Story: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Paolo Villanelli
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
What They Say:
Following a sudden ambush in the jungles of Ontotho, Young Padawan Cere Junda is left to find her own way on a hostile planet. But local freedom fighters are happy to take Cere Junda in – if she will fight by their side!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With this Dark Temple series being pretty original all around, I didn’t remember much of the first issue even though it was just a couple of weeks ago as it hadn’t sunk in quite yet. But going through the first few pages of what Matthew Rosenberg put together here made it accessible quickly and a good bit of fun with the worldbuilding as it expanded. Paolo Villanelli definitely gets to showcase his talents here with an interesting world to bring to life with its people and Arif Prianto, who always does great work, definitely takes it all up a notch or two with the colors and how it across, especially for the Fylari aspect of it.
With Cere having been the only one to apparently survive the attack on the expedition at the end of the opening issue, she’s found herself a captive of a group of men with guns and a droid watching her. But with her lightsaber in view, she’s able to escape quickly only to realize the door was never locked and these people are her rescuers – the people they were coming to visit. The woman leading them here, Narali, is the peaceful and soothing type and does her best to show some of the Fylari domain to Cere with what’s here and how they live, which is entirely cut off from the galaxy at large. Which is a problem since Cere needs to get word back to the Jedi Council about the Daa Corporation. While she does come up with a plan, we do at least see some of her caring nature in trying to take in all that she sees of the Fylari and how they likely aren’t involved in the attack.
Cere’s intent to head back to the capital where everything started has one of Nalari’s droids watching her, which provides for a little humor along the way since it’s trying to be literal in keeping her in sight. Cere, however, is crafty enough to get out of view so she can get inside to the leadership here, make her case, and contact the council. The problem she faces is that the locals here are very much either on the same side as Daa or completely bought, so they’re not exactly keen on listening to her and are antagonistic toward the Fylari, which was expected. It’s something that works well to help educate the young Padawan toward what life is really like and puts her on the outside here, making her a natural ally of the Fylari. Which feels like it would have happened anyway, but she just lacks the wisdom of the Master she had.
The filling in of some of the blanks that will come from the Jedi Fallen Order game is playing out well with Dark Temple. We get a decent handle on some of what’s going on within this particular world and the corporate aspect as well. I like what we see from Cere as she feels like a solidly competent Padawan that’s acting as she should while also having enough reactive aspects about her that fit for the situation. Thompson’s still be a bit more verbose than feels warranted for the book and how it’s moving but it helps to fill in some things that we need to know. Villanelli continues to delight as an artist, especially with Prianto’s colors, in delivering a very Star Wars world and characters that doesn’t feel rushed or low-rent in the slightest. Definitely something worth checking out.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: September 25th, 2019