Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shepherd492 reviews: Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi: Fall of the Sith Empire

Tales of the Jedi: Fall of the Sith Empire


Tales of the Jedi: Fall of the Sith Empire was a five part monthly series released in 1997. The trade paperback was released in 1998, and it was collected in the Tales of the Jedi, Volume 1 omnibus in 2007

Plot

This book starts immediately after the events of the previous trade paperback, The Golden Age of the Sith. Jori Daragon has returned to Koros Major to warn Empress Teta of the approaching danger. Before she can do this, she is arrested and shipped to the world of Ronika. Meanwhile, Gav is taken under Naga Sadow's wing, and participates in the gathering of the Sith fleet. Both of these early plotlines feel contrived and unneeded. Gav's character and storyline is quickly rendered laughable when he is asked to push a red button on the wall when Ludo Kressh returns to attack Sadow. The conversation is as follows:

Sadow: Gav, I'll give you this responsibility. Go over to the controls on the wall and activate the automated systems.
Gav: This one? Are you sure that's the best way to block the transmission?
Sadow: Certainly--just do it. We need to get back to our business. It is a great honor I give you, Gav Daragon.
Gav: *Pushes button, Ludo's ship explodes* "You tricked me! I didn't know I was going to destroy him. I've never killed anybody--" His naivete is absolutely laughable, and ruins all character credibility. Later, after turning on Sadow, he also is tricked into going onboard Sadow's ship to talk about what has happened. Sadow escapes, and Gav is left to die.

As for Jori's early plot, it is solved in a similarly heavy handed manner. She doesn't plot her escape from the prison world at all, and magically manages to both escape the system and infiltrate Empress Teta's castle, despite having no espionage/Jedi training.

When the Sith attack the Republic, things heat up. Some great, large scale, action scenes fill the pages and provide some much needed excitement for this book. The early Jedi Knights also have a good showing here, even if some of their dialogue is laughable: "For a hundred generations the Jedi have fought to protect the Republic" "We're not gonna stop now!" This sequence attempts to give purpose to Odan-Urr, though he is tough to relate to due to his whiny obsession with books and studying. Also, the fact that he only fights after being prompted by a random soldier does significant damage to his characterization.

The book ends in a fairly conventional manner, with an enormous space battle in the heart of the Sith Empire. Sagow survives, but is vanguished, and Jori gets a cliche ending. Absolutely nothing about the plot or characters was notable, and the book is perhaps best enjoyed as a series of action sequences. The dialogue is horrible, and many of the character's actions are contrived and nonsensical. Much, much worse than Golden Age of the Sith.

Art

The art is very similar to Golden Age of the Sith, but with a few notable style differences. Firstly, the prominence of Odan-Urr makes it clear just how ridiculous he looks. He is basically a buck-toothed, blue alien with NO LOWER JAW. It makes no biological sense, isn't consistent with how he looked in the previous comic, and it is a bit of an eyesore. Speaking of eyesores, Naga Sadow's flagship is an enormous golden eye with wings. It looks absurd, and contrasts sharply with the greys and blacks of the other ships in the Sith fleet that actually look good.


One example of the atrocious dialogue and strange designs present in this book

The Egyptian motif is a bit more subdued here, but is still noticeable in a few places, Sadow's wardrobe and Coruscant in particular. The Sith army consists of huge animals that are conjured up by Sadow's force ability. These look pretty good for the most part, but the fact that the Sith had no land vehicles is puzzling. Finally, the lightsabers looked good, but forcing them to use power packs was kind of silly. Overall the artwork features no change in execution, but more bad concepts and designs make it second tier at best.


Conclusion
Markedly worse in story, and slightly so in art, only buy this comic for the large scale action scenes prevalent throughout. The dialogue is atrocious, the characters are worse, but a few well placed and designed action scenes prevent it from being a complete failure.

Final Score
22/100

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