Friday, July 13, 2007

Review - Star Wars: Legacy 14

By John Ostrander, Jan Duursema & Dan Parsons
Colors by Brad Anderson, Letters by Michael Heisler
Published by Dark Horse Comics, July 2007. $2.99

It’s summertime, so I’ve been re-playing KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPBULIC. Which means I’ve been walking around in my daily life and imagining lightsabers. More than usual, I mean. So I tried one of the many STAR WARS comics to see what was what in the world of the not-movies.

I’m not a big fan of the Expanded Universe stuff. I love Star Wars, as it existed circa 1984 -- the first three movies, the old figures, the Millennium Falcon. Everything else (prequels included) has been like fancy fan-fiction, and that’s fine with me. It’s fun to imagine and re-imagine Star Wars and it’s characters, but like anything some of it hits and some of it doesn’t.

Playing KOTOR and reading this issue of LEGACY -- the setting of the latter being 137 years after the first (released) Star Wars movie -- it seems like the general pattern of non-movie Star Wars stories is that the Jedi/Sith conflict is one that repeats itself over and over again. There’s always a Jedi in danger of falling to the dark side, and there are always scoundrels and bounty hunters getting caught up in the action. The Republic is always on the verge of collapse, and there are always new colors of lightsabers to be seen.

LEGACY’S Jedi in question is Cade Skywalker, a Luke’s descendent and a surly youth. He abandoned the Jedi and became a bounty hunter -- sort of like taking Luke and Han and blending them into one character. But the thing is -- Luke and Han worked best because they balanced each other out. Cade is like everyone’s high school D&D character. He’s the smartest, most charismatic, fastest, strongest, Force-iest character around, and while that makes him pretty badass to the teenager playing him, he’s not very interesting as a fictional being. And seeing him square off against a new legion of Sith, in this case Darth Krayt, who looks kind of like Stryfe from Marvel’s old X-FORCE series, just feels like the same old Star Wars story in a new pair of pants. There’s a Wookiee, there are Imperials, there’s a Hutt and a hot twi’lek -- but the pieces are rearranged into a new design.

I understand the appeal of that -- in the case of the first KOTOR it was very satisfying. But while LEGACY is competent, it doesn’t have the freshness KOTOR had. It’s interesting to see how the creators make the familiar Star Wars pieces fit, but it doesn’t have that spark of Something New necessary to keep anyone but a die-hard Star Wars fan coming back.

Tell me more: Star Wars Official Site, Star Wars @ Dark Horse.

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