It was just over a year ago that Dark Horse and Lucasfilm ended the Star Wars: Legacy ongoing series after a 50 issue run.
Fortunately, John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and the rest of the creative team got another six issues to wrap up their storylines in Star Wars: Legacy – War. But even so, some of the resolutions here felt a bit rushed.
After a stunning Sith victory at the Jedi Temple, the Galactic Alliance, the Empire and the surviving Jedi joined forces to make a desperation attack on the Sith at Coruscant while renegade Jedi, Cade Skywalker sought out the Sith Lord, Darth Krayt for a final confrontation.
The pacing for the first half of the issue is impeccable as Ostrander cuts from Cade's clash with Krayt, to Imperial Guardsman Draco's attempt to stop Emperor Roan Fel's mad plan to poison everyone on Coruscant just to kill Krayt while a starship battle takes place in the atmospheric below. The intercutting is actually reminiscent of "Return of the Jedi" and it goes a long way towards giving the book an epic sense of scope. Literally everything is on the line for this final battle.
From just the artwork alone, this miniseries ranks as some of the best "Star Wars" comics ever created. The splash page of Cade's arrival is a particularly strong image by Duursema. In many ways, Duursema has become the consummate "Star Wars" comic book artist thanks to her ability to depict flowing action, excellent ship and technology renderings as well as compelling figure work. I neglected to mention them the last time out, but inker Dan Parsons and colorist Brad Anderson also deserve credit for making this series a visual masterpiece.
But the heart of the book lies with its characters, particularly Cade Skywalker, who actually lives up to his name at one point. Cade's battle is not just with Krayt, but with himself. There's also a visually arresting vision of Cade's death and rebirth as a member of Krayt's Sith. And for once, Cade finally and definitively chooses to embrace his destiny. There's even a return appearance by the ghost of Luke Skywalker, who still doesn't look he's been dead for a hundred years or more.
Draco's battle with Roan Fel was also interesting in that Draco was desperately trying to save his master from falling into the dark side and playing into the Sith's hands. The sequence does kind of gloss over Draco's near fall to the dark side, but that's not unexpected when the creators are literally trying to wrap up years worth of stories in just six issues. Had Ostrander and Duursema been able to continue the series, the fallout of Fel's actions would have been very interesting to explore. Because by the end of the story, there's a new power in the galaxy best described as a "federation."
I'm not expected another reprieve from cancellation or another return to the future time frame of "Star Wars: Legacy." But if the creators are able to revisit these characters, it would potentially be on a galactic landscape without the trusty tropes of rebel versus empire or even Jedi versus Sith. Whatever comes next could be something completely brand new.
Even if that never comes to pass, the Star Wars: Legacy team deserves another bow for reminding us how fantastic the "Star Wars" universe can be when given the chance.