“The Old Republic” franchise – which is cranking out expansions to the game to this day – used the platforms of comics and novels primarily as teasers for the game from 2010-12, with almost all of the stories being standalones. The exception came at the very end of the tie-in material rollout, when the last comic-book series, the five-issue “The Lost Suns” (2011), led into the last novel, Drew Karpyshyn’s “Annihilation” (2012).
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There are two ways to approach video game tie-in comics – in a way that appeals to comic book fans, or in a way that appeals to players of the game. The “Knights of the Old Republic” game (2003) used the former approach, as John Jackson Miller told a coherent and engaging 55-issue serial, with the game’s Republic versus Mandalorians war as the backdrop. “The Old Republic” game — which launched in 2011 and is still going strong, and which followed “Knights” on the “Star Wars” timeline – used comics to flesh out specific events of the Republic versus Sith Empire war rather than telling an ongoing narrative.
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Wrapping up their “Dawn of the Jedi” trilogy, writer John Ostrander and artist/co-writer Jan Duursema deliver a strong character piece with the five-issue “Prisoner of Bogan” (2012-13) and an epic conclusion with the five-issue “Force War” (2013-14).
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Does “Star Wars” history feel historic enough? My gut reaction is “no” – I felt that way when first exposed to “Tales of the Jedi” (set 4,000-5,000 years before “A New Hope”) in 1993 and again with “Dawn of the Jedi” (set 36,453 years before “A New Hope”) in 2012. My local comic book dealer expressed a similar opinion that “Dawn” was just another “Star Wars” story with light-side vs. dark-side battles that could happen anywhere on the timeline.
Continue reading “‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm’ (2012) (Comic book review)”
When the writer of a serialized TV show or comic book series gets word of the project’s cancellation and has only a few episodes or issues to wrap it up, they have three options: 1) to not change their plans at all, and just let the story end mid-stream, 2) to stick with their planned story but add an emotional coda, or 3) to cram in as much of the planned story as possible and rush to the end point.
Continue reading “‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Legacy Volume II’ Issues 11-18 (2014) (Comic book reviews)”
After Cade Skywalker’s saga came to a natural conclusion in 2011, Dark Horse launched two new titles to satiate fans of “Legacy.” The work of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema could be found in “Dawn of the Jedi,” which started in 2012, while the “Legacy” era continued in “Legacy Volume II” in 2013. Although both were intended to be ongoing titles, they were canceled when the “Star Wars” license switched to Marvel – “Dawn” after 15 issues and “Legacy Volume II” after 18.
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Writer John Ostrander brings together all the myriad factions of “Legacy” in two final, epic arcs – “Extremes,” Issues 48-50 (2010), and the six-issue miniseries “Legacy: War” (2010-11). The Fel Empire, the Galactic Alliance and the Jedi unite against the Sith Empire. Additionally, the non-Sith members of the Sith Empire finally realize the Sith are 1) evil and 2) using them for their own ends, and they defect to the Allied forces.
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A major impetus behind launching a series set four generations after Luke Skywalker was that it gave the writer freedom to chronicle a fresh part of the timeline. But by the time of “Legacy”Issues 41-47 (2009-10), a big appeal of John Ostrander’s saga is the way it ties back to the wider mythos.
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George Lucas was interested in the dangers of humans melding with machines, but that concept was buried by the time he got to the final drafts of his “Star Wars” films. The machine aspects of Darth Vader and General Grievous (and Lumiya and the Hunter, if you delve into the Expanded Universe) were emblematic but arguably superfluous, because – regardless of what they looked like – their evil came from their human half, not their machine half.
Continue reading “‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Legacy’ Issues 32-40 (2009) (Comic book reviews)”
“It Follows,” the first great horror film of the year, mixes nightmare imagery with a poignant coming-of-age drama with a travelogue of economically depressed Detroit. The end result is something greater than the sum of its parts, and a film that invites subtext to be liberally applied.
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