Star Wars Legacy #12: Getting a Fresh Look at Star Wars

Art from SWL #6
Dark Horse Comics

The only thing that kept me writing about the 30th anniversary of Star Wars was pure fear in coming off as even more of a total geek than just the comic geek. Loves comics and Star Wars? Strike Two! But I do love Star Wars. I read the old Marvel series religiously, picked up a lot of the Dark Horse stuff and have enjoyed most of the novels. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the Old Republic- and Prequel-era comics. There were a couple of gems in there (and this creative team did some great work on a bunch of them), but I’ve always been the type of person to want to know what happens NEXT. With Legacy, the Star Wars story goes forward 100 years past the events in the current Star Wars novels or, more precisely, 137 years after the Episode IV: A New Hope.

Ostrander has done an incredible job in creating a new universe for these characters. Gone is the Sith rule of two where there can only be a master and an apprentice. The evil Sith Lord Darth Krayt has dozens of Sith working for him. The Empire has been reborn and is more of a political power than ever before. The Jedi Order that was re-established in the post-trilogy novels seems to have been completely decimated once again. The only hope that people have comes from the one called Skywalker. Cade Skywalker. The only problem is that Cade is a pirate who abandoned his Jedi teachings and has gone out for himself. He doesn’t want to acknowledge, let alone embrace, his legacy.

The first couple of issues were pretty hard to maneuver around. There are just so many characters and so many changes to what was established in previous Star Wars stories that sometimes a reread is necessary to get a grasp of a particular character, particularly the political stuff. But the investment in these characters and worlds is worth it. Ostrander and Duursema have been able to construct their own Star Wars playground, pretty much free from the constraints that have plagued a lot of the Star Wars stories since the films. No matter how far back you go in Old Republic tales, you know where it’s going to end. The same goes for the stories that are bridging the gaps between the trilogies. Legacy is open-ended. The 100-year gap enables the creative team to be almost limitless with their imaginations and construct a world where anything can happen. A potential problem does exist for the current novels, though, since now there is an “end cap” in place with where they can eventually go.

Cover for SWL #6
Dark Horse Comics

Legacy creators have said they won’t be stepping on Del Rey’s (publishers of the Star Wars novels) toes, so readers would be wise not to expect cameos from original trilogy characters for fear of tying the novelists’ hands together. Although SWL #12 actually does feature the return of a very popular character from the films, the character in question makes sense from a storytelling view.The latest arc deals with Cade Skywalker returning to the ruins of the old Jedi Academy to possibly resume his training in the ways of the Force. This story line also features the return of another popular character, though created in the comics. A pleasant twist is that apparently Cade’s father was working with the Yuuzhan Vong (an evil alien race made popular in a recent series of Star Wars novels) and using their technology to bring life back to ailing worlds. That plan didn’t work out so well, so Cade now has to contend with the sins of his father and deal with the Vong.

Legacy is the best of Star Wars. There’s the Skywalker lineage continued as well as the themes of destiny and living up to your heritage. There’s a terrific mystery in the identity of Darth Krayt and whether he’s related to a Skywalker or a Solo. (I doubt either, due to the constraints it would place on the novels, but we’ll see. My best bet would be to put money on A’ Sharad Hett, which comic fans will recognize.) The Sith are more powerful than ever with Krayt and his legion of apprentices, even though the old Sith order is highly displeased with what he’s doing and that makes for an interesting new dynamic as well. And, of course, there are all the political maneuverings of the new Empire along with an Emperor who isn’t a Force user and isn’t too keen on aligning himself with the Sith.

The comic is truly epic in scope and the seeds have been planted for a very long and interesting ride through relatively uncharted territory. Any original trilogy fans who haven’t warmed up to the Prequels or Old Republic stories should give Legacy a chance. It’s the best Star Wars book on the market and an ideal continuation to the saga.