• Star Wars: Legacy #16


    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: June 25, 2014


    Jao has been sentenced to execution but Ania and her friends aren’t happy with that sentence for their friend. Ania wants to make her appeal directly to the Empress but she’s rebuffed by her guards. She storms off and the others are ready to leave Coruscant but then Jao’s “escape” is found and Ania and her crew are detained.

    [SPOILERS]

    Ania is marched off on her own, under protest, but then finds herself in a secluded spot face to face with the Empress (whose shared lineage isn’t clearly understood by Ania). She’s sympathetic but honor-bound to her Imperial Knight training to follow the rules. That said, though, the Empress intimates to Ania that there are some actions she could never publicly endorse but, personally, could condone, like Ania going out to rescue Jao from Darth Wredd’s clutches…

    Ania is angry but then finally understands what’s she’s asking of her, that they’re on the same side. The Empress promises to find a way to work around the charges of desertion against Jao and wants to send her troops with Ania. But she’ll only do it her own way so she gets a bunch of lizard dudes in stormtrooper gear aboard her ship as IG, Salk and her head out.

    Meanwhile, aboard his ship, Darth Wredd has Jao held captive but only to work on his loyalties, to try and turn him to the Dark Side. Jao vows resistance so Wredd tells him his backstory: As a young man, he was a skilled hunter and had an affinity for the Force. But, by then, the Jedi were supposedly wiped out and he had marauding barbarians wiping out his whole village to deal with. Wredd crafted a strong blade and was able to fight back, saving some and becoming a savior to his planet’s inhabitants. He settles down, makes a life as guardian, and takes up the call when the Sith arrive. But he never realized there were fights he might lose and so, after being defeated by the Sith, his potential is noticed and he alone is taken aboard their orbiting vessel. They then use his planet as a devastating weapon testing ground, wiping out everyone of his people, leaving Wredd entirely alone. The blast also sets his planet off its axis, making it moving, rogue planet. He’s then broken down by the Sith and taught the power of his hate, bringing him eventually to this point as a Sith Lord, after (as seen earlier in the series, SWL#10) killing his master and setting about his plan of taking down the weak Imperial government.

    As Wredd finishes his story and leaves, he shows Jao the last piece of his might sword that was so swiftly destroyed by the Sith, an emblem of the futility of resistance. After he leaves, though, Jao’s able to use that remnant to stab into his cell’s lock and set himself free. He’s able to broadcast his location to Ania’s comm droid before Wredd interrupts him.

    Ania and her crew get the signal, strange as its location is, and make haste toward it. She goes to her troopers and lets them know they must follow her lead, that they want Jao alive and that, ultimately, she’s the one in charge of this operation. The ship then reaches the coordinates Jao sent out, discovering that rogue, dark planet - Wredd’s old homeworld…

    Finally, the main character gets to reassert herself and truly become the central heroic character here, overcoming some pretty significant obstacles, having to deal with her past, and stay true to her friends and herself. Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman have gone to great lengths to establish their character and now they get to pump up the action even more, making this series even more enjoyable. Artist Brian Albert Thies takes over artwork duties from Hardman and his style is a nice change/update here as the storyline also changes.