Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1

5000 years BBY the Star Wars Universe was very different.

The exploration of the Galaxy was a place for pioneers only, Light Sabers still had a external power cell and the Jedi and the Sith were very different than the ones we came to know and love in the Luke Skywalker era.

Learn of the corruption of Naga Sadow and the recreation of the Sith species, the rise of Ulic Qel-Droma and the origin of Nomi Sunrider.

Tales of the Jedi details the stories that first defined one of the most exciting eras of the Star Wars expanded Universe, and it all starts with this first volume.

How good is it?

This omnibus is, simply put, 400 pages of great stories set in the (arguably) best and most exciting era in the Star Wars expanded Universe.

Star Wars Omnibus Tales of the Jedi Volume 1 is mostly about Naga Sadow, a corrupted Jedi that embraces the dark side and has a era specific Sith concept (later picked up in Star Wars Legacy, 150 ABY). The one Sith, a race of Sith here the strong strive and the weak perish, a society were the Sith Lord's rule is absolute and with very little room for individuality or free will.

Of the 3 story arcs in this omnibus the first 2 (The Golden Age of the Sith, The Fall of the Sith Empire) are mainly about the Sith.

I liked this story very much, mainly because its not a Luke Skywalker "ish" story. Its not about "The Special One" Jedi that is prophesied to rise and bring peace back to the galaxy. Instead its about how a Sith Lord gained power and influence among the Sith race. How he tried to conquer the galaxy by force and how it ultimately turned out and its consequences.

For a book entitled Tales of the Jedi it dedicates a great deal of its content to Sith centric stories. Don't get me wrong, its a very interesting story I just find the title somewhat misleading.

The other story has the most imposing and epic title ever placed on a Star Wars comic book story, Knights of the Old Republic. Two of the best Star Wars video games of all times will inherit this name as will another Star Wars comic book series further down the line.

Knights of the Old Republic will introduce the reader to two very strong and captivating characters. Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider. Here we will follow Ulic's rise in the Jedi ranks as well as Nomi's blossoming into Jedi Knighthood.

Nomi is a rare, but much needed, type of character in the Star Wars Universe, a strong female lead. Her origin story will have a very familiar feel, but all is forgiven because she is a very interesting character indeed. She is far from a usual Jedi. She is a, well, she, also she didn't get drafted has a youngling nor conforms to the usual mindset of the Jedi.

Most these stories were printed back in the last half of the 90s, and they show their age. The art is a bit dated and the narrative shows some aging at times, but its still very enjoyable. Even considering its age , the art is still very good considering the usual Star Wars books art standard. In other words, while it won't make you want to join the empire it will still make you externally powered light saber look awesome. Especially in the Naga Sadow's story. The Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider story the art suffers a bit more, but is still very enjoyable.

Ulic Qel-Droma
Nomi Sunrider

Would I recommend it?

Most definitely.
This collects the first stories of my favorite, and arguably most original, Star Wars era in comics in a very affordable package. The origin of Nomi Sunrider, the rise of Ulic Qel-Droma and the empire of Naga Sadow are stories very worth a couple of read through. If any other reason is necessary then why not read the stories that inspired the truly great KOTOR video games.

Publisher: Dark Horse
Year: 2007
Pages: 395
Authors: Various

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