Contributor: Rick McGimpsey
Here marks the first Star Wars story set during the Clone Wars. And sadly it is nothing to write home about. While this issue of the Marvel series makes no mention of Separatists or Clone Armies there is little here to contradict the lore either. It’s just quietly and unobtrusively set during that time period. It reveals nothing of interest about the war and focuses instead on a minor incident that occurred in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s career as a Jedi Knight and general of the Republic.
The story opens with the Millennium Falcon taking damage from TIE Fighters it encounters just after leaving hyperspace. Han allows the ship to play possum and drift in space which convinces the Imperial ships they took more damage than they actually did. When the Fighters get close Han and Luke take them out with the Falcon’s turret guns.
Han Solo begins to boast about the skill of his manoeuvre when Princess Leia decides to temper his pride by letting him know that the “Silent Drifting” tactic is an old one that was employed by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars. She goes on to tell them a story her father, Bail Organa, told her about Obi-Wan during the Clone Wars.
While aboard a Republic pleasure cruiser on its way to Alderaan Obi-Wan is approached by a “businessman” named Augustus Tryll who wants to have Kenobi work for him. Knowing Tryll’s involvement in contraband dealing, political info leaking, and even slavery Obi-Wan politely declines. During this brief exchange Tryll offers Ben some Deltron Spice Wine that was fermented by a device that uses microwaves. Ben declines this as well citing that he doesn’t “care for addictive stimulants.” An odd thing for Obi-Wan to say since we have seen him accept alcohol from TC-14 on Trade Federation command ships and even purchase drinks at bars on Coruscant. Perhaps he was only refusing Tryll’s hospitality to take away any leverage the man hoped to gain over him.
Shortly afterward the pleasure cruiser enters the Merson Asteroid Belt on the other side of which are the Mersons who are an anti-Republic organisation that enslaves captured Republic citizens. All Republic ships that enter the belt shut down all non-essential systems and drift along the belt disguised as debris. However, for an unknown reason the Mersons do not buy the ploy this time and attack the ship. The Republic cruiser engages the Mersons in combat but it becomes apparent that a pleasure cruiser’s limited defence systems are no match for Merson slaver ships. Obi-Wan deduces that the Mersons were receiving a signal from inside the cruiser which alerted them that they was not just mere space debris. Word of this soon spreads to the passengers who immediately suspect Augustus Tryll of making a deal with the Mersons. When Obi-Wan tries to intervene with the mob they begin to turn on the Jedi Knight too believing him to be in league with Tryll. Instead of attacking the angry passengers, however, Obi-Wan destroys Tryll’s fermentation device when he realises that its microwave signals were what drew the Merson ships. The enemy vessels soon lose the cruiser in the belt after they begin “silent drifting” again. This apparently calms the mob down despite the fact that now their source of booze is gone.
By time Leia’s story is over the Millennium Falcon is fully repaired and jumps back into hyperspace.
There really isn’t much to this issue that reveals anything significant about Obi-Wan or the Clone Wars. It’s a very simple one-story issue that is mildly entertaining, but definitely no milestone in the Star Wars EU.
Fans who are more acquainted with Prequels era content like The Clone Wars TV series will find the story out of tune with the show. While there is no direct contradictions to the lore the overall look and design featured in the issue feels nothing like The Clone Wars we know. Also Obi-Wan’s appearance is out of place. While not as old as we see him in A New Hope he still has a grey beard and looks at least a decade older than he does in the show and the Prequels. A fan of the show will also see that Anakin is not with him or even mentioned at all. I suppose he must have been elsewhere at the time.
And whether or not the Mersons are a part of the Separatists or the Confederacy of Independent Systems is obviously not revealed here. As I have said before in other reviews an imaginative reader may attempt to fill the gaps and explain seeming contradictions within the EU lore if they try hard enough.
Check in next time for my review of Classic Marvel #25-26 and may the Force be with you.