Sometimes you are lucky in life, and two of your most loved interest crossover.  For the last 18 years, Dark Horse Comics has been giving Star Wars fans a reason to read comics and comic fans a reason to read Star Wars.  This past July, they released another reason in the form of the new series, Star Wars: Invasion.

A little background on the Invasion series: it takes place during the series of prose novels known as The New Jedi Order.  The New Jedi Order (or NJO for short) was a massive series that was comprised of 19 novels. Don’t be afraid though, you don’t need to have read all of them to enjoy this series, although a passing knowledge might help. I am going to refrain from giving much information that from the novels, as the comic may actually be more enjoyable without an in-depth knowledge of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

On to the review.

sw1cover_large.jpgWriter Tom Taylor and artists Colin Wilson and Wes Dzioba bring us a story which takes place 25 years ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) and begins with an alien invasion.  The planet is Artorias, and the invaders are known as the Yuzzhan Vong. Artorias is a peaceful planet that seems to have a sort of tropical climate and a largely humanoid population. After a brief overview of the cityscape, we are introduced to half of the royal family, King Caled Galfridian and Prince Finn.  Finn is a young man chaffing at his uneventful life, while the King Galfridian is a wise veteran of the Galactic Civil War. A small floating droid named Prowl acts as Finn’s guard/babysitter.  The father and son relationship is sort of cliché, wise father who has seen too much of the world and the naïve son who feels he has not seen enough. While discussing the risks Finn takes, the King hears a sound that he has not heard since the war, the sounds of invasion. The peaceful Artorians have few defenses, and the King and Price are soon going to realize that no defense would have been enough against the Vong.

Meanwhile, the Queen and Princess Kaye are in the middle of the market, right in the midst of the invading forces. It happens at once and it happens fast; the quite market becomes a battlefield. Trying to help and injured peddler, the Queen orders her daughter to run back home.  Promising to bring the King back to help, the princess runs right into the extended staff (a living serpentine weapon known as an amphistaff) help by a fierce Yuzzhan Vong warrior.

Finding that the marketplace is a battlefield, and knowing that the Queen is more than capable of taking care of herself and their daughter, the King decides it is time to call for an evacuation. With hordes of Vong behind them, the King and Prince find that the shipyards are filled with refugees, but all the ships have been sabotaged.  It seems that there is a fifth column in the fight, as there is no evidence that the invaders had made it to the hangers.  Outside, the Vong are bombarding the blast doors, eager to get inside and claim their prize.  The King orders anyone who can to start working on the ships to repair them and orders his son and Prowl to assist.  When Finn protest, saying that it is too risky to leave his father to fight on the frontline, he father replies, “And you’d like it to be les risky.”  This line takes up back to the introduction of Finn, who believed that he needed to take risks.

Back in the city/battlefield, we see Princess Kaye fighting off her attacker.  Pulling a knife, she stabs the Vong in the leg! The Vong seems to like it, stops, and tells her to stab him again, which she gladly obliges! With her third strike, she has killed the warrior only to discover that she is surrounded.  She is disarmed and taken prisoner.

In the hanger, the King has formed a frontline of defense just as the doors explode in tand the defenders are surprised to see a lot of dead Vong! Standing in the middle of the bodies, a robed figure wielding a green lightsaber lowers his hood, to reveal Luke Skywalker!  Luke tells the King that they tried to communicate with the planet to warn them, but that the Yuzzhan Vong have them stretched thin.  After telling the King to gather his people and evacuate, the King declares that he is staying to fight for his people, take the civilians and the prince.  Finn protest, wanting to stay with his father and fight, but as the King dons his crown, he tells Finn that their people will still need a king.  Outside the hangers, we see Republic troops leading the civilians away.  Finn tells Skywalker that he feels that his mother and sister are still alive, and they have been captured. Luke is intreaged by the fact that Finn senses this, but tells him that his people need a leader.  Finn angrily tells him that he is no leader, and Skywalker replies, “No. Not Yet. But fake it for the people who follow you.”

While bearding an evacuation ship, Luke tells Finn that his people will be taken to a safe planet, and the Finn is to come with him to the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, Luke has sensed the force in the young prince.  Meanwhile, His mother and sister are captive of the Yuzzhan Vong, and his father is shown fighting a loosing battle to protect his people.

While the artwork fit this issue, and elements such as the Yuzzhan Vong and such seemed solid, the story itself seemed to miss a bit.  During the battle, Luke makes his appearance of dozens of Vong corpses, but the best Jedi had trouble defeating even one Vong this early in the prose series.  The sittings and characters may be a little to “alien” to the casual reader. Even Star Wars fans might find issue with some elements of the story. This and some of the cliché characters make me give this issue one and a half out of five stars.



About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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