Script: John Ostrander
Art: Adam DeKraker
Coloring: Ronda Patison
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Colin Wilson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (08/06/2007)
The last battle of the Sith-Imperial war is won over the planet Caamas: the Empire wins control over the galaxy from the Galactic Alliance. Meanwhile, important political events are taking place behind the scenes on Bastion. Emperor Roan Fel learns that Moff Nyna Calixte and her partner (and lover) Grand Admiral Morlish Veed have created a secret alliance with the Sith without his approval. After the attack on the Jedi academy on Ossus, Veed is certain that he will be crowned the new Emperor by the Sith. But Calixte knows that Darth Krayt himself is planning on taking the throne, so she informs Emperor Fel and helps him plan an escape. With a faction of the Empire divided under Fel's leadership, the Moffs will still be useful to the Sith thus assuring Calixte's and Veed's survival.
This fill-in issue goes back to the time of the first issue, seven years before the regular series. It takes place before, during and after the events that we already know but reveals all the behind-the-scenes political stuff that wasn't shown before. It also answers some questions, such as how did Roan Fel know the Sith would betray him, prompting him to place a double in his place? Turns out that Moff Nyna Calixte is the main character of this story, as she interacts with Emperor Fel, Grand Admiral Veed and the Sith.
The first scene takes place during the Battle of Caamas, the last victorious battle of the Empire against the Galactic Alliance (why it is called the Sith-Imperial war still escapes me). Emperor Fel confronts Calixte as she is watching the battle by hologram, and in a four-page expository scene he accuses her of treason because she worked out an alliance with the Sith behind his back. He threatens to kill her for her betrayal but when he learns that the Galactic Alliance surrendered he stays his hand. Perhaps he feels that he will need all the Moffs to help him assimilate the Alliance into the Empire.
Knowing that the Jedi would never join an Empire allied with the Sith, Fel reveals his intention to have all the Jedi be allowed to gather at the Academy on Ossus and be keft unharmed. This is told over a one-page recap of the events of the "massacre at Ossus", which was the main story in issue #1 where the Sith exerminated the Jedi on Ossus. This confirms that the massacre was not ordered by Fel, contrary to what surviving Jedi such as Wolf Sazen, Shado Vao and Cade Skywalker will believe later. Then it cuts to a scene aboard the Star Destroyer Imperious where a meeting between Veed, Calixte and Darth Maladi is taking place. All agree that Fel has to be removed from the throne, and Veed wrong believes that he will be the Emperor's successor. But Calixte thinks otherwise, and in order to preserve her and her lover's usefulness to the Sith, she comes up with a plan.
She goes to the Emperor's private chambers, where he is conferring with his two most trusted Imperial Knights Morghan and Antares, and gains the Emperor's trust by revealing that the Sith are planning to kill him. Her only chance of survival involves Fel's survival: with the former Emperor on the loose leading a split faction, the Moffs would still be needed by the Sith. And So when the Moffs' Council meeting happens exactly like it did in issue #1, the scene is now seen with a different eye. And it is also intercut with Fel and Antares escaping through maintenance tunnels to an escape ship on sublevel 12, which was Calixte's suggestion. Fel must have suspected a trap, but he doesn't really have a choice.
After Darth Krayt declares himself Emperor, Darth Maladi confronts Calixte in her living quarters. The Sith suspect her hand in heloing Fel escape, but Calixte explains that the Moffs will need to be united and for that they need Grand dmiral Veed and herself. So Calixte's plan worked, at least for herself.
This issue doesn't have much in the action department, but it deals a lot with political intrigue and offers a lot of explanations for events that we already know. It is a perfect companion piece to the first issue, and is best enjoyed when read at the same time. The issue also has the first reader letters column, which is answered by editor Randy Stradley.
This is DeKraker's first Star Wars work, and it is pretty good. It is kind of similar to Jan Duursema's style, but not by imitation and not as realistic. Nonetheless, with the coloring work the images are well done. There is a lot of shadows in characters' faces, mirroring the dark political intrigue that is happening. (See this interview to fond out how he got the job.) There is also a sketch page of a Scythe-class cruiser by designer Sean Cooke, a starship which is seen during the Battle of Caamas and on the impressive cover by Colin Wilson.
A great companion piece to the "Broken" story arc.
Rating: 6.5 / 10