Ossus Library Index Star Wars Timeline




A graphic novel by Timothy Truman, Tom Raney, and Rick Leonardi (2001, Dark Horse Comics)
Republic comics #7-12
32 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

Ki-Adi-Mundi is sent to track down a Jedi who has surfaced among the warring sand people of Tatooine.



4 stars

Read on September 20th, 2004 for the second time  
    I truly dislike the character of Aurra Sing. What's with her talking directly to the reader, anyway? The character has no interest to me, as a Jedi assassin or a former Jedi Padawan. I do wish A'sharad had killed her when he had the chance. He would have had the same motivation as Obi-Wan had in killing Darth Maul: vengeance was part of it, but Maul would have gone on to kill many more Jedi -as will Sing.

Other than that character, the book was quite fulfilling. The best part of it was the dialog -not the many text boxes used to explain things, but the actual dialog between characters, especially Ki and Hett. I didn't realize that Ki had such a dry sense of humor. He makes sarcastic quips throughout the tale, which were very funny.

The artwork was also splendid, giving plenty of foreground details, and showing off emotions. Backgrounds were much less detailed, but that didn't bother me. The battle between the Tuskins and the smugglers of the Hutts was well-depicted, with great expressions and fight details.

There is, of course, the issue of Jedi not knowing their parents, which is at odds with Hett's story of returning to find his parents dead. It doesn't detract from the story, although this is a common theme that seems to be wearing out.

This is one of the better instalments of the entire series before the Clone Wars started. It has a great combination of character, dialog and artwork to sustain it. I only wish they hadn't used Aurra Sing, as she really wasn't necessary.



4 stars

Read on November 10th, 2001  
    Tremendous art, coupled with a great story.  This is so much better than its predecessor, and explored the ways of the Jedi, and what they represent to the various people who fight for peace in their own way.

First and foremost, the art in this book was stunning.  Yoda was an exception, and at times I had trouble telling some of the sand people apart.  But the shadows, the coloring, and the way the art told so much of the story without dialog at all, make this one of the very best art displays I've ever read.  

There was actually not much detail throughout the tale.  However, the shadows and lines showed everything that we needed to see.  This was apparent in the few scenes we had on Coruscant, where Ki Adi Mundi is charged with finding the legendary Sharad Hett.  As he gazes out the windows, and as he waits for his star cruiser, talking to the Dark Woman, we get a good glimpse of how the city is made, including the spires and graceful curves of the Jedi Temple and its environs.  

Most of the story takes place on Tatooine, however.  And it is here that the art really comes into its own.  Here, we see the emotions of the desert.  I liked the bantha that always gives Ki questioning glances, as if it is not quite sure what to make of this trespasser.  

Ki goes to meet with Jabba the Hutt, and does a really bad job of convincing the Hutt to give him access to the desert without criminal intervention.  He is very condescending, not a good way to deal with a Hutt.  Luke had better manners in Return of the Jedi!  Ki Adi Mundi had of course foiled Jabba in Prelude to Rebellion, when he freed his daughter and caught the Trade Federation ship there.  And Jabba repays him here by having his thugs try and kill the Jedi.  The lightsaber fight was really one-sided, with the thugs hesitating just enough to be realistic.  They were being paid, but how much was it worth for getting an arm taken off?  But they all end up dead, and Ki is stranded with very little food or water, and a broken skiff.  

Following a herd of banthas, he makes his way into the deep desert, where he encounters a Krayt dragon!  I really liked the way it took a tribe of sand people to take out the dragon, even while three of them used the Force!  This is much better than the way Tahiri and Anakin did it in Promises.  In the end, though, it is Sharad Hett's son who is made to face the wounded dragon on his own.  And he succeeds marvelously, becoming a true sand person at last!

Sharad Hett had been leading a huge band of sand people in raids against large towns and farms, and against Jawas who were selling weapons to the farmers.  Instead of confronting Hett right away, Ki tries to learn what is going on here.  I loved the way the two of them talked about the Force, the way each one served it in their own way.  Hett was a powerful Jedi who became a legend out of proportion thirty years ago.  He tried to run away, and his ship crashed on Tatooine.  He became one of the sand people, then, and was forced into the role of their leader when they started a blood feud with the city dwellers.  He became their  leader to prevent an all-out massacre.  Hett believes that the Hutts created a false conflict, for the simple purpose that they could sell more weapons.

So Hett is serving the Force in a certain way, controlling the amount of blood that is shed.  Ki tells him about Anakin, found on this very planet!  And he tells of Qui-Gon's death, which leads to a very solemn moment between them, as Hett knew Qui-Gon well.  I wonder if we'll see this guy in the Jedi Apprentice series?

It is about this time that we have to serve our action quota, but it is done in style.  Gardula the Hutt is looking to become more powerful than Jabba, so he wants to stop the sale of weapons by wiping out the sand people.  He tracks them, and attacks.  But with Ki and Sharad Hett there, not to mention Hett's son, the tide is turned against him.  So Jabba comes to the rescue, having kept a watch on Gardula.  The sand people under Hett's leadership are wiped out, except for a few stragglers, perhaps.  Jabba becomes the hero, instead.

The main part of the plot that is supposed to shock us, I believe, surrounds Aurra Sing.  I don't really understand all the hype surrounding this bounty hunter.  But she is given a much better backstory than Boba Fett ever was.  

Personally, I could have done without her role, altogether.  She served a purpose, however, in that she hunted Ki and Hett, and revealed their location to both Gardula and Jabba.  Sing is a Jedi hunter.  Apparently, she was a Jedi Padawan at one time, under the tutelage of the Dark Woman!  Interesting...  I wonder if George Lucas agrees.  I think this bounty hunter will appear in Attack of the Clones -will she be Force-sensitive there?  Only time will tell...

Aurra Sing will be explored in more detail in other comics, I understand.  It would be interesting to learn why she hunts Jedi.  She has a collection of lightsabers, and this actually fits in with the little hints that we got in Rogue Planet that somebody was assassinating Jedi.  Did she turn to the Dark Side?  Or is there some in-between, as the authors seem to be hinting at, between this and books such as Dark Rival, where only a true Jedi can turn to the Dark Side?

It is really no surprise that Aurra kills Sharad Hett.  Of course, he lost all hope anyway when hearing that his tribe was wiped out.  This was a big risk by the authors, killing an entire tribe.  But I think it makes Hett's sacrifice all the more poignant.  And it makes his son's decision so much easier:  A'Sharad will become Ki Adi Mundi's Padawan learner.  Hopefully we'll see him in future comics, too...  Aurra Sing escaped.  I'm certain we'll see her.

Aside from the actual story, we get little hints, as well.  It looks like Hett's master is of the same species as Darth Maul.  I thought I had seen one of those on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace.  Hett says here, also, that finding Anakin here may not have "little consequence".  The Hutts are infighting again, which may find a place in the battles fought here in the next film.

This was a wonderful example of what I read Star Wars books for.  The discussions between two people, one of whom has seen enough of war, and another who needs a symbol like Sharad Hett, were very interesting.  The battles, whether between lightsabers or lasers, were also drawn exciting.  In fact, the whole book was drawn fantastically.  I could have done without Aurra Sing, but the rest was terrific.  In the next tales, I hope we can stay away from Tatooine!  The stories take us there way too often these days!


Back to Top

All Star Wars material and covers are Copyright Lucasfilm Ltd and the publishers.
All reviews and page designs at this site Copyright (c)  by Warren Dunn, all rights reserved.