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A novel by graphic novel by Kevin J. Anderson and Dario Carrasco, Jr. (2000, Dark Horse Comics)
13 years after Star Wars: A New Hope

Luke sends some of his students off on their first mission alone, to battle a monstrous creature that devastated a mining colony.



2 stars

Read on March 28th, 2004 for the second time  
    What struck me the most about this story was the poor dialog. All came rushing back, though, when I saw the author of the story. I'm glad Anderson was not part of the New Jedi Order, or prequel books, because I can't stand the way he writes. Everything was so simplistic, it was not enjoyable.

Fortunately, the story had some moments. Not too many, but they were there. Once again, I liked the scenes at the Jedi Academy the most, with Luke worrying about his students. I also liked the way Admiral Ackbar councils Leia into using all of her resources, including Luke's students. Mostly, however, Dorsk 82's whining, and Kyp's brashness got annoying.

Since there were two monsters, shouldn't the book be called Leviathans, plural? They were a physical match for the Jedi, but were so huge that they didn't really fit on the pages, and that made them seem less threatening, not more. Were the youngsters and egg sacks that Streen and Kirana Ti hacked more Leviathans? We never know, and it doesn't seem like the authors cared to tell us anything about them. Didn't the colonists know about these small vile creatures, since the colony was so close to their generator? I don't think it would be wise to colonize that planet again.

The artwork was mostly abstract and very two-dimensional. There was one cool scene where Kyp seems to phase out of view as he jumps over the back of one of the creatures, which is the only scene that really caught my attention. I did, however, appreciate seeing Kirana Ti looking towards the horizon while standing on the back of the first dead creature, seeming so very natural.

The story was entertaining, but it was pretty "lite". I wouldn't mind seeing some more activity in this time period, because it is an important one, with the new generation of Jedi coming of age. I just hope another one would have more spunk.



2 stars

Read on April 29th, 2001  
    A little disappointing. I suppose it was a decent outing for the Jedi recruits, but fighting a semi-sentient beast who captures people's souls is not my idea of an exciting Star Wars storyline.

There were things that worked well in this story, though. One of them was Luke's worry for his students. He wants to be there with them, fighting along side them, but all he can do is have confidence in their abilities. But hasn't he sent them on other missions, before this? In Darksaber, Kyp Durron and Dorsk 81 went to Dorsk's home planet, and they brought back intelligence information on Admiral Daala's movements. As I recall, however, that wasn't their mission. They actually were not on an official mission at the time, and they performed admirably.

I suppose all the backstory was necessary, to introduce readers to what happened in Anderson's other stories, the Jedi Academy Trilogy and the Darksaber project. But it seemed like it took the place of other things, that could have taken up those pages. 

We get introduced to Dorsk 82, the next clone to the one who sacrificed his life to defend the Jedi Academy in Darksaber. It stands to reason, according to the authors, that all in the Dorsk clones have Force ability since one of them did. That may be a better assumption than insisting that since a parent has Force sensitivity then all children will, too. That's not the way it works in the movies, though it seems to be the norm in the books.

Dorsk 82 does not have the confidence that his predecessor had, though. He is constantly cowering behind Kyp and the others, questioning the danger in what they are doing, and worrying about everything.

The story takes place on a mining colony, which has sent out a distress call from the planet Corbos. Since the New Republic fleet is still recoiling from the absurd amount of damage it sustained in the last set of books, Leia asks Luke to send in some Jedi Knights. He sends Kyp alone with the new Dorsk clone, but instructs him to send for help if he needs it. The others know that Kyp would never call for help! Fortunately, Dorsk 82 worries so much that he calls the Academy when Kyp disappears.

Kyp and Dorsk find a ravaged mining colony. There are no survivors, but Kyp can still hear the screams in his head. He senses the monster that did all this damage, and follows it alone, abandoning Dorsk 82 in his sleep! Kyp fights off the monster, and calls in lightning from the perpetual storms to kill it. He releases the spirits of the colonists from what looked like sealed portholes in the creature's back.

Jedi trainees Streen and Kirana Ti arrive just in time to find Kyp about to be attacked by an even larger Leviathan. Why there always has to be two is beyond me. Why not three or four, then? Can they truly say they've saved the planet, and that it is now ready for more colonists? What if they missed yet another?

They manage to kill the second beast not with lightning (they didn't even try it this time), but by dropping it into a lava pit (which it survived -so did Kyp!) and luring it into some high voltage conduits. The final blow was dealt by Dorsk 82, thus giving him more confidence, I suppose.

The artwork in this graphic story was pretty standard, but it had some neat effects to it. I can't say I was impressed, but I did stop to admire a few pages along the way. Nothing special, though. 

The dialog was pretty sub-standard, though. I wouldn't expect anything better from Anderson, but I always hope. The story was not very original, nor was it very impressive from a first-mission point of view. But it was adequate. A little disappointing. I've seen much better at the hands of a Star Wars graphic novel.

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