Star Wars #21
Twilight Part 3 (of 4)
Scripting: John Ostrander
Pencilling: Jan Duursema
Inking: Rick Magyar
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Jan Duursema, Dave McCaig
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/09/2009)
Jedi Quinlan Vos and smuggler Vilmarh Grahrk came to Ryloth to look for clues as to the whereabouts of Quin's Padawan Aayla Secura and how he lost his memory. While Villie meets with his cousin Holmar at the Seko Cantina, Quin and former acquaintance Asant? Vos, a Kiffar Guardian, meet with Aayla's uncle Pol Secura who is a member of the Ruling Council. While discussing with Asant? in his chambers, Quin receives a message from Villie to meet him at the floating rock gardens. Once there, Quin is attacked by Holmar, who is killed by Villie. The Devaronian explains to Quin that there is a bounty on the Jedi's head but not to worry because Villie has a bet on Quin's survival. The go investigate the ryll mines and find Kessel spider eggs which explains how glitteryll is created. While fighting off giant Kessel spiders, Quin is shot in the back by Asant?, who reveals that she was part of the plot with Pol Secura to erase Quin's memory because he and his Padawan knew too much. Asant? is killed by a spider, and Quin then prepares to meet again with Secura.
Although Quinlan managed to "read" a lot of images from his past, he doesn't feel attached to them. He discovers more clues in this issue, but still no sign of his Padawan. Quin finds out how and where the drug glitteryl is made, although he doesn't know why he would care. But also he discovers that he and his Padawan where investigating something, and it's probably related to the drug and who is behind its production. He also meets someone else from his past in the person of clan-mate Asant? Vos (although she has the same last name as Quin, I hope they are not related because there is a hint of a past romance). She was informed by Sheyf Tinte of Quin's trip to Ryloth and decided to come meet him. After she betrays him and before she is mortally wounded by a giant Kessel spider, she reveals even more clues to Quin: Asant? and Pol Secura were part of the plot behing the glitteryl, but they managed to save Quin's life by wiping his memory with an overdose of glitteryl. Earlier on in the issue, without Quin's knowledge, Pol communicates with his "patron" who orders him to kill the Jedi this time to which the Twi'lek agrees.
Another person who came to Ryloth to meet the pair is Villie's cousin Holmar. Last issue, the two cousins discussed a large bounty on Quin's head and planning to collect. Now Holmar is planning to collect, and because of Villie's familiarity with the Jedi the two Devaronians agree to split 50/50 on the bounty. Holmar remains in disguise (with a lot of "encouragement", i.e. beating up, from Villie) and refuses to reveal to Villie the name of the person who put up the bounty, only that it is not Bib Fortuna. They agree to lure the Jedi to the rock gardens of Ryloth and attack him there. But before that, Villie has to go place a small bet, which is later revealed to be in favor of Quinlan's life so Villie doesn't hesitate to kill his cousin. He never liked him much anyway. This whole sub-plot with Holmar seems a bit trivial, aside fromt he fact that it probably makes Quinlan trust Villie even more for saving his life once again.
The Ryloth setting is very interesting. The planet hasn't had many appearances in the EU, and the only other one in comics was in X-wing Rogue Squadron #9-12 "Battleground: Tatooine" and a small cameo in Tales of the Jedi. Ostrander does a good job of describing the planet in a few paragraphs of narration. Although the starport is not named, it could easily be Kala'uun (from Platt's Starport Guide), and I'm pretty sure the floating rock gardens (a weird concept) is an Ostrander original creation. The Kessel energy spiders are from Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Search novel of course, and the drug mixing ryll and glitterstim is new. All this brings the story closer to resolving the mystery, although Quin doesn't seem any closer to regaining his memory. I kind of like the character of Villie and his role in the story, but I just find his shifting alliances a bit forced at times. Ostrander makes too much of an effort to make the Devronian a real conman whose only allegiance is really money and the fact that he has to keep Quin appears too convenient. And Asant?'s motivations for betraying her beliefs and taking part in a drug-dealing scheme, namely "For money. For a chance to escape Kiffu. To be something other than a Guardian" are a bit weak. But otherwise it's a fun little thrillride.
Great depiction of Ryloth, its spaceport and its native people. This alone gives the rating an extra half-point. Now we can also see the various sub-species of Twi'leks from The Phantom Menace: there is a couple of Lethan Twi'leks at the spaceport, and of course Pol Secura is a Rutian Twi'lek like his niece Aayla. Since the story takes place at the busy spaceport, there are asorted other aliens present as well. Asant?'s hairstyle is very much like the one worn by the Tonnika sisters, on which the Kiffar are based in the first place. I really love in this issue the full-page illustrations, some with other panels superimposed over them. Very stylish. And the fight between Quin and Villie with the energy spiders is very cinematic. I do find the cover a bit annoying though: Quinlan's robe has way too much fabric and his head is at an impossible angle from his shoulders.
On Ryloth, Quinlan gets closer to finding out who is behind his misfortune. But where is Aayla?
Rating: 7.5 / 10