Story: Amanda Deibert
Art: Megan Huang
Colors: Megan Huang
Letterer: Tyler Smith, Jimmy Betancourt
What They Say:
Jedi masters Yoda and Mace Windu escort a Republic delegation to an archaeological dig, rumored to be the site of a cache of ancient Jedi artifacts. But the lure of the Force is strong, and it’s not long before the party comes under attack by marauders intent on taking the relics for themselves, even if they have to go through two Jedi to do it!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Dark Horse Comics returned to the world of Star Wars after a few years away and they’re launching with what’s basically an anthology series with various creators coming in for single-issue stories at launch. This latest tale brings in the talents of Amanda Deibert on the script while Megan Huang handles the artwork and the coloring for it. The story has a pretty brisk feeling to it and definitely plays to the all-ages aspect but also acknowledges things at the core of the original film with sacrifice and loss. It comes across well as it doesn’t feel like it’s just made for small children but fits that all-ages aspect well enough.
This story places us directly in the Clone Wars period as we get Mace Windu and Yoda bringing a group of younglings on something of a field trip. It’s to some unnamed planet where a dig has found a number of old Jedi artifacts and it’s a good experience for the kids. Mace is naturally wary of this considering the events of the galaxy but Yoda is of mind that they have to get some exposure to what’s happening and how to handle it. Of course, the kids are just doing their own thing and having fun, but you know that won’t last when the site ends up attacked by some poorly outfitted and trained locals that can’t accomplish much. But they’re enough of a presence that our leading Jedi have to back off in order to protect the younglings as that takes precedence over anything else, including allowing Jedi artifacts to end up in unwelcome hands.
What helps is that one of those that attacked eventually surfaces where Mace and Yoda are protecting the others and offer some help. It is, unfortunately, a trap but they’re just as caught up in things as the Jedi are in this moment as it’s all part of an elaborate trap by Count Dooku and a small selection of battle droids. There’s some good action to all of it but the main focus really seems to be Yoda reminding Mace that his duty is to protect the younglings over everything else and that Mace needs to be reminded constantly about this. He’s trying to go after Dooku or the attackers at every chance and is often reluctant to stay in order to provide defense, thinking that the others are enough to do it. And they probably are because you can see an amount of over-concern out of Yoda but the reality is that the book, aimed at kids, is doing its best to remind them that people will protect them so it’s hard to fault that to some degree.
While I know completely why these books aren’t checked out by regular Star Wars fans often, they’re important books for spreading and building an audience. I had books similar to this when I was a kid and there’s a real charm to them that I still find in this kind of project. Deibert could use putting a bit more detail into it and working the dialogue a bit more as it’s almost a bit too simple at places but it works for what’s trying to be told here. A little more challenge to the audience isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Huang’s artwork is pretty good in capturing the basics of the characters and giving us settings that you can identify well while also having fun with the action. This isn’t going to appeal to most people reading modern Star Wars comics but they’re a charming little piece of fun that helps to build a long-term fan from the early years up.
Age Rating: All Ages
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 1st, 2023