Star Wars #16
Emissaries to Malastare Part 4 (of 6)
Writing: Tim Truman
Pencilling: Tom Lyle, Jan Duursema
Inking: Waldon Wong, Robert Jones
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Lettering: Michael Taylor
Cover: Mark Schultz
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/18/2009)
The Jedi foil an attack on the Lannik prince by the Red Iaro who brought akk dogs to dispatch him. Defeated, the Red Iaro leader Zug tries to escape but meets an untimely end. The Jedi's mission is over, but Mace is determined to find out who smuggles akk dogs from his native homeworld.
Last issue, one half of the Jedi emissaries were left hanging from Sebulba's podracer after being thrown off a shuttle. Unfortunately for Mace Windu, Even Piell and Adi Galia, this is the middle of the Vinta Harvest Classic and Sebulba is determined not to let a trio of Jedi Masters slow him down (while still unknowingly being targeted for assassination by fellow racer Aldar Beedo in the employ of Wan Sandage, a plot that was hatched in Episode I: The Phantom Menace #½). Thanks to some skill, they manage to get safely to the other shuttle, piloted by Yaddle and carrying Plo Koon, Ki-Adi Mundi and his Padawan A'Sharad Hett. They too were double-crossed by their House of Lannik guards who turned out to be loyal to the Red Iaro, but managed to get rid of the suicide bombers without damaging the shuttle.
The reason for the attack is now explained: the Red Iaro wanted to discredit the Lannik Prince by having his guards publicly attack the Jedi emissaries. And Even Piell further deduces that the Prince must some kind of tyrant for inspiring such fervor against him by his own people. But the Red Iaro are not the ideal replacement for the governance of Lannik, and with the plan to dispatch the Jedi failed they proceed to attack the Prince directly.
Prince R'cardo Sooflie IX is quietly lounging in his chambers inside the Governor's palace, attended by some Twi'lek ladies, when Myk'chur Finux Zug bursts in with his Ffib priest companion. After guessing that murder by knife would be too messy, Zug dispatches two wild akk dogs on the Prince but the Jedi have predicted this and arrive at this moment in time to save him. One akk is killed, and the other is subdued by Mace Windu who happens to come from the same homeworld as the animals (I wish the name of the planet would be revealed, but any bit of Mace's background is interesting).
Zug escapes thanks to his hidden jetpack, but he gets caught up inside one of Sebulba's pod engines. Senator Aks Moe arrives and is shocked to see that someone was able to smuggle akk dogs inside the palace (or is he?), ordering his guards to take away the Ffib priest. With the Red Iaro menace ended, the peace talks have ended and the Jedi are no longer needed. While the rest of them are to return to Coruscant, Mace wants to discover who is responsible for smuggling akk dogs and so is leaving for Nar Shaddaa. Thus ends "Emissaries to Malastare", but there are two more issues left! According to the "next issue" caption and cover art, next we will see Mace and Depa Billaba on the Smuggler's Moon.
The intrigue and action in this issue are pretty intense, and the resolution is satisfactory. Although we still have to discover what the Ffib priest was doing there and what are the Gran Senator's real motives. Hopefully this will also be addressed in the following issues.
I grow fonder of Lyle's art after a while. In some panels, his style reminds me of Barry Windsor-Smith's art. While I still don't like how Yaddle is depicted, the familiar Podracers are done pretty well. The design of akk dogs is also very interesting, they seem part-reptile, part-insect. The one on the Schultz's cover is pretty small compared to the ones in the interior artwork though. Also, the last two pages are illustrated by the talented Jan Duursema, and the change in style is pretty evident. Her representation of the Grans is near damn perfect, especially compared to Lyle's depiction of them in previous issues. I wonder why the need for a different artist though? Maybe to stay on schedule?
The Red Iaro are no more, but the story is not over yet!
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Recommended