The Star Wars Dark Times comic series forms a bridge between the Star Wars prequel and the original Star Wars trilogy. Taking place after Episode III, the comic follows Jedi Dass Jennir who survived Order 66 during the end of the Clone Wars. He is now on the run from Imperial forces, trying to hold onto his Jedi ideals during a low point for the Jedi order. With the Emperor and Darth Vader in firm control of the galaxy, Dass Jennir must find the strength to survive and strike back at the Empire.

SUMMARY

Pros
The story draws from classic Star Wars themes
Great lightsaber battle sequence
Cons

Needs more creative alien races
Some characters are expressionless and lack emotion

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Dark times 3 coverSTAR WARS DARK TIMES: A SPARK REMAINS #3
Writer: Randy Stradley
Artist: Douglas Wheatley
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Editor: Dave Marshall
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50

Previously in Star Wars Dark Times: A Spark Remains: Dass Jennir has reunited with the crew of the Uhumele. Among the crew is a Jedi newcomer, Master Beyghor Sahdett. He has a plan to eliminate Darth Vader once and for all. However, Beyghor requires another Jedi to confront Lord Vader, and Dass has one in mind. The Uhumele travels to several planets trying to find Dass’s elusive Jedi friend. Meanwhile, the bounty hunter Falco Sang continues his training with Darth Vader. As he repairs his starship, Darth Vader’s assistant scours the galaxy for Jedi, like Dass Jennir. The crew of the Uhumele find Kai Hudorra in a casino called the Lucky Twi’lek in Kestavel. When the Jedi meet privately, Dass reveals he knows Beyghor is working for the Empire and needs Kai’s help to defeat him.

A TALE OF TWO JEDI

Randy Stradley continues Dass Jennir’s adventures with Star Wars Dark Times: A Spark Remain #3. With the revelation that Beyghor Sahdett is working for the Empire, Dass and Kai prepare for battle. This betrayal has been kept secret in the first two issues very well. There were only hints that Dass was building a new lightsaber to defend himself and no indication or hints he already knew Beyghor was their enemy. One of the themes that supports Star Wars Dark Times is the enormous power the Emperor and Darth Vader wield during this era, both politically and through the Force. We see this in Beyghor’s revealed background. His fear of the Emperor’s power is similar to Dass’s fear of Vader’s power. However, the difference between the two Jedi is Beyghor gave into his fear while Dass still attempts to hold onto his ideals. It is a nice dichotomy the writer creates for our protagonist. A benefit for writing in the Star Wars expanded universe is its openness to creativity. Although a writer must follow some guidelines, the possibilities for new material are boundless. I like the new worlds and new aliens you meet in Star Wars Dark Times, even if some aliens are not very original in design. For example, aliens amongst the Uhumele crew include a small dinosaur, a white lion, and Beyghor, who is a cricket-like Jedi. They are less alien and more humanoid Earth animals. Still, Randy Stradley incorporates many classic Star Wars elements into this grim tale.

EPIC LIGHTSABER BATTLE

Douglas Wheatley does a remarkable job with the artwork for Star Wars Dark Times. The lightsaber battle of Beyghor versus Dass and Kai is incredible. I like how the artist has Beyghor overwhelmed by his opponents rather than have the duel be Jedi versus Jedi. His character designs are solid, such as depictions of the many aliens, spaceships, and droids from the Star Wars expanded universe. Although Beyghor is a main part in this issue, it is difficult to tell emotions from him because of his insect-like appearance. A more human-like alien could have conveyed anger or fear better, lending Beyghor’s scenes more impact.

BOTTOM LINE: A DARK STAR WARS COMIC

Randy Stradley and Douglas Wheatley create a thrilling tale of survival and hope in a dark era of Star Wars history. The writer combines a lot of Star Wars elements to form the ultimate tragic hero in Dass Jennir, a Jedi out of place and time. With Douglas Wheatley’s art to support the plot, it will be interesting to see where our hero will go from here.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Kevin Mak

Kevin Mak

Kevin has been reading comics since he was twelve years old. Since then, he has survived three DC Comics Crisis (Identity, Infinite and Final), several horrible comic book movies, and many, many brand-wide crossover events. His favorite pastimes include writing, sketching and shattering other people's perceptions. Kevin is currently a recovering Star Wars fan and Japanime addict.

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3 Comments

  1. Oldcomicfan
    September 25, 2013 at 3:55 am — Reply

    Reading a Star Wars title that doesn’t have the movie characters in it, or only has the main movie characters show up in cameo, is a lot like watching some ten-year old making up his own stories by playing with Star Wars figures, G.I. Joe action figures and Power Rangers figures in the wading pool. It may, indeed, be entertaining on some level, but it’s not the show I bought the ticket to see.

    Sure, coming up with your own characters and stories outside of continuity lets you expand beyond the cannon, but I read or watch Star Wars to see the adventures of my favorite characters, not to experience some little-known writer’s joygasm mucking about in George Lucas’ sandbox.

    At best you might get a decent story, but it’s been my experience that you’re more likely to get some Mary Sue character like Asoka prancing around doing Mary Sue stuff and making you wish Obi-wan would take a light saber to her. At worst, you end up with giant green bunny rabbit Jedi or (shudder) a Jar-Jar Binks Summer Fun Special.

    This may very well be an excellent series, but I choose to spend my few comic dollars on something original like Starstruck or Satellite Sam, perhaps because I’ve been burned so many times by licensed property books that have turned out to be less than stellar.

  2. Megatron46
    September 27, 2013 at 7:03 am — Reply

    I see your point, but then I also recall “The Tales of the Jedi” comics from the 90s which starred no recognisable characters from the movies and were kick arse awesome! Loads of creative aliens, cool lightsabre fights and even better; effective use of force powers in battle! I have forgiven Luca many things because of “Tales of the Jedi”… although not everything!

  3. Megatron46
    September 27, 2013 at 7:13 am — Reply

    *sigh* that should read “forgiven Lucas” *sigh* Ahhh typos!

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