Dark Horse Extra #35
Dark Horse Extra #36
Dark Horse Extra #37
"Heart of Fire"
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Coloring: Dan Jackson
Released: 05/02/2001; 06/06/2001; 07/04/2001
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/11/2010)
In the aftermath of the attempt to capture Aurra Sing, Quinlan Vos meets a young Padawan named Xiaan Amersu in the meditation garden of the Jedi Temple. Xiaan reveals to the amnesiac Jedi Master that she once met Aayla Secura who gave her a gem called heart of fire. Xiaan gives back the gem to Quinlan in hopes of bringing back memories of his Padawan.
This is a pretty short 3-part strip published in the free one-page Dark Horse Extra publication. It takes place between issues #31 and #32 of the Star Wars on-going series. The little Twi'lek Padawan is the one whose master J'mikel was killed by Aurra Sing in the first part of "The Hunt for Aurra Sing". Her name is revealed for the first time: Xiaan Amersu. She is an admirer of Aayla Secura, who is also a Twi'lek, and she reveals to Quinlan many missions that he and Aayla went on that Xiaan read about in the records. Missions like the solving of the mystery of the Lodi on Solibus IV, and the rescue of the little princess from pirates on Xoman 3. To Quinlan however, who has lost his memory, these are only tales. In hopes of bringing back his memories, Xiaan gives him a Heart of Fire that Quinlan once gave to Aayla when she was 13, and which Aayla gave to Xiaan in turn. Hearts of Fire retain memories from the giver and the receiver, and it works as Quinlan relives all the moments he had with his lost Padawan Aayla. He then thanks Xiaan and promises her that he will find Aayla. Given the format and the length of the story (roughly about 4-5 pages of a regular comic), this is a pretty cool story which reveals some new info and segues very well between the two story arcs from the regular series without being required reading. It's just a fun little bit about Quinlan's life.
Duursema's artwork is still as amazing as in the regular series. The flashback panels representing Quinlan and Aayla's past exploits add a lot to the narration.
These issues are worth tracking down, if only for their rarity but also for the cool story and amazing artwork.
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended