination attempt the jedi have thrown against him. This will undoubtedly lead to the events in Invincible, one which the cover boasts an image of Jacen and Jaina dueling.

Overall, this book was great. I love Aaron Allstron’s writing style, and it’s perfect for this series. Allstron  brings his pet characters, Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu, back into play as the civil war unfolds, giving us some great starfighter battles. The battle with Alema inside Lumiya’s secret base is the best part of the entire book, as Jagg, Jaina and Zekk battle sith meditation spheres, force phantoms and Alema herself inside the mining tunnels of the asteroid. This was a great book, and I’m sad that this will be the last for Allstron.

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Rebellion #5 was a new beggining for Rebellion, the first issue in the five-part Ahakista Gambit story arc. Wyl Tarson, who played a minor role in My Brother, My Enemy, becomes the main character in this  arc. Other than the character of Darth Vader, this story arc did not feature any familiar characters or planets, making it more interesting and exciting.

Artist Brandon Badeaux takes the backseat in this issue as Michael Lacombe, who pencilled the third issue of My Brother, My Enemy, illustrates all five issues along with colorist Will Glass. The art in this series, while not exactly what you’d expect from a comic book, is superb. The style is perfect for the feel of this story. Lacombe takes a more realistic style with this series, somthing very diffrent from Brandon Badeaux’s super-muscled interpretations of the human body.

After he learns that Wyl is stealing for the Alliance, Raze plants a bomb in Wyl’s head and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t complete a mission for him. Wyl is tasked to create a team to assist him on this suicide mission for Raze. When he, hacker Baco Parr and Raze operative Laynara travel to an abandoned Rebel base to recuit an inactive Rebel operative, they’re attacked by a red-lightsaber sporting enemy, someone who’ll be revealed in the next issue as the promonant main character of the Nomad arc from Tales.

This was a great first issue to the Ahakista Gambit story arc. The story is great, the art is great, and it promised a great new beggining to redeem the series for the people who disliked My Brother, My Enemy.

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The comic book event of 2008 begins with Knights of the Old Republic #25, part one of twelve in the Vector crossover story. This first issue cleared up a lot of diffrent theories and ideas about what Vector was going to be. 

It now seems that, atleast the Knights of the Old Republic stage of Vector, will be about a Sith artifact called the Muur Talisman, a weapon that can manipulate life at a cellular level. At this point, it is apparent that the Murr Talisman is what causes the Rakghould disease in the underlevels of Taris. After the Masters see the Talisman being used by the Sith in a vision, Lucien Dray dispatches a Jedi agent to retrieve the artifact from it’s hidden location on Taris. Along the way, the agent runs across Zayne and Gryph, who are waiting for Alic and Jareal to land and transport them off Taris. To the dismay of the three, the Mandalorians end up finding the Muur Talisman first.

 This first issue, though it was entertaining and question-anwering, in soe ways reminded me of the tv series Lost, in which the writers keep our interest by letting out the least amount of information as possible in each episode.

I can’t help but wonder how they will incorparate the Muur Talisman and the rakghoul disease into Dark Times, Rebellion and Legacy. So far, the Rakghouls have only been featured in the KOTOR video game and some of the earlier KOTOR comics. Could it spread to be a galactic epidemic, turning entire planet populations into the predatary, mindles Rakghouls? Could the Rebellion use the disease as a weapon against the Empire, releasing the animanls onto Star Destroyers and waiting as they infected the entire ship? There are so many ways that Vector could go, and I could speculate like this for hours.

My only complaint is the art in this first issue.  While I like Scott Hepburn’s art, I’m not sure it’s right for Knights of the Old Republic. Maybe I’m only dissapointed because the last few issues have been done by the likes of Brian Ching, Dustin Weaver and Bong Dazo, but I really don’t think his cartoony-style is right for this arc.

 Overall, I think this is a really great issue, and if you’ve been thinking about getting into Star Wars comics, now is the time to do so!

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Since the beggining, I’ve been an avid supporter of Rebellion. My Brother, My Enemy and the Akhista Gambit, unlike the other Star Wars lines currently being released from Dark Horse, featured well-established characters either from A New Hope or the Empire comics in interesting storys with good character development. The art from Michel Lacombe and Brandon Badeaux has been consistantly good.

This first issue, in my opinion, gave Small Victories a good start. After the destruction caused in the end of My Brother, My Enemy, the Rebellion’s flagship has been jumping through Hyperspace, hiding from Imperial forces. When they accidently find themselves in an Imperial refueling station, sourrounded by Imperial Star Destroyers, the only option is the fight. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leah and Deena Shan make a plan to infiltrate the station and blow it up. Though the issue was short by my standerds and nothing of much importance happened, I think this arc is going to be one the best we’ve seen in a while.

The art in the issue was also very good. Pencilled by Colin Wilson, whose work can be found commenly in the Legacy series, and colored by Wil Glass, the art is perfect for the time period and mood of the series.

Overall, I think this was a good issue. I think this is going to be a good series, and if you don’t pick up the first couple of issues, you’ll be kicking yourself later.

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