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The Empire Strikes Kestavel! Star Wars Dark Times: A Spark Remains #4

Written by Tim Midura on Thursday, October 31 2013 and posted in Reviews

The Empire Strikes Kestavel! Star Wars Dark Times: A Spark Remains #4

Jedi Jennir and Jedi Master Hudorra Prepare for Darth Vader's arrival!

Star Wars Dark Times: A Spark Remains #4, written by Randy Stradley, drawn by Douglas Wheatley and colored by Dan Jackson, continues the gripping series of assassination and back-stabbery!
With the traitor in the Jedi's midst revealed last issue, they are free to prepare for Darth Vader’s arrival on Kestavel. We catch up with Jedi Jennir and Jedi Master Hudorra preparing for the Empire’s imminent appearance. They gather up the crew of their ship, Uhemele, and sit down for one last feast together after rigging traps for the Empire. When the Empire arrives, Jennir and Hudorra send the ship and crew away as they prepare for a final stand. 
This issue is mostly quiet as both sides prepare for the attack, which allows it to be dialogue heavy, and this is where Stradley shines. When Hudorra is giving a toast and speech during dinner, it is uplifting and rousing. In reference to their fallen allies, he says, “May we live up to their examples before we reach our own ends.”
Wheatley's beautiful art is especially apparent in the wide shots; his detail work is meticulous in scenes like the dining hall and during the bridge collapse. Jackson is skillful in his heavy usage of browns and tans throughout, so when he brings in reds and blues, the contrast is striking. The final page is gorgeous as Wheatley and Jackson combine beautifully for a full splash of Hudorra awaiting the Empire. The intricacies of his armor and the luminosity of the lightsaber are highlights. 
I normally don’t mention letterers, for if it’s done correctly, it will blend into the image, but when there are mistakes, they really stand out. Unfortunately for Michael Heisler, I did notice a speech bubble with no wording and a typo on a character’s name. With two editors listed, Dave Marshall and Freddye Lins, you’d think simple errors as these would be caught.
I’m a huge fan of Expanded Universe works, chiefly those focused on principal characters, and the Star Wars Dark Times series hits all points. Also, can Wheatley and Jackson create a fantastic space scene?! I’m looking forward to the final issue of this arc when Jedi Jennir and Jedi Master Hudorra take on scores of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader himself!


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About the Author - Tim Midura

Born in the frozen tundra of Massachusetts, Tim Midura has long possessed a love for comic books and records. After stealing the beard of Zeus and inventing the pizza bagel, a much more heavily tattooed and bearded Tim Midura has finally settled in San Diego. He's the world's first comics journalist who doesn't want to become a comics writer. Find him on twitter, facebook or by email.

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