AUTHOR: MATTHEW ROSENBERG | ARTIST: PAOLO VILLANELLI | PUBLISHER: MARVEL | FORMAT: SINGLE ISSUE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
With the hotly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game on its way via EA in November, the arrival of this prequel series is – obviously – well-timed, and while we know very little of the plot of the game beyond the trailers that have been shown so far, any excuse to delve back into the era of the Clone Wars is a welcome one. This title may well be more thematically connected to the source material than in a direct storyline manner, as the sense of entitlement that power gives to the Jedi by the almighty Force is touched upon and investigated.
In this, the first of a five-issue mini-series, we meet the impulsive padawan Cere Junda – rash, testing of her teacher, and arrogant in her assertiveness, and Jedi master Eno Cordova, an older, wiser Jedi with plenty of patience who sees great things in his reckless ward. For Star Wars, this is the classic Riggs and Murtaugh partnership, and while the scenario screams of ‘obvious’, there’s something in this first issue that’s enticing enough to make it a page-turner.
Sent to the world of Ontotho to oversee a dispute between the Dupei monks and the Trandoshans, Cordova asks for calm while Junda is keen to give her own ruling on the situation, igniting a fight that didn’t need to happen. Once back on Coruscant and in front of the Jedi Council, Junda defends her own actions, but Cordova is the one who makes the biggest step, defending her and her decisions even when it’s Master Yoda who is pointing the finger. Clearly, the older Jedi understand the weight of the power the Jedi hold. When used for good, wielded like a banner rather than a flamethrower, the Force is a force for good. When used rashly, quickly, it can lead… well, we know from the last forty years of stories where it can lead.
Sent back to Ontotho to investigate a long-lost temple, their mission is complicated by planetary politics, and so heading towards the temple in armoured vehicles they are ambushed. The issue ends after Junda leaves the convoy, heading into the jungle chasing their ambushers. Cordova is apparently killed and Junda knocked unconscious.
It’s an enjoyable start to the series, with attractive art by Paolo Villanelli and subtle colouring by Arif Prianto, and makes for a more than intriguing start to a series that, in a similar manner to the still ongoing Galaxy’s Edge title, will presumably shine a light on the video game. For what is another tie-in title, it’s a solid effort and one that will add another wrinkle to the expanding modern canon era.