Friday, July 20, 2012

Graphic Novel Review – Star Wars: The Old Republic vol.3 – The Lost Suns

I really wanted to like The Lost Suns. It takes place during The Old Republic era of the Star Wars universe – that’s about a thousand years before Luke Skywalker, and the time of the current MMORPG videogame. It opens up lots of story possibilities, while keeping much of the familiar technology and terminology. Unfortunately, The Lost Suns doesn’t really do anything with that potential.

The reader is vaguely introduced to a rambling robe-wearing man who’s telling anyone who’ll listen about stories from the Sith war, as well as Theron, an intelligence agent with the Republic who’s just broken up from kind of a criminal smuggling ring. It doesn’t really matter because it’s just a thin excuse to have an edgy female Twi’lek forced to be his companion (because you see, she wouldn’t reveal the info he needs, so he’s keeping her close until she does) on a mission to track down a rogue Jedi Master (who just so happens to be the rambling storyteller). Of course the Jedi Master is the man who raised him, because his mother (the famous Jedi Grand Master, Satele Shan) obviously couldn’t keep him as it would interfere with her detachment as a Jedi (which is one of the many things that doesn’t really make sense, as this isn’t an era when that practice is really all that strong).

It takes way too long to get around to the revelation about Theron’s mother, when it was well known before the comic even came out who he was. Of more interest is the fact that he seems to have no inherent Force abilities himself – it’s a shame that very little of that comes into play in this story (or even better, why couldn’t -that- have been the reason Satele gave him up). Instead, his Jedi Master father figure reveals that he’s been to Sith space, and has conveniently forgotten why it is very important for them all to return as quickly as possible to Sith space without notifying anyone in authority in the Republic.

So they head to one of the Lost Suns – these were 7 stars that were given to the Empire in the peace treaty that ended the Sith war. At this particular location, Darth Mekhis is sucking the energy from the star via an enormous machine, and harnessing it’s energy to create powerful weapons of mass destruction, on scales never before imagined. It’s the like the worst nightmare of readers of the Bantam era of Star Wars literature – take every super-weapon from each new book and throw all of them together into one 6-issue comic series.

Well, there only one thing for our band of heroes to do – no, not report back in to the Republic and tell them about this massive space station (think about the size of this thing, it has to be larger than a star!) and all the weapons it’s building. Are you kidding, they’re a small group, they can obviously easily slip past its defenses and find a way to send it crashing into the star that’s providing it fuel, thereby destroying all of Darth Mekhis’ work and saving a galaxy that will never know how close it came to true terror.

Uninspiring art matches the uninspired writing, only the covers provide anything interesting to look at. I didn’t care a bit about any of the characters, nor did I even feel that the stakes were great and all life was in peril. This was as pretty complete of a failure on every level that I can imagine. I enjoyed the prior two The Old Republic comic volumes (even when the art was uninspired, the writing was usually good), but this is just poor. It makes me less excited for Drew Karpyshyn’s Annihilation, which stars Theron Shan, though I remain hopeful that he’ll be able to breathe some life into the character. Avoid The Lost Suns and seek other stories set in The Old Republic era elsewhere.

1 comment:

Maurice Mitchell said...

drat. This one looked really good from the cover.