Vector Part 10 (of 12)
Story: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Script: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Dustin Weaver
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/22/2009)
Cade Skywalker and his crew take over an Imperial garrison on Had Abbadon and hope to lure Darth Krayt there to kill him. Meanwhile, the spirit of ancient Sith Lord Karess Muur, imprisoned in a talisman worn by Jedi Celeste Morne, tempts some Force users of the group in hopes of finding a new host.
After picking up a new passenger last issue (two if you consider Karness Muur's spirit), Cade's group have reached Had Abbadon where they hope to lure Emperor Darth Krayt in order to assassinate him. The use a ploy to take over an Imperial garrison on the planet: Flying TIE fighters, Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg appear to pursue a twintail fighter piloted by Shado Vao but then they destroy the base's own starfighters. Meanwhile, Cade, Azlyn Rae and Celeste Morne raid the command center where they discover the Devaronian commander is a Sith. After turning the stormtroopers into rakghouls, Celeste prevents Cade and Azlyn from stopping the fleeing Sith. Her plan is to let him run to Darth Krayt and warn him of the attack. Cade is not too happy in this change of plans but he is given little choice in the matter.
Then the wait for the Sith Lord to arrive starts. After taking over the base, the group make themselves comfortable. First, Antares Draco reports to Roan Fel about the status of the mission, and the former Emperor then orders him to bring back the Muur talisman. When Draco shares this with his fellow Imperial Knights, they begin to question their leader's motives. Both Azlyn and Ganner agree that if Fel wants a Sith device in his possession, then he is no longer faithful to the Force and they no longer have to follow his orders.
Meanwhile, Muur's spirit doesn't waste time tempting the other Force users. First, Shado Vao dreams of killing Celeste and taking possession of the talisman, but Celeste brings him back to reality when she makes him realize that he is not immune to the Dark Side. Later, Azlyn tries to sneak into Celeste's room as well to assassinate her, but Cade intercepts her. Her emotions are being controlled by Muur and she feels that she has to do whatever it takes to rid the galaxy of the talisman. Cade fights her over it and manages to break the spell on her by reminiscing about the good times they had together as apprentices at the Jedi Academy. When voices in Azlyn's head interrupt their intimate moment, Cade has had enough and decides to confront the ancient Sith Lord imprisoned only by Celeste Morne's willpower. When he threatens Muur, Cade infuriates the Sith Lord and admits that he is able to resist his call to power. Muur grows more and more intrigued by this young Skywalker.
During all this, there is a one-page scene that shows what the non-Force users are doing. On the Mynock, Deliah Blue knows that Cade and Azlyn's bond is growing stronger and she is very jealous, but Jariah Syn manages to confort her a bit. I really like this issue, as it is about loyalties and duty. All the characters have to face temptation and question their own motives: will Shado Vao be able to resist the lure of the Dark Side like his old Master's son Cade? Will Cade's relationship with Azlyn become stronger, or will he remain faithful to Deliah? Will Antares follow his Emperor's orders even if it goes against the beliefs of the Imperial Knight order? And will Karness Muur succeed in taking over Cade as a host? All this written in the fun and intriguing way Ostrander usually does, with the main characters' personalities well-defined by now. The new element here is Celeste Morne and Karness Muur, and I am looking forward to see how his influence will be handled if Krayt ever arrives on the scene. There is also sort of an explanation of how Celeste has managed to survive over a century without food or aging: To Cade she reveals "I draw on his [Muur's] power to keep me alive." But how much longer will this last?
Aside from the usual greatness of Duursema's artwork, in this issue I noticed how cool the costume designs are. The Imperial Knight armor is very intricate and a bit reminiscent of the Royal Guardsmen armor from Crimson Empire. Azlyn's bounty hunter costume (does she ever change clothes?) is also very cool and very much in the style of many background mercenary characters from the Star Wars movies. Celeste's costume is a bit strange and un-Jedi like, but that's not entirely Duursema's design. She did design the unnamed Devaronian Sith commander much like the other lower-rank Sith of the series: red-skinned with black facial tattoos much like Darth Maul. And of course I love the detailed cover by one of my favorite artists Dustin Weaver.
The plan to assassinate Darth Krayt is in motion. But Cade will also have to deal with the other Sith Karness Muur.
Rating: 7.5 / 10 Recommended