Star Wars: Legacy, Vol 2 – Shards

Star Wars: Legacy — Shards

By John Ostrander & various (Dark Horse Books)
ISBN: 978-1-84576-699-3

The second volume of tales set in the Star Wars universe about 125 years after the events seen in Return of the Jedi, this is the tale of Cade, a disenchanted mercenary thug and the last of the Skywalker bloodline. With the Sith resurgent and the uneasy peace between the New Republic, the remnants of the Empire and the Extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong in tatters (see Star Wars: Legacy Book 1 Broken, ISBN 1-84576-461-7) the last Skywalker returns at last to the planet where his family were slaughtered in a volume of as-yet unconnected story-strands.

Collecting issues #8, 4, 9, 10 13, 11 and 12 of the Star Wars: Legacy comic, this volume advances the story by filling in background and concentrating on peripheral characters. All stories are written by the excellent John Ostrander, and the edition begins with ‘Allies’ illustrated by Adam DeKraker in which the formidable and traitorous Moff Nyna Calixte realises her plans to replace Emperor Fel with her lover run afoul of the deadly Sith Lords Darth Krayt and Lady Maladi.

This is followed by the superb ‘Noob’ drawn by Travel Foreman, which introduces Anson Trask, a green Stormtrooper joining a crack unit ordered to eradicate Troopers who have switched sides. Dark and powerful, this uses the winning secret weapon of the Star Wars franchise; clever use of a strong genre story – in this instance a terse war tale – wearing science fiction clothing.

‘Trust Issues’ is a two-part tale with art from the legendary Colin Wilson. Rivals Nyna Calixte and Maladi both move to “acquire” the renegade Cade Skywalker, but nobody could have guessed the secret kept by the Imperial agent Morrigan Corde and the effect it would have on the mission… Wilson also applies his wonderful illustrative skills to ‘Ready to Die’ when Lady Maladi makes a seemingly precipitate move to assassinate Emperor Fel, and the book closes with ‘Ghosts’ by Ostrander and long-time collaborator Jan Duursema.

Cade Skywalker escaped the destruction of the new Jedi on Ossus and became a drug-addled mercenary years ago. Now he awakes on that dead planet with the spirits of his ancestors – from Mara Jade to Darth Vader – confronting him. Soon though, very real enemies and allies join them and Cade is forced into a life-altering decision. This psychological essay reveals deep insights into the troubled lead character and advances the greater plot to the point where the main action can begin. But that’s a tale for another book…

This is a mature and meticulously constructed saga tinged with darkness that builds with an epic feel into something quite special. Where many licensed spin-offs are content to coast on the popularity of the major property, Ostrander has crafted a genuine multi-layered saga with the conceptual tools of the Star Wars franchise. This is definitely an epic to follow for any fan of great storytelling…

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