Story: Thomas Andrews
Art: Michel Lacombe
Coloring: Wil Glass
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Brandon Badeaux
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/24/2006)
Tal Hesz wanted to save his planet, Jabiim, from the Empire. Instead, he found out that the Empire's cruelty has no end and he regrets helping the Imperials capture the mathematician Jorin Sol. His actions might mean the end of the Rebellion, so he decides to set things right by getting off world and rescuing his fellow Jabiimites. When he finds out the Rebellion already rescued them on Kalist IV, Hesz's conscience is now clear.
This story is on the flip side of Knights of the Old Republic #0 and serves as a bridge between the Empire and Rebellion series. In fact, writer Andrews wrote the 5-part "In the Shadows of Their Fathers" (Empire 29-30 & 32-34) which started the whole Jabiim/Jorin Sol plot that continued until the end of the Empire series and continues in Rebellion by a different writer. So Andrews is again "passing the reins" if you will.
And he does an excellent job of summarizing the events of these stories through the eyes of the narrator, Tal Hesz. Introduced in the aforementioned story arc, Hesz reminesces about the events that led to his selling out the Rebels on Jabiim to the Empire, so the Empire would leave the planet alone. But he found out that he didn't get the results that he expected. The Empire now occupies his home planet and took the inhabitants as slaves. He now regrets his actions and wants to set things right by helping the Rebellion. So he spends several weeks looking for the fate of the Jabiimi slaves and finds out they were shipped to Kalist IV, where he arrives to witness the final events of "The Wrong Side of the War" (Empire #36-40). He gets captured but at least his mind is at rest.
This is perfect for new readers who want to pick up the series. It explains, in the space of 8 pages, what leads up to the events of Rebellion #1. It might pique the interest of these readers and make them want to read up on what they missed and also hints at the new series by stating that bacta-immersed Jorin Sol will have a role in the end of the Rebellion (doing a better job than the actual one-page preview of Rebellion #1 tacked on at the end). It also shows that the series will take place 9 months after the Battle of Yavin, so the month right after the last issue of Empire.
Lacombe worked with Andrews before, being the artist on the last part of "In the Shadows of Their Fathers" and the "Walking the Path That's Given" story in Star Wars Tales #21 (which is still unfinished). I really love his style and the way he is able to show so much expression is the characters' faces. A good example is the look of surprise on the shuttle pilot's face on page 4, as we see the reflection of Hesz shooting down stormtroopers. Genius! And I love that panel of the unnamed cantina on page 5. I really wish Lacombe would get more work for Dark Horse, and mostly for Star Wars. His art alone makes the price of $0.25 feel like it's worth $2.99.
The cover by series regular Brandon Badeaux us too busy and the characters are too diformed. However, this is a case of not judging a book by its cover.
While it's cool to see Hesz fate for regular readers, this is essential for new readers who haven't read Empire but want to read Rebellion
Rating: 9 / 10 Highly Recommended