Episode I: Qui-Gon Jinn
[Also available in photo cover.]
Writing: Ryder Windham
Pencilling: Robert Teranishi
Digital Inking: Chris Chuckry
Color Rendering: Chris Chuckry
Lettering: Vickie Williams
Cover: Timothy Bradstreet
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/10/2009)
Anakin Skywalker won the Boonta Eve Podrace and his freedom. But his former Master Watto is not ready to let him leave Tatooine that easily. He hires some goons to stop Anakin but first they have to fight the Jedi who is taking him under his wing, Qui-Gon Jinn.
This is a nice little story that starts right after the Podrace (when Watto says "You swindled me!"), then goes to when Qui-Gon brings the hyperdrive he won over to the Royal Starship and returns to Mos Espa to find anakin fighting a young Rodian ("Greedo") for accusing him of cheating. That last bit was a scene written for the movie but was cut. What's interesting about this comic is all the new in-between parts that were never seen. After Qui-Gon leaves Watto's arena box, the Toydarian is confronted by Anakin's former master Gardulla who wants to buy him back. Then Watto decides to hire a mercenary (actually an employee of the arena looking to make money on the side) to stop Anakin from leaving Tatooine with the Jedi. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon, Padm? and Jar Jar are waiting in the Podracing hangar for their parts to be delivered. After 40 minutes, Watto finally arrives, Qui-Gon tries again to get Shmi freed as well (to no avail) and they leave with the parts on borrowed eopies leaving Anakin behind.
Another new scene is the conversation on the way to the starship. On the way back alone to return the eopies, Qui-Gon is assaulted in Mos Espa by Watto's hired goon and his friends. He easily overtakes them and proceeds to Watto's shop. There, he finds Watto in discussions with Sebulba the Dug who then leaves to wait outside (with a little convincing from a Jedi Mind Trick). Watto reluctantly upholds his part of the bargain and deactivates the transmitter that controls Anakin's implanted slave chip. On the way out, Qui-Gon sells Anakin's Podracer to Sebulba much to Watto's despair. We know fromt he movie that Qui-Gon will give the money to Anakin and his mother. Once outside, Qui-Gon hears a scuffle and finds Anakin beating up on a young Rodian. That scene is also told in Chapter 14 of the Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization by Terry Brooks. (That "Greedo" scene was later included on the movie DVD).
I really love stories like this one, which expands on the existing material that everyone knows and loves. It adds more information, sort of like a cut scene from the movie. And here it is well told by Ryder Windham. The story continued for another 4 pages included in Episode I: The Phantom Menace #?.
Teranishi creates very realistic art where the character look alive through their poses and expressions. The aliens he illustrates (aside from Watto, Jar Jar, Gardulla, Greedo and Sebulba) are no recognizable species from the Star Wars universe but the artist's own orginal creations that blend well in the background of Mos Espa. The artist also accomplished a rare feat: a perfect rendition of the "naked" See-Threepio which doesn't seem easy to do. Kudos!
Find out what happened when Qui-Gon returned to Mos Espa to pick up Anakin in this new story.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended