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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 37

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at John Ostrander’s Star Wars: Legacy!

Enjoy!

Star Wars: Legacy is based around a pretty darn sound concept – set a Star War series over a hundred years after the events of the original trilogy of films, and then let John Ostrander pretty much have free reign over populating this new universe.

There are few writers more up to the task than Ostrander, who does a wonderful job creating a cohesive universe that works past just being a backdrop for the adventures of the main cast, but as a complex, dynamic group of characters and worlds that are developed enough that they can support their own story arcs separated from the “main” cast.

The “main” cast of the book is a young mercenary named Cade who turns out to be Cade Skywalker, who, like his forebears, is an important figure in the galactic struggle between the various forces of evil and good in the universe.

There is the Sith, there is a scattered Jedi and a vestigial Alliance, but there is also an interesting dynamic with the Empire splintered between those loyal to the Sith and those loyal to the current Emperor.

The Emperor even has his own group of Jedi-like troops called Imperial Knights.

If you check out Adam Hughes’ covers for the first six issues, it will give you a pretty good idea of what the cast of the book looks like (Jan Duursema is the regular artist on the book and did almost all the design work for the series, but there are a lot more artists on the book than just her).

As I mentioned before, perhaps the coolest aspect of the title is that Ostrander has put so much effort into making this a fully realized universe that he quite often has stories that star various other figures who are not directly tied into the “main” plot line (which is about Cade slowly but surely embracing his Jedi heritage).

Here are some sample pages featuring a character we readers have followed through the series run, although he’s only had about three appearances – first as a Stormtrooper, but after he rebels he joins up with Rogue Squadron of the Alliance…

Here’s a look at the “main” characters, Cade and his two mercenary friends, as they are on a mission on Tattoine (a further twist is that Cade’s mother works for the Empire, and she has even more of a twist beyond just working for the Empire, but I won’t spoil it for you)….

As you can see, as is Ostrander’s wont, he has a lot of strong character-based storytelling, but he does not ease up on the action, either.

Star Wars: Legacy is a well-crafted, entertaining comic that is worth the perils of investing in a “new” universe.

There are 44 issues out so far, and seven trades out so far collecting the first 36 issues, with an eighth book out this coming Wednesday (bringing you up to issue #41). So now is an opportune time to jump on to the book! You can get caught up right quickly!

20 Comments

Looks fine, but as a star wars fan, i’m a bit annoyed that Nar Shaddaa was referred to as the Hutt Homeworld.

The Hut homeworld is Nar Hutta. Nar Shaddaa is its moon (the smuggler’s moon, to be precise). How did that gaff slip through.

Brian, while Duursema likely designed the characters, those are all Adam Hughes covers. They’ve got the trademark “HA!” and everything…

True, Ethan, thanks!

‘Tis fixed.

You can’t tell me that old guy (fifth cover from top) isn’t supposed to look like Henry Gibson.

“An Imperial Flower” a poem by Henry Gibson…..

Holy crap that sounds awesome! I’ll pick up the trades at some point.

Part of the fun of this series is that it turns the concept(s) of the original Star Wars on their head. Like the movies, this series has the following: a pirate, a princess, a dark lord, an emperor, a sage old jedi, etc. But in this series, the protagonist is the pirate who doesn’t want to be a Jedi (Cade); the emperor is a good guy; the princess is a jedi, and the sage old Jedi is Luke Skywalker’s ghost. (Trust me, the last one isn’t corny at all.)

Another part of the fun is that it works fine as a straightforward series, BUT if you’re deep into Star Wars, there’s a lot of Easter eggs. Del Rey publishing has been running two series, “Legacy of the Jedi” and currently “Fate of the Jedi,” set some 90 years before the Legacy comics. Del Rey and Dark Horse both make a lot of nods to each other, again, without being too corny. (Example: the Sith Order which has been running rampant in the comics makes its first chronological appearance in Del Rey’s sixth Legacy of the Jedi book.)

Lastly, much of the fun comes from it being a well-written and well-drawn series. I’m glad to see you give this book some love, Brian!

Does the line ‘I have a bad feeling about this’ appear anywhere in this story? It’s just not Star Wars without it.

For the life of me, I can’t remember Ostrander using that line anywhere in the series. I also checked here (believe it or not, somebody’s cataloged this): http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/I_gotta_bad_feeling_about_this

loran, you’re post looks nice and all, but as a Star Wars fan, I’m a bit annoyed that you refered to the Hutt homeworld as Nar Hutta. The Hutt homeworld is Nal Hutta.

How did that gaff slip through?

Looks pretty cool. Some of the faces look a bit wonky, but I can deal with it. As a big star wars fan and comics fan, I find it strange how I haven’t gotten into any star wars comics. I guess it’s just because there’s so many different ones. This looks like an awesome series though. I Was thinking about getting the original Marvel series trades, what stuff is good in the SW comics universe?

@Jake, you are correct; however my mistake; is a spelling mistake, i’m not mixing up two different objects in the same solar system.

Also, I’ve stopped reading star wars material since Del-Ray took over and ruined things, so i’m rusty. Give me a break :-P

High Flier–

Depends on what era you’re into and how your tastes run, I guess. Dark Horse had a bit of a Star Wars Renaissance in the last few years, although things have slowed down a bit of late. Here’s their recent offerings, all of which should be available in TPB in some form:

– Knights of the Old Republic: Set a few years before the video game of the same name, and ties into some of the same concepts/characters. Follows the adventures of Zayne Carrick, a Jedi Padawan accused of killing his fellow students. The series is about to end at issue #50.

– Dark Times: Set shortly after Episode III. Follows the adventures of a Jedi on the run and some space smugglers in the new Empire. Great artwork, but grim storytelling.

