Tales of the Jedi (Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, #3)

PDF EBook by Tom Veitch

EBook Description

Star Wars Project #6

Background: Tales of the Jedi: Knights of the Old Republic was released in five issues from October '93 to February '94, and the trade paperback was released in August 1994. Tales of the Jedi (Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, #3) PDF EBook (It was re- PDFreleased the following year titled simply "The Collection," as seen above, but I have retained the original title.) It was written by Tom Veitch, with art by Chris Gossett, Janine Johnston, and David Roach. Veitch was the primary creative force behind the Tales of the Jedi series at its beginning, and he wrote the first 13 issues of the series, fresh from the success of his Dark Empire series. After those 13 issues, Kevin J. Anderson (who co-wrote the last 6) took over writing Tales of the Jedi while Veitch turned Dark Empire into a trilogy with Dark Empire II and Empire's End. Gossett did the art for about a third of the Tales of the Jedi and has gone on to work in video games and various independent comic projects, most notably The Red Star. Johnston drew a single issue for Tales of the Jedi, and has gone on to illustration work on a variety of projects, including Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer. Roach did two issues of Tales of the Jedi, and has done Batman work for DC and illustrated Dungeons & download; Dragons books for Wizards of the Coast.

Knights of the Old Republic takes place 1,000 years after Fall of the Sith Empire (my review here, 4,000 years before the Battle of Yavin. It serves as the introduction to various characters who are referenced in the Dark Empire comics (no surprise there), particularly the Jedi Knights Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider.

Summary: This collection stitches together two story arcs: First is the two-issue "Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon," in which a Jedi Master dispatches his brash apprentice, Ulic, to lead his Jedi brother Cay and Twi'lek Jedi Tott Doneeta to bring peace to the war-torn world of Onderon, where all is not as it seems, and a centuries-old force of darkness is lurking. Next is the three-issue "Saga of Nomi Sunrider," in which the murder of the Force-sensitive title character's Jedi husband leads her to take up his lightsaber and begin training as a Jedi herself, under the shadow of a Hutt crime lord's quest for vengeance and greed.

Review: This is what I wanted and expected from a comic series entitled Tales of the Jedi: action-packed stories of drama and adventure starring Jedi Knights during the heyday of the Old Republic. I was so confused reading the previous two arcs (which were actually the 5th and 6th series by publication order) featuring a Sith Lord and a couple of mildly Force-sensitive nobodies, with the Jedi totally in the backseat for the entire story. That wasn't a tale of the Jedi; "Tale of the Sith," maybe.

But anyway, this is it. Veitch started the series off with a bang, and it's fascinating to realize what early days this was for the Expanded Universe as we know it now. This was readers' first glimpse into any era other than that of the classic trilogy, and the first major Star Wars stories that don't feature the major characters from the movies. There are a host of other firsts here, as well, and I probably missed a lot of them because I'm so used to certain elements that I take them as a given.

More importantly, though, these are just really solid stories with magnetic characters. Ulic Qel-Droma's story here is relatively short, but doesn't feel rushed (and sets up the next major story arc). It was definitely my favorite of the two, with excellent supporting characters and the very cool planet of Onderon. Really, my one minor complaint about the whole thing had to do with the Twi'lek Tott Doneeta. An otherwise cool character, he was saddled with a really goofy Force power: the ability to converse with animals. Yeah, he's Dr. Dolittle, Jedi Knight. The comics trot out some really strange ideas sometimes.

Nomi Sunrider's story was excellent, as well, though I have to admit I really had trouble getting into the first issue. The artwork, by Janine Johnston, was quite terrible in my opinion, and I was much happier with David Roach's work in the other two issues. Of course, that also meant that a bunch of characters, including Nomi, had drastically changed appearances, which was very weird, but in Nomi's case in particular it was a welcome change. One of the major (admittedly a bit silly) distractions of the first issue was that she was saddled with the most hideous hairdo. I mean, Ulic's hair is kind of dorky in every artist's rendition that I've seen thus far, but this was just unconscionably ugly for no good reason.

I also found the "emotional" portions of the first issue to be a bit forced, but by the story's conclusion it had taken on a real weight that was even a little moving. There are a couple of nice twists in both stories, including a reversal of expectations reminiscent of the introduction of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Overall, a really strong effort that I would certainly recommend. Be prepared to roll your eyes at a few silly elements and misfires (like the inexplicable lapse of a Jedi randomly referring to a lightsaber as a "lightsword," which is just unacceptable), but there's no reason for a Star Wars fan not to get plenty of enjoyment out of this collection.

B+ Like this book? Read online this: Vader's Fortress (Star Wars: Junior Jedi Knights, #5), Against the Empire (Star Wars: Last of the Jedi, #8).

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