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A graphic novel by John Ostrander, and Jan Duursema (2005, Dark Horse Comics)
Republic comics #79-83 and one-shot "Purge"
21 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

Quinlan Vos attempts to escape Order 66 on Kashyyyk, as other Jedi go into hiding or confront Vader himself.




Read on October 17th, 2008  
    This comic attempts to answer the big question on everybody's mind at the end of Revenge of the Sith: Did any Jedi escape Order 66, and why didn't the surviving Jedi try to fight back? To a certain extend, the comic did a good job, but I don't think they portrayed enough strong elements.

The first story was probably the best, though I thought they really should have killed off Quinlan Vos, thus making the tale a lot more poignant. Hidden Enemy starts off before Order 66, as Luminara Unduli and Quinlan Vos arrange to Meet Yoda on Kashyyyk. They help thwart a separatist attackon a village (led by Trandoshan slavers), and the clones are securing the area just as they receive Order 66. Of course, the final Republic comic wouldn't be complete without Vilmarh Grahrk, and he appears to help out, as he's been hiding from Dooku and Durge after double crossing them. It appears that he's been stealing secret hyperspace route maps from the Wookies who took him in. It's a minor plot point and serves absolutely no purpose, except to reassure us that Villie is still the same untrustworthy guy. He is relieved to hear that they are both dead.

We see Luminara get cut down by her clones, Vos badly hit by his, and Yoda once again take his out before they kill him. He doesn't know if Vos has survived, but is hunted by the clones, so cannot conduct a search, and leaves. After seeing him in action in the Clone Wars animated TV series, I have trouble believing he couldn't take on the entire clone army himself.

The rest of the story follows Vos as he tries to escape his pursuing former army. We get some welcome flashbacks to Vos' training as a young Padawan under the tutelage of Yoda, Dooku, Tholme and Mace Windu, which are used to good effect to highlight some of the techniques Vos uses to overcome the clones.

Hiding in a tree, he is discovered by the clone commander, who threatens to destroy the entire Wookie village if Vos doesn't surrender. Of course, Vos' apparent sacrifice means nothing when we know what Vader will do in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. Vos leaps from the tree and kills the clone trooper, but because he jumped straight at the clone, without any apparent use of the Force, even, the clone gets a good shot at him. Villie happens upon Vos just then, and when the clones arrive, Villie tells them he burned Vos' body, and wrapped the clone's body. I really thought Vos had been killed, and it would have been a fitting end to the series. I also wonder that the clones, when they took his body away thinking it was their commander, never looked to see if his face matched theirs. But no, as his girlfriend and mother of his newly born child are listening to his holocron messages, he shows up in time to say "I love you".

This story and the next are really nicely drawn and amazingly colored. Kashyyyk is a world ready to be seen in comics, because it is so lush and vibrant. Still, it hasn't yet done justice to the descriptions in the early Star Wars books. Still, the detail is stunning, and everything looks very real.

In Into the Unknown, We meet two Jedi and a Padawan. It's a short tale about choices. All three of them survived Order 66, and they all make their way back to Coruscant. Master Hudorra, a giant creature, resorts to stealing to get him offworld with Noirah Na, who just lost her Master. He works quickly to make Noirah look like a boy and him the callous master. I liked the line where he tells the clone that he tried to get "the boy" checked as baggage so he wouldn't have to pay for a seat! Then there's Noirah's retort that he really seems to be enjoying his role.

Jedi Master Dass Jennir escapes his army and meets up with one of the locals of a world they were fighting against. The local takes pleasure in the way the army turned on the Jedi, but also sees how honorable the Jedi are. Bomo Greenbark takes Jennir back to his leader, who recognizes the Jedi could be valuable to them. They explain how the Republic ignored them and refused to allow them to trade their only possible export, so they turned to the Separatists. For that, war is destroying their world.

Jennir and Hudorra and Noirah all make their way back to the Jedi Temple, where they witness a stupid Jedi try to charge the clone army on its steps, and get cut down. Hudorra takes his Padawan's lightsaber and throws it in the incinerator with his own. The two of them will apparently try to become regular public citizens. Jennir, however, decides to go back to Bomo's planet, where he leads an attack to try and drive the clones away.

I find it amazing how easily the Jedi have decided to give up, but Hudorra gives good examples of why they should, especially since they are all scattered and the public is split on whether to believe them or not about trying to take over the government. Of course, if they tried to take on Palpatine and the Senate, that would be exactly what they were doing. It's a lost cause, but I fail to see how nobody could come together again for almost twenty years, when Obi-Wan has become a frail old man, and Yoda is near death. That they rest their only hope of redemption on a pair of orphaned newborn twins that only three people really know about is actually beyond credibility. But that's off-topic.

The last story is Purge, where Vader hunts down a small gathering of Jedi. I thought they did everything right, but they failed, and quite stupidly, too. Six or more to one against Vader, they could have overpowered him. But they all behaved like Anakin in Attack of the Clones, and attacked him one at a time. They also turned against each other, with one Jedi killing another to take her lightsaber. Another Jedi has a blade made of cortosis, which shorts out Vader's lightsaber. But she doesn't use it after that, allowing the temporarily unarmed Vader to take it from her.

Only a single Jedi fights smart, but he joins too late to make a difference, as Palpatine sent clone troopers after Vader to help him out. That Jedi is the one we see at the beginning, the blue and tail-headed Master Choi. I've enjoyed his appearances in the comics, and this is no exception. He is the only Jedi to land strikes against Vader, taking off a hand, and piercing his face-mask, among other damage. But in the end, the clones shoot him down.

These stories, like Revenge of the Sith, show how the Jedi are subject to the whims of the authors and the stories. In some, like the Clone Wars animated TV show, Yoda can take on an entire army of clones, including vehicles and ships, on his own. In others, like Hidden Enemy, he has to run. The Jedi who band together in Purge don't know how to fight in a team, though that was the first thing they learned to do as Padawans, perhaps younger. Only Vos turns out to be realistic here, though he survives incredible blaster burns to most of his body and continues to fight for a long time. In the end, he doesn't even have scars, thanks to the magic of bacta. And so ends the Clone Wars comic series, on a high note, I think.


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