Siege of Saleucami Part 4 (of 4)
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 (07/30/2005)
The siege of the planet Saleucami is in its final stages. The Republic forces are approaching victory, thanks in part to General Xiaan Amersu who sacrifices herself to disable the Separatist base's orbital cannon. Meanwhile inside the base, Quinlan Vos triumphs over Skorr, then comes to help his former Master Tholme fighting the Dark Jedi Sora Bulq, who he believes is the second Sith. During the battle, Quinlan also has to fight his own dark side as well, and with the help of his Master and his former apprentice Aayla Secura, he triumphs over both. The five Jedi, including K'kruhk and Jeisel, and Khaleen escape the exploding base through the underground tunnels. In the light of victory, Quinlan discusses his future.
This is it! the final pre-Revenge of the Sith issue of Republic. I was expecting to see a lot of Jedi to die, due to the notion that most Jedi are extinct by the time Luke Skywalker is 19, but I'm not disappointed that they (the writer and/or Lucasfilm) decided to keep a few of them alive. It's just funny to see that K'kuhk survives, since the Clone Wars cartoon clearly shows him killed by General Grievous some two and half years earlier (which is one of my biggest continuity pet peeves). It's also cool to see Tholme and Jeisel survive. With Jeisel's previous disillusion with the Jedi (in Jedi: Mace Windu) and Tholme's experience as a Master, they could become very interesting characters in a future series. It is also implied that Tholme's friend and lover T'ra Saa is also alive and assigned him to a MedStar instead of a battlefield. A'Sharad Hett also survives, suffering the loss of his friend Xiaan Amersu during an air battle early on. Her death is honorable, and Jedi Council member Oppo Rancisis died in the previous issue so there are a good number of Jedi casualties.
The villains also have to be eliminated, and they put up good fights and satisfying demises at the hands of our Jedi heroes. Sora Bulq finally gets his due, as well as Skorr and Bok, the last true Morgukai warrior (who dies at the hand of Aayla Secura trying to avenge his father's death from the "Rite of Passage" storyline in #42-45.) Khaleen has less of a role than in the previous parts of this series, but she does get to shoot an Anzati in the face, and unknowingly makes Tholme's attempt to meditate very difficult (why does she care about Tholme so much all of a sudden?)
Now that Quin is back to being a Jedi after working "undercover" for so long, he seems to accept his next mission as a General on the planet Boz Pity (previously featured in the Obsession series, and is referred to in a famous line from Revenge of the Sith.) It's kind of ironic that Quin reveals so much about his plans to quit the Jedi Order after the Clone Wars and to go raise a child with Khaleen somewhere, since we all know how his next battle will turn out. But once again, another possible character is set up for future adventures. A widow and her Force-sensitive child will living somewhere on a remote world. This child could even turn out to become a famous Expanded Universe character (my vote is for Mara Jade. Who ever heard of her parents?)
Ostrander handles the writing duties exceptionally well. He (and artist Duursema) practically created Quinlan, and this is now his chance to bring the story full circle. But every hero has to have an end. I think the fact Quin is referred to in the movie is the best honor, and shows that he will be remembered for a long time as an important part of Star Wars lore. This issue has lots of fights happening simultaneously, and I love the way Ostrander custs from one fight to the next, sometimes in the middle of a page. The only slight problem is that the continuation of the dialogue from last issue between Quin and Skorr doesn't resume until page 6, but it won't be apparent in the TPB. I also love the way Ostrander shows Quin's internal battle with himself, in a part of his mind where Aayla and Tholme join him through the Force to show their support.
In the end, this is a very satisfying conclusion to not only a four-issue series, but of an important era in Star Wars comics and to a character that we've come to know and love. Who knows, maybe we'll find out Quin doesn't really die on Boz Pity, and that his apparent demise in the Revenge of the Sith comic adaptation was greatly exagerrated. After all, Quin was also in one panel of the Attack of the Clones adaptation during the arena battle, and subsequent sources have shown that he wasn't there at the time...
Thankfully, Duursema will be back with issue #80 after a two-issue break. I couldn't imagine a time when her art would not grace the pages of a Star Wars series. Like always, this one is a winner art-wise from cover to cover. I especially love the "Dark Quinlan" depiction. The cover is a cool homage to a character who's been prominent in, and exclusive to, prequel-era comics for a long time, and by the artist who has drawn him for a major part of his existence.
The long-awaited conclusion to the Quinlan Vos saga, and of the pre-Revenge of the Sith period (at least in comics). If you've been following this series for a long time, or if you're a fan of the movie, this one is a must.
Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended