Star Wars #14
Emissaries to Malastare Part 2 (of 6)
Writing: Tim Truman
Pencilling: Tom Lyle
Inking: Robert Jones
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Michael Taylor
Cover: Mark Schultz
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/13/2000)
The Red Iaro terrorists are holding peace negociations with the Lannik prince on the planet Malastare at the same time that podraces are held. However, they are plotting something sinister with the help of the Ffib priests. The Jedi delegates land, and are attacked soon after. But they don't know that the terrorists have the full support the Grand Protectorate of Malastare.
It's good to see some more minor characters from the movie play a larger role here. Back in this issue are Fode and Beed, who now we know are kind of galactic announcers, following the podraces wherever they are held. There is also some of the podracers that survived the Boonta Classic, Wan Sandage, Aldar Beedo, Elan Mak, and of course Sebulba, racing in his hometown of Pixelito. In another continuity fix, the facts that Sebulba is said to be from Pixelito in the movie, and that Dugs are from Malastare, are blended together. It is now set in stone: Pixelito is a city on Malastare. It does also answer the question of why would Gran senators represent the Dug planet.
(Unfortunately, it still doesn't explain why Sebulba is the only one mentioned by his hometown, while the other racers are presented with their home planets (Mawhonic tuta Hok, Teemto Pagalies tuta Moonus Mandrel, Anakin tuta Tatooine...) and it certainly doesn't explain why Mawhonic is from Hok. Is Hok a city on Kinyen? I'm sure it will be explained in another story...)
Sebulba still has Anakin's podracer, now painted red, he bought from Watto in the Qui-Gon Jinn one-shot. Small details like this show how much Truman knows about the facts surrounding The Phantom Menace.
Also back from the movie are Senator Aks Moe (the Gran senator that supported Amidala's vote of no-confidence) and Aimlee Teem, whom fans will remember as one of the three nominees to replace Chancellor Valorum, along with Bail Antilles of Alderaan and Palpatine of Naboo.
The story of the Jedi Council members takes second stage to the podrace and the terrorist plotting in this issue as all the motivations and background information are laid out. The Jedi don't really have a lot to do here, except fend off a couple of terrorists. But after seeing the covers for the upcoming issues, I know they will see plenty of action!
The art is definitely an improvement from the last issue, although it tends to go back to the same standard towards the last pages. The vistas of Malastare are very well represented, based on the Episode I Racer game levels, and they give me a definite sense of vastness and strangeness, with the help of some great coloring. The alien characters likenesses are amazing, especially those the podracers. But like in the last issue, the Humans suffer the most. Mace Windu's eyes in close-ups are too far apart. I also don't like the big jowls on the Grans. What's up with that? Where are the snouts?
The cover by Mark Schultz shows the Jedi in statuesque poses, very dramatic. But what does Eeth Koth do on there?
Once again, this is a real page-turner, and I just can't wait for the next issue.
Rating: 9 / 10 Highly Recommended