Thursday, July 4, 2013

Star Wars Rediscovered: Tales of the Jedi: The Freedom Nadd Uprising Review



"You delude yourself old man. The Jedi have not won today...as you will one day learn...the Jedi have lost!"

Welcome to Star Wars Rediscovered and my review of The Freedom Nadd Uprising. This review is taken from the Tales of the Jedi Volume 2 omnibus. Read on after the jump to find out what I thought of this arc steeped in the Dark Side!



The Freedom Nad Uprising

Writer: Tom Veitch
Cover Artist: Dave Dorman
Artists: Tony Akins & Denis Rodier
Colourist: Suzanne Bourdages
Letterist: Willie Schubert

Cover Art

I like the colours and sense of action in this cover art but was a bit disappointed by the faces of the characters, other than one they all seem almost identical. Other than that however I love the dynamic poses of the characters and how Ullic is leaping through the air towards his enemy. Not the best cover Dorman has done but still generally awesome.


Plot


These two issues were a blast to read! The plot is a continuation of the titled 'Tales of the Jedi' where we first met both Ullic and Nomi in their separate stories. In this arc they meet for the first time in order to battle the Freedom Nadd cult that are still active after the death of the old evil Queen and the worrying strength of the Dark Side on Onderon. 
The beginning of the first issue could almost be a continuation of Ullic's story from 'Tales of the Jedi'. We are presented with the final preparations to remove both Freedom Nadd's and the old evil queen's remains to the Dxun moon. This is interrupted by an unexpected and awesome attack by the Naddist cult whose leader looks powerful and is a brilliant visual creation. This leader of the cultists is encased in blue spiky armour and wields a massive green lightsaber, just his presence causes the Jedi to be assaulted by dark and despairing thoughts. He strikes an imposing figure. The cultists attack is successful and they carry off Nadd's remains and abandon the battlefield. The new queen Galia tells our heroes that if anyone knew about the Dark Side on this planet her dying father the old king would and so they travel to a secret facility where he father is kept. He turns out to be much less feeble than his
appearance suggests! We discover that Freedom Nadd has survived albeit in a harmless spirit form and has been teaching the old king secrets of the Dark Side. The old king attacks Ullic's Jedi master Arca and a battle breaks out which ends with the old king kidnapping an unconscious Arca and Ullic defeating the leader of the Cultists whose name turns out to be Warb Null. 
I was disappointed that Null was killed so quickly in this story, I thought he was a great creation and potentially a much more interesting character than the old king. He could have easily become the embodiment of Freedom Nadd and stricken terror in the Jedi. 
During this battle the other cultists have taken over the city and so it is decided that they need the help of the Jedi order and the Republic. This is where Nomi Sunrider enters the story she is one of the Jedi who is given the task in taking back the city and defeating the dark presence on Onderon. She travels there and assists in the great battle.
While this is happening we are also introduced to the two heirs of The Empress Teta system Satal Keto and his cousin Aleema, they are searching for Dark Side artifacts to show off to their friends when they hear of the heavy Dark Side presence on Onderon and so travel
there and take the book that they stole from a museum in the hopes of getting it translated. They find their way to the old king who sees some potential in them and gives them an amulet in which to translate the book with. 
They are interrupted by our heroes who gatecrash and start attacking. Ultimately Ullic strikes the old king whose machinery that keeps him mobile is destroyed which prompts Freedom Nadd to materialise again and promptly kill him, presumably he was lying when he told Arca he was harmless, and then takes Satal and Aleema as his new apprentices. 
The defeat of the old king and the departure of Nadd allows our heroes to finally route out the cult from Onderon and the removal of Nadd's and the old queen's remains to the moon finally succeeds. 
Freedom Nadd leaves with a stark warning that the Jedi have not won today, they have already lost.

Interior Art


I thought the interior art within these two issues were of generally a good standard. Bourdages did a great job with the colours, not a page goes by without the shimmer of a lightsaber, the sinister glow of Freedom Nadd or a cloud of Dark Side energy emanating from the hands of the evil old king. Some of my favourite panels include the splash page in issue #1 where the cultists first attack by crashing through the ground, the sense of action and movement is brilliant. I love the panel where we get a close up of the evil old king beckoning hid daughter to his side with Freedom Nadd looking menacing in the

background, this arc has some great villains! A panel that I found slightly harrowing was one where a Jedi called Kith Kark is killed and pleads for his master in desperation due to his Force shield unexpectedly disappearing, I found it a bit unsettling. I also love the scene where Nomi is battling against a dark presence in the Force which is too strong for her, she is dramatically flung with dark energy across the panel. 

Conclusion & Rating


To conclude I really enjoyed this short arc. It was nice to see some old characters again and Veitch did a fantastic job of creating an epic story in the space of two issues. If you are a fan of Freedom Nad or of stories where the good guys potentially don't completely win then you could certainly do worse than giving this series a read.

Rating: 8/10 - The Corruption of the Dark Side


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