Broken Part 3
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Adam Hughes
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (07/07/2007)
Bounty hunters Cade Skywalker, Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue deliver their bounty Naxy Screeger, along with Jedi Hask, to their boss Rav at his base on Socorro. Part of their reward are some deathsticks for Cade which he uses to deaden his connection to the Force, and to keep Luke Skywalker's spirit away. After getting rid of the unwanted apparition, Cade rejoins his crewmates outside the Mynock, only to encounter two female fugitives from the Imperial mission, on the run from a pursuing Darth Talon and asking to take them off planet. Cade agrees, but not for the reason the fugitives think. One of them is Princess Marasiah Fel, and she is wanted by the Sith. Meanwhile, her father Emperor Roan Fel arrives on Bastion and claims back his throne, pledging the Imperial Remnant to continue the fight against the Sith Empire in secrecy and take back Coruscant.
The plot thickens. The Jedi Cade and Jariah captured last issue has been brought to Socorro but is not giving up without a fight. But after being knocked out, he is delivered as a bonus along with the actual bounty Naxy Screeger. The reward from Rav? Less debts, a few leftover credits, and a handful of deathsticks. And the reason Cade has been using deathsticks leads to this issue's big revelation: it is not the fact that Luke eventually died (as some people mentioned), but in the fact that he somehow learned how to become a Force spirit, that he has been one for a longer time than any other before, and that he has been visiting Cade on several occasions.
After that, as the crew of the Mynock is preparing to take off, they encounter a pair of fugitives in a hurry to leave the planet. And for good reason: they are being pursued by Darth Talon on a speeder bike. Cade makes a snap decision to let them onboard, but later he reveals to his crew mates the real reason: one of the passengers is Princess Marasiah Fel, an Imperial Knight and daughter of former Emperor Roan Fel who is worth a whole lot of credits to the Sith. The plan now seems to be to deliver the Princess to her destination on Vendaxa, but only so she can lead the bounty hunters to her father. But why does the Princess insist on going to Vendaxa, even when she suspects that Darth Talon might have overheard her mention it when talking to Astraal?
Speaking of Emperor Fel, there are also some major developments on the Imperial remnant side. The Cade Skywalker sequences frame a scene on Bastion where we find Roan Fel arriving to claim his throne and take control of the Imperial Remnant. The stormtrooper legions bow to him without hesitation, but one officer named Lt. Kiefer is loyal to Darth Krayt and wants to capture Fel. But a stormtrooper from the 501st legion, commanded by General Oron Jaeger, shoots down Kiefer right as he pulls a gun on Emperor Fel. Now that Bastion is his home once gain, Fel orders that his situation should be kept secret from the Sith for as long as possible. And even when he is informed that his daughter is in danger, he order Imperial Knight leader Antares Draco not to go for fear of luring the Sith to him which is probably their plan. I really like the fact that the writers are so free to create such major events in every issue, not being constrained by existing situations and characters.
Socorro is starting to look like the Tatooine of the Legacy era. First, it has an Imperial mission (which we saw last issue) where Princess Marasiah and Astraal Vao were attacked by Darth Talon. Now we find out Socorro is also the residence of Feeorin former-pirate and Cade's employer, Rav. It is also where Marasiah hires Cade and his ship to leave the planet in a hurry (reminiscent of A New Hope when Obi-Wan Kenobi hired Han Solo). Not only that, but Rav's starship/base the Crimson Axe sits atop an ancient sarlacc pit! Now I have nothing against that; Socorro is a very interesting planet. It was first created by Patricia A. Jackson in her Drake Paulsen stories for the Star Wars Adventure Journal, and later beautifully detailed in its own West End Games sourcebook The Black Sands of Socorro also by Jackson. It was also later revealed as Lando Calrissian's home planet in the article "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy" in Star Wars Insider #89. But the most likely reason for its inclusion here is the short story "Ghost" from Star Wars Tales #11, which was written and penciled by Jan Duursema.
We also find out in this issue, through skillful dialogue between characters, that the Mynock actually belongs to Cade and not to Jariah and Deliah (similiar names....), and also that Jariah is the one who convinced Rav to pick up Cade when he was floating in Ossus' orbit seven years earlier after the events of issue #1. The plot moves quickly so far, and it's keeping my interest. As with the Knights of the Old Republic series, I think it keeps getting better with every issue.
More amazing work from Duursema. She uses a lot of familiar faces, like a Feeorin character, a Zeltron character, Imperial uniforms, stormtroopers, starships, all slightly modified but instantly recognizable. All this against a backdrop and backstory that is completely unfamiliar but bears echoes of the past. The work Parsons and Anderson is also equally amazing. In this issue, they get to bring Luke Skywalker into the future. His likeness to Mark Hamil make him instantly recognizable, another tie to the familiar "past". All this and the usual great characters (Deliah's outfit, schwing!), angles and poses, and overall work which I could not praise more.
A quieter, more personal story, setting up some major events to come.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended