Monday, May 10, 2021

Star Wars Comics: Dark Lords of the Sith #5-6, Dark Empire II #3-4, The Early Adventures #8

In the Dark Lords of the Sith, we are reminded of one of Star Wars's most important lessons, one with tremendous relevance in our own world.  The Jedi attempted to drive the Sith to extinction but it didn't work.  Evil always comes back.  You can defeat the Nazis.  You can marginalize white supremacists.  But the evil doesn't die.  One day, someone's ambition will exceed their morality.  One might even be elected President of the United States.  Even when they eventually fall, others will be watching.  Someone might even learn from their mistakes and the next time could be much worse.

Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

My Recent Reads

Tales of the Jedi - Dark Lords of the Sith #5: Sith Secrets
Originally Published February 14, 1995
Writers: Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson
Artist: Chris Gossett
In-Story Timeline: 3,996 BBY

  • Jealous of Ulic Qel-Dorma and suspecting - correctly, sorta - that the Jedi is a spy, Satal has him tortured.  Aleema, though, is clearly falling in love with Ulic.
  • Nomi, Cay and Tott travel to Koros Major in order to rescue Ulic, despite the fact that Ulic had ordered them not to.  
  • Nomi is captured by the Ketos.  Not wanting to let on to his new friends that he has split loyalties, Ulic does nothing to save her, even claiming he will perform the execution himself.  Secretly, though, he hopes Nomi will be able to save herself.
  • Nomi, understandably, is rather miffed.
  • Though, she does, in fact, get away.
  • Ulic finds out that Satal is the one who ordered the attack that resulted in Master Arca's death.  Ulic and Satal duel.  Ulic wins.
  • But Satal gets the last laugh.  Earlier, he had injected Ulic with Sith poison.  The anger which had risen in Ulic as he slew Satal only served to strengthen the power of the Dark Side over Ulic.
  • Nomi, Cay and Tott get away but must leave Ulic behind.
  • Meanwhile, Exar Kun is on his way from Yavin to challenge Aleema and Ulic whom he sees as his Dark Side rivals.

Tales of the Jedi - Dark Lords of the Sith #6: Jedi Assault
March 14, 1995
Veitch and Anderson/Art Wetherell

  • The Jedi prepare a larger assault on Cinnagar.
  • Master Thon warns that they should not attempt to rescue Ulic, instead that he should suffer through the consequences of his venture to the Dark Side.
  • Attending to the wounded Ulic, Aleema presents him with a Sith amulet.
  • Exar Kun has now arrived on Cinnagar and his own amulet is drawn to Ulic's.
  • The Jedi get through to Ulic but he refuses to leave, despite Nomi's declaration of love.
  • Cay and Qrrl, another Jedi, want to take Ulic by force but Nomi won't have it, accepting Thon's prophetic warning.  The Jedi leave.
  • Ulic and admits to Aleema his initial plan to destroy the Sith from within.  She admits she already knew.  As the two embrace...
  • Exar Kun arrives.  Kun and Ulic duel, though the combined power of their amulets summons the spirits of Sith Lords.
  • The lords appoint Kun Dark Lord of the Sith and Ulic as his apprentice, a power structure we all know will carry forth for several generations.

Dark Empire II #3: World of the Ancient Sith
February 21, 1995
Veitch/Cam Kennedy
In-Story Timeline: 10 ABY

  • Luke and Solusar are on Ossus, searching for ancient Jedi artifacts - an interesting parallel with the Tales of the Jedi story though, presumably, the Jedi in Dark Empire are looking for Light Side artifacts.
  • They encounter two Force-sensitive children, Rayf and Jem, tied to a tree.  They rescue them but incur the wrath of their tribe, the Ysanna.  However, when the Ysanna recognize the Jedi for who they are, the tribal chief embraces them.
  • Palpatine sends Sedriss and Vill Goir to capture the Jedi at Ossus.  They all battle under the same tree.
  • However, it turns out the tree itself is a Jedi, Master Ood Bnar!  That's a new one.
  • Bnar sides with the Jedi and helps them win the fight, killing both Sedriss and himself in the process.
  • After he dies, the Jedi discover Bnar had been hiding a cache of lightsabers, which Luke hopes to use to train the Ysanna to become Jedi.

Dark Empire II #4: Battle on Byss
March 21, 1995

  • Lando and his team launch a Trojan Horse-style attack, hiding inside a shipment of War Droids bound for Byss, the Emperor's throne world.
  • Meanwhile, the Emperor has a new superweapon, the Galaxy Gun.
  • The attack is going the Rebels' way but the Emperor has a countermove up his sleeve: the Chrysallis Beasts.
  • Under attack by bounty hunters above Nar Shaddaa, Han chooses a risky move: entering a gas cloud.
  • Fortunately, the cloud isn't so large and on the other side, he and the rest of his Millennium Falcon companions find an isolated civilization on the planet Ganath.  Their ruler, though, is Empatojayas, a Jedi Knight.
  • Back on Ossus, the Ysanna bring Luke to a long-hidden Jedi library.
  • Luke offers to train all of the Ysanna to be Jedi, though the chief refuses.  However, Rayf and Jem choose to go with Luke to be trained and the chief respects their wishes.

Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #8
March 14, 1995
Reproduction of a newspaper comic strip from 1980
Writer and Artist: Russ Manning

  • Collects the story As Long As We Live... which originally ran from April 22 - June 16, 1980.
  • Luke visits Arda-2, a neutral planet which sells arms to both the Rebels and the Empire.  Luke comes with a complaint: the TIE-fighters would seem to be equipped with a targeting device that is able to lock onto equipment in the X-wings sold to them by the Ardans.  Is this a double-cross?
  • While the Ardans deny any wrongdoing, one of the merchants, Mag Doum, clearly knows all about it.  
  • When Luke announces a plan to bring Princess Leia into the discussion, Mag moves to cover his tracks, enlisting Kiros Zorad and his son Zon to kidnap Leia.
  • When Luke discovers the abduction, he runs after the Zorads.
  • Han Solo soon arrives on the planet as well and he sets off to rescue Leia, too.  Mag lends Han his speeder so as to alleviate suspicion.
  • Soon we find the Zorads are actually good guys, manipulated by Mag Doum.  We're all friends now.
  • Well, except for Mag Doum.  Luke and Kiros confront him.  
  • Mag gets away to his ship.  On his way off world, he contacts Vader who now is determined to destroy all of the Arda worlds.
  • Kiros, stowed away on Mag's ship, manages to get off a warning to the planet.
  • Arda-2 now sides with the Rebels in a self-preservation move.
  • Kiros crashes Mag's ship into Vader's Destroyer.  Zon, now in his own X-wing, is shot down and he crashes into the Destroyer as well.
  • Vader is forced to retreat.  The Zorads die heroes.

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