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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
In June 2006, Dark Horse Comics started publishing Star Wars: Legacy. While I do not consider myself a huge Star Wars junkie, I was immediately intrigued by this series. Set 126 years after Return of the Jedi¸ the series follows the adventures of Cade Skywalker, a far-flung decent of Luke Skywalker. I think part of my attraction of it was that while it kept all of the Star Wars trappings, it was far enough away from everything else that it could do its own thing and not be burdened with continuity. Despite my interest, I never followed the comic. Cut to 2014 when I discovered my local library has all the collections from the series. Having been largely stayed spoiler-free after all these years, I decided to jump into Star Wars: Legacy.
In the first volume, Broken, does a pretty good job it setting the stage for this new Star Wars setting. Everything is familiar, yet different. An empire ruled by the Sith reigns and the Jedi are largely wiped from the galaxy. Fear spreads throughout. A princess is being pursued by agents of evil and an unexpected hero emerges to save the day. Sound familiar? It should. Right from the get go, writers John Ostrander and Jan Duursema make that thematic and narrative link to the original movies.
However, things are different enough to make Broken feel fresh and exciting. Though this collection tells a complete story, there are still lots of mysteries at play which will evolve over time. What are the political dealings of Moff Calixte? Clearly she is using Veed as much as the Sith are. What’s her goal? On other side of the galaxy, how is Ronan Fel going to regain control of his empire? Beyond the Sith’s plans and Cade’s coming into his own, there are lots of things Legacy is going to explore.
Speaking of which, Cade Skywalker is an interesting character. Unlike Luke and Anakin before him, Cade outright rejects his Jedi heritage. I can’t blame him. He knows exactly what he is, and he knows he will be killed for it. During his prime formative years, he grew up without a father to guide him. He has grown so cynical and he just doesn’t care anymore. It is almost as if Ostrander and Duursema merged Luke and Han together. Personally, I think it is an interesting dynamic. In the movies, Luke and Han really couldn’t grow without influencing each other. How will Cade change and grow without that growth (and since he refuses to listen to anyone)? His growth is going to be an interesting one to watch.
On the villain side, Darth Krayt has a lot to offer. He’s evil and mysterious. He is also dying. It gives the series a ticking clock. He’s rushing to save himself from his affliction. But, it is also a guarded secret. If the Sith under him learn about it – he becomes a target. The Sith are opportunistic. What better opportunity is to off the guy who is dying and take his place? Also, if everyone who used the Dark Side were eliminated by the end of Return of the Jedi, where did this guy come from? His is a story worth finding out.
Ostrander and Duursema throw out a lot of little winks to the fans with names and references. Normally, this might get annoying, but they were smart enough to make them feel natural and didn’t dwell on them as the story unfolded.
I liked Broken. It gives readers an adventure that seems like it has been told before, but with enough radical departures that it is really its own thing. It feels like Star Wars even though it shares no characters that have come before (save for a small cameo). I am interested to see where this series goes next.
According to Star Wars lore, Cade and Sia Fel should be distant cousins. Do they know this?
Cade has the ability to heal. Darth Krayt is dying. So…I’m betting a young Skywalker is going to be pursued again.