Refugees Part 1
Scripting: Tom Taylor
Art: Colin Wilson
Coloring: Wes Dzioba
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Jo Chen
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/09/2010)
The Yuuzhan Vong are invading the galaxy and the next planet on their path is Artorias. Its people are caught unaware by an attack from the advance troops pouring into the city from the surrounding woodlands. King Caled Galfridian is in the city with his son Finn when the attacks begin. When Caled fails to reach his wife Nina and daughter Kaye in time, he leads the populace to the shipyards to evacuate. They arrive there with most of the civilians and find the ships were sabotaged by an infiltrator, so Caled decides to hold off the Vong while the ships are being repaired. Jedi Luke Skywalker takes care of that, so Caled then decides to go rescue his family while Luke leads the people to New Republic evacuation ships outside the city.
I was never a big fan of the New Jedi Order series, mostly because it consisted of just one planet being invaded after another and was a Star Wars version of War of the Worlds. Here we have yet another planet being taken over. But it seems that the series won't linger on that so it's knd of promising. Artorias is a peaceful, lush green planet with no defense force, much like Naboo. But it will suffer a much worse fate than any the Trade Federation did during their invasion. Because I don't really like this type of story, there are already marks against this new series. But most fans will probably love this stuff. I also didn't like the convenient appearance of Luke Skywalker. It just seems like a cheap way to use a major character, since Luke would probably have bigger problems to take care of than taking a trip to Artorias in case people there need help. I'm all for cameo appearances as long as they work logically within the context of the bigger picture. Galfridian knows Luke instantly because apparently he fought in the Battle of Hoth some 26 years prior. The wife and daughter are in the market when the attacks begin, and the young daughter manages to kill a Vong warrior which is another stretch of logic. But eventually Kaye and her mom are captured, along with wounded shopkeeper Jenny and others. This issue sets up the Galfridian family, with son Finn showing some Force potential (Luke asks him to come to the Jedi Academy) and father Caled staying behind to go rescue his wife and daughter. So there's the potential of having two parallel storylines during the series although I have a feeling it will center more around the people who stay behind on Artorias. And it seems kind of hopeless for one man to fight an entire invading army of warriors and being able to rescue some prisoners. It's the kind of situation where it's too early to tell if this story will be any good.
Wilson truly has a unique style. He has a way of using several lines but not overdo it. This shows especially in characters' faces where lines are in all the right places. He also draws unique almost-rectangular eyes. The panels are also big, with almost no spaces between them, creating a sense of vastness to the story. Of course we only see a few Vong in this issue (most notably a full-page panel on page 9) but they look pretty fierce. The cover is pretty smooth, starting the series with a literal bang.
Finally a series taking place during the New Jedi Order. Is it too little too late?
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended