So now that we’ve got our main characters introduced what shall we do but take an issue off to spend some time with a noob in ….
Star Wars has always focused on the republic/ rebel alliance through it’s books movies and games. Even the clone wars stuff where we follow a bunch of troopers, like the seminal Rebulic Commando, makes sure that we’re still, at the time, following the good guys. However one of the big things about Legacy is the absence of the Alliance. They survived the war but have been outed due to unpopular opinions and exiled to some distant corner of the galaxy. For some reason they’ve left the Jedi behind like some galactic version of home alone that I don’t quite get, perhaps due to my ignorance of the source material. The republic, under advice from Luke, helped the Vong settle in after they trashed the galaxy. So why when the Republic was kicked out did the Jedi get to stay behind? Perhaps I’m confusing myself or simply missing some part of the timeline that either hasn’t been revealed yet or simply isn’t seen as important to the story. Either way you’d better get used to missing them especially here where we’re not so much given part of the story as simply given some world building scene setting.
In the past issue we saw a split in the Empire with some loyal to the Emperor and others loyal to the Empire. Meaning that some were sticking with Fel while others were throwing in with the Sith who now sit on the throne. We will be following one group of Stormtroopers who just to further stick it to narrative convention are aligned with the Sith. Their job will be to strike at those loyal to Fel on Borosk. By humanising a stormtrooper and one loyal to the other side the book follows up on some of its promises to subvert some of the old Star Wars tropes and cliches without breaking the formula. I’m not sure why they chose to subvert this one in paticular. Later on the Clone Wars will humanise thier generic front line troops but that’s because they are on our side. The sequel trilogy will humanise one stormtrooper and emphasise they ahve humanised one allowing him to mow down the rest of them ion his grand escape and through the rest of the trilogy. But here Ostrander has chosen to humanise the bad guys that we will be fighting throughout the rest of the series. This isn’t even the last time we will see Trask but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’ve been talking about all this humanising of Anson Trask but I’m not sure the comic will make too much of an impact on anyone whose read these kind of books before. Trask is assigned to Joker squad where we have the obligatory older grunt who won’t learn his name until he’s lasted long enough to prove it’s worth learning. The one who can trade and scrounge up what they will need. The stern but fair leader who will try to look out for his men and a woman who will be proving her worth amongst the men by carrying the biggest gun. And a pool going on how long he will live. This is a sharp, well paced, well plotted issue that in a way foreshadows some of the great clone wars stuff to come out of lucas film but you don’t really end the issue caring for any of the people in it because each one feels like a tired cliche. Heck when these characters do croak in the issue the face obscuring, dehumanising battle armour does it’s trick well enough that you only know it’s one of the main characters cos we focus on them but you may not know which.
Now it should be noted that while some of these characters will pop up again this is essentially a one shot so maybe they need to keep them simple and brief so that we can get on with the issue. I want to say that maybe this should have been an ongoing story we kept coming back to at the back of every other issue or so but then it would definitely have had to have gone somewhere. Maybe we could have followed the likes of Hondo Karr over the Republic but then if we started doing things like that we may have doubled our issue count and been stuck in a Wheel of Time situation where you can go whole books without seeing our main characters or getting close to the plot. Maybe this is just to give us a taste and to let us know that there is a world beyond our main characters. Or maybe this was just a filler issue to by time until the next bit of the tale was ready.
This isn’t a bad issue though I fear it may work better now that we can skip straight onto the next one after rather than back then when you realised you still had another month to wait to find out what happened to Cade and the crew of the Mynock.