The Hidden Temple Part 2
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Omar Francia
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (09/28/2008)
While the Jedi Council deliberate over the proposals from Cade Skywalker and Marasiah Fel, to assassinate Darth Krayt and join forces with Roan Fel's Empire respectively, the other guests of the hidden Temple entertain themselves. Jariah Syn comes face-to-face with his father's killer and discovers the truth behind his death, while Cade is "tested" by his old fellow Padawan Shado Vao. Finally, the Jedi Masters announce their decisions and Cade is not entirely happy with the result.
Last issue left off with Jariah sneaking away to confront his father's killer, a Jedi Master named Rasi Tuum whom he recognized when he arroved with Cade at the hidden Jedi Temple. While the Jedi Council is questioning the wisdom of Cade's proposal to lead an assassination attempt on Sith Emperor Darth Krayt, Jariah catches up to Rasi Tuum in a meditation garden and lauches a surprise attack with Yuuzhan Vong shatterbugs. The Jedi Master is hit a few times, but quickly immobilizes Jariah against a tree. Tuum makes him confess the reason for the attack, prompting a flashback to a 7-year old Jariah witnessing his father's death on Roon. Tuum admits that it did happen, but adds a bit to the story revealing Zareb Syn's and his pirate leader Rav's true motives. For all those years, all Jariah knew was that a Jedi cut off Rav's leg and killed his "da" but now he finally accepts (a little too easily) the truth that his father was a ruthless pirate who was raiding a gem mining camp on Roon, killing the miners, and stealing gems and women.
Right before Jariah's attack, Tuum was conferring with his old Padawan Azlyn Rae and prompting her to choose her allegiance between the Jedi and the Imperial Knights. So then a short scene shows Azlyn revealign her self-doubts to Princess Marasiah Fel, now an Imperial Knight and leader of the Imperial Delegation, only to be reminded that she swore life-long allegiance to the Knights. The next scene involves Shado Vao who catches up to a sleepless Cade and takes him out on a tour in a landspeeder. When they're away from the Temple, Shado reveals his real intent when he provokes Cade to a fight. He wants to prove to Cade that the Dark Side controls him more than he knows, but Cade turns the tables on his old Padawan friend when he shows him that he can still decide to kill someone or not. Cade controls the Force, not the other way around, and both the Light and the Dark Sides have their uses. You don't have to be a Jedi, a Knight or a Sith to use the Force. Convinced, Shado flies them back to the temple where they meet up with Wolfe Saazen who announces that the Council made a decision.
Cade and Marasiah appear before the Council, consisting of Tili Qua and old-timers K'kruhk and T'ra Saa. However, this time the proceedings are revealed to all the guests via hologram. They vote in favor of Marasiah Fel's proposal to discuss an alliance with her father's Empire remnant, but unanymously against Cade's plan to assassinate Krayt. While the Jedi agree that Krayt's genocidal acts against the Mon Calamari should not go unpunished, attacking him now could create stronger factions among the Sith. So instead, the Jedi choose to wait for the Sith to weaken from internal struggles before taking action. This does not deter Cade from his quest, even when his uncle Nat "Bantha Rawk" Skywalker decides to reunite with his family. At least Jariah and Deliah are with Cade, and they are surprised to see the Imperial Knights Antares Draco, Ganner Krieg and Azlyn Rae (Princess Marasiah has to stay behind to continue her diplomatic mission), as well as Shado Vao, join them on the Mynock. Although he doesn't say it, Cade seems happy to have them along.
This issue is rather low-key, with the "two fight scenes" taking a back-seat to the revelations of Jariah's past and the Council's decision. There is a cool reference to Roon and roonstones (from the Droids cartoon) and we see how Rav got his pegleg. It is mostly a "transition" story, where Cade recruits some allies in his quest to strike back at his arch-nemesis, and the beginning of an alliance between the Jedi and Fel's Imperial remnant (who are also in discussions with the Galactic Alliance). So although Cade didn't get the approval from the Jedi, at least he has some representatives of each faction on his side.
I have to say the artistic highlight of this issue is the Jariah/Tuum fight. It's down and dirty, with a furious Jariah using all the crude weapons in his arsenal and the Jedi using the environment to restrain his attacker. Although I am still unsure of Tuum's species (Cathar?) or why the Roonian girl captured by Rav's pirates is white-skinned. Shado's landspeeder seems like an improved version of the X-34 (Luke's speeder in A New Hope) and I really love the brightly-colored vegetation of Taivas, luminescent under the moonlight (with due credit to colorist Parsons). But although the art is amazing, I do not feel it is Duursema's best as she set herself some high standards in other issues.
The truth behind Jariah's hate for the Jedi is revealed, and Cade finds out whether the Jedi will help him assassinate Darth Krayt. Want answers to those questions? Then read this issue.
Rating: 7 / 10