Ah, a classic Star Wars theme is returned to yet again!
Covert Arty By: Steve Ellis, Igor Kordey, & Alexander McDaniel
Art By: Chris Gossett
Written By: Kevin J. Anderson
“Because you’re…Ulic” – Jedi Padawan Vima Sunrider
I will admit to feeling beat down by the disappointment of the Tales Of The Jedi series. I love the Old Republic Era so much, and I had such high hopes for this series. Outside of Tales Of The Jedi: Dark Lords Of The Sith I found the majority of the Tales Of The Jedi series to be utter garbage. Because of this, and the high regard for Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption among most Star Wars fans, I approached the final entry in the series with immense trepidation. I didn’t want to be let down again, because to have the series end up as an almost total failure would have really sucked, man.
I was a few pages into Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption before I realized that in its final entry Tales Of The Jedi had managed to right most of its wrongs. I was engaged with the story, enjoying the artwork, and hungrily devouring page after page of the ultimate entry in the series. By the time I finished Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption I knew that I had read a great comic book. There were still problems to be found in Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption, but my faith in the Old Republic Era had been restored, praise the Force!
I suppose that the reason Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption works so splendidly is because of the streamlined nature of the story. The narrative focuses on a few of the key players in the Tales Of The Jedi series and leaves the rest of the fodder behind. This allows for the brisk story to hits its beats both in character and dramatic terms. This also allowed for the story to be expressed more visually than in the other entries in the Tales Of The Jedi series. The narrative in Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption moved along at a crisp pace, and the visuals and dialogue flourished because of the different pace.
There were moments when the artwork by Chris Gossett was a bit dodgy. In certain panels Ulic Qel-Droma would all of a sudden become the newest member of Rob Liefeld’s X-Force. I’m not a fan of the hulking muscle man approach, and when Mr. Gossett did revert to using that style it created an inconsistency within the otherwise more detailed art found in Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption. I also had some issues with the sexualization of Sylvar and the Cathar species. In the previous Tales Of The Jedi comics they had been portrayed as very animal like, with rough features and oodles of scruffy hair. Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption removes the scruffy fur and animalistic features in favor of silky fur that allows for the bodily features of the Cathar to be better defined in a sexual way. However, these issues aside I much preferred Mr. Gossett’s work in Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption to all of the previous artwork in the series.
More than anything else the reason I enjoyed Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption so much was because of the heavy focus on Ulic Qel-Droma. This is the comic that truly gets across the importance of Ulic to the Star Wars universe. Kevin J. Anderson gives Ulic a lasting impact on the universe, and a deeply personal impact to the characters that surround him in the story. Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption is Ulic’s story, it is his redemption, and his chance to prove why he is one of the most important characters Star Wars has ever seen. Mr. Anderson succeeds in spades in providing substance to Ulic, and I loved the heck out of the story for the legend Mr. Anderson was able to create.
I can’t say that Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption is a fitting end to the Tales Of The Jedi series. It is so much better than the majority of the Tales Of The Jedi series that it exists as its own beast. Detailed artwork and a wonderfully streamlined character journey make for a great read. Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption does stumble at times, but it always regains its footing. I’m once again psyched to keep exploring the Old Republic Era, and for that I can thank the wonderful little story that is Tales Of The Jedi: Redemption.