Saturday, September 18, 2010

Star Wars Legacy Vol. 8: Tatooine

Written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema
Art by Jan Duursema, Kajo Baldisimo, and Dan Parsons

As much as I usually praise this series, this particular volume is perhaps the weakest in the run so far.  It feels, in many ways, like it is an interlude volume, giving Cade Skywalker and friends something to do while Ostrander works to set things up for the next big storyline.

For the majority of the book, Cade and his crew are running scams on Tatooine (always Tatooine, the most pivotal backwater in the galaxy) and attacking Black Sun pirates who attack Imperial weapons shipments.  The Empire sends a fighter pilot we've seen before to arrest Cade, and pairs her with Morrigan Corde, a special operative and Cade's mother.  There are also some vampires pursuing Cade, and this is where things all start to feel a little forced.

First, two of the bounty hunters are of a vampiric race that like to refer to the emotions and/or luck they drain from their victims as soup.  It's hard to deliver threatening dialogue that way.  I don't know if these are Ostrander's creations, or if they are from some other aspect of the Star Wars universe, but they're silly.  Also stretching credibility is the revelation about Corde that kind of slips out but isn't used much.  What I love most about this series is the way that Ostrander has been playing with George Lucas's creations, but ignoring much of the overly melodramatic or cloyingly cute crap that chokes the films.  Now, learning what we do about Corde, we're back into the overly complicated family ties that irritated me so much when I was a kid.  Not everyone in the comic has to be related.

Finally, there is a one-off story featuring the Rogue Squadron of the Rebel Alliance.  This is what I usually like most about this comic, but this time around, I got a little lost.  One of the characters is revealed to be Mandalorian, which seems to me to mean being part of a samurai-like warrior tribe that wears Bobba Fett's armor.  Perhaps these guys have been around before (a quick Wikipedia search reveals that these guys have had a long history - who knew?), but nothing is done to introduce them to a new reader.  It's all good, but it threw me a little and made me wonder if I'd just forgotten something important.

In all, I'm still very impressed with this title, but I hope the remaining two trades in the run are better than this one.

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