Star Wars #8
Outlander: The Exile of Sharad Hett Part 2 (of 6)
Writing: Tim Truman
Pencilling: Rick Leonardi
Inking: Mark Lipka
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Ken Kelly
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (10/31/1999)
Ki-Adi-Mundi receives a warning from his first teacher, the "Dark Woman", that something will happen on his current mission. Ki flies off to Tatooine and meets with Jabba the Hutt asking him safe passage for his mission. Jabba offers him a ride aboard a skiff and Ki falls into a trap. Morale of the story: never insult a Hutt.
I thought the meeting with the Dark Woman added a nice touch, and added some more mystery to her background. They refer to the events from "Vow of Justice" (Star Wars #4) where she took a young Ki from his home on Cerea when she sensed he was strong in the Force, but she lost the apprenticeship to Master Yoda. What happened to her during all these years? There is another story in there.
Another reference to previous issues is when Jabba kidnapped Ki's daughter and endangered her (Star Wars #5-6.) I think Ki is a bit naive there, trusting Jabba to leave him alone after Ki attacked him to get his daughter back and even insults the Hutt. Now the Jedi dares to ask something offering nothing in return? At least, when Jabba's henchmen turn and attack him, he says: "As I suspected..." He must be very confident in his abilities.
Another thing that struck me was not only the presence of Bib Fortuna (which was decided by LFL but could have been saved here since the Twi'lek in the movie is never named), but the fact that he says he's Jabba's majordomo. If you're interested about this minor continuity detail, see Continuity Notes below.
Different artist, same inker as previous issue. While a change of artist within a limited series has been known to happen before, this series will have many more changes and will suffer from it. More on that in future reviews.
Aside from Aurra Sing's bike missing the big skull it had in the previous issue, the art is generally good throughout.
The mention of Bib Fortuna being Jabba's majordomo poses some minor problems, but here I will propose a fix. I refer here to a sidebar story from the first Star Wars Sourcebook from West End Games entitled "A Rancor Comes to Tatooine." It's the story of a ship who crashes on Tatooine and Jabba's two lieutenants finding out it was carrying a huge monster. They decide to give it to Jabba as a birthday present, each of them hoping to get a promotion. One lieutenat, Bidlo Kwerve, wins the greatest honor and becomes the Rancor's first meal. The other lieuntenat, Bib Fortuna, is promoted as Jabba's majordomo.
In light of this, I assumed this story happened a lot closer to the classic Star Wars trilogy than 30 years. Some other references, like Bidlo's skull still being in the Rancor's pit in Return of the Jedi (it's the one Luke throws at the door switch), the short Dark Horse story "This Crumb for Hire" from A Decade of Dark Horse #3 (which features Bib, Bidlo, Jabba and Han Solo around the time he was travelling in the Corporate Sector), and the fact Han talks to Bidlo when he comes to Tatooine at the end of Rebel Dawn, supported this theory.
But now we find that this event must have happened prior to this series, which takes place a short time after Episode I. So if it happened before or around the time Han was born, how can the smuggler meet Bidlo Kwerve twice in his life?
Now I can propose a few ways to fix this:
Bib could be a different one than the one we see in Return of the Jedi. Maybe a relative. They don't even look alike anyway.
Bib could have been a 'temporary majordomo" for a while, maybe after the real one was killed and while Jabba was looking for a replacement.
Ignore the SW Sourcebook story altogether (which is not a good way to do it given that the "Crumb for Hire" story took some elements from it.)
Regardless, this is a very obscure reference, and it's easily understandable why LFL would overlook it.
By the way, the same story explains that a Gamorrean guard cries out "Rancor!" when he sees the beast, refering to a demon in Gamorrean mythology. This fact was also overlooked when Dave Wolverton wrote Courtship of Princess Leia where the Dathomir Witches also call them Rancors.
The story continues to be good, but a different artist each issue may hurt the series.
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended