Thursday, July 18, 2013

Star Wars Rediscovered: Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith Review

"It is time to remind the Republic of the power of the Dark Side!"

Welcome to Star Wars Rediscovered and my review of Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith. Read on after the break to see what I thought of these good Jedi gone bad!

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith

Writers: Tom Veitch & Kevin J. Anderson
Artist: Chris Gossett
Inks: Mike Barreiro & Jordi Ensign
Colours: Pamela Rambo
Letters: Willie Schubert

Cover Art

I have to admit to not really thinking much of the cover art to this series. Although the character work is good they do seem to be very randomly placed on the cover and I think there is just too much going on. I think brown and orange were overused and the smoke or wind effect just makes everything look bland. I do however like the grim time tone that this cover sets for the series.


This series portrays three intertwining plots, we have Ullic, Nomi and others who are planning what to do about a Dark Side coup that is threatening a group of planets. This coup is the making of heirs to the throne Satal & Aleema who have learnt Dark Side powers from Freedom Nadd, killed their family and striking terror into the worlds they rule. Finally we have the story of Jedi Exar Kun who is intrigued by the Dark Side. 
I really love how these plots all come together and that we have the continued stories of Ullic, Nomi, Satal and Aleema. When I started the first Tales of the Jedi collection I had no idea that the stories would be continued and these characters would be developed and it makes this series all the more intriguing. 
These three separate plots all come together due to Ullic being determined to infiltrate the Krath which is the name Satal & Aleema call themselves in the hopes he can conquer the Dark Side from within. Exar Kun joins the central plot due to him sensing the Krath as a threat to his power and so travels there to try and kill them all. There is nothing I did not enjoy here, watching Ullic try to conquer the Dark Side but instead have a sith poison injected in him that activated by his anger causes him to go full on Dark Side was fascinating to watch. 
If there was any part of this that I found less interesting it was the activity of the Krath, they were a good antagonist for Ullic and Nomi to battle against but their reign of terror in itself did not interest me all that much. I found it really interesting that
the fall of both Ullic and Exar to the Dark Side was not a free choice for either, Ullic was infected with a sith poison that caused him to feel immense rage and Exar had all of his bones crushed by Freedom Nadd's spirit and was given the choice submit to the Dark Side or die. I think this gives them both an element of sympathy and leaves the door open for redemption for both. Exar's continued claim after his submission to the Dark Side that he would never submit to it got a bit annoying. I realise that he was in denial but surely his own actions should have made him realise that he was lying to himself. 

Interior Art

The interior artwork within collection was fantastic! I loved Rambo's use of colours, they were always striking and jumped off the page at me. One of my favourite splash pages is at the beginning of this series where Exar is secretly watching a Holocron of Naga Shadow escaping from the Republic, the use of colours in this page is dazzling and I love the slightly transparent hands of Naga at the edge of each panel using the Force to destroy the ship using the two planets. Absolutely fantastic! Some other of my favourite artwork include a scene where Exar's Jedi Master turns off this Holocron and the monstrous face being displayed shrinks into a terrified face and then disappears. Another is where Ullic is given a relic of Freedom Nadd's to examine and Nadd's spirit emanates from the object and the entire page is swamped by his presence. I love the use of colour and shadow here, Nadd appears spectral and threatening. Next we have Exar who attacks his Jedi Master with two lightsabers.
the panel shapes on this page is brilliant and the use of motion lines work really well with the central image of him ready for battle. Finally one of my most favourite pieces of art in this collection is a split page with Ullic on one side cradling his fallen Jedi Master Arca and Exar on the other kneeling before Nadd after being healed by the Dark Side. This page really spoke to me as an almost point of no return for both jedi, Ullic is grief striken by the loss of Arca, filling with rage and Exar has accepted the Dark Side to avoid death and must accept the consequences of this. 

Conclusion & Rating

To conclude this series is a must read! If you enjoy stories of good Jedi gone bad and the action and epic story that goes along with it then you could do much worse than read this series. I would recommend start with the original Tales of the Jedi collection where we first meet Ullic as you will appreciate his development from then to this.

Rating: 9/10 - - Sith Lords

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