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A graphic novel by Tim Truman, Davide Fabri, and Christian Dalla Vecchia (2002, Dark Horse Comics)
Republic comics #28-31
30 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

Three Jedi chase after the Jedi-killer as she takes on an assassination job.




Read on April 18th, 2008  
    I reread this book so fast, I couldn't believe that it was over. I wonder now if it went fast because I was bored throughout most of it, and so I didn't really stop to admire much more than a general idea of each page, beyond the dialog. I think I mentioned everything in the previous review, but it's worth reiterating that Aurra is inconsistently too powerful. How is it that none of the Jedi Masters can defeat her, but Padawan A'Sharad Hett can, and later, in Rite of Passage, so can Aayla Secura, not far out of her mentorship, too? I don't see the appeal of the character, and although I didn't dislike the story, it did absolutely nothing for me, either.  



Read on November 24th, 2002  
    A story that started off decent enough, with pretty good artwork, but had a very unfulfilling conclusion.

There must be something about Aurra Sing that I don't understand. I have no emotional investment in the character. We don't know anything about the character other than she was once a Padawan under "the Dark Woman", and now she likes killing Jedi. To that, I say, so what? Unlike Boba Fett, who felt dangerous and whose mystery added to his threatening manner, Aurra Sing does not benefit from a mysterious background. In order for her character to work, we need to know her motivations, and soon, especially since the rest of the characters seem to already know her history.

Like so many bad guys before her, Aurra Sing suffers from being too powerful, as well. She kills two Jedi Masters at the very beginning, leaving a young Padawan Twi'lek behind alive to tell the story of her master's demise. The council then sends three Jedi after her, determined to stop this killer. Several characters mention that they feel she is not under the power of the Dark Side; does that mean she is not helping Darth Sidious in his task? What is wrong with her, then?

She is hired by two disgruntled Quarren to kill their former partner, who is now a Republic senator, requiring her special talents to kill, as well, a Jedi who caused them severe grief, who happens to be the Dark Woman! Aurra Sing is elated, as she now has the chance to kill her former master.

Most of the story up to this point was well presented. I am reluctant to believe she can take out those destroyer droids, but can let it pass as proof that she is powerful.

However, once everybody gets to the planet, things get sloppy. Most sloppy is Ki Adi Mundi, who should have at least been aware of her manipulation from Outlander, where he met her last. Why didn't the Force warn Ki that he was about to come under attack? Why was the Dark Woman caught by surprise by the Quarren bodyguards, and gets shot? For that matter, why does Aurra Sing herself not get out of the way of the rock that Adi Gallia sends crashing into her? The Jedi are getting very sloppy, indeed!

As much as I love Adi Gallia, I can't see her surviving  stepping on a land mine, especially since the senator's guards were all decimated by one of them stepping on a single mine.

Speaking of the senator, I actually liked the Quarren! He was obviously doing something illegal, with those "Quald Runium" pieces from the asteroids that periodically rained down on his newly acquired planet, and didn't like having the Jedi around -until he fell under attack, anyway.

The battle between A'sharad Hett and Aurra Sing was better than I expected, by this point. Against all other indications, I wonder if this book was not really about him, instead of the others. He managed to face his anger, tempted by the woman who killed his father. This was a real lightsaber battle, between two equally-skilled opponents. It showed that Sing was not all-powerful. If Hett could defeat her, then any Master should be able to do the same. It's too bad that Hett didn't kill her; then he would have had more reason to beg forgiveness and a release from the Jedi vows, and we would have been rid of this Jedi-killer.  As it stands, though, Hett now knows his limits, realizing that he underestimated hatred and revenge. That is the best part of this book.

Although the artwork didn't depict the characters as well as other books in the series, they were consistent within the style of the book. The characters were a little more stylized, which is fine. In most cases, there was not much in the way of background, so we were focusing on the characters a lot. They were able to depict emotions, from the exaggerated scowls of Aurra Sing to the surprise by Ki Adi Mundi, and even somehow a whole range of emotions behind A'sharad Hett's mask! Still, nothing stood out as great, even full-page spreads like the Republic ship blowing up.

This book seemed to go by much faster than others in this series. It looks about the same length, to which I must conclude that it's because of the lack of dialog. So much of this installment was depicted in close-ups, or by the looks on people's faces, like when Aurra Sing makes the young Padawan cry. I was a little disappointed by this, as I prefer much longer stories.

The book seemed to be missing a conclusion. So much was unexplained, and I wonder if we will get more in the future. We know that Sing escaped, even though she was unconscious when the meteor hit. How did we get to "tomorrow", even if the rotation cycle is fast, if we didn't go through night? Surely the scientist would use standard time, not local? Regardless, what happens to Aurra Sing's reputation now, since she didn't even manage to kill the senator (was she saving him for last, after the Jedi -she managed to kill every one of his bodyguards), let alone the Dark Woman. She certainly won't get paid for this job.

There are just too many loose ends to tie up. I hope the next book, which doesn't look like it follows up on this tale, gets better.


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