Category Archives: Saturday Morning Comics

Saturday Morning Comics: Obsession #1

Obsession1

Not many cooler covers out there than this. But does the story live up to it?

Happy Saturday morning, readers!  Today we have the second installment of our weekly Saturday Morning Comics series, in which we been a five-part look at the comic series that leads up to ROTS, entitled “Obsession.”  Throughout the series, we’ll come into contact with a who’s who of Clone Wars villains, ranging from Durge to Grievous, but this first issue serves primarily as a lead-in to establish what drives the series.

After a year on the front lines, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (now a Knight) have been given some respite, a bit of vacation, as ordered by the Jedi Council.  Anakin beelines straight for Naboo, where his wife awaits him.  Obi-Wan journeys to the world of Trigalis, on his own personal mission, an investigation/vendetta against the believed-dead Asajj Ventress.  The story opens with Obi-Wan on a swoop bike, decked out in Republic Commando armor, bossing a few Black Sun thugs on his way to what appears to be a palace of sorts.  Once there, he meets Aayla Secura, who is on an official mission of her own, one that Yoda has told Obi-Wan to stay away from.  After giving Kenobi some grief about not taking his leave, Obi-Wan gets some intel on the Black Sun leader, Xist (who resembles Xizor), who is masquerading as a common criminal boss, but actually feeding weapons to the CIS and Dooku.

Xist has quite the reputation as a dueler, to the point that Aayla actually warns Obi-Wan against engaging him.  Of course, that’s never our protagonist, now has it?  After Xist’s security detail is taken down, the two warriors engage, with Xist wielding what can be assumed to be a vibrowhip (although the art makes it rather unclear).

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Although getting roughed up a bit, Kenobi reveals his true intentions- finding Asajj Ventress- and overwhelms the Black Sun Commander, who relents and retreats to his palace for negotiations. Xist acknowledges that his loyalty to Dooku has a price, but Obi-Wan brushes this aside and continues to press for information on Ventress, who was believed to be killed on Coruscant by Anakin.  Meanwhile, Anakin, on Naboo, seems disturbed by the fact that Obi-Wan won’t accept the Sith assassin’s death, and tells Padme as much.

Xist informs Obi-Wan that Ventress has been contracted to take out a wealthy Corellian, Drama Korr, and is set to ambush him in the skies above Maramere in the coming days.  Kenobi contacts the Jedi Council to plead for their approval to engage, telling them that Ventress could “destroy entire armies” and “wipe out entire worlds.”

Wait, what?

Sure, she gave Anakin a nice love tap across the eye, and she’s captured Kenobi once or twice.  Other than that, Ventress is the personification of Charlie Brown with the football when it comes to accomplishing tasks for the CIS, and Sidious knows as much, when he orders Dooku to cast her aside after repeated failures.  Sure, she took down Scout and Whie’s generic masters on Vjun, and has been known to hold her own, but a destroyer of worlds?  I don’t see it.  Are we to assume that the author is overevaluating Ventress, or is it intended to show an intensity and obsession (ding!) in the notoriously even-tempered Kenobi with Ventress?  Seems a bit out of character.

Aayla offers her assistance and her starfighter, and although Kenobi asks her to stay, he does take the starfighter and assures the Twi’lek Jedi that he will call Anakin for help, before engaging Ventress out of hyperspace, and the story wraps.  I’m sure Anakin will take that well.

Next week, we head into the second episode of this series, in which we will watch our heroes face off with Durge, perhaps the strangest of the Clone Wars villains, but a fearsome one, nonetheless .

Tomorrow morning, we’ll take a look Rising Malevolence in our weekly Clone Wars review, and, as mentioned by Lazy Storm Trooper, we will release the first episode of Republic Sports Radio,

Enjoy your Saturday.  -Drew

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Saturday Morning Comics- Republic #78: Loyalties

He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake..

He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake..

