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.
The story draws from classic Star Wars themes
Great lightsaber battle sequence
Needs more creative alien races
Some characters are expressionless and lack emotion
STAR 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.