This issue kicks off exactly where we last left our hero, Tohm, as he had found himself in the middle of a battle between his fellow cadets and Lord Vader himself. As this is a very dialogue-heavy issue, spoilers are unavoidable, so with that I say . . .
My love of Star Wars knows no bounds (I am literally sipping coffee from a Boba Fett mug as I write this.), but I always find myself at a constant struggle when it comes to the Expanded Universe. The EU is giving me what I am constantly craving, more Star Wars, but as I've been vocal about it in the past, the outcome is usually hit or miss in my eyes. I have to give credit to the artists out there who can actually bring us a solid story centered around characters we've never heard of before. My last review for Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison was a perfect example of EU done right. This first issue in a five-part series, Knight Errant: Escape, is a mixed bag for me.
When it comes to Star Wars comics, it's kind of a mixed bag. I went into Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison with a little skepticism. I mean, with a title like that and a cover reminiscent of an old, cheesy horror movie with the tag line "Welcome to Coruscant-- A Good Place TO DIE!" one must be cautious. The only thing missing was Vader Force choking the Bride of Frankenstein, which would have been fantastic.
All that said, I'm glad I put all those doubts aside, because this was an interesting read.
As far back as I can remember, I have always loved doing voices. A strange talent I had obtained in my youth to vocally mimic almost anything I heard. One minute I was singing "The Christmas Song" as Alvin and the Chipmunks, and then next spouting cheesy Arnold Schwarzenegger lines from Predator. Just hearing the kids laugh in class while I mimicked teachers and classmates was a gift in itself. Though, as a child I was told such a gift would change once I neared puberty, so I took that negativity and focused on practicing every single day to prove them wrong. When asked, "How do you do that?" or "How do you get your voice so high?" I never really had an answer. It just came naturally. By the age of 12, I could tell exactly which characters Hank Azaria voiced on The Simpsons just by ear, which both amazed and confused my mother. She explained that I just had an ear for it. When watching Animaniacs, I would tell my friends that it was one guy who played Yakko, Pinky, and Dr. Scratchansniif, to which they scoffed. "But they don't sound anything alike. Yakko's voice is WAY higher. How do you know?"
I would first like to address that I was deceived. When I heard there was a Star Wars/Serenity comic book, the geek part of my brain kicked into overdrive, and I imagined a glorious crossover in which Han Solo and Mal Reynolds at first fought over the same smuggling job, butting heads and clever verbal jabs along the way, only to join forces against a common enemy with only their snark and their blasters by their side.
Alas, this was not meant to be, but, at least, such an extraordinary vision still sits in my mind.
Well, here it is. The moment we've been waiting for since we last saw Darth Maul's dismembered body plummeting into the pits of Naboo. Let me just say, it was worth the wait!
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW
I was never really one to get too much into the Star Wars comics, which is strange considering my obsession with both ¨The Wars¨ and comic books. You'd think it would be a natural fit, right? They just never really grabbed me like I'd hope they would. But, in an age of prequels and Old Republic, the universe has grown immensely, and the comic books have been exploring these times in the Star Wars universe. Say what you will about The Phantom Menace, but don't tell me Qui-Gon Jinn wasn't awesome. He and Darth Maul are what made that movie for me, and I had always wanted to know more about this mysterious Jedi.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
"The Sith have existed in the galaxy for centuries, lurking, waiting for their chance to seize control. As various Sith Lords emerged and rose to power, they recorded their thoughts, exploits, and plots for Sith control of the galaxy. When they fell, their knowledge vanished with them forever. Or so it seemed..."
"All warfare is based on deception."