The Clone Wars #3
Slaves of the Republic
Chapter 3: The Depths of Zygerria
Story: Henry Gilroy
Pencilling: Lucas Marangon
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Michael E. Wiggam
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Lucas Marangon
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/03/2009)
Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka and Rex arrive on Zygerria aboard the stolen slaver ship Fate's Hand using its landing permit codes. Their plan is to have Anakin dress up as a slaver in order to get into the slave auction with Ahsoka as his prize and Obi-Wan and Rex as his security guards. On the way there, Anakin is intercepted by the captain of the Royal guard, Slego, and brought before the Queen at the Royal Palace. Meanwhile, the other three try to sneak into the palace through the catacombs, but they discover Governor Roshti, the only Togruta held in the Palace, and decide to break him out of his holding cell. However, Obi-Wan and Roshti are captured by the Sky Guard after splitting up from Ahsoka who went back to the ship to dress up as a slave and meet up with her Master. At the Palace, Anakin gets in the Queen's good graces when he saves her from a rebellious slave girl. Even after her chief advisor Atai casts doubts about this "Lars Quell," she is impressed enough by Quell's gift to her of Togrutan princess "Zaa Vashee" to have him at her side at the upcoming auction. Meanwhile, in the holding area Atai recognizes Obi-Wan as a Jedi from the Republic, and Slego decides to deal with the spy the hard way.
The story is going along nicely, but I feel it's drawn out to be able to separate it into 6 issues. So far, it feels like it could be told in half that number. A lot of elements defy logic and seem aimed to younger readers who might not mind such things. For one thing, making the entire population of Zygerria slavers is very clich?. It's the old addage like when West End Games made the entire Rodian and Trandoshan species bounty hunters based on one representative of each seen in the movies. This fact is cemented by the existence of the Zygerrian Queen: the fact that she is herself a slave owner and promotes that way of life is a good indication that her people would be the same. Ok, she might be the queen of the Zygerrian Slavers Guild, which could be a small percentage of the population but this is never mentioned anywhere. And how come hundreds of rich galactic citizens arrive on the planet for the slave auction and not one word has been leaked to the Republic?
Another major aspect of the story that bothers me is how quickly the (so far unnamed) Queen trusts Anakin as "Lars Quell"; he does nothing to gain her trust aside from stopping a slave from stabbing her. She doesn't even question that Anakin bested Captain Onyx, the former owner of the ship they landed in, in a game of chance and won the ship and the invitation chip. Could it be possible that Onyx and his crew were attacked and the ship stolen? Not in the Queen's mind. And depsite suspicions from her own followers, the Queen has no trouble believing this young Togruta is really a queen from the planet Shili, and not a Jedi Padawan. Sure, the Queen and her chief advisor have heard of Zaa Vashee so she exists, but isn't it be possible that this could be an impostor? It leads me to wonder how such a naive person would be elected a Queen. And if a princess had been captured, wouldn't the royal family send everyone they could after her? Either the slavers have the best security in the galaxy or they are way too trusting and overconfident. And given how easily Obi-Wan and Anakin got inside the palace, I go with the second option. Much like the Queen waiting for Anakin to present his merchandise, my patience is fading.
This is the third artist in as many issues, and I think that Marangon's style fits the style of the TV show very well. Marangon has done a lot of Star Wars work in the past, mostly for comedic and Infinities stories, so he has a good grasp of the GFFA. However, he doesn't seem to know much about the Expanded Universe. For instance, he chose to put an Ewok as a caged slave. Sure it's a cute reference to the movies, but Ewoks are not supposed to be discovered yet. Sometimes it feels like the action jumps ahead or one panel is missing, like on page 11 where Ahsoka is seen rescuing Governor Roshti from his cell, somebody yells "Intruders!" and the next panel sees Ahsoka along Obi-Wan and Rex hiding from laserfire behind a 6-legged triceratops. But overall in this issue, I like the artwork better than the actual story.
The story is getting frustratingly infantile and illogical. Hard to believe that a major contributor to the TV show wrote it.
Rating: 5 / 10