Star Wars #19
Twilight Part 1 (of 4)
Scripting: John Ostrander
Pencilling: Jan Duursema
Inking: Rick Magyar
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Jan Duursema, Dan Jackson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/04/2009)
Jedi Quinlan Vos has no memory of who he is or that he's even a Jedi. After being rescued from mercenaries trying to kill him by a Devaronian named Vilmarh Grahrk, he finds out that no one is to be trusted on Nar Shaddaa. But Vos still has his abilities and when he recovers his lightsaber, he is able to bring up images from his recent past that might be a clue as to what brought him here and possibly lead him to his Padawan, Aayla.
Ostrander takes over the writing duties from Tim Truman with this series. This story seems to jump ahead in time from last issue, which introduced the Quinlan Vos and Vilmarh Grahrk characters (the latter of which also appears a few months earlier in the chronology in Jedi Council: Acts of War, the first issue of which was published a week before this one.) Last time we saw him, Vos was on Nar Shaddaa on a mission with his (absent) Padawan and ran across Mace Windu who was on his own mission. Now we find Vos stuck in a building on fire, with no memory of where or who he is. He doesn't even know what a "Jedi" is, even though everyone is calling him one. Some mercenaries attack him, and he defends himself instinctively, until a Devaronian stranger comes to rescue him. We know Vilmarh by now, enough to know that he's not the good guy he pretends to be when he helps Vos to hide and reveals some information about being a Jedi.
Sure enough, right after Vilmarh explains that mercenaries are hunting him because they gambled on how long a Jedi with memory loss would survive and cheat by expediting matters, Vilmarh turns his blaster on Vos and reveals himself to also be one of them. But memory loss or no, Vos was expecting this as he disabled the blaster before. Turns out the Jedi has the ability to read images from objects, and he read Vilmarh's actions from his blaster. That same power helps him recover some memories when he touches his own lightsaber that was wielded by a mercenary pretending to be a fellow Jedi. Vilmarh is not fooled and together they defeat the Jedi-wannabe and his companion who was wielding Aayla's lightsaber, Vos' apprentice. The lightsaber reveals to Vos images of Aayla (a blue Twi'lek), Sheyf Tinte, Mace Windu, and best of all his own name. Now Vos is left alone in the depths of an unknown, dangerous world with an untrustworthy companion who tried to betray him moments before. But Vilmarh reveals that during the fight, he placed a new bet on how long the Jedi will survive. So now, the pair have a common interest and that's enough for Vos to trust him for now.
After stories about Ki-Adi-Mundi ("Prelude to Rebellion" and "Outlander") and the Jedi Council ("Emissaries to Malastare"), it's nice to have a new starring character. Apparently, Vos is based on a background character seen in Mos Espa in The Phantom Menace, and Ostrander made him a Jedi Knight. The whole memory loss thing is kind of a cheap plot device by now (it will be done more effectively years later in the Knights of the Old Republic video game), it helps start the story with a bang and introduce a new character whom readers will get to know as he discovers information about himself. It also creats an air of mystery, as readers get curious to find out how he lost his memory and found himself in this situation. I guess Vos' next goal is to find whatever happened to his elusive Padawan and if she's still even on Nar Shaddaa. I am looking forward to find out what happens next.
I'm a huge fan of Duursema's work, which I first saw in the pages of the Advanded Dungeons & Dragons comics from DC. she has a very dynamic and realistic style, and she depicts the characters she created to perfection. Here she has an opportunity to depicts the dark depths of the Smugglers' Moon and a bunch of alien mercenaries (including the Rodian Lido Mufrenes), and she does both wonderfully. The cover is also equally fantastic, a nice movie poster-style montage of characters in dramatic poses (including Aalya who does not appear in this issue).
How did Quinlan Vos loose his memory? And where is Aayla? Stay tuned as the mystery unfolds.
Rating: 7 / 10