Dreadnaughts of Rendili Part 1 (of 3)
Story: John Ostrander
Art: Jan Duursema
Inking: Dan Parsons
Coloring: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Michael David Thomas
Cover: Jan Duursema, Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (04/17/2005)
The Republic fleet, led by Plo Koon and Saesee Tiin, are in negotiations with the the Rendili home fleet, who recently joined the Separatists. The fleet is led by Captain Jace Dallin, a veteran of the Stark Hyperspace War in which he was on the Republic's side. All seems to go well, until Captain Dallin's officers, led by Lt. Dago, decide to brand him a traitor. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi is investigating a zoological exploration vessel named Titavian IV that was recently attacked. On the ship, he is surprised to find his old friend and recent Jedi renegade Quinlan Vos, who is being pursued by Dooku's agents Tol Skorr and Asajj Ventress. Obi-Wan decides to help his old friend, in hopes of hearing Quinlan's explanations about his recent actions.
I think the setting, a zoological exploration ship, is a good idea. If only for Obi-Wan using a rancor to distract the Dark Jedi. Who doesn't like a good rancor fight. Also cool is the appearance of Captain Dodonna who, of course, will later be the Rebel Alliance leader of the base on Yavin 4. He doesn't have much of a role, but it's cool to see what he was up to during the Clone Wars.
Anakin also makes an appearance, arriving to help with the negotiations with the Rendili fleet. Saesee Tiin congratulates him on his recent knighthood, which happened sometime after Jedi Trial and is depicted in one of the latest episodes of the Clone Wars cartoon series. Now that Anakin is not a Padawan anymore, it's a change to see them in two separate missions. The scenes at Rendili are only a small portion of this issue compared to the Obi-Wan scenes, but this is a three-part series so I'm sure it'll all balance out in the end. This is only the set-up after all.
This issue offers a lot of references to previous issues, a sort of recap to keep the reader up to date. It contains a lot of allusions to the Star Hyperspace War (#36-39), Obi-Wan stealing Ventress' ship (#60), Quinlan's previous fight with Skorr and another with Jedi K'kruhk (#63), Quinlan killing Kh'aris Fenn (#66), and Quinlan's meeting with Aayla Secura (#68). Obi-Wan also mentions that an outdated Jedi distress signal could be from Veknoid Jedi Master Zao (not seen since #32-35) or Master Jerec (Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II anyone?) No reference to Obi-Wan's last meeting with Ventress in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, but that's excusable. I don't expect to have references to everything.
Keep your eye out for an appearance by Commander Cody, a character that will be in Revenge of the Sith.
The anticipation is building as the series approaches the events of the upcoming movie. The direction seems to be having Quinlan have some sort of closure before his demise at the end of the Clone Wars. After Obi-Wan follows his instinct and decides to help his former friend, Quinlan seems like his old self and gets along with Obi-Wan just fine, as they fight together to get off the ship. Could this be Quinlan's return to the Light Side? I thought so, until Ventress tells Obi-Wan that Vos has betrayed him after he let him off the ship aboard his starfighter. She tells Obi-Wan during their fight that Vos will not come back for him. Will he? Or is Ventress just lying to demoralize him? I guess we'll find out next issue.
At this point, I associate the Republic series with Duursema. The art is still as good as all the previous work she's done. The rancor is very faithful to what we've seen of one in the movies, which doesn't seem easy to pull off. I've seen some weird looking rancors by other artists. The cover art, however, is really not up to Duursema's usual standards. For some reason it seems a bit simplistic and rushed. But you know the old saying, about judging a book by its cover.
Very good intro to one of the last multi-part series before Revenge of the Sith. A must-read.
Rating: 7 / 10 Recommended