Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Pencils: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Adam Hughes
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (06/25/2007)
One hundred years after the Yuuzhan Vong war, the Sith destroy the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and attack the Academy on Ossus. Darth Krayt then takes over the Imperial throne room and becomes the new Galactic Emperor. He then sends his Sith followers to hunt down any remaining Jedi, including one who was able to revive someone from the brink of death on Ossus. Against his better judgement, Cade Skywalker leaves his father to die but manages to save his Master Wolf Sazen by bringing him aboard an escaping shuttle. Revenge is on his mind when Cade flies off in his starfighter to delay the attacking Sith fighters and allow the shuttle to escape. But even though Cade's starfighter is destroyed during the battle, his Master feels that he survived and vows to come back and look for him.
[2nd & 3rd printings]
This prequel story takes place 90 years after the Legacy of the Force novels, currently being published by Del Rey. It shows how the Sith, led by Darth Krayt, eliminated the Jedi and took over control of the Empire. It feels much like history repeating itself, but it is much faster than when Palpatine did a similar thing some 150 years earlier. Krayt first starts by killing all Jedi in the Temple on Coruscant, then the story opens with an attack on the Jedi Academy on Ossus. Darth Nihl is in charge of this attack, and he is helped by four dark Jedi (including a Gotal and a Mantellian Savrip) and a legion of stormtroopers.
Kol Skywalker and the Zabrak Wolf Sazen are among the Jedi Masters teaching at this Academy, and their Padawans are Shado Vao and Cade Skywalker respectively. These four are the main focus of the action; the two Masters hold back the Sith warriors while their Padawans are supposed to get some Younglings aboard a shuttle and leave the planet. But Cade cannot let his Master and his own father get killed, so he joins the battle at their side. But Kol convinces Cade to think of others before himself and do his duty as a Jedi. Cade takes his injured Master back inside the shuttle and they lift off, Shado at the controls.
So overwhelmed with feelings as he gazes at his dying Master, he uses the Force to heal him creating a murmur in the Force at the same time that his father is killed in the battle below. Cade then takes off in his starfighter to clear a path among the Imperial fighters and help the shuttle escape. The fighter is destroyed in the battle, but Master Wolfe senses that his Padawan is not dead, and he promises to find him as the shuttle enters hyperspace.
Meanwhile in the Imperial throne room on Coruscant, Darth Krayt pays a visit to Emperor Roan Fel. The Sith have been allied with the Empire, against Emperor Fel's better judgement, but it was now time to change that. Krayt and his three Sith underlings Darth Maladi, Darth Nihl and Darth Wyyrlock, were here to kill the Emperor and take control of the Empire. But after the Imperial Moffs swear allegiance to the Sith, Krayt figures out that the Emperor he killed was only a double and not the real Roan Fel who wouldn't have given up that easy being a fully trained Imperial Knight. He instructs the other Sith Lords to track down remaining Jedi, including one which he felt was powerful enough to heal a dying being during the attack on Ossus.
This story is the background for Cade Skywalker, explaining how and why he survived the destruction of the Jedi Order and got separated from his Master. But we find out more about the mysterious Darth Krayt in this issue. In an excerpt from his Holocron, the Sith Lord become Emperor reveals that he was alive when the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy making him over 100 years old. Also, he hints that he knew the "Jedi from old", but it is not clear if he refers to the Jedi from the Old Republic or the ones from Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order. If it is the former, it means that he would be even older! We also find out that Darth Maladi is head of Intelligence, and Krayt is very displeased that she didn't know that the real Roan Fel was away and left a double in his place. He orders her to hire bounty hunters to capture Jedi, dead or alive. We also find out that Krayt has some kind of illness taking him over, and needs Darth Wyyrlock to help him delay the effects of this disease which could overtake him in another 10 or 20 years and make him "not himself".
This issue is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. It sets up the stage for the adventures of Cade Skywalker; his Master is searching for him, as are the Sith and various other groups hired by them. His characterization is also simple, as Cade sometimes borders on the Dark Side when he follows his own feelings of vengeance and destruction. Now that he is separated from his Master, we will find out what he is capable of and which path he will choose.
Duursema is a pro at illustrating the Star Wars universe, enough so that she and co-writer Ostrander were able to create a whole period in the future of everything we know, including characters, costumes, governments, spaceships and weapons. Every reader should know of her work by now, and how she is a master at creating action scenes and realistic characters. And even among all this unfamiliarity, she still makes everything feel as part of the Star Wars universe. I think this is a perfect project for her to display her talents, creativity and knowledge.
The covers for the "Broken" story arc by Adam Hughes are undoubtedly inspired by the original 1983 Marvel Return of the Jedi covers, as they also feature three main characters in front of a uniform background. Hughes' style is so realistic and amazing it is a highlight of this, and future issues. Some people complained that Darth Nihl's lightsaber is different on this cover, but who really cares? Hey, maybe he borrowed someone else's before he posed for the shot.
This is a brand-new era in Star Wars history. This issue is a perfect set-up for the events to come.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended