As history is always written by the victors, what then will become of the legacy of the Jedi Knights? Despite all of the good they’ve done for countless generations, the Emperor Palpatine would see the record books revised and rewritten. Certainly, he sought to begin as much with the issuance of Order 66 – the grand call for the Order of the Jedi Knights to be struck down in combat nearing the conclusion of the Clone Wars – and, if his young protégé Darth Vader has anything in mind at this point, it is to wipe the galaxy clean of their meddlesome lot, putting the world’s on a path to a new age, one celebrating the might of the Galactic Empire, now that the Republic has been dissolved.
(NOTE: the following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of character and plot. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I encourage you to skip down to my last two paragraphs for the final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
The people of Vaklin had a long history of producing many revered Jedi Knights throughout the history of the Jedi Council. As a testament to their greatness, the people erected monuments, built sanctuaries in Jedi ruins, and enacted shrines to commemorate the good deeds. However, if Lord Vader is to show the world of Vaklin a glimpse of what their future may hold, he must first undo the hold (and respect) this generation has for the Jedi. Thus, their re-education is begun!
As PURGE: THE TYRANT’S FIST (Part 2 or 2) continues, Lord Vader has recommitted himself and his troops toward removing the rebellious Jedi Master Cho’na Bene from the hearts and minds of the Vaklin people. After struggling against the people in the first installment, Vader is now convinced that history itself must be changed in order for this brave new world to embrace its future potential, even if that means bombing or burning every link the world has to fallen Jedi. It’s indeed a dark course – one specifically intended for only the darkest of lords – and the Emperor’s ‘hand’ is just the man to do it.
However, Vader isn’t alone, as most tyrants aren’t. The Sith Lord has enlisted Major Namada – a young female officer in service to the Empire – in his campaign to re-educate the people of Vaklin, and, as it turns out, she’s as cunning as she is beautiful. With her aide, he will begin the task at turning a world from thoughts of rebelling against Palpatine’s wishes into a place welcoming what commerce this new galactic union has to offer.
Like the first installment, much of THE TYRANT’S FIST deals in some very dark affairs. As the purge of the civilization continues, tyranny wraps its fingers around civilization and tightens its grip. Of course, Vader and Cho’na Bene are destined for their inevitable showdown, but, as clearly the fates have turned on the side of the Emperor, it’s the Sith who use history to their advantage, allowing Vader to best his opponent in ways the fallen Jedi previously never thought imaginable. What scribe Alexander Freed accomplishes here is grand – a galaxy in chaos slowly finds a path to its tomorrow – and he does so with two parallel threads: the first is Vader’s reflections on accomplishing the brute force of the purge, and the second (perhaps more relatable) is Major Namada’s “assessments” to bringing the people of Vaklin under the Emperor’s control. While they’re two birds of the same feather, they learn from one another only the best and most ruthless ways of co-opting the hearts and minds of an entire race. This is the stuff good tragedies are made of, and I certainly hope Dark Horse Comics allows its crew to continue exploring the fall of an entire galaxy.
STAR WARS: PURGE: THE TYRANT’S FIST (Part 2 of 2) is published by Dark Horse Comics. The story is by Alexander Freed; the art is by Marco Castiello and Andrea Chella; the colors are by Michael Atiyeh; and lettering is by Michael Heisler. For the purposes of clarity, I thought it appropriate to mention that the events depicted here take place only months after those covered in STAR WARS (EPISODE III): RISE OF THE SITH. The issue bears a cover price of $3.50, not payable in Republic credits.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. There could’ve been a bit more action to soothe my palate, but so much of PURGE: THE TYRANT’S FIST isn’t about action – it’s about the subtle efforts of an evil government bent on rewriting history in order to bring about a populace they can more easily subjugate. As I stated above, this is the stuff of tragedies, and can there be a greater cinematic tragedy than the fall of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader? As I’m learning to believe, there certainly can be: who knew what Palpatine and his Sith apprentice had in store for the greater galaxy at large? Things are looking grim, indeed.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics provided me with an advance digital copy of STAR WARS: PURGE: THE TYRANT’S FIST (Part 2 of 2) for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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