The first collection in the prequel era of Star Wars Legends was released recently and it offers many familiar faces if you’re a fan of the prequels. This collection has stories focused on the Jedi as well as Jango Fett and how he was picked to be the first clone. This is a collection that may not be in continuity, but certainly has stories that should entertain casual and hardcore Star Wars fans.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Delve deep into the dark past of Jango Fett! Find out how he became a Mandalorian warrior — and battled his way through war and slavery to become the bounty hunter who caught Count Dooku’s eye! Meanwhile, Ki-Adi-Mundi seeks a wayward Jedi on the backward world of Tatooine, and Jabba the Hutt will help — for a price! But Tusken Raiders and a vicious krayt dragon may mean the end of his mission! And as half of the Jedi Council heads to the planet of Malastare on a mission of peace, a phantom menace looms in the shadows! Plus: Mace Windu braves the Smuggler’s Moon! And what is Jedi Darca Nyl’s deadly secret?
Why does this matter?
This collection contains stories that were originally published between 1998 and 2005. Within you get two 6-part stories, two four-part stories, and a one shot. These stories may not be in canon, but as legends, they still hold up and for all we know may inspire future Star Wars films.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection opens with a scene between Lord Tyrannus and Lord Sidious, so you know you’re getting some quality focus on the characters being used. Who doesn’t want to learn more about these mysterious dudes? Spinning out of Episode 2, the first story arc focuses on Jango Fett getting his new life as a farmer overturned. It appears the Empire is in need of an ultimate bounty hunter clone and Jango, though still a child, is their prime target. It’s a story about how they set their sights on this person to clone for their army and it’s quite revealing. This is prime material if Disney were to ever make a Boba Fett movie, as his skillset is shown off quite well. Hell, Jango even fights off a bunch of Jedi. Essentially we get a taste of what it’s like to get an edge in a world with Jedi and Sith. Examples include introducing a virus to slow down a Sith, or using magnets to appear as if you can wield the Force. It’s an interesting take and it keeps your interest as it bends with expectations of a typical Star Wars story.
The second story arc involves many familiar faces like Ki-Adi-Mundi who sat on the Jedi Council and Yoda too. This is a perfect example of a Star Wars Legends story picking up a side character that was simply in the background and fleshing it out to reveal an adventure. This one has fights with Sand People, Jabba the Hutt pops up, and there’s character development with the Tusken Raiders in general that helps make them more rounded and interesting. They have their own culture, but you wouldn’t know it without reading this.
The other six-part story entitled “Emissaries to Malastare” is a bonafide treasure trove of prequel character appearances. Mace Windu, Yoda, and even the scarred and big-eared Jedi known as Even Piell all make appearances. The latter character and his race are a major focus in this story and once again the comics do a great job adding weight to otherwise background pieces.
In general, the art is good capturing the likenesses well and making the alien worlds look fantastical. Artist Brandon Badeaux draws an excellent four-part series entitled “Nomad” in the Star Wars Tales series. It’s the kind of rough and tumble story that suits his clean and painterly work. There’s also plenty of Lightsaber action to enjoy, too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are instances where the story seems to be shackled by the continuity of the films. Either because it’s trying to loop itself in and wow us with reveals or because it’s using characters that don’t matter even when the comic gives them more meaning. If you aren’t a fan of the prequels I imagine these stories are going to not be of interest either further alienating this work from readers.
Is it good?
Considering stories set in the prequel era are probably not a high priority for Disney this may be the only way to get stories from that era. These stories utilize a lot of familiar faces even if they weren’t prominent in the films. As a collection, this book adds to the mythos in creative ways and ends up being a fun read if you’re okay with somewhat shoehorned in narratives.