Today marks one of the biggest holiday of the year for Star Wars fans; May the Fourth! And to celebrate we’re going to take a look at some classic Star Wars comics all day long! To start us off we’re going to look at one of the least conventional but most celebrated series in the history of Star Wars comics!
If you ask fans what they miss the most of the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, the most common answer you’re likely to get is Mara Jade-Skywalker, the Dark Jedi turned Bounty Hunter turned Jedi Master and wife of Luke Skywalker. However, the next most common will likely be Star Wars: Legacy, a series published by Dark Horse Comics from 2006 to 2011. It chronicled the adventures of the most unorthodox Jedi to date in the middle of a galactic civil war over a century after the Battle of Yavin.
The series was written entirely by John Ostrander, with line art in volume 1 by Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons, color art by Brad Anderson and letters by Michael David Thomas. The series introduced a new era of the galaxy that readers had never before seen. Though it was met with trepidation at first, it quickly became one of the most popular entries into the Expanded Universe.
After his father’s murder at the hands of the Sith, Cade Skywalker went on the run. Over the next seven years, he became one of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunters. However, fate has a way of finding Skywalkers and thrusting them into a bigger destiny.
A master of worldbuilding, Ostrander quickly creates a world that’s familiar but foreign to the readers. There’s no Republic, and the Jedi are barely keeping the peace against a new Empire and their allies the Sith. This Empire is fascinating too, a government that’s closer to the Republic than Palpatine’s Empire, but is definitely more amoral and ruthless than the old or New Republic. However, the Sith are as familiar as ever, with the biggest change being their population boom, leading up their usurpation of the Empire’s throne.
Even better though is the characters that inhabit this world. None of the main characters feel like a caricature or stereotype, even though Cade and Darth Krayt, the Sith Emperor, are really the only two to get a significant spotlight here. It’s quite a large cast, but each character clearly has a history that could unfold on the page and be relevant to the plot.
Duursema cements herself as one of the legends of the Star Wars universe in this series. Her designs are fantastic throughout, from new ships to tech, to the characters. Her sense of storytelling is great too. Nothing feels static or still, with there always being motion and action on the page, even in the quieter scenes. When fights break out, she steps it up another notch, with dynamic layouts and character movement.
Even though it’s no longer “canon” this is still one of the most enjoyable Star Wars stories I’ve read. Its “Legends” status shouldn’t prevent anyone from checking it out. I know I’ll be checking it out again.
Single issues of Star Wars: Legacy #1-6 are available at your local comic store, as well as digitally from Kindle and Comixology. The series is also collected by Marvel Comics in Star Wars: Legacy Book 1 which collects the first 16 issues of the series, available at bookstores, comic stores and your favorite digital retailer.
We’d like to ask, on behalf of our friends and colleagues that own and are employed by comic shops, that you first try to get these books at your local shop. This is a very uncertain time for owners, employees, and their families. Show some love for your community and friends by buying from your regular shop when possible and safe.