Vector Part 9 (of 12)
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Travis Charest
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/26/2009)
Cade Skywalker and his Jedi and Imperial Knight allies carry on their mission to assassinate the Sith Emperor Darth Krayt. They plan to go to Had Abbadon and somehow lure him there. But on the way to the Deep Core, the Mynock is yanked out of hyperspace and a tractor beam brings it aboard an old abandoned Star Destroyer. Inside, the crew is attacked by some mindless humanoid creatures, then meet the person who controls them: a Jedi from the Old Republic named Celeste Morne. Unfortunately during the fight with the rakghouls, Cade and Azlyn Rae were infected by their disease so Celeste separates them from the others offering them a quick death before they change. But Cade surprises the ancient Jedi by using his unique Dark Side healing power. The Celeste offers her help in Cade's quest to rid the galaxy of Darth Krayt.
137 years after her last appearance in "Vector" part 8 (Rebellion #16), Celeste Morne resurfaces once more and she meets with the heroes of the future. Continuing from issue #26, Cade and his allies in the quest to kill Darth Krayt (Jedi Shado Vao, Imperial Knights Antares Draco, Ganner Krieg and Azlyn Rae, and his crewmates Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue, not to forget R2-D2) are on their way to Had Abbadon in a vague plan to lure the Sith Emperor there. But they never get to the planet, which was the name of the Imperial Capital in early drafts of Return of the Jedi; instead, they inexplicably get yanked out of hyperspace right in the tractor beam crosshairs of an old Imperial Star Destroyer. All the Force-sensitives in the crew feel a presence inside the otherwise-deserted ship, which might be of the light or dark side. Once inside the cargo bay, all they find is old bones. But soon enough their question as to who those bones belong to is answered as three giant rakghouls attack them. They are quickly reined in by their master, a too-young looking Celeste Morne, but not before Azlyn and Cade get scratched or bitten during the fight infecting them with the rakghoul disease.
Then it's exposition time when Celeste explains who she is, where she came from and who she met in the Skywalker lineage (to Cade and to readers who might not have read the previous installments of "Vector"). She also explains that her Dark Side talisman allows her to change any non-Force user into a rakghoul and is also the receptacle for an ancient Sith Lord named Karness Muur whom she keeps under control. All this is thankfully explained in only a page and a half making it not too repetitive for loyal readers. Then Celeste's story explains what happened since she left the time of Darth Vader: basically she resisted the urge to explore the galaxy and fled to the Deep Core to deny Muur his wish to create armies of rakghouls. Her ship was found 10 years earlier by the Iron Sun whose crew she turned into her own army of monsters and where they all are standing now.
As they begin to change, Cade realizes that he can use his power to cure himself and Azlyn from the rakghoul virus, which is supposed to be without a cure according to Celeste. Cade succeeds, using the power that allows him to resurrect people and Celeste (or is it Karness Muur) is impressed by his power in the Force. Meanwhile, the other two Imperial Knights and Jariah were locked up with the three rakghouls (the only ones left int he ship apparently). Celeste's control seems to slip and the monsters attack but are quickly defeated. Cade and Azlyn, now deemed out of danger, are released and Celeste surprises everyone when she offers to join them in their quest to kill Darth Krayt... or is it Karness Muur speaking?
As with the previous installments of "Vector", I feel that some plot points are somewhat bending logic to advance the plot. What's hard to believe is that Celeste survived that long without any suspended animation this time. I'm not only referring to her unusually long life-span for a Human, but also the fact that she has been living for 10 years in a Star Destroyer with a bunch of Rakghouls who eventually died of starvation meaning that she didn't have any food either! Not to count another 127 years before that inside an Imperial shuttle! ut once you get past that, the story merges perfectly with the current Legacy storyline. The plot to kill Krayt is the main focus, and some sub-plots are continued such as Azlyn and Cade's relationship. Will the rest of the story arc stay on the same level? I guess we'll see.
I am a big fan of Duursema's work of course. I can't talk about her wonderful depictions of the main characters, starships, etc.. since I've covered that extensively in previous reviews. All I can say is that I love her depiction of Celeste Morne (1000 times better than her appearances in KOTOR), but not so much her rakghouls. And this time she contributed to the story as well, more than she usually does with her visual storytelling.
If you've stuck with either "Vector" or the adventures of Cade Skywalker this far, why miss this one?
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended