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Union #4

Story: Michael A. Stackpole
Art: Robert Teranishi
Digital Inking: Christopher Chuckry
Color Rendering: Christopher Chuckry
Lettering: Vickie Williams
Cover: Duncan Fegredo
Released: 02/16/2000

Reviewed by: JF Boivin (06/17/2007)

SUMMARY:

Luke and Mara both deal with the pre-wedding jitters in their own way, while the guests are getting ready. That includes some unwelcome ones, the ex-Imperials led by Moff Takkar who each have their own tasks. One of them, Banner Sumptor, turns on the Moff's wife during their task to get rid of Mara's dressmaker, saving the Twi'lek in the process and making sure she makes it to the wedding safely. He also informs the New Republic of the Moff's plan, and they thwart most of the diversionary attacks, but the Moff himself manages to sneak in and threatens to send a virus through the main computers. But Luke convinces him to leave them in peace, and him and Mara get happily married.


[final cover]


[DF gold alt. cover]


[preview cover]


THE STORY

This story goes out with a bang... well almost. So thanks to Banner, the wedding New Republic is almost ready when the attacks occur. It starts when Banner betrays Anlys Takkar when she orders him to kill the Twi'lek dressmaker Jari'kyn. I guess his mission to seduce her to get information out of her worked both ways because he is unable to kill her. She also has her part int he fight, and the two then hurry to get the dresses on time. Once there, Banner tries to stay incognito, but Karrde recognizes him from the Red Rancor fight a few days earlier (issue #2). He doesn't know the Moff's plan, but he knows about the others'; he warns them of a group of swoop riders who will come to create a diversion, just in time for Wedge, Corran, Kam, Gavin and Tycho to rush and meet them; a group of swoopies break for the annex building where Booster Terrik and the children are staying, which Janson and Hobbie were sent to protect, but are quickly "convinced" to leave; and two of the Imperials are about to send some gas into the building's ventilation system when they come face to face with an angry Wookiee.

But we fond out the Moff's plan pretty quickly. At the bottom of pages 4-13 there is one panel that shows his progression: wearing some kind of environmental suit, the Moff walks through the sewers, dispatches a dianoga and then two guards, before emerging just outside the building on page 14. He then dons a Ithorian costume (that's why his wife was studying a holo last issue), counting on security being diverted to make his entrance into the building easier. And it works, for the next page we see him crashing the wedding, suicide-bomber-style with a thumb on a deadman switch and some devices inside his coat. But the devices are not bombs, and he's not planning to blow up anybody. Instead, the device would send a virus into the New Republic computers that would destroy all communications from Coruscant, and thus get revenge for what they did to the Empire.

But we find out later that the New Republic was never in any danger; they are shielded against this type of virus, plus Luke could have easily held the switch with the Force. But this gives Luke an opportunity to talk the Moff into joining them and become free. They don't threaten to arrest him or anything, but we don't know if he accepts or not because that's the last we see of the Moff. the next scene is the actual wedding and a dance afterwards.

There are a lot of characters, but less than in previous issues. Most are recognizable this time, mostly because they are named. Newly arrived for the wedding in this is Admiral Ackbar (who ministers the wedding), Mon Mothma (escorted in by Kam Solusar; I guess they are closer in age); Elegos A'Kla (fresh from Zahn's Vision of the Future) and Borsk Fey'lya. There is also a scene with all the kids, including the three Solo kids, Wedge's two daughters Myri and Syal, and Mirax and Corran's kids Valin and Jysella. The Twi'lek Jari'kyn turns out to have a prety big role in this series, I wonder if she'll be back in some capacity.

Overall, this is a very entertaining story, even if sometimes it skips some parts. There a lot of jumps in time between scenes so attention must be paid to every detail. I guess Stackpole is more used to a narrative in fiction than in comics scripts, and was maybe depending a bit too much on the artist to fill inthe blanks.


THE ART

This one has a lot of action with the swoop bikers' attack, which Teranishi handles properly. There is also a lot of style with all the costumes and dresses and haistyles that the artist had to work a lot on. Mara's dress is very beautiful, and the groomsmen's tuxedos are very stylish. By the way, a lot of those tuxes get ruined during the attack, creating one of the coolest poses I've seen: it depicts Gavin, Tycho and Wedge shooting in every direction wearing their expensive outfits. I think this picture alone illustrates very well what this series is about. We also see more of Teranishi's actor likenesses; Banner is based on Bruce Campbell (which I suspected last issue), the Moff is based on Chevy Chase, and Mara sometimes looks like Mira Sorvino (maybe?). Like I said before, the good thing is that all the Star Wars characters that we know fromt he movies bear close resemblance to the actors that we know.

The covers have been horrendous so far, so I much prefer the alternate Dynamic Forces version of this issue by Michal Dutkiewicz.


CONCLUSIONS

This series deserves to be read over and over. A classic.

Rating: 8.5 / 10 Highly Recommended

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