– Rebellion: Set a few months after Episode IV; generally about Luke, Leia, and the others. Recently ended at issue #14, I think.

– Invasion: Set 20 years after Episode IV; parallels a series of novels from Del Rey about an alien species which invaded the Galaxy Far Far Away. It went 5 issues; I believe it will come back for another set of issues at some point.

– Legacy: The above article covers it.

There was also a crossover called “Vector” which ran through KOTOR, Dark Times, Rebellion and Legacy in 2008, so several issues of all four series are contained exclusively in Star Wars: Vector volumes 1 and 2.

Going back further, Dark Horse ran a series called just plain “Star Wars” (which was later renamed “Star Wars: Republic”) for 80-some issues. The series ran parallel to the prequel films, and about half the series filled in the events of the Clone Wars between Episodes II and III. Much of the series was done by the aforementioned team of Ostrander and Duursema. In fact, people who read Ostrander/Duursema’s earlier comics will often find a lot of themes or characters from the Clone Wars comics appearing in “Legacy.” (Ostrander is notorious for this–his Suicide Squad characters appeared in The Spectre, which had a few nods in Martian Manhunter.) The series finished out with the aftermath of Episode III, and was cancelled to make way for the Dark Times series.

You could easily go crazy trying to find everything you’d want to read from Dark Horse. Not everything is a winner, but there is some very good product out there. If I had to pick an essential, I’d recommend getting Ostrander’s Clone Wars books dealing with a Jedi named Quinlan Vos, and then moving onto Legacy.

Thanks Adam. Ok, after doin a little research, I think I might possibly drive myself insane attempting to get into the Extended Universe. There are literally thousands of novels and comics thst flesh out this story. That’s insane. Does anyone have a link to a good essential chronology of the EU? I just basically wanted to know what happened with the main characters after the original series ended. I know Han marries leia and Luke gets married and they all have kids. So yeah, just stuff like that. Thanks!

I’ve never got on with John Ostrander’s writing. I think I’ll skip this one.

High Flier-

If you get some free time, check out wookiepedia. It’s got….well everything. If you’re just interested in some Star Wars comics and don’t want to deal with all the history, check out the Legacy stuff. Like others have said there are some neat easter eggs if you are a fan, but I’d say they’re intended to be fairly new reader friendly.

Man I wish Star Wars had been a single film, with no sequels, prequels or tie-in books or comics. Everything that has come after has diminished the elegant simplicity of the original.

Glad to see this on the list!

I have a huge chunk of the old Marvel Star Wars run, and tried to follow the Expanded Universe from Dark Empire and then the “relaunch” with the Admiral Thrawn novels…

I read a huge number of the novels – Some were good, some not so good (Han’s Evil Twin!?!?) I gave up a while back…

When Legacy came out, I tried the first couple and thought it was a good premise, but didn’t want to get too involved. I liked the idea of Darth Krayt getting rid of the Rule of Two, to allow more Sith, but I was cutting my pull list…

Dark Horse recently put the first couple of trades out digitally on the iPhone, and at that price, I couldn’t resist!!

Jan Duursema has always been a great artist in my book, and this is no exception. I actually like the fact that it is so far removed from the movies that really the only continuity is the universe itself…

The Imperial Knights are great (the white lightsabers are a nice touch!) and the continuation of the Skywalker Astromech legacy is a recent addition that I thought was fun!

I’m sticking to the digital trades, but am seriously thinking about picking up the hardcover collections, too!

Duursema is actually the cover artist of #4. The rest are Hughes.

This is my favorite Star Wars comic that DH has published, and glad to see it in the list.

There’s so many EU novels prior to “Legacy” that you could spend a small fortune on them–a fortune best saved for your comics. (Or, save some cash and get them from the library.) Here’s the essential things you probably need to know before reading Legacy:

– Luke married a woman named Mara Jade, a former “hand” of the Emperor who had sithy-type powers. She turned to the good side of the force and helped Luke rebuild the Jedi order. Together, they had one son named Ben–in the novels, a Jedi training under his father.
– Han and Leia married, to absolutely no one’s surprise. They had three kids: twins Jacen and Jaina, and a younger one named Anakin. All three went on to become famous Jedi.
– Luke successfully rebuilt a new Jedi Order, which continues a hundred years later in the Legacy comics.
– A New democratic Republic replaced Palpatine’s empire. It eventually came down due to corruption, and was replaced by a looser “Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.” By the time of Legacy, the GFFA is a loose rebel fleet making surgical attacks at the Sith.
– The Empire was reduced from Palpatine’s tyrannical state to a smaller military government. It’s hard fisted, but not the brutal entity it was under the Sith. 40 years after Episode IV, it’s making a comeback as a much stronger government. By the time of Legacy, it’s retaken much of the galaxy and has set up a new Emperor–who they’ve just revealed to be the grandson of Jaina Solo’s fiancee. (Big hints on who the grandmother was.)
– Around 25 years after Episode IV, a bio-organic alien race called the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy. They were invisible in the force to Jedi and had powerful weaponry that devastated much of the galaxy. A combination of the Jedi, the Empire, and whatever government was in place at the time defeated them.
– Several Sith orders still exist. One is the “One Sith,” a secret organization hiding on the Sith planet Korriban. It’s pretty obvious that this is the order running around in the Legacy comics. Another order is a “Lost Tribe of Sith” which has recently re-emerged in Del Rey’s current series. A final is an order that follows Palpatine’s teachings, and involves Lumiya, a lady from Marvel’s old series.

I think that covers it without any significant spoilers for someone who wants to get into the EU.

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