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Star Wars #4
Prelude to Rebellion Part 4 (of 6) / Vow of Justice Part 1 (of 3)

Writing: Jan Strnad
Pencilling: Anthony Winn (Prelude), John Nadeau (Vow)
Inking: Robert Jones (Prelude), Jordi Ensign (Vow)
Coloring: Dave Nestelle
Lettering:
Cover: Dan Brereton
Released: 03/24/1999

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (10/28/1999)

SUMMARY:

Prelude: Ki-Adi-Mundi learns that his daughter and the fugitive have left Cerea aboard Ephant Mon's freighter. He goes after them and their cargo of carnivorous divviks.

Vow: Ki returns to his home on Cerea 21 years after he left to train with Master Yoda. He reminisces the circumstances of his departure when he was 4 years old.


THE STORY

Prelude: This is where the story leaves the planet Cerea and its political intrigues behind, which are reduced to three panels in this issue. It starts in the middle of the action, with Sylvn being attacked by the vicious all-teeth and all-eyes, invincible to blasters and have-toxic-gas-for-blood divviks.

In some ways, this is the weak point of the series. A great number of unknown dangerous creatures are attacking a small group of people in an enclosed area. I know, I know. You're going to say: "Don't compare this to 'Alien'." Well this is as close to it as Star Wars ever got. For more proof, see the comments about the art. The difference is the hero is coming to rescue them, with his conveniently cauterizing lightsaber, after he had his briefing about the creatures (which is also a cheap way to show the reader how dangerous these creatures are.)

I'm sorry, but I can't come up with good comments on this story, even though I tried very hard. I don't want to make it sound worse than it is, though, because I enjoyed it. I think it's the characters, which are all very likeable and have their strenghts and weaknesses. Even Ephant Mon has his own unique personality.

Vow: This is the official first appearance of the Dark Woman, the mysterious Jedi Knight (Master?) that will have an important role later.

The story goes along smoothly, even if it's only 6 pages long, and adds a lot of depth to the character of Ki-Adi-Mundi as we explore his past. It hints at a revenge tale according to the last panel. Could this be the tale of Ki's brush with the Dark Side?


THE ART

First of all, I noticed that the cover is by someone other than Ken Kelly (who will return next issue according to the preview cover at the end) and is definately inferior. Brereton's style is a bit reminiscent of Ken Steacy (which I don't like) but better. But I just don't like the sharp angles and the thick waterpaint (if that's what he used.)

Prelude: The interior art by Tony Winn is as good as the previos issues. The two new ship designs are very nice, and the creatures are sort of mean-looking even for their small size. What's less cool, though, is the 3 droids Ki is given for a crew. One (B3NK) has a head shaped exactly like the alien hybrid in 'Alien: Resurrection'. And another one (2-ROB) has an exoskeleton with ribs that look exactly like those of H'R' Giger's aliens! Coincidence?

Vow: John Nadeau's art is pretty good, comparable to his work on the X-Wing series. The Dark Woman's ship looks very familiar to me...


CONCLUSIONS

Prelude: Despite its shortcomings, I'm sure the series will resolve itself better in the last couple of issues. Plus, it's essential to enjoy the rest of the series which is highly recommended.

Vow: This promises to be a very entertaining, short tale.

Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended

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