Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Star Wars: Legacy

(2007) Jon Ostrander, Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons and Brad Anderson, Titan Books, 14.99, trd pbk, 144pp, ISBN 978-1-845-7-6461-7

You can't keep a good Skywalker down, it seems: 125 years after Return of the Jedi, and they're still around to save the galaxy. But in this fresh take on the Star Wars universe, the Empire have taken the galaxy back from the New Republic, and the Sith have almost completed the total extermination of the Jedi. And Cade Skywalker, the only descendant of the Skywalker line, has lost his faith and hunts the bounties on rogue Jedi. His destiny is about to catch up with him - as well as a civil war between the Empire and the Sith. Legacy has cut itself off from the established continuity of Star Wars and been given the opportunity to create a completely new story in the 'expanded universe'. And it is nice to see; apart from a brief cameo from Luke Skywalker in the usual ethereal form, all the characters are fresh faces.

So how successful is this venture? Well, it's pretty thrill-packed and chock full of Jedi and Sith locking horns in landscape-hogging lightsaber duels. And the artwork is bursting with action, accurately drawn and with bold uses of colour and contrast. But the story doesn't really seem that interesting - in fact, it runs pretty close to the plot of 'Episode 1', with the same problem of spending a lot of time setting the scene for later episodes. Cade Skywalker makes a novel Star Wars hero, less rebellious rogue and more tortured soul and cantankerous git. There are the usual stock characters you would expect from the series, from the wise Jedi teacher to the duty-bound princess. Yet again, the 'feisty female merc' makes her appearance for the teen male readership. And there is a complete rogues' gallery of mean-looking Sith to deal with, thanks to a Jedi Dark Master with an inclination to break even the bad guys' rules.

I'd like to think that volume 1 of Legacy is setting the scene for a much more dramatic saga; it seems that way, with a number of plot threads left hanging... In which case, I would like to see what happens in the next volume. There seems like there's so much anticipation built up in this volume, yet you get so little real payoff in the story.

It's worth mentioning that as this title appeared, we also saw Tag and Bink for those who take their Star Wars seriously, but are still convinced that they can laugh at the whole thing. By Kevin Rubio and Lucas Marangon (Titan Books, 10.99, tpb, ISBN 1-84576-370-X), this series follows the incompetent pair, Tag and Bink, as they involve themselves in misadventures all the way through both Star Wars trilogies. The humour is mere parsecs away from Spaceballs territory, as the in-jokes and self-referential jibes abound. But with so much that will go over the head of most except the regular Star Wars viewer, this is not a spoof for those with any serious issues with the saga.

Peter Thorley

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