Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Star Wars Legacy Vol.4 - Alliance & Vol. 5 - The Hidden Temple

Written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
Art by Omar Francia, Alan Robinson, Jan Duursema, and Dan Parsons

I thought it would be a good day to read a big chunk of Ostrander's excellent Star Wars series, and polished off two trades, Alliance and The Hidden Temple.

This is basically the Star Wars that I wanted after I turned fourteen.  There is a rational attempt to understand galactic politics, and the droids and other cutesy creatures are kept to the barest of minimums.  Legacy is so much more than Cade Skywalker, and the Alliance trade is the best example of that I can think of.  I'm not sure that Cade is in it at all beyond in flashback.

Instead, Ostrander focuses on other goings on in the galaxy.  Most of Alliance is taken up with the plan of Admiral Gar Stazi, the commander of the final remnants of the Galactic Alliance to steal a new Advanced Star Destroyer from Darth Krayt, the Sith leader of the Empire.  To tell this tale properly, Ostrander develops a large number of characters, and fills in the story of what happened to the rest of the Alliance fleet.  There is also a story about the consequences of these actions on the Mon Calamari, and another one-off tale that has Darth Wyyrlok, Darth Krayt's aide de camp, as he tries to research new methods of healing his master.

The Hidden Temple, on the other hand, is all Cade.  In it, Cade and his friends turn to Cade's uncle for help (yes, yet another Skywalker), and he in turn, takes them to a secret Jedi temple.  They get followed by some Imperial Knights, and all these factions sit down to discuss a course of action to put a stop to the Sith.  This gets a little heavy in terms of Force-based mumbo jumbo, as once again, the Jedi are portrayed as being reluctant to act.  These scenes may have become too much to handle, except that Ostrander wisely intersperses them between scenes that have some of the secondary characters interacting.  Most interesting are the scenes where Cade's friend Syn reveals the root of his hatred to the Jedi.

This series tells a massive, and very involved story.  It is science fiction just as I like it, with big space battles and really strong character work.  Duursema is always excellent, as are the other artists that provide work on this title.  I regret not having gotten on board with this sooner, but who knew that Star Wars comics could be this good?

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