Ghosts Part 1
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Jan Duursema
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (09/07/2007)
Cade Skywalker is hiding out alone in the ruins of the Jedi Temple on Ossus. He is also hiding from the Force by using death sticks. But he cannot hide from his legacy as his ancestors haunt him. He is found by Masters K'kruhk, Shado Vao and Wolf Sazen and reveals that he decided to complete his Jedi training. While doing so, Master Vao and Cade fall into a vault filled with ancient Jedi artifact and also meet their protectors. Meanwhile on Socorro, Cade's former associate Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue ask the pirate Rav for a job. But instead, he delivers them into the hands of an Imperial moff who wants to find out where Cade is hiding.
The issue opens on Ossus withing the ruins of the Jedi Temple. Last issue when Cade's mother came to Ossus to stop an Imperial spy from capturing Cade, there was no indication that he was actually there. But we see here that he was, so it means that this is probably not the best place to hide as not only did the spy Jor Torlin manage to track him down, but the two Jedi masters that Cade apparently ditched on the Wheel have no problem finding him as well. But first, he is found by Jedi master K'kruhk, a very old Whiphid (misspelled "Whipid") who has been around since before The Phantom Menace as a Padawan in his first appearance from Jedi Council: Acts of War #1. K'kruhk also had a major role during the Clone Wars, both in the Republic series and in the Clone Wars animated cartoon in which he died at the hands of General Grievous (a continuity gaffe which has since then been rectified.) He even hints at the event when he says "I've died any number of times in my life. Or so I've heard." He is still sporting his hat which has become the subject of many discussions among fans.
K'kruhk wakes Cade up from a death stick-induced stupor in which he put himself to numb his sensitivity to the Force. The last time we saw him do that back in issue #3, he was visited by Luke Skywalker's ghost who gave him a lecture. This time, Cade speaks with two characters which are part of his lineage, Mara Jade Skywalker and then Anakin Skywalker who turns into Darth Vader. So it is no surprise that he mistakes K'kruhk for another apparition, since Cade thought the Jedi master died during the Sith attack 7 years earlier. But the old Whiphid uses his healing powers to negate the effects of the death sticks just in time for Cade to see his old friends Shado Vao and Wolf Sazen walk in. Cade surprises them all by announcing that he's been doing some thinking and wants to complete his training as a Jedi.
Then it cuts to Deliah Blue and Jariah Syn on their way to the Crimson Axe on Socorro to meet with the pirate Rav. Since Cade left them behind on Bastion back in issue #7, they have been having some financial problems so they need to go work for their old boss. The Feeorin, whom they haven't seen since issue #3, was expecting them and right away leads to to a private office to talk about a new job he has for them. Unfortunately, he leads them right to (what looks like, but I could be mistaken) Moff Calixte and two stormtroopers with raised blasters. Calixte has been assigned to track down Cade's former associates by Darth Maladi in issue #9 so that's what she did. She knows that Cade is a former Jedi from a recording of the bounty hunters' capture of Jedi Hask at Brogar's place on Hok back in issue #2. Of course Syn and Blue are not going to betray their former friend willingly, so the Moff plans to "interrogate" the pair on their way to Coruscant.
Back to Cade and his training. In a scene reminescent of Luke's training on Dagobah, we see Cade running after Shado Vao in the jungles. But the difference here is that Cade had already started training at the Jedi Temple years before, and he is supervised by three Jedi masters. During their playful flight, Cade and Shado fall into a pit and find themselves inside a dark chamber filled with Jedi artifacts. They have just enough time to wonder why no one has ever heard of this place before they are attacked by a pair of Yuuzhan Vong guardians. And behind them stands a female Vong who watches the fight. I don't really think they are in much danger, since cover of the next issue shows a picture of her with the blurb "Keeper of the Jedi secrets!"
What I like about this issue is that it ties up a lot of events that happened in previous issues, making the whole series feel like a continuing self-contained story. What I like a little less is the obligation of including some well-known characters from the movies to appeal to a more general readership. I think they could have cut down the 6-page encounter with Mara and Vader to a couple of pages. As for K'kruhk, I feel that it is to appeal to more hardcore fans of the EU but I think it's a little gimmicky myself. As much as I love the old Whiphid, I think the Legacy series has enough of its own characters to last for dozens of issues. Plus, according to the Ultimate Alien Anthology, Whiphids reach venerable age at 100, the equivalent of a 80-year Human. And by my calculations, K'kruhk is now at least 180 (assuming he was 10 at the time of Acts of War). Oh well, at least we know that K'kruhk wasn't killed during Palpatine's Jedi Purge. Or was he...?
Duursema returns! As usual, the artwork is astounding so I won't repeat again how much I love it. I will just point out a couple of things: the one weakness in Duursema's amazing talent is her depiction of Vader. I've read that he is one of the most challenging characters to draw and only a few artists have done him justice so far, and she unfortunately isn't one of them. The other thing is her experiment with digital art for the cover. I think Cade looks a bit too video-gamish and skeletal, but I guess it's a comment about digital art in general. Again only a few artists have mastered this style of artwork. It's not as successful as her cover for issue #0 or the Broken StarWarsShop.com Hardcover. But overall, as far as interior art goes everything is up to Duursema's (and Parsons' and Anderson's) usual high standards.
The focus is back on Cade, who makes an important decision and discovery in this issue.
Rating: 6.5 / 10