Good morning, readers, and welcome to the first installment of Saturday Morning Comics, something we’ll do weekly on the SWR blog.  This week we take a look at the first story published that gave us a look at the immediate aftermath of Revenge of The Sith.  While the story focuses primarily on wrapping up the story of the “hero of Saleucami,” Sagoro Autem (a recurring character in Republic), it is the representation of the steps that the Empire takes in this story that I’d like to look at.

First, it is refreshing to see some resistance within the ranks- in the context of ROTS, we see Vader, Sidious, and then the obedient clones (although some had, and would defect). The officers we see are mindlessly tapping away on screens leading up to the final shot of the evil triumverate looking out upon their Death Star.  Unlike the clones, though, the officers are individuals- although we see him in A New Hope, how are we to assume that Admiral Yularen and his equals would view the transformation of the Republic into the Empire, and the accompanying massacre of the Jedi, their brothers in the field just a few days before?

This comic takes a good look at that.  We see Jan Dodonna and Autem discussing the revisions being made to history as the Jedi are being marginalized in what amounts to a PR campaign by Sidious.  The public is shown videos throughout Coruscant of an un-scarred Palpatine, which perhaps was a mistake by the artists, or perhaps a calculated risk to display a strong Emperor- strong enough to defeat the rebellious Jedi Order unscathed. Upon our seeing him for the first time on his Destroyer, Sidious, who looks very ROTJ-ish (as opposed to ROTS-ish), introduces Vader to the officers officially, and gives them the ultimatum that “When he speaks, you can be sure he speaks for me.”  This is interesting, especially in the context of the new Brian Wood comic series, which makes a point of showing Sidious publicly disparaging and punishing Vader, to the point of relieving him of command following the destruction of the Death Star.  Obviously, that is a bit down the timeline, but an interesting contrast nonetheless.

Story fodder, one Imperial Captain Dallin, speaks up as the voice of the audience, essentially asking why his Jedi friends of a few days ago, the heroes of the Republic’s long war, are suddenly public enemy number one.  Vader, without hesitation, chokes, throws, and kills him in front of the other officers, to Sidious’ pleasure.  Dodonna warns his friend to watch his back, and then Autem goes home (which is not a barracks).  Vader and Sidious personally come to kill him with a legion of troopers, as he is on a cryptic “list” of potential officers thought to harbor ill will towards the Empire.  None of this is even remotely explained, but it is assumed that Vader and Sidious just sensed Autem’s moral opposition to this new Empire, which happens enough in the universe that it can be accepted.

The interesting part of this encounter is the overkill shown by Sidious and Vader going to the apartment of this one officer, to execute him before he can defect.  Of course, Autem escapes (with the help of an old rival), and then evades a few generic bounty hunters, but this instance, as well as the public execution of Dallin, suggests that Sidious was very aware of the potential for rebellion in the ranks early on, and was almost immediately obsessed with rooting it out.  We know that Leia later would tell Tarkin, “The more you tighten your grip..the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”  The Empire’s knuckles are white.

We know that Sidious, Vader, and Tarkin were faced with an uphill battle of assimilating the entire Republic military, the protectors and comrades of the Jedi, into an army designed to serve the Sith and hunt the Jedi in the briefest of time frames. Surely, we understand their aggression and lack of tolerance early on for break in the rank- however, this story makes one thing very clear- while the Empire kept its citizens in line through fear, Sidious’ PR campaign was not universally successful, even as he threw Mace Windu’s mug all over the Holonet as a scape goat.  That shows a particular depth that is common to the Universe, as we can see an example of even the most minor of minor characters having their own moral compass, and enough independent thought to call shenanigans on even the most manipulative and powerful of the Sith Lords.

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I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce the second podcast of the SWR Network, Republic Sports Radio. The show will have multiple hosts, but will take a broad look at the world of sports, from NFL and College Football to the Barclays Premier League, the WWE, and UFC.  We hope that you will join us, as we look to release our first show next weekend.  Of course, Star Wars: RISE will remain the flagship podcast of the network, and is still slated for an October premiere.  Lots of exciting things happening here, and we’d love to have you join us!  If you are interested in joining our team, contact us in the comment section or at starwarsrise@gmail.com.  Enjoy your Saturday,

Drew