Star Wars #35
Darkness Part 4 (of 4)
Scripting: John Ostrander
Pencilling: Jan Duursema
Inking: Ray Kryssing
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Jon Foster
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (02/17/2010)
While Masters T'ra Saa, Tholme and Zao meditate in order to feel Volfe Karrko's location, Quinlan encourages Villie to call down his own ship the Inferno so they can leave the planet. Quinlan then goes along with the other Jedi to Karkko's temple where he has to confront his own Padawan, Aayla Secura. When Quinlan breaks Karkko's Dark Side hold on Aayla, a dangerous lightsaber duel ensues between her real Master and the Anzat. While Villie attacks the Anzati outside, the three Jedi Masters join to help Quinlan resist the Dark Side and eventually triumph over Karkko. Quinlan is then reunited with Aayla, and they join the other Jedi aboard Villie's ship to escape Kiffex. While under fire by the Kiffu Guardians under orders from Sheyf Tinte, a Jedi task force led by Mace Windu arrive in the system to lay accusations against Tinte and settle her protests of the Jedi's unauthorized presence in the system. Because of his brush with the Dark Side, Quinlan is judged unsuited to resume Aayla's training so Master Tholme volunteers for the task. After ensuring Villie's release, Quinlan decides to join the smuggler and go where the Force leads him.
The whole storyline is resolved to my great satisfaction. The inevitable confrontation between Quinlan and Karrko, and the reunion between Quin and Aayla exceed my expectations. The three Jedi Masters act together to support Quinlan, despite their concerns that he might be too close to the Dark Side. Instead of preventing him from acting, they help him by concentrating and joining their thoughts to him. The way Quinlan manages to break through Karkko's hold on Aayla itself is pretty impressive, but not more than the duel that follows. Karkko uses all kinds of Dark Side tricks like disolving into the darkness, monstrous illusions and Force lightning. Quinlan also manages to surprise his opponent by using lightning himself, a power only possible when calling upon the Dark Side. Hopefully for Quin, the other Jedi outside will not be aware of this. The final blow is pretty sweet, even better than the way Obi-Wan killed Darth Maul. Of course, it wouldn't be a true epic if the temple didn't start to crumble once its Master is dead. So Quin's reunion with his Padawan is cut short as they join the other Jedi aboard Villie's ship (the Jedi Masters were able to free the live victims of the Anzati that Quin encountered when he first entered the evil temple).
The whole task force of Mace Windu arrives a bit too late, but they are prbably happy that Volfe Karkko is no longer a threat to the galaxy. All through the story arc, there was a sub-plot concerning Sheyf Tinte's motives to bring Quinlan to Kiffex. Did she know about Karkko? Last issue we found out that she almost succeeded in shooting down T'ra Saa's ship and make it look like an accident, and after T'ra Saa found out Tinte was holding political prisoners against Republic law she informed the Republic. Now, Mace Windu uses that accusation to counter Tinte's protests about the Jedi's presence on her planet. It doesn't help relations between the Republic and the Kiffu Guardians, but the Jedi do not press charges against Tinte. Tholme and Quinlan also vouch for Villie's freedom, as he helped them greatly in their adventure on Kiffex. Tinte reluctantly agress, while Quinlan decides to go back with the smuggler. Tholme volunteers to take over and complete Aayla's training and Mace Windu agrees. Everything is resolved well, making this one of the best storylines of the series so far. What will happen to Quin? Will he be able to resist the Dark Side? These questions can be explored in future stories.
The highlight of this issue of course is the lightsaber duel between Quin and Karkko. Actually, they use more than just lightsabers and the fight is presented in a most interesting way by Duursema's amazing artistic skills. The whole sequence simply has to be seen to be believed. Also of note is the contrast between Dark Side, angry Aayla and the peaceful, almost sad Aayla at the end. The difference is amazing while this is the exact same character. Of note: the cover actually is the exact representation of a panel on page 9.
The menace of Volfe Karrko and his control over Aayla Secura are resolved in this issue.
Rating: 9 / 10 Highly Recommended