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Star Wars Legacy Volume 2: Shards by John Ostrander and Adam DeKraker

01/10/2008. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin

Buy Star Wars Legacy Volume 2: Shards in the USA - or Buy Star Wars Legacy Volume 2: Shards in the UK

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pub: Titan/Dark Horse. 296 page graphic novel. Price: 14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84576-699-3).

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This second volume of 'Star Wars Legacy', collecting issues # 8, 4, 9, 10, 13, 11 and 12 in that strange order, follows the events of the Star Wars universe some 140 years after the Battle of Yavin in 'A New Hope'. A new, better Empire is falling and the Sith are once again growing stronger.

Cade, the last of the Skywalker line, was taken from the Jedi training temple early in his life. After witnessing his father's death, he grew up with pirates and criminals. Only recently has he returned towards the Jedi life, haunted by visions of long-dead Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker.

This collection doesn't get to Cade's story until past half-way. Instead, it has a number of short episodes about the political side of the story. Sith Lord Darth Krayt has deposed Emperor Fel from his throne and whilst Krayt cleans house on Coruscant of some traitors, Fel must defend himself against Sith assassins.

The political machinations of Fel and Krayt and their various underlings is reasonably well-written and kept me occupied if not spellbound. The art is beautifully done with some superb action sequences. Yet ultimately I felt disappointed with this graphic novel, like I had with the first volume.

Cade Skywalker is a thoroughly unlikeable hero, as whiny as Luke was in the original film but without his good nature. He sulks, complains and rarely pulls off any heroics except to save himself. Whilst this kind of character can work well amongst other rounded characters sparking off against him, all the other good guys are bland and uninteresting.

Emperor Fel on the other hand is an interesting character, an honourable, loyal man, a neat twist on what the Emperor used to mean in the old 'Star Wars' stories. However, he gets only a little screen time and there are no other memorable characters bar the incredibly irritating protagonist Cade. Even the enemies are created from stock Sith evil. It all just seems a little lazy.

There are some flashes of interest in this and the artwork doesn't deserve to be treated to such a bad script. Fel's battle to win back his throne is a story with some promise but having chosen such a thoroughly inappropriate lead character, I wonder if this series will be able to salvage anything of itself.

Tomas L. Martin

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