Welcome to the Future...
Text: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema, Sean Cooke, Dan Parsons
Additional Colors: Brad Anderson
Cover: Jan Duursema
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/24/2007)
One hundred years after the Yuuzhan Vong war, the Sith have returned in numbers and the Galaxy is once again at war. Jedi are split in two groups: Imperial Knights trained by the Empire, and Jedi who have remained faithful to the precepts of the now-defunct Galactic Alliance. Some characters will play major roles in this war, Jedi, pirates and bounty hunters, one of whom is a descendant of the Skywalker line...
Not really a comic, this 25? issue dosn't have a story per se. It is rather a collection of sketches and short texts describing various characters, technology and locations divided in the following categories: "Cade", "Bounty Hunters", "Jedi", "Coruscant", "Underworld", "Sith", "The Empire", "Pellaeon-class Super Star Destroyer", "The Imperials", "Ships" and "Stormtrooper". Most pictures have text acoompanying them, but some only mention the name of the character in the picture. It is a great sourcebook that helps the reader bring him/herself up to date with the period of over 100 years after any book in the Expanded Universe, get to know the major factions, characters and places, all this without spoiling anything about the storyline.
Some cool tidbits of information that can be garnered are:
The Empire is once more in control of the Galaxy, although it is now more benevolant. It is formed by different factions such as the Moff Council, the Imperial (Jedi) Knights and the Imperial Mission. The current Emperor is Roan Fel, probably a descendant of Baron Soontir Fel.
After 100 years of silence, the Sith have returned. The "rule of the two" is not followed anymore, and no less than six Darths are named in this issue.
When war broke out between Empire and Sith, the Jedi (a separate Order from the Imperial Knights) refused to ally themselves with the Empire even though they were still loyal to the Galactic Alliance and that government became part of the Empire. The Jedi exile themselves to Ossus.
The Yuuzhan Vong are still around.
Two of Luke's descendants are named: Cade Skywalker, an ex-Jedi turned bounty hunter; and although it is not mentioned that he is his father, Kol Skywalker is a member of the Jedi Council.
The Wookiee Chak, who appeared in "The Hidden Enemy" story arc in Republic #81-83, is still alive and kickin'.
The Imperial 501st elite unit is still in existence.
One new character, Deliah Blue, is a Zeltron, a species introduced in the old Marvel series. With that and Lumiya returning in the Legacy of the Force novels, are we seeing some kind of old-school revival?
There is just a wealth of information in this comic, which I'm sure will be a major source of reference while reading the series, Since the setting is so unfamiliar, it's a great idea to offer this information up-front.
As mentioned before, the art is a collection of sketches, colored artwork, blueprints and 3D computer models. There are a lot of costume and starship designs, both familiar and new. I'm sure the creators must have spent as much time (if not more) designing the look and feel of the new period as they did the story. There are new starships based on old familar models, like descendants of the X-wing and the Super Star Destroyer. There are new designs for stormtroopers, Imperial Knights and Sith Lords. It's just a whole lot of new information that has to be absorbed.
If this doesn't pique your interest in the series, I don't know what will.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Recommended