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Empire #26 "General" Skywalker Part 1 (of 2)

Story: Ron Marz
Art: Adriana Melo (pages 1-11), Nicola Scott (pages 12-22)
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Tommy Lee Edwards
Released: 11/03/2004

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/04/2004)

SUMMARY:

Commander Narra and the pilots of Red Squadron (including Luke, Wedge and Zev) are on a mission to escort a team of Alliance Intelligence Corps to an unnamed jungle planet. While wandering around, Luke discovers a relic from the Clone Wars, and apparently a survivor. The Empire also lands on the planet. Whose side will the grizzled Clone Trooper take?


[final cover]


[preview cover]


THE STORY

I've come to dread Ron Marz stories, especially those set after ANH. Why is that? Because he's one of those writers who means well, but not enough to do a little bit of research. Granted, there is a lot of material covering that period between Episodes IV and V, but people should be able to find the right info in this age of the internet, and especially if you have access to Lucasfilm's historians.

Even when not making continuity mistakes, Ron Marz's stories in general are uninteresting and don't contain a lot of creativity. This one is no exception. First of all, this story's been done. Twice actually. Both "The Day After the Death Star" and Heirs of the Force had a pilot who crashed on a jungle planet only to be found some time later by Rebels. The only difference was they were TIE pilots and the planet was Yavin. The twist: this time it's a Clone Trooper.

Generally, I'm all for "bridging the gap" between the Classic Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy. But here the linking element feels very gratuitous. We have a lot of Clone coverage in all the Clone Wars books and novels right now, most of which are way better than this story. Also, aren't the original Clones growing at an accelerated rate? This would make this trooper around 70 years old by my calculations. We'll see in the next issue. And why is he able to handle a squad of Stormtroopers by himself, when they also are clones like him! You would think he had the disadvantage, being in the jungle for 25 years.

For the continuity stuff, three points: Marz doesn't seem to know that Commander Narra was the leader of Renegade Squadron during this period, not Red Squadron. Also, it is well established that by 6 months after ANH, Rogue Squadron was formed already, as shown in several sources including the first Rogue Squadron video game. Lastly, and this one Marz got right, the Alliance has evacuated Yavin by this period.


THE ART

Two different artists drew and inked this issue, each of them doing one half. And the page where the second one takes over is very apparent. The difference is so great, I think they should at least have used one inker to smooth out some of the kinks. Basically, you'll notice that Melo's art is much better. The ships and characters look very nice. Scott's art, however, is very different. The character expressions and the stormtroopers' armor look very weird and distorted. And is that really a TIE Fighter? It's too bad that he's the one who did the rest of the story in the next issue.

Of course, Edwards' cover is top-notch, reminescent of Hugh Fleming.


CONCLUSIONS

Yet another story that doesn't bring much to the SW Universe, and that, in my opinion, is not even entertaining. I'm not even excited about reading the conclusion of this story. I am more looking forward to issue #29, which will be a non-Marz issue.

Rating: 3 / 10 Not Recommended

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