No matter how much some days I'd love to walk away from Star Wars, be it the sometimes bad cartoons, the intusive prequels or the fans that will defend to the death anything Lucas has done and will continue to do to his magical world, I always remember those good times, like the original un-altered trilogy, the SNES games, The Thrawn Trilogy of books and this comic series.
Picking up the Star Wars story 6 years after the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi, the Empire is in shambles and many factions are fighting for total controll of the Empire, or whats left of it since the Rebels are now the New Alignance and the galaxy is starting to come together again under peace. Luke and Lando led an attack on the Imperial Capital but when the battle is over, Luke stays, being beckoned. Shortly he is whisked to the Galactic Core where he meets an old enemy who if Luke turns to the Dark Side of the force, he can learn the secrets about his father, why he did what he did and even more about the force. Meanwhile, a new swarm of the Empire's war machines have gathered around friendly planets and have begun to destroy them.
I can't think of ANYTHING boring about these books. When Dark Empire came out, there were source books for the role playing games that covered nearly every square inch of this with just all the new material, planets, weapons, characters and locales that this book brought to the table. Old characters return, the writing makes them SOUND like the characters we grew up watching or at the very least, they say things that we know they would say given the chance for character development past Return of the Jedi. It really felt like I was reading what could have been Episode VII and better yet, if felt like the Star Wars of old.
II haven't read a lot of the EU (Expanded Universe, the material not from movies that comes from the massive line of books, comics and video games) Star Wars material but I can certainly see why fans rued the day Lucas was born for making his prequels that quash what may have been established in other media and this one isn't an exception. I touched on this a little in my review of Darth Vader and I must bring it up here, Luke clearly says in this book that he must explore the Dark side of the force, learn it's secrets, WHY did my dad make this choice? What made it such a temptation? Of course we see in the prequels Anakin is manipulated to such a degree that he makes some bad decisions and ends up joining the dark side after reaching a point of no return. Wow, the mystery. The book sadly doesn't really explore much of the why but you can at least see the magic of the mystery and make your own conclusion instead of having Luke learn that the force is nothing but magic blood cells. Yeah I know, leave it alone.
The books writing is great, the drawing's aren't bad but MAN O MAN does Cam Kennedy's water color work an acquired taste. I've had the book for 13 years and I STILL can't stand it. Entire panels are done up in ONE COLOR with varrying shades. In one panel Luke is purple, then green, then lime. Rarely does the book break this up short of a few pages.
As many other Star Wars novels or comics have come out this book has fallen by the wayside with fans but do not let that fool you. If you have to read a Star Wars comic that makes you feel you are reading the new Star Wars movie that we never got with the characters we know and love, this is it. As sure as Darth Vader is Luke's father.
What did you think of this review?