Comic Publishers

May 21, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: Star Wars: Jedi: The Dark Side #1

Star Wars: Jedi: The Dark Side #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Scott Allie
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Cover: Stephane Roux

“The Dark Side pt 1”: This tale from a galaxy far, far away focuses on Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Xanatos. After a training session, the two are called to meet with the council where news of political unrest on Telos IV has been brought to their attention. This news stirs up strong feelings for Xanatos, since this involves his home world which he hasn’t seen in many years. The two are joined on their mission by Jedi Master Tahl and another Padawan, Orykan, at the request of Yoda. Once in Telos IV airspace things get a little rough as their ship quickly falls under attack.

This issue doesn’t waste any time in getting things going, as Allie quickly introduces us to Xanatos along with his over eagerness at impressing Qui-Gon. It’s nothing that we have not seen before, but Xanatos doesn’t come off as some angry jerk kid, either. He’s just a bit rough around the edges, but still has a likable quality that Allie pulls off quite well with the character. The other Padawan is likable, but she comes off as very unsure of her abilities and might end up being a liability later on in the series. What shocked me was that Allie made Qui-Gon enjoyable in this issue, as the character didn’t make a good impression on me in the prequel trilogy films. He actually seems a bit deeper here and has more of a personality. Now, as you go deeper into the story it begins to unfold nicely, especially with the little reveal at the end of the issue that is sure to add to the political intrigue already in place.

You’re pulled further into the Star Wars universe by Asrar’s strong visuals that help keep you in the moment. All the characters that should be recognizable are done very well, while the rest is icing on the cake. The action in the opening lightsaber duel was nicely played out from panel to panel. Asrar depicted Qui-Gon with this very cool demeanor for most of the fight that only a confident Jedi Master would have. The reveal shot of Tahl makes me think she’s probably got plenty of guys lining up to be her Padawan. The bottom line is, you’re going to get a good looking issue here from start to finish.

Jedi: The Dark Side takes place twenty-one years before The Phantom Menace, and though we know Qui-Gon’s inevitable fate, it will be interesting to see what happens before all of that. It will also be interesting to see where Xanatos ends up as well, since this is the first time (to my knowledge) that he’s been introduced into the Star Wars mythology. The young man has qualities that we’ve seen push others over to the Dark Side of the Force, so get in on the ground floor folks and see where this one is gonna take us!